How to Use Co-Creation to Build a Prosperous Nonprofit

In the past, many nonprofits focused on their mission at the expense of infrastructure, leading to overworked and burnt-out teams. Thrive Impact’s CEO, Tucker Wannamaker, offers a groundbreaking co-creation approach to empower nonprofits to thrive without sacrificing their team members’ well-being.

The Scarcity Mindset

Nonprofit leaders often face the challenge of the scarcity mindset, where they feel like there is never enough time, resources, or progress. This can lead to overwork and undervaluing their own worth. To combat this, Wannamaker advises nonprofit leaders to reflect on their progress and wins on a weekly basis. By creating a space to reflect on the best of who they are and have been, nonprofit leaders can actively get out of the scarcity mindset.

Unlocking the Heads and Hearts of All Team MembersUnlocking the Heads and Hearts of All Team Members

In today’s rapidly changing world, traditional top-down approaches to change are no longer effective. Instead, Wannamaker emphasizes the importance of unlocking the heads and hearts of all team members and inviting them into co-creating the organization’s future. This approach allows nonprofit leaders to discover themselves and their solutions, creating conditions for conversation and learning and building the collective identity of organizations.

The Power of Great Questions

Leadership is not about having all the answers but rather inviting team members into the struggle and co-creating the organization’s future. By asking great questions and empowering team members to craft what they want to create, organizations can achieve better impact, revenue, and culture. Wannamaker’s personal story highlights the importance of shifting from the few who have the answers mentality to engaging the many and the power of great questions.

The Co-Creation Approach

Co-creation is the process of creating something new by engaging with stakeholders to foster innovation, transparency, and buy-in. Wannamaker believes that co-creation is the greatest form of humanity. It creates conditions where people are empowered to craft what they want to create, leading to more engagement and energy. By breaking away from traditional top-down approaches and embracing co-creation, nonprofit organizations can adapt to the exponential rate of change and achieve better impact.

Transparency Builds Trust

Transparency is a key component of building a prosperous nonprofit. Co-creation creates a space of buy-in that is more efficient than any kind of top-down approach. Wannamaker advises nonprofit leaders to implement a strengths-based approach, which involves reflecting on what has been the best of their organization, identifying the factors involved, and creating a rhythm of learning to move forward. By implementing co-creation principles or activities, nonprofits can foster innovation and trust.

Creating a Prosperous Nonprofit

A prosperous nonprofit creates conditions that allow for its people to thrive, which subsequently helps the people they serve. It is a learning organization that has a clear and unique value proposition and creates rhythms of learning that allow for it to reflect on a regular basis. Wannamaker believes that creating a prosperous nonprofit is a journey that requires a willingness to learn and iterate.

Join the Movement

Thrive Impact’s co-creation approach is a new way of working that fosters innovation, transparency, and trust for nonprofit leaders. Reflect on progress and wins on a weekly basis and implement a strengths-based approach. Ask great questions, invite team members into the struggle, and co-create the organization’s future. Join the movement towards creating prosperous nonprofits that thrive without sacrificing their people. Check out Thrive Impact’s free workshop, “The Six Shifts that Every Nonprofit Leader Needs to Make to Lead in the Next Normal,” and connect with other nonprofit leaders who are going through similar experiences.

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