The Story of The Abundant Not-for-Profit

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This blog post is the fourth in a series of success stories featured in our 2012 Annual Report.

Like many projects, The Abundant Not-for-Profit began as an audacious idea.

We had no budget to support a project of this magnitude. There were many other – more urgent – priorities. Not to mention we’d never undertaken anything of this scope.  And yet, we believed a book would spread our message further and faster than ever before. It could reach and inspire forward thinking not-for-profit leaders we might otherwise never meet.  Blaze a new path to sustainability for the sector.

It was also a golden opportunity to walk our own talk.

We would only succeed by putting our own theory into practice: engaging an abundance of talent from the community.  And so, in May 2012 we hired knowledge philanthropist, and professional project manager, Selma Kuurstra.  

“Selma had experience project managing the creation of books, and our project was to complete our book, The Abundant Not-for-Profit, within the year. Selma was concerned we would not consider her as she didn’t live in Vancouver. How little difference that made!  She used her business account technology to connect with us on a regular basis. She reminded us continually of sticking to the plan and timeline she had constructed with us.  Her experience in the area of book development, and her attention to detail was exceptional.”

Selma began by creating a detailed project charter, plan and timeline. Soon, the leadership team (responsible for the book’s successful completion) was meeting with Selma on a monthly basis. Selma provided semi-monthly updates, asked questions, made suggestions and was usually a step ahead of the writers.  Because of her previous experience working with companies that write books, Selma often knew better than we did how to proceed.

The engagement was mutually beneficial. Selma speaks enthusiastically about the uniqueness of the collaboration. “It was fun working with the very committed team of Vantage Point’s employees and knowledge philanthropists.  Learning about their interesting approach to not-for-profit leadership and seeing it being put to work successfully was a unique experience. Having such a great and tangible deliverable, which will have an impact on the not-for-profit community, is undoubtedly the best part of this project!” 

In the end, over 50 passionate, dedicated and talented people produced The Abundant Not-for-Profit. We proactively recruited key advisors – including published authors, marketing experts, strategists and idea gurus. We engaged people with specific skills, including three designers, who together created a more vibrant, professional final product than we had even imagined. 

Of the experience, Tom Chan of Sabotage Creative said, "The concept of knowledge philanthropy was new to me until I crossed paths with the team at Vantage Point via social media. The Abundant-Not-For-Profit was an audacious idea and to help bring it to life was extremely satisfying. I was able to bring my knowledge of design and communication to the project, working with the team through ideas, layouts and messaging. Lynda and Colleen had faith in the various contributors to bring their best to the project, and provided the perfect amount of autonomy and feedback."

The Abundant Not-for-Profit is a testament to the abundance of available talent. It is proof that people have incredible power to move projects – and organizations – forward. 

It turns out the saying is true. Fifty brilliant minds really are better than one.

Check out our website to pre-order your copy of the Abundant Not-for Profit or download the e-book!

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