Not long ago I heard this definition of insanity: continuing to do the same thing but expecting different results.
Many of us are creatures of habit and we know some habits are harder to change than others. This applies to individuals as well as organizations and systems. We become comfortable with what we know and become reluctant then to change.
But we also know that some habits need changing in order for us to grow and prosper. Again, this is true of both individuals and organizations.
Here at the United Fund we embrace the idea that change can be healthy and life giving. We believe that change is a fact of life, much of which we didn’t initiate. However, we are committed to responding to those changes in a positive manner. So for a number of years we’ve challenged ourselves to identify, understand, and plan to most effectively address the changes taking place within our community.
Further, we have challenged the organizations we fund to also respond positively to the challenges encountered in serving on a daily basis. We have asked them to look toward the future and plan how to most effectively meet these ever changing needs.
We begin in our budget and admissions process by asking a simple question: How are you changing lives? More specifically, how are you improving the lives of those you serve?
This is a difficult question to answer, how do we know if what we are doing is making a positive impact on others? Our world tells us to measure our success by how much we do or how many we serve. Yes, it’s one way of measuring productivity, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of what you are doing.
Being interested in the quality of service is the focus of the United Fund. We believe that we can make a positive and measurable difference in people and by extension this community. We believe that people and communities can and do change and that if properly encouraged, these changes will be positive, healthy and life giving.
So we are willing to take the lead and are committed to being agents of change. We are willing to challenge ourselves first to plan with foresight and careful thought to not only meeting the most basic of survival needs, but also to be the bridge for those in need to excel and thrive as fully productive members and neighbors. We are dedicated to changing lives.
But we can’t do this alone. We need you, the community to share our hopes and belief in this endeavor. The United Fund is committed to being the change we want to see in our community. Join us.
Pat Krause is first vice president of the Norwalk Area United Fund. The United Fund has kicked off its 142nd community campaign to raise donations for its annual funding cycle and community grants. They can reached at 419-668-0269 for more information.