There Is Always One In A Crowd That Will Stand Out by k.l.macke, on FlickrI call it charity envy. It’s the big funding announcement the other organization got. It’s the “sexy” charity you hear about everywhere, while you fight for a cause nobody wants to talk about. It’s the social media campaign you can’t check out because Facebook is (still) blocked at work.

Charity envy is out there; goodness knows I’ve felt it. (I still feel it every time I see this site, and it’s a few years old now!)

Sometimes, I think it’s easy to forget what we’re doing. Not what we could do, or might do, or would do. But what we are doing, with the resources we have on-hand today.

You don’t need every opportunity

I once helped create a community group that formed because we saw a need. In fact, it was nearly overwhelming. Before long, we were spread too thin networking with similar groups and trying to keep up with all the local issues from petty crime to development issues to neighbourhood events.

Did we do good work? Absolutely. Did we do it well? Perhaps; we certainly tried. We took every opportunity that presented itself – and in the end, it wasn’t sustainable.

Simple can be remarkable

A group I was working with had an opportunity to run a modest ad campaign – at the sparse end of that scale. We simplified and focused our message, did as much as we could with our limited resources, and launched our micro campaign – to no particular applause.

About a month later, a woman in a workshop mentioned what we’d done. The simple and focused message had caught her attention; she didn’t have do deal with the usual range of options or information. Just one message that mattered to her. So she shared it with people she knew who were in the same situation, in case it might help them, too.

Her feedback made me feel like our little low-budget project was remarkable. And so it was.

Look past the bright and shiny!

Unless you’re amazingly lucky, there will always be someone who did it first, or better, or bigger, or even more successfully. This is just my little reminder – to you and to myself! – that sometimes you need to forget about what you want and focus on what you’re doing now.