In a New York Times profile, retiring IBM chief executive Samuel Palmisano reveals the four questions that have framed his company’s strategy since he took over almost 10 years ago:
- “Why would someone spend their money with you — so what is unique about you?
- “Why would somebody work for you?
- “Why would society allow you to operate in their defined geography — their country?
- “And why would somebody invest their money with you?”
The questions apply to IBM, but they may also drive strategy for nonprofit organizations. For example, what distinguishes organization A over others with similar missions? And what draws people to work for one organization over the others?
Fundraising professionals may be drawn, however, to the fourth question. Why would individuals, corporations and foundations invest in nonprofit organizations? Which organizations? Why your organization?