What does commitment mean to you?

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How often do you think about commitment?  If you’re like me, not often.  Something needs to prompt such thought, that something for me is a piece of work for a funding organisation that Judith and I are currently doing.

On the face of it, it’s not a difficult piece of work- to evaluate the impact of funds on small organisations.  We take the classic approach with the project- break it down into its component parts.  Agree outcomes, design and structure questionnaire process, set up and conduct interviews, write up findings, draw out conclusions and present report.  So what’s difficult?  Well none of it, except for setting up the interviews!

The groups that are funded are small, few have employed staff, most are run solely by volunteers.  Volunteers who are committed to the organisation and its aims and who have gone to the trouble to apply for,and succeed in, attracting funding.

The difficultly I’ve faced is getting in touch with some of the organisations to arrange a meeting.  I’ve left messages on home and mobile numbers, I’ve sent emails.  Frankly I feel a bit like a stalker.  I offered telephone meetings, face to face meetings both inside and outside working hours. With three organisations I have got no response at all, and that’s out of five, not a great hit rate.

I tend to pride myself on being a good communicator, someone who can form business relationships quickly.  Not on this occasion.  It’s led me to think about commitment.

People involved in these small organisations are clearly committed enough to give up time to help in delivery and work with client groups.  However, this commitment does not extend to less exciting side of running an organisation. The trouble is, that stuff that might be considered boring stuff is important.  The point of the evaluation is broadly three fold.  Firstly to see if the funding organisation can improve it’s services, secondly to examine the impact of the funding and thirdly to feed into the promotion the work of the funding organisation.  All of which will benefit the funded organisations.

I really admire people who get involved and help out in their communities.  I’d just like a tiny bit more commitment from the three organisations that are evading me.

Onwards and upwards!

Work hard and have fun.

Nic