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Sometimes, upon catching my breath between all the running and working I’ve been caught up with lately, I check out my favourite blogs. I have a whole whack of them, and sometimes they ebb and flow on the interest level. 

I’ve been skipping over GOOD, a global community of people & organizations who give a damn. With a tagline like that, how could I not be compelled to read?! One of their posts this week was on Why Travel Makes Us Better… of course! But what really was fascinating was a piece on Lessons from the Most Successful Nonprofit (That Nobody’s Talking About). Can you guess which one? The NGO in question is sustainable financially, relies on participants’ desire to be there, has scalable growth, a single focus, and servant leadership. All the ingredients for a health organization! 

The organization is Alcoholics Anonymous, and the author propounds that it can serve as a model for other businesses or nonprofits seeking sustainability. What I like most about what she describes is the

Nearly all meetings are open-access, making it possible for anyone to attend with the only requirement for membership being a desire to stop drinking. 

Sometimes in development programming there is an expectation that everyone will want to participate in whatever agriculture or water or health project has happened upon their community, which is rather a large assumption. Without that desire for change on the individual level, the critical mass for the community level is hard to achieve. So how do you elicit that desire?

GOOD question.