Social Good14

Giving Hope

For Stakeholders, Employees and Clients

Rob Roe

September 25, 2018


Giving Hope is the title of a forthcoming book which takes a look at three Not-For-Profit organisations and their challenges of fundraising.

What was quickly discovered was the issue where deeper than simply new ways of raising money. There were many organisational challenges which the authors have summarised as the six challenges of fundraisers. It was through the use of Business Agility that the solutions to these six dilemmas can be found. The Not-For-Profits are underway in implementing these approaches, however, there is still much work to do. This is the story of that journey.

The six Fundraisers’ Dilemmas.

  1. The Staff Turnover Dilemma: Staff retention data shows that people are not only leaving For-Purpose organisations in larger numbers but also that the length of their tenure is getting shorter.
  2. The Cost Ration Dilemma: For-Purpose organisations are constantly being asked, “what is your overhead?”. Often underfunded For-Purpose organisations striving to fix some of the world’s hardest problems are being asked to operate more efficiently than their For-Profit counterparts.
  3. The Tied Funding Dilemma: It is a long way from the Donor through the For-Purpose organisation to the Beneficiaries however often the Donor, be it a government department or foundation, believe that they know best and tie their funding to a specific program.
  4. The Hope or Misery Dilemma: Nothing raises money more than a photo of a sick and dying child. But for fundraisers and program managers, they want to offer hope, not misery. Marketing favour the misery approach. The challenge is to balance the two.
  5. The Crowded Market Dilemma: “Not another charity” is the cry fundraisers hear from would be Donors. The market space for fundraising is getting more crowded by the day with a multitude of new Foundations and For-Purpose organisations having to meet the increasing needs of more and more deserved beneficiaries and causes.
  6. The Pecking Order Dilemma: The funds that are raised by the Fundraising Team is critical to allow the For-Purpose organisation to operate in the first place. Without this money, nothing happens. Yet Fundraising Directors are not always included in the executive leadership team and the Fundraising Team nearly always plays second fiddle to the Programs Team.

Rob Roe

Rob Roe headshot

Director @ Singalroad

My life’s passion has been understanding how organizations work. I have read all the business books and completed a Masters of Management (Strategic Foresight). What I found was that no one has put together what I am calling Gray’s Anatomy for Organizations. That is how to understand how organizations actually work and to use this model to test out approaches such as; Agile, Lean, Holacracy, TQM, Six Sigma, Beyond Budgeting and more.

This passion came from having senior leadership roles in both large organisations, IBM, Telstra, Gartner and a Unicorn Startup, AirWatch, where I started as employee number 1 in Australia. Across these organizations I managed teams in America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Many times I believed their had to be a better way.

My Master’s Research Thesis combined the academic research, business books and my global experiences into what has become Gray’s Anatomy for Organization.

By joining the startup AirWatch I was able to implement the concepts of Gray’s Anatomy for Organizations. In a short period we were able to start from a year behind our competition to gain 50% market share in Australian & New Zealand. In 2014, AirWatch globally was acquired by VMware for $1.5billion.

Since then I have created a blog site FAQs for Organizations ( As part of this work I am now co-authoring a book on Fundraising for Not for Profits where we are working with Oxfam, Plan International, Make-A-Wish and Mater Foundation to implement this model into their organizations.

In addition I am now working at my second start-up, FlexRule, where once again we are applying the Gray’s Anatomy for Organization model and have already acquired customers in North America and Europe. We are self funded and cash flow positive with steady growth.

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