“Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.”

I hope you all had a chance to listen to President Obama’s farewell speech Tuesday night. If you missed any of it, you can watch the entire speech and read it here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/farewell. I found much inspiration in his speech; this was my favorite part:

“It falls to each of us to be … guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we, in fact, all share the same proud title, the most important office in a democracy: Citizen. Citizen.

So, you see, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.

Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.”

So here we go. Let’s lace up our shoes and do some organizing!

Remember, when the going gets tough, we need to both stick together and reach out to new partners.
Changes to the U.S. federal government are fast approaching. We hardly know what to expect from the new administration, but change is coming, and we need to be ready to roll.

I know many of you have updated your plans, adding in defensive tactics. In some cases, you’ve identified some new opportunities at the local level. Many of you have altered your messages to supporters, and have raised some additional money. Be sure to stay nimble and keep working smart. Let TREC know how we can support you.

In addition to all that you’re doing to adjust your program and fundraising, don’t forget to also look at protecting your organization. Any time we have a conservative government, we have to be prepared for potential challenges to nonprofits. Make sure your house is in order. You could also could face direct attacks from opposition, including newly popularized tactics like cyber-attacks.

To help make sure you are ready for opposition attacks, I strongly recommend that you attend a TREC-sponsored webinar of February 9, Weathering the Storm. We have partnered with RoadMap who will share their expert advice on how to prepare for and survive opposition attacks.

We’ll undoubtedly have tough challenges ahead. This is the time to apply everything you’ve learned and stretch in new ways. We will be called to do our very best work. You are just the leaders we need in the challenging times. It’s up to us.

As President Obama said, “Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.”

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse