You Can Steal If You Want To

By: Arlinda Fasliu

stealOk. I’m probably the only person who will be able to say this to you, but, it’s ok to cheat sometimes in the non-profit world. It is also ok to steal.

If you didn’t already know, the world, art, innovation, research, it’s all about stealing and cheating. You recreate and innovate and work off of other peoples ideas. Sometimes, you may feel like you don’t want to use the same strategies that another organization did for a giving Tuesday campaign. You may think that they’ll say you’re a “copycat.”

However,  thankfully, many of us have grown up and are no longer living in the minds of adolescent- remember I say many and not all. In today’s world, being able to take an idea and recreate it to work for you is still seen as a success. It could even become a trend. If the trend is to use a tool to make your organization more successful and help the world, are you going to be the naysayer because you want to be the first person to invent the tool or the formula?

We can’t all Bill Gates or the creators of the Ice Bucket Challenge, but, we can take those  ideas and adapt them to work for our organizations; we can expand them, tweak them –make them our own.

Utilizing video in social media is hardly a new idea, but with the right engaging topic and sharing method, the ASL ice bucket challenge was able to reach millions of people and most recently had a break through in their research due to the wide success of the fundraiser.

On another note, even big companies like Uber are being taken on by similar companies.

One former Uber worker has created a similar company called Chariot for Women after they discovered the gross amount of sexual assaults and rape complaints from Uber users. They saw a widely used popular idea with room for improvement and decided to take it a step further by creating Chariot for Women. CFW is a transportation service for women by women. It is meant to create a safer environment for women and curb sexual assault in these instants.This, in turn, will help them and many other people in the process.

All in all, don’t be afraid to steal. Go out and make connection with other non- profits. Ask them how they go about marketing. Ask them their strategies for talking to big donors. Go to conferences where you can mingle with the big,  small, and old dogs of the non-profit world.

After all, they do say sharing is caring and aren’t we all here to make the world a better place?

Arlinda Fasliu is a student at the University of Iowa. She dreams of traveling the world and spreading the good vibes as far as the eye can see. In her spare time she eats too much chocolate, writes poetry, and makes bad dad jokes. One day, she hopes to get a book of poetry published and work for a non-profit. 



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