At LightBox Collaborative, we help people envision the world they want to live in, and to carve out their role in the effort to create that world. We think it’s important to think big and small at the same time. We help organizations define the small, strategic steps that will add up to big change. We help cause-driven leaders determine how they’ll know when they’ve achieved success.

We find that early-retirement checklists can be a useful tool to help organizations articulate their vision; the ultimate success at the end of all the hard work. So we often ask groups to imagine what it would take for their team to close their doors. (Not surprisingly, weary do-gooders get very excited about the prospect of achieving their mission and then setting off on a bike tour of Iguazu Falls…)

At LightBox Collaborative, the world we aspire to live in and leave for future generations is intimately tied to the aspirations of our clients. Our work to jump-start creative thinking and build strategic clarity to advance causes that matter is our role in the larger ecosystem of people working to create a just, safe, humane, sustainable and equitable world.

As such, we’ll be booking our one-way tickets to Tahiti when social impact organizations have:

  1. Successfully integrated the power and potential of communications strategy into all aspects of their programmatic, organizing and fundraising work.
  2. Brands that reflect their vision and values and successfully engage and expand audiences.
  3. The ability to craft and carry out pro-active communications strategies with clear goals, crisp, compelling messages, and realistic, effective tactics that take into account an organization’s strengths, limitations, and capacity for growth.
  4. A razor-sharp sense of how to identify and target those who can effect change, and a keen understanding of priority audiences to engage in order to move the issues.
  5. The skills to collect, share and leverage stories that shift narratives and inspire people to act.

Finally, of course, we will be able to close our doors when there is no longer a reason for social impact organizations to exist! When together, we’ve realized our shared vision of a just and equitable world.

What would your organization’ early retirement checklist look like? What would your organization need to accomplish before you can happily close the doors?

Post image courtesy of  Unsplash user Mikael Kristenson

IreneIrene Schneeweis is LightBox Collaborator who fantasizes about early retirement near her hometown in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.