Lean In

In response to the pandemic and many nonprofits that had reached out to Heather for advice, she decided to make this video to answer those questions and to offer support.


Hey everybody, Heather Frank, President of STUDIO 4Forty. I’m excited to come on today and really talk about a couple of the questions I’ve been getting lately regarding this pandemic. I’m thrilled to have such amazing, strong partners across the country who are rising up in their communities because their missions are being called to action, just like many of yours. Right now, the number one question we’re getting is, “what do we do right now?” We’re kind of frozen and we’re standing still and we don’t know what to do next. And it’s a really simple answers, which is, “lean in.” We’re encouraging our teams to lean into their call to actions and communities and finding out what they can be doing to rise up, continue to challenge their missions, and grow their depth of support within the communities they live. 

We’re also encouraging our teams to lean in to their donors. This is not a time to walk away from them and leave them abandoned. It’s a time to engage them, and support them. Some of these donors have been your friends for decades. They have supported your organization blindly knowing that the mission you’re doing is critical to the community you’re based. I would encourage you to pick up the phone and call them. Remember the 70-30 rule. Seventy percent listening and thirty percent speaking. Our donors are ready to support you right now and they are encouraged by having conversations and understanding that they are as equal in importance to you as the organization [and] the community you’re serving.

And the last thing I would encourage right now is faith in what you do. Understanding that what your mission was built for, others around are going to help provide for. It’s important for us to evaluate what we’re doing in our organizations, kind of throw out what we thought we needed to do in 2020, and realign and re-strategize as we look at the year to come. 2020 is going to be a year we never forget. It’s going to be something we look back on and say, “we survived it, we were challenged by it, we are better because of it,” not because we pivoted, but because we leaned into the idea that we could be more. We could grow, we could learn, we could support, and we could teach. You have a captive audience in front of you right now. It is your guys’ time to step up and speak up. I encourage you guys, I support you guys, and I know you’re going to do a phenomenal job. Thank you for being the leaders of your communities and thank you for supporting your missions so greatly.