In any leadership role, you will encounter situations that require acquisition of new or expansion of existing resources. In this case, consider anything that could be considered a resource: cash, volunteers, staff, toilet paper, etc. Savvy leaders always begin by identifying both the specific resource needs and the quantity. Additionally, leaders utilize their networks, time and personal resources to assist in the development of these necessary resources.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to be the first to offer yourself. If there is a financial need, write your own check first. Then, begin finding additional revenue. If volunteers are needed, allocate your own time first. If toilet paper is needed, grab a roll from home.
The point here is simply that leaders can’t have followers if there is nothing to follow. Leading by example is a significant and powerful way to guide and direct resources to a common goal. Statistically, there is a much greater likelihood of getting a positive response out of others if you first have shown commitment and even sacrifice when needed.
As someone who has been in some form of nonprofit leadership for more than 15 years, I can tell you that in every successful fundraising endeavor, the leadership gave first. By giving first, leaders are able to demonstrate the need and create the next round of success stories. Giving begets giving.