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Lesson Four: Adapt!

If you haven’t read our previous three blogs about lessons we’ve learned in our entrepreneurial journey, take some time to click back and skim through. You won’t be disappointed.

Here we go for Lesson Four with one of the most popular words of 2020 - “pivot.” But Gateway had to adapt long before Covid forced the world to do so. Our initial services when we started in 2017 were grant research and writing. But we quickly realized that so many nonprofits were not in a place to be competitive for grants. They were out doing good, doing what they loved, but lacked structure to their programs - no descriptions written down, no way in place to measure the program’s impact, no program budgets. We could not ethically agree to take money for writing grants for these nonprofits because their work simply could not compete with a more organized nonprofit’s application. They would not be able to win grant money without making some changes.

So we pivoted. To help nonprofits become competitive, we created two additional services to walk our clients through developing their programs (Program Development Session) and ways to evaluate those programs (Outcomes and Measures Session). We went from grant writers to nonprofit consultants who dig into the details and help our clients strengthen their foundation, their programs, and their overall operations. By adapting to meet our clients’ needs, our clients won grants and our client base grew. Win-win! 

Like most other small businesses, we did some major pivots in 2020. Hint: we expanded to small business grants and virtual fundraising. Check out our Meet Us page for that story.

On a day-to-day basis, we adapt our language, our strategies, our methods to meet each client exactly where they are. Clients as a result feel understood, considered, and prioritized, and a true relationship follows. Good ole’ quality customer service at its finest, putting the clients first. Our heart is to become part of our clients’ teams, joining hands with them, so adapting what we do to meet their needs becomes key in doing so.

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