On August 28, 1963, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech sharing a vision that was so contagious that it became iconic of the Civil Rights Movement. That speech, from which derives the quote above, almost ended before the famous “I have a dream” portion began. As King was wrapping up, singer Mahalia Jackson shouted, “Tell them about the dream,” prompting him to share his incredible vision for equality that still resonates today.

Great achievement starts with great vision, and few people have imagined or expressed a vision with as much conviction and power as King. This month, as we celebrate the birthday of this courageous visionary and the progress he inspired, take a moment to reflect on the vision that your organization or institution presents. Is it big, bold, and daring? Do you know it by heart—could you deliver it at a moment’s notice? Are you comfortable sharing it with others? Does it inspire donors and potential donors to learn more? Does it share both the “difficulties of today and tomorrow” and the dream for a future when these problems have been resolved?

This month, collaborate with others in your organization to refine the philanthropic opportunities you share with donors, ensuring that every one is rooted in your organization’s values and vision. Together, you can deliver a dream that everyone will be eager to join in accomplishing. After all, the most powerful vision is a shared vision.


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