It takes self-initiative and a willingness to engage with fear to travel without a guidebook. You have to be willing to deal with the unknown and stumble across the unexpected. When you travel to unknown parts and use a guidebook, I projected that there have been moments that you journeyed to a highly acclaimed sight and left disappointed. And there may have been moments when you stumble across a ‘not in the guidebook’ moment that became the highlight of your travels.
The same is true for the deciphering which social sector causes to support and align with your philanthropic investments. It is much easier to react to the recommendation of a peer or in response to a news story than it is to go off in search of a specific entity. Some of the most beloved organizations who get the greatest PR, constant stream of board members, and donors would not necessarily be the highest rated when measured against similar but less known enterprises. But the word of mouth and the fact that theses well-known nonprofits are in the ‘guidebook’ give assurance that you will have a quality experience based on the experience of those that went before you. It is hard to compete with the guidebook if you are looking to attract the masses. However, if you know your organization’s purpose you can pay attention drawing-in those who are passionate about your cause. Sometimes you need to write your own micro-guidebook or succeed by staying out of the major publications. It may be your competitive advantage.