Being invited to the dance is not the same as being invited to dance. But we often treat them similarly.
For instance, we may wonder why an alumni event (either in-person or virtual) doesn’t draw as many people as we had hoped. “They were invited to the event,” we grouse.
Or, we might question why donors who have significant capacity don’t give in support of our campaign in higher amounts – or at all. “They were invited to give,” we groan.
If we want to ensure people show-up, influence others, or respond with generosity we must be willing to involve them in the work and the planning. We must be willing to ask for and listen to their feedback and ideas. And we must be willing to adjust our plans.
Inviting people to something is critical, but not sufficient. If your goal is a highly-attended event, a goal-breaking campaign, or success in any other advancement effort, you must be willing to transfer the ownership of that success to others.
And to do that, you must invite people to dance.