A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

Philip Manzano • Feb 07, 2017

Don’t forget to thank the people you serve! The post A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out appeared first on Keela.

If you’re like me, you are in a constant state of awe of the people you are working for. 

Everyday, you encounter success stories – of resilience, of perseverance, of people overcoming odds. And it’s important to think about these stories, everyday and in new ways. You have to realize that your work is  to offer a hand up, and not a hand out to those in need. And because of that – it’s important to thank those people as well.

Showing appreciation for the people you serve is an important strategy, because it helps to bring you back to reality when it comes to the things you’re working on. It’s easy to get lost in the details of day-to-day office life – to focus on deadlines and dollars raised. But when you set aside time to meaningfully acknowledge the people you’re helping, it humanizes the work and humbles you as an individual working in the sector. It’s suddenly not just another article you’re writing, or a spreadsheet you’re contributing to. Now you’re working on a small piece of a bigger puzzle to help change someone’s life; to alter someone’s story. And that’s a huge deal.

But most importantly, you’re giving people an opportunity. You are giving people the fishing rod instead of the fish. And that’s an important thing to distinguish between. You are building their capacity with each interaction and you empower individuals to change their own stories. You open the door to more impact each time you offer a hand up. But this is only possible when you change your perspective. You make the most impact when you work together, and not when the relationship is one-way.

So show the people your serve some appreciation. Thank them for coming on this journey with you, because they are active members of the work . They contribute by being present. They contribute by providing feedback. They contribute by referring services to others. They contribute by becoming advocates of your work. There is so much that this group does on a daily basis – and it’s easy to find when you just start looking around.

So thank the people you serve. It will go a long way – and will do you a lot of good down the line.

Guest Blogging with Keela!

Interested in contributing to our blog? We love including voices from the sector. Feel free to get in touch with us at  blog@networksforchange.org  with your ideas.