Non-profit organizations all begin with the same core value; a group of people that band together to create social experiences for something they love. This opportunity usually starts with a meeting of potential members who build the non- profit. Members build a foundation by developing a mission statement, creating bylaws, opening a checking account and last but not least gaining financial support. An organization is like a baby. It needs nurture to grow and the more you provide food, shelter and love the more the baby grows. Organizations go through similar stages and need that constant watchful eye to make sure it can sustain and continue to grow. For some organizations that means full time staff and for others it’s the core group of volunteers that make everything happen. It doesn’t take long to realize, no matter how much time you have, the organization could always use more. Because as time goes by the goals get bigger requiring more nurture to ensure the organization stays sustainable and successful. Before you know it he non-profit becomes a full-time business.
Snowmobile North Dakota is a non-profit but it’s also a business. It’s an organization that has been nurtured by 40 years of dedicated members helping secure funding for the state snowmobile trail system, securing land leases so we have a place to ride, clubs promoting activities to get people excited so they want to become involved and developing guidelines so the organization can continue to grow. I look back at the history of Snowmobile North Dakota and am extremely proud to see what the membership has created. How many non-profits can say they manage $2 million dollars in grooming equipment; this among many other things are facts that make members proud.
But with all this success comes more guidelines and that dreaded word, more work. Each season I sit back astonished with the lengths members will go ensuring the local snowmobile trail is up and running. I’ve learned that you guys are the experts in trail setup, grooming, equipment and so much more but with all that responsibility I’ve learn something has to give. And usually the item that gives, is the area of a business that isn’t understood or the area that you just plain don’t care to do. So I started thinking and asking myself, what can our organization do the most to help the members and clubs? The answer was easy, start focusing on the areas that constantly seem to give.
With over 35 snowmobile clubs in the state, 100’s of volunteers, and 1,000’s of members; our office has the opportunity to hear the statewide issues and concerns. The main topics of concern always come down to financial support, local support and help promoting events. With the 2015 legislative campaign under way, the next areas of focus are going to be developing programs that help with local support and help promoting events. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, we are listening and we hope we can make new strides as we head into the future. Cheers to the 2014-2015 season and cheers to all of you!