Makarand Utpat

Elaborating on Building The DNA of Trust in Your Non-Profit

Last month, I wrote about the importance of infusing your non-profit with the DNA of trust. I briefly touched on what I consider the top two attributes in that blog. Today, I’m elaborating on those attributes.

Leadership is about facilitating problem solving and empowering others to focus on the right things and do the right things in the right way. This is even more important in a volunteer supported non-profit since people aren’t there because they have to be, they are there because they want to be.

Focus on Problems Rather Than Personalities

Being a leader means being able to build trust and working through challenging times, which requires a clear focus on the issues. When conflict arises between people, it’s important to stay focused on the issue while showing empathy to those involved. By keeping your focus on the problem and off the personalities involved, you can drill into the cause.

One thing that can help you stay fully present and focused is to maintain eye contact. Also, if you keep repeating silently in your mind, like a mantra:  solve the issue, solve the issue, solve the issue you can stay focused on the big picture.

Keep your body open and your energy accessible. Listen carefully and when you speak focus on using the right words.

Refrain from pre-judging and refuse to jump to conclusions

This attribute requires excellent listening skills. So often we have already jumped to conclusions before we’ve heard all there is to hear about a situation/story. It is better to assume positive intent as a leader until you know differently. Leaders who jump to conclusions behave in ways that are not healthy for their teams. In my experience I had discovered that the worst time to comment in conflict situations is when you most feel like commenting. If you seek to understand first, then can take a deep breath, your comment will typically be empathic and on point.

If you can remember to practice these principles in your non-profit, you will build an organization founded on trust.


Makarand Utpat is a passionate learner of digital business and is a best-selling author. He speaks, blogs, and vlogs on topics such as digital marketing, leadership, team-building and motivation. You can subscribe to his blogs, connect with him on Twitter and Instagram at @MakarandUtpat or like him on Facebook at