Is your nonprofit organization ready for the future? Are you having a difficult time recruiting or retaining great Board members? Are your programs designed to effectively address today’s issues or are they still based upon thinking from 10-15 years ago? Are you struggling to define a successful fund-development strategy?
When should a nonprofit organization consider reorganizing? The most common answers are: when you are having a financial meltdown, the ED you’ve had for 20 years is leaving, or, community stakeholders are no longer interested in your services. Those are three great reasons; but, the most critical time to step back and consider reorganizing is when the mission that guides your organization has lost its power.
When was the last time you reviewed your mission to ensure that the passion that was the source of your organizations’ beginning is still alive and well?
Great nonprofit organizations are organizations that keep a laser focus on their mission; they keep that founding passion alive. No matter how long that organization has existed, the great ones maintain that life force, that passion.
It is that focus on a vibrant mission that permits organizations to successfully grow from infancy through maturity. Everything else in a nonprofit organization is secondary to that passion: Board development, programs, staffing structure, fund development and marketing.
An organization that retains that founding spirit can recruit great Board members, hire and retain hard-working, passionate and mission-driven Staff, excite the funding community to support their mission, and, most importantly, do great things for the people and/or cause their mission serves.
It goes without saying that an organization that has lost that founding spirit is in peril of ceasing to exist: funding dries up, fund development efforts broaden out for survival, causing mission creep, Staff turnover rates grow, and having a great Board: good luck with that!
So, do you want to be proactive and take a look at how your organization is doing in keeping your mission alive, or do you want to simply wait and see what happens? Your choice.
Is your nonprofit organization heading into a time of Executive Leadership transition? Such a transition can be an exciting time for a nonprofit. And, hiring a new ED/CEO is one of the most important decisions a Board of Directors can make.
So, during the leadership transition are you looking for an interim ED/CEO to come in and serve as simply a placeholder, a temporary Executive who is expected to keep things moving along as always?
Or, are you looking for an interim ED/CEO who will come in for 4-6 months and:
• work with the Board of Directors to analyze the current organization framework and perhaps reorganize your nonprofit prior to the new ED/CEO arriving, and,
• work with the Board of Directors to develop and implement an effective ED/CEO search effort, to include examining the current ED/CEO job description and ensuring that it still reflects the needs of the organization.
So, if you are looking for an interim ED/CEO to be a placeholder, don’t call us.
But, if you are looking for an interim ED/CEO who will partner with your Board of Directors to perform an Organization Audit, make recommendations to the Board about possible changes to be implemented prior to a new ED/CEO arriving, and help ensure that your organization’s next ED/CEO is an exceptional leader, then call us.
You are one of those remarkable people who have made a commitment to becoming a great leader in the nonprofit community. You might already be an Executive Director; you might be an aspiring Executive Director.
First of all, thank you for making such a commitment. The nonprofit sector needs you.
Becoming a successful nonprofit leader is a life-long journey that requires courage, perseverance, humility and the ability to stay true to your organizations’ mission while being bombarded daily with funding needs, programs that need to be fixed and/or focused, staff who sometimes prefer not to be held accountable for their performance, Board members with poor boundaries, and ever-changing community needs.
The saying it’s lonely at the top is unfortunately very true. A good leader cannot share their inner thoughts and feelings with fellow Staff and/or Board members. It’s a boundaries thing.
So, where is a nonprofit leader to turn for an opportunity to process these daily struggles as they strive to retain the mission focus and mission passion required to successfully lead? Leadership Coaching.
Leadership Coaching is a safe, confidential space in which a nonprofit leader can explore a range of topics that impact their ability to be the successful leader they want to be.
JRCo Leadership Coaching is centered on the Servant Leader model. While Servant Leadership has its roots in Chinese antiquity, the contemporary Servant Leader work by Robert Greenleaf, beginning in the 1970’s, has created a powerful leadership model that aligns well with the mission-driven nonprofit sector.
We are indeed looking into a future challenged by two potential society-changers: Global Climate Change and continued Population Growth.
And, because of the fiscal impact of these issues on all levels of government (a primary funder of the social service safety net and education) it is highly predictable that within the next 10-15 years the current nonprofit delivery system will need to evolve. In fact, many nonprofit organizations will simply cease to exist.
Why will they cease to exist? Because the current nonprofit system builds “businesses” that have buildings, employees, employee benefits and program expenses. And there simply won’t be enough funding from other sources (special events, foundations and/or individual donors) to support the full array of current nonprofit organizations. The current nonprofit model is just not sustainable on a large scale.
But, even if a large percentage of the nonprofit organizations cease to exist, the needs of children, families and the community won’t disappear. In fact, those needs will probably increase. So how are we going to meet those needs?
There are two very different roads ahead of us:
1. ignore the needs of those who struggle (and deal with the violence that will surely come with such a choice), or,
2. create a community that decides to stimulate the development of a new way to embrace our fellow-citizens.
In reality, the future of caring for one another will ultimately fall to all of us as individuals, individuals who are members of various faith communities, civic groups, neighborhoods and families to figure out.
If we chose Road #2 above, we need a sense of urgency. We should begin bringing local government, the business community and these non-traditional partners together to explore how we can build a caring community of the future, a future in which financial resources are severely limited, a future in which we will all have to take personal responsibility for our fellow-citizens.
Or, we can do nothing and chose Road #1 above by default.