We Always Have Choices
Rather than confuse sentiment with vision or be bullied by threats, the board moved to gracefully but deliberately remove the executive. There were hurt feelings, no doubt. The threats continued to be made — although they were just that.
Within a month, a whole new climate had come over the organization. Donors felt free to express their opinions. Board members felt free to debate the real issues facing the organization. They energetically embraced their roles as the chief advocates and fundraisers for the organization. Within six months, giving was up substantially.
The organization has gone on to achieve even greater successes for the community it serves. The board is on the cusp of launching the organization's most ambitious campaign — a project that had been blocked and delayed by the previous executive.
One would hope that the founder sees this. That's not really the board's concern, however. The choice to see beyond himself is the executive's. The choice to maintain faith with the donors and the organization's vision is the board's. When we don't attempt to make the choices that others should be making, life works out a whole lot better for everyone.
Please let me hear from you concerning your particular situation and the difficulties you face in developing sustainable revenue streams. Email me and I'll give you a quick response. I'll choose some of these thorny obstacles to share, along with my insights, in upcoming columns.
An internationally recognized philanthropy and fundraising thought leader, Larry C. Johnson trains the staff and volunteers of worthy causes to achieve real impact through the creation of reliable, growing revenue streams. He emphasizes principles before methods as the key to long-lasting success. He stresses the simple, the practical and the joyful.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles, the premier brand for educational products and services in relational fundraising and philanthropy. The Eight Principles provides digital education, live workshops and structured coaching to nonprofit organizations.
Author of the award-winning book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising," AFP named Larry Outstanding Development Executive in 2010. The Wall Street Business Network ranks him in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the USA. Larry is a graduate of Yale University. Larry speaks widely and serves on numerous nonprofit and corporate boards, including The Philanthropy Council of The Carter Center, the philanthropy of the 39th President of the U.S.