LEADERSHIP | The Hardest Thing to get Nonprofits to Do is Not What You Might Think

publication date: Oct 12, 2022
author/source: Sheree Allison

I'll bet I can walk into your Boardroom today and pitch an idea for a new program... and you'd tackle it enthusiastically.


Especially if the program is based on research and studies that say "this works."


Starting a proven program is easy for a nonprofit. Everyone loves shiny, new, and fresh!


But by the time Year 2 hits... well, that's when it gets hard.


You struggle to get staff.


Raising money for it is like pushing a tour bus up Mt Everest.


But here's the REAL challenge...


Your proven program (the one everyone LOVES) had 12 people trained to run it at one time.


By Year 4, only one staff person is left standing. The rest are gone for one reason or another.


Aware of the ongoing challenges of continuing to run it, the perceptive Executive Director recommends giving this program the red light.


And the collective choir starts to sing, "But it's so needed! It's so important! It's been so successful!"




But you can't staff it properly.


"Well, let's wait until..."


And there it is.


The hardest thing to get nonprofits to do...is STOP.


  • STOP what is showing symptoms of wear.


  • STOP what isn't supported at the level it needs to be (and hasn't been for a good while).


  • STOP what isn't drawing the community anymore.


  • STOP what is long past its expiration date.


I love your enthusiasm about starting things.


What would it take to see that same level of enthusiasm about stopping things, and creating what's next?

Sheree Allison merges the worlds of fundraising, marketing, and leadership combined with an entrepreneurial spirit to train and develop nonprofit leaders who are committed to building a world class organization. Connect and learn more about her "rags to riches" nonprofit success story, her book, and her weekly column at www.shereeallison.com.


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