Charities

Why nonprofits need to stop making a backup plan

Recently I was leading the final board meeting of a strategic planning process for one of my clients, and something interesting happened. A board member, who was very much stuck in a scarcity mindset, threatened to derail the very exciting, bigger direction we had charted.

By Nell Edgington, Social Velocity

The new strategic plan we were presenting to the board had the nonprofit growing in some really exciting and game-changing ways. The organization was ready internally for this growth, and the external market was ready for much more of what the organization had to offer.

Attached to this ambitious strategic plan was a growing financial model, because, in order to achieve their ambitious (but possible) growth, this nonprofit needed to also grow their annual budget by about 60 percent over three years. The staff had researched the funding climate, however, and were confident that their projected growth was achievable, especially when coupled with these exciting growth plans.

What happened in the board meeting, however, is what sometimes happens in a sector that is stuck in the lack of money mindset. One of the board members got scared of the bigger revenue numbers and asked for a Plan B, in case things didn’t work out. Essentially she wanted the staff to create a second, less ambitious strategic plan, with a more conservative set of goals and objectives, a more limited budget, less staff growth, and fewer new programs.

Read the full story at Social Velocity.
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