(Nonprofit) organizations are almost always doing amazing things, but too often I find them feeling totally strapped and constrained by resources. The staff is overworked and underpaid. Most non-profits walk a fine line between hope and despair.
Financial limitations, and the insecurity that creates, lead to way too much focus on money and the wrong metrics. When you focus on money, you devote most of your time to boosting donations, memberships, and attendance. You constantly brainstorm new schemes to attract more of each. Meanwhile, you don’t care who donates, joins, or attends, as long as those numbers are going in the right direction. …
Perpetually insufficient resources also lead to a scarcity mentality. The chief symptoms are cost cutting and small thinking. You are afraid to spend and afraid to take risks. Unfortunately, you will never leap the chasm to sustainable success with small thinking and cost cutting. The money-capacity vicious circle is a terrible force that will drag you down and suck the energy and optimism right out of your Board and staff.
If you want to leave your money and capacity woes behind, you must shift your focus away from money and capacity and focus on value!