For some context, Dr. Frankl was a psychiatrist in Vienna when World War II began. He was already an established and admired professor and author. He was invited to migrate to the US at the beginning of the war but stayed behind rather than leave his aging parents to suffer alone under the Nazi occupation. He was sent to four different concentration camps over the following three years. There, he was stripped of everything the Nazis could take. He tried to protect his work, his family, and his identity as a doctor and an academic. They took all that they could on the surface. But they couldn’t control what was in Dr. Frankl’s heart, mind, and soul.
If you missed it, it’s definitely worth a watch or listen! But, if you don’t have time to set aside to view it in its entirety, we’re going to summarize key points that the experts covered as well as give you our top takeaway when it comes to the conversation around nonprofit digital strategy.
This organization closed six months later.
In our sector, we are not rewarded for admitting our struggles. We are not rewarded for rapid cycle learning, failing forward, or innovation. We aren’t even rewarded for partnering. Instead, the sector is fueled by what I might call the 99% success rate fallacy that goes something like this – “Dear Funder, We have a unique approach compared to every other organization you might consider funding. What we are doing is nearly always working for nearly everyone we serve. Please give more.” In short, we are rewarded for presenting solid proposals that project that we are unique, have it all under control, and we are excelling on all fronts. We simply need more money.
After 30 years of leading and working in nonprofit organizations, I finally have the courage to say this: We are not all that unique, everything isn’t always under control, and we are rarely excelling on all fronts. Adequate funding is one essential piece, but that is not enough. We need to explore different strategies if we want to thrive organizationally, and more importantly, have greater impact collectively.
The article below from Liz Swanson expands on that topic, drawing from a workshop she recently led to help provide a framework on how to leave your leadership role. Get ready to enjoy her insights!
A question for you: Imagine tomorrow you go into the office and announce you are retiring in 4 weeks. What is the biggest issue your board must consider?
Consider the following nonprofit employment statistics:
Let’s take a look at how much this kind of turnover is costing your organization, why employees are deciding to leave, and what you can do to stop it!
And while nonprofit staff and leadership greatly appreciated the advice on how to avoid mission creep, board members asked a key question that we did not get to cover in that initial article: “What if we’re already dealing with mission creep – how do we respond?”
So, in this article we are going to address mission creep from that perspective. What do you do when mission creep is already happening? How can you recognize it? And what do you do to stop it?
Mission creep can have a wide range of negative effects on a nonprofit, including:
Unfortunately, mission creep causes nonprofit casualties every year, which is why one of the most important parts of nonprofit planning is deciding when to say yes and when to say no as opportunities are presented. So, let’s take a look at how to avoid the trap of mission creep.
This can be an incredibly difficult question to answer!
Anyone in the nonprofit space can give you examples of wonderful collaborations they have been a part of where the outcome was far greater than either organization could have achieved on its own. These collaborative wins are fuel for high impact nonprofit missions – the veritable magic that can make 1+1=3 …or 4 …more.
And yet, anyone involved with nonprofit work can also give you examples of when collaboration was an organizational killer – the precipitating factor that derailed an organization’s mission, culture, or effectiveness. Collaborating on the wrong projects or executing collaborative efforts poorly can result in mission creep, stretching an organization too thin and diluting their impact.
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