Many nonprofits are stuck.
They’re tethered to their early decisions. Often made by others who came before them.
But times change. Organizations evolve.
Or they don’t.
The organizations that don’t adapt to changing times are often those that fail to make new decisions. They’re the ones who say “that’s not how we do things here.” Or they poo-poo decisions made by new folks who come on the scene, saying “they don’t understand our culture.”
These are the organizations that tend to shrink over time. They lose their energy. Their once-vital raison d’etre becomes less urgent. And their appeal to donors diminishes.
When organizations fail to make fresh decisions, they become less relevant.
I recently listened to Jerry Panas, one of the most revered fundraisers in our country, talk about what he called the “deficit of mission.” He made it very clear that boards have two critical roles: