March 9, 2020

Are Some of Your Board Members an “Impossible Dream?”

You have a lot of great nonprofit board members. They engage. You offer them opportunities to help your organization and improve their skills.

Along the way, you discover that one, several, or even half of your members won’t participate, no matter what you do. They push back, ask for endless details, fight you, and take micro-steps under pressure.

In cases like these, cut your losses. Move to other solutions. For instance, form an advisory team on resource development. Or gather a group of expert advisors, paid and unpaid, to tackle complex issues. (For more, watch: How to Deal with a Board Who Won’t Fundraise.)

This works in two ways. You solve your problem. Plus, the fear of loss triggers the other party to act. Last week a client told a partner that she was moving to a different solution that didn’t include him and voilà –he’s totally on board. Moving on is powerful.

Seek solutions, not impossible dreams. It’s okay to let go of impossibilities; it represents sound leadership.

Your challenge today: Where have you sought to do the impossible? How will you pivot to possibilities?

Need to get your nonprofit moving upward? Set an appointment with Karen.

Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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