Cultural Change: The Largest Barrier Between You and Donated Income?

Staff and volunteer resistance is often one of the most significant barriers nonprofit organizations face in increasing their funding from earned income. In some cases, cultural opposition stems from asking for money from customers, clients, or donors. Sometimes the pushback is so huge it curtails all discussion. This block results in significant income loss. In every nonprofit, you’ll encounter those who like the way things are now. This resistance holds true even when it means your short money to pay them adequately.

At Bok Towers Gardens, (read about their success with earned revenue here the support of the docents, who provided the house tours of Pinewood Estate, was the most prominent hurdle they faced as they increased their income and attendance by 300 percent. In the new setup, instead of leading tours through the mansion, docents were assigned to various sites in the building. Some docents preferred “the old way” of conducting tours even as Bok Tower Gardens enjoyed wild success with the fresh approach. As a smart compromise, staff encouraged the docents to help visitors enjoy the mansion as they saw fit. If a group or individual were happy self-touring, they didn’t interfere.  Docents create on-the-spot personal tours when visitors want more details.

When you identify great ideas to increase your income, expect resistance. When you encounter it, love people for their loyalty. Help them to understand how the change has the potential to impact your mission, funding and their experiences. Brainstorm compromises, like Bok Tower Gardens. Develop that mix the best of the old and the new. Help the Resistance to Join the Cause

What examples of cultural resistance, especially around earned revenue, have you encountered? How did you overcome them?

Sign up to receive Karen’s free newsletter,  Added Value, so you can help the resistance join the cause and collect other ideas, insights, and fresh thinking to maximize your nonprofit’s revenue.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely at the Top

woman standing in front of maze

You could be getting a treasure trove of wisdom and insights on leading your nonprofit, based on Karen’s 20 years of advising work guiding nonprofit CEOs and leaders.

Sign up today to receive your free Karen’s CEO Solutions Welcome Bonus, “Karen’s Top Tips to Obtain the Revenue Your Organization Needs Forever.”