MARCH 2021
Avoiding the top four nonprofit pitfalls

Avoiding the top four nonprofit pitfalls


One of the most challenging aspects of managing an organization is maintaining focus on the organization’s core mission in a world of ever-increasing distractions. A seemingly infinite number of worthy causes, great ideas and event inspirations arise on a daily basis, presenting the temptation to pursue them. While it is important to be able to adapt to change and incorporate new information, long-term sustainability requires a consistent focus on the core mission and vision of your organization and your community. This means exercising discernment when it comes to new ideas that present themselves— and can sometimes even mean saying no to ideas that pose an opportunity to serve a key constituency, hint at a potential new revenue source, capture a cool new trend or (particularly in 2021) head off yet another challenge facing your district. This month’s Intersections offers guidance to help you avoid these pitfalls and stay focused on your broader vision.

Pitfall 1: The shiny object

Some boards are fascinated by the newest shiny object or community trend, constantly adding new programs or projects.

Pitfall 2: Dead weight

In many ways the opposite of the pitfall we just discussed, the second common pitfall is when organizations retain activities or programs that are no longer performing.

Pitfall 3: Silos

Often, an initiative or program is designed and carried out by a specific committee or work group with a specific objective in mind.




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