Are You Following or Leading at Your Nonprofit?

Pamela Grow is a guest contributor for Nonprofit Hub. She has raised tens of millions of dollars for her clients, readers and members. She’s the author of Simple Development Systems | Successful Fundraising for the One-Person Shop.

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew what to do—what’s more you knew the right thing to do—but your efforts were getting bogged down by the higher-ups?

  • Maybe the letter you wrote for your spring appeal had all the donor love squeezed out of it by your board prez wielding her red pen…
  • Or the email campaign you worked on for a week got knocked down from five emails…to one (and then they’re gonna tell you that email doesn’t work ;).
  • Or your board members think the thank you calls are a waste of time…and keep pressing you to write a miracle grant proposal to the Gates Foundation
  • Or, God help me, one of your board members wants to rent a billboard (can you imagine?)

We’ve all been there. Feeling unappreciated. Working for organizations where you’re the fifth development director in three years. Mired in dysfunction. It can all be a bit discouraging sometimes and believe me, I get that.

Here’s something I’ve never shared. My very first fundraising position remains, to this day, one of my all-time favorite jobs. Terrific mission, wonderful community and donors, the best co-workers you could possibly imagine. And I quit. Up and walked. All because of a brand new ED who got on my case (you can read about her here). It’s probably one of my few regrets in life that I didn’t stick it out, grow a pair and lead.

So this is my question to you: Are you following…or leading?

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as a leader. Maybe you’re even the quiet, shy type or you prefer to follow directions…

This post originally appeared on Pamela Grow’s blog. Check out the full post there >> 

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