You spoke, I listened, and you freaked me out a little!
I’ve been in the fundraising space for a long time — approaching 30 years. That’s enough time to get married, have a couple of kids, and raise them into productive adulthood. Which is exactly what I’ve done during that time.
I thought 30 years would also be enough that I could legitimately say, I’ve seen everything.
Turns out I hadn’t seen everything.
They past couple of days, I’ve been reading survey responses from our recent Contest to give away some of my time to deserving organizations in the form of free 90-minute online Coaching+ sessions. To get a chance to win a session, we asked folks to fill out a quick survey about their organization, including a description of the main issues they struggle with — and most need help on. Nearly 300 people took the challenge.
Here’s where it got interesting. The most frequently cited area of trouble was this:
Bosses and/or boards who don’t get it and won’t allow us to do effective fundraising.
Whoa. Think about that. Our biggest perceived problem is the people who are supposed to be leading and empowering us!
I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve been here long enough to know that bosses are often a problem. I might have placed it in the top five problems. Maybe as high as #2 or #3.
I know enough about surveys to know that lot of people saying something in answer to a question does not show us absolute Truth. The important thing as far as I’m concerned is that a lot of people perceive that their top problem is their boss.
So here’s my pledge to you: I will help you overcome the “Boss Barrier.” Either directly via our courses or Coaching+ at Moceanic … or indirectly because we’ll be talking up this issue and maybe get through to a few more people. Your own bosses, maybe!
Poor leadership is not unique to the nonprofit sector. (Oh boy is it ever not unique!) But maybe we can tackle it here in our own backyard. Let’s make it a priority.
Best wishes for non-interfered-with fundraising and we’ll be announcing the winners of the free 90-minute Coaching+ sessions later this week so stay tuned.
If you would care to share your experience with bosses and boards, please comment below!