“Because we have to chase him. Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now, so we'll hunt him. Because he can take it, because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a Dark Knight.”
From “The Dark Knight”
Maybe you’re wondering what this confusing yet oddly memorable quote from the Dark Knight has to do with Board Development for nonprofits. Actually a lot. When you set aside all the hero and chase stuff and focus on the idea of needing vs. deserving, it’s quite simple and relevant… Just like Gotham City in 2008, too often charities start with the board of directors they need at that moment. Yet, they now find themselves without the strong and effective one their admirable work deserves.
I was reminded of this recently when I was working with several new charities on maximizing the effectiveness of their board. All were in the startup to growth phase and speaking with them, I identified three consistent trends:
These characteristics for new boards may be all too familiar to you. To make matters more difficult, founders of these organizations are often reluctant to ask these new members to step up or step off. This is understandable since often these members are part of their inner circle.
Let’s face it – starting a nonprofit is hard enough. It requires extraordinary commitment, passion and perhaps above all, perseverance (popularly known as Grit). So, don’t go it alone. Here are three suggestions to organizations that find themselves in this place:
If you build it, they will come...We’ve gone from Batman to Field of Dreams! If you need some help on this, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-733-8569.
Robert Grabel is the President of Nonprofit Now! You can find his posts here and at www.robertgrabel.com
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