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What does every nonprofit need?


I recently had a conversation with someone about the topics that are most important to a non-profit. We disagreed, but the dialogue helped me make yet another very important conclusion.

I’m Elise Woodworth Author of the best-selling book Business Not Battle for Nonprofit Boards. The person I was talking with said that fundraising and outreach were the most important thing for nonprofits to consider. What could possibly be more important to a nonprofit than increasing funds raised, growing the donor list, or expanding the organizations efforts?

Development is important and these are all important factors to consider. Each of them comes with their own challenges and rewards. All of them are directly affected by, what I think, is THE most important thing. It’s even more important now that things are starting to normalize.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had access to another group of advocates? People passionate about the organizations mission? Folks ready to spread the word about the good work being done in the community? A team that knew the organizations needs and sought out ways to fulfil them?

Each and every nonprofit should have this team!

In fact, it’s a law that they do! It’s a governing board. And getting that board focused on the organizations mission, needs, and desires, is the most important thing a non-profit can do!

Why? It goes back to one of John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Explosive Growth. I call it exponential growth.

If you have one development staff member that brings 20 new donors and $10,000 into the organization a year that’s a great effort. Consider if you have 10 board members that bring in 10 new donors and $50,000. That has the potential to be explosive for your organizations network! That is 100 new people getting behind the mission of your organization, and if they share the message with only 1 or 2 others? Then the mission continues to spread!

You see, fishing is much easier with a net, than a single hook. The same is true for fundraising and growing a network.

Nonprofit Boards, in general, took a big hit with the pandemic. That impact is going to be felt for a long time. Meetings didn’t happen, people’s priorities changed. The boards’ role became neglected. Perhaps, the nonprofit pivoted with little oversight from the board. Now is a great time to re-engage with this team. But where do you go from here? Hold a retreat, review operations, refocus on the mission, refresh the strategy.

Using Business Not Battle as a guide to help get those conversations going is a great idea. The book talks about the mindset board members should have with regards to their organization and how to ignite impact.

So, as you are thinking about how to increase funds or broaden your organizations reach, look at board engagement as the #1 most important place to start. And do it with Business Not Battle.


No time to read the book? That’s okay. Schedule a Connecting Conversation and learn how to bring the Business Not Battle Mindset to your organization today!

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