HI! I AM SUZANNE
Are you someone working for a nonprofit, as finance manager, controller or director? Perhaps you are a founding member of a new nonprofit initiative?
I bet you are in this organization because you want to help solve a problem, promote a human right, preserve a wonderful piece of nature, give people a voice – or an education. Or something else that makes this world better. Your desire to contribute to this, is what makes you get up in the morning. You know people depend on you and you cannot let them down.
I am sure you feel very responsible for your own job as part of the wider organization. And that is why you do not work 9 to 5. You are in it with your heart. That means, if something needs to get done, you work until it’s done.
You are eager to develop yourself, to learn new things and get better at them. And you also want to take good care of your team and your family and friends. Sometimes there isn’t enough time for your own hobbies. But that’s OK. Because in a way, your nonprofit is your hobby, too. And your team feels like family. You spend much time together and know each other well. Together you have big plans. Big ambitions and even bigger dreams.
But sometimes those dreams seem so far away, right?
Is this you, too?
• Nervous about the future of your organization. It is so difficult to plan your finances, to know when you will have money to pay for things. You feel not in control of your finances.
• Uncertain how to prepare a report for your donor. You are afraid you might make a mistake that will make you lose money on the project. Making a project budget is not that easy after all, and you are not sure how you can include all the costs needed.
• Turned down as partner or grantee due to lack of policies and systems. I imagine that made you feel so humiliated and undervalued. And lost, because you have no idea how to get started on this. You are still a small organization, so how can you have all this in place without the help of that bigger partner who turned you down like dirt?
• Panicking about making mistakes with taxes. Like not having the money to pay for taxes. Maybe you forgot to include taxes in your budgeting of personnel costs for a project?
• In need of hiring extra hands, contractors or employees, and unsure how to contract for that. Afraid of what it will mean to be an employer all of a sudden? Perhaps you are not sure that you actually know how to be a good one, both for the people and the organization?
You are absolutely right to be nervous and careful.
If you do not get your fundraising planned. If you do not manage to design projects that align with your mission and dreams and that support your organization instead of bleeding it dry. If you do not get a grip on your finances. If you do not set up and implement professional systems. If you mess up with your staff contracting and taxes…
I am afraid that is when you will see that you cannot do what you dreamed doing. What you want to get done for the community you serve. Because you will not have the resources for the activities you want to run. And you will not be able to build trust with donors and supporters to obtain the resources you need.
And, yes, in the end you will need to close down operations. Close your nonprofit.
And the people you work for, the people you have in mind when you get up and get to work every day, those people will not be served. Their problems will not be solved.
I bet this is your worst nightmare.
That is why I am here to help you!
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