Nonprofit executive directors are their own toughest critics. They see the need in the community and the potential for the organization to meet that need. They assess their performance based on the delta between the two–which is almost always as wide as the Grand Canyon. And, they can never do a good enough job.
In that spirit, here are some of my New Year resolutions–past, present, and aspirational:
- Increase individual donations to more than the current 2% of our budget.
- Spend quality time with my eight direct reports (across four cities) every month.
- Find new ways to engage volunteers to increase our impact using the staff we already have (i.e. increase capacity but not our budget).
- Support the development of pro bono in China and other nations.
- Focus more time on advocacy and coalition-building.
- Ensure we are building a succession plan for all our leaders on both the staff and board.
- Change the culture of our board to be more fundraising-centric.
- Find the time to celebrate our top pro bono consultants.
- Find a way to increase earned revenue to become our largest source of income.
- Take a sabbatical.
Aaron Hurst is the President & CEO at the Taproot Foundation.