Interview By: Kathleen Brennan, 10/11/06
Jerold Panas is author of The Fundraising Habits of Supremely Successful Boards: A 59-Minute Guide to Assuring Your Organization’s Success. The book is available atwww.emersonandchurch.com.
…If you had to single out, say, the top two habits that would carry an organization the furthest, what would they be?
Hmm, that’s a difficult question.
I’d say, first, you don’t allow a mission deficit.
It’s pretty easy for an organization to balance its budget. It can keep cutting expenses, services, staff, maintenance, and by doing this, maybe save enough money to operate in the black.
The problem is, when a board slashes and slashes, it creates a mission deficit. The organization no longer has a real purpose. And that’s far worse than a financial deficit.
The second key habit I’d mention is, board members must be advocates for the organization. Roaring advocates. Burning in their bones for the work you do.
If they’re not, they probably should be home tending their garden….