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The Four Flaws in Nonprofit Thinking: What Now?

Read the previous post in this series, or revisit the first post.

Five years ago, The Rescue Mission in Fort Wayne was stuck in crisis-reactive mode. They had launched a $4 million capital campaign which failed. They had a “nice” atmosphere, but the staff didn’t trust each other or work well together. They were thrifty, but they did not invest in the things they needed at the mission. The staff was working long, hard hours, and they were busy with daily operations, but they were not planning ahead.

The Rescue Mission wanted to turn the situation around. They brought in experts, including DBA, to help them meet higher standards. They practiced kindness by bringing in a better board and staff. They became better stewards and built up their program. They worked smarter, cutting down hours and prioritizing. And they proactively planned for their future. Now, five years later, they’re serving the community in ways they never have before. On top of that, they’re about to launch an $11 million capital campaign, and it looks like they’re going to succeed.

Over the last five weeks, we’ve been talking about the four flaws in nonprofit thinking. Here’s a review of those flaws:

  • Being Nice: Valuing pleasantries over doing what is best for people and your agency.
  • Working Hard: Working at a level that is sacrificing your well-being.
  • Being Busy: Spending all your time on daily operations instead of planning for the future.

If you’re struggling with any or all of these flaws, there’s hope. The first step is to acknowledge that there’s room to improve. Once you recognize that, you can work toward a higher standard.


Vibrancy isn’t just a hope—it’s a plan. So, start planning for it today with a free assessment from Dickerson, Bakker & Associates. Contact us to get started.


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