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VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism


They are volunteers, too!
Look here for infomation and the latest techniques to develop your board or committee. The purpose is to help those who work or serve on nonprofit boards of directors or committees.

~ December 2003 ~ Topic

Organizational Development: The Infant Start Up

Last month we talked about the six stages in organizational development and promised to talk individually about the possible strengths and weaknesses of each of those stages. The following is offered in the hope that start-up groups can make the most of the qualities that distinguish them and, at the same time, prevent their strengths from becoming weaknesses.

Possible Weaknesses
  • Energy based on a decision to do something that matters.
  • Excitement that a group of people can organize to do something about a specific cause.
  • Dedication to making something happen.
  • Intensity that comes from dedication.
  • Take action without thinking things through.
  • Be so monothematic about the importance and “uniqueness” of the cause that they are overbearing and lose rather than gain support from family and friends.
  • Oversimplify the complexity of the issue.
  • Watch for burnout!
  • Willing to take risks that the more experienced might not.
  • Creative.
  • Because they don’t know what can’t be done, they may do it and succeed.
  • Stick to their original idea.
  • Make legal mistakes.
  • Fail to do adequate research.
  • Fail to listen to and evaluate advice.
  • Lack perspective in terms of their relationship to the larger picture, the constancy of change and other organizations with which they might collaborate.
  • Concentrate on the cause they love.
  • Feel their cause is the “one thing” that must happen in the community.
  • Don’t survey the field to make sure that the need they believe exists is in fact a genuine need.
  • There is rarely a panacea in any community.
  • Most successful non profits were the brainchild of one or two people with dedication and commitment.
  • Some good ideas don’t take hold. But it’s important to try and try again!

Happy Holidays

Jeanne Bradner can be reached at Jeannebrad@aol.com

See our online bookstore for Jeanne Bradner's book on boards: "The Board Member’s Guide: A Beneficial Bestiary", "Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today" and "Passionate Volunteerism."
Board Member's Guide Image"Board Member's Guide Image Passionate Volunteerism Image
Leading Volunteers Book Image Passionate Volunteerism Book Image Board Member's Guide Book Image

Other good sources for information on boards and committees:

Jeanne H. Bradner
Jeanne H. Bradner is an author, consultant, trainer and speaker on volunteerism, board development and leadership. She is the author of three publications, Passionate Volunteerism, The Board Member's Guide, A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today. She served as director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Voluntary Action, Midwest Regional Director of ACTION, and Executive Director of the Illinois Commission on Community Service. She is the volunteer program specialist for Illinois' Harper College Volunteer Management curriculum.

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