~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
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.
in Organizational Development: The Third Stage: The Adolescent
been comparing the stages in organizational growth to human growth.
This month we will talk about the third of five stages: the adolescent.
who knows or has an adolescent in the family knows that they
can be alternately charming and frustrating. Knowing how much
freedom and independence to allow tries the wits and patience
seem to believe, or at least pretend, that they know everything
that one needs to know. They frequently take risks that make
the parent cringe. They seem to think they are immortal and nothing
can hurt them. They are trendy, bringing into the home music,
clothes and attitudes that are frequently outlandish in the eyes
of the parents.
the parents also rejoice in the potential they perceive and trust
that the adolescent will be a contributing and successful adult,
perhaps one who even exceeds his/her parents in terms of accomplishment.
investigate how these qualities are present in adolescent nonprofits
and what strengths and weaknesses they can bring into play.
and knowledge are important for all organizations, and the young
nonprofit that has reached adolescence (5-7 years) can be proud
not possible for any organization at any stage of development
to know everything it needs to know. The adolescent nonprofit
may not be open to learning. Ignorance of the law, accountability
and process can lead to many costly mistakes that could have
been avoided. The adolescent nonprofit needs to listen to and
evaluate the experiences of mature organizations as well as read
materials and attend workshops and classes on nonprofit management.
to take risks for a good cause shows an adventurous and creative
spirit and can result in successes that will surprise and amaze.
Those who never take a risk are probably too conservative and
should not be taken without careful thought. Is it in keeping
with our mission? Is it legal? Would we want it to appear on
the front page of the newspaper? Would the hoped for result be
worth the risk?
constantly need to ask themselves, "What can we do better?"
New ideas are always worth considering and evaluating.
be alienated by the new trend (contributors, public, personnel,
clients)? Will it serve our constituency better? Is its possible
anticipated result worth the time it would take to implement?
organizations have a vitality that many older ones lack. There
is enthusiasm, optimism and hope.
organizations need to be vital and enthusiastic and at the same
time take advantage of the knowledge of others, seeking out mentors
with experience who share their desire to improve the world.