What is the Number One Question for Any Non-Profit Organization?

January often leads to introspection – another year is starting, will it be better than the past year? Will it be worse? What’s new and what is unchanged? Should we be different this year or not? When I talk about governance I am primarily dealing with non-profit organizations and the   number one question should be “why does this organization exist?”

What is it that we do that needs to be done? If we are seeing loss of members and trouble getting people to serve on the board, could it be that what we are doing is just not that important to enough people that there should be an organization? If we are the green orchid gardeners of Prince County is it possible that there is simply not enough like-minded people to have an organization?

The answer to the question “why do we exist?” is very important, obviously. If we know the answer to this then every board member knows why they are at the meeting. We can do a strategic plan more easily because we know what we are trying to accomplish. Everything is better when you know where you are going. Maybe at your next board meeting you should ask each board member to write down why the organization exists and pass it in to the board chair. If there is a lack of agreement then there is a good reason for further discussion. “

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