Are Emotional Attachments Obstructing Your Nonprofit’s Growth?


The emotional attachments that some nonprofit stakeholders possess are remarkably powerful. It takes enthusiasm, pride, dedication, and passion to coagulate a community of supporters who are loyal to an organization and its mission.

These emotional attachments might include ideas, mindsets, feelings, programs, relationships, people, and places that are associated with a nonprofit. They may be time-honored and woven into the fabric of the organization, and can even inspire stakeholders to donate, contribute their time, and put the organization’s strategic goals on a pedestal.

But what happens when organizations must develop new approaches to advance their services in an environment that is continuously changing?

This is a turning point in a nonprofit’s lifecycle. It requires the leadership to decide what it will keep doing, and what it needs to let go of, in order to reach a new level of success and prepare for potential challenges in the future. Many volunteers and nonprofit professionals have invested so much time, money, and energy into their attachments that it ends up clouding their judgment. They might not be able to recognize when their attachments are impeding the organization’s development.

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About Steven Goldberg

Steven (Steve) J. Goldberg is a Consultant at DRG. He has more than 25 years of experience working in the volunteer, health and human services and faith-based sectors, having spent the past 17 years as a senior nonprofit executive. He has a proven track record of leading successful change, strengthening leadership infrastructure and improving governance within complex mission-driven environments. He also has extensive experience as a key partner and advisor to Boards, Board Presidents and Executive Committees.

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