Chief Instigation Officer: That’s Your Job, Too

organ-grinder

A development director once told me that she worked “on behalf of donors.”  No, not really.  You work on behalf of the mission.

A marketing director once told me that “it’s all about the money.” No, not really.  It’s all about the mission.

An artistic director once told me “we do it for the art.”  No, not really.  We do it to execute the mission.

Unless the mission, well, sucks.

Often it has fallen to me to gently (and sometimes not so gently) advise that without a compelling, singular mission that speaks to a specific, measurable societal improvement, a nonprofit arts organization is merely exchanging entertainment for money — like an organ grinder’s monkey, begging for pennies.

You are there to solve a problem.  Make sure your company stands for something outside your little corner of the operation.

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