Once there was a theatre company that produced new plays. However, during the holiday season, they produced “A Christmas Carol.”
Foundation leaders that supported this company asked one day, “Why do you produce ‘A Christmas Carol’ when it has nothing to do with your mission or the rest of your activities?”
“Because,” said a truthful board president, “it’s our ‘cash cow.’ And we need to milk it for all its worth to pay for everything else we do.”
“Oh,” said the foundation leaders. “Does it?”
“Yes,” said the president. “It’s a good thing, too.”
The leaders huddled together.
“That’s wonderful,” they said. “It follows, then, that we can now fund companies whose mission aligns with ours. With your ‘cash cow,’ you don’t need us. Thank you!”
And then they cut funding to the theatre company to zero.
what a lovely black and white analogy. Of course it is more likely that the cash cow provides the money that the foundation never had the resolve or resources to cover and they were glad to share the burden.
The truthful board might mention that their interpretation was a bit off the standard and that by presenting it they made new connections to audience and community that would increase the viability, relevance and quality of their work. The delighted (if fictional and lets face it extinct) board you describe might then throw up it hands with joy and increase their support to handle their expanding base of work.