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Dan Cosgrove
Director of Operations + Senior Consultant

As anyone in the nonprofit world can relate, there is a relentless pressure for funding. From sweating out the arrival of the next grant check to initiating a major capital campaign, the mission of the organization depends on delivery of funds. Oh, wait! Did I just say “The mission of the organization”?!  Yes, the mission of why the organization was created in the first place often seems dwarfed by the tsunami of activities around fundraising and other daily chores.

I, too, spend most of my waking moments in that “GO” mode to secure financial resources. However, I recently had the opportunity to step in as an Interim Executive Director of an organization that provides services to young children.

My directive in this role was clear: stabilize operations, secure the finances, evaluate staff and participate in the search for a new Executive Director.  I gladly jumped in and immersed myself in all of the operational aspects of the organization.  After just a few days on the job I noticed, seeping in through the cinder block walls of my office, the unbridled laughter and giggles of young children. I decided to escape from the office and engage with the families who were the very people we were serving.

This was just the interaction I needed to remind me of why we do what we do. The children didn’t notice the stains on the ceiling, the broken stool in the bathroom or the outdated paint colors. They were having a great time and we were still fulfilling the core mission — and actually doing it quite well.

Reframing my perspective a bit brought new energy into my effort to tame the countless details of the job.  Perhaps this reminder that “The Mission Always Matters” can benefit all of us when we reflect on who is it we actually serve and why.  Maybe it would be worth it to schedule a few minutes every day in your hectic schedule to reflect upon that.  Keep up the good fight.

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