10 Things a Smart Nonprofit Leader Won’t Say

top-10-things-a-smart-nonprofit-leader-wont-sayChallenges can make nonprofit leaders say things they shouldn’t have said. What happens when a leader of a large organization posts a controversial comment on Twitter? Many things can happen. One of them is that the post may attract negative publicity.

Both verbal and written words carry the power of life and death of a nonprofit organization. When the wrong words are uttered by a leader, two harms are done:

  • the morale of the nonprofit team is killed
  • the chances of raising funds are minimized

Tweet this:Challenges can make nonprofit leaders say things they shouldn’t have said.

The biggest challenge for today’s nonprofit leaders is to create a culture that balances innovation and day-to-day productivity of employees. It takes a smart nonprofit leader to cultivate the right kind of culture for his organization.

In the midst of challenges, a competent leader avoids issuing destructive talk. Instead, a smart leader imparts wisdom and motivates his team to continue doing good. To this end, a smart nonprofit leader chooses words wisely.

This is what a nonprofit leader won’t say:

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1.This is the way I’ve always done it

A smart nonprofit leader is flexible enough to adopt recent technological trends. The leader is  not stuck in the old habits of doing things. When a newly hired young employee suggests, “let’s try this cool fundraising app” a smart leader listens attentively.

When you hear a leader say, “This is the way I’ve always done it” there are two possibilities:

  • the leader is afraid to fail
  • or the leader is stuck in a comfort zone

2. This will only take a second

When you hear a nonprofit leader say, “This will only take a second to complete” you’re dealing with a proud producer of shoddy work. This is because producing quality work takes time. A smart nonprofit leader knows that:

  • planning charity programs takes days
  • raising funds takes months
  • distributing food parcels takes time

When there are time constraints, the leader puts in extra hours to ensure that the work is of quality standard.

3. I will try my level best

A smart nonprofit leader should not say, “I will try my level best.” When you are serving people, trying is not an option. A leader should not try but make things happen. When there is a lack of funds, you don’t try to solicit donations but you do it immediately because it’s important.

4. This is not my responsibility

The buck stops with a nonprofit leader. Everything is the leader’s responsibility. When no one is available to send  a PO request for the orphanage’s food, the leader must sit down and send it immediately.

5. How is that my fault?

People will approach a leader with problems that have nothing to do with the nonprofit organization. A smart leader cannot say, “How is that my fault?” Instead, the leader should always ask, “how can I assist?”

6. I don’t have time for this

A smart nonprofit leader will not utter the words “I don’t have time for this.” When staff members are overwhelmed with personal issues a leader makes time to assist. The amount of time a leader allocates in addressing internal issues plays a big role in making charity programs run effectively.

The ancient saying “charity begins at home” rings true. The amount of time invested in resolving internal issues goes a long way in motivating staff members.

7. I don’t care

Generally, we expect that nonprofit organizations are run by emphatic leaders. First and foremost, the leader cares about the needs of the team members. Then the care extends to the lives of charity beneficiaries. It doesn’t matter whether the beneficiaries are patients of chronic illnesses who no longer see the importance of taking medications.   A smart nonprofit leader makes sure that the words, “I don’t care if they take their medication” do not leave his/her lips.

8. I did it

A smart nonprofit leader does not say, “I did it”. But instead, says, ”We did it” because the leader understands that every program’s success is a collective effort.

9. I know everything

Smart leaders are lifelong learners. They approach every challenge as an opportunity to learn something new. They understand that the knowledge that they have acquired over the years might have become outdated. Instead of saying: “I know everything” they ask: “How can that help us?”

10. Budgeting is not important

A smart nonprofit leader is not intimidated by budgets. The leader understands that it’s impossible to continue doing good without spending within budget. When other nonprofit leaders are outsmarted by budgeting, they tend to treat a budget as a tool created to prevent them from spending.

You are likely to hear such leaders whine, “Budgeting is not important.” Such words will never come out of the lips of a smart nonprofit leader because: This leader has adopted a user-friendly system such as With, the following is possible:

  • A budget is set up with single or multiple approvers which means there’s no need for employees to wait for long periods for a requisition to be approved.
  • A nonprofit can adjust the budget whenever there’s a need. Any changes done on the budget are visible to employees. Where changes are made leaders can add comments so that employees can understand the changes. allows charities to grow their programs and continue to do good. Any duplications of invoices or discrepancies are addressed in real-time. Fraudsters do not stand a chance to steal charity funds as the software gives charity CFOs and COOs a total control over purchases. Accountability seems as natural as breathing!

Don’t let budgeting outsmart you. Sign up for a free trial today.’s team is available 24/7 just to make sure that you can budget like a pro.  If you’d like more info about (an automated purchase control system), please contact: [email protected]

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