On the same webinar I referenced yesterday, a speaker* advocated for nonprofit leaders to be discriminating in which grants to pursue or what gifts to accept. Through a rigorous method of understanding true costs of the grant, including staff resources, direct costs, indirect costs and administrative time, her non-profit came to realize that they were actually losing money on some grants and would be better off without them.

“Not all resources are equal,” she said. “Grants are like water. Fresh water refreshes you, but salt water dries you out. We are fighting over salt water and need to stop.”

Think about what you say “yes” to, either in your personal life or in your organization. Are you involved with things that deplete you rather than add energy? Do you say “yes” without consideration as to what is involved in fulfilling this obligation? Are you adding activity after activity without regard to the cost of your time or the return from it?

You’ll never quench your thirst if all you are drinking is salt water.

*Dominique Bernardo, CEO Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Philadelphia on Conversation #3: How nonprofit practitioners are helping evolve the nonprofit conversation, March 23, 2017.

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