So my nonprofit has been discussing two possible fundraising options. We’ll call them Option A and Option B. There has been a lot of discussion about Option A, way more so than it deserves since 1) it is not likely to bring in very much money and 2) it has a strong whiff of impropriety, in fact might actually be illegal for a nonprofit.

So I ran the Option A idea past a friend of mine who is a very good lawyer, though not a nonprofit expert. He said it raised huge red flags for him. That was good enough for me. I sent an email to the board saying I didn’t think this idea was worth pursuing, i.e. by getting a more detailed opinion from a 501(c)(3) expert, since even if we did end up with a favorable opinion, Option A isn’t likely to bring in very much money anyway. Let’s drop Option A, I said, and focus on Option B instead.

All well and good, right? Alas, we have one board member who is very emotionally invested in Option A, for whatever reason. This board member also happens to be the one who drives the rest of us up the wall because she is both abrasive and scatter-brained. She’s really really good at some jobs, and that’s why she’s on the board, but she’s really really bad at policymaking. And she’s really really really bad at listening to what other people are saying, ahem.

She fired off an angry diatribe in response. It seems that she did not read my email carefully enough to notice the part about focusing on Option B instead. She apparently thought I was suggesting that we abandon fundraising altogether. That I thought a scholarship fund was not necessary. That I thought there were no needy children who might benefit from our program. That I need to be instructed by her that not all children are created economically equal. I know she meant well, at least I think she meant well, but honestly it was a little hard not to take personally, ya know?

I responded with a slightly snippy email saying let me clarify again, and I restated my views using bullet points and a few words in all caps so there could be NO MISUNDERSTANDING (although you never know). And then our executive director? Our dear executive director who is the biggest patsy in the world, who cannot stand any kind of conflict whatsoever? He chimed in with an unintentionally hilarious email wherein he attempted to convey that we were both right and “everything is going great.” Um, okay.

I feel sort of dumb posting about this, actually. It was a very small blip in the scheme of things. I do understand where this board member is coming from. We have worked well together in the past and we’ll continue to do so. But she did hurt my feelings a little, and so now I’m going to retaliate here by telling you all that in her diatribe she misused the phrase “begging the question” (which is completely different from “raising the question”) and made the all-too-common error of putting a comma after the word albeit.

Ahhhh, much better!

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  1. I love the last sentence – made me laugh outloud ! :)

  2. I also wanted to mention I love the flowers at the top of your blog – are they new? They are my kinda flowers (the kind you can’t kill) :)

  3. Ha, thanks! Yep, the flowers are new. My kind too. I am the world’s worst gardener. I’ve even killed cactuses.

  4. You’re bigger than this, Mo. Aren’t you? I mean you love classical music, for Pete’s sake.

    Fun post. Truthfully, as a curmudgeon, I love rants.

  5. LOL!!!!

  6. I’ve had similar feelings about posting work rants. I had one a while ago. I tried not to do it, but it kept banging around in my head until I finally relented and put it to words. Then I read it all and realized that anyone who read it wasn’t going to feel the impact the same way I did. But I felt better having let it out of my head.

    And she put a comma after the word albeit??? The horror! ;-)

  7. So true! And you know what? As mean-spirited and small-minded as my little rant was, when I saw her today I was able to be perfectly cordial & friendly because I’d gotten the bad feelings out of my system.


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