This is a guide for the nonprofit board, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, about hiring staff.
Starting with Staff: A guide for the non-profit board
There is nothing quite as promising as a newly formed organization, flush with a vision and full of energy. And while that exhilarating sense of potential is overwhelming when the first few organisers gather to set on their mission, it recurs at several key moments in the organization’s life.
One of those moments is when the first director is hired. Suddenly, everything seems possible. Now there really will be enough time to get everything done. Someone will take care of all the “to do” lists, and will follow up on each possibility. Someone will be there to answer the phone. Someone else will write the grant proposals, set appointments, raise the money. Things will be taken care of.
And then, moments or weeks later, the board members start feeling uneasy. Why can’t we just do this the way we used to? Where is our control of our destiny? We don’t know every detail of this project … we have not all met the partners in our next venture. How do we know this project will work? We are taking things on faith. What have we given up?
And the new director, after the thrill of accomplishment of getting this job, gets the jitters. Am I going to have to do all this alone? What were they thinking of? Or, maybe worse, isn’t anyone going to trust me?
And then, just a short time into the bright new future, everyone starts to think, what have we done?