5 Steps for Turning Around a Struggling Small Foundation

5 Steps for Turning Around a Struggling Small Foundation

By: Gail R. Kulp

A new nonprofit can easily falter in its early stages if it lacks sufficient energy and leadership. Taking over such a struggling organization and turning it around is no easy task. The executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation faced such a challenge when she took the helm in 2010, and she shares five strategies she pursued as its sole employee to put the foundation back on course.

In October 2010, I took on the role of executive director for the fledgling 501(c)(3) Sea Tow Foundation. Dedicated to promoting safe boating practices in order to reduce boating-related accidents and fatalities, the foundation had been floundering, unfortunately, since its inception in 2007, and prior to my arrival it had been without any dedicated staff for five months. The organization was also in debt to its for-profit parent company, Sea Tow Services International, Inc. (STSI). Add to that the fact this was my first experience in the executive director position, and I knew I had my work cut out for me. I decided to focus on five key strategies for improvement over the ensuing year. I came to think of them as my five F's for the future of the foundation....