I applied for the CEO position of a small nonprofit that is struggling financially, but has a mission that I am very passionate about. I have been working in nonprofits in 20 years, raised $10M in the last seven years or so with a large nonprofit and wanted to take what I learned to a mission I value deeply. I also have 6 years of experience in programming related to the organization’s mission as well. I can do program evaluations too and spent years coordinating volunteers. Do I sound qualified?
I didn’t even get an interview for the job. But applied for the Chief Fundraising Officer position and got it. An interim staff lead hired me and valued my fundraising expertise.A board member hated that I had applied for the CEO position and I was told to never say I had applied again to anyone. They didn’t know I had applied because they hired someone to do the search for them. I shouldn’t have told them I did apply, but despite this bump, I threw myself into the work because I love it. I created a small donor and major gifts program, new brochures and wrote grants. I was loving the work and encouraged by staff.
Once they hired a new CEO though, things slowly started to change. He has zero fundraising experience. He cancels development strategy meetings with me, lets board members criticize my work, won’t go over finances with me or give me a fundraising goal and allows staff to berate me during staff meetings for not doing a good job. Keep in mind NONE of them (board officers or staff) have any fundraising experience. Now, the CEO and the program staff are purposefully keeping me out of all discussions and grant writing related to several major proposals. He is putting program staff in charge of them.
It is my dream to be a CEO but right now my dream was to really bring in the big bucks for this cause. I am looking for advice or thoughts on why this might be happening.. Have you seen anything like this before?
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