Reply To: One time windfall



    Your story is an example of a provocative statement I make in training sessions. If you want to damage a nonprofit (especially a religious congregation), there’s nothing more effective than a windfall donation!

    There are those who say that sudden wealth doesn’t change one’s character, but it reveals one’s character.

    I’m also reminded of the Mark Twain observation that it’s the *lack of* money that’s the root of all evil.

    I agree that referring to the nonprofit’s current strategic plan (with special emphasis on mission, vision, and values) is essential. I also recommend that the funds be held for several months to a year while the shock of the gift wears off and decisions about using the money can be made after deliberation by members and leaders (and often after consulting external stakeholders).

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