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A first aid manual for nonprofits, social enterprises; any group pulled away from its important purpose.
47 backers pledged $3,031 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,031

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This book is for anyone who knows the heartbreak of watching a good organization die.  

Too often, nonprofits, NGOs, and social enterprises are left to struggle and finally perish. Cures for Ailing Organizations aims to change that by offering:

  • Examination of organizations as living organisms,
  • A thorough diagnostic system,
  • Easy-to-remember response steps, and
  • Tools to solve common problems and prevent them in the future.

I’m Sue Knaup, the executive director of One Street, an international bicycle organization. Starting 40 years ago, I worked for healthy nonprofits in the fields of animal rights, environment, and special populations. Each had vibrant purposes and attracted countless supporters. When I inevitably encountered dysfunctional organizations, they seemed bizarre to me. Little did I know that the first nonprofits I had worked for were the anomalies.

I wrote Cures for Ailing Organizations over the past two decades if you count frustrated notes thrown into various files. I tapped my work with these different movements so this book will resonate with leaders of any organization working to help their chosen community. 

I shaped the book around my emergency medical response training in three sections. The first section deals with diagnosis. The middle section offers first aid and remedy procedures. The last section shows readers how to lift their organization into health and keep it there.

While criminal acts are included, most of the ailments that bring organizations to their knees are legal and deceptively simple:

  • Rogues and factions tearing the organization apart,
  • Leaders confused over roles and the organization’s mission,
  • Funding crises,
  • People badmouthing the organization, 
  • Board members dwindling and cancelling meetings,
  • Internal and external communications deteriorating.

Such symptoms keep an organization from achieving its purpose. This book shows that anyone can help restore an organization to health. In its 205 pages, readers will not find any quick fixes or isolated exercises that dominate most nonprofit management books. Instead, readers will learn how to:

  • listen to leaders in crisis and help them find solutions, 
  • reconnect warring factions, 
  • attract many types of people to engage in their work, and 
  • restore health to important organizations.

Readers will find a new expectation of health and vitality for organizations contributing to society and zero tolerance for bad behavior, infighting, and strife. 

The book is complete. Now we need your help to make it available to organizations around the world.

Funding through this Kickstarter campaign will cover the costs to finish the final book layout, publish the print version, convert to and publish the ebook version, and distribute the book worldwide. Our goal of $3,000 is the bare minimum we need to accomplish all of this. We set this goal conservatively to increase our chances of success because Kickstarter is all or nothing. 

If we don’t reach our goal, we receive nothing and won’t be able to publish this book.  

I so appreciate any support you can offer through this campaign. Snatch up one of the early copies and, if you get a chance, send me your exciting stories about helping great organizations regain their health.


TABLE OF CONTENTS: 

Preface: About This Book and Its Author

SECTION 1: Diagnosing Ailments 

Chapter 1: Healthy Organizations 1.1 Body Structure Analogy 1.2 Summing up the Body Structure Analogy 1.3 Appropriate Size 1.4 Star Analogy: Nebulous, Balanced or Red Giant 

Chapter 2: Diagnosis 2.1 Diagnosing Life-Threatening Crises 2.2 Diagnosing Less-Threatening Ailments 2.3 Diagnosing People Ailments 2.4 Diagnosing Purpose (Mission) Ailments 2.5 Diagnosing Public Image Ailments 2.6 Diagnosing Policy and Procedure Ailments 2.7 Diagnosing Communications Ailments 2.8 Final Thoughts on Diagnosis 

Chapter 3: Understanding Causes of Crises 3.1 Cultures of Brutality 3.2 How Good People Can Do Very Bad Things 

Chapter 4: Before Attempting First Aid 4.1 Rules of Response 4.2 Responding as One of the Leaders 4.3 Responding as a Non-Leader, Victim or Employee 

SECTION 2: First Aid and Remedies 

Chapter 5: First Aid for Organizations in Crisis 5.1 Responding to Any Emergency 5.1.1 Any Emergency, Step One: Identify Threats 5.1.2 Any Emergency, Step Two: Secure the Scene 5.2 Responding to Factions and Rogues 5.2.1 Factions and Rogues, Step One: Investigate and Gather Materials 5.2.2 Factions and Rogues, Step Two: Find Two Helpers 5.2.3 Factions and Rogues, Step Three: Discuss Concerns with ALL Leaders 5.2.4 Factions and Rogues, Step Four: Resolve and Repair 5.2.5 Factions and Rogues, Step Five: Create Policies to Prevent Recurrence 5.3 Responding to Outside Threats 5.3.1 Outside Threats, Step One: Stop Threats Controlled by Your Organization 5.3.2 Outside Threats, Step Two: Respond Directly to Those Doing Harm 5.3.3 Outside Threats, Step Three: Increase Good Work and Promote Emphatically 5.4 Responding to Funding Crises 5.4.1 Funding, Step One: Speak with Funder 5.4.2 Funding, Step Two: Tap Inner Circle of Supporters 5.4.3 Funding, Step Three: Create Policies and Procedures to Prevent Recurrence 

Chapter 6: People, Purpose and Public Image Remedies 6.1 People Remedies 6.1.1 Factions and Rogues 6.1.2 Role Confusion 6.1.3 Boards of Directors and Committees 6.1.4 Inviting New Board Members 6.1.5 Executive Director 6.1.6 Contractors 6.2 Purpose (Mission) Remedies 6.2.1 Name Change 6.3 Public Image Remedies 

Chapter 7: Policies and Procedures Remedies 7.1 Productive Meetings 7.2 Bylaws 7.3 Annual Planning 7.4 Corporate Identity Manual 7.5 Executive Director and Employee Policies 7.6 Member, Donor and Volunteer Systems 7.7 Operations and Bookkeeping 

Chapter 8: Communication Remedies 8.1 External Communication 8.2 Internal Communication 8.2.1 One-Hour Board Meetings 8.2.2 Staff and Volunteer Meetings 8.3 Funding 8.3.1 Members and Dues 8.3.2 Funder Abuse 

SECTION 3: Getting Healthy 

Chapter 9: Rehab 9.1 Physical and Cultural Rehab 9.2 Long-Term Planning 9.3 Public Image Rehab 9.4 Structure Upgrades 9.4.1 Dangers of Fiscal Sponsorship 9.5 Policy and Procedure Upgrades 9.5.1 Pro Bono Attorney and CPA 9.5.2 Management Systems 9.5.3 Bylaws Upgrades 

Chapter 10: Nutrition and Exercise 10.1 Attractiveness 10.2 Breathing: Getting the Word Out and Receiving Feedback 10.3 Nutrition through Fundraising 10.3.1 The Direct Ask 10.3.2 Fundraising Events 10.3.3 Sponsorships 10.3.4 Grants 10.3.5 Crowd Fundraising 10.3.6 Indirect Asks 10.4 Exercises for Health Gains 

Chapter 11: Equipment for Effectiveness 11.1 Priority Matrix 11.2 Business Plan 11.3 Effective Campaign Planning 11.4 Innovation Diffusion Game 11.5 Concentric Circles 

Chapter 12: Preventing Ailments 

Risks and challenges

I’ve finished writing Cures for Ailing Organizations and have fit it into a basic layout in order to print the advance reading copies like the one featured in the video. This means the book is ready for the final edits and layout necessary for print publication. We learned the ropes of print publishing and distribution with our first two books, Defying Poverty with Bicycles and Backyard Aluminum Casting: for Bike Shift Levers (part of our Kickstarter project last year), so that part will be easy.

However, the ebook conversion and publication for Cures for Ailing Organizations will be all new to us. I have connected with publishing peers and experts through publishing associations and discussion groups. Those with ebook expertise have assured me that the process is becoming simpler every day. With these experts at hand, I’m sure I’ll have no problem navigating this new territory. In fact, I’m looking forward to learning all the details about publishing ebooks in preparation for our next titles.

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- (36 days)