Work Like a Dog. Nonprofit Resources February 24, 2021

Work Like a Dog.

I was admiring my dog the other day. How he is built for a certain kind of work, and he’s so good at it. All he wants is to do the right thing. Here’s his process: Understand the task. Quickly evaluate what needs to happen. Begin without hesitation. Confidently execute the task without agenda, expectation, or judgment. Enjoy the reward of having done a great job. In this case, it’s getting the ball out from under the camper. But you see what I’m getting at? As humans, we make it so complicated with our insecurity, hesitation, self-doubt. And it’s even worse if we’re not in the right role.

What if I tried to force my dog into a role he’s not built for? He would go from the world’s best dog to a baaaaad dog in no time. When anyone is in a role that’s not a fit, there’s no way to be confident at it. The odds of success drop. Frustration, lack of motivation, and failure follow.

Working for a nonprofit can be super demanding. But there’s no need to make it harder than it has to be. Too often in the nonprofit world, an organization has a limited staffing budget. The board tries to put all the various tasks of running the show onto one or two people. What you end up with is a strategic leader (say the Executive Director) managing tasks that an intern or marketing professional would be much more suited for. And maybe the operations assistant handling things that require skills he has not yet developed or is not suited to. You get my point. The wrong dogs in the wrong roles. What a waste of staffing time and money!

The solution to this is the AMC (association management company) model. In a nutshell, it’s a way for nonprofit organizations to contract an entire team of skilled professionals to get the work done. All the work. Top to bottom. So, for example, if you have a budget of $100k and you think that’s only enough to hire an Executive Director – THINK AGAIN! You’d be much better off to contract an AMC with that $100k. That way, you are cost-sharing your leadership, marketing, financial function, event staff, operations, membership, certification, etc. with other groups. You end up with an entire team of the right people in the right roles. That’s a recipe for success! Even better, most AMCs will offer partial services, so you can contract out only what you need, pairing your in-house team with outsourced pros to make the most of your resources.

Do you need help evaluating your nonprofits staffing structure? We’re here to offer a no-obligation consultation on alternative ways to managing your nonprofit. I’m just a phone call away! 605-219-5298 or

Now for a little fun. Here’s the Nonprofit Resources dog team.

(Cat identifies as Dog)

Dog name: Cymba
Human Name: Mister Cymba
Ideal Human Profession: Cymba is a rescue and has social anxiety. He is very intelligent, but prefers to interact with others on his own terms. Would thrive in a remote work environment. 10 out of 10 would recommend to NPR’s growing remote team 😊.

Dog Name: Millie
Human Name: Mildred
Ideal Human Profession: Actress….she’s so dramatic.

Dog name: Kodge
Human name: Roger
Ideal Human Occupation: Park Ranger

Dog Name: Mendel
Dog Profession:Dishwasher, squeaker tester,tennis ball washer, navigator
Human name: Gregor Johann Mendel
Ideal Human Profession: President

Dog Name: Gary
Human name: Gary Roy Rinehart
Ideal Human Profession: Social Media Influencer.
Soc Meds Bio reads “ I do what I want”

Dog name: Bubba
Human Name: Robert
Ideal Human Profession: Track and field coach

Dog name: Rylee
Human Name: Tracy
Ideal Human Profession: Golf course attendant so she could pick up all of the golf balls she ever wanted and more.

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