Working Full-Time on Nonprofit

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Joyce Graff, Executive Director, VHL Family Alliance

"I made that shift in 2002, from being the volunteer leader of the organization to being the Executive Director (with modest pay). It necessitated some changes to the by-laws, the agreement of the Board, and setting up a structure that would work not just for me but for some mythical future executive director working with some mythical future board.

Be sure to set up appropriate checks and balances with that in mind – it’s not just about the people you know, it’s about whoever will be in those positions in future.

I am now beginning to shift the organization to new leadership, so that planning is paying off. While I have been working for a 'charitable salary,' the next ED will have to make a living wage, so the other component in shifting to paid leadership is that the Board needs to commit to raising sufficient funds to make it work."

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