My Mission to Understand Nonprofit Pain Points

Understanding Nonprofit Pain Points

I am on a mission to understand the true nonprofit pain points that matter to my potential customers. One of my biggest pet peeves is watching salespeople push products that people don’t need. The other day I watched a car salesman sell a souped-up Jeep to a grandmother who was looking for a car to run errands. She didn’t need the four-wheel drive, hefty sound system, wifi-enabled television, or disco lights. Though, maybe those are some adventurous errands!

Brittany Florentine

Brittany Florentine, Boardable Account Representative


What is the ACTUAL nonprofit pain point being addressed?

Each time I get in front of nonprofit teams, I strictly talk through what their pain is, not push our most deluxe features onto them. Our company’s sales style is consultative (thank you, Jim Brown, with Sales Tuners). This means that I have a conversation with prospects about how they build their agenda rather than pitching our own. The last thing we want to do is throw a wrench into an engine that is already working. As an Account Representative, it is my job to help evaluate if your board is ready to implement a new solution. It could be that the board lost enthusiasm, interest or it is a season of turnover. What I don’t want to do is sell another tool when perhaps just a re-boot is needed. 

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What is working already? What could be done better?

If what you are doing is working, then stick to it. However, if the engine light (board tension) turns on, then it needs to be addressed. During demos, the most common board pains I hear are communication, document accessibility, and engagement. Interestingly, all of the mentioned board pains have drastically changed in the last few decades.

For example, communication has become chaotic and ubiquitous. You can contact someone in dozens of different ways with just as many applications. It used to be a handful of notes, calls, and voicemails. 

The other major change is how we store documents. In my junior year of college, I witnessed the university push all classroom activity, handouts, material, and reading to “the cloud.” Finally, I didn’t have to carry binders around or pay for print points! Due to this transition students and faculty members were more organized and available remotely.

All of these changes have serious implications for board engagement. With communication and document storage changing so rapidly and drastically, some board members have had trouble adapting.

A Boardable account representative talks about her desire to address the real challenges of nonprofit boards.

What do your board members really want?

The first step to solving these nonprofit board pain points is to talk about them. Due to how much and quickly times have changed, expectations vary. How do board members want to communicate? What is the most secure way to store documents? And, lastly, who is in charge of what? If you can talk through these board growing pains and keep doing what is already working then keep at it!

Here is a list of suggested questions to ask: 

  • What are our board goals this year? Next year?
  • Do we like how we are sharing the agenda and meeting documents? What other ways could we share it? 
  • Is email working for everyone? If there are some ‘no’s’, what other communication tools would be worth testing? Is the board open to storing documents on the cloud?
  • Does the board feel involved and aware of changes happening in the organization?
  • Is the board as mission-focused as we could be? If not, why?

If you are still reading this, my guess is you probably already had parts of this conversation and it didn’t go very far. In fact, you might be stuck with all the work. The most important tip I can stress is to get everyone on the same page about the specific pain you and your board are experiencing. If it is not being talked about, it will never change. When you start looking for solutions, keep an eye out for salespeople who care more about selling than solving the underlying issues. You don’t want to be the grandma

If you need help, I’d love to talk through how your organization answered the questions above. Click this link to schedule some time with me: Boardable Meeting

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Interested in how to make your board of directors more productive through the effective use of technology? Boardable is a software platform that centralizes all communication between you and your board. Find the best meeting times, securely store all of your documents, archive discussion threads and more—all in one place. Click below to schedule a demo with a member of our Boardable team.

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