Lessons Learned as a Nonprofit Executive Director & Nonprofit Consultant

Let’s be real. Being a nonprofit executive director isn’t always a walk in the park. There are definitely challenges that one faces with wearing the following hats:

  • Leader and visionary
  • Fundraiser
  • Being the face of the organization
  • Marketer
  • Manager
  • …and so much more.

It’s a good thing that Dolph Goldenburg, founder of Successful Nonprofits, comes on the Grant Writing & Funding podcast to discuss his lessons learned as an executive director and as a nonprofit consultant.

Dolph goes in deep, starting off the discussion with sharing his experience being completely burned out as nonprofit executive director. At the time, he resigned and took a year off as a sabbatical to reflect. 

This led to his current position as a nonprofit consultant. 

The lessons he has learned along the way include:

  • Taking time to recognize red flags of old habits
  • Negotiating with funding sources
  • Writing grants for enough money instead of settling
  • Being values-based
  • And so much more

What We Discuss:

  • Grant Reviewer Course
  • Overcoming Burnout
  • How to Know if a Job isn’t a Good Fit
  • Looking Inward into Nonprofit Pain Points
  • How to Look for Signs of Nonprofit Burnout
  • How Being Values-Based Helps to Attract the Right People
  • Why Paying Your Nonprofit Staff a Living Wage is Vital to Nonprofit Health
  • Why Nonprofit Attrition Rates Can Be the Funder’s Fault
  • Why You Need to Not Underbid on a Grant Application
  • How to Renegotiate with a Funding Source
  • Why Talking to Funders is so Important

About Dolph Goldenburg

Dolph is recognized as a leader within the nonprofit sector who has a track record of guiding organizations through leadership transitions, strategic planning and board development. 

He started Successful Nonprofits in 2014 to provide consulting, podcasting and publishing services that strengthen the nonprofit sector. Goldenburg’s consulting focuses on strategic planning, executive transitions, board development and coaching. His clients have included large nonprofits like Sheltering Arms and HOPE Atlanta and also small but mighty nonprofits like the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and Zebra Coalition.

Prior to starting his consulting practice, Goldenburg was a successful nonprofit CEO for about a dozen years with a demonstrated history of leading organizations to financial stability and growth.  As a CEO, Goldenburg helped organizations transform deficits into healthy surpluses, increase fund balances, dramatically expand services, and increase revenue.  In addition to extensive CEO experience, Goldenburg also has more than a decade of fundraising experience, which includes soliciting six -figure gifts and writing millions of dollars in funded grant proposals. 

Goldenburg holds a masters degree in public administration from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelors degree in social work from Georgia State University. 

Dolph lives in Lawrenceville, GA with his husband, has traveled to five of the seven continents, and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Connect with Dolph: