Holy fuck, have I been through the wringer.
Tuesday morning, we had our Communication, Membership and Fundraising Committee (CMFC) meeting that made me the chair of the committee. I did not want to be chair, so I did not speak up to object because I knew no one else did either. When I got home from the meeting, Don, the most important member of our committee, the man with the billion dollar Rolodex, wrote to say how angry he was about the meeting and that he was considering quitting the board. I panicked.
All the rest of the day and until late into the night (1:00 am), I worked on a plan to keep him onboard. I finished writing it up last night at 12:30 and sent it to the members of the CMFC for comment. I also told our president that we were on the verge of losing Don and sent her my plan. My plan was a path to securing the funds for the new website we need, and that Don is passionate about. It was our decision not to prioritise the website that contributed to Don's frustration.
Wednesday morning we had a 9:00 am board meeting. I got an email from Dyan at 7:00 asking to talk to me. She wanted to talk to me about not taking action on my plan. BUT … she also revealed that she was ready to commit to spending some of our cash reserves if the grant for which we’ve applied for funds to finance our new website is rejected.
I rejected her appeal to talk. I told her that the plan she was critical of was not an action plan and I asked her to have faith in the committee and to wait and see how they reacted to my plan. But when she announced her plan to use cash reserves in the meeting, my plan became moot.
As part of my plan, I had reached out to Marc, our Foundation Vice President. I wanted to involve him in our fundraising planning because he has such a clear understanding of our financial needs that none of us on the committee have. So, we arranged to talk after the board meeting, early yesterday afternoon.
When we got together on Zoom, I told him how inadequate I felt. And I told him why I felt so inadequate: the ever-expanding inconsistencies in how we handle different initiatives, and how the Foundation was becoming competitive with our doctor recruitment and retention campaign. It operates outside board policies in many ways.
Marc was, I can honestly say, horrified by what I told him. He took extensive notes and promised to talk to Dyan about how to remedy them. I was stunned. And then I got a bonus. He obliterated my sense of inadequacy. He said the nicest things. His responses have me the courage and strength to stay on in my role as chair of the committee, especially knowing that I had his support and easy access to him.
The intensity of the two days exhausted me. This clinic work is no walk in the park. It is hard work for me. My condition, and my nature as someone whose emotions can overwhelm me, makes it hard. But all this drama has come remarkable outcomes, action on the website and action on fixing the disconnect with the R&R campaign.
After my meeting with Marc, I wrote several emails about clinic business and disbursed them, then I took Sheba for a ball chasing session in the park before coming home to collapse from fatigue. But no sooner had I become comfortable on the couch when the phone rang. It was Nancy and more clinic thinking and typing. Finally, at 4:30 I was able to crash.
This morning, Marc and I talked some more. He clearly understands the problems we have between the board and the doctor recruitment campaign. I don't feel inadequate any more, I feel chuffed that we're working to bring the recruitment campaign back into line. During the two years of the campaign, not one ad, not one handbill, and not a single social media post has borne the logo or name of our Foundation!
And today, I'm writing about the Foundation's future as a fundraising organization. There has been no need for fundraising in the past, and now it is to become our most important activity for the foreseeable future. Big changes are ahead.