A nonprofit founder had given birth to “her baby” 10 years ago. While her baby moved past infancy, it was still in late childhood, desperately wanting to grow into adolescence. Her baby was in that awkward phase where it was starting to get pimples and grow pubic hair, but its voice never deepened.

She racked her brain wondering why she wasn’t raising more money, why her client base wasn’t growing, and why everyone she met still told her that her baby was “the best-kept secret.”

Her board of four was comprised of friends and family who did what she wanted as both the paid Executive Director and Board Chair. She was proud that she didn’t have “one of those boards” and wondered what all of those other horror stories were about. Clearly, those founders didn’t know what they were doing.

As time went on, not only did her baby never reach adolescence, but it completely regressed to early childhood and then to infancy. Funders eventually saw beyond her passion and wondered where their money was going and what it was achieving. Revenue shrunk. As a result, programs got eliminated. The board of friends seemed to disappear, too.

Ironically, on the organization’s 13th anniversary, it hit a milestone. It closed its doors. Nobody but the founder ever missed the organization.