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With best intentions: Former nonprofit head on how overhead obsession ultimately choked growth of her organization.

"While our donors loved that their hard-earned money was being used for 'the right things,' we were slowly strangling ourselves. We under-invested in systems infrastructure, we under-invested in fund development and we under-invested in human resources. Because donors wanted to give to project expenses directly, we constantly added more to our portfolio without adding the capacity to manage it all. Because unrestricted funding was so hard to come by, we had to spend every last dime rather than build up a reserve. And because we internalized the message that reasonably compensating executive staff was shameful, we couldn't hire seasoned professionals or afford a CEO to replace me." -- Kjerstin Erickson, Huffington Post

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