Nonprofit Impossible or Nonprofit Rescue?



Many years ago, as I was caught in the cycle of wanting to leave my job but not sure where I wanted to go, I created a false narrative that held me back for months and months. I was working in a small nonprofit that had become a rapidly growing nonprofit, but I questioned whether I would have the same success in a larger agency.

Then one day it struck me that my small nonprofit was not just less people but also a microcosm of a larger agency. Every toxic work trait, every miscommunication, every hint of envy, and every attempt to discredit that would happen in a large agency had likely happened at some point in my small one and the impact was felt more intensely because of the small unit. I recognized that I was more than prepared for whatever my next level looked like and stepped into my power as an experienced nonprofit manager.

I was talking to an amazing nonprofit colleague on yesterday who said that I should be the bad@ss who does nonprofit rescue with tough love like Bar Rescue. I laughed and agreed that I love the idea of a Restaurant Impossible for nonprofits. She laughed and said we should team up and she would play the “good cop”. We were joking…but not really! We absolutely make a dynamic duo!!

Are there limiting leadership beliefs that are living rent-free in your head?

I’ve come to realize that, often times it is not a lack of education, expertise, or leadership skills that hold high-performing Women of Color in social work leadership back, it is their perception of their education, expertise, and leadership skills that hold them back.

I am a Social Work Career Empowerment Coach committed to eliminating the old narrow view of social work and expanding the idea of who social workers can become and what they can do. I am a Social Work Career Empowerment Coach committed to supporting Women of Color social work leaders to achieve career fulfillment by getting clear on what they want, elevating their confidence, and centering their accomplishments. I am a Social Work Career Empowerment Coach passionate about helping Women of Color social workers honor their achievements, stand in their power, and position themselves to go from overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated to energized, well-paid, and appreciated.

On My Terms leadership development coaching is still available for those who are ready to level up in their careers through self-mastery. Apply to On My Terms to receive ongoing support in achieving career clarity and releasing job search frustration and confusion. Apply to On My Terms to move beyond societal and self-imposed limitations to experience career fulfillment. It’s GO Time!



Nicki Sanders, MSW, supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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