Recently I was rushing to an event at my son’s school.  I was coming from a meeting with a nonprofit executive who was having major troubles in an organization facing serious issues.  I made it just in time.  The children began singing some of the classics.  One of the songs was “There’s A Hole in the Bucket”.  Probably because the previous meeting with the struggling nonprofit was still fresh in my head, I began to study the words of this song and it struck me.  This song is not just about a hole in a bucket and the challenges of obtaining water, it was an anthem to what is often the problems we see with organizations that are having challenges.  Before the song has ended, I began piecing in new words to the song.  As the school year is ending, it is also the end of many nonprofit’s fiscal year.  I am sure this is a song that many nonprofit executives can associate with.  I am looking at “London Bridge Is Falling Down” next.  Hope you enjoy:


There’s a hole in the budget, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair,
There’s a hole in the budget, dear Board Chair, a hole.
Then fix it, dear E.D., dear E.D., dear E.D.,
Then fix it, dear E.D., dear E.D., fix it.

With what shall I fix it, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair?
With what shall I fix it, dear Board Chair, with what?
Development, dear E.D., dear E.D., dear E.D.,
Development effort, dear E.D., the development effort.

We cut back this office, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair,
We cut back this office, dear Board Chair, no staff,
Then write up some grants, dear E.D., dear E.D.,
Then write up some grants, dear E.D., more grants.

Foundations have cut back, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair?
Foundations have cut back, dear Board Chair, their tapped?
Then ask our big givers, dear E.D., dear E.D.,
Then ask our big givers, dear E.D., ask them.

Big spenders are spread thin, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair,
Big spenders are spread thin, dear Board Chair, spread thin.
Then send out an appeal, dear E.D., dear E.D.,
Then send out an appeal, dear E.D., an appeal.

Our mailing list is in chaos, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair,
Our mailing list is in chaos, dear Board Chair, in chaos.
Then cut back on programs, dear E.D., dear E.D.,
Then cut back on programs, dear E.D., cut back.

We’re in a firm contract, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair?
We’re in a firm contract, dear Board Chair, we’ll have to re-pay?
Then hold a fundraiser, dear E.D., dear E.D.,
Then hold a fundraiser, dear E.D., with auction.

With what shall I pay for it, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair?
With what shall I pay for it, dear Board Chair, with what?
Look at the budget dear E.D., dear E.D.,
Look at the budget dear E.D., the budget.

There’s a hole in the budget, dear Board Chair, dear Board Chair,
There’s a hole in the budget, dear Board Chair, a hole…

Read more stories by John Brothers.

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