How do you grow an organization that relies heavily on volunteers? Many nonprofits have struggled with this question, and probably few more acutely than U.S. Masters Swimming, a 60,000 member organization that encourages adults to swim. U.S. Masters launched in Sarasota, Florida in 1970. Until 2008, when the organization opened a national office, it ran solely on the generosity of its volunteers.
U.S. Masters Swimming CFO Susan Kuhlman says it’s easier to grow now that the organization has a paid national staff. But as is the case at other nonprofits, one of U.S. Masters’ biggest challenges is having “unlimited potential but limited resources,” she says.
In the accompanying video, Kuhlman talks about how she fosters growth and chooses what opportunities to prioritize at the adult swimming advocacy organization.