Life Advice



Ask Amy: Nonprofit volunteer worries about future

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Should I get more involved, or step back?

As a late-career professional, I don't want to get involved with this employee's unsuccessful strategies, but as a deeply committed volunteer I don't want his efforts to fail and the organization to suffer.

Any ideas?

– Dedicated

Dear Dedicated: As an emeritus board member, your status gives you an advisory role.

You have a long-term commitment to this organization. You have professional expertise in fundraising. When this issue came up during a meeting, you should have raised your hand and shared your views.


If you still feel strongly about this plan when the next board meeting rolls around, you should openly and with intention state your concerns, without specifically undermining this staff member or throwing anyone under the bus. The board can then take into account your concerns and make a decision about how to move forward.

Dear Amy: Four couples agreed to split a very reasonably priced vacation home – four bedrooms and four baths.

Each couple paid one-fourth of the total to the owner in advance.

A week before our planned vacation, one couple contracted Covid. As two of the other travelers were immunocompromised, the Covid Couple chose to cancel, even though they would probably have been well enough to travel by the time the house share was to start.


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