The Big Apple Circus, a nonprofit, has gone into bankruptcy and as part of its effort to resolve debts and continue to move on, in some form it appears, it has agreed to sell its name and some of its equipment (Washington Post).
What can a nonprofit with no name and few assets do? In this case, how would or could the Circus pursue its mission to "engage the communities it serves through the joy and wonder of classic circus arts, creating direct, shared connections in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools in its NYC home and in cities across America."?
Clearly, the board must now start over and rethink a strategy for moving ahead. Or, is selling-off everything just a way to close up the tent and walk away knowing that indeed, right to the very end, community was not left without anything?
The Circus is a good reminder that nonprofit boards must never stop being strategic, always looking ahead to understand market forces and needs and developing sustainability strategies that will ensure mission can be pursued, or, not.