Sleepless in 2013?
JS: I also think that ties back to branding too. It’s all one, really. If you’re out there doing really, really great things and you are meaningfully changing the fate of whomever it is you serve, and you’re telling people openly and honestly, then the charity watchdog groups — who shall remain nameless — they have less and less power. You take the power away from them by being honest and up-front and using the dollars well.
DG: That’s right. Exactly.
CJ: And I think you can also be creative with this information, like beyond having it on your 990. There are some organizations that are being really forward-thinking with being transparent and using it as part of storytelling with infographics and things like that. I think that’s awesome and something we should keep in mind as time goes on.
JJ: Part of transparency, too, is allowing the donors to have a dialogue with you. Sometimes you’ll go on a website and it’s easy to give, but it’s not easy to have a dialogue and communicate and ask a question or to find out who to talk with.
Round 3: The Board
JJ: It’s been inevitable for I don’t know how many years that every time we work with a client, no matter what the project or what the scope is, that somehow the board becomes the No. 1 either opportunity or challenge. Usually, about a week or two into working with the CEO, either they’re bragging about the board or that door closes slowly and their eyes roll back and they start talking about their job
It’s been said you get the board you deserve. It is the No. 1. It’s the fiduciary. It’s the boss’s boss, whether it be the CEO or the consultant, the hired gun. And having the right board engaged in the right way we find is consistently the No. 1 ingredient for success for a nonprofit.