Executive Issues

What a Leadership Council Does
January 30, 2019 at 11:38 am

A leadership council is a group of individuals outside of your board who fulfill a number of special functions for your agency. Unlike your board members who assume a governance responsibility, the council is a non-governance group...

A Successful Nonprofit Merger Is Like a Good Marriage—A Relationship Built on Compromise and Mutual Respect
December 19, 2018 at 12:28 pm

A successful nonprofit merger looks a lot like a successful marriage. Stick with me for a minute here. In both instances, there is an initial "getting-to-know-you" period. You’re both trying to determine if you’re a good fit. After you both agree there’s mutual chemistry, you move into the dating phase, sharing more information and growing in understanding of each other...

Nonprofits Need to Earn Respect
December 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Years ago, when we were crafting our firm’s mission statement, there was a lot of discussion over one word: respect. Our mission statement says that we “partner with respected nonprofit organizations.” Unfortunately, organizations sometimes stray, and honesty and integrity are compromised...

The New Nonprofit Model: Organizational Sustainability Through Leadership & Mission
December 12, 2018 at 1:12 pm

In the nonprofit world, every organization needs one thing in order to survive: a strong nonprofit leadership team. The sector is becoming more and more competitive by the day—just look at the numbers. We push out this statistic a lot, and that’s because we want to educate the sector on what they’re up against...

The Orr Group: Embedding Effective Nonprofit Leadership
November 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm

The average chief development officer moves on after 12 to 18 months in the role. This nonprofit leadership “churn” can be enormously detrimental to a nonprofit’s ability to raise funds and achieve its mission. Nonprofits need continuity and consistency in order to keep staff motivated, engage stakeholders and represent the organization to their key constituencies...

Timeless Nonprofit Lessons in Leadership From a Timeless Fundraising Leader
October 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Last week I made a quick trip to New York City for the memorial service for fundraising legend Jerry Panas. I am sure that Jerry was smiling down on the gathering at the Century Club. Seeing Felicity, Jerry and others was heartwarming. It was a pleasure meeting new friends and learning nonprofit lessons from a fundraising leader...

Leading With Heart and Humanity: Put the Love Back in Leadership
October 10, 2018 at 9:52 am

On my last day as interim executive director of Slide Ranch, my team threw me a heartfelt going-away party. I was touched and moved by their outpouring of love, and the feeling was very much mutual. I cared deeply about their wellbeing, not only as employees but as individuals...

What to Look for in a Nonprofit Leader Today
October 9, 2018 at 11:04 am

Passion for the mission has always been a critical quality that boards or search committees seek in a new leader, but today's nonprofits cannot afford to run solely on passion alone. As organizations seek new executive directors or CEOs, they look to identify a nonprofit leader who can build a brand...