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Don’t Be Caught With a ‘Bored’ Board
February 14, 2019 at 11:33 am

Once upon a time there was a nonprofit board that had members who were bored. Members would come to meetings and listen to reports—long, boring reports—about conversations officers, committees and staff had since the previous board meeting. And members would listen and sometimes they even voted...

4 Situations Best Served by a Leadership Council
February 11, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Just as there are different types of leadership councils, there are key moments in your growth when a leadership council can help your nonprofit. Consider these four big moments...

Defining and Naming Your Leadership Council
February 6, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Finding a powerful name and defining the purpose should be top on your list of tasks as you start and develop your leadership council. Here’s three reasons why: you want the members and the public to take notice; you want to convey energy and vision; and you want to differentiate it from the board of directors...

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...

U.S. Government Shutdown: 33 Days and Counting…
January 23, 2019 at 11:45 am

Concerns over safety, health and economic uncertainty weigh heavily on all of America as we continue to live through the longest government shutdown in history. In addition to those fears, as a fundraiser, I can’t help but worry about how this will affect nonprofit giving in both the short and long term...

How to Ensure a Successful New Fundraising Year
January 22, 2019 at 11:51 am

Now that it is January, you may think that it is time to relax a bit after that hectic holiday season. However, now is the time to ensure that you have strong follow-up to your calendar year-end appeal. If you have closed out one fundraising year completely by doing the needed follow-up, you have established a strong base and set your organization up well for success in the upcoming calendar year's fundraising efforts...

Happy Volunteers Boost Major Gifts
January 21, 2019 at 11:45 am

You need to re-orient your thinking and your practice, as it relates to volunteers, so you create a happy place for them. And what makes for a happy volunteer? Some colleagues we have worked with are taking important steps in two areas to make that very thing happen...

How Can Fed-Funded Nonprofits Survive the Government Shutdown?
January 14, 2019 at 11:12 am

Why would the government shutdown cause a scramble for funds? Because social service nonprofit organizations that serve clients in categories such as domestic violence, mental health and persons with disabilities are the types of agencies most likely to have the federal government as their main source of funding...

In 2019—Join and Lead a Nonprofit Board
January 11, 2019 at 10:56 am

I have worked with many nonprofit boards in my career. In my role as an executive or consultant, I have witnessed many examples of dying boards. In some cases, nonprofit board members were tired of serving. In other cases, leadership on the board had simply dried up without replacement steps...

Hiring Criteria: 8 Considerations When Choosing a Nonprofit to Work For
January 7, 2019 at 12:12 pm

You can get the right person in the wrong organization, and it will be a disaster for the person. Or the wrong person can get into the right organization, and that would be a problem for the organization. The hiring criteria series addresses this latter point—getting the right person for the organization...

Freedom of Speech: How It Affects Charitable Giving
January 3, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Recently, the U.S. elevated its latest Supreme Court justice to the highest court in the land. While there has been a lot of debate about the rightward tilt of the Supreme Court and what that will mean for many aspects of our society, there is also a lot at stake for nonprofits and charitable giving...

Nonprofit Board and Executive Partnership: Purely An Aspiration
January 2, 2019 at 11:42 am

What’s this “partnership” thing I keep hearing about when describing the nature of the relationship between the board and executive? I understand that a true partnership between the board and executive can increase the board’s engagement and lead to better nonprofit results, but does this really occur?...

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...

Corporate Matching-Gift Programs Make a Difference in Your Fundraising
December 10, 2018 at 12:14 pm

If I were to ask every single nonprofit out there whether or not their organization participates in corporate matching-gift programs, I bet the odds would be very slim. The fact is that corporate partnerships present nonprofits with an exceptional way to increase their fundraising...

Building a Successful Board of Advisors for Your Nonprofit
December 5, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Gathering a great board of advisors is one of the most important and crucial steps to help make your nonprofit successful. Your board is foundational for your organization’s support and development. They are the men and women who can help you focus on your mission by helping provide support, advice and resources...

Make Your Nonprofit Financially Sustainable
December 5, 2018 at 11:51 am

You know that delivering on your organization’s mission over time requires financial resources. The alternative is not pretty—no money, no mission, as it is said. As a board member, one of the most important components of your governance role is to ensure that the finances of the nonprofit you help oversee are sustainable...