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You Can’t Excel in a Campaign Without a Committed Nonprofit CEO
April 17, 2019 at 1:01 pm

If you’re looking at a major campaign in the next few years, the time is now to ensure that your nonprofit CEO is 100% committed to its success. If you’re a CEO, it’s time for a gut check and a commitment. If you’re a board chair, or incoming chair, you need to have a serious conversation with the CEO...

Planning a Nonprofit Retreat on a Budget
April 16, 2019 at 10:56 am

It's fair to say employees of nonprofit organizations stretch themselves to the limit more than average, because they believe fiercely in the work they're doing and are striving to make a difference. While the work in a nonprofit organization can be extremely rewarding, everybody deserves to take a break occasionally...

The New Development Director Is Hired—Now What?
April 12, 2019 at 12:29 pm

We all have to start somewhere in our careers. When I started my career as development director at the University of Louisville, I felt unprepared. I had very little guidance from a rookie boss, and I was desperately trying to feel my way...

Doing More With Less Often Gets You Less
April 4, 2019 at 10:41 am

In previous blogs, we have been critical of the way in which nonprofits are often evaluated—their so-called “overhead ratios.” An overhead ratio compares the operating costs of the nonprofit with its income. A low-overhead ratio implies that the organization is minimizing its expenses (e.g. salaries, office rent) and, therefore, has more resources available to dedicate to its mission...

Make Effective Internal Communications a Priority
March 29, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Have you ever given thought to your nonprofit’s internal communications? Every day, you communicate several times to a variety of people within your organization, using various communication methods. Are these communications effective?...

Does Your Organization Have a Nonprofit Succession Planning Program in Place?
March 22, 2019 at 11:33 am

I am continually amazed at the growing number of nonprofits without an nonprofit succession planning program. This scenario applies not only to the CEO position but other key administrative positions. I am also referring to chief development officers. Running an effective nonprofit is difficult enough without having succession planning issues...

Nonprofit Legal Compliance: Why It matters
March 13, 2019 at 9:20 am

As tax season draws to a close, I’m reminded of a discussion I had with a colleague not too long ago about a small charitable organization. What often happens is that people with good intentions decide to create nonprofits, but they do not realize the special obligations that come with entities that do not pay tax...

Exceeding Expectations During Volunteer Training
March 7, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Volunteer training is a key part of delivering value to supporters from the very first interaction. Is your training program exceeding the expectations of volunteers or pushing them away?...

Your Leadership Council's Fuel: Legitimacy
March 5, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Legitimacy is based upon respect through association. It’s similar to the way a prospective employer checks an applicant’s job references. A leadership council is a group of people who effectively say through their association, “We’ve checked this group’s references, and they’re solid.”...

3 Big Ideas for Productive and Inspiring Nonprofit Board Orientations
March 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Daniel, a client with whom we had worked on governance projects and the executive director of a nonprofit organization, reached out to us with a request: several board members, Deanna and Kyle, complained that they felt “confused” about their participation on the organization’s board of directors...

Is Your Nonprofit a 4-Star Operation?
March 1, 2019 at 12:43 pm

Having worked and consulted with multiple nonprofit organizations through the years, I have studied each nonprofit to see if they have four-star success in a variety of areas. In a perfect scenario, each major element of the nonprofit would be constantly analyzed to see if they incorporate four-star material...

How to Mitigate the Nonprofit Turnover Rate Problem
February 28, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Is your nonprofit having a hard time finding the adequate resources to carry out its mission? The truth of the matter is that a lot of nonprofits struggle with finding enough resources to support all of their incredible, life-changing missions. But what do “resources” refer to, anyway?...

The Trinity of Nonprofit CEO Success: Talent, Donors and Finances
February 28, 2019 at 12:04 pm

In my daily interactions with nonprofit CEOs, I am struck by how quickly the expectations for the role are evolving. During my time as a nonprofit CEO, nearly 10 years ago, I was acutely aware that my duties had progressed beyond those carried out by my predecessors and involved much more complex leadership and management...

Drive Your Donors With a Resonating Brand Story
February 27, 2019 at 11:51 am

Donors are looking for more than a good mission statement. In a world where the younger generations are dominating the charitable giving scene, nonprofits have no choice but to adapt to this new landscape. And this landscape is predominantly focused on one thing: social impact...

Finding a Needle in a Haystack in a Tight Nonprofit Job Market
February 22, 2019 at 12:55 pm

I have been involved in many nonprofit job searches through the years. At times, I have had many quality candidates for a position. At other times, I couldn’t find a quality candidate for a position. Some searches were relatively fast and others painfully slow...

Nonprofit Messaging Matters—Here’s How You Can Do It On a Budget
February 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm

In the nonprofit world, there are over 1.5 million charitable organizations, many of them fighting for the same donors, the same dollars. That’s why having the right nonprofit messaging for your organization should sit at the top of your priority list...

Does Your Nonprofit Tell a Story That Engages and Causes Action?
February 20, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Well, in a world where information is at the tips of everyone’s fingers, there is a lot of noise and clutter to cut through. The human brain is equipped to do two things: survive and conserve calories. And the truth of that matter is that the human brain filters out information...

Establishing Your Leadership Council
February 20, 2019 at 12:39 pm

The first step in recruiting leadership council members is to clearly define what it is you are expecting of them, both in terms of time commitment and ultimate goals. Remember that anyone you approach is going to be, in all likelihood, a busy person, and people have their own time obligations...