This time of year I reflect on my mother—not just how much I loved her and miss her now, but how I am like her and how she influenced me as a role model. This is a big topic of course!
But I’ve realized that she was a key reason I’m working in the nonprofit sector. I was blessed with a mom who was passionate about social service. Her gentle giving soul was obvious to everyone but, she was savvy and smart too—not to be dismissed as “just a softy” as many women were in her day.
Mom was gone as I was just starting out on my nonprofit journey. But she is with me and has been all along the way.
How about you?
I’ve been thinking about capacity and how it relates to board, especially when you are dealing with setting up board work groups, committees etc. The question of what committees a board should have comes up a lot. I have some ideas about that question and more.
Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks. Yo-Yo Ma
Creativity can be elusive. It’s not something that you can summon at will. When it happens, it strikes like lightning. You get an inspiration or the right word or phrase or idea just pops into your head.
Could your board be better? Probably so! The first step in improving your board is raising awareness about how the board is doing now and then compare that to what truly effective boards do. This can be accomplished by doing a good board assessment. But there are 3 mistakes you want to avoid.
We’ve all heard the expression “dog days of summer.” I associate the phrase with slowing down, summer heat, etc. And it’s no wonder! Studies show that work productivity in the summer drops by as much as 20%. That’s a lot.
I’ve been impressed with the creative ways nonprofit executives have made use of advisory groups. The benefits of forming an advisory group for your nonprofit are many. If not done thoughtfully, however, forming an advisory group can be a mistake. Here are 8 steps to effectively form an advisory group for your nonprofit.
In my work as a nonprofit consultant (and a former Executive Director), I’ve seen first-hand how challenging it can be to recruit new board members—especially the right ones you really hope to have engage with your nonprofit. An important first step is to empower board members and executives to overcome the barriers to recruiting that make it so hard.
But, do we know what those barriers are?
The job of orienting board members usually falls to the executive director. But your time as an executive is already stretched to the max! So, while creating an effective board orientation is probably not your biggest priority, dealing with the consequences of not having one will cost you valuable time and resources. Here are five tips to make your board orientation more effective.
Experienced board members and a few new ones attended a workshop on being effective in their roles. After refreshing their knowledge about why governing matters to their nonprofit and how boards have potential for significant positive impact, I asked: “Are your skills, talents, gifts, connections etc. that are relevant to your board service being fully utilized 100%?” Here’s what I learned . . .
“We have a working board,” a board member tells me. This is intended to let me know that, somehow, this board is different from other boards and they are all volunteers doing a lot of work. Let’s revisit that: “This board is different from other boards, we are all volunteers, and we are doing a lot of work.” How is this different from your board? I bet it isn’t. That’s why it is the Working Board Myth.