Effective boards matter! But merely declaring it so doesn’t help you achieve the board functioning level you know your nonprofit needs and deserves. Until relatively recently, we haven’t had research to help nonprofit executives and board members know how to go about improving the board—how to catalyze it to “get better.” I did some research and identified three critical success factors for effective board development.
Tips from my guest blogger, Joanne Oppelt MHA: The questions I hear most often from the nonprofit professionals I encounter are, “How do I increase community support for my cause?” and, “Where do I find people to support my agency?” The answers, strangely enough, are not based on fundraising theory. Rather, they are based on marketing theory and adapted for fundraising.
Your integrity is everything when it comes to fundraising for your nonprofit. Your nonprofit lives and dies by its reputation. What happens if your agency is viewed negatively in any way, for whatever reason? How do you influence and reverse negative community perceptions?
What is your nonprofit’s reputation? Is it intact? What about your leadership? What is your reputation as executive director? What about the fundraising and grant liaison? What do others really think about you and your nonprofit? And what in the world does reputation have to do with grant funding? Your nonprofit’s, leadership’s, and your reputation have a lot to do with the nuances of what goes in in the funding deliberations room. The competition for resources is fierce.
If you are financially reeling from the negative effects of COVID-19, you may be feeling overwhelmed. And desperate. Especially if you have had to lay off staff. I know it wasn’t easy for me.
Every nonprofit I know has experienced some kind of negative financial impact because of the pandemic. How do you rebuild your nonprofit’s finances after such a prolonged, hard hit?
Have you ever thought about how joining forces with another nonprofit could advance your mission and expand services faster? I’ve seen the benefits when the exploration of an alliance or merger is done well, and what happens when it isn’t.
To be effective, learning is best in small doses extended over time. It’s just how the human brain works. Yet education and training are too easily compartmentalized – like something you do on your “off” time. Worse yet, too many nonprofits consider training a treat, like candy, something extra. “If you’re good” you’ll be rewarded with an all-expense paid “training” (pseudo-vacation) to an exotic destination.
A nonprofit with a culture of continual learning provides a more effective environment for your team and your constituents. Here’s how to get started.
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?