Let's start a conversation: How can boards be most effective? What lessons — good and bad — have you learned from your experiences?

Blog

The Journey to a More Diverse Board

I shared this story about creating a more diverse board about 18 months ago. Before COVID, which disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. Before the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, which sparked protests and drew the world’s attention to longstanding systemic health and social inequities in our society. Most nonprofit organizations have understood these inequities. Many have centered racial justice in their missions for a long time. But now all understand the urgency to remove barriers. They also understand that making change starts at the top. Recently, several people have asked me about how to… Read more

Board Member Shares Lessons About Advocacy

In this post, an individual who both works in a nonprofit and has served on many boards shares their thoughts on the importance of advocacy, the role of board members in advocacy, and ways to make board members most effective. This post is the sixth in a series about advocacy. In my last post, I shared an inspiring story about an organization that saw advocacy as part of the solution for its population. In the previous post, I interviewed elected officials to find out what they saw as effective. In an earlier post, Judy Reckelhoff, Chief of Staff for BoardSource,… Read more

Now Is the Time to Take Brave Stands

Today’s post is an inspiring story about an organization that came to see advocacy as part of the solution for its population. The staff person who shared the story outlines how the organization and the board evolved to embrace advocacy and describes a brave moment when they realized they had to put their population before personal issues. This staffer makes an impassioned call in these unprecedented times to bring advocacy up a notch and to take risks to support your population – even if you might fail. This post is the fifth in a series about advocacy. In my last… Read more

10 Ways to Be an Effective Advocate

This post is the fourth in a series about board members advocating on behalf of the organizations they support and the people those organizations serve. I reached out to three elected officials and asked them what works best for them. Everyone I spoke to is from the Seattle area (where I live), but none are my own elected officials. Instead I have served on nonprofit boards with each of them. In my last post, Judy Reckelhoff, Chief of Staff for BoardSource, describes why BoardSource has elevated advocacy. In the previous post, I shared an Advocacy Check List compiled from interviews… Read more

Nonprofits Must Advocate

Advocacy Is Essential to Fulfill Your Mission and Serve Your Communities Today’s post is the third in a series about board members and nonprofits advocating for their missions and the people they serve. Board members must understand how public policy impacts their organizations, the importance of educating policy makers, and the need to include resources for advocacy in an organization’s budget. In this post, I interview Judy Reckelhoff, Chief of Staff for BoardSource. She describes why BoardSource has elevated advocacy and points to resources they provide to help nonprofits and board members. In my last post, I shared an Advocacy… Read more