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

It Changes Everything

When Board Members Use Their Voices Today’s post is the second of a series on the importance of having board members advocate, that is, speak about how public policy and funding impacts the missions and clients of the organizations they support. In the first post, I interviewed Sonya Campion who helped found the Stand for Your Mission campaign. For this post, I interviewed eight people who have done a lot of advocacy work as board members. These individuals have different day jobs and live all over the US. Most have advocated at all three levels of government: local, state, and… Read more

Stand for Your Mission

Black Lives Matter. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery have opened the door for real change. None of us can individually break down the structural and institutional barriers in our country. But we all can and must use the power and influence we do have to create change. As a board member, you can remove barriers in your organization and in your sector. One way to do this is to use your voice to influence public policy and funding. Recent events amplify the need for all of us to speak up now and… Read more

COVID Advice: Act Quickly and Plan for a Marathon

I have been thinking about the last crisis in 2008, how it impacted nonprofit organizations, and what lessons could be learned. I reached out to several people who I thought would provide good perspective, people who have served on many boards and as funders. In this post, they offer their insights from the last crisis as well as thoughts about this one. I interviewed in alphabetical order: (See bios below.) Robbie Bach, former President of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft and currently a speaker, author, consultant, and nonprofit board member. Michael Brown, Chief Architect of Civic Commons at… Read more