A Year of Pandemic, Protest, and Propaganda — What Now?

We made it to 2021 — happy to get beyond 2020 – the year of pandemic, protests, and propaganda. There is a light at the end of the tunnel as COVID vaccines are approved and distributed. We will have a new president who believes in science and real facts. Our journeys toward racial equity are accelerating. What now? Seize the opportunity. Now is the time to make changes – some long overdue, some bold. Center Equity The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others plus the subsequent protests have – hopefully – catalyzed our country to… Read more

Changing Course for More Impact

How a Supportive Relationship Between Board Chair and ED Led to Successful Change By a Dedicated Board Member, Somewhere in USA I was board chair when the organization made a big shift in its work to drive more community impact. To me, the most interesting thing that came out of that experience is the reflection that leadership and management are very different skills. When an organization decides to go through significant change, it is often a charismatic, high-energy leader who initiates it, gets people inspired, and drives it forward. But often a really inspirational leader still may not have the… 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

Involve Your Board, Don’t Push Them Away!

In this unprecedented time, how is your organization treating its board members? What can and should board members be doing to support your organization now? I have spoken to a handful of board members in the last couple weeks. These have been casual conversations as we all check in on each other. I have heard two very different scenarios. Increase Reliance on Your Board in a Time of Crisis In one group, board members feel their organization’s staff and leadership have reached out to the board and all are working together on short- and long-term planning. Staff at some front-line… Read more

Creating Strategic Board Agendas

I have a couple complaints about board meetings. One is that they can be incredibly boring and unproductive. I wrote about this in my last post and will address the issue in this post with ideas on how to create and structure an effective board meeting agenda. I start with the assumption that the reason to get everyone in the room (or online) at the same time is to interact. If you spend your entire meeting on committee reports, you could just send them by email. I can read them at home or the office and use the time to… Read more