Nonprofit Boards Are Guardians of Precious Community Assets

As told by a nonprofit CEO somewhere in the US I had a great conversation with the CEO of a nonprofit about managing through crises – as we all have been doing this past year. He talked about trust and honest communication. He listens to his board and communicates frequently and openly. He understands that boards ask hard questions because they are stewards of a precious community asset. But that also means they have to understand the clients they serve. Trust Is Key to Managing Through Crises A little background. Our organization is over 70 years old with about 225… Read more

Protests and COVID Will Change Nonprofits Forever

In this story, I talk to a long-time corporate executive who joined several boards after retiring. He reflects on how last year’s protests have advanced his journey around understanding bias and the need of board members to champion social justice and systems change — because the system treats people differently. He also discusses how he thinks COVID will change nonprofit boards in the future. Every Board Needs to Stand up for Social Justice Told by a board member somewhere in the US. I was in the corporate world for a long time and served on many corporate boards. When I… Read more

Racial Equity and Antiracism Live in Our Missional Work

For this post, I spoke to a CEO who started just before we all went into COVID lockdown. Being new, her board asked for regular reports on her activities which became even more important once COVID hit. She realized that board members cannot truly appreciate the importance of equity and antiracism if they don’t understand the day-to-day work of the organization. She also observed that holding meetings online became an equalizer for a diverse board. CEO Reports Leads Board to Better Understanding of Equity As told by a CEO somewhere in the US I was Chief Program Officer before I… Read more

Reimagining Governance – Interview with Co-Leads

We all know that the standard, one-size-fits-all model of governance does not work for every organization. In fact, it probably does not work for most organizations. In my reading, I came upon the Reimagining Governance Initiative of the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) in Toronto. I reached out to the co-leads, Linda Mollenhauer from Ignite NPS and Erin Kang from ONN to hear more. Here is what I learned: How did Reimagining Governance get started? Linda: About three and a half years ago, a few governance consultants were talking about our frustrations with the way governance was working and it occurred… Read more

Boards Must Democratize Decision Making

We have been in lockdown nearly a year. I reached out to a board chair who serves on several boards and asked him to reflect on the impact of this turbulent year. The lessons he learned were about the need for communication, transparency, and democratizing decision making. We Need to Shine a Light on Board Work Told by a Board Chair Somewhere in the US I serve on several boards. All are focused on children and youth. They are unique organizations and the last year has played out differently for each. COVID Forced Re-prioritization of New CEO Hire For one… Read more