After the Strategic Plan

We have written many articles about strategic planning to help boards. They cover the pre-planning phase and the creation of the plan. This article will help you lay a foundation for the successful execution of the plan.

Implementation begins immediately after the plan is written. This is when the operational changes begin. When most boards […]


Do Less

Board members are talented, experienced, and knowledgeable leaders. They know how to be effective. They achieve success by taking on one issue and focusing on it until it is resolved.

Many nonprofit boards try to do too much. Their agendas are cluttered with marketing decisions, programing needs, financial decisions, fundraising challenges plus the usual […]


Be More Selective

Most nonprofit boards abhor having a vacant seat on the board. As a result, they are willing to keep the standards of board membership reasonably low. Clients, donors, employees, and missions benefit from being more selective.

Board members should be focused on the nonprofit’s future and believe that a long-term plan for the future is […]


The Ideal Executive

Here are the qualifications for great executives and board members:

Education – A good education is valuable. However, education is a shortcut. Your executive must be someone who has grown in knowledge constantly since entering the workforce.

Humble – The ability to admit one is wrong is the key to learning. Someone who has never […]


Better Time Management

When board meetings consistently last longer than planned, it indicates that there is more work for the board than it has time for. One way to help the board is to expand it without adding members. The other is to develop more leaders.

Recruit non-board volunteers to serve on board committees. Since the additional volunteers […]


Board Meetings: Who Should Attend?

The three key parts to a nonprofit are client services, fundraising, and finance. A staff representative for each of those areas should attend every board meeting along with the executive. This is true even in a small nonprofit where those areas are led by a non-executive or may only be a one-person department. While Mission […]


Is Your Board Alert?

The board members in highly sustainable nonprofits are constantly monitoring the world around them for threats (real and imagined). When a member notices a threat, the other board members are alerted. The threat is evaluated and an appropriate response is developed.

Reactions are seldom as effective as responses. Many nonprofit boards wait until they see […]


Embrace and Encourage Failure

Trying something new is the only way to have better products, better services, more donor engagement, more effectiveness, or any positive change in an organization. Without something new, a nonprofit is destined to be mediocre.

Success in every form and long-term sustainability depend on a commitment to constant improvement. Every nonprofit has the potential […]


Why that Candidate?

When one board candidate was asked why he should be on a certain nonprofit’s board, his response was, “Why not?” Nonprofit board membership should never be an entitlement. It should be something that both sides take seriously and carefully consider.

Sometimes when we ask a nonprofit executive or board member why a specific person […]


Setting the Tone

The board is the ultimate leader of your nonprofit. As the leader, your board is responsible for setting the tone for your nonprofit. That means in part establishing the culture. Part of every nonprofit’s culture is its willingness to embrace risk. During uncertain times most organizations lower their risk tolerance.

Our nation’s recovery from […]