Does Your Organization Have an Emergency Leadership Transition Management Plan?

Emergency leadership transition management has been on my mind ever since the tragic, untimely death last month of Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., z”l, may his memory be for a blessing, the 12th  president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  As soon as shiva—the seven days of … [Read more...]

Taking a Leadership Position? Start with the Right Habits

Quick question: If you are starting a new job and you want to start going to the gym again do you: Wait until you settle in, then figure out how gym time can fit into your schedule Start hitting the gym the first week of your new job, making both a bit harder (but, you are doing both) … [Read more...]

Would a Staff Member’s Sabbatical Revitalize Your Nonprofit?

I just read an interesting piece in the New York Times, “When Being Unproductive Saves a Career.” It focused on how a sabbatical could revitalize your nonprofit, among the highlights were the twenty years of data to prove: Sabbaticals help retain staff ("One recent study found that 34 percent … [Read more...]

Strengthening Your Board, Staff and Clergy

This past week I presented at the NATA conference with David A. Mersky and Rachel M. Woda. We knew there were interesting competing sessions, so we were pleasantly surprised with the strong turnout.  I’d like to think this was based on the presenters and the firm’s reputation but I’m sure a lot of … [Read more...]

The Role of the Executive Director in Nonprofit Governance

Managing relationships among lay leadership and staff. Navigating the relationships between senior staff and lay leadership is critical to mission driven work and seamless operations.  We believe this so strongly that we even wrote a book about it.  You can get your own copy—either electronic or … [Read more...]

A Passion for What You Do – Nonprofit Edition

Last week I went to a conference where I saw phenomenal speakers. The list included Michelle Obama, Billie Jean King, Selina Tobaccowala, Brit Marling, Issa Rae, Mario Batali and Andy Cohen. The topics ranged from the experience of being the former FLOTUS (or former first spouse as she likes to be … [Read more...]

A Lesson for Nonprofit Boards and Executive Directors from Uber

The fact that Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, has resigned is a major headline this week.  The CEO, has been under fire for what the New York Times reported. “The company has been exposed this year as having a workplace culture that included sexual harassment and discrimination, and it has pushed the … [Read more...]

Knowing How to Listen Will Improve Fundraising and Your Family Dinners

No doubt, people have had trouble listening for thousands of years.  Sure, while modern technology makes it easy to multi-task (and thereby decrease focus on the primary task at hand), I have a feeling the cave people were as easily distracted by a future hunt as you are by your wondering what you … [Read more...]

Staff vs. Volunteer Responsibilities in Fundraising

Volunteers, while extremely valuable, can only achieve their goals with support from staff. Development requires consistency, organized documentation and a central information clearinghouse to maintain the relationships required of a successful program. Fundraising roles for staff … [Read more...]

How Do You /Should You Ask Staff to Donate?

Pick up any donor list and it might include a Head of School, an Executive Director or the Rabbi, often at a significant level. However, very few other staff members donate each year. Is it fair to ask administrative staff to give to support the organization that pays them “nonprofit rates” (Read: … [Read more...]