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...]

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...]

Solicitor Slowdown? 10 Tips to Motivate Volunteers to Continue Soliciting During a Capital Campaign

As a nonprofit consultant, I have found that even the most devoted board and development committee members have periods of time where they slow down and/or stop making calls and setting up appointments. How do you reset their enthusiasm and motivate volunteers to start solicitations again? … [Read more...]

Assertiveness in the Nonprofit Setting

My family recently got a puppy. Training her, as we have been told, is actually an exercise in training the people in the family. Interestingly, one of my daughters has no assertiveness when she is around the dog (that is not true of her in other situations). She says “come” in a soft sweet tone … [Read more...]

Creating a Meaningful Volunteer Experience – From HS to Retirement

Last week there was an article in the New York Times (an Op-Ed by Frank Bruni) titled, “To Get to Harvard, Go to Haiti?”  Through a conversation with a 17 year-old, followed up by interviews with admission officers, Bruni questions the impact of these week-long ‘mission trips’ to Central America and … [Read more...]

How to Ask Someone to Donate $1,000,000

Recently, I have become aware of a theory called rejection therapy. The idea is that to overcome the fear of rejection you ask for seemingly preposterous things and eventually, you will be immune to the rejection and focused on how to turn the “no” into a “yes.” But can you use this theory if the … [Read more...]

Why He Joined This Board (AKA The Importance of Time, Talent, and Treasure)

I was in a meeting recently promoting 100% board participation in the annual fund when a board member stated, in no uncertain terms, that the board benefits from his expertise, he doesn’t also have to give financially. He doesn't believe you have to give time, talent, and treasure. I can think of … [Read more...]

Board Leadership – A Burden or a Blessing?

by Rachel M. Woda During a recent conversation with a friend Sam, he mentioned that he had been asked to join a non-profit board. I began to congratulate him when he started to say “They promised me it would only be a few meetings a year and wouldn’t take too much of my time, so that’s good.” I … [Read more...]

Who Is A Better Nonprofit Leader? The Strategic Thinker Or Worker Bee?

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. But at times I think leadership - especially fundraising volunteer leadership comes in two stereotypes so I will pose the question, who is a better nonprofit leader?  The Strategic Thinker or the Worker Bee? The Worker Bee is always in attendance at … [Read more...]