Leadership – The Risk And The Reward

Every day, there are opportunities to “lead.”  It could be in the work place, at home, or while volunteering in the community.  The chance to make a difference, chart new territory and galvanize a team beckons us to the front of the line.  However, for all the excitement and promise, passion and … [Read more...]

Development vs. Fundraising – What Are You Practicing?

Are you in development or fundraising? Do you know the difference? Well, it’s the difference between being the president of a Parent-Teachers Council and the president of the board of a nonprofit. PTCs, in general, are good fundraisers. In the current state of schools – they have to be good in order … [Read more...]

Hiring a Volunteer

The concept of “hiring” a volunteer has become increasingly relevant. A wide variety of organizations have “employed” volunteers for years in obvious ways – working at a hospital gift shop or helping with lunch duty at a school (I do this once a month). But pushing the concept a bit further, … [Read more...]

A Perfect Example

For anyone in the Boston area who is even mildly interested in philanthropy, you know that the Museum of Fine Arts’ recently concluded capital campaign exceeded any fundraising efforts by a cultural institution by three times the highest previous amount. It was a huge victory for the community in so … [Read more...]

Q. How can I get lay leaders to participate in training for both governance and solicitation?

A. Have you ever heard the saying, “You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink?” Unfortunately, I am only half kidding. Getting lay leaders to participate is a matter of changing the culture of the organization. And without letting the lay leaders off of the hook – there must be … [Read more...]

In My Opinion… There Are Too Many Nonprofits

For some time, I have had the notion that there are, simply put, too many nonprofits. This may seem like a strange statement to be made from a consultant whose income is derived from nonprofits searching for funding and new executive leadership, but I will stand by my guns and repeat – there are too … [Read more...]

What’s the role of the professional staff in pushing the volunteer leaders to be more proactive in their roles?

A. Someone has to be the motivator. Volunteers may have a wealth of good intentions, but life gets in the way. Almost all volunteers will need a gentle nudge to complete a project from time to time. Some may be better at self-motivation, and others need a phone call or email. But, who should make … [Read more...]

Procrastination – Or How To Avoid It

As a committed volunteer, a responsible employee and a family organizer, I am slightly embarrassed to admit this – but I often need deadlines to help me achieve my goals – especially my volunteer jobs. And, I am not alone. Life is busy for everyone. Single or Married. With children or childless. … [Read more...]

Shut Up And Move Out Of The Way

In any group dynamic, disagreement will occur. In fact, it happened just yesterday when my daughters were figuring out where we should go for ice cream. Of course, the results were the same for my children – full tummies and messy faces -- but what happens when the consequences are dramatically … [Read more...]

Q. As an organization matures, how do you help facilitate a transition in leadership from its founding members to a group that does not know who those founding members were?

A. Never discount the value of the knowledge that founding members store in their memory banks. Or the ways in which that knowledge can hold an organization back. If, you are asking how to transition from founding members to non-founding members, the answer is over time. It is worth keeping a few … [Read more...]