How Many Solicitors Does Your Nonprofit Need? Look at Your Solicitor Pool

If you are considering how many solicitors you need, you probably don’t have enough. You are probably relying on the Executive Director, a development staff member or two, and/or a few key board members. And, maybe that has worked for the past few years. But you are only one resignation away from a … [Read more...]

Dealing With Disruptive Board Member(s)

Two organizations with which we have been working have very similar concerns.  At each nonprofit, there is at least one board member who is disruptive to meetings. And both have leadership that want that to change. The Disruptive Board Member(s) Based on a board member’s personal approach—often … [Read more...]

Lessons Learned While Prepping for a Strategic Planning Board Retreat

I recently offered to help a friend, Jen, plan her nonprofit’s retreat. We met for coffee and she explained that she had decided to start off her term as board president by holding a 3-hour strategic planning board retreat (replacing the second board meeting of the year).  The executive director … [Read more...]

Why Every Board Member Should Write An Annual Appeal Letter

Here is a great (and relatively short) exercise to encourage donor-centric thinking among your board and/or committees. Use this with anyone and everyone you can.  In addition to a new way of thinking, you can improve donor retention and have new ideas about what to write in your donor appeal … [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...]

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...]

Fundraising Begets Fundraising

“Doing begets more doing. It sounds simple, but I’m a firm believer that action can solve so many worries, and just powering through, no matter what, can give you the confidence you need when you feel like you’ve got nothing to offer. It’s in those moments that we must dig deep, ignore the noise, … [Read more...]

Judging a Nonprofit by its Board

This is Part 3 in a mini-series that asks - how do people determine which organizations deserve their donations? While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or as a sign in my local library reminded me – you shouldn’t judge a book by its movie), should you judge a nonprofit by its direct mail?  … [Read more...]

Orienting New Board Members

Bringing a new board member on board requires more than an introduction to their new colleagues. To welcome and acculturate them to the board, take the time to plan the process. First, consider creating both individual and group orientation sessions – particularly if you establish one time of year … [Read more...]

Assessing and Improving Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Skills

If you were to rate your organization’s fundraising skills capabilities on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), how would you rate your institution? Consider this guide as an overview to improve your organization at any level. If you rated your nonprofit’s fundraising skills and … [Read more...]