Posts

How to Run Successful Capital Campaigns: An Interview with Amy Eisenstein

/
Is your organization looking to raise more money…

Why Board Members Love Advice Visits

/

Why do board members love Advice Visits?

Because they find them to be a relief.

If you send your board members out into the community connecting with important people and asking for advice, they'll usually be very happy.

It's because they don't have to do a long, detailed presentation. And they are not comfortable doing that. They don't feel that they know enough.

They ARE comfortable with the idea of seeking advice and input.

After all, they are the community representatives on the board.

It is totally appropriate for your board members to be asking other community leaders for their best thinking on how to achieve the organization’s goals.

They do not have to present a detailed case for support in order to be effective personal advocates for the cause.

A Board's Legal Responsibilities - Do They Know Them?

/
Is your board taking enough responsibility for your organization's…

Fundraisers are on the Front Lines of the Battle

/
The New York Times today ran an opinion article about a new study…

Is Fundraising a Lonely Business?

/
It's a lonely time out there with lots of my fundraising colleagues. Especially with this being just about the toughest fundraising environment any of us have ever seen.Being a staff fundraiser has always been a lonely business.(And consulting can be pretty lonely too!)This is the time we need to rally our colleagues, our board members our CEO and have give them all a dose of old-fashioned optimism.iStock_000005667780XSmallHere you are, bravely working for your cause with passion in your heart, trying to create new friends and donors for your wonderful cause.And you have to deal with recalcitrant board members who just can't find the courage to do what you do everyday. And you may have a CEO who also is unsure about fundraising and who won't "do right" as we say in the south.You may have unsupportive colleagues who are jealous that you get to go to all the events and travel around to see donors. If you're part of a large development operation with lots of other fundraisers, they may be competitive and view you as a potential threat.Mix all this in with a major recession, donor reluctance, and a sinking stock market, and it sure is hard to keep morale up sometimes!

Top Tip to Maintain your Nonprofit Board's Momentum and Motivation

/
A question I am frequently asked is, "Once I get my board fired-up, then how on earth do I keep my board members motivated and enthusiastic? Whenever the board members gather together, we get excited and energized about our work. But my board members frequently get distracted with other priorities. What to do?"The first thing you must do is take responsibility for keeping your board energized. If you are the nonprofit CEO, do everything you can to keep them going. AND if you are the chair of the board, also, do everything YOU can to fan the flames of your board members' energy.The most important thing is to take responsibility and don't expect that someone else will assume this role. Do you know the saying, "If it's to be, it's up to me?" Well, here's the perfect place to implement that idea.If your board is gonna stay excited, motivated and energized, it won't happen without YOU taking the lead.You can't expect your busy board members to keep focused and energized on their own. If you leave it up to them, you just may be disappointed. This is "Volunteer Management 101" - and the number one job of managing volunteers is motivating them.Here is a real life best practice example from a board I am currently serving on. This is from the CEO of Lillian's List, a political action group on whose board I serve. Our CEO, Carol Teal, is just about the best nonprofit CEO I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

Powerful morale-boosting exercise for your board

/
Morale is often an issue with board members who are treated to too many boring meetings. If I had to sit through meaningless meetings, I'd lose my morale too!I have developed a sure fire exercise that wakes everybody up, gets them talking, smiling and enjoying themselves, gives them their own chance to speak, fans the flames of their energy and passion, and reconnects them with the reason they are taking the time out of their busy lives to serve on the board.Tall order? Try this!