Executive Transitions and Succession Planning…Oh, My!

One board member of one of the larger nonprofits said that his organization had had 3 executive transitions in the last 10 years and expected more in the next couple. A foundation board member who was part of the discussion pointed out that when they see this kind of transition in a nonprofit that his foundation doesn’t want to fund that organization. In addition, they directly ask if the nonprofit has a succession plan. And if they don’t? That is a thumbs down for giving them a grant. So, in addition to being bad board oversight and negligent management, not having an executive transition and succession plan may be costing the nonprofit important funding dollars.

Read More

The Importance of Management

Better management contributes to improved fundraising and more dollars being raised, which is my area of expertise. I see many executive directors who are so bogged down in the basic tasks of running their nonprofit organizations that they don’t have time to fundraise. For example, one director was always fixing the computers in his organization. If he had delegated this task to someone else, and provided training for them, it would have freed up his time to visit donors who could give $1,000 or more. Just the first hour he spent in soliciting a gift would have paid for the training for someone else to fix the computers. Another example is the director who trains his volunteers in delivering groceries to low-income families.

Read More

Helping You Reach New Heights

Martin Seligman in his new book Flourish says, “Human beings, ineluctably, want meaning and purpose in life.” The Meaningful Life, according to Seligman, involves “belonging to and serving something that you believe is bigger than yourself.”

In my coaching practice I promise to “help you to reach new heights.” By this I mean, new heights in your career and your personal life. It is my belief that reaching new heights involves achieving what Seligman describes as a “Meaningful Life.” When people understand their purpose in life, they are able to align their values with their efforts at work and at home, which allows them to make contributions that are important, or as Seligman says, to things that are “bigger than yourself.”

Read More

How to Move Forward by Asking the Right Questions

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward towards finding the answer.” ~Dennis Waitley, Motivational Speaker

It is great advice to not dwell on what went wrong. But how, when we have all been schooled and socialized to fix problems, do you do that? How can you focus on what to do next without thinking about what you did wrong the last time?

Read More

Team Work: How We Need Each Other

When working in teams, many of us have the opportunity to lead groups in an effort to bring a task to completion. Within this role of leader there are dangers of misrepresenting ourselves as “bossy” or as a “know-it-all”. Though the role of leader deliberately requires that we have a vision and are able to clearly manage your team in bringing ideas to reality—it also requires that we are relatable and are viewed as one of the team, not above the team.

Read More

What Leaders Should Do When Times Are Tough

What leaders frequently forget in their zeal to be prudent and careful is that “the wisdom of crowds” applies within their own organization. Instead of narrowing the circle they rely on, they should be widening it. James Surowiecki in his book, The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, explains that a diverse collection of independently-deciding individuals is likely to make certain types of decisions and predictions better than individuals or even experts!

Read More

Appreciation and Happiness Begin With “Thank You”

A simple “Thank You” makes you happier, healthier and makes your organization run better, too. Being appreciative and cultivating gratitude is something that you should be working on year-round not just during the holidays. Make a commitment that being appreciative and cultivating gratitude will be an ongoing activity for you and your organization.

Read More