#Board

3 P's for Strategic Planning Success, Giving USA and MORE!

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A strategic plan serves as a roadmap to enable an organization to set priorities and measure progress. It informs the direction of the organization, generates heightened engagement and ownership of the mission, and inspires staff, Board, volunteers, and the community to envision bold possibilities. While the final plan document may take a variety of forms, I have found that there are three keys at the outset to chart an effective strategic planning course:

  • Purpose:

Starting with the "why" enables an organization to understand the context and environment in which the planning will occur. Has a previous plan term expired? Is the organization preparing for an expansion? Is there an internal or external challenge confronting the organization?  

  • People:

Any planning process is only as effective as the leaders who will embrace and own it. Who will you include in the planning? Who will "own" the planning effort? How will you capture the critical perspectives of internal and external stakeholders? Who will facilitate the process?

  • Process:

In order to respond quickly to new opportunities and flexibly adapt to changing circumstances, many leaders (myself included) now favor shorter strategic framework processes over formal long-term strategic plans. In consultation with their facilitator, nonprofit leaders should evaluate the planning processes that have worked well with their team in the past and the type of process needed to confront the challenges of today.      

Against a backdrop of countless challenges for nonprofit leaders and Board members, strategic planning can sometimes seem like a daunting undertaking. However, if you begin with the 3 P's of Purpose, People, and Process, you can set your organization on a path towards a successful outcome. If you or your team are ready to think about strategy, let's connect!

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this month's e-newsletter from Nielsen Training & Consulting.


Talking Board Governance!

Developing a highly effective nonprofit Board is hard work, but can also be engaging, interactive, and rewarding. Honored to present "From Vision to Reality: Leading Practices in Board Governance" and facilitate discussion groups at last week's American Bar Association #conference. #AccessToJustice #ejc19

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April 2019 NTC News: Reflections From a Board Chair, Upcoming Workshop, and MORE!

What Makes an Exceptional Board Chair?

Leading a highly effective nonprofit requires cultivating and balancing many important relationships.  Perhaps the most vital relationship in any organization is the partnership between the Board Chair and CEO.  Like any relationship, developing the chemistry to make this partnership thrive takes hard work by both parties.  While ample resources exist that address the "mechanics" of the Board Chair role -- setting an agenda, running a meeting, calling for a vote -- frequently we overlook some of the more subtle skills that define a truly exceptional Board Chair.  Likewise, many Board leaders who strive to be exceptional may feel as though they are navigating a confusing maze without a map or GPS.  That is why I thoroughly enjoyed a recent article entitled "Lessons Learned as Board Chair"  written by Rick Moyers, immediate past Board Chair at BoardSource.  I hope you too will enjoy this article and perhaps even share it with members of your Board.  I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes an exceptional Board Chair.  Click below to email me your thoughts, insights, or ways we can keep the conversation going to empower truly exceptional Board Chairs.  

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this month’s newsletter!

On Leadership Transitions....

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In 2008, a national study, “Ready to Lead?”, produced by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Meyer Foundation, and Idealist.org, found that three out of four #nonprofit executive directors planned to leave their positions within three years.

Does your #nonprofit have a #successionplan in place that the Board is comfortable with? Are you in the midst of a #leadership transition? If you would like to further discuss your organization's transition planning, let's connect!

Engaging Board Members at a Retreat

A #Board retreat is an opportunity to reconnect to the mission and vision, evaluate progress, and set priorities for Board engagement.

Spent an outstanding day yesterday facilitating the retreat for the talented Board #leaders of University Club Louisville.

If your Board would benefit from an engaging and interactive retreat, please reach out!

#nonprofit #impact #Retreat #VisionToReality

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The Impact of a Volunteer

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Last night, I had the privilege of attending the WLKY Bell Awards, which recognize individuals who have made a tremendous impact on the community through a spirit of selfless service. Throughout the evening, I heard stories of individuals who profoundly and positively affected the lives of others through their #volunteer service.

Learning about these remarkable individuals reminded me that the brilliance of the #nonprofit sector derives in large part from the talent and passion of those who give of themselves to address the most challenging and entrenched issues our communities face. A recent study showed that volunteers contributed over 8 billion hours of service annually, equivalent to over 5 million full-time jobs and $179 billion.

We all think of volunteers serving food at our community's soup kitchens, or staffing a booth at a community resource fair. However, it is easy to forget the countless other ways volunteers impact our #nonprofits. Most #Board members are volunteers for example, giving of their time and talent to elevate the #governance and #sustainability of organizations. Likewise, for many smaller nonprofits, their Executive Director or program providers may be volunteers.

While #nonprofits benefit greatly from these dedicated individuals, managing volunteers is often the most challenging aspect of nonprofit leadership. Maintaining the passion and engagement of volunteers -- whether Board members or program workers -- is vitally important to the success of nonprofit organizations. As a consultant and trainer, it is so rewarding to help a Board grasp the impact they can make through their service and embrace their pivotal role in the success of an organization.

I congratulate those who received Bell Awards last night, along with all those who were nominated. I also extend a heartfelt thanks to the thousands of volunteers across the country who elevate the places we call home.