Board Excellence and Fundraising Effectiveness Workshops

Did you know that when fundraising expectations are clearly articulated during recruitment, 52% of CEOs report their boards are actively engaged in the organization’s fundraising efforts?

Enjoyed discussing this and more while leading 2 workshops in Miami this week:

  • From “Survivor to “Amazing Race:” Board Champions

  • Engaged Board, Effective Fundraising.


Talking Strategic Planning...

A strategic plan serves as a roadmap to enable an organization to set priorities and measure progress. It informs the direction, generates heightened engagement and ownership of the mission, and inspires staff, board, volunteers, and the community to envision bold possibilities. Thrilled to be a guest of Virtual Executive Director on her podcast to discuss the importance of people, purpose, and process in strategic planning. Give it a listen!

Cabbage Patch Staff Retreat

Honored to facilitate the staff retreat for the amazing Cabbage Patch team today!

For over 109 years, The Cabbage Patch Settlement House has been profoundly changing the lives of children, youth, and families. The Cabbage Patch team equips and empowers youth and families to be self-sufficient by helping them maximize their economic, educational, emotional, moral, physical, social and spiritual potential.

I am inspired by the passion they have for their mission and the love they have for one another as teammates!

The Value of Traditions

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As summer turns to fall and leaves change, we have ushered in one of my favorite seasons of the year — college football season. In addition to the game itself, many are drawn to college football because of the traditions and pageantry that accompany rooting for your favorite school.

This past weekend, my family made our annual football weekend trip to Notre Dame. This is an extremely meaningful tradition for us, and one we look forward to every year. As we walked around campus, I was reminded of the value of traditions. From listening to the band play the fight song, to eating at a favorite dining hall, to donning your team colors, traditions bind us together. Likewise, traditions also hold special meaning for organizations and team members:

  • Traditions build a sense of belonging.

People possess an innate desire to be part of something larger than themselves. It compels each of us to serve in our own way, from Board members to staff members, volunteers to donors. Traditions cultivate that sense of belonging and higher purpose.

  • Traditions build bridges linking the past, present, and future.

Through the stories, rituals, and habits passed down over time, people gain a unique appreciation of an organization’s history, evolution, and vision as well as a connection to those who have come before, serve now, and will serve in the future.

  • Traditions both reflect and reinforce values and culture.

The primary way in which individuals experience the values and culture of an organization are through the actions of those they serve with. Traditions serve to illuminate these values and bring the culture of an organization to life.

  • Traditions hold space for reflection.

It is easy to get carried away with daily routines and challenges. Traditions provide an opportunity for each of us to pause and reflect, while reconnecting to our vision and the ideals that underlie our commitment to the organization and our teammates.

When was the last time you asked your team about the organizational traditions they value? What is the equivalent of the “fight song” and treasured campus memory for your organization? I invite you to reflect with me this month on the traditions that inspire your organization and team.

New Podcast Episode! Engaging NextGen Board Leaders

Highly effective Board teams are composed of a diverse group of talented and passionate leaders. Christina Carr joins Greg to discuss the importance of age diversity on nonprofit Boards and strategies to engage nextgen Board leaders. Click the button below to visit the podcast page or subscribe to Nonprofit Vision on iTunes, Google, or your favorite podcast app.

Camp to Belong Retreat

Exciting weekend in Minneapolis facilitating a Board/Staff retreat with the team of Camp To Belong. Camp to Belong is an international organization dedicated to reuniting brothers and sisters who have become separated in foster care through a week of camp in the summer and other events throughout the year. Exciting things to come from these talented and passionate leaders!

#Nonprofit #Board #Philanthropy #Charity #BoardChampions

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We're Growing! Announcing the Launch of Board Champions 🚀🏆

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Last month, we celebrated the 1 year anniversary of the launch of Nielsen Training & Consulting. Over the past year, I have been honored to work with nonprofit organizations from New Jersey to San Francisco, Miami to Denver, and of course here at home in Kentucky.

As we begin year 2, I recognize that developing a highly effective Board doesn’t happen overnight, but is the product of intentionality, engagement, and effort.

That is why I am thrilled to announce the launch of Board Champions.

This is a year-round, fully customizable Board development program, designed to partner with you in building a Board team capable of translating bold vision into reality.

Flexible enough to meet the needs of your nonprofit, Board Champions begins with a customized Board Self Assessment and facilitated Board retreat and subsequently may include the following services:

  • CEO or Board coaching

  • Defining Board expectations

  • Assessing the skills and diversity of your Board team

  • Building an effective orientation program

  • Aligning committee engagement with strategic objectives

Click the button below to learn more or connect with Greg to set up a consultation. Let’s work together to develop your team into Board Champions!

New Podcast Episode! Elevating Philanthropy's Unheard Voices

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While the perspectives and contributions of thought leaders with established platforms are valuable, we must continue to elevate the unheard voices in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership in order to deepen critical conversations and move the sector forward.  Jen Bokoff, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Candid, joins Greg to discuss her recent article and efforts aimed at lifting up philanthropy's unheard voices.  

It is available here on the web site at and also on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Anchor, and More.

Strategic Planning Article Published By Bloomerang


Honored to have Bloomerang publish my article on "3 P's for Nonprofit Planning Success." Proud to work with #nonprofits to facilitate processes that result in bold, actionable plans. Would love to hear your success stories and connect to discuss your organization's planning needs!
#Nonprofit #StrategicPlanning #Philanthropy

Have You Checked Out Our Podcast Lately?

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Nonprofit Vision with Gregory Nielsen presents informative and entertaining conversations spotlighting critical issues in nonprofit leadership and the visionaries who are addressing them.

Recent episodes include topics such as:

  • Program Evaluation

  • The Path to Grant Readiness

  • Walking a Mile in Grantee Shoes

  • Your Role in a Social Change Ecosystem

With even more exciting guests and topics to come, now is a great time to subscribe to the podcast. It is available here on the web site at and also on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Anchor, and More. Would love to hear your thoughts or comments on any of the episodes as well as ideas for future guests and topics!

51% of Fundraisers Plan to Leave Their Jobs by 2021, Says New Survey

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This article presents a challenge #nonprofit leaders are confronting now, and will likely continue to face in the future. Does this match your perception and experience? How are you addressing?

"The reasons the revolving door keeps spinning are numerous, our survey shows. But two findings stand out:

84 percent of fundraisers said they felt “tremendous pressure to succeed” in their role.
55 percent said they “often feel unappreciated” in their work."

United Way of Central Ohio Makes Board Diversity Part of Funding Process

It is undeniable that #Board #diversity remains a challenge for the #nonprofit community.

Starting early in 2020, the United Way of Central Ohio plans to include “board diversity” as part of the criteria in its next grant-application process. Charities seeking funding from the United Way will need to have diverse boards or a board-approved plan for achieving diversity.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this:

- Is this the best way to enhance Board diversity?

- Are there other concerns such as tokenism?

- What are some other alternatives?

Honoring Gold Star Families

Honored to celebrate the groundbreaking for a monument in Kentucky honoring Gold Star families. Especially honored to meet Hershel Woody Williams, the last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima. This American hero has continued to serve his country by supporting the creation of monuments honoring Gold Star families around the country through the Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation.

Elevate Your Board or Staff Team With a Dynamic Retreat

When I facilitate a #nonprofit #Board or staff retreat, I focus on 3 key goals -- to inform, to engage, and to inspire those who attend. It is truly one of the most rewarding and enjoyable areas of my work. When planned thoughtfully and executed well, a Board retreat can be a key step in transforming or elevating a team. Check out the article below for some additional tips. If your Board or staff would benefit from this experience, let's connect!

Engaging Staff in Turbulent Times

Had a great time co-presenting "Engaging Staff in Turbulent Times" today! A fantastic group of #nonprofit leaders came together as we discussed the role of signature strengths, gratitude, and best self stories in boosting morale and engagement.

#Leadership #PositivePsychology #Gratitude #ProfessionalDevelopment


Join Me on Friday 5/17 for an Exciting Workshop!

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Louisville #nonprofit friends - please join me and Tony Zipple of ZB Consults next Friday, 5/17 for a fantastic, interactive workshop "Engaging Staff in Turbulent Times." Drawing on current research from positive psychology, you will learn about strengths-based leadership, building a growth mindset in your organization, and implementing strategies for helping you and your staff to be more effective… and happier at work. Tickets available at the link below and hope to see you there!

You Can Diversify if You Want To

"The idea that elite organizations like #foundations have #boards that continue to choose not to reflect and represent the #diversity of civil society sends a message to the growing communities of color that they are not part of the solution and have nothing to contribute to solving the societal challenges we all share."


Deeply Flawed ‘Pennies for Charity’ Report Can Hurt Good Nonprofits

Last week, the New York Attorney General’s office released its most recent "Pennies for Charity" report, which seeks to educate donors about "where your money goes" when you give to a particular nonprofit.

As a Consultant who works to help nonprofits and Boards transparently measure and communicate their impact and effectiveness, I feel passionately about this issue. There are a number of misconceptions and flawed assumptions that continue to be perpetuated with respect to nonprofit “overhead” and administrative costs. A vibrant nonprofit MUST invest in its infrastructure and talent in order to effectively carry out its mission.

For these reasons, I am thrilled to see a leadership response from Anne Wallestad, CEO of BoardSource.

The time has come for #nonprofit #leaders, #Board members, and supporters to unite behind and amplify this critically important message. I encourage you to read and reflect on the full article from Anne Wallestad: