Board Development

Board Development

Keeping the Conversation Going on Board Diversity

Continuing The Conversation: November 2017

I’ve been taking a writing class focused on memoir. A classmate described an experience that I’ve thought of often, most recently following a group discussion on board diversity in the Hudson Valley. He’s African American and recalled being a boy going with his grandmother, also African American, to vote in a setting of hostility toward […]

How Boards Are Improving and Failing – and What to Do Next

Continuing The Conversation: October 2017

I’m a study geek, to a degree. I recommend the BoardSource report, Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, as must reading for every nonprofit. For one reason, it’s the ninth report in this series since 1994, so there’s enough history to truly track “generalized trends and changes” in vital areas, the study […]

Disappearing Fundraisers … Is Your Board at Risk?

Continuing The Conversation: August 2017

Recently I did some reading that grabbed my attention with evidence of an escalating problem — and a shrinking trend — that impacts a nonprofit’s bottom line. The 2016 Individual Donor Benchmark (IDB) Project, released in mid-July by partners Third Space Studio and BC/DC Ideas, surveyed 155 small nonprofits (budgets under $2 million). Among the […]

In Praise of Advocacy

Continuing The Conversation: June 2016

Advocacy is trending – and that’s potentially game-changing for nonprofits. I know it predates this year’s presidential campaign, yet I think through the daily deluge of news coverage we’ve been feeling the impact of advocacy and of impassioned advocates. This is not meant to be a political blog, so my only point is the fresh […]

Are We Creating More Diverse Boards?

Continuing The Conversation: February 2016

We’re in Oscar season, and one thing I enjoy about the lead-up to the awards ceremony is the lineup of Oscar-winning movies on my classic movie channel. There has been controversy this year over the lack of diversity among nominees for the four major acting awards. I’ve thought about that as I watch many of […]

Resolving To Make A Difference

Continuing The Conversation: January 2016

It’s the middle of January and already it feels like the fervor for new year’s resolutions has passed. For myself, the “be a new you” message has never resonated. I don’t begin on January 1 with new intentions, but do I make a resolution. Essentially it’s the same every year – to make a difference […]

Toasting the Pursuit of Benefiting All

Continuing The Conversation: November 2015

There’s nothing like sampling a great wine and feeling that you’re contributing to something good. And I’m not referring to the medical data that says wine in moderation can be a boon for your health. Though health is definitely the operative word in this scenario. This is sounding like a riddle, which is not my […]

Are You Asking Enough Questions?

Continuing The Conversation: June 2015

I ask a lot of questions. It’s my natural mode of interaction with others. Maybe it’s the teacher in me that lingers: To ask questions as a way of gaining information and to believe – as I used to assure my students – that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. I was prompted […]

Assessing Our Board Assessment

Continuing The Conversation: February 2015

I’ve made the case for board assessment here in my blog. As a board member of a Hudson Valley nonprofit, I’ve pushed for an assessment within the organization. Given my advocacy, I’ve welcomed serving as chair of the governance task force and as chief liaison to the expert who developed our survey. If you’re thinking […]

If You Got a Million Dollar Donation…

Continuing The Conversation: January 2015

Recently I found a fascinating article online I had missed about a community foundation in Elkhart, Indiana, that received a very lucrative surprise. A Hollywood producer and native son who died suddenly had included the foundation in his will, multiplying the organization’s modest assets overnight with $125 million. This nonprofit version of winning the lottery brings to mind […]