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 […]

In Praise of Retreats

Continuing The Conversation: October 2017

  What’s the best retreat you ever attended? What’s the worst? I’ve recently returned from a three-day program where our 19-member group began by describing our worst retreat stories. I won’t share the grisly details, mainly because my takeaway from the entire experience was an even greater appreciation for how valuable a retreat can be […]

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 […]

If Your Digital Strategy is Nonexistent…Join The Crowd

Continuing The Conversation: May 2017

Every once in a while, amidst the articles, posts and reports I read daily, I’m genuinely surprised.   That happened recently, in quick succession, on the same topic: nonprofits and digital strategy. A 101 Fundraising post (by Meg Gardner) highlighted a report that over 60% of nonprofits globally lack a digital strategy. In the Nonprofit Quarterly […]

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 […]

In Praise of Conferences … Really!

Continuing The Conversation: October 2015

I often share that I’ve attended a seminar or workshop. I’m charged by ideas flowing and the chance to expand my knowledge and contacts. That’s the lifelong learner and natural networker in me. And it’s critical to be aware of developments in the nonprofit world – and whenever possible, ahead of them. That’s true for […]

Learning From My Survey (Mis)Adventure

Continuing The Conversation: September 2015

My blog has always been about sharing my experiences as a nonprofit consultant – which includes revealing the occasional wart, so others might avoid it. In keeping with that pledge – welcome to the tale of my first reader survey. Spoiler alert: it has a happy ending. But the unexpected challenges and snafus – as […]