“Stand Back and Regard Your Work” — Then Celebrate It!

Continuing The Conversation: December 2017

With December flying along, January 2018 is now within sight. Already there’s talk of resolutions.  And certainly, setting improvement goals for the new year is important — and reaching them, even more so.    But before we leave 2017, don’t miss the opportunity to reflect and celebrate. From my dual perspective as consultant and board […]

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 […]

Wearing Many Hats But Keeping Monkeys at Bay

Continuing The Conversation: December 2016

I was at an event recently where an executive director I know shared the familiar frustration of the “many hats” a nonprofit leader must wear. In this case, it was having to take on the lion’s share of organizing an event at a time when you are already in the midst of end-of-year fundraising tasks, […]

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 […]

What Does It Take to Collaborate?

Continuing The Conversation: April 2016

I’ve made a real push for more collaboration in my corner of the nonprofit world. I believe that it’s critical for nonprofits to find common ground and work together. I’ve also acted on my goals to collaborate more within my own sphere. Experience is a great teacher. My belief in collaboration is as firm as […]

Looking for an Antidote to Overload?

Continuing The Conversation: December 2015

OK, I suppose that title has an obvious answer. With end-of-year fundraising and holiday events, December has always been a particular challenge. So it felt like a good month to share a habit I’ve developed this year that I recommend to all: meditation. If your first reaction is some variation on “not for me,” I […]

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 […]

What Counts That You’re Not Counting?

Continuing The Conversation: May 2015

I get a lot of invitations to events. It’s a result of my work and my networking, and it’s a great advantage for meeting experts and getting insights. Recently I had just such an experience at a Marist College UVANY event. UVANY — Upstate Venture Association of New York — works to advance access to […]

Doing it Better in Brooklyn

Continuing The Conversation: April 2015

I’m always intrigued by doing-it-better examples. Regular readers of my dashboard know it’s one of my mantras. So when I see a great model of a nonprofit that’s “doing it better,” I like to call it out. That’s what I saw on a recent visit to the Brooklyn Community Foundation. The foundation’s new Brooklyn Accelerator […]

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 […]