Nonprofit Staff: Too Much Deference to the Board?

Excessive deference to the board by nonprofit staff can lead board directors to passively accept lower performance standards. From my decades of experience as a nonprofit director and consultant, I have seen the development of an unwritten compact between nonprofit boards and managements, with each tolerating minimal performance from the other. Where subtly or overtly present, these compacts need to be eliminated in the 21st century. The organization needs a relationship between the two that provides an equal partnership, with a clear trust and respect for the differences in the required roles.

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The Busy Prospect Researcher – Part 1: Overview of Time Management

Overview of Time Management for the Busy Prospect Researcher Are you a busy prospect researcher? Me, too. A few years ago, I got an email from a colleague who was new to the profession. In it, she asked me, “how do you get everything done and still leave the office by 6:30 at night?”  I

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Nonprofit CEOs: How to Ask for Charitable Contributions

You’re out to dinner with your significant other. Your children are at home with a sitter. Suddenly, an earthquake shakes the ground, obliterating the only road between you and your house. When you learn the news, what is your response? Do you telephone your children to say goodbye? “Sorry, kids, we’d like to get home,

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Key Attributes of a Productive Nonprofit Board Chair

Hundreds of articles have probably been published about the skills and abilities nonprofit CEOs need to have to meet the challenges of the nonprofit environment. These include: reduced funding, increased use of technology, and increased responsibilities for fundraising. Relatedly, nonprofit board chairs have been encountering escalating challenges to recruit able board personnel. Current chairs must

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A Nonprofit CEO is a Peer – Not a Powerhouse

Some nonprofit CEOs make a fetish out of describing their boards and/or board chairs as their “bosses.” Others, for example, can see the description, as a parent-child relationship by funders. The parent, the board, may be strong, but can the child, the CEO, implement a grant or donation? Some CEOs openly like to perpetuate this

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What Defines the Culture of Your Nonprofit Board?

The General Motors debacle is fresh in everyone’s minds. A deficit in the company culture was recognized as being responsible for the disaster that resulted in the deaths of 13 people. Board members at GM were obviously not culpable since the board was many levels above the people who were negligent in changing the defective

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