What Does Nonprofit Sustainability Look Like?

I often hear community leaders and elected officials pontificating about the importance of a “strong, sustainable nonprofit sector” as a way to enhance overall community health. They talk about the business and municipal communities partnering with the nonprofit sector to better address problems and bring a more holistic approach to the collective work.  Unfortunately, I […]

Five New Year’s Resolutions for the Nonprofit Leader

Happy 2023, friends in the nonprofit sector! If you’re anything like me…and pretty much everyone else on the planet…you’re working hard to step into the new year with intention. Whether you’ve resolved to lose a few pounds, or train for a marathon, or finally get your household budget together, please know that we’ve all got […]

Navigating Nonprofit Leadership…Without Losing Your Mind (Pt.1)

I absolutely adore the nonprofit sector. I love that it is mission-driven, service-oriented, and aimed at solving some of society’s biggest problems. I love the grassroots nature of many of these organizations, and the way they learn and adapt to the needs of their communities. But what I love the most are the two ingredients […]

Have You Checked Your Conflict of Interest Policy Lately?

Friends….Can we please talk about conflicts of interest for a few minutes? This won’t take long.  We’ve all seen stories in the news about some of the more egregious examples of conflicts of interest. Individuals caught enriching themselves at the expense of one or more organizations they’re involved with (self-dealing). Business leaders making sweet-heart contract […]

Organizational Culture – Good or Bad, You Choose.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately about organizational culture. The topic is certainly not new to me, but I’ve been fascinated by it for many years, dating back to my banking career and subsequent transition to the nonprofit sector. Like just about everyone I know, I have worked in companies with strong, […]

On Gardens & Donors: Great Relationships Take Work!

I spent last weekend outside in my back yard, toiling in my garden and getting it ready for spring and summer planting. The front of my home is completely xeriscaped and filled with beautiful yet intimidating agave, cacti and succulents. From this vantage point you’d never know that there’s a small but productive vegetable and […]

Yep…That’s Your Job, Too.

What did your road to executive directorship look like? Where did it begin? Did you start as a staffer and work your way up? Were you recruited from a different sector, and what made you decide to make the jump to nonprofits? Do you feel like you started the E.D. role with all the skills […]

When Grant Funding is Problematic

Grant funding is often the primary source of operational and/or programmatic revenue for a nonprofit organization. Whether from government or non-governmental sources, grants are integral to a nonprofit’s survival.  Executive directors and grant writing professionals can spend many hours researching and writing grants with varying degrees of success. For organizations that are just starting out […]

On Trust…

I recently read an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy entitled “To Keep People Giving in the Pandemic, Trust in Nonprofits is Essential” (Segar, B., 2020). I won’t go into detail about the article’s arguments because the title sums up my thoughts perfectly: a nonprofit’s fundraising success is built upon a foundation of trust, and without that […]