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Archive for May, 2015

Tribute Gifts: Honoring a loved one or friend with a charitable gift

Memorial Day 2015 is just around the corner (May 25). it’s a USA national holiday that dates back to 1866, when Decoration Day was declared to honor soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp.

Today, we honor all our war dead on Memorial Day. Many nonprofit organizations over the years have launched memorial gift programs. Family members and friends of the war dead make tribute gifts in honor of the deceased to help a nonprofit that meant a lot to the fallen soldier, sailor, marine.

Now nonprofits have tribute programs. Supporters are encouraged to remember a deceased love one…or, honor a living person’s birthday or anniversary or college graduation with a special gift to help a charitable cause in the name of the loved friend or family member.

I recommend that if you have a newsletter that goes to your supporters, to encourage donors to make such gifts to support a nonprofit they care about in the name of a person…as a mark of celebration or a mark of remembrance.

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Five Tips for Board Bonding

The Board of Directors is an odd species.
Customarily, there are twelve to fifteen members. They meet regularly: Quarterly. Monthly. Alternate months.
Some Boards grow and develop nicely. What’s the correct potting soil mix? Amount of sunlight? Fertilizer (there’s usually an abundance of that available)…that fosters a thriving healthy Board to keep your Nonprofit mission in proper focus?
From my experience, and training at BoardSource and Leader to Leader and NH Association of Nonprofits, these are five of the keys to Nonprofit/Board success:
Active Governance Committee These are the keepers of the Holy Grail. They are on the lookout for new Board members who can contribute to data-driven decision-making. Who enjoy working with people.
Focused Meeting Agendas Once in a while, the discussion can get off-track. And once in a while this can be beneficial. But generally, Board leaders keep things moving and the give-and-take is targeted to issues that will help this group make intelligent, well-informed decisions.
Strategic Direction The Board knows where the organization is headed and stays focused on helping it accomplish the mission. At each meeting we hear about progress in achieving goals the Board has set.
Time for Play The Board takes time now and then for some social activities. Dinner and conversation. A learning experience that sheds new light on one of the nonprofit’s goals. It’s not all about the formal meetings.
Be Prepared Members come to meetings having read the attachments to the agenda. Leaders know that they can’t overload the work, or members will drift off. Keep agenda do-able in 2 hours.
Following these few steps can put you on the road to higher levels of effectiveness. And along with it, higher levels of Board member satisfaction. And that’s the truth!

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