Endorsements

Steve Smith worked with us to re-build our board of directors in 2008. Board members came to understand "best practice" and developed job descriptions that are still informing our work. Steve helped us to pull together stakeholders and identify new community resources. We were surprised to realize the support available right in our own community! Board members felt comfortable with Steve right from the start, he took time to understand our organization and made sure that all of our work was a good fit for us. Steve tailored his work to our needs and the board took full ownership of the results
Chris Casserly, Executive Director of Rochester NH Child Care Center

Blog Categories

Nonprofits in Orlando Working in the Aftermath of Pulse Massacre

Several nonprofits have stepped in to the breech in Orlando Florida to provide services to families in need. Including opening a Go Fund Me page. Huffington Post story featuring LGBT nonprofits: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-help-orlando-shooting_us_575eb266e4b0e39a28ae14ee.

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Developing Fundraising Skill in the CEO

Today, most nonprofits seek a CEO with fundraising experience. Generally, that experience is in the annual campaign and major gift fundraising.
But at times, the nonprofit Board hires a new CEO who has built successful special events. With the expectation that this new leader will apply that ability successfully.
My advice to Board search committees is, negotiate with the top candidates on how this will be applied in six month blocks of time from hire date. What is the hoped for result? What experience and qualities of the candidate can be best applied to get improved results?
Building on a solid track record has the best chance of success. Focusing on candidates who get the mission, who communicate with enthusiasm, who seem most engaging with other people…look for the skills that will have the best chance at success.
Then monitor progress along the way.

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Transparency and Accountability

For nonprofit organizations to achieve their highest level of effectiveness, there must be accountability.

Effective nonprofits adopt performance standards for the executive director and a self-assessment process for the Board itself.

Nonprofit executives adopt sound performance review process to assure staff are working to achieve their responsibilities.

And high-functioning Boards have an annual or semi-annual review process in place of their executive director.

Transparency is a value we should strive for. There needs to be sound processes of evaluation in place so we know we’re measuring what’s important, and report to our clients and supporters how we’re doing. Our successes. As well as areas we’re working to improve.

It’s continuous improvement that contributes to nonprofit effectiveness.

For assistance in putting such systems in place: s.p.99smith@gmail.com.

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Concentration of Wealth and Impact on Public Welfare

We seem in the USA to be on a track of more concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few. And then we hope that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg et al will use their wealth for public good.
There are many foundations that direct wealth to nonprofits with a plan and with a reliable history.
There are individuals like Mr Zuckerberg who has a big idea and works with State of New Jersey to impose a new approach to education to the Newark schools.
Many of our fellow Americans think the super rich can work their magic on major national security problems or major social welfare challenges. Clearly, this is a serious misunderstanding.
We need to identify the right examples that actually bring improved conditions and apply tax and foundation assets to those. In a thoughtful and well-informed way.
The road we’re on at the moment is wasting valuable resources of the USA and not bringing us to resolution.

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The Mood of the Nation and Nonprofit Fundraising

Apparently we have Donald Trump as the Republican Party standard-bearer for President in the November election.
And it is likely that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party choice…but there is still California and many Super Delegates to count. So the jury is out.
What impact does this unusual political season have on the charitable thinking and proclivities of the American people?
There is no one right answer for this. Nonprofit organizations, I believe, need to continue to make their case to their donor audience and keep delivering services that the mission promises and those served by you expect.
501(c)(3) nonprofits need to stay out of the political side of life. Yes, those who advocate for particular issues and want the government to do its job relative to delivery of service, to keep on speaking to those issues. So advocacy on mission-related issues is within the regs. It’s the political side that is not for a (c)(3).
Keep delivering the message. It’s a somewhat turbulent time politically. So keeping after the mission gives your donors encouragement that good work continues to get done.

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