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

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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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Join the Social Media Conversation: Sunday May 1 8:00 PM EDT

Looking forward to an hour on Twitter Sunday May 1 8:00 PM on #CargillChat on Twitter with @CargillCreative Bob Cargill. The guy with the marketing sensibility that points us in smart directions on how to build Nonprofit communication effectiveness by applying social media tools. Relationship Fundraising means we first build the relationship. The donations follow when the donor gets the impression that your nonprofit is delivering value to a client base s/he feels some empathy for. It’s about the good you deliver to customers. The nonprofit is an empty shell if it’s only promoting its own survival. It’s about the primary customers you serve and how they value your service. Social media are tools that help deliver that story.

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Proper Orientation for New Board Members

Congratulations. Your Governance committee identified qualified candidates for election to the Board. There are three vacancies, so at the Annual Meeting there will be three candidates placed in nomination before the membership. So now it’s done and we’re so proud: Some new folks to inject some energy to governance at our nonprofit.
Time now to conduct the orientation. Which of course has been planned in advance. A board manual is ready containing bylaws, the past year’s minutes, an annual report and most recent audited financial statements. And of course a board member job description.
So who will conduct the orientation? The executive director and other senior staff should be there. The chair of the board or chair of the governance committee should officiate. With an agenda. And we want the Treasurer and/or chair of the Finance Committee to be present. At a breakfast or lunch gathering. The meal and meeting should take no longer than two hours. There may be video to show. We might take a look at the nonprofit website on a big screen. And what are the hot issues we’re dealing with.
This way our new folks won’t feel they’re operating in a vacuum. Self-orientation can be so hit-or-miss. Encouraging some dialogue with real give-and-take helps make key points register. And gives our new members an opportunity to show us why we have such confidence in them.
This way we’re ready for business. Sure, there will likely still be questions to get clarification on matters that might still be a bit hazy. But this is how we learn. And fulfill our legal and fiduciary duties.

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