Image of characters of three women

Leading By Letting Go

February 24, 2017

I was chatting with a friend about professional development recently, and he brought up something that really irks both of us—nonprofit executives that are reluctant to provide mentorship or even to start a conversation with junior staff about their career goals. If I invest in this rising star, the thinking goes, then she will go get a better job and my organization will lose her talent. Our career development efforts will be wasted. This attitude does no one any good. Here's why.

GIF of Beyonce

Who Run The Nonprofit World?

February 16, 2017

For years, I’ve noticed that the majority of faces you see in most nonprofits belong to women. Beyonce got it right: women are the backbone of the social sector! They lead organizations, run departments, and power nonprofits at all levels. In fact, women make up most of the nonprofit workforce, yet despite that, we still occupy only a small percentage of the leadership slots at the top 400 charities. Read on to learn how we can change that.

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Creating An Individual Giving Program

February 7, 2017

According to the GivingUSA reports for at least the last 5 years, more than 70% of the $378 billion contributed to nonprofits each year has come from individuals—and if you factor in family foundations, that number probably comes close to 80%.  Since individuals consistently make up the largest donor group, it is worth looking at how to can create a sustainable fundraising model that focuses on building relationships with your donors.

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Ten Characteristics of High Performing Nonprofit Organizations

February 2, 2017

Despite the size of the $1.5 trillion nonprofit sector in the U.S.—nearly 10% of the economy—nonprofits are subject to rather minimal independent professional scrutiny beyond annual audits. If you work at a nonprofit and want to assess your own performance or if you are an investor looking to give to the most impactful organizations, how can you spot superior performance?  Here is a brief overview of ten things you should look for when determining if a nonprofit organization is a high performer.

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Are We Listening For What Is Trying To Happen?

January 31, 2017

Most working professionals spend more than half their time in meetings. Feel the pain? Me, too! Early in my career, I realized that I needed my meetings to be significantly transformed. So I began paying attention and trying to figure out how to lead more effectively. I learned from different sources, and recognized that every meeting was a chance to expand my powers of observation. Here's what I began to notice that makes some meetings better than others.