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How to Stop Your Nonprofit's After-Hours Email Habit

I recently taught several leadership development workshops at the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership based on my new book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout. One of the workshops focused on technology wellness in the nonprofit workplace, more specifically on how to avoid collaborative overload.


Are Emotional Attachments Obstructing Your Nonprofit’s Growth?

The emotional attachments that some nonprofit stakeholders possess are remarkably powerful. It takes enthusiasm, pride, dedication, and passion to coagulate a community of supporters who are loyal to an organization and its mission.

These emotional attachments might include ideas, mindsets, feelings, programs, relationships, people, and places that are associated with a nonprofit. They may be time-honored and woven into the fabric of the organization, and can even inspire stakeholders to donate, contribute their time, and put the organization’s strategic goals on a pedestal.

But what happens when organizations must develop new approaches to advance their services in an environment that is continuously changing?


Stop Thinking Outside the Fundraising Box

Time and time again I hear the call for developing fundraising solutions that are “outside the box.” Too often, creative development professionals attempt to devise catchier fundraising events or complicated, highly segmented direct mail appeals in an effort to generate more charitable dollars. Unfortunately, more often than not, the return on investment (ROI) of these plans falls far short of expectations.


Avoiding the High Cost of Ambiguous Decisions

Imagine this: You are leading your weekly team meeting, and you have just five minutes left to galvanize people around a critical decision that will affect many people. After quickly summarizing the discussion, you say that you think all are agreed and check if there are any objections. Hearing none, you close the meeting, feeling relief that the decision has finally been made.


What an Interim CEO Should Expect from the Board

In a previous post I discussed a board’s expectations for an interim CEO. But the interim should also have expectations and set them with the board before engaging in an assignment. Not all successful CEOs (or presidents or executive directors, whichever term an organization uses) will be effective in an interim role. Taking over during a leadership transition is a much more fluid and, at times, more demanding situation than heading an organization as its permanent CEO. With the proper level of cooperation between the interim, staff, and board, however, an interim leader’s tenure can be a positive experience that moves an organization forward while a search is underway for the next CEO.


What a Board Should Expect from an Interim CEO

Interim CEOs (or presidents or executive directors according to an organization’s naming convention), by their definition, serve during a period of transition for an organization. If the outgoing leadership change is unplanned, it may also be a time of upheaval Volunteer board members are suddenly thrust into more details around the organization’s financial and programmatic management, community and donor relations, and staff retention


Opening a Window on Your Nonprofit’s Performance

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As a conscientious leader of your organization (board member or senior staff), you put a lot of thought and effort into developing your strategic plan. Ideally, the planning process resulted in quantifiable goals that will be tracked over the course of the year to measure progress on the plan. Peter Drucker’s quote, “What gets measured gets improved,” is as valid today as when he first said it. But the challenge is how best to track and report on progress, because you’re engaging busy volunteers who are probably only working on portions of the plan, and then only sporadically. Because many people are visually oriented, charts and graphs are natural ways to report measurement. That’s why many organizations regularly produce dashboards as their windows on performance.


Resources for Nonprofits on the New Overtime Rule

new overtime rule will go into effect on December 1, 2016. Under it, an increased number of salaried employees must receive overtime pay for work exceeding 40 hours per week.


A Crisis of Confidence in our Nonprofits

In last month’s blog post, Is Your Nonprofit Prepared for a Crisis?, I wrote about the need for organizations to develop a crisis plan. I wrote the article in response to the September shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., an event caused by external factors.


The Importance of Communication in Nonprofit Management


I joined a friend for lunch the other day to talk about a course he is teaching on management and organization. I used the occasion to dig back into my files (I still have some paper files!) to look at one of my favorite articles from the Harvard Business Review - all the way back to March 1978: Zen and the Art of Management by Richard Tanner Pascale. I think the article still holds up. It foreshadows some of the wisdom of Jim Collins and his assessment of the importance of the team to any great organization’s success (or later fall from greatness).


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