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Top 6 Ways a Board Can Help Its CEO


Board members have a lot of responsibility to the organization they represent, to the community for which they are stewards of the nonprofit’s resources, and also to the organization’s CEO. The CEO’s success is tied closely to the support he or she receives from the board. How can individual board members support their CEO’s success? Below are the six ways I’ve found that have the greatest impact. 


7 Signs Your Nonprofit Organization Needs an ERP System

Nonprofits, just like for-profit organizations, face a variety of challenges. There are issues related to legal compliance and workforce performance. They need to keep track of employee performance, delivery of orders, different processes, and the integrity of their databases. All these issues, if not managed well, might interfere with the fulfillment of their missions.

Many nonprofits make do with spreadsheet software and email to run different operations. But, as an organization grows in size or the complexity of its programs increases, the logistics of maintaining this information manually take their toll. Multi-faceted ERP (enterprise resource planning) software that utilizes a unified database can increase your overall organizational operational efficiency.

What are some of the major signs that your nonprofit organization needs an ERP system?


Best Practices in Creating Nonprofit Position Descriptions

Attracting the right volunteers or full-time employees to a nonprofit can be tricky. Today’s market is overflowing with nonprofit organizations. Careful and precise position description writing can help resolve this problem.


How to Fire People for Your Nonprofit’s Sake

Mitt Romney got pretty beat up in the media in 2012 when he said, “I like being able to fire people.” It made him sound like a cold, power-hungry corporate executive. It was also tone deaf because Americans wanted a president to create jobs and not terminate them with glee.


10 Best and (Almost) Free Tools to Create Mind Maps for Your Nonprofit

A mind map is a visual representation of keynote thoughts centered around the main idea. It helps us stay organized in the informational chaos.


Operations Professionals, You Are Awesome AF!

Last week, I sat down with a public notary to sign some papers to open new bank accounts for partner organizations in Rainier Valley Corps’s operations support program, where we handle the back-office tasks for partner orgs so they can focus on delivering vital programs and services. We were on a time crunch, and our bank’s new rules required signatories be notarized, which has been a huge hassle. It took days of RVC’s Operations Support Program Manager, Kristine, and me running around, sending endless emails, and strategically deploying chocolate: “So ... maybe this half-eaten bar of Theo sea salt almond 70% cacao might convince you shave a day or two off the paperwork turnaround time, wink ...”

In the middle of all this paperwork and failed attempts at bribery, I realized that we really do not appreciate our operations staff as much as we should.


3 Reasons Your Nonprofit Should Invest in Professional Development

Does your nonprofit support staff through continuing education? Do you even have a line item in your budget for professional development? Or are you asking yourself, “What does ‘professional development’ even mean, anyway?”


New Bridgespan Group Study on Nonprofit Founder Transitions Counters Conventional Wisdom That “Clean Break” Is Best

Is a clean break really the best way to ensure a successful nonprofit founder succession? While conventional wisdom suggests that it is, new research from The Bridgespan Group finds that the answer is often no. 


A Call to Inaction: Nonprofits, Give Your Staff a Break

Hi everyone. Once a while, I do a call to action. For example, if you haven’t written a review of a foundation on Grant Advisor lately, or encourage your grantees to do so, please do it! Grant Advisor is like a Yelp for foundations, and everyone who writes a review gets a basket of gluten-free mini muffins*! (*By gluten-free mini muffins, I mean the joy of advancing our sector by increasing transparency and decreasing power imbalance).

This time, though, I am making a call to inaction. I am giving my team and myself the entire week of Christmas off. If your organization can do it, I strongly recommend you to do that as well (or some alternatives to that, as discussed below). Here are several reasons why:


Five Fails You Need to Make to Be a Strong Nonprofit

Most of us are afraid of failure.

And with good reason! Failure as a nonprofit leader can have massive repercussions, impacting the lives of thousands, if not millions, across the globe. And so we take every precaution to ensure that we don’t fail, keeping things small and avoiding risk.

But no matter how careful or how meticulous the plans, you are going to experience failure. And if you’re sitting there reading this and congratulating yourself on the fact you’ve never failed at anything, you’re doing something very, very wrong.


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