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Working from Within: Board Development


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All too often, a nonprofit’s board of directors is detached from the organization. They are even less involved in the organization’s fundraising processes. At the same time, they are volunteers. This …

All too often, a nonprofit’s board of directors is detached from the organization. They are even less involved in the organization’s fundraising processes. At the same time, they are volunteers. This session is based on the chapter “All A-Board” in CharityChannel Press book, YOU and Your Nonprofit, published in 2011, and will provide you with some great tips and tools to help invigorate board members, working from within.

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  • 1. Working from Within:Your Board of DirectorsHeather M. BurtonNovember 8, 2011
  • 2. Your Partner in Dialogue(and why me…) • Product Marketing Director w/Sage • Board, BookSpring Past president, held officer roles for 4+ yrs Responsible for performance evaluation process, staff dev. • 10+ years working for/with nonprofits United Way, Hospice, Social Service Agency • Charity Channel Chapter Author “All A-Board” • Special interest in leadership and developing peopleHeather Burton • Favorite food: Pizza (unfortunately) • Twitter handle: @heathermburton 2
  • 3. Who I work for…3rd largest ERP solution provider to businesses worldwide The Sage Group, plc. (London: SGE.L) 6.2 Million Customers Worldwide Over 32,000 Unique Not-For-Profit Customers in North America 3
  • 4. Nonprofit 2 LifecycleDream Team Current Reality Bridging the Gaps 4
  • 5. 2Dream Team 5
  • 6. Basic roles, responsibilities Define, protect and advance the mission Organizational ambassadors Safeguard assets (human, financial ,property) Recruit, hire, support & review the ED Ensure adequate resources to carry out the mission 6
  • 7. Oh, the places we could go… 7
  • 8. What does your dream board look like? 8
  • 9. We are a mix We are of leaders, responsible “do-ers”, and We’re and connectors passionate! responsive We put our money where our mouth is We’removers and We make the shakers! time and have the energy 9
  • 10. Nonprofit 2 LifecycleDream Team 10
  • 11. Stages of a Nonprofit Start-Up (Incubation) Decline Adolescent (Stagnation) (Growing) Mature (Stability) 11Adapted from: The 5 Life Stages of Nonprofits, Judith Sharken
  • 12. Organization vs. Board Mode Organization Board Start-Up Establish programs, secure Hands-on, operational, focused on funding, prove viability mission/program delivery Adolescence Additional paid staff, grow Less day-to-day, various committee community awareness formation to fill staffing gaps Mature Strategic growth, improved Shift to governance/strategy focus. operations, diverse fundraising Fundraising and board recruitment become priority Decline Shift in community needs, loss Disengaged board or disagreement of funding, lack of strategy or on organizational future, high-turn vision over 12
  • 13. Trick is in the Transition Start-Up Clarify board member roles, responsibilities (Incubation) Formalize board recruitment process Create formal governance structure Develop orientation & mentor program Focus on policies Decline Adolescent (Stagnation) (Growing) Re-energize or develop new board Institute an annual board evaluation Explore partnerships with others Enhance board fundraising capacity Engage third party to mediate conflicts Mature Enhance board committee structure (Stability) 13Adapted from: The 5 Life Stages of Nonprofits, Judith Sharken
  • 14. Nonprofit 2 LifecycleDream Team Current Reality Bridging the Gaps 14
  • 15. What are yourcurrent board pains? 15
  • 16. Common Complaints Lack of participation, engagement Founder Syndrome Forgetfulness Over commitment Weak leadership Stray from the core Drama/Gossip Lack of time Great ideas, Lack of understanding no follow through 16
  • 17. Here’s where it gets fun… In which stage is your organization? Do your board pains map to a transition stage? Is your “dream team” in alignment with your stage? 17
  • 18. From my view….(Perspective) Uncertain job market or loss of job Family demands Little time, but want to contribute in a meaningful way Not my only interest/passion Don’t want another full-time “job” Do take responsibilities seriously 18
  • 19. From your view….(Perspective) You’ve agreed to serve on the board Many hands make for light work The organization needs your expertise Give it, get it, or get off Difficult to serve many masters with many personalities Do appreciate that you are volunteers 19
  • 20. Nonprofit 2 LifecycleDream Team Current Reality Bridging the Gaps 20
  • 21. The best executive is the one who hassense enough to pick good men [women] to do what he [she] wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it. - Theodore Roosevelt 21
  • 22. Trueleadership is rare, even in for-profit Leadership isorganizations. not about title, it’s about action. Great leaders in one life cycle may not be suitable for the Leaders are next. willing to make the tough calls, Leaders care but explain why. about people first, and believe that everything else falls into place 22
  • 23. Board Leadership The right leaders at the right stage make all the difference Inspire, set the tone, and set an example Comfortable with tension Willing to challenge and be challenged Manage to the stage of your organization Able to balance short-term vs. long-term decisions 23
  • 24. Find your superstars Sometimes leaders come from unlikely places Support board members to take roles that grow them – Sometimes the “day job” isn’t what they’d like to do Don’t make assumptions Enforce succession planning 24
  • 25. Right roles for the right people… 25
  • 26. On-boarding Example Meeting Committee with board alignment dev chair Visit x Financial programs pledge Attend x Board Assigned a board Approval “buddy” events 26
  • 27. 60 Minutes is too short! 43 Authors, Brilliant! Nominated for the 21st Annual Terry McAdam Book Award of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Bob Carter, chair-elect for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), writes, "This is surely the book I wish I had decades ago." To purchase YOU and Your Nonprofit go to this link: – My referral fees will be donated back to More about Board BookSpring ( Engagement! 27
  • 28. If I’ve Done Nothing Else… Expectations vs. stage of organization Find your superstars Push with patience, but be willing to be pushed Incremental, sustainable change 28
  • 29. Thank You!Heather Burton, Sage Nonprofit Solutions 29