Category: Board Development

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Board Leaders

Cultivate Heavy Lifters for Your Board

By Lapa Your board can be a robust fundraising engine, but not if it’s cluttered with board members who are light lifters. And, let’s face it, most nonprofits have boards that do very little. It’s better to have even a few people on your board who are willing to put in the time to guide your organization to its greatest impact. I’ve seen organizations transformed by three or four such people, and it’s much more advantageous to recruit this type of board member. The question, of course, is how do you cultivate the heavy lifters to ensure that you’re giving them the runway and

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Achieving Board Diversity and Inclusion

By Michael Davidson This is a critical time in our history as we finally begin to acknowledge our national failure to take seriously our commitment to equity and the strength we derive from our diversity. Implementing the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) carries some special challenges for Boards of Directors. Specifically, they will need to: Commit to the importance of implementing these values by including members who bring diverse perspectives. Create a Board environment that will genuinely welcome and include members who will bring different points of view. Your Commitment to Change It is the legal responsibility of

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Fundraising Drives The Power Of A Name

Fundraising Drives: The Power Of A Name

By Lapa Fundraising drives with sizzling names raise more money. It’s a statistical fact. The name of your campaign, annual drive, or new program should be dynamic and memorable, and convey your values to donors and funders, and the passionate impact you seek. Consider these successful names: “Close to Home” is the name for the University of Connecticut’s UCONN Foundation Faculty and Staff Annual Drive which includes various direct giving options plus automatic payroll deductions. The name says it all and conveys the powerful sentiment of belonging, that faculty, staff, and supporters constitute a family. “Second Show” is a thrift

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Your Leadership Council’s Fuel Legitimacy

Your Leadership Council’s Fuel: Legitimacy

By Lapa This is part five of a five-part series. To read part one, What Does A Leadership Council Do, click here. To read part two, Defining and Naming Your Leadership Council, click here. To read part three, Four Situations Best Served by Your Leadership Council, click here. To read part four, Establishing Your Leadership Council, click here. Legitimacy is based upon respect through association. It’s similar to the way a prospective employer checks an applicant’s job references. A leadership council is a group of people who effectively say, through their association, “We’ve checked this group’s references and they’re solid.” As you can see in

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Establishing Your Leadership Council

Establishing Your Leadership Council

By Lapa This is part four of a five-part series. To read part one, What Does A Leadership Council Do, click here. To read part two, Defining and Naming Your Leadership Council, click here. To read part three, Four Situations Best Served by Your Leadership Council, click here. The first step in recruiting Leadership Council (LC) members is to clearly define what it is you are expecting of them, both in terms of time commitment and ultimate goals. Remember that anyone you approach is going to be, in all likelihood, a busy person, and people have their own time obligations. I recommend that you

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Four Situations Best Served By A Leadership Council

Four Situations Best Served By A Leadership Council

By Lapa This is part three of a five-part series. To read part one, What Does A Leadership Council Do, click here. To read part two, Defining and Naming Your Leadership Council, click here. Just as there are different types of leadership councils, there are key moments in your growth when a leadership council can help your nonprofit. Consider these four big moments: 1) When an Acquisition, Merger or Strategic Alliance is Underway When two organizations join, either through acquisition, merger or strategic alliance, the new board of directors doesn’t necessarily have to just double in size. Everyone may not

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Defining & Naming Your Leadership Council

Defining & Naming Your Leadership Council

By Lapa This is part two of a five part series on leadership councils. Part One: “What Does A Leadership Council Do?” (click the text to read the full post) Finding a powerful name, and defining the purpose, should be top on your list of tasks as you start and develop your Leadership Council. Here’s three reasons why: You want the members themselves and the public to take notice. You want to convey energy and vision. You want to differentiate it from the Board of Directors. Meeting all three criteria is essential. Secondly, there are many ways to define your

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What A Leadership Council Does

What A Leadership Council Does

By Lapa A leadership council is a group of individuals outside of your board (though some of them may also be board members) who fulfill a number of special functions for your agency. Unlike your board members who assume a governance responsibility, the council is a nongovernance group. This is part one of a five part series on leadership councils. To read part two, “Defining and Naming Your Leadership Council”, click here. Click here to tweet this article. What A Leadership Council Does Depending on the type of council you empower, a leadership council can enable you to achieve any

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Board Giving Most Recent Stats

Board Giving: Most Recent Stats

By Lapa Your board member’s giving is necessary for many reasons. Consider these top whys and wherefores. An appeal letter is particularly convincing if a board member uses him or herself as an exemplary donor, with the ideal being the board member offering a challenge gift. The donor that you are approaching often wants to know that the Board members are giving generously. Secondly, the board is responsible for providing a sound financial basis for your organization. By personally contributing, a board member recognizes this responsibility and demonstrates a commitment. Board members should be asked for multiple year pledges as

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