Sidney Mathias Baxter Coulling III, the retired S. Blount Mason Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University died in February of 2016 at the age of 92. I had the distinct privilege of being taught Old English Literature and Poetry by Professor Coulling in 1981 as a freshman at W&L. It was the toughest “C” I ever earned (one of only two as an undergraduate). How I made my way into a sophomore level course (also taken by many juniors) is a testament to my naiveté–an error that only a greenhorn first-year student can make. [Read more…]
Running a nonprofit organization is a tall task. Many small to medium size nonprofits struggle with insufficient resources (human and capital) to fully execute their missions. Nonprofit leaders frequently have something on their plate, juggling multiple priorities and stakeholders. It doesn’t matter if you’re the sole employee of the organization, or if you have a large team around you; there’s one thing you can’t compromise on: “donor service.”
For example, how do you or other staff members respond when donors reach out with questions? What do you say when a donor sends you a complaint, expresses a concern, or makes a suggestion? [Read more…]
This week I celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary.
My wife and I have a wonderful relationship, and we live full lives as partners, parents, and professionals. We align on most things and rarely disagree.
There is, however, one realm where we do not align, and it’s been a source of friction for us over the years. It has to do with how we keep track of everything in our busy lives so that we honor our promises and commitments (a.k.a., keeping your word) to each other, as well as to our family, friends, and colleagues.
This week my family and I are moving. It’s a significant downsize in anticipation of my oldest daughter going off to college in a year. As a family of four, we’re transitioning from a 3BR+Den+Garage house to a 2BR+Den and no garage condo by the beach in Naples, FL. In preparation for the move, we’ve been “subtracting” a significant amount of stuff from our lives over the past few weeks–giving most of it away to Goodwill, or families whom we know can put it to good use.
Human resource professionals and hiring managers often ask me if there are certain qualities to look for when hiring prospective new successful nonprofit leaders that are likely to make them extraordinarily successful in their leadership roles. While there are no absolutes, Janice Cunning and I identified nine essential qualities through our personal experience in the nonprofit world as well as our work training and coaching nonprofit professionals that make nonprofit executives extraordinary. We found that there are a few characteristics that if carefully screened for can yield excellent new-hire results. [Read more…]
You are an extraordinary producer. Efficient, effective, and on top of your game.
Now, all of a sudden you accept a promotion within your organization to lead a team. Or, you were recruited away to lead a team in another organization.
Either way, the game has changed. Not only do you need to continue to produce results from your frontline work, you are also responsible for getting results from and through your team. [Read more…]
Are you part of a charity or nonprofit organization that does fundraising? If so, you understand how important it is to create a high-quality website that shares a variety of information with your audience (including potential donors). In this post, our good friend and SEO expert, Charlie Rose, shares the essential elements for a web page that converts visitors to donors. [Read more…]
Next week, I meet with the Conscious Leadership Tribe to discuss Commitment #3 from the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leaders: “I commit to feeling my feelings all the way through to completion. They come, and I locate them in my body then move, breathe and vocalize them, so they release all the way.” It’s a topic that this group of leaders comes back to from time-to-time because we assert that conscious leaders are emotionally intelligent.
In the marketplace for fundraiser talent, we know that demand currently outstrips supply. Consequently, advancement and development leaders often say that one of the most significant challenges they face is the hiring and retention of fundraising talent. While the economic forces of supply and demand are putting upward pressure on salaries, a common misconception about fundraiser recruitment and retention is that it’s “all about the money.” That’s a management and leadership cop-out.
This week’s blog is by our good friend, Alizah Epstein, who is the Founder and CEO of the Epstein Creative Group. Alizah’s firm supports mission-driven organizations that improve their communities, especially those nonprofits that focus on women’s and children’s issues. In this post, Alizah shares some great insights for curing fundraising event fatigue.