Tuesday, October 19, 2010


An Introduction to Internships for Your Nonprofit

Join us on Wednesday, November 3 from 9am-11am to learn how your nonprofit can benefit from student interns during the summer or throughout the year. We will address several key barriers identified in a brief survey in June of 2010 by Charitable Advisors – 1) lack of clarity about what roles an intern might fill and the value they would bring, 2) perceived difficulty in recruiting a talented intern, and 3) uncertainty around paid versus unpaid internships.

Representing the internship triangle of students, employers and career professionals, panelists will share how internship programs unlock student potential and provide a source of talent for nonprofit organizations. Whether you are the CEO or HR Director at a large nonprofit or the Executive Director or Program Manager at a smaller nonprofit, you will walk away with practical ideas and specific steps you can take to begin an intern effort.

This (No Charge) information session is hosted by the Not-for-Profit News, Indiana INTERNnet, and United Way of Central Indiana. The event will take place at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Conference Center, 8th Floor of the Hyatt Hotel/PNC Tower at 115 West Washington Street. Convenient and inexpensive parking is available across the street on the 3rd floor of the Circle Center Mall garage off Maryland and just walk across the connector to the elevators.

There is no charge but please register and answer a few questions so we can prepare a great session. Register here.

Bryan Orander, President
Charitable Advisors and Not-for-Profit News


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Board Development is “In Season” – Two Great Opportunities

One of the most common refrains I am hearing these days is how nonprofits who have always looked to their Executive Director/CEO and staff to keep the organization financially and operationally sound now need the board to step up and do more than attend meetings and review the financials. You might recall an article we ran in August overviewing research that found three critical success factors in boards that increased their effectiveness:

From: What Really Works in Building a Strong Board (Not-for-Profit News - July 13 Blog Post ).

1. Outside governance expertise or training – a “nudge” – from a facilitator or board member attendance at outside training contributed to a new vision of the board.

2. The Board Chair - critical in creating movement and building momentum for change, in partnership with the executive director. The board chair usually engaged a few other board members, building a small group of champions for change.

3. Intention - Study participants described a specific, articulated intention to develop the board: ”We were obsessed with board development.” “Status quo was not OK.”

Here are two great opportunities for board leaders to set aside any excuses for not knowing how to create a strong board for their organization. Please get these dates on the calendars of a couple of your board leaders – or bring a group!

How True Philanthropy Can Transform Your Board: a workshop for nonprofit executive directors and board chairs with Jamie Levy of J.D. Levy Associates, Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 8:00 AM – Noon, Shepherd Community Center – Admission $15. Jamie Levy is president of J.D. Levy and Associates and a faculty member at Indiana University, where he teaches in the graduate and professional programs through the IU Center on Philanthropy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and The Fund Raising School. Through his teaching and consulting, he has trained nearly 12,000 professionals from over 30 countries. Join Jamie to explore how an understanding of "true philanthropy" can move your board from a group of individuals to a body of unified leadership, and how seeing your board through the eyes of a culture of philanthropy will empower your board members to be lifelong advocates as opposed to short term duty. See how the board meetings change when we view the board as a social asset and begin moving the board culture away from problem spotting toward value creation and framing.. We invite you to attend as a team, executive director and board chairman. Register at http://transformyourboard.eventbrite.com , or call 812-447-0345.

2nd Annual Central Indiana Board Chair Summit, January 21, 2011, 8:00am-Noon, Madame Walker Theatre – Admission $49. The primary purpose of the Central Indiana Board Chair Summit is to provide an opportunity for Board Chair leaders to learn new strategies and share ideas with one another that will foster healthier and higher performing Boards. The first-ever Central Indiana Board Chair Summit sold out in January 2010 and elicited tremendous feedback from the more than 80 organizations in attendance: 95% of board chairs rated the Summit as “above average” or “excellent”; 94% of board chairs learned new ideas or skills that could be put into practice immediately; 88% believe they will serve more confidently in their role as Board leader. As one of the 2010 Summit attendees stated: “Realizing that our problems were universal and typical with non-profit boards and hearing peers in my position talk about approaches for resolving them were the most useful aspects of the Summit.” Registration will open soon. Watch the NFP News for more information or contact nruschman@peacelearningcenter.org to be added to the mailing list.

What Really Works In Building a Strong Board?

You may recall an on-line survey we promoted last fall for a board researcher named Mary Hiland, Ph.D of Hiland Associates in California. She appreciated the 30+ organizations who responded from Cincinnati and Indianapolis about both board turnarounds and boards that had shown growth to new levels of effectiveness. In total, she looked at 59 cases from organizations across a broad spectrum of budget and board size. Mary is still assembling the detailed analysis and report but wanted our readers to be among the first to receive her preliminary findings.

She found five dimensions that participants consistently identified in the way boards work:

· Alignment: Right people doing the right things with the right skills.
· Individual growth: Assisting each board member to be the best they can be.
· Team building: Fine tuning how the group works as a team.
· Maturity: The board's ability to understand the needs of the organization and their best roles as a collective group.
· Asset creation: The collaborative process by which boards reach their full potential to lead and add value to the organization in achievement of the mission.

The results reflected a continuum of board development, seemingly independent of the organizational life cycle:

1. Getting the basics right.
2. Improving overall board functioning; building board infrastructure.
3. Becoming more strategic.
4. Attracting investment, social capital(people and influence), and engaging with the community in powerful ways.

She found three critical success factors:

1. Outside governance expertise or training - a "nudge" - usually from a trainer/facilitator or a board member's attendance at outside training contributing to a new vision of the board.
2. The Board Chair - critical in creating (or inhibiting) movement and building momentum for change, in partnership with the Executive Director/CEO. The board chair usually engaged a few other board members, building a small group of champions for change.
3. Intention - Study participants described a specific, articulated intention to develop the board: "We were obsessed with board development." "Status quo was not OK."

What is a "Stronger Board"? The tangible improvements included changes in:

· Leadership - More leadership; better leaders.
· Interpersonal dynamics - Better, stronger relationships among the board members and with the Executive Director/CEO.
· Engagement - Increased attendance and participation. Better quality discussion, better preparation. More energy, momentum.
· Board functioning - better meetings, more ownership of the board's work, more effective committee work, and recognition that the board needs to work on itself - not just the organization.
· More strategic; Less involved in operations - Taking it to the next level.
· Composition: More diverse, better "quality" of board members
· Community engagement - Board members increased engagement with the external community, "got it" regarding fundraising, increased identification and use of board member's networks, and/or strengthened advocacy.

We look forward to learning more as she continues her work. You can find more about Mary Hiland at www.hiland-assoc.com.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Should a New Board Member Receive?

1) Get them immediately involved in ways they can meet people, feel a sense of accomplishment, and see your organization in action.

2) Provide a good board package that is informational without being overwhelming - in hardcopy or electronically. I built upon a recent BoardSource post to suggest the following:

-Short introduction and history of the organization, including why is was started and any significant changes or events through its life.
-Organization Goals or Plans
-Prior year audited financials
-Annual Report
-Minutes from Board and Committee Meetings for the past 6 months to a year
-Staff and Board Organization Charts
-List of funders, major supporters, and program partners - their roles and
current funding commitments
-Policies for Board and Staff
-List of all board members with their terms and contact information -Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation
-Executive Directors Job Description and annual review cycle -Recent promotional brochures

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