Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BEST of 2010 in Not-for-Profit News

As the publisher of the Not-for-Profit News and a consultant with nonprofits in leadership transition, I have the benefit of seeing and reading much of the latest thinking around how nonprofits work and we try to share it with our readers. As we wrap up 2010, I took a few minutes to look back through the articles we featured this year that received great feedback from readers and/or resonated with what I am hearing through multiple channels. Each introduction either links to the article on our blog or another source.

In chronological order


1 ) Ten Quick Ways to Invigorate Board Meetings - Jan Masaoka of Blue Avocado

2) Does Your Board Use Executive Sessions? Jan Masaoka of Blue Avocado.

3) What Really Works In Building a Strong Board? - Mary Hiland, Ph.D of Hiland Associates in California.

4) Is Your Board Bowling Or Playing Golf? – Bryan

5) Register for the 2011 Central Indiana Board Chair Summit - January 21, 2011, presented by Peace Learning Center and Lacy Leadership Association. FMI, or Nancy Larner Ruschman at 317-327-7144.


6) Nonprofit Sabbaticals Improve Organizational Capacity

7) How Many Board Treasurer’s Do You Need? – Bryan – Not just for dollars $$ -

8) Can Nonprofit Leaders Consider Retirement Again? – Bryan

9) School’s Out for Summer - An Introduction to Internships for Your Nonprofit – On November 3, we partnered with Indiana InternNet and United Way of Central Indiana to provide an introduction and training session to 50 nonprofit leaders with the hope of increasing the use of interns by nonprofits. FMI, go to www.indianaintern.net or contact Pam Norman.


10) Central Indiana Nonprofit Salary Report – Bryan with Jim Morris, Pendula Consulting - www.CINSS.org

11) The BoardSource Nonprofit Governance Index 2010


12) The Annual Misperception of Charitable Priorities – Bryan

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Should Your Nonprofit Exist Forever?

Two stories in the past couple weeks have reminded me of this interesting discussion. One was by Nancy Lublin, the serial nonprofit founder and leader who now leads Do Something and writes a regular column for a BUSINESS magazine. In the latest edition of Fast Company www.FastCompany.com, Ms Lublin advocates for organizations that address their issue and then celebrate and close. She shares some examples of organizations that she feels have not served the charity world well by allowing their mission to expand and lose focus after they essentially solved the problem they were created to address. Why Charities Should Have an Expiration Date.

On a somewhat related note, a recent edition of the Chronicle of Philanthropy www.Philathropy.com featured a story on two nonprofits that were created with limited lifetimes of 10 years or so. The leaders of those organizations emphasize the energy and momentum that can be created by a deadline, and the impact it has in motivating funders and donors, increasing collaboration, and reducing perceived competition with other nonprofits. Charities With an Expiration Date Hurry to Make a Lasting Mark.

I think this is a particularly interesting conversation because so many nonprofits have set very broad, aspirational goals that they know they can never actually achieve themselves. Should our goal be to make a meaningful difference in a burst of activity and impact to move the issue forward or settle for struggling along for an extended period of time wondering if we are truly making a difference? I suspect there is a broad spectrum of possibilities and every organization and cause will fit a different place. By their nature, some organizations are designed to exist to serve a need or audience indefinitely while others are more a project or idea that comes to life and then struggles to perpetuate itself - which are you?


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Register for the 2011 Central Indiana Board Chair Summit

After a very successful inaugural event in 2010, the Central Indiana Board Chair Summit continues on January 21, 2011!

This exciting event is created specifically for community leaders serving as executives on non-profit boards and non-profit executive staff. As a community leader, you have the opportunity to transform the nonprofit and community landscape by being a part of the 2nd Annual Central Indiana Board Chair Summit which will take place January 21, 2011 in Indianapolis. Peace Learning Center www.peacelearningcenter.org and Lacy Leadership Association
www.lacyleadership.org are partnering to bring you this exciting event.

The 2011 Summit will include opening remarks from Brian Payne, president of The Indianapolis Foundation and Central Indiana Community Foundation; the featured presentation by Dr. Kent Keith, CEO of The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and author of "Servant Leadership in the Boardroom: Fulfilling the Public Trust," in addition to roundtable discussions and a panel presentation from experienced board chairs.

To learn more about Dr. Keith's forthcoming book, read an excerpt here.

Mark your calendars for January 21- we would love to see your organization represented!

Registration Details: Friday, Jan 21, 2011 from 7:30am - Noon at The Athenaeum, downtown Indy Cost: $49/person

For a more detailed agenda and to register, go here.

or contact Nancy Larner Ruschman at nruschman@peacelearningcenter.org or