Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who Leads Your Board? (10 Days til the Summit)

Is it the board chair, the officers, executive committee, the Executive Director? I hear many different answers to this question. In my mind, the Board Chair and Executive Director/CEO are the keys to leading the board and refining the purpose and role of the board in your organization. I work with several dozen boards each year and essentially all consider their board to have significant untapped potential.

We are pleased to be co-sponsors again this year of the Board Chair Summit. Registration is reaching 100 with a little more than a week to go. The event is at the JCC next Friday morning, March 9th - hosted by Lacy Leadership Association with assistance from Peace Learning Center. Board Chair and Executive Director(or CEO) teams are encouraged to register together this year to work with nationally recognized author, consultant, and researcher, Dr. Mary Hiland. Dr. Hiland brings over 35 years of “on the ground” experience, complemented by her own research on building strong and effective nonprofit boards and Board Chair/ED relationships. Participants will learn from their peers, discover practical tips for leading their organization and leave with a plan of action that builds a stronger governance future. The 2010 and 2011 events were sold out so please register NOW. ED/Board leader teams register together for $140. Individual registration is $79. A continental breakfast is included. For more information or to register now, visit www.boardchairsummit.com.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reality Time for Human Service Organizations?

Many of you will remember Irv Katz, who served in a number of Indianapolis area nonprofit leadership roles before stepping up to the national stage. In this article, he reflects on the demise of Hull House in Chicago and what it means to those of us working in the sector.

"The recent demise of Hull House, the historic Chicago settlement
established over a century ago by socialite, social entrepreneur, and activist Jane Addams may well be emblematic of tectonic shifts taking place in the human service sector. And the big problem with tectonic shifts is, you don't know where the plates will land until they have.

To know about the history of social welfare in the United States is to know about Hull House as one of its most historic and significant icons. Addams imported the idea of a settlement house from England, and had the bold idea of empowering people and giving a hand up not a hand out. Central to the concept was that the settlement house was a part of the community, often an immigrant community, not somewhere downtown where one had to beg for help.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How could 'Walking for Dreams 2012' benefit your Organization?

Last year, 40 non profits and over 1500 walkers raised over $100,000. Over the past 8 years, close to 100 organizations have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, in total. I have been involved since the 2nd or 3rd year walking for several different organizations. I think of 'Walking for Dreams' as the walk-a-thon event for organizations who: 1) aren't big enough to do their own event or 2) don't want to spend valuable volunteer or staff time on event organizing, or 3) want to gather a group of their supporters around fund raising for one particular program.

Here's how it works: There is a $350 upfront fee but then the Sycamore Foundation plans, manages, and runs the event. They even provide an on-line donation website where your walkers can form teams and receive donations. All your nonprofit does is solicit walkers to participate and raise funds for your organization. Whether you have 5 walkers or 50, it is a fun event and can raise a meaningful amount of money for the effort you invest.

Promoted as the 'Walking for Dreams Family and Pet 5k Walk', the event encompasses just a couple hours of a beautiful Sunday afternoon on the scenic Canal Walk downtown. The energy is terrific, the colors are bright, the faces are happy. Each organization is assigned a table to greet and gather their walkers plus promote their organization to others in attendance. Everyone steps out together and then winds their way through the walk route and back to food and festivities at their own pace.

A Walk-a-thon event is a great way to introduce people to your organization, a good strategy to give reluctant board members or staff a 'harmless' way to talk about your organization with friends and family, and a nice time for social connection between people who care about your organization. To learn more or get signed up for the June 3, 2012 event, visit www.WalkingforDreams.org.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Can a Book = Professional Development?

A simple question posed to Patrick Lawler 27 years ago inspired his appetite
for business reading. Lawler, the founder and CEO of Youth Villages in
MA(now with a staff of 2300), was at a conference with Mary Lynn Cantrell, a
leader in the field of children's mental and behavioral health. Cantrell
casually asked what he was reading and Lawler had to admit that he wasn't
reading anything. 

Then in his 20s, Lawler had young children and was working long hours just
keeping Youth Villages afloat. But Cantrell's question, coupled with
Lawler's need to learn more about the business of managing a nonprofit
organization, spurred him to read. Lawler is a devoted reader, and his views
about the value of reading fuel his desire to share the resources that have
helped (and continue to help) him. He assumes everyone has already read -
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and Good to Great
by Jim Collins 

1) The CEO Paradox: The Privilege and Accountability of Leadership - Thomas
R. Horton 
2) On Becoming a Leader  - Warren Bennis 
3) Leadership Is an Art - Max DePree 
4) Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done - Larry Bossidy and Ram
5) How to Act Like a CEO: 10 Rules for Getting to the Top and Staying There
- D.A. Benton 
6) Boardroom Verities - Jerold Panas 
7) The Executive in Action - Managing for Results; Innovation and
Entrepreneurship; The Effective Executive - Peter F. Drucker 
8) The Visionary's Handbook: Nine Paradoxes That Will Shape the Future of
Business - Watts Wacker, Jim Taylor, with Howard Means 
9) businessThink: Rules for Getting it Right-Now, and No Matter What! - Dave
Marcum, Steve Smith, and Mahan Khalsa 
10) What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even
More Successful - Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter

How much better equipped we would be if we were reading through this list?
What's your plan?

See the full article with book descriptions at: