When board members go AWOL between meetings, try this.

The complaint I hear more than any other from nonprofit execs and/or board chairs is this: Board members disappear between meetings. Poof! They’re gone. Most can’t even be bothered to respond to my message with a one-word reply: “received.” Sound familiar? If so, I point you in the direction of a Harvard Business Review article […]

Board member, how about giving fundraising a try?

I don’t want to be one of those people who assumes that every member of every board is cut out for fundraising. And slap me down if I veer toward a description of board members as ATMs or “pay pals” for the organizations they serve. As I’ve said time again here at Generous Matters, the […]

Practicing the art of governance as evangelism

Stop the presses on the latest run of board member business cards. There’s a word to add to the title line, and this it is — “evangelist.” If the moniker strikes you as too preachy for a 21st century audience, think again. The suggestion is ripped from the pages of the May 2015 Harvard Business […]

If I had a rich board, deedle, deedle, dum

Should you get big names and deep pockets on your board? This question from a LinkedIn discussion group left me scratching my head. What’s the alternative — a recruiting strategy aimed at no-name individuals with empty pockets? Doesn’t sound like a very hopeful plan. Nor is it necessary. It’s my experience that the better approach is to look for people with […]

If you ain’t got money, honey . . .

Even the most crass of nonprofit CEOs doesn’t come right out and tell the board it only matters for the money. However, when networks go untapped and personal connections ignored, board members get the message. Most talk a good line about valuing all gifts around the board table, yet it’s the rare organizational head who […]

Answers to questions about boards and fundraising

Whenever two or three nonprofit executives gather together, fundraising and board members are sure to come up. And based on conversations to which I’ve been privy, there’s not a lot of bragging going on. In fact, most of the nonprofit leaders with whom I work assume that every other board in town (the nation, maybe […]

Observations at the outset of a pilot project on board leadership

This week, I’ve had the pleasure of spending two days with a fantastic group of CEOs and board members from eight faith-based nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest. We’re here as guests of the MJ Murdock Trust, where the program staff share my strong conviction that good governance really does matter to mission fulfillment with economic vitality. […]

The board’s role in strategic change

I’ve said it before and I’m happy to say it again. A board’s ability to provide strong governance really does matters to an organization’s success. In fact, I believe that an organization can be no stronger than its board – at least in the long term. BUT DON’T JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.  Consider […]

Love the board you’re with

It doesn’t take much digging to uncover some serious board envy within the world of nonprofits, including those with a faith base. A lot of CEOs assume that almost every board but theirs is comprised of folks who eagerly embrace the dual responsibilities of giving and getting. However, this is seldom the way things are. It is my experience that […]

Thumbs up to optimism

An article about optimism in a recent issue of Time magazine reminded me of how blessed I am to travel in the company of people of hope –people who’ve chosen generosity over stinginess and who hold lightly to the material things of life. For the most part, leaders of faith-based organizations are optimists. They not […]