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 […]

Testing your board’s campaign readiness

At the first hint that a major gifts or capital campaign is in the cards for an organization– even if the launch date is a year or two into the future — board members should begin immediately to prepare themselves for their leadership role. As many an expert on governance has observed, as the board performs, […]

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 […]

Advice to boards: In bad economic times, keep on doing the same good things

When asked what boards of faith-based nonprofits should be doing in these tough economic times, I respond: What you should have been doing all along. In good times and in bad, the chief duty of a board is to lead with the best possible governance. My charge to boards of theological schools in a recent issue of In […]

The accidental stewardship educator

In my experience, it’s the unusual newcomer to fundraising for a faith-based organization that thinks of him or herself as called to ministry. And when it comes to CEOs and boards, even fewer conceive of fundraising as a spiritual activity.  Yet many Christians report that their most intimate conversations about faith and money have been with development staff of a religiously affiliated […]

Going nowhere fast

I use the phrase “dysfunctional civility” in my consulting work to describe a board culture that shuts out hard questions and differences of opinion. This week I came across a companion descriptor that I plan to add to my workshop repertoire — “dysfunctional momentum.” Michelle Barton and Kathleen Sutcliffe coined the phrase in an article that appeared […]