Self-Serving vs. Public Serving

When something is so obvious to you, it can be hard to understand why others don’t “get it.” Add to this the challenges of overcoming well-entrenched myths and dominant models of “how things should be” and you get insight into how difficult it can be to understand some of the ways and idiosyncrasies of the nonprofit sector, including some key relationships. Even those who have been in the sector for a while don’t always get it and, thus, blow opportunities to the detriment of all.

Here Read more

Best Practices are Calling

In a recent discussion on DEAI and fundraising, one participant made the point that using wealth as the primary determinant of fitness for a board is dangerous and simply wrong.  

As she was speaking, I kept thinking:  “This isn’t new; this isn’t an ‘ah ha’ moment of recognition arrived at by DEIA coming to the forefront of everyone’s mind. This has always been a best practice.” 

And while I  know the speaker understood this as well as I do, that wasn’t the point she wanted and Read more

October 23rd, 2020 0 Comment

Eyes Wide Open On-Boarding

I often have to work with boards or organizations that are in perilous positions.  In one case, the long-serving executive director left unexpectedly and the organization was on shaky ground financially.  Add to this that with the departure of the ED, board members were only now admitting to the fact that she hadn’t really been “leaning in” for a number of years, having opted to focus on what she wanted to do, rather than all that needed to be done. 

I had been invited to Read more

Weighing the Role of Best Practices in Nonprofits

Over the past several months, I have been struggling with the question of best practices:  whose best practices?  And, do best practices really allow for flexibility and latitude when integrating them into the unique culture that exists in each of our organizations?

As those of you who read this blog regularly probably know by now, my first career was as an academic criminologist.  While there are many different theories that explain what makes some people criminals and others not, one of the more dominant ones explained Read more