The Accidental Board President

Although the position of board president is one of the most critical ones in a nonprofit, there is often little thought and intentionality put into the process of filling the position.   I literally have seen board presidents elected because they left the room at the wrong time.  Many of us have seen people elected as board president because they were the only ones whose arms could be twisted to take the job.  Too many of us have seen the position filled by the person “next Read more

Make Time for Serious Leisure

In case you aren’t aware, all leisure is not the same, nor is it only what most think it is.  As Merriam-Webster so nicely puts it, “freedom provided by the cessation of activities.”  In 1973, Robert Stebbins began his work that would eventually lead to a three-part typology of leisure:  “casual leisure,” “project-based leisure” and “serious pursuits.”  Serious pursuits is, itself, divided into subcategories:  “devotee work” and “serious leisure.”  It is serious leisure that just may make you a better leader.

According to Stebbins, serious leisure is Read more

.02 % of Nonprofits

If I thought an equal rights amendment for nonprofit employees would have a better chance of passing than the original ERA , I’d be proposing it asap. In less than 15 minutes I was sent two articles that, in essence, slammed nonprofits for paying their employees, but especially their executive directors, “too much.”

One, a commentary on CNBC, lauded the newly passed tax bill for limiting the “excessive” pay of nonprofit executives; the other, an article from the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, described a new bill presented Read more

January 12th, 2018 0 Comment

The Real World

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There is a parallel, of which I am all too frequently reminded, between working in the nonprofit sector and being an early feminist of the second half of the 20th century:  just when you think you are making progress, something smacks you in the face and says, “Hah!  Gotcha, dummie!”   Recently, I got a double whammy of both. Michelle Nunn is the Democratic nominee for the US Senate seat from Georgia, and the on-leave CEO of Points of Light, an almost $30 million Read more

It’s a Man’s World

Lean In, the book on women and work by Sheryl Sanberg, appears on track to become to the current population of women in their late teens, ‘20s and ‘30s what the Feminine Mystique and Ms.  magazine were to my generation at that age.  The media is abuzz—to a much greater degree than it was when the writings of Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer and Gloria Steinem hit the world.  And, there is much more media to buzz today!

One of Sandberg’s points—and laments—is the paucity of women Read more

Second-Class Citizen

We recently got a request from a smart executive director who wanted to enroll in our Certificate in Nonprofit Management.  She thought it would be a good thing for her, as she could learn new things, get a refresher on old things and expand her network.  But, she didn’t know how to justify this to the Board.  Her request:  did we have any data that showed the benefit of pursuing this professional development opportunity?

What?  Isn’t what she enumerated justification enough?  If need be, however, there Read more

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