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

Time to Go

Executive directors routinely ask me how to know when it is time to leave.  I wish board members asked me that same question:  how do they know when it is time for the executive director to leave?

It isn’t that I don’t think the first question is an important one for every executive director to ask him/herself regularly.  Though the essence of my answer has not changed over time, the order in which I deliver my responses has.

The first part is this:  it is time to Read more

Benefits of Pruning

In the plants world, there are times of the year where you are and aren’t supposed to prune in order to yield more controlled and fuller future blooming.  Fortunately, while pruning in the nonprofit sector isn’t limited to certain seasons, we can still reap the same benefits:   a more intentional, stronger, fuller incarnation of ourselves in the future.

I regularly am told of boards’ and executive directors’ travails of working with individuals who aren’t producing as they should, are undermining the culture of the organization, are Read more

Do you Speak Social Investment?

#164425291 /

At The Nonprofit Center, we recognize the need to support nonprofits seeking to start social enterprises as part of their search for new, sustainable funding streams.  But one of the big questions is where to find start-up money.  While certainly there are some who could find the funds in their reserves or in an unrestricted endowment, others may seek a PRI (program related investment) from a foundation, and still others may be able to get a bank loan, there are plenty for whom Read more

Jumbo Shrimp


/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

I love oxymorons, and frequently get tired of having to use the crystal clear example of jumbo shrimp to explain to the uninitiated what an oxymoron is.  Thanks to Thomas Wolf, author of Managing a Nonprofit in the 21st Century, I was reminded of one Read more