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15
SEP
2020

Creative Problem Solving Starts with Better Questions

The quality of our questions determines the usefulness of the answers. Right now, we aren’t asking the right questions. This is understandable—we are still imagining that this pandemic is a tunnel that we need to ‘get through’ and once we do, things will return to “normal.” This... Read More →
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19
MAY
2020

Use Customer Discovery to Navigate Reopening

As state restrictions are lifted, many businesses and organizations are wondering, “if we open the doors, will our patrons return?” Whether we voice them or not, we all have opinions about the best way to reopen our communities, businesses, and organizations. Now is time to test... Read More →
20
JAN
2020

Reaching Your Goals–It’s About Systems

The downtime during the holidays is a time for binge watching, catching up with friends, drinking and eating more than usual, and for me, like many others, it’s a great time to catch up on reading. Prompted by a reference in someone’s blog, I picked up the book Atomic Habits by... Read More →
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09
SEP
2019

Slowing Donor Attrition

With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, Giving Tuesday and nonprofits’ year-end fundraising activities are almost here. End-of-the-year appeals—via letter, email, or through personal conversations—motivate new and current donors to contribute to the organization’s work. Every... Read More →
26
APR
2019

Fostering Civility

Last month, I had the opportunity to speak about civility at the Iowa Municipal Management Institute. Here are some of the key points of my talk. Politeness and Civility Although politeness and civility are linked, they serve different purposes. Politeness often implies taking... Read More →
07
MAR
2019
thought bubble with an idea

Should You Start a Nonprofit?

As part of my work, I often talk with people about their ideas for a new business or service. Like so many potential entrepreneurs, the people I talk with are eager to do work that they believe in and feel good about. Many of the business ideas have a community benefit or social... Read More →
02
NOV
2018
little girl sitting smiling in a dental chair

Make Sure Your Board Has An Annual Performance Check-up

We’re accustomed to taking our cars in for regular maintenance, to accompanying our kids to check-ups at the dentist, and scheduling haircuts with a certain amount of regularity. Both mechanical and organic systems require regular attention and maintenance. The nonprofit board is... Read More →
09
SEP
2018
Apples on an apple tree

It’s Getting to Be That Time of Year-Board Recruitment

At this time of year, many boards appoint their nominating committees to identify and recruit new board members. Being thoughtful and strategic in recruiting new members helps ensure that the board has the necessary skills and community connections to strengthen t... Read More →
08
AUG
2018
Human Resources typed on a page

The Board’s Role in HR Governance

Nonprofit boards take various approaches to the role they play in the organization’s human resource (HR) activities. Some boards adopt a complete hands-off approach to the organization’s HR activities, while others expect full participation in the hiring of staff positions... Read More →
12
JUL
2018

The Importance of Balanced Board and Staff Leadership

Nonprofit leadership requires a healthy partnership between the board and its chief executive. Organizations benefit from active, engaged board leadership coupled with a chief executive with strong leadership skills. Too often, however, the leadership in nonprofit organizations... Read More →