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Be a Visionary


Do you avoid trying something new because it takes time? Time you can’t spare? There’s a way to make big changes, with big dividends, without investing any more of your time. Really. The trick is to switch your thinking from mission to vision. They are two different views or attitudes. You’ll be amazed at the difference this mental shift will make. Vision is what attracts people to your cause. As Simon Sinek says in his famous TED Talk, “Start with Why.” When people hear WHY you are doing what you’re doing they care. Caring leads to donating, joining, volunteering and advocating. [...]

Be a Visionary2018-02-05T09:43:41-05:00

Open Up!


You are playing a numbers game. You need more – more advocates, more volunteers, more donors. The challenge is to make sure the numbers keeps going up. That’s why you need to open the doors. Yes, open up and invite people in. Give a tour. Make it easy for people to find you. Be welcoming. Start with the tour. Invite people to come see your work. Even if it’s not very pretty, you can walk them through, give a dynamic presentation and answer questions. It’s a sure way to build a list of well-informed people. Before they come, walk outside. Take [...]

Open Up!2018-02-01T16:10:15-05:00

Celebrate Victories


It's ok to have fun. Really. It makes you happier and more productive. A few minutes a day spent celebrating the little victories may pay off in big ways. So why not create some fun? Just like gathering miracles, we tend to wait for something big to happen or for the calendar to tell us it’s time for a party. But celebrating isn’t just about cake or annual events. Celebrate victories. The reasons to celebrate are already there. You’re doing great work! You’re providing services, attracting donors, advocating for your clients, receiving grants, fulfilling dreams and building a fabulous resume. How [...]

Celebrate Victories2018-01-29T17:09:26-05:00

Gather Miracles


Several years ago I heard a nonprofit Executive Director (before they became CEOs) talk about gathering miracles. I had already learned how important storytelling is to success, but miracles? I wanted to know more. He told us how each employee in their child welfare organization reported his or her Miracle of the Month. Of course, I wondered, “How could they have so many miracles.” He went on to explain that wondrous things happen all the time. But we overlook them. They aren’t important enough. Or they are hard to quantify. Maybe they are too small for most people to notice. But [...]

Gather Miracles2018-01-16T18:24:18-05:00

Attracting Millennials


Surprise! Young people like me. Really, they do. When I was a 20 something the saying was, "Never trust anyone over 30." Today's young adults not only trust us, they seek us out. I've found again and again that they want to learn from me and other people like me (well past 30). I love it! They have energy, dreams and skills we won't live long enough to master. Here are my quick tips for attracting millennials to your board, staff or volunteer opportunities. Offer connections. The younger adults I meet through Toastmasters, One Million Cups or my work are eager [...]

Attracting Millennials2017-12-19T10:12:37-05:00

Top Tips for Nonprofits 2018


How will you make 2018 your best year? Here are 5 tips that will get you started. Each one is easy and free so no excuses! You'll see quick results and that feels good. but, maybe even more importantly, they will get you and everyone else thinking creatively. Let's get started: Gather miracles. Everyday your work creates stories of success. Pay attention to them so you can share them. They are your single greatest marketing tool. Turn them into posts. Share them at events. One organization asks each employee to report their Miracle of the Month. That's a great way to [...]

Top Tips for Nonprofits 20182017-12-18T09:02:33-05:00

Year End Giving #2


A dime doesn't cut it anymore. How do you get your share of year-end giving? Maximize your gifts by sharing your little victories. Most organizations wait for the big story but every little victory, every move towards your vision, should be shared. When you create a culture of gathering and sharing little miracles you build the support of many. Some of them will give you a thousand. Share that miracle.

Year End Giving #22017-12-17T20:30:38-05:00

Diversify Your Organization


We’ve been talking about diversity for a long time. Yet nonprofit leadership isn’t very diverse. It’s time to get it right. Diversify your organization. I’d like to think that nonprofits would be ahead of the curve on this issue but studies show otherwise. …42 percent of the organizations we surveyed are led by female executive directors, 87 percent of all executive directors or presidents were white, and there was only minimal representation of African Americans (6 percent), Asian Americans (3 percent), and Hispanics (4 percent) in those positions. Our findings, The State of Diversity in Nonprofit and Foundation Leadership, are similar [...]

Diversify Your Organization2017-12-15T15:43:23-05:00

A New Way to Work


As I explore the challenges and opportunities you have I see a bright future. Despite any political or economic factors there is an unprecedented excitement in the nonprofit community. What follows is a series of thoughts and suggestions on how we might proceed. It is not a checklist to be done in a week or a month, but an ongoing process and an awareness of what is possible and how you might approach it. It is a broad view of nonprofit sector health and the potential for greatest impact. It encompasses marketing, fundraising and, mostly, strong visible leadership. It's a new [...]

A New Way to Work2017-12-14T15:26:40-05:00

Social Enterprise


What happened to the simple choice between for-profit and non-profit? There are many more options now and lots of new terminology: social enterprise, social innovation, social entrepreneurship, for benefit, social venture. Once upon a time you existed for social good or you existed to make money. It’s not so clear anymore. Visionary nonprofit leaders are paying attention to the blurring lines (   even if the terminology remains fuzzy). A History of Social Enterprise Way back in 1917 Girl Scouts started selling cookies. Pretty soon they were earning a lot more than was needed for a camping trip. On the other [...]

Social Enterprise2017-12-13T16:21:39-05:00