Avoiding the Potholes of Dysfunctional Boards

One of the interesting questions in nonprofit board development is whether private sector boards work “better” than nonprofit boards. While you might think that having everyone pulling in one direction—profit making—would mean that a board would be easier to manage—I would point you to Exhibit A, Uber. Enough said. In my experience, tax status—for-profit or nonprofit—is …

Finding Common Ground Between Nonprofit Board and Leadership

There is no question that one of the biggest challenges in nonprofit board and leadership work is… people. Because people are also who make up nonprofit board and leadership teams—and who makes the work so good, too. It helps to have some good and effective ways to untangle things. Often there is a level of …

Rethink Nonprofit Board Fundraising

As an executive director or development professional who has experienced the frustration of dealing with nonprofit board fundraising or asking your board to raise money for your organization, you are not alone. Moving past this obstacle doesn’t require a magic wand; if you can believe it, it may work better in some cases to have …

Maintain & Improve, or Fix it When it Breaks?

If you have a project on your desk, you have choices. You can manage it with a sense of urgency, you can vaguely hope it will resolve itself without your involvement, you can engage in a cycle of long-term analysis of options and alternatives, or you can wait deliberately and address it as deferred maintenance …

Beyond Fundraising: Board Members as Ambassadors

This Capital Motion Blog post appeared as an article in the February 27th edition of Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Sector News Nonprofit 411.  Nonprofit boards of directors have two key areas of responsibility: governance and fundraising. Governance has a set of responsibilities that are required and must be completed by each board. Fundraising could be more generally …

Tax Act-ion Steps To Take

Businesses and their mood indicator, equity markets, have recently been expressing their view by moving primarily in one direction, up. Nonprofit fundraisers looking to raise money in the wake of the Tax Act, on the other hand, have been a bit more glum. However! We leave room for hope.The complexities of the tax act (and …

Stay the Focus for 2018

It’s been a universe-altering year. And immediately ahead? More opacity. Pending changes in the tax bill have some degree of identifiable impact, even as our sector works hard to fight them back. The Law of Unintended Consequences suggests that we can also expect many more unknown unknowns. With so much ambiguity, we could simply dwell …

Strategic Planning’s Unjustified Bad Rap

We get it; the phrase “let’s start this year’s strategic plan” doesn’t inspire excitement in everyone. Some people have shared that they may even prefer exploratory dental work. We do not believe we understate the situation when we call this a “missed opportunity.” Strategic planning can be as dull as the same conversation, again, with …

Successfully Managing the Ties That Bind Boards and Executive Teams

One of the most important functions of Nonprofit Boards is, of course, fundraising. Board members want to be set up for success when they join a Board, and generally, all is well and good when Board members are financially able to make donations, are comfortable talking about money and their charity, confidence in management is …

The Importance of Storytelling in Philanthropy

One of the challenges in American philanthropy, broadly speaking, is its “stuckness” at about 2% of disposable income annually. The concept of financial “stuckness” is not a new problem; in fact, we humans demonstrate consistent financial behaviors – good and bad – in many ways. Economists and psychologists have been studying this for a while …