The Decision-Making Process

Leaders have 3 types of decision-making approaches from which they can choose.  They can be: Leaders who allow others to make the decision. Leaders who make the decision without listening to the perspectives of others. Leaders who make the decision after listening to the perspectives of others. Let’s use the hiring of a gift officer as a decision-making example.…

The Un-Asked Question About Campaign Readiness Studies

Our firm regularly helps institutions prepare for major, multi-year fundraising campaigns.  One of the most requested services we provide is what we call our Campaign Readiness Study. These studies are comprehensive, thorough, and typically include anywhere from 50-75 confidential interviews with the client’s most capable and engaged donors.  In addition, we review all kinds of…

“You Should Run Your Business More Like a Nonprofit!”

It is fairly common to have smart, engaged volunteer Board members complain that our institutions should be “run more like a business!”  You may have even heard colleagues and administrative leaders at your institution sharing similar sentiments. Perhaps that sentiment has merit. But, the reverse is also worth exploring.  What if a business was “run…

Can I Be Better?

In most instances, the objective answer is, “yes.” I can be better at understanding and acknowledging my biases. I can be better at listening to others. I can be better at my job from a technical standpoint. I can be better with staying consistent with productive habits and minimizing unproductive ones. I can be better.…

The Advancement Mode of Governance

In their classic nonprofit book, “Governance as Leadership,” Dick Chait, Bill Ryan, and Barbara Taylor identify 3 modes of effective board governance.  When taken together, these 3 modes are designed to ensure that board members have meaningful experiences and that the corporate body of the board fulfills its important governance role for the nonprofit. These…

Becoming More Human

Like you, I sometimes wonder how A.I., and other technologies generally will impact our world, work, relationships, and lives in 25 or 50 years from now.  What will the future be like? I don’t have a crystal ball.  I’m no technology futurist like Ray Kurzweil. But I do wonder if a big, important part of…

Work Prioritization

The challenge of personal work prioritization hinges on 3 basic questions: Should I do this or not?  In other words, will investing myself, my time, and my resources into this activity likely lead to the outcome I desire? When should I do this?  If the answer to the first question is “yes, it’s worth my…

Loving The Idea

Loving the idea we are implementing is important. Without our enthusiasm, the donor may not stretch his giving nearly as much. Without our energy, phonathon callers won’t be nearly as productive. Without our creative initiative, the special event won’t be nearly as captivating. But we should love our ideas only up to a point.  And…

What Are You Doing?

Humans have a habit of doing what is easier.  Doing what we like.  Doing what we enjoy.  Doing what is pleasurable or what we want in the moment. Not necessarily doing what is in our best interests. For instance, it’s in our best interests to exercise regularly and eat healthily.  That helps us stay strong…