Goldilocks and the Three Boards

As fairy tales go, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is fairly benign. She’s not eaten by a wolf. She isn’t fed poisoned apples. The worst thing that happens to Goldilocks is that she wanders into a house where she doesn’t belong. She escapes without injury. And she...

Best-Kept Secrets

Here’s the scene: A nonprofit board is discussing how to attract new supporters. One board member, in an exasperated but sincere tone, says, “But it’s so hard to interest people… because, well, no one knows about us.” And then the board member adds these...

Getting Paid — Part I

Let’s talk about nonprofit salaries. The greatest expenditure by most nonprofits is for staff salaries, which makes sense: a nonprofit typically doesn’t produce goods, as a manufacturer does, but services, and those services are usually provided by paid staff members....

Fish Stories

I was visiting with the staff of a small human services agency the other day. I asked them how they liked their board of directors, and they were generally positive, until it came to talking about the board’s attitude about development.  At that point, their calm...