Never Can Say Good-bye

There’s an old proverb that it takes one person to throw a stone in a well, but ten to get it out. I think the nonprofit equivalent is that it’s vastly easier to start a program than to end it. Here’s what I mean. Let’s imagine a small community-based social services...

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...

Building the Right Board — Or Not

Do you want to build a great board of directors for your nonprofit? Sure! But it’s harder than it looks. Even if you recruit terrific people, which of course is not easy, that’s no guarantee that you’ll have a high-functioning board. A lot of boards turn out to be...

A Board’s Most Important Role

Good nonprofit boards put a lot of time into strategic planning, creating effective policies, and raising funds – all very important roles. But very few put enough time into their single most critical task: monitoring, supporting, evaluating, and, if necessary,...

Healthy Tension

There are some things that people love to complain about. Dealing with difficult relatives around the holidays. Drivers weaving in and out of traffic. The slow line at Motor Vehicles. Rude people. Unappreciative children. The guy driving by with his windows rolled...