In this episode, Steve Schneeberger with the Youth Ministry Institute shares about Nonprofit Life Stages: the first 10 Years. Here are a few highlights:
FOUNDING. The first strategy for us was to talk to other people who had run organizations. Then we looked for a few people who could come alongside us help things get started. We approached potential board members with the idea that they would give us their time and give $3,000 a piece annually to our start-up. Amazingly a number of people came forward.
SETTING FEES FOR SERVICE. The first year we set the price point fairly low because we were establishing a price point in a market that didn’t exist. We then realized all these churches said yes too easily. So maybe the price point wasn’t high enough. When we looked at our bottom line budget, we knew it wasn’t a sustainable model. That’s why we upped it the second year. Ironically, we had twice as many churches sign on the second year and there wasn’t any pushback.
ADOLESCENCE. At about the five year mark or four year mark people were beginning to fall away. Our beginning board members, the venture capitalists, were ready to move on to something new. Then we began to reorganize how we invited people to be part of the board. We set term limits so we didn’t burn anybody out. We took out the $3,000 fee so we could ask people that didn’t have that kind of capacity. We asked ministers to be on our board...
YOUNG ADULTHOOD. We’re at the 10 year mark now. We feel like know who we are and our mission’s pretty clear. Now we just need to figure out who we want to be for the next ten years. So in the fall we’re entering into a strategic planning process. We’re involving our past and present board members, our donors, past students, current students and all of our employees and beginning to think about what we do next.
Find more information on the podcast at www.SocialGoodInstigators.com.
In this episode, Christine Harbeson of Hope Southern Indiana shares about adding an assistant executive director, using a capital campaign to find new donors, recruiting board members and more. Here are a few highlights:
Adapting Programming. We we’re not the kind of organization that’s going to continue doing a program because we’ve done it for 30 years or 10 years or whatever. If there’s no need for it in the community or the needs have become much more obvious in another area our organization is such that, that we change and evolve according to those needs.
Capital Campaign. We had never done a capital campaign before and we did not have a wide enough donor base to accomplish that well. One of the things with running a capital campaign is that it also broadens your donor base. That was huge for us. At the same time we restructured our board which was the impetus to just really kick us off well...
Recruiting New Board Members. I’m always looking, always talking to people. I invite them to board meetings, I try and get them placed on one of the councils to let them get their sea legs so to speak and understand a little bit more about the organization... Most people that are with us, are with us heart and soul. Not a casual resume building type of activity, they really do care about what we doing and that makes it a lot easier to recruit.
Find more information on the podcast at www.SocialGoodInstigators.com.
In this first podcast of The Nonprofit Leaders Network, Kirsten is joined by Arto Woodley, former executive director of Frontline Outreach in Orlando Florida.
Greatest Success: There is no doubt that the greatest success is tied into the outcomes for the children that we worked with. These young people originated in the inner city of Orlando and honed their crafts as leaders and took what they’ve learned at a small Christ centered ministry in Orlando and took it around the world. To me, that’s success.
When to Let Go: Every person has a gift and a plan for their lives, but when they’re not producing fruit for your organization then it’s time to transition. You have to balance the personal commitment to people to the commitment to making the organization grow.
What to Look for in a Board Member: One of the biggest myths that exists is that board members only come to bring their expertise. Every board member has to be committed financially. There is no way you would be able to encourage others to commit financially if the executive and the key leaders such as the board are not 100% committed. Now that may be different at the various levels of peoples’ capacity to give, but there should be 100% giving.
First Steps in Recruiting the Right Board: Don’t only look at people’s ability to give or the name of the company that they work with. That’s a huge mistake, because many times you can get people who happen to have resources or they work for a large company or a foundation and they’re not committed to your mission. Make engagement as a volunteer part of your recruitment process for board Members. This makes sure that your nominating process identifies people whose passion is connected to the work that you do and not just going after the resources and their affiliation with a particular company.
Measuring Board Effectiveness: Rather than just look at board effectiveness, it really should be a focus on institutional effectiveness – looking at the effectiveness of the executives, the effectiveness of the board, from a strategic standpoint, and looking at are we accomplishing from a strategic goal standpoint versus what we said we’d do. Start with two committees. One that evaluates the executives on a consistent regular basis with another that looks at the effectiveness of the board and the board members. Are we accomplishing what we said we were going to accomplish? Is every board member giving on an annual basis? Are board members Have they accomplished their personal goals?
Keeping the Board Engaged and Michael Jordan Syndrome: In the early days when Michael Jordan played for Chicago (before his support team improved and Chicago won the championship) most of the team sat around and watched him score. He scored 63 points in the playoffs, but nobody else on the team really did anything. But they still lost.
What happens with nonprofit directors and CEOs is they have the Michael Jordan perspective that the board sits back and watches the executive director, “Oh, look at this person. She’s doing a great job. Look at all the money she’s raised. Look at the buildings she built, look at all the program outcomes. Wow, great job!” They’re watching but they’re not engaged in it.
CEOs have to be very careful they don’t get caught in that trap because then it becomes your work and not our work. The board sits back, waits for the CEO to do it. They’ll say: “Well why didn’t she get that done? I don’t know why, she’s gotten it done in the past.” That’s the trap, so you have to very, very astutely make sure everyone is engaged in the outcomes and that everyone is held accountable for those outcomes.
Find out more at http://bullockconsulting.net/nln1.