Our guest this episode of the Nonprofit Leaders Network Podcast series is Pamela Darnall, CEO with Family and Children’s Place, which she joined in 1994, becoming its CEO in January 2014. Pam helped lead the merger of 2 organizations in 2008 to create Family and Children’s Place and has held leadership positions with these organizations for more than 20 years. Family and Children’s Place works with children and their family members who have been exposed to, or are vulnerable to child abuse or family violence, serving between 5,000-6,000 people every year.
Here are some of the highlights from our discussion –
Reach Better Decisions by Providing Knowledge to Board Members
We can sometimes become a little challenged with our own board because we expect them to have the level of knowledge of our field that we have. We can forget that these are very busy people who have their own professions and skills but not, necessarily the same in-depth experience in our area. We take the route that it is our job to fully inform the board, not to assume knowledge, to help them understand the issues we are presenting and provide clear supporting information so that the board members can make very informed decisions.
Ways to Stay in Touch with Board Members
There are some very simple ways that can be done, for example, I try to have coffee or lunch with each board member individually at least once a year, as we have just over 30 board members that’s a lot, but it is important and makes a real difference.
I also try to keep in contact with them at board meetings, not just around the meeting table.
We have also started to work on getting the board members connected with each other so that they feel like a team, sharing why and how they are personally connected to the mission.
Board Members Calling Donors (Just to Say Thank You)
A really exciting thing happened when, at a recent board meeting, we gave each board member the name and phone number of two donors, and took 10 minutes out of the meeting for them to call those donors and say Thank You. Everyone did it and afterwards felt that it was a really great way for them to be better connected with those who support us. We are going to try and do that at each meeting, it really got them engaged and talking about what we do.
For the full transcript and show notes visit www.SocialGoodInstigators.com.
Our guest today is Broc Rosser, Executive Director of the Florida Nonprofit Alliance to discuss advocacy, lobbying and collaboration.
Broc has held a wide variety of roles in nonprofit and government sectors in Florida. He is passionate about creating an informative, effective organization to support, promote and strengthen the extensive nonprofit sector there. With an exceptional record in public policy, advocacy, government relations and strategy he is excited to use those skills to help this young organization provide a united voice for nonprofits in Florida on legislative policy and advocacy.
Here are some discussion highlights:
Working together creates a stronger voice – When the state of Florida was passing a major bill relating to Solicitation and Contribution, it was clear this would have great impact on the nonprofit community through increased transparency and accountability. The Alliance, because of our partnerships, was able to be a go-to resource for the state charity regulators to make the bill be the best it could be for all parties and help the nonprofit industry gain trust and respect.
Nonprofits are an essential part of our community – The state of Florida has over 76,000 nonprofits with about 70 billion in revenue, that’s huge, and accounted for at least 5.5% of the state workforce. It’s essential that legislators understand the importance of this contribution to the economy. Government contracts extensively with nonprofits to deliver services and meet needs that they cannot, and cannot live without the nonprofit world serving clients across our communities.
Nonprofits CAN lobby – Lobbying has become a dirty word in some people’s minds but even a nonprofit 501c3 is allowed to lobby. Lobbying is effectively asking someone to take a certain position on a bill, as opposed to advocacy which is about raising awareness and educating on the impact of a bill. It can get a little in the weeds there, when it comes to lobbying there are some great state non-profit associations like mine to help with very specific examples a nonprofit might have with lobbying and understanding the various limitations.
Building Partnerships – Rather than just looking for partnerships focused on funding, also look for ones to help further your mission, perhaps a well-respected product or program could become a model for different working relationships and collaborations beyond the traditional ways. Partnering with a group that works with your target market that could use your services. Think of a new creative way to do that.
Find more information on the podcast at www.SocialGoodInstigators.com.