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Social Good Instigators is a podcast featuring social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders. While social entrepreneurship is not a new concept (the term was first introduced in the early 1970’s) it has been receiving more attention of late. The goal of each interview is to share advice from social entrepreneurs for social entrepreneurs. Our hope is that listeners will learn ways to ensure their endeavor succeeds and thrives.

This podcast was originally launched in July 2015 as The Nonprofit Leader’s Network Podcast. There were 44 episodes broadcast as part of that initiative that covered topics ranging from board development to program development to fundraising. There have been over 33,800 downloads so far!

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

You might be wondering to yourself what I mean by social entrepreneurship. While there are multiple definitions available (with some of those conflicting), I’m a little partial to the one the European Commission uses:

A social enterprise is an operator in the social economy whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for their owners or shareholders. It operates by providing goods and services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and uses its profits primarily to achieve social objectives. It is managed in an open and responsible manner and, in particular, involves employees, consumers and stakeholders affected by its commercial activities.

Social enterprises can be for- or non-profit. I’m particularly interested in organizations that are meeting social service/employment needs and/or are funding their endeavors in unique ways.

Be a Guest on the Show!

Do you know a social entrepreneur who would have some good tips and wisdom to share? Please have them email and share what they’re up to. By using the subject line “I’d like to be a guest on the podcast” you’ll make sure your email gets read.

About Your Host: Kirsten Bullock

Kirsten is a Ph.D. student in Entrepreneurship at the University of Louisville (starting August 2017). She has 20+ years serving the nonprofit sector, first as a staff member and later as a consultant and entrepreneur. She’s launched (and sold) two brands including The Nonprofit Academy and the Nonprofit Leaders Network.

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Mar 28, 2016

We have Dave Krepcho as our guest for this episode of the Nonprofit Leaders Network. Vision and Board Communication were just two of the topics covered during the course of the call.

Dave is the President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank in Florida and is one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2015 class of CEO of the Year honorees. He has 22 years of experience in the food security sector. He started in non-profit management with a food bank in Miami, as president and CEO and then moved on to work at the national level for Feeding America as vice president of business development. Dave also serves on various boards at the local, state, and international levels.

Second Harvest Food Bank, based in Orlando, is Central Florida's largest nonprofit food distributor. They are the "bridge" to an incredible amount of surplus food to a large population in Florida that is food insecure and at-risk of being hungry. Last year, they provided enough food for forty million meals. Here are some of the key points from our discussion:

Engaging the Board in Developing a Strong Vision Dave believes in the old saying “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” That vision, though bigger than the board itself, should lay out a map of where they're going. So co-create that vision, and eventually your mission, with your board.

Using the Strategic Plan as a Way to Document Progress Strategic planning may sound a lot of work but if done right, you have the roadmap to where you are going. Document the progress towards that vision and when people see progress and positive results, they're more likely to stay involved.

Building on a Strong Foundation and Envisioning a Better Future Review the mission of your organization and what it was in the past and hit the refresh button. Does this mission still hold or does it need to be tweaked? What else can you do to benefit the community? Healthy questions such as those make your direction much clearer.

Staying Tuned in with Your Board Dave recalls being an executive director of a different organization in the past where he thought he got out too far ahead of the board of directors. And he has learned that lesson. He says it's all about communication, communication at a very high level. "The relationship between the executive director and the board… I liken it to a dance. Sometimes you have to lead and sometimes you have to follow. And you try not to step on each other's feet," Dave added.

Investing Time to Effectively Manage a Volunteer Board Invest time with the board, your officers, the subcommittees, and activities of the board and build good relationships with the group and individually. Attend committee meetings and be part of those conversations.

Recruiting and Vetting Potential Board Members It is good to establish a process for vetting prospects. Look for potential members who have a passion for and belief in you vision and mission. Diversity among members is also as important. Dave says that the more you can achieve a real nice mix and variety of people, the richer the conversation and the bigger the benefit for the organization is. You also want people who have some influence, people who are connectors and ideally someone who is close to the population you are serving. And for qualified people whose reasons for joining the board is still unclear to you, suggest they be involved in a subcommittee first. When you see how engaged they are, you may want to consider them for the governing board at some point in the future.

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