April 5, 2009

How many times have you and I sat around complaining about our board members? Grousing about our fundraising volunteers?

Be honest! We’ve all done it.

Well, I finally figured out what to do. First, look in the mirror – because chances are, their performance is directly related to you, the person in the mirror.

Too many executive directors don’t know how to enable their board members to do good governance. Too many development officers don’t know how to enable their fundraising volunteers to do the right stuff well.

I call it “enabling.” Effective leaders know how to enable their volunteers and staff to do perform effectively.

What’s enabling? It’s giving others the information, tools, permission, power to carry on. Enabling has very specific functions: I’ve identified 17 specific things you and I have to do. And enabling depends upon the right behaviors and skills.

Enabling should be a performance expectation of executive directors and development officers. And poor enablers should be expected to improve – darn fast.

See my handout on enabling. Read more detail in my book Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last.

Filed under: Nonprofit Management

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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