March 24, 2011

I’ve told you before: I collect quotes. From books, articles, colleagues. Here are some more thoughts from colleagues in Cohort 19, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Masters Program in Philanthropy and Development:

— “In order for meaningful conversation to occur, a healthy tension needs to exist between the collective board and the board as individual members. If either one dominates the other, meaningful governance is lost.” (Katie Broach)

— “Board member selection requires dual consideration of the collective capabilities of the board and the attributes of each member.” (Cheryl Hadaway)

— “For board members to be fully engaged, they should not just care about the organization but about the cause. The nonprofit’s mission must be something that touches them. Even if they weren’t on your board, they would still be reading articles about the issues you work on, and discussing the issues with their friends – and doing so in a way that demonstrates both knowledge and understanding.” (David Earle)

— “What are the indicators of success in good governance? Is the board a reflection of the organization or does the organization reflect the quality of its board?” (Karen Denny)

— Here’s a great question to ask your volunteers, thanks again to Karen: “What would you be doing with your volunteer time if you weren’t here at this organization?”

— “Leadership wants to lead. Empowering them to find the best decisions is far more effective than trying to tell them what the right decision is.” (Brittany Janis) But here’s my follow-up to Brittany: Yes, some leaders want to lead and accept all the hassle that goes with that. But I suspect that some leaders just want the title and power (that they hope they get!) Here’s a test for leadership: Who will inconvenience themselves on behalf of your organization? Who will be the last person standing?

— “How can you effectively articulate the case for board reform, based around their needs,” asks Brittany Janis? Kinda like customer-centered and donor-centered.



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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