It’s a wrap! Nonprofit Leaders Complete the D&A LEAP Program

LEAP Grads 2Five leaders from five different organizations were sequestered behind closed doors, provided a case study for an imaginary organization, and then tasked to create and present a plan that offered a comprehensive solution to a complex challenge posed in the study. In this case, their imaginary counseling center had just learned that three teens had overdosed over the last weekend, and their center had been called in by the Mayor to address the situation. And just as they were closing in on a solution, they’re thrown “the curve ball” where a Danosky facilitator introduces another aspect of the issue: one of their counselors has just been arrested for possession. They must race against the allotted time to adjust their plan; just like things often happen in the real world.

Three hours after receiving their challenge case and its curve ball, they emerged with a solution and a direction that would allow their make-believe organization to succeed. This is the challenge that LEAP participants have to face in their last session. It gets the heartbeat racing! [Read more…]

The Ship Can’t Sail Without the Captain: Executive Directors Need to be Engaged Too

By Carol D’Agostino

The Nonprofit ScreamToday, we are constantly hearing about employee engagement and how it is critical in order for organizations to be strong, efficient and effective. However, is it even possible to have engaged employees if your Executive Director is not engaged? The answer is no, and instead you have a sinking ship on your hands. That ship might be trying to stay afloat because your staff is partially engaged through their emotional engagement, but if that Executive Director isn’t removed or doesn’t leave, that ship is sinking…….guaranteed. Of course there is the possibility of re-engaging the Executive Director, but the chances of that happening are usually slim.

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It’s Annual budget time: Don’t go it Alone, Make it a Collaborative Effort

By Christine P. Lent

Early in my career, I was the CFO of a start-up organization and I would prepare our annual budget in my office with some input from the CEO.  I would then summarily hand out the budget to the various department heads and wonder why we had variances each month to the budget!

meeting_13-e1449667163977-1024x807I had not gathered any input from the management team and wasn’t even sure we had shared goals or vision of how to fulfill our mission.  Without building consensus and buy-in from the management team, we had a difficult task ahead of us to meet the plan I had put together for the year.  A collaborative budget process helps to ensure the viability of the annual plan. It is also a team building exercise. Your staff should attend budget meetings with data, program goals, and assumptions for next year.  If assumptions are properly vetted, and everyone is working towards common goals for your strategic plan and mission, you have a greater probability of success. [Read more…]

Attracting & Keeping Your Volunteers

By Carol D’Agostino

volunteer imageClearly we can all relate to the revolving door of volunteers. They come and they go and we are losing valuable resources. Have you ever asked yourself why? Of course you have…..but the answer may not be one you want to hear. Today, more than ever, there are large numbers of retirees and young individuals that are looking for volunteer opportunities. So with so many volunteers out there, why are we struggling with attracting and keeping our volunteers? Here’s a hint: the problem lies within us, not the volunteers. [Read more…]