I’m grateful for the various opportunities I’ve had this month to teach and present my ideas, and be in dialogue with others regarding the challenges facing our sector.
Highlights from Friday’s Governance Conference in Tacoma:
- Linda Crompton from BoardSource spoke, painting a somewhat bleak picture of the sector citing national statistics, and indicated that we really don’t know what lies ahead. Her recommendations for success in a challenging time: increase meaningful networks among nonprofits, get ahead of changing demographic shifts and engage younger leaders at the board level, and generally embrace societal changes (technology, new hybrid organizational forms, etc.). I was interested in her comments about networks, as I am very taken with the work of the Monitor Institute and June Holly on networked organizations. Crompton talked about getting results through the network rather than at the organization level (funders, are you willing to reward this behavior?), blurring of the sectors, and holding joint board meetings among like-minded organizations. She talked about “leading an organization that is a piece of the whole rather than an end in itself.”
- Peter Drury tells me he’d like to get the word out about a new tool he debuted this year: the “Beyond Cash Fundraising Management Dashboard.” What a great way of thinking about fundraising more broadly!
- Jan Glick shared with me his perspective that the nonprofit sector is in crisis and we all refuse to really talk about it honestly. His new book, Nonprofit Turnaround, outlines how to address the crisis at the individual organization level, and he is also out talking to funders about the importance of increased investment in capacity building.
- I presented a workshop on how to apply adaptive leadership practices in the boardroom. Get a taste of adaptive leadership from this Ron Heifetz video.
I’m looking forward to the following workshops and classes coming up:
Through United Way of King County:
- Board Recruitment on December 9, 2010
- Strengthening the Board/Executive Partnership on February 10, 2011
Through the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education’s Nonprofit Management Certificate: Strategic Leadership for Nonprofit Managers, January-March 2011
Board Recruitment and Board Roles and Responsibilities at the Washington State Farmers Market Association Conference, January 29, 2011 in Leavenworth, WA