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Mission Drift

In Board Development, Book Review, Evaluations, Fundraising, Leadership by Geoff BurnsLeave a Comment

As an organization ages, it is not uncommon for it to experience “drift.” Drift can be a natural process of the shifting landscape with which an organization operates. A controlled approach to change is not really the same as drift, however. The March of Dimes comes to mind. Their original purpose was to eradicate polio, which for all intents and …

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Give and Get

In Board Development, Fundraising, Strategic Planning by Geoff BurnsLeave a Comment

In any leadership role, you will encounter situations that require acquisition of new or expansion of existing resources. In this case, consider anything that could be considered a resource: cash, volunteers, staff, toilet paper, etc. Savvy leaders always begin by identifying both the specific resource needs and the quantity. Additionally, leaders utilize their networks, time and personal resources to assist …

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Leaders and Managers

In Board Development, Evaluations, Strategic Planning by Geoff BurnsLeave a Comment

Much has been written on the subject of leaders vs. managers. It is likely that what you are reading today is nothing new, but hopefully you can take the information and glean something new for your organization to help improve your role in leadership (or management). It is often said that “leaders have people that follow them, but managers have …

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Death by Micromanagement

In Board Development, Evaluations by Geoff BurnsLeave a Comment

When it comes to achieving results, management is needed. Goals need managed. Resources need managed. Programs need managed. People need managed. (See the trend here?) The reality is that everything needs some sort of management. Entropy is the natural increase in disorder in a system. Management is the process by which we try to limit or mitigate the disorder into …

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SWOT-Internal Analysis

In Board Development, Evaluations, Strategic Planning by Geoff Burns

Ah yes, the SWOT analysis. IF you don’t already know what that is, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This analysis breaks down in to two different components, the internal (strengths and weaknesses), and the external (opportunities and threats). For the purposes of this post, we will focus on the internal environment. Before we begin to analyze the …

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No One Wants to Save a Sinking Ship

In Board Development, Fundraising, Start-ups, Strategic Planning by Geoff Burns

Every organization thinks that they have an important mission and that everyone should support their work. The truth is that not everyone will support your mission, and that is especially true if you are struggling. Furthermore, no one wants to spend their hard earned money supporting an organization that is dying. Asking potential donors to “save” this or that will …

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SWOT-External Analysis

In Board Development, Evaluations, Strategic Planning by Geoff Burns

Continuing on from the internal analysis post, this month I want to focus on the external environment. As you should now know, the internal analysis is all about assessing your organization from the inside (strengths and weaknesses). The internal environment is what you can control. The external environment you cannot control. The “O” and “T” of the SWOT are the …

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Building Better Boards

In Board Development by Geoff Burns

Boards have the ultimate responsibility for making decisions on behalf of the organization. It doesn’t matter how big or small the organization is, the board can make or break the mission. Before you decide to nudge your board into a major overhaul, it is important know if a change is needed. As mentioned in the last post, assessments can help …

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Want a Fundraising Board?

In Board Development, Fundraising, Introduction by Geoff Burns

Want a Fundraising Board? By Guest Blogger Karin Cox, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Hartsook Companies, Inc. We often hear nonprofit executives and directors of development complain that their board members don’t fundraise. In their defense, think about all the years that go into making a good fundraiser—the reading, mentoring, seminars and schooling, research, asking questions, making …