Consulting for Board Members and Donors
Partnering for Impact. Enhancing the Governance Function.
I work with both boards and senior professionals. Doing so helps me understand the inner workings and culture of the institution, so that I can be most helpful. On occasion it is essential to spend time with donors and key volunteers, as well. The more synergies we create between lay and professional leaders, the more effective we can be. I consider it a privilege to work on behalf of an organization whose board cares enough to seek professional consultation.
Areas of Practice
Creating an Effective Board
As a nonprofit consultant and professor of leadership, who has served as the successful CEO of several not-for-profit groups, I have a unique perspective of what it takes to create great boards. I can offer your board members and committee chairs the kind of training they need to be successful, and I can assist with the recruitment of new board members as needed. I understand good governance policies and procedures, and how to help boards partner with their executives.
The Interim Executive
Nonprofit boards may determine it is appropriate to hire an interim executive. This is no reason to panic! As an experienced CEO, I provide the necessary breathing room and reassurances that staff and trustees need to continue their work. I collaborate with key constituents to help “steer the ship” during periods of uncertainty. Difficult decisions are made in due course, without unfairly burdening the new CEO; and the insights I gain can be used in the onboarding of the permanent executive.
Special Fundraising Campaigns
When a board needs to conduct a special fundraising effort, it often seeks outside expertise. In my career I have raised millions of dollars for a diversity of causes: I understand how campaigns should be organized and conducted; I know the elements of effective campaign case statements; and I have a proven record of successful solicitation training.
If your organization is looking to raise significantly more dollars and you lack sufficient internal resources, I encourage you and your CEO to reach out.
Crisis Management / Organizational Turnaround
The ability to challenge the status quo and do things differently lies at the heart of managing crises and leading change. Even the best CEOs are not necessarily equipped to help turn around a floundering organization; nor are they always capable of leading dramatic change initiatives. When nonprofits face serious crises, from personnel scandals to dramatic loss of revenue, outside expertise is often the only way to overcome daunting realities. Turning around a struggling enterprise requires making difficult and often unpopular choices. My career has been built upon leading change.
Succession Planning and Transition
Under the best of circumstances, transfers of power from one CEO to another are well-planned, well-organized, and well-executed. But that rarely happens. Boards cannot afford to wait until the eleventh hour. Identifying and training an heir apparent, or understanding the processes associated with conducting a search, are critical to the long-term viability of the agency.
I know how to create an organization-wide pipeline of professional and volunteer leaders, not just because I am familiar with “the literature” but because I have done it myself.