March 24, 2021
How to Resolve Board Member Conflicts – Are They a Jerk, or Do They Have a Point?

 How to Resolve Board Member Conflicts – Are They a Jerk, or Do They Have a Point? He was difficult. After working with hundreds of boards over two decades, he stands out.


Let call him Mr. Difficult. Everyone around him, and especially his family, walked on eggshells to avoid his tirades. His board service spun the nonprofit into chaos.


Looking back, I suspect Mr. Difficult had a personality disorder.


Are You Making This Common Mistake?


Mr. Difficult’s personality disorder was an exception. Most board members do not have them. (Only about 25 percent

Read More
March 8, 2021
5 CEO Blunders that Reduce Boards Accountability

Looking for ways to make your board more accountable?

More than 50 percent of nonprofit CEOs are frustrated about their board’s accountability, a recent survey found. Nonprofit board accountability includes ensuring that your nonprofit stewards the resources it receives and follows all ethical and legal requirements and more. The MORE is where CEO and executive directors get frustrated.

When I work with clients, we start with the executive director to ensure their behavior isn’t part of the problem. I’ve discovered

Read More
March 1, 2021
Crafting a Kick-Ass Board Agenda

How often do your board members leave your meeting, declaring that it was the best meeting they had all month?
Did you know that a Verizon study found that meetings were considered the #1 time-waster? Or that professionals average up to 60 meetings per month. Or that 50 percent of meeting agendas are just recycled from month to month?
The good news is that with so many second-rate meetings, your gathering can stand out. Your board members can leave your

Read More
February 22, 2021
Evaluate Your Board to Keep Your Love Affair with Your Board Going

Evaluate Your Nonprofit Board to Keep Your Love Affair with Your Board GoingYou’re proud of your board. They volunteer their time and energy. Moreover, they donate cash each year. You work as partners to further your mission. You have the right people and a robust agenda, and they engage in your work.


Are things perfect? Or, is there some room for improvement? This post will help you to diagnose your board’s strengths and quickly identify growth opportunities.


Locate your board on the diagram. The closer to the center (4), the

Read More
February 16, 2021
What Sesame Street Can Teach Your Board About New Nonprofit Initiatives

What Sesame Street Can Teach Your Board About New Nonprofit InitiativesImagine yourself as a preschool child having to say good-bye to someone who is nearly your whole world.

Several summers ago, I sat in the outdoor amphitheater at Chautauqua Institute, listening to a lecture by Melvin Ming. Ming is the President and CEO of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that produces Sesame Street. In his address, he shared the background of Sesame’s Talk, Listen, Connect series. As I took notes, my Fundable Idea Meter went into overdrive.

What is a …

Read More
February 8, 2021
How to Help Your Nonprofit Board Stay in the Governance Lane

Does your nonprofit board meander out of its lane? Does it micromanage staff and dive into operations issues? Watch this video to guide your board to develop strategy, policies, and govern.


00:00 Keeping your board in the right lane
00:10 Good nonprofit boards stick to their lane
00:23 Is your board busy micro-managing?
00:36 Guiding your board to govern
o1:05 Agenda check
01:20 Put a frame around it
01:48 Add lane markers
02:38 How to end your meetings


Read More
January 20, 2021
How to Help Your Board to Take Smart Risks

How to Help Your Board to Take Smart RisksPerhaps you, like millions of other people, saw the Oscar-winning movie Frozen. Frozen tells the story of two sisters, Anna and Elsa. Elsa is an unusual child: she can freeze things. When Elsa creates snow slides, both sisters have a blast. When Elsa accidentally freezes Anna, trouble ensues. Some boards are like Elsa. They inadvertently freeze opportunities that offer their nonprofit’s a better life.

Let me explain.

Nonprofit leaders shun risks.

Perhaps your board is satisfied with the status …

Read More
Karen’s Next Nonprofit CEO Conversation: Build Your Boards’ Bench Strength in 2021

Boards that Govern and Fundraise, An Impossible Dream?

Two hands putting a puzzle together

On Jan. 21 at 1 p.m., Eastern, Karen’s hosting an intimate 45 minute, pro-bono Zoom conversation for CEOs and executive directors (best for those with revenues greater than $700k) about effective nonprofit boards. This is a rare interactive opportunity to explore high-level thinking with other nonprofit executives about your board.

Let’s face it micromanaging is easier than governance. And, it’s always easier for your board to ask you to do the fundraising. …

Read More
December 21, 2020
How to Manage Your Board When They Refuse to Fundraise

Boards who won’t fundraise. How can you deal with board members who flat-out reject anything to do with helping your raise donated money? First, recognize that two types of nonprofit boards exist and determine which type you have. Then, plan your success.

Content 0:00

A Shocking Truth 0:25

The Two Types of Nonprofit Boards 0:30

The VERY Rare Board 1:00

The Most Common Type of Board 1:23

How Can You Create a Board who helps with Fundraising? 1:29 

The Curriculum

Read More
November 19, 2020
How to Recruit Stellar Nonprofit Board Members

Listen to this video to solve your board member recruitment challenges AND to establish a simple but effective system to generate a pipeline of prospects for your nonprofit organization. Discover Karen’s PBM list.


00:00 It’s That Time of Year Again

00:19 Solving the Board Recruitment Challenge Now and Later

00:23 The Usual Suspects

00:43 The Usual Suspects with a New Twist

01:02 Check with Your Vendors

01:40Approaching “Popular” Board Members

02:38 Avoiding Future Board Member Recruitment Panic

03:00 …

Read More