If there is one concept that is always essential, it is the importance of quality leadership. There are many different expressions of leadership, all of which are necessary. Leadership of time, leadership of talent, leadership from staff as well as from volunteers. And, of course, there are leadership gifts, the foundation of a successful campaign.
There are board chairs. And there are great board chairs. Being a conscientious board member is one thing: in itself a challenging, time-consuming job. But becoming the chair of the board means a lot more responsibility. As the top volunteer at a nonprofit, the chair must have a commitment to the success of an organization and a vision for its future. A chair must be able to handle people with skill and diplomacy as he or she works with the chief executive, other board members, funders, community members, and other outsiders. A chair must be able to lead, solve problems, chart new territory, and act in the best interest of the organization. If you are a board chair or are considering becoming a board chair, these steps will help you make a positive impact on your organization.
Fundraising can become such a mechanical process, in which we focus on rating prospects, writing proposals and scheduling logistics. This is never truer than in the midst of a capital campaign, when the pace of activity must be very high and everyone is focused on the bottom line of the campaign’s financial goal. In these instances, we can lose sight of the fact that we are meeting with real people and challenging them to think about their charitable priorities. Often, those donors take our requests very seriously and make decisions that broaden their philanthropy and demonstrate the impact of successful fundraising.
Below are a few thoughts one should consider when designing or revamping a nonprofit Web site:
The fundraising industry has a lot of ‘rules of thumb’ that we, as development professionals, apply to the situations we encounter. There are “the Six Steps of an Effective Solicitation,” and “the Five P’s of Leadership,” and, of course, “the Rule of Thirds.” There is probably a societal influence toward creating these rules, as we live in a ‘soundbite’ world. We like everything to fit into neat, thirty-second lessons so we can absorb a universal truth and move on.