The hard questions a strategy answers

Who has time for a strategy? We are so busy working, pushing out programs, or delivering on our mission. A strategy of any kind is a luxury that we just don’t have energy for now. And what is a strategy anyway? It feels so academic at a time when we are scrambling inside a realityContinue reading “The hard questions a strategy answers”

Online planning: How to engage your whole board when you have to meet online

Sarah Brooks and I co-host the Nonprofit Radio Show, a podcast centered on the topics that matter most to small, rural nonprofits. In early February 2021, we shared an episode on Purposeful Gatherings, a topic that is particularly relevant to nonprofit leaders as they try to make progress in online meetings. This episode led aContinue reading “Online planning: How to engage your whole board when you have to meet online”

Line of conference chairs

3 Ways to Deliver a Learningful Conference

Conference season is about to be upon us again. Associations are busy testing platforms and scheduling speakers. They are devising ways to create connection, whether through an opening day t-shirt contest, care packages of tea and goodies, or that avatar thing where you literally bump into people in a virtual world. People who play videoContinue reading “3 Ways to Deliver a Learningful Conference”

Reinvent the wheel

How unfortunate we see the wheel as our symbol of sticking with the status quo. The wheel has been at the center of innovation gobs of times since first appearing as a potter’s tool in 3500 B.C.E. Its purpose, construction, and cultural relevance has evolved in ways that have fundamentally changed the wheel and theContinue reading “Reinvent the wheel”

What? How? Why it matters.

I recently joined a webinar on an important topic and found myself talking out loud to the very able presenter, who couldn’t hear a word I was saying because of the universal mute button. “Stop telling me what to do,” I said. “This is difficult stuff you are leading us through. Tell us how toContinue reading “What? How? Why it matters.”

3 Tips to Produce Memorable Nonprofit Learning

On Wednesday, we launched a new “Disaster Planning for Nonprofits” curriculum. An emergency planner in attendance ended our session with an unsolicited endorsement: “That was a really good class. You got a lot of good information out to these people in a short period of time.” He then implored people to take action: “Take whatContinue reading “3 Tips to Produce Memorable Nonprofit Learning”

Nonprofits: A Love Story

I was recently asked to give a talk on nonprofit leadership to a group of emerging leaders. I had a good idea of what I wanted to say but not how to start. I turned to their bios to learn more about who would be gathered for this talk.  What would they already know aboutContinue reading “Nonprofits: A Love Story”

The shape of a glass can influence how much we drink

It may be too late into this pandemic to share this research. It turns out that the shape of a glass can influence how much we drink. Sloped glasses can cause us to drink more than straight-sided glasses. The vessel we offer a drink within can influence how that beverage is consumed. How else canContinue reading “The shape of a glass can influence how much we drink”

Change is going to take a change

Nonprofits, like society in general, have faced incredible disruption over the past six months. Their day-to-day work has been impacted by a global pandemic, racial protests followed by a national awakening on racism, economic collapse, and a turbulent election. And the year is not over. Nonprofits were walking uphill in 2019, and that hill justContinue reading “Change is going to take a change”


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