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Board Members Really Want to Help….or Do They?

Posted By Stacey Wedding, Friday, January 20, 2017

For those who work with Boards, you may be smirking to yourself when you read this title or enjoying your own internal dialogue filled with sarcastic, witty banter. All too often many of us feel just the opposite — that board members can be a headache, bringing more hassle than value.

When you peel back the layers of the onion, though, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s not that simple. The majority of people who are attracted to board service have the best of intentions. They want to be part of furthering a cause greater than themselves and simply need clarity and support to engage in a meaningful way.

Each Board has its own unique culture, personality and interpersonal dynamics. It takes time for new board members — just like new employees — to observe this, assimilate and figure out how best they fit in to the bigger picture.

To expedite this process, often the first step is providing a proper orientation to the Board with important documents available — like the strategic plan, budget, bylaws, and key policies — for the board member to reference.

Ideally, the orientation will also include interaction with a couple of other board members and key staff, so the board member can ask questions that are often intimidating to address in the board room.

This gives board members the chance to better understand all facets of the organization and hopefully see some programs in action, which will only further their passion. If possible, consider pairing the new board member with a peer on the Board who has more institutional history with the organization and can who can serve as their “board buddy” or mentor.

One final note is to clarify board members’ roles both individually and as a governing body, and to constantly remind them of this. Often, it is lack of clarity on roles that is the root of many board problems.

Once your board members have a clear understanding of your organization and the role they can play to move the mission forward, then you get to move into matchmaking gear! Chat with new (and even existing) board members about their strengths and interests, so you can find the best way to engage them.

Recently, my investment advisor shared that she was going to cringe if she was asked to serve on one more nonprofit Investment Committee. As she put it, “I do this all day long and am tired of it. I would prefer to develop a skill in another area.” While not everyone feels like she does, the key is asking what your board members would prefer.

If there are certain committees or projects they would be more interested in, then do your best to connect them to those opportunities. Engaging board members is a two-way street, hopefully designed to be mutually beneficial to both parties.

Board engagement is not fixed, nor is it simple or quick. Fortunately, it is achievable with the right investment of time and thoughtfulness. Here’s wishing you and your Board a year of healthy engagement!

 

About the Author

Stacey Wedding is the Founder, CEO, and Chief Strategist at Professionals in Philanthropy. A national speaker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, she has worn many hats in her 20 years leading and serving the philanthropy sector.

She is one of only 150 Board Certified Governance Trainers in the world, and her firm, Professionals in Philanthropy, specializes in nonprofit board governance, grant readiness, strategic planning, and storytelling.

Stacey has received numerous awards, including the Athena Leadership Award, Top 40 Under 40, and Women to Watch. She walks the talk through her own company’s generosity. Her firm gives 10 percent of their gross revenues to charitable organizations each year and her team of eight volunteer more than 1,500 hours annually.

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Tags:  Nonprofit Summit  Professionals in Philanthropy  Stacey Wedding 

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2017 Nonprofit Summit Focus Announced

Posted By SCANPO, Monday, October 3, 2016

We're going "Healthier Together." Want to know why?

Only 20% of health outcomes depend on the work of the healthcare sector according the National Institutes of Health. 
 
So, who’s responsible for the other 80%?
 
We are. The work we as nonprofits do greatly impacts what are known as the “social determinants of health.” Because health starts in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities – places we are working. 
 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has set about to Create a Culture of Health in communities across the country because they believe health is inextricably shaped by the stability and safety of our housing, the quality of our schools, the availability of clean, safe, open spaces in our communities, and much more.
 
With “Healthier Together” as the theme for the 2017 Nonprofit Summit, that’s what this Summit is all about: Learning how we as nonprofits can make our community’s health a priority by building a culture of health within our state.
 
Here are some of the things you can expect to find at this year’s Summit:

  • More than 40+ concurrent sessions organized in 6 tracks: Operations, Communications & Advocacy, Fundraising, Leadership & Governance, Community Impact, and Healthier Together
  • 3 in-depth workships on Fundraising, Evaluation and Advocacy, plus SC Thrives' Poverty Simulation
  • 3 plenary sessions with thought-provoking keynotes
  • Birds of a Feather Gatherings
  • Site visits to local nonprofits 
  • SCANPO's 20th Year Celebration at the Columbia Museum of Art 

If you haven’t already, register online today and stay tuned as we share weekly highlights of different Summit attractions.

Tags:  Nonprofit Summit  SCANPO 

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Planning for the 2017 Nonprofit Summit has Begun

Posted By SCANPO, Monday, June 20, 2016

It's that time of year again! We are excited to share that things are starting to come together for the 2017 South Carolina Nonprofit Summit in Columbia on March 6-8.

If you are interested in being a presenter or speaker at the Summit, you must submit your proposal by July 15 in order to be considered. 

Summit speakers are able to attend the day of their session for free, and they can attend the entire Summit for $125. 

The rates for the Summit are:

  • One Day - $120 for Members, $220 for Non-Members
  • Two Days - $200 for Members, $300 for Non-Members
  • Three Days - $275 for Members, $375 for Non-Members

Exhibit booth rates are:

  • $350 for Nonprofit Members
  • $650 for Business Partner Members
  • $950 for all Non-Members

If you are as excited about this event as we are, we invite you to mark your calendar and book a room today.

We would also like to extend a special thank you to our 2017 Summit Steering Committee for making this all possible:

  • Tom Keith, co-chair - Sisters of Charity Foundation of SC
  • Rhett Mabry, co-chair - The Duke Endowment
  • Graham Adams - SC Office of Rural Health
  • Beth Franco - Eat Smart Move More SC
  • Katherine Swartz-Hilton - Columbia College
  • Erika Kirby - BlueCross BlueShield of SC
  • Casey Pash - Junior Achievement of Greater SC
  • Heather Sherwin - Central Carolina Community Foundation
  • Katrina Spigner - Re-Source Solutions
  • Naomi Torfin Lett - United Way Association of SC
  • Charles C. Weathers Sr. - The Weathers Group

We hope to see you all in Columbia on March 6-8 for three full days of leadership, learning and networking!

Tags:  Nonprofit Summit  SCANPO 

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Awards presented during 2016 Nonprofit Summit

Posted By SCANPO, Friday, March 11, 2016

During our 2016 Nonprofit Summit, we presented several distinction awards and participated in the presentation of Gene Cochrane, president of The Duke Endowment, receiving the state's highest civilian honor - The Order of the Palmetto. It has been such an incredible honor to share in the excitement with these incredible individuals and organizations.

The awards presented include:

Tags:  Derek Lewis  Gene Cochrane  Janet Martini  Joe Kunkel  Keystone Substance Abuse Services  Madeleine McGee  Monroe Free  Neighbors to Neighbors  Nonprofit Summit  Ted Hendry  The Duke Endowment 

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A Look Back at 2015

Posted By Madeleine McGee, Monday, January 25, 2016
Updated: Monday, January 25, 2016

2015 - what a year for our country, our state, even for SCANPO. Before we head into February and the mad rush of SC's Nonprofit Summit activity, let's indulge in a quick look back.

Most importantly, so many of SC's nonprofit leaders were front and center as...

  • The Confederate Flag Came Down - In July, we watched with the our nation as the Confederate Flag was removed from the SC statehouse grounds after thousands, myself included, advocated for this historical change following the tragic Mother Emanuel shooting.
  • Communities Provided Flood Recovery Support - In October, after witnessing historic flooding in South Carolina, nonprofits everywhere sprang into action to support rebuilding recovery efforts for individuals and businesses.

Here at SCANPO, 2015 saw:

  1. New Staff and Expanded Services - In January 2015, Debbie Nelson, founder of DNA Communications, joined our team to lead our Knowledge Network programming, and Sharon Thomas, former nonprofit executive and recipient of the FMU Award for Nonprofit Leadership came on board expanding our member benefits by offering board engagement services.
  2. Hundreds Furthering Their Exemplary Leadership Skills - With a sold-out house at Wild Dunes Resort, we welcomed more than 500 nonprofit leaders to celebrate our nonprofit community and cultivate leadership skills during our 2015 Nonprofit Summit.
  3. Recognition of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville - During the Summit, we lauded Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County for their exemplary governance and management and excellence in implementing SCANPO’s Guiding Principles & Best Practices.
  4. Charity Raffles Made Legal - In April, charitable raffles finally became legal after years of hard work by nonprofits from across the state.
  5. Celebration of the Sector - Our Giving Day training helped more than 400 nonprofits prepare for Giving Day 2015 hosted by community foundations around the state. The Day resulted in national record giving levels and community-wide celebrations of all things nonprofit.
  6. Moving Nonprofit Gathering Following Mother Emanuel Shooting - In June, just days after the horrific shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, our membership reception became a venue for healing, fellowship and unity.
  7. New Board Leadership - July was the beginning of a new fiscal year and Ted Hendry from United Way of Greenville County took the helm of our association's board of directors providing important board leadership.
  8. Increased Fellowship Among Colleagues - With photo booths, jazz bands, and great support from our business partners, local hosts and membership committee members, SCANPO hosted 10 gatherings around the state attended by nearly 1,000 nonprofit leaders. 
  9. New and Improved Communication Tools - With the help of our partner, Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO), SCANPO launched our weekly enewsletter, Nonprofit News; improved our social media efforts; and completely redesigned our website to integrate better with our association member software.
  10. Career Connection Usage Grow - SCANPO's job site exceeded 100 job posts for the first time in July, resulting in $121,000 total savings for the 813 members who posted jobs in 2015.

A huge thanks to all who took time to help build our state's nonprofit community through your work with SCANPO in 2015. Together, we make South Carolina a remarkable state, doing incredible work. 

Now on to 2016. See you in Spartanburg for the Nonprofit Summit in just a few short weeks!

Together. For Good. 




 

  

Madeleine McGee
SCANPO, President
Join me on LinkedIn

 

Tags:  Charitable Raffles  Debbie Nelson  Giving Day  Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County  Madeleine McGee  Mother Emanuel AME Church  Nonprofit Summit  Sharon Thomas  Ted Hendry  Trio Solutions Inc.  United Way of Greenville County 

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