Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ideas That Work (96)

Welcome to 2010!!

The tinsel is down. All the presents unwrapped and the party hats stowed away. Now, with only Groundhog Day to celebrate for the next month, the Learning Centers are chugging away.

You will notice a few changes in the Hub over the coming months. First and foremost we will be making the format of the blog a bit more loose. While we will remain committed to a posting of Ideas That Work on Tuesdays, we will play additional weekly postings by ear.

Over the next few months you can expect occasional surveys to better understand your circumstances. Additionally, we are encouraging a few people to provide "guest postings" to broaden out our topics.

This means that if you want to stay on top of things, it would be a good idea to subscribe to the blog and get each new posting in your email. You can subscribe here .

From the team in Scottish Rite Charities, we wish you a profitable 2010!

Ideas That Work

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Success begins with the Board

As the playing field for our success changes (as it inevitably must), each board must look within itself and determine if it has the right people to drive the program forward. This is a hard self-assessment, but it is entirely essential if your Center is going to thrive in the years to come.

The following was sent to me earlier this month. It comes from Guidestar, a great resource for donors and non profits. You can read the whole article here.

New Year's Resolutions for Board Members:
  1. Get more engaged. Your nonprofit needs you to pay attention to your job as a nonprofit board member. Nonprofits don't need disengaged bosses. (And yes, you are the boss—you're the legal fiduciary guardian of your nonprofit. The staff—through the CEO—reports to you.) Your favorite nonprofit needs YOU to lead, to question, and to act!

  2. Have a bias toward action. DO something. Your nonprofit needs more than talk out of you. Don't be one of those board members who thinks his or her only job is to come to meetings and pontificate a bit. Look for real actions you can take to help the cause. Ask the staff what they need you TO DO this month, this quarter, this year.

  3. Think big. You're not going to change the world, save the environment, feed the hungry, change your community, by thinking small. And there is great power in a big, wildly exciting vision! You attract people—and resources—to your cause. Energy is everything when you are trying to create change.

  4. Be optimistic, no matter what. Ban the handwringing and naysaying. Negativity is self-defeating and deadening. It wipes out energy and passion. It deadens momentum. Be the board member who has the point of view of abundance rather than scarcity. You'll influence the rest!

  5. Go back to your vision over and over and over. It will keep you excited, focused, passionate, and results oriented. If you feel jaded or bored, ask yourself why you really care about this cause and this organization. You'll fan the flames of your passion and your energy. You'll feel deep personal satisfaction when you see the results your organization is creating in people's lives.

  6. Be the catalyst; be the provocateur. Challenge, challenge, challenge the status quo. Remember Jack Welch's quote: "If the change is happening on the outside faster than it is on the inside, the end is near."

What great advice. Now let's get to work!