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LinkedIn Board Connect

In Board, Discussables, News on September 17, 2012 at 11:32 am

LinkedIn has brought forth another way to use their social media tool. This one is targeted specifically at nonprofit leaders seeking to strengthen and grow their board leadership.

LinkedIn’s new Board Connect, is a suite of tools, including talent finder and a LinkedIn group, that allows nonprofits to ‘advertise’ their organization, mission, vision and goals and to review prospective board members resumes. The hope is that, progressive, caring, thoughtful business leaders will be revealed through this process.

Now for the reality.

Despite many other innovative technological and social media partners considering and launching the same concept – a pool for nonprofits to jump into and peddle their wares- the ability to attract and retain high level leadership is no further advanced.

I commend LinkedIn for their effort. It does no harm, and that is the most that can be said about this endeavor. It feels good for LinkedIn and their leadership team to be doing something – anything – to help the NPO sector. It gives yet another venue for NPO’s to congregate to, in the hopes of landing those really incredible volunteers.

But like the other efforts, it offers only passive development, not active, and creates yet another large room, devoid of substance, but filled with clutter and noise, that can be overwhelming and uninviting to the audience: the prospective business leaders.

A better approach is to create a source for those business leaders interested in seeking a more vested role in the nonprofit sector, to post their interest, areas of interest(types of NPO’s, causes, role seeking) and to have that be presented in LinkedIn as a searchable database. NPO’s have clear guidelines and matrices they use in seeking out and vetting specific people to be on their board. Contrary to common belief (and the way this new LinkedIn resource is designed) it’s not a matter of any captain in the storm or any suitor interested . Board selection is a scientific, strategic process that is lead by a core objective- to secure the right person for the right need in the boards governance goals for the organization.

My hope -and I truly believe LinkedIn is intent on making this a more sophisticated, valuable tool – is that the next iteration leans more toward what the NPO needs in this manner.

 

9-11: Turn that frown upside down….

In Discussables, News on September 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Some of you may react with repulsion at the title of this post…some may think it is dishonorable to lighten up on this day of tragedy – September 11th…others may not yet be ready to let go of the pain and suffering…and those closest to the tragedy may be experiencing the trauma anew as the anniversary approaches.

Many psychologists suggest its okay to start changing the way we remember 9-11. Not to forget, but to change the meaning of the remembrance. To act on what is left, not on what has been taken away.

Some of us have seen this already happen around us:  Look on any calendar and this Sunday you will find fairs and festivals going on- even in New York.  You may have friends who are  getting married on this Sunday or celebrating a birthday or anniversary with a party.  Even many of the news media are turning their memories to reflect on the positive and hope of the nation. We Americans have an uncanny and admirable ability to do this- turn tragedy into hope. Its the backbone of this great nation.

The American Psychological Association has produced a great video helping turn our tradition of remembering to more healthy activities.

What else can we do?

  • Meditate and pray:  Prayer and meditation have been shown to have a tremendous healing affect on those who engage in this activity.
  • Promote unity:  Remember the feeling of oneness and brotherhood that grew during those awful weeks after the 9-11 event? Capture that once again in your life, through your own expression and through organizational activities.
  • Allow diversity:  We may not agree with others, but if we honor their right to feel and think and behave in ways that don’t hurt us- but may be different- we promote peace
  • Celebrate:  Embrace the joy that comes from knowing we have, as a people, overcome such a great calamity and have won the battle to remain human and whole through it all. Sometimes the worse that can happen cannot be imagined and gratefully is never revealed.
However you choose to spend 9-11, know that what was taken from those 3000 people during that horrific attack, remains for us – Life.  Celebrate your life through gratitude and through honoring the life of others.

How a gift to someone else, can be the perfect gift for your Dad

In Discussables, News, nonprofit organizations, Random on June 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Dad’s, at least the Dad’s of my generation, had two jobs- Earn an Income and Make Pancakes on Sunday Night for Mom’s night off.

The first we knew represented his RESPONSIBILITY to his family.

The second we knew represented his LOVE for our mother and for us.

There never seemed anything we could do to repay  him.  There wasn’t a tie nor trip nor lighter nor ballgame ticket which could ever- EVER- be as valuable as what he gave and sacrificed and provided for our welfare, spirit and education.

And so maybe we stop trying. We give up on the gifts and just purchase a card. Or maybe we continue to maniacally hunt down JUST THE RIGHT THING, in a blind, ambitious desire to give him something that comes close to saying Thank You.

What Dad was doing was not only loving and nurturing his wife and his family. He was passing down years of learned respect and responsibility, he was educating us on what Fatherhood really means, he was mentoring and coaching a future generation to prepare them for the same offering of self that he so willingly provided, in love and in gratitude for all he was given.

And believe me, he doesn’t want a present for that. What he wants is to know that all of that good stuff has been passed on, that it continues and grows and moves beyond his years to others.

So this year, give him what he deeply desires, by supporting a nonprofit “Fatherhood Initiative” .

Fatherhood is not DNA encoded. It is not something every boy is born knowing, and sadly many do not  experience  in their short lifetime.

But it CAN be learned. And it CAN be shared. And it will live on through the noble work of these organizations and more.

Here are some to get you started. And when you give, give generously as Dad did, from your need, not your excess. And then say Thank You Dad.

                                 

Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening….. LUNAR ECLIPSE June 15th.

In Discussables, News, Random on June 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

www.harvestdevelopmentgrp.comComing Up JUNE 15th- TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE. Visible from Africa, Central Asia, South America and Europe.

Wait? Not America? Never mind….

The upcoming total lunar eclipse will happen on June 15, 2011. The Moon will pass directly through the center of the Earth’s shadow cone. The next such visible event won’t happen until 2018. But we wont see it in the states.

Doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Measuring the actions of nonprofit work is a little of the same, wouldn’t you say? Being told things are happening doesn’t quite seem enough. We don’t quite believe things are moving, actions are progressing, outcomes are achieved, unless we actually see it. You’d think we all were from Missouri (with respect to our dear friends down south).

Measuring is a good thing and necessary to establish credibility, check up on progress and ensure that, indeed, we are doing the right things. But too much attention on measuring- too rigid a program for actions and outcomes aligning- eliminates the human aspect of what we do in the nonprofit world. Scientifically calculating and demanding observational documentation of every aspect of our work, blocks out that measure of creativity, intuition, innovation, pivoting, iterating which is based on rationale and observations in real time, that comes from being in the field and experiencing the work “mano a mano”. The human frame of personalization, being present and experiencing the process. Too much measuring makes doubters of us all.

A healthy state of balance in measured progress, as well as a good faith belief that – even though we can’t see it- things are happening. Let our ancestors tell us- Only time and hindsight can tell.

For those of you interested, here are some websites which will broadcast the eclipse live:

Astronomy Live

Bareket Observatory, Israel

Astro-Viten, Norway

Skywatchers Association of North Bengal, India

Harvested News You can Use April 2nd, 2011

In News on April 2, 2011 at 11:18 am


This weeks theme: New Philanthropists and Nonprofit Leaders- what’s the mix?
[View the story “Harvested News You can Use April 2nd, 2011” on Storify]

Harvested News you can Use March 26th, 2011

In News, Random, Social Media on March 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm

www.harvestdevelopmentgrp.com

[View the story “Harvested News you can Use March 26th 2011” on Storify]

We pause for this important….pause.

In News on March 26, 2011 at 6:32 am

Once in a while, an idea is good simply because it is easy to carry out, direct and needs no explanation. This is one of those ideas.

Earth Hour 2011: 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March, celebrate your action for the planet…

http://www.earthhour.org

Care2 be a B Corp?

In change management, Discussables, News on February 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm

This great website site project,  Care2 , helps you to be active in your desire to make a difference in your home, your community or global society. It’s uniquely structured a lot like a Moroccan bazaar: A little bit of everything for everybody.

You could focus on promoting a cause that you are passionate about to your friends, your soon to be friends or other members.  Members and others can search causes categorically or you can customize your causes specific to your interests, creating a ‘home page’ of causes or requesting a newsletter to be designed for you with information on just those causes you follow.

Members can also take a more personalized approach, finding valuable information on their health issues, ways to live a greener lifestyle, parenting, spirituality and conscious consumerism.

My favorite part of the website is the petition page. Members can set up fundraising, advocacy or cause promotion pages that activate members and friends to support their movement. Here one can also post news stories about their cause, write blog entries specific to their causes mission, or join/start groups supporting their efforts.

Care2 also has a social networking page devoted to friends, status feeds, e-cards, and other group minded activities.

And if that wasn’t enough, Care2 also has a special “deals” page, taking advantage of Groupon, Living Social and other marketing networks, offering socially conscious deals on products, and services.

And all of this is wrapped up in something called Butterfly rewards, which members can earn through their site interaction activities and redeem (give to) good causes online.

There’s a lot going on here.

Care2 is also proud to declare their status as a B Corporation. According to the B Corporation organization website, Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.  B Corps are unlike traditional businesses because they:

  • Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards;
  • Meet higher legal accountability standards;
  • Build business constituency for good business
The group claims to become a B Corp a company or organization must do three things:

1. Take and pass the B Impact Ratings System (Found on their website).  This sets a benchmark for social and environmental impact for good companies.

2. Adopt the B Corporation Legal Framework to bake the mission of the company into its legal DNA.

3. Sign a Term Sheet that makes your certification official.

For more information on how to become a B Corp go to http://www.bcorporation.net/become

Kind of like the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” Or the UL Certification, the B Corp organization is hoping to create a select rating and approval system to help consumers decide which companies are focusing on social good.  According to the B Corp website, only one company in Connecticut has sought or received certification.

Care2 become a B Corp?

Engaging your Board in Fundraising Part II

In News on October 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

So I’ve struck a nerve!

More people have written to me about this topic since my last two posts than ever before. So first, thanks for reading. Its good to know that this blog has value in the cyber world for those of us doing the heavy lifting in funding our mission driven nonprofits! Secondly, your response has driven me to develop a series of posts on “Engaging your Board in Fundraising”. I recently had the opportunity to teach at a conference in Boston on just this topic and the feedback and interest was remarkable. So based on that presentation (the PPT can be found at my Linked in site here ), I’ll be blogging over the course of a week in a series, sharing insight and recommendations on board engagement in fundraising.

Enjoy and thanks for your commendations 🙂

Engaging your Board in Fundraising

In News on June 20, 2010 at 8:27 am

Boards are complex and can be your best friend and worst enemy.     A frienemy.

We rely on our board for governance, engagement, advocacy, financial authority and leadership. We ask their input, seek their counsel and require their approval. They come to us from the community,  some as a requirement and some as a favor. They are the voice of the people.

From the people, it should therefore be easy for them to go back to the people to ask for support.

But it isn’t always so.

Most executive directors and nonprofit officers will tell you that getting their board to raise funds is one of,   if not THE,   biggest challenge they face.   Its often uncomfortable for the board and the ED to talk about the issue. Fundraising by the board is alluded to in the ED’s reports, it is referred to in the board documents, but it is not always the reality.

We will be presenting an important workshop on September 29th in Boston on just this subject.   Not to be missed!

Hosted by the Center for Nonprofit Success, we will be speaking on “Engaging your Board in Fundraising”:

Your board can be among your most powerful fundraising assets. That is, if you use it correctly. Too often, the board is not involved in fundraising or views fundraising as a daunting task. The result is that many board members neglect their responsibilities, which are then left to staff members who have too many other responsibilities already. To address this problem, your board members need to be reminded of the importance of their fundraising responsibilities, and learn concrete tools and techniques that make fundraising a rewarding task.

Topics we will cover include:

  • Why board members fear fundraising, and what you can do about it
  • What board members need to know to start fundraising
  • Steps for energizing your board even when you are not on the board
  • How to deal with board members who won’t fundraise even when they know they should
  • Building and maintaining the fundraising partnership between the board and  development staff

You will gain fresh ideas to energize your board members about fundraising. The session is designed for beginning to intermediate fundraisers.

Click here for more information on the conference and to register. As conferences go, this one is relatively inexpensive but the material and insight you’ll gain is incredibly rich.

We will see you there!!!