Emerging Executive Newsletter for June 2017
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Emerging Executive

Helping Nonprofit Organizations And Their Leaders Realize Their Potential And Their Mission.

Welcome to the Emerging Executive newsletter – your news for board development, strategic planning and other important nonprofit insights.

We will send you this newsletter when there is important information to share or workshops we are holding that you might want to attend. Read on to find out more!

With warm wishes,

Set Organization up for Success –

Plan, Execute and Achieve your Goals in 2017/2018

Oh my God, it's that time of year AGAIN!  Didn’t we just do a board retreat and set goals?

A board is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of an organization. To do their job well, a board must operate under a well-articulated plan. This is particularly crucial in an ever changing world where local and world events often impact gift-giving. In the last six months of 2016, we experienced Brexit, a huge corporate move for GE to Massachusetts), Hurricane Matthew and the US election and a 2017 federal budget with severe implications for all of us in this sector.

In any given year, the potential impact of important and often unexpected events should be factored in when considering how best to plan for your organization’s future financial health.

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When Did you Last do a Board Self-Assessment?

A board that is often so focused on the organization that it rarely takes the time to reflect on its own performance is headed for trouble.  Few boards evaluate their performance on a regular basis because they feel they are doing the job they are supposed to, and won’t learn anything new from a self-assessment.

Consider implementing a board evaluation process that combines a simple board survey with a focus on the organization that also includes feedback from the Executive Director. This forum is a great basis to start a meaningful conversation about areas for improvement.  Often times, an executive director will have excellent ideas about what is needed to move forward, and how the board can participate in a more effective manner.

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Is Your Board On-Board with Fundraising?  

It’s now midway through the year.  How active have your board members been to date with your fundraising efforts?

Since the board is financially and legally responsible for the organization, this is a very important question. But before answering, take a quick personal inventory. Have you been clear about your expectations for board members regarding fundraising and personal gift giving?  Do they know if you are a “give, or get” board?  Did you develop and share your vision and strategy for achieving 2017 fundraising goals, and did the board sign off on it?

I work with many organizations where the policy around board member giving is not communicated, nor are expectations around fundraising clearly stated. This is especially true for start-up organizations. It’s not fair to expect board members to contribute if expectations are not articulated up-front when someone joins the board. 

How you handle this sensitive issue can have a huge financial impact on an organization.  For example, if the expectation is clearly set up-front that each of your 13 board members donates at least $500 a year, that’s a guaranteed income of $6,500.  If you have a stated policy that board members agree to give or obtain $1000 a year, your organization can count on at least $13,000 in incoming funds.  That could represent several months of operating expenses, which is a significant safety net.

Ensuring board members clearly understand their fundraising and personal gift giving expectations is a critical component of protecting the financial health of your organization. In the August newsletter, I will share some tips about how to get your board on-board with fundraising.

In the meantime, to learn more about how best to communicate these expectations, visit and download the webinar on Fundraising Planning.  It’s one in a series of useful and simple to understand webinars designed to give you an overview of how to maximize your fundraising strategies.

Executive Coaching and the Importance of Accountability

People often hire a life coach or an executive coach to hold them accountable. It’s one of the major attractions of coaching. So, yes, it is one of the tools I use to help clients achieve their goals, or perhaps deepen their understanding about their own behavior. Typical questions around goals and accountability might be “When will you complete this particular action, and how will I know when it’s done?”. In an opening coaching session, I always address what accountability means and how we will address it together.

Executive coaching, however, is about so much more than accountability. It is about gaining insights about your own behavior that you can use to hold yourself accountable. Failure to follow-through on an agreed upon request provides a great opportunity for you to learn more about yourself. What holds you back? How could you move forward in a different way? These questions and many others like them become a conversation between the coach and client that leads you to build your capacity, emotional intelligence and communication skills - often referred to as "softer skills" - to become a more effective leader.

Because at the end of the day, the coach is not actually on the playing field with you. You are the one that holds yourself accountable! For more about executive coaching visit: development

Introducing the Philanthropy Connection

The Philanthropy Connection is a different type of foundation that raises money from successful women. It targets local nonprofits with annual operating budgets of less than $4 million. The key attraction for donors, according to a member survey, is they get to ensure that their contributions go to effective organizations.

Members evaluate and collectively hand-pick the most worthy organizations, while learning about pressing social issues affecting their communities. In its first year, it awarded five nonprofits with $26,000 in grant money and has a more aggressive goal moving forward.

A notable quote from one of the founders, Marla Felcher " One of the biggest surprises is that people really love giving. All you have to do is ask". Lessons for us as we think about fundraising.

To learn more go to:

Cummings Foundation $100k For 100 Grants

A big congratulations to Our Restorative Justice and Alray Scholars on becoming recipients of the Cummings Foundation $100,000 grants for 2017.

A reminder the LOI application process for 2018 opens on July 1.

To learn more go to:

On The Lighter Side

Here the birds are out for a ride in the car!

A Quick Reminder

Our services at Emerging Executive help nonprofit organizations through the most appropriate combination of consulting, executive coaching, or training for your organization, and always incorporates practical experience and feedback. Services include: board and leadership development, executive coaching, strategic planning, and grant writing.


"“I had the pleasure of working with Nadia during our Chamber of Commerce's strategic planning. I found her knowledgeable, focused and energetic. She deftly guided our discussions and we were left not only with a map for the future, but a better understanding of who we are as an organization and how we can best serve our members. Nadia and I have since begun work on projects assisting other nonprofits, and her passion, organizational skills and talent are evident in all her work."

Daniel Lovell
Director of Technology and Digital Communications at United Way of Central New York
CEO: Code Munkeys

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