Emerging Executive Newsletter for June 2018
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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.

Performance or outcome measurement is something that should always be front and center for a nonprofit organization.  But very often it does not get the attention it deserves.  In this issue, Heather Steele, one of the Emerging Executive Associate Consultants, talks about why this must be more than an afterthought and offers ways to get started.  Read on!

With warm wishes,

Are you a Good Listener?

Henry David Thoreau wrote “It takes two to speak the truth; one to speak and another to hear."

There’s a big difference between listening and hearing.  Most of us think we’re good listeners, but are we really?  In today’s polarized world, active listening and meaningful dialogue are more important than ever.   The recent #MeToo movement raises difficult questions that require thoughtful answers.  Those who hope to affect significant cultural change through this movement need to ensure lengthy discourse between a wide variety of people with differing opinions.

There are two types of listeners; those who listen and those who wait to talk. Most of us fall into the second category.  Work on listening like it really matters, especially in times of conflict.  In heated discussions, often each party is more concerned with being right than listening to different perspectives.


Click here to continue reading.

Mixed Outlook for 2018-19 Charitable Giving

The charitable giving landscape in the US is likely to see significant changes over the next two years, driven by the combined effects of new tax legislation and macroeconomic conditions, a report from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and consulting firm Marts & Lundy finds.

The report, The Philanthropy Outlook 2018 & 2019 (27 pages, PDF), focuses on directional changes in — rather than numerical estimates of — giving under high-growth, uneven-growth, and flat-growth scenarios for the US economy. All three scenarios assume, however, that the impact of the new tax bill on giving by individuals will be negative, with the increase in the standard deduction reducing tax incentives for giving among non-itemizers despite the modest reduction in the top marginal rate.

To read more click here.

How Important is Outcome Measurement?

Congratulations on winning that latest grant! Now that the money is in the bank, it often seems like running programs takes over all of our time. Outcome measurement can turn into an afterthought – yet it is a vital part of program delivery. Here’s why:

  1. Outcome measurement provides a valuable real-time feedback loop so that programs are informed and relevant. In addition, clients who are given the opportunity to assist with feedback - providing we take it seriously - often feel honored and empowered.  Not only will their insight help us serve them and others better in the future, we have created strong bonds with our clients that lift all of us up.
  2. By querying partners, we address any small relationship problems before they become unmanageable. We can also incorporate their inspired ideas and suggestions for improvement immediately if a feedback loop is in place to catch them.

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New Report on The State of Modern Philanthropy

Did you know that recurring donors are 42 percent more valuable than fundraisers, and 440 percent more valuable than one-time donors? recently shared a report analyzing proprietary data from more than 2.5 million donations, almost 20,000 active fundraising campaigns, and over 3,500 organizations ranging in size to help surface insights for the entire industry.  The report covers:

  • Mobile and desktop trends
  • How campaign types impact supporter behavior
  • The lifetime financial return of different donor actions
  • The impacts of large giving events, such as Giving Tuesday, as they compare to December 31 and disaster relief efforts

Get your copy of the full report now. As a bonus, you also get a benchmarks worksheet to help you determine how your organization stacks up to Classy's key findings.

What Does Diversity Mean to You and Your Organization?

Most nonprofits recognize the importance of, and need for, diversity on their board and staff. But they aren’t always sure how to achieve it. Cultural competency is at the heart of managing diversity. According to, Cultural Competency is defined as “a set of behaviors, policies, and attitudes which form a system or agency that allows cross-cultural groups to effectively work professionally.”

Many people have a natural ability to work across boundaries and in different cultures. It is easy for them to listen, watch, read, and learn about other cultures and their norms.  Addressing diversity is not simple. The term can trigger many strong reactions, and discussions about diversity can be uncomfortable. 

Why is diversity so important? A diversified board and staff will provide insights that will be beneficial. Organizations become stronger through a diverse combination of culture, race, ethnicity, age, and gender. Understanding the goals of your diversification policy and the changes they will bring to your culture is imperative. 

Click here to read more.

GuideStar 2017 Nonprofit Compensation Report Now Available! 

This year’s report is the 17th in the annual series, and is derived from information on more than 135,000 individual positions at more than 96,000 tax-exempt organizations. The executive summary presents findings based not only on this report but also on data for previous years.

It remains the only large-scale analysis of its kind based entirely on data reported to the IRS. It also continues to be the most comprehensive nonprofit compensation study available.  To download a sample report click here.

Collaboration in Action on the North Shore 

In the February 2018 newsletter, I wrote about the growing importance of collaboration in fundraising. On Valentine’s day, my local YMCA of the North Shore had a collaborative fundraiser: the Pajama program, in which the Y, in partnership with teachers and other local organizations, requested donations of pajamas for children in need or school books. Each day I was there, the sign-up sheet was full. It was collaboration in action with many children as the beneficiaries.

Imagine an international nonprofit setting up a similar initiative, perhaps collaborating with a hotel chain with a week-long “Back to School” project. You could involve local providers of goods and school supplies. It might ultimately result in a "sponsor a child" program or visits to the local community as ways to engage guests and have them better understand the country they are visiting. Volunteer tourism is growing! 

It is easy to set this up in the US, partnering with other nonprofits. Or, as an envelope enclosed with my National Grid bill illustrated, a partnership between a for profit entity and the Salvation Army on a campaign called “Give the Gift of Warmth."

What is your project of choice and who will you partner with this year?

On The Lighter Side

Looking forward to reading the new book from David Sedaris, Calypso, and highly recommend seeing him live if you can.

If you can't, click here and enjoy a few minutes of him and Stephen Colbert.

Here's a fun movie in challenging times: Book Club.  A few of my favorite actresses growing older gracefully!

Hurrah! The Salem ferry has started for the summer, so it's easy to visit with no traffic and parking hassles. Visit the House of the Seven Gable, the Peabody Essex Museum and lots of great local restaurants:  Firenze and Caramel are a must!

Trying on a new summer hair (crest!) style!!! 
I call it "the unicorn".

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.


“Nadia is the commensurate professional. She has a deep knowledge of grant writing, superlative grant writing skills and works exceedingly well with clients and colleagues. She was an incredibly important resource in a grant writing project for our small nonprofit. She is simply an excellent writer”

Karen Pelletier
Former Board Member
Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights & Social Justice

Brush up on your fundraising acumen with these webinars, available to purchase at
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