Emerging Executive Newsletter for April 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.

This issue coincides with the anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination. It includes an article called  "Stories from the Field" written by Gracious Octave, one of the Emerging Executive Associate Consultants, reflecting on his experience as a black leader in the workforce 50 years on from this tragic event.  We hope it inspires discussion on the workforce that we would like to create for the future. 

With warm wishes,

What do you do with Board Members who do nothing?

There’s nothing more demotivating than coming to a board meeting and finding the same one or two people never show up.  Its sets the wrong tone for other board members, and they are more than likely watching to see how the situation will be handled. So whose responsibility is it to “do something” about a board member who does not show up consistently, or who does not carry their weight, especially in a small organization that relies on board members to be a working board?

Click here to continue reading.

The Board's Role in the Pursuit of Sustainability

In the last couple of issues of this newsletter I have written about the importance of managing your programs portfolio, thinking of new strategies for outdated programs and collaboration.  All of these issues address organization sustainability, along with financial management and oversight. Below is a link to an excellent article on how boards need to be focused on thinking about the organization holistically given the turbulent times we live in:

Click here to read the article

In Grantseeking Your Budget Does Matter

GrantStation is currently in the midst of its Spring 2018 State of Grantseeking Survey, with an expected 3,500 to 4,000 nonprofit respondents.   

Here are some demographics, experiences, funder types, funding frequency, and award sizes when viewed through the lens of organizational budget (based on results from the Fall 2017 survey, reflecting the data from 4,047 participants:
  • The federal government is much more likely to support organizations with budgets of $25 million and higher (87 percent) than small organizations with budgets under $100,000 (13 percent).
  •  Private foundations, by far the most frequently reported funding source among all organizations, were still only a source of funding to 53 percent of small organizations, whereas private foundations were a funding source to 90 percent of organizations with budgets between $10 million to $24,999,999, and 89 percent of organizations with budgets of $25 million and higher.
To read more, click on the link below

Kick Start your Online Fundraising with Global Giving – Deadline May 01 2018! 

Any registered nonprofit (anywhere in the world!) is eligible to apply. Global Giving supports you as you reach out to your own networks, and tell your story in new and compelling ways. Donors can give in USD or GBP, helping you reach your supporters in the US, the UK, and beyond. And Global Giving also provide matching incentives for your donors, and bonus prizes for the most successful participants.

The GlobalGiving Accelerator is a virtual training program and crowdfunding campaign that will help you take your fundraising to the next level. Following an optional one-week training curriculum, you’ll be entered into an Accelerator campaign where you raise at least $5,000 total from a minimum of 40 different donors in order to graduate.  Two clients used this for the first time in 2017. To date one of these clients has raised almost $19,000 and secured over 15 monthly recurring donors.

First step is to complete the online application. The next deadline to submit applications is May 01, 2018 but we accept applications at any time!

New Commonwealth Insights Report Released

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Commonwealth Insight Reports help organizations navigate policies and issues specific to the nonprofit sector.  This latest report, "From Challenges to Opportunities: How Nonprofits Can Make Sense of the New Tax Law," has just been published. Read it today and start planning your organization's path forward in uncertain times.

Fifty Years On: 
Stories from Workforce Relationships:
An Introduction

The next article may be uncomfortable reading.  The role of a consultant is sometimes to shed light on important topics that impede the progress of individuals and sustainability of organizations. Systemic racism and prejudice is such as issue. And one where it is often easier to say nothing. Yet if we do nothing, we are part of the problem.

How much change has happened in the workforce since Martin Luther King was killed over fifty years ago?  As Melinda Gates said in March 2018, our workplace has not changed through the course of her life; yet our workforce has changed significantly. 

Challenging biases and implementing solutions that improve diversity and equity is vital. In the nonprofit world this has implications for fundraising, which in turn impacts how well you serve your clients.

As an Irish Jewish immigrant who has experienced discrimination throughout my life, I thought I understood the challenges that clients of color or clients with different ethnic backgrounds face. Gracious Octave is an extraordinary young black leader and mentor in St Lucia with experience working with many different ethnic groups.  Living in his community gave me the opportunity to see situations through a different lens. This,coupled with honest and sometimes difficult conversations, made me realize until that point my understanding was surface level.

Along with his work with both for profit and nonprofit groups, Gracious is an Associate Consultant with Emerging Executive.  His perspective adds enormous value to Emerging Executive.  His essay, "Stories from the Field" will be followed by other articles in future newsletters about diversity, cultural competence, and appreciative inquiry, all powerful tools that bring about transformative change.  You can reach him at

Stories from the Field: 
A Black Leader's Perspective on
Workforce Relationships

Cultivating good relationships within the workplace cannot be emphasized enough, especially those built on trust and respect with your immediate manager. It is important on a day-to-day basis, but also for your career.

This is much easier said than done because it often escapes us that what everyone shares in the work environment is that we are human. Yet we are not all the same.  So, developing good relationships in the workplace can be challenging. Much more so if the manager is white and the employees are black. This adds another dimension to already complicated work relationships.

Hoped for workplace relationships, where good ideas are heard, improved upon for the good of the organization and its clients or guests, elude black staff, who often see need and have solutions, leaving them feeling like they must walk on eggshells. The mutual distrust built through a sordid history of colonialism and outright slavery that reverberates to the societal structure today, leaves little room for solid interpersonal and working relationships with a white manager.

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On The Lighter Side

Some quick fun!  Following up from her wonderful book "The Happiness Project", Gretchen Rubin now has an online quiz. Click here to see if you whether you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel--take the free quiz.  

Great book from an amazing fundraising:  The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist

Consider visiting what Oprah calls one of the wonders of the world.  The Pitons in St Lucia. You won't be disappointed in the Pitons or St Lucia and
the hospitality of its people.

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.


“Among all the consultants with whom I have dealt in my professional and  non-profit work, Nadia is most certainly one of the best. She has a unique combination of 1)”emotional intelligence (EQ)” to identify core  issues and assist people through them and 2) “business acumen and  common  sense” to drive your clients to get things done. I also enjoy working with her”

Loretta Zolkowski
Former Board Chair
The Gage Foundation

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