Emerging Executive Newsletter for December 2019
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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 take this opportunity to wish you all of you a very happy holiday season. Until 2020!

With warm wishes,

Help! Some of my Board Members Do Nothing!

As a consultant I hear this lament all the time.  And I always ask, “Are your board members aware of their expected role and responsibilities?”  The onus is initially on you to ensure the answer to this question is yes. The board chair is generally responsible for intervening if there are issues with board involvement and participation.

You might have board members who are joining a board for the first time.  Others may be more seasoned board members, yet serve on boards that are different from yours.  Perhaps they have more staff and there are fewer requirements for support from board members.  First things first.  Check your board job description and update it if necessary.

Whose responsibility is it to “do something” about board members who are undependable? Continue reading

Save the Date:  March 14, 2020. 11th Essex County Community Foundation's Annual Institute for Trustees. 

Since 2010, more than 2000 nonprofit leaders have participated in ECCF's Institute for Trustees, the region's largest all-day conference dedicated to strengthening the local nonprofit sector. Featuring presentations from the region's leading experts on trending and timely topics, the day promotes thought-provoking discussion and networking opportunities with hundreds of peers equally committed to their leadership roles.

Phil Buchanan, President, The Center for Effective Philanthropy Author, Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count will deliver the keynote address. 

Registration opens in early January.

Set Your Organization up for Success - Plan, Executive and Achieve your Goals in 2020. 

 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 2019, a new school bill passed in MA, and daily we see the growing impact of climate change, government spending cuts, implications of the new tax law on charitable giving, and the pending ruling for TPS recipients in January. All this impacts thousands here in MA. And of course, the 2020 census and election may have even more implications for the nonprofit sector. Traditional planning for a period of three years is no longer the norm.
In any given year, the potential impact of important and often unexpected events need to be taken into account when planning your organization’s future programs and sustainability. 

Click here to read more:

Act According to your Lifecycle Stage

While it's tempting to want to direct all funding toward programs, your organizational capacity from a lifecycle perspective depends on your ability to achieve balance and alignment between programs, management, governance, financial and other structural requirements at each stage of life.

Yet it's hard to figure out where you are going, if you don't know where you are, beyond looking at programs!  Lifecycle theory assumes that organizations - and not just nonprofits - develop through a concept or idea and then may cycle through phases of growth, maturity and sometimes even decline, turnaround or closure.

The nonprofit lifecycle model diagnoses the predictable challenges facing organizations at each stage in the lifecycle to help you determine the most appropriate next steps to use to develop a competency framework, based on realistic performance outcomes to build your organizational capacity and strategic plan.

Contact Nadia at for a hands-on, engaging workshop and see how your organization can benefit from this approach.

News from Around the Web

  • New Rating System for Charities - ImpactMatters rates similar nonprofit groups across an array of areas. The first wide-scale batch of 1,078 ratings was released on Friday, ahead of the holiday giving season.aims to measure the impact of gifts   Rating System 
  • The Case to Cover Full Costs: An excellent article on what makes up “full costs” in nonprofit budgets  Funding Overhead is Not the Real Issue
  • Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals- New Edition from Blue Avocado Available Now. A goldmine of actionable, high-value practices across seven major nonprofit management disciplines, including strategy, operations, law and finance, fundraising, and technology  Nonprofit-Management-101-Practical
  • Conflict of Interest.  Legal but Ethical? Important information for every board member and nonprofit leader to know:
    Conflict of Interest and Ethics
  • World Central Kitchen - a New Nonprofit Business Model? As a supporter of this amazing organization, I thought this article was worth reading  World Central Kitchen
  • Involving the younger generation:
     How to Get Those Young Folk Involved

Support Your Team Through LeggUP

Most people agree that coaching is a benefit to professionals across all industries; but there is not a consensus on the best way for companies to go about increasing access to professional development in a way that is meaningful, standardized, and affordable. 

LeggUP was designed to make career growth programs more approachable, while also making it an attractive option for HR leaders and managers to transform their workplace culture. I am delighted to be part of this new approach to make coaching available to more individuals at a more affordable price. Check out the LeggUP site (and my profile!)
On the Lighter Side

Good ReadsLilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. A novel based on true stories and two women during WW2.  The Last Girl by Nadia Murad. Former Yazidi captive of the Islamic State and Nobel Peace Prize winner tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story.  The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers.  Coffee first came from Yemen and Ethiopia.  Who knew!

Movies:  Parasite definitely one of the most "different" and Oscar-worthy movies I have ever seen,  brilliantly layered look at timely social themes,  And Harriet.  A fascinating movie about the life of Harriet Tubman. 

Podcasts: Be Happier! Gretchen Rubin the #1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast.

Inspirational Podcast:  Halima Aden -  Somali refugee turned international model.  

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.



It is an absolute pleasure to recommend Nadia Prescott - she is a treasure. She is an effective communicator who is sensitive to her audience, expert in her field, and able to research, learn, and assimilate new knowledge to serve her clients extremely well."

Jude Goldman
Executive Director, The Lenny Zakim Fund

Brush up on your leadership acumen and download this FREE ebook at
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