Emerging Executive Newsletter for December 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!

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season.  Until 2018.....

With warm wishes,

The Board Chair and Executive Director Relationship

As a general principle, the board of directors primarily governs and staff primarily manages the organization.  For a nonprofit to be effective, regardless of size or lifecycle stage, there must be a good relationship between the Executive Director and the Board Chair.

If you are fortunate enough to be part of a medium or larger size nonprofit organization, this means that the board provides counsel to management. They should not be involved in the day-to-day affairs of the organization.  On the other hand, if you heading an organization with limited staff, the Executive Director is going to need a more hands-on board (beyond just governance)  to make sure the organizations runs smoothly and effectively.

A board’s ability to govern lies in its group structure.  The board chair plays a key role in leading the board and setting the tone for all members to ensure a focus on mission, direction and priorities.  In this respect, the Executive Director relies on the board chair in partnership to help him or her deliver on the organization’s mission.

Click to continue reading

This Program Costs too Much……but It’s Really Important!

Is it really that important? How do you know where it fits within your program priorities and whether you have the best program portfolio for your organization today? The answer to these questions is often "no". And we don’t know!

One reason why this happens is that program and fundraising plans are developed in parallel and not jointly. Just as a for-profit business has to develop a sustainable business model, nonprofit organizations must do the same particularly in the current complex and changing nonprofit sector.

Reviewing your program portfolio each year is a must. You might need to update a program or combine it with another initiative.  

Your goal is to combine program and business activities that result in long term financial viability as well as mission impact. CompassPoint based in San Francisco developed a very simple matrix -The Dual Bottom Line Matrix -  to help you balance mission and sustainability. It is adapted from the Boston Consulting Group’s Growth Share Matrix.

Click here to continue reading and download the Dual Bottom Line Matrix

New Research Funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

With funding from RWJF, Pennsylvania State University is creating a series of briefs addressing the need for research, practice and policy on social and emotional learning.  The series will cover how teachers, parents, schools and others can help support the social emotional learning of students.  Studies show that good social emotional skills can lead to better education, employment, and physical and mental health, and to fewer problems with substance abuse, antisocial behavior, or relationships.  A couple of key findings from this recent research show:

  • Each dollar invested in social emotional skill building programs can return over $11 in benefits
  • Social emotional skills help children successfully navigate the learning environment, making it more likely they will graduate from both high school and college

To find out more go to

Seed your Success in 2018

We’re getting close to the time when people start to think about setting New Year’s resolutions! And if you are like most of us, about three weeks into the New Year the words "yes, but" and any other number of excuses rear their ugly head!

Did you know the word enthusiasm is derived from “entheos” which means “God within” or “guidance within.” Your intuition in other words. This holds the keys to your highest potential. If you feel dissatisfied, bored or frustrated, a change is required! If you are happy and content, you are on the right track.

To set New Year resolutions, that are centered around what is truly important, keep the following in mind:
  • Listen to your gut. Your intuition is different from saying “I should or I must do that!”
  • Take the time to review 2017.
    • What were your top three accomplishments? What made you happy?
    • Similarly, where did you fall short?
    • Where did you feel dissatisfied?
  • Ask yourself what an ideal day and month would look like. Don’t be constricted for the purposes of visioning with time and money and work.
  • Ask yourself the right questions. Is any decision or resolution you make going to give you short-term satisfaction or long-term fulfillment?
  • If your resolution uses the words "should" or "must", erase and revisit! This is a pressure based resolution  - not one based on enthusiasm.
Allowing yourself think about your ideal existence and your values gives you a good indication about what engages your enthusiasm and what is important to you. And how, even in small ways, you can set resolutions guided by enthusiasm. You want any resolutions to be realistic, fit with your values, and be excited by what you want to achieve over the long term. This overcomes one of the biggest hurdles most people face with any form of change. Your own impatience!

Click here to download a wheel of life to help with your 2018 goals.

Save the Date for the Institute for Trustees (IFT) – March 24, 2018.

Paul Schmitz to deliver keynote address
Paul Schmitz will deliver the keynote address at ECCF's IFT.

The IFT is the region's premier educational conference for nonprofit board leaders and executive directors. Join hundreds of your nonprofit colleagues for networking and more than two dozen workshops and classes on board development, financial sustainability, fundraising, strategic planning and much more, all taught by the region's leading experts

Paul Schmitz, founder of consulting firm Leading Inside Out and senior advisor to The Collective Impact Forum, will deliver the keynote address at ECCF's Institute for Trustees. Paul, author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up, is the former CEO of Public Allies, where he spent 21 years helping diverse young leaders turn their passions into careers working for community and social change.

On The Lighter Side

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 has been a wonderful resource to our small non profit. Direct, thoughtful and immensely helpful at a time when we absolutely needed it. She is also an awesome writer."

Vicki Sirianni
Independent Executive
Office Professional
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