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Our Favorite Board Governance-isms

Tis the season…. For board, staff and team retreats.

As we enter into the month of November, the Connect For More team and I are deep into the second wave of our busiest time of the calendar year (for those of you wondering January-April is also quite full).

Almost every one of our clients and colleagues is in full throttle finish-up-before-the-holidays mode. Perhaps you can relate.

For us, this is an intense time of gratitude and we are working hard to reap those benefits. We’re almost halfway through our 10th anniversary year and are still growing as a business, as a team, and as individuals.

We are eternally grateful to all of our clients for making it so! We’re also working towards the great and imminent (hopefully) intentional pause from work that will come soon with the holiday “break.”

Read More “Our Favorite Board Governance-isms”

Change is Scary
Change is SCARY & Other Organizational Apparitions

This week’s blog post was written to honor Halloween… we’re now full into the time of year when the holidays are officially upon us, candy & sweets are everywhere and the stressors of the fourth quarter of the calendar year ramp up. Read: I’ve been stress eating a LOT of candy these days. And if you’re being honest, you have too.

As we enter this hectic, full and busy-is-not-enough time of year, I began to ask the Connect For More team and our Clients the following question:

Read More “Change is SCARY & Other Organizational Apparitions”

Saved by the Sabbatical
Saved by the Sabbatical

There are some perks to being your own boss. Ten years in, I’ve learned that the life an entrepreneur is rife with opportunities: paying your team and your vendors before (or more) than you pay yourself, working numerous hours on the non-billable parts of a business, losing sleep over the next great idea or that difficult client, etc. etc. etc. All joking aside, one my favorite benefits of this career is that of time freedom – i.e. that on any given day I get to choose my own schedule, how much/little I want to work and how I want to put my values into action.

Read More “Saved by the Sabbatical”

Consultants Behaving Badly? How to Ensure a Successful Client-Consultant Engagement

Consultants Behaving Badly by Liz WootenLet me begin by saying I am honored to be known as a consultant serving nonprofits.

I’ve had the great pleasure to work with and learn from some phenomenal colleagues who have made an incredible impact in the nonprofit sector. Prior to becoming a consultant myself, I worked with many consultants and even helped co-found a group that promotes ethical consulting. But, as in every industry, there are always a few “bad eggs” — or at least examples where my peers (or I) have gone awry in our service to others.  Read More “Consultants Behaving Badly? How to Ensure a Successful Client-Consultant Engagement”

Jump Start Your Volunteer Engagement Efforts with Give Day Tampa Bay

Jump Start Your Volunteer Engagement Efforts with Give Day Tampa Bay by Liz WootenThe nonprofit sector runs on the power of volunteerism. The power of volunteerism depends on the level of volunteer engagement. And the power of volunteer engagement is driven by personal motivation.

Do you know what motivates your volunteers? When was the last time you asked them?

Give Day Tampa Bay is coming…. And it’s the perfect opportunity to revisit (or start!) this conversation with your volunteers.

Here are three reasons you should consider participating in Give Day Tampa Bay (GDTB) as part of your year-round volunteer engagement strategy: Read More “Jump Start Your Volunteer Engagement Efforts with Give Day Tampa Bay”

A Child’s View of Nonprofit Board Culture

A Child's View of Nonprofit Board Culture by Li WootenAs both a mom and a consultant in the nonprofit sector, I often wonder what my world looks like to my two young children, who currently understand very little about what “mommy does.” What, for example, might they conclude about board culture if they were to venture with me into a nonprofit boardroom, where much of my work in board engagement and develop takes place?

So, I mentally stepped into their tiny shoes to think about it — the boardroom experience from a child’s eye — and identify some of the parental lessons I try to impart that might relate. Below are some of those lessons, intertwined with thoughtful questions, that you can use with your board to start the conversation about your own board culture and how it affects your ability to achieve your mission: Read More “A Child’s View of Nonprofit Board Culture”

What Pokemon GO Can Teach Nonprofits About Board Recruitment

What Pokemon GO Can Teach Nonprofits About Board Recruitment by Liz WootenSo there’s this new craze called Pokemon Go….

Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Perhaps you’ve played it.

Perhaps you’re tired of hearing about of it.

Perhaps you have no idea what the big deal (or game) even is.

Any of those responses validates that you’re part of our over-saturated American popular culture… one where we hear about the latest trends almost as much as we hear about the Presidential election or the multiple tragedies throughout the world. But your reaction may also reveal more about you and your generational affiliation than you think. Read More “What Pokemon GO Can Teach Nonprofits About Board Recruitment”

The Next Generation of Nonprofit Leadership: The Force Awakens

The Next Generation of Nonprofit Leadership: The Force Awakens by Liz WootenWith the release of new episodes in the Star Wars saga there have been countless parodies, an overabundance of internet memes, and yes, even the excited fan or two (hundred million).

Maybe it’s because our popular culture has been fully saturated with Star Wars mania, but I can’t help but think of the similarities between the movie and our strategies for integrating future generations into the nonprofit sector, specifically at the board level.

Along those lines, here are a few board culture true-isms I’ve found in 20 years of nonprofit service—along with some questions you may want to consider as you build a board of generational diversity. (For our purposes here, “next gen” refers to GenX, Millennials, GenZ, and beyond.) Read More “The Next Generation of Nonprofit Leadership: The Force Awakens”

Putting the Funny in Fundraising

Putting the Funny in FundraisingHave you ever wondered what the novel Fifty Shades of Grey has to do with the board’s role in fundraising? Me. Neither. But after spending a morning with Board Governance and Fundraising Consultant, Carol Weisman, I now see the connection between this notorious recent work of popular fiction and the infamously (and perhaps most) difficult part of nonprofit fundraising — engaging the board in the dreaded Ask. And to be sure, I and a room full of development professionals, consultants, and board members are likely not to forget it.

The highlights below will hardly replicate Carol’s sense of humor or her years of fundraising and board engagement experience. Hopefully, the content and the questions that follow will help spark some creativity, offer some validation and/or inspire your own efforts as you work to engage with your board in fundraising. We all could use a little more fun and fundamentals (and funny!) in our own fundraising efforts. Enjoy it… seriously. Read More “Putting the Funny in Fundraising”

Customer Service IS Mission Work

customer service is mission workI was chatting with a fellow consultant recently and the topic of responsiveness from our nonprofit clients came up. Specifically, we talked about how many nonprofits seem to be bad at keeping in touch and following through.

Now if you receive direct mail solicitations from any agency, or are on any nonprofit e-newsletter list, maybe you’ll disagree. Maybe you’ll say that we as a sector over-communicate in many ways.

But for sake of argument, I’m talking meaningful communications and connections here–with donors, clients, and volunteers…. You know, our nonprofit’s “customers.”

So, the question that I’ve been battling with is this: are nonprofits providing poor customer service? And does it really matter? Read More “Customer Service IS Mission Work”

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