One of the greatest gifts I can offer Laramie's nonprofit boards this year is a list of my favorite governance-focused blogs.
The wisdom that these writers offer on a regular basis is transformative. I learn from each new post. Sometimes, what I learn is new to me. Frequently, I learn from the ways in which they frame already familiar topics. I'd encourage any nonprofit board member, and executive director who works with a board, to bookmark these blogs, add them to your RSS feed, and follow them on Twitter.
Alison Rapping (@AlisonRapping), Alison Rapping's Blog. Her most recent post illustrates why she is on my must-read list. Engaging and Energizing the Next Generation of Board Leadership should be required reading for anyone considering board service, anyone in the process of recruiting new members, anyone thinking of accepting an invitation to serve, and anyone already serving on a board. It's one of those "I wish I'd written that" contributions to the governance conversation.
Hildy Gottlieb (@HildyGottlieb), Creating the Future. Hildy expands my thinking with every post and tweet. She has a broader vision of the work that nonprofits do and the potential for accomplishing true social change. Her most recent post, 3 Steps to Changing the World, is a good illustration of her approach to that work.
Rosetta Thurman (@RosettaThurman), Rosetta Thurman: Promoting the Next Generation Leadership for Social Change. In an expanding universe of "young" nonprofit voices emerging, Rosetta represents the best of what lies ahead for the sector. Rosetta is not afraid to ask the questions that need to be asked or to offer a fresh perspective on the challenges of nonprofit leadership. We need to listen to her, and to her peers.
Ellis Carter (@CharityLawyer), Charity Lawyer Blog. Ellis has this uncanny knack for translating some of the most challenging legal concepts into plain English. I've been particularly appreciative of her recent "Nonprofit Law Jargon Buster" posts. This entry, discussing "tax exempt purpose," is a good example.
Beth Kanter (@Kanter), Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media to Achieve Mission. No one - no one - knows the power that social media can bring to mission fulfillment more intimately than Beth. No one has the capacity to translate that potential into descriptions that will resonate with a broader audience than Beth. She challenges readers to think beyond narrow conceptions of communication and offers examples of successful integration of social media.