Monday, November 15, 2010

Video: Having fun with fundraising

This morning's "Movie Monday " submission from caught my eye, and I want to share it with readers of this blog.

What I appreciate about this particular episode is the detail shared regarding specific ways, beside the ask, that board members can participate in the fundraising process. I've been one of those board members who'd "never" ask people for money. I've served with others who have expressed that same reticence.

Obviously, someone must eventually ask when the fit between donor interests and organizational needs is a good one. But helping board members to identify ways in which they can participate in the process leading up to that point, in some meaningful way, is important.

Click on the link below to access the video and learn more about the "Six Rs of Relationship Building" and their role in helping board members find their place in the process.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Where good (board) ideas come from

Twitter brought this little video gift this morning, from Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From.

As with most everything I encounter in life these days, I couldn't help thinking about boards as I watched. Do we create spaces where the kinds of connectivity Johnson describes can take shape? Do we nurture breathing room and value insights shared amidst the rush to check reports off the agenda? Do we foster opportunities for good ideas inside board members' heads to make it to the surface so they can be connected?

I feel a sense of "deja vu all over again" as I ask those questions. They are not new to me, or to readers of this blog. But I appreciate the way in which this video provides a framework for reflecting on them (and challenging yet again our assumptions about what governance looks like).

I also can't help wondering, as he describes the coffee houses and salons of eras past, whether there isn't merit in providing a similar kind of space for board members and those who support them, to foster the kinds of interactions and "collision of hunches" that might truly impact governance. That's a question I'm always pondering. (You might call it an obsession.)

Yes, I grasp the big challenges of that notion - especially when talking about a relatively transient bunch of time-pressed volunteers. But it's obvious that something is missing, something that leaves us operating in isolation and frustration. How do those of us who care about governance, and governing effectively, create space - mental, physical, intellectual, etc. - where good ideas can be discovered and grown?

I'd love to chat here about the video and about how we might foster this in nonprofit governance.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lucy P. Marcus - Boardroom Activism

The morning's Twitter feed brought this thought-provoking Tedx talk by Lucy Marcus. Particularly noteworthy is the detail she offers regarding what active, engaged board work looks like.

I encourage you to bookmark, watch, share, and discuss with your board. Sharing your thoughts here is most welcome, too.