Friday, May 31, 2013

Overheard: Letters to boards (and more)

The last couple of weeks, I opened both links post with a favorite "open letter to a board" submission to this month's Nonprofit Board Carnival. This week, I open with the post that shares links to all of the letters selected for the carnival.

May 2013 Nonprofit Blog Carnival (Erik Anderson)

I've not only enjoyed reading several of the posts that made the round-up as they were released individually, I expanded my thinking about boards with each one. The combined list magnifies that reaction exponentially. Each letter offered a different layer of insight about our experiences with boards - experiences that will ring familiar with (sometimes many) different readers. I encourage you to bookmark this post, with the goal of reading each post included. (Note: I'm very pleased to report that my own letter and the marvelous submission by my friend, Nancy Iannone, made the final list.)

My 'thank you' to an exemplar board (Yours truly)

May I share a small personal "hurray?" My letter caught the eye of editors at the London-based Civilsociety.co.uk charity news site and was reprinted on the governance blog. That doesn't happen every day. 

Role of chair podcast (Steven Bowman)

I yelped with joy when I saw Steven's name pop up in my Twitter feed. To find that he was sharing a new podcast episode, on a topic essential to board success, what an even bigger treat. Note that you have options for listening: streaming, downloading, or linking to the iTunes version.

Keeping high performers happy at your nonprofit (Renee McGivern)

It's a two-podcast kind of week. I always learn something of value in Renee's weekly episodes. This one resonated for a couple of reasons. One, it felt like it connected to the post I was writing at the time. Two, it's a topic that always interests me and needs to also be addressed at the board level. As you listen, try adapting what is being shared to your high-performing board members.

5 priceless gifts a board member can give her nonprofit (Nell Edgington)

Investing in, and committing to, building organizational capacity. What a novel idea! Seriously, though... No one can deny the importance of focusing our attention on impact: how we not only move closer to our mission but change/save lives in the process. But it's also important to acknowledge that that can't happen when staff members are physically, emotionally and intellectually exhausted; or when the resources needed to fulfill those responsibilities are perpetually in short supply. A board that recognizes that, and that commits to ensuring that those who do the core work are supported, will put their organization on a pathway to success.

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