Posted on September 23, 2011
Ami Dar, the founder and executive director of Idealist.org/Action Without Borders provided a list in the foreword of Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals. Two aspects of what he suggests that I like are “building a good board” and “being careful with your time.” When he says build a good board, what Ami Dar means is to build a board that meets your standards. As he says, “first decide what ‘good’ means to you.” Everyone has their own definition of what a good board should be like and there are options as to which kind you can build for your foundation. “Do you want a board that does a lot but then also wants a say in how the work is done? Or do you want a board that is more hands-off and gives your staff freedom?” These are all good points to consider and think about. Not only is it good advice when beginning a non-profit, but it’s also good to consider when working with a board of people. Are they clear on what their role on the board is? Have you made it clear to them if you are the one directing discussions etc? The second suggestion about “being careful with your time” is a beneficial one to remember because oftentimes we all agree to something without thinking it through completely. “Having regretted saying ‘yes’ once too often, I make a conscious effort not to commit to doing anything in the future without trying to imagine myself actually doing it then.” These are words to live by. As kids we were always told “think before you speak” but sometimes we forget that the same holds true for our adult years. The future of non-profits and of our lives can benefit from these tips and enable us to become more productive and happy from day to day.