Earlier this week, Cheryl Jensen and Renae Oswald-Anderson had the privilege of attending the national BoardSource Leadership Forum in New Orleans. The conference theme was “Leading Together for the Public Good.” BoardSource is considered the country’s leading resource on board governance, board training, and development. These are factors which ultimately contribute to high-performing organizations and …
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This month, we profile our work with the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living. Theirs is an example of a dedicated and hard-working team facing the usual challenges that come with moving through growth, working with strained budgets, and navigating changing regulatory policies, all while providing the highest standard of service to their clients. Advancing Opportunities …
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  Recently the Strategic Consulting & Coaching (SCC) team had the privilege of working with the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf (WBAEFS), a full service food shelf that utilizes a choice model: Clients choose the food they need (and like) selecting from produce, milk, eggs, meat, and bread, along with canned and dry goods …
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I. Obtaining Leadership Support for Evaluation Efforts Leadership support in your organization is crucial to understanding the importance of evaluation results for program implementation. Leaders also have the authority to address quickly any changes that are needed in programs so they can be as successful as the agency hopes them to be. Asking the right …
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A local recovery group uses the term “live in day-tight boxes”, meaning finding a way in which to get through just 24 hours without taking on everything that needs to be accomplished. Below is my effort to translate that idea into some grant writing tips from the field. Think of “function-tight boxes” to help your …
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  The long-term effects of the economic downturn are still being felt by many nonprofits – and by those who rely on their services. According to a recent report by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, only 41% of human service organizations were able to meet demand in 2014. The need for services has increased, as has …
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What is your next step? The good news is that this is the perfect opportunity to step back and evaluate the needs of the nonprofit.  One option is to hire an Interim Executive Director (Interim). Why should the board consider this option? Bringing on an Interim provides the organization time to acknowledge both the accomplishments …
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You are reconnecting with a friend about what they have been doing the past few months. You find out she has been volunteering at a local food shelf, working with families that need food stability and support services. During the conversation, your friend expresses she had a positive volunteer experience, because of the engaging volunteer …
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What do Evaluation Capacity Building (ECB) and organizational culture have in common?  Creating a data-driven decision making organization requires intentionality, which includes creating a healthy organizational culture.  ECB, as defined by my mentor, Dr. Jean King of the University of Minnesota and founder of MESI (Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute), involves the design and implementation of …
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In our last post we talked some about leadership. We’ll continue that conversation today by reflecting a little about coaching and how it can benefit one’s leadership. First of all, it would be helpful to define “coach.” Within leadership coaching, the term coach is usually defined as “an instructor or trainer.” With that in mind, …
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