Category Archives: Board Development


Oct

23

2017
The Big Shift in Fundraising

The Big Shift in Fundraising

Note: This guest post is from Andy Robinson, a terrific fundraising trainer and consultant who works across North America. On November 15, Andy will be in St. Paul, leading a workshop for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits: Mobilize Your Board to Raise More Money. I hope you can join him!  -Dania Like many fundraisers, I always anticipate the annual release of Giving USA, which offers a thorough overview of trends in U.S. philanthropy. I’ve also been reading Ruth McCambridge of the Nonprofit Quarterly, whose cogent analysis of the Giving USA data is really helpful – and inspired this post. Thanks,…

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Dec

04

2014
Ten Behaviors: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Ten Behaviors: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

The idea of creating a culture of philanthropy is hot right now, either a fad or a real commitment by nonprofits to envelop boards, staff, volunteers and constituency (visitors, members, clients, patients, volunteers, staff, committee members, board members, donors, legacy leavers, etc.) in deep recognition of the overall importance of philanthropy in the life of the organization. (See my earlier posting on the Culture of Philanthropy) There are many websites talking about it, listing what to do in training, offering training, listing qualities to be achieved, selling packages, offering consulting and on and on. We know it takes years, often,…

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Apr

21

2014
Guest Post – Train your board. Raise more money.

Guest Post – Train your board. Raise more money.

This post is adapted from the new book, Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money by Andrea Kihlstedt and Andy Robinson, www.trainyourboard.com. No one is born knowing how to raise money, but like many other skills – sewing on a button, mastering a new app, driving a car – it’s a skill we can learn. With effective training and support, pretty much anyone can become a skilled fundraiser. That’s why we assembled our new book. Furthermore, you don’t have to be a professional facilitator to teach your board, volunteers, and staff members. Like fundraising, training others is a…

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Jun

25

2013

Ten Things to Look For in Prospective Board Members

  A Post from  Dania Toscano Miwa and James V. Toscano All of us need board members. With turnover, reluctance to serve and aging of that generation inured to board service, we are under constant pressure to recruit prospective members for nonprofit boards of directors. Where do we go? Who do we look for? What do we need? There are those mnemonics: 3W, 3G, 3T and 3M, to name just a few.  Fun to recite, they are of very limited value in the actual selection process. Yes, wealth, wisdom and work (3W) nail it on one level, although point nowhere….

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Jun

13

2013
Ten Steps Before Accepting a Nonprofit Board Position

Ten Steps Before Accepting a Nonprofit Board Position

  A Post from James V. Toscano & Dania Toscano Miwa  What a wonderful tribute and honor to be asked to serve on the board of Directors of a nonprofit organization. Being part of governance of a group providing benefit to society is a unique privilege. Nevertheless, boards have varying cultures, capacities and track records. Before acceptance, it may be wise to do some due diligence to ensure that you understand what you will be doing, what will be expected of you and how successful you will be. Here are ten things to do before accepting the invitation. 1. Read…

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Jan

02

2013
A Recap – The Most Popular Posts in 2012

A Recap – The Most Popular Posts in 2012

Happy New Year! In looking back over last year, Jim and I were interested to see what resonated with our readers the most and are eager to hear what topics our readers wished we’d written about. (The comment box below is a great place to let us know what you’d like to read more about, or if you’d prefer, send me an email at Dania(@)ToscanoAdvisors.com.) These are the top five most read posts of last year. 1.  5 Myths about Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations 2. Why Does a Nonprofit Board Need Young People? 3. The Ten “Must” Agreements Between…

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Dec

07

2012
How Many Board Members Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

How Many Board Members Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

  A Posting from James V. Toscano How many times have we read, heard or said something like, “Board Members Must Not Only Give, They Must Get” or one of the variations of that message? I have read it, heard it, said it, taught it, written it a few thousand times in my fifty years in nonprofit management and consulting. And who listens? Apparently not a lot of board members In the latest BoardSource survey of nonprofit CEO’s on their boards’ performance (see the distribution in the map below), a consistent pattern emerges. Sampling both BoardSource members and nonmembers on a range…

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Jul

05

2012

Board Selection Mnemonics

 A post by James V. Toscano mne·mon·ics: the process or technique of improving or developing the memory Let’s trot out the old chestnuts, those alliterative mnemonics often quoted in training and articles about the type people who should be on a nonprofit organization’s board. Governance is always one of the leading topics of discussion and controversy in nonprofits, both in sector and academic circles. One sometimes hears three prescriptive letters summarizing desired qualities of prospective board members, sometimes not understood, sometimes dismissed, sometimes used cynically, and sometimes followed with insight. A variety of “schools” e.g. Carver, Benevan, cite specific roles…

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Apr

03

2012

Nonprofit Board Search

 Announcement from Dania Toscano Miwa Here at Toscano Advisors, we’ve been thinking about what an amazing sector we work in, especially in Minnesota. As we were discussing this and brainstorming ideas to add even more value to this already vibrant sector and we think we’ve found one! We are very excited to launch Nonprofit Board Search which is a free service from Toscano Advisors, allowing nonprofits to submit their open board positions on this site. Now, I realize this may sound like a rather self-serving, even a shameless self promotion post. However, we know most, if not all, of our…

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Dec

13

2011

The Ten “Must” Agreements between Board and Executive Director

 Post by James V. Toscano There must be agreement: 1. On  Vision. Do all agree on the overall Vision, how it is articulated and explicated into program, or are there major differences? Do  all agree that this Vision is still relevant and essential to social benefit? 2. On Mission. Is there agreement that the organization’s mission is still the critical pathway to achieve strategic goals? Is there consensus on the processes and/or programs that will achieve Vision? Do all participate in and agree on strategic plan or strategic priorities? Is there agreement that the organization is still viable should it…

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