News & Views

A blog for those interested in what affects, motivates and drives the New York City Nonprofit Sector — written by CRE’s crackerjack consulting team. We hope you use this space to share your thoughts, ask questions and engage in conversations about our city, social justice and the nonprofit sector.

The Right Relationship Is Everything

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Get Ready, Board Members! You’ve Got Work to Do!

The last seven days have been stunning. We’ve had ice storms upon snow storms, subway shut downs, political scandals across the Hudson, and disappointments on Capitol Hill.

But those of us with an eye on New York’s nonprofit community – and the City’s new administration – are busy taking in the breathtaking level of transition that is hitting our sector.   Read more >>

Oversight vs. Partnership: The Board-Staff Relationship

Recent developments at the New York State level to implement the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 have surfaced a new round of concern among board members about compliance and oversight. Whether prompted by this law or other factors, I’ve been struck by the frequency with which I’m engaged in conversations with executives and board chairs about just what their board should be doing in terms of “oversight.”  Read more >>

The Pause That Refreshes: Taking Time to Define a Board’s Mission

I’m often asked by CRE clients what is the ideal size and structure for a nonprofit board or how many committees a board should have.   Read more >>

What's Behind a Successful Board?

Successful boards all have characteristics in common. In this, the first in a series of articles on board development and leadership, CRE Co-Director Valyrie Laedlein shares her perspective on what makes a board successful.   Read more >>

Accountability Versus Effectiveness

By Valyrie Laedlein, CRE Co-Director - Nonprofit leaders are hard-wired for accountability.

The tax-exempt sector was structured to assure accountability to the public since its very beginning. Nearly all the leaders whom CRE has had the privilege to work with drive themselves to be sure they are doing right by their communities. And in this moment of terribly constrained resources, all of us are conscious of how important it is that we make every dollar matter in terms of its rightful and effective use.   Read more >>

My Board Member Wants to Work for me. What Should I Do?

By Jeff Ballow, Senior Consultant - You have just posted a new position on a variety of job sites, circulated the position description to colleagues near and far, and among the initial wave of inquiries is an e-mail from a current member of your board of directors expressing interest in the position. You stare at your computer monitor and wonder, “How should I handle this situation?”  Read more >>

How to Leverage Nonprofit Board Matching Services

by Randall Quan - Board development is a regular topic among CRE clients. Nonprofits are always looking for that perfect mix of folks who care deeply about their missions, take their oversight responsibilities seriously, attend meetings, and add value to their organizations’ overall effort. Oh, and groups would love for their Board members to fundraise—both to write large checks themselves and to get their friends and colleagues to write large checks.   Read more >>

Should Boards Fundraise?

 In a word, yes!  Agreeing on the best role for the Board of Directors to play in fundraising is the source of perennial tension in many nonprofit organizations.  Few people join Boards looking for opportunities to fundraise, but Board members should recognize that they have a special responsibility for the financial health and accountability of an organization.  As a body, your Board must ensure that your organization has a fundraising strategy that is in line with your group’s projected spending.  In addition, each Board member can and should be an advocate for your group within the greater community, and should make a financial contribution to the organization in an amount that’s significant to him or her.  Read more >>

When and How to Create Nonprofit Board Committees

A committee is simply a group that can carry out tasks on behalf of the full Board.  A committee is often a subgroup of the Board itself, but it can also include non-Board members such as outside experts or even volunteers.    Read more >>

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