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At Vantage Point, we have spent a decade learning how to build an abundant organization.

It didn’t take long for us to realize that before an organization could get to abundant it had to get to strong. Over the years, many experts have studied effective not-for-profit organizations and outlined good practices in leadership, governance, planning and talent engagement.  We agree with many of their ideas, and have worked with many not-for-profit leaders to institute good practices in their organizations.

Once an organization is strong – once it is mission-based and operating effectively – it can...

The arrival of a new year often marks transition, change - and new beginnings. Here at Vantage Point, we begin this New Year with tremendous excitement about the completion of our new book, The Abundant Not-for-Profit.

Over the next few weeks, as we prepare for the book's official launch, we will be sharing previews of the content on this blog. 

We'll also send exclusive discounts and special announcements to our book interest list, so we encourage you to register with us now, if you haven't already.

Today, we are thrilled to share the front cover with you for the first time. 

 

Two incredibly...

I’m lucky to work in an abundant not-for-profit.

You might think bringing talented volunteers into your organization would make salaried employees feel less valued. My experience has been the exact opposite.

 In an abundant not-for-profit, my ability to engage and lead highly skilled people is highly valued and necessary for our organization to be successful. Utilizing my skills to meaningfully engage all of this amazing talent is a win-win for me and the knowledge philanthropists I work with. Not to mention the inspiration, excitement and challenge (the good kind!) they inject into my daily...

This time of year many people are motivated to volunteer. Yes, the holidays and the start of a new year create a desire in people to “give back”, but giving back isn’t the only reason people are motivated to volunteer. We at Vantage Point have been saying for years (sometimes we feel like a broken record) that volunteerism isn’t 100% altruistic. A win-win is required for the engagement to be successful. Here’s an excerpt from the Abundant Not-for-Profit about how to create a win-win each time you engage a knowledge philanthropist:

Knowledge Philanthropists – how it is win-win

The practice in...

* This article was originally written as a thought piece for participants in Vantage Point’s Governance Lab. It has been updated for our blog.

Psst. Board member.

Yes, you. Let’s be frank for a moment, shall we?

Being a board member isn’t easy. It demands time you don’t have to be involved in stuff that feels an awful lot like work, and, therefore, not fun. Oh, the cause is easy enough to get behind and be supportive of, but there are only so many hours in the day.

Besides, the ED seems to know what they’re doing. You seem to be making budget numbers. And the last time you asked for more...

Are you a leader who can let go?

Writing, rewriting and editing this book with a team of knowledge philanthropists has completely tested my ability to “let go.” I’ve had to have a willingness to be vulnerable, and an openness to listen to criticism I actually didn’t really want to hear. All in a quest for excellence. The following is an excerpt from The Abundant Not-for-Profit that highlights the importance of letting go:

The executive director has to be able to delegate effectively in order to build a team of knowledge philanthropists. How does an executive director involve others in getting...

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In a people lens culture, strong cultural fit is a key element in the recruitment process for salaried employees. It is as important as skills, competencies and experience. However, assessing cultural fit can be more difficult than task-oriented performance. Here are some processes to consider adopting (if you’re not already):

Recruitment Process:

 ·         Include your mission, vision, values and beliefs in the role description. Include a job requirement such as:  Clearly understands the mission and demonstrates the values of the organization.

·         Ask questions in the interview process to find out how...

Think of all the people that work to deliver your mission.

Did your salaried employees come to mind first and foremost? Or did you also visualize your board members and knowledge philanthropists? Did you see one integrated talent team?

Here’s an excerpt from our upcoming book The Abundant Not-for-Profit that I’d like to share with you. It captures the essence of working together as one talent team:

Working together

In people lens organizations everyone works together as one team.

The people who have worked at Vantage Point, and many people profiled in this book, have experienced the effect of...

In my experience, absolutely.

In the recent post Are Volunteers actually Mythical Creatures? Colleen Kelly debunks the myth that volunteers are not accountable. In Monday’s Abundant Not-for-Profit webinar we raised this myth again, and 38% of participants said in their experience volunteers are not accountable. One webinar participant who did not buy into this myth shared this insight: “I believe that volunteers are accountable, but in my experience they are not held accountable”.

I lead a team of more than 40 volunteers (knowledge philanthropists) who each hold significant responsibility. If...

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