September 2012

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Last week more than 100 people cast their vote for their favorite title for our upcoming book (thank you!). You weighed in with such positive feedback and told us you appreciated being asked.

But like the lyrics of the classic Dionne Warwick song Alfie, many of you told us you’re still wondering “what’s it all about when you sort it out?”

The Book is about your organization REALLY recognizing the whole community as your potential workforce. It is about intentionally focusing on your people first (before money, before clients/customers, before stakeholders). Many very knowledgeable and...

Imagine your “dream board member”.

Do you find it easy to attract that kind of person?
Or is it a challenge to find highly skilled, committed and high-performing board members?

Recently, an Executive Director told me she'd been successful in recruiting three new board members. She described these individuals as the perfect fit to take her organization “to the next level”.

Curious, I asked, "how did you find them?

She explained that what seemed like a sudden success had actually started months earlier; when her board recognized they lacked the expertise required to effectively tackle a number...

I once asked a friend, the Executive Director of a local not-for-profit, how his work was going. “Great,” he replied, “although I could do without the HR stuff.”

I bet all of us have felt that way at one time or another. Have you ever said to yourself, “I love what I do! My job is wonderful and would be so easy, except for all the people I have to manage, motivate, direct, develop, align, assess, recognize, reward, inform, inspire, hold accountable...” And so on. And so forth.

How come this part of our job is never ending? Because it the most important work leaders of not-for-profit...

There. We’ve said it.

The Abundant Not-for-Profit is officially the working title of our book.

First of all, we’d like to say a huge thank you to those who weighed in; sharing your suggestions and thoughts about our shortlisted titles. After more than 125 comments and votes, The Abundant Not-for-Profit is the clear winner – with 42% of the vote. (The next most popular was Knowledge Philanthropy, at 23%).

We must admit, the outcome is a surprise. This title was a bit of a wild card idea, which we threw in at the last minute. It’s not the title our core team likely would have selected. The...

As we write (and rewrite!) our upcoming book, we’re thinking a lot about how current beliefs conflict with the cultural norms required to integrate volunteers and salaried employees into one team.

In fact, we’ve focused one full chapter on how to “Create a People Culture.”

There are a lot of “old” myths about volunteers that keep us from leveraging a huge pool of available talent. To combat these myths, and begin to create new ones, we’ve started using alternate language like “external talent” and “knowledge philanthropist.”

Are the following two BIG myths alive and well in your organization...

Issue No. 1 | December 2016

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Today's guest post comes from Eryn Kelly, Calgary Reads Vice Chair.  


I have a rather challenging time when I am asked to describe my ‘work’; usually because when asked to describe work we are asked to make a distinction between paid ‘work’ or unpaid ‘volunteer’ experience.

 I struggle with this as it seems to suggest that there is a different value assigned to each.I have volunteered for as long as I can remember and I have done this because I care. I care deeply about the causes that I volunteer with and I see volunteering as a part of my responsibilities and privileges as a human being. I...

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