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52 Tips in 52 Weeks: Board Meeting Minutes are Important Now and Always

Things are changing at what feels like lightning speed. It seems that if I turn off my mobile phone for just an hour or two, I miss all kinds of news headlines and updates that impact my work, family, and community. It’s more important than ever to keep careful records and notes -- for the very practical reason that it’s difficult to remember the important details, especially in a constantly changing environment. The same is true for nonprofits.  Your board president may ponder, did we remember[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | September 18, 2020 Read More>

52 Tips in 52 Weeks: Fall Brings Board Development Efforts for Many Nonprofits

It’s fall and along with it—the start of school and even in these unusual times, the beginning of many new activities. One traditional fall activity for many nonprofits is the annual (or semi-annual) board member development effort in anticipation of the nominations and on-boarding processes for new board members and new officers.What does the board development process look like in your organization?  Do you have a short meeting a few weeks before your annual meeting where you create a list of[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | September 11, 2020 Read More>

52 tips in 52 Weeks: Responsibilities of Board Members in the Midst of Dissolution

By Amy Coates Madsen and Paddy MortonSince its inception, the Standards for Excellence Institute has always stressed the importance of a strong and well-functioning board of directors. As stated in the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector, “Nonprofits depend upon effective leadership to successfully enact their missions and programs. Effective leadership consists of a partnership between the board and management, each of which plays an essential[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | September 03, 2020 Read More>

52 Tips in 52 Weeks: Risk Management is More than Just Insurance Coverage

Like many, the nonprofit for which I work is finding that the traditional ways we offer programs has had to adjust and pivot in the midst of the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.  One such example is the move of our annual in-person conference to a virtual conference.  A few weeks ago, our conference director called a special meeting on risk management for the event. While the event was still more than two months away, she requested that everyone on our planning team independently brainstorm and[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | August 28, 2020 Read More>

52 Tips in 52 Weeks: CEO Evaluations—Time to Take Care of this Important Responsibility

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us put a range of routine items on hold while we handled the many complexities of the crisis.  Now that we have taken stock of the long-term nature of the pandemic and the need to sustain our operations, we are starting to circle back to some of those annual to-do’s that we may have put off.  One of those is the annual evaluation of the executive director by the board.  Working remotely for months has perhaps made us feel more comfortable doing a[…]
By Heather Iliff | August 21, 2020 Read More>

52 Tips in 52 Weeks: Helping Your Nonprofit Live Its Best Life

Earlier this summer, I read an interesting article in Parade magazine called, “Secrets to Living to 100.”  I was struck by the tips that the article offered. Some of the tips were the kinds of things you’d definitely expect on such a list, like “eat less,” “exercise 45 minutes a day,” and “stimulate your brain.”  But, it also had some tips like “keep the faith,” “cultivate close friendships,” and “have a purpose.”  These tips all reminded me of my dear grandmother who would have turned 100 on[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | August 14, 2020 Read More>

New, Time Limited Above the Line Charitable Deduction for 2020 Underscores the Importance of Nonprofits Providing Gift Acknowledgements to Donors

The CARES Act provides that the new deduction cannot be used by itemizing taxpayers—these taxpayers are still permitted to take their charitable contributions “below the line” as itemized deductions. This new benefit is limited to $300 on both individual and joint returns, and only applies to tax year 2020.This benefit underscores the important responsibility that nonprofits carry to ensure that their donors receive appropriate acknowledgements and receipts for their donations.  While it is not[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | August 07, 2020 Read More>

52 Tips in 52 Weeks: Acknowledging Our Volunteers—Don’t Let the Opportunity Pass You By

With so many nonprofits cancelling, postponing, or moving their big annual celebrations, galas, graduations, and fundraisers, not only are nonprofits seeking new opportunities for revenue generation, they may have also missed out on their annual volunteer appreciation celebrations.Did your organization take your regular volunteer appreciation event or celebration off the schedule for this year? With restrictions on in-person gatherings and celebrations, this is definitely a sign of the times and[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | July 31, 2020 Read More>

52 Tips in 52 Weeks: Employers Should Not Share Private Medical Information

I am an avid newspaper reader. For more than 25 years, I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to catch up on the news of the day from my own home without a computer screen!I’ve been interested in following so many different headlines and stories these days and I’m especially enthusiastic about the now growing sports section.  After so many months with most sports on hold, news of the upcoming baseball season has me in an anticipatory mood.  I’ve been following the stories of this week’s[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | July 27, 2020 Read More>

52 Tips in 52 Weeks: In-Kind Donations in the Time of COVID-19

We have had to adopt so many new important daily practices to stay safe and healthy in the midst of the pandemic: social distancing, wearing masks, staying at home, keeping up with the number of infections, are just a few. At my house, we have also been focused on keeping up with friends and loved ones, baking new foods, hunting for hard to find items (like: disinfectant wipes, toilet paper, and cream of wheat cereal) as well as cleaning and clearing out closets and preparing to donate items[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | July 17, 2020 Read More>
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