Promoting Excellence and Trust in the Nonprofit Sector

Author: Susan Detwiler


Is Your Executive Director A Farmer? (And that’s not a bad thing!)

The role of an Executive Director is to acquire and husband all the resources of an organization, so those resources can best serve the mission. These resources may be dollars, good will, facilities or, most importantly, the people who are making a difference.[…]
By Susan Detwiler | April 26, 2018 Read More>

The One Thing Strategic Plans Forget

Ahh, the glorious feeling of looking at the month after next on your calendar and seeing whole empty days. How easy it is to be magnanimous and say “yes” when asked to take on a job that isn’t due for two months. So we say “yes,” and put it on the calendar. When another someone asks us to do something in the future, we again check our calendar, see that it’s still pretty empty, and again say “yes.” This happens a few more times, and all of a sudden, the 1st week in December starts looking pretty[…]
By Susan Detwiler | January 10, 2018 Read More>

Choose Your Own Adventure: 5 Steps to a Sustainable Strategic Plan

Life is like a “choose your own adventure” book.With each choice we make, our adventure changes. With one big difference. In a “choose your own adventure” book, we don’t know where the decisions will lead us (unless we look at the end). But in real life, we’re pretty good at anticipating consequences – if we think of it. It’s one of the things that makes us human. Consider – if you look backward, you can probably describe the path that led you to live where you live, work where you work, love[…]
By Susan Detwiler | July 24, 2017 Read More>

Understanding Nonprofit Obstacles: What Headwinds Do Your Clients Face?

When you travel from New York to London, the shortest flight is about 6 hours and 45 minutes. When you return, the shortest flight is an hour longer. Flying east, we have tailwinds helping us along. Flying west, we’re pushing against headwinds.Every time we make a plan, we’re also making assumptions. Some assumptions are simple and pretty universal – we all experience headwinds and tailwinds in flight.But other times we are making assumptions based on our own experiences, sometimes unaware of[…]
By Susan Detwiler | June 28, 2017 Read More>

Build a More Engaged Board

Do your board members feel responsible to one another?Responsible to the organization should be a given. But do the board members feel responsible to each other?On two recent occasions, I asked board members of very different organizations“What does it look like when you feel engaged?” “What actions do engaged board members take?”Both groups generated long lists of excellent responses. Perhaps you see yourself in these:  They are reflective / evaluative Work where help is needed […]
By Susan Detwiler | April 02, 2017 Read More>

Even Full Plates Can Be Rearranged: 5 Questions To Evaluate A Change In Plans

The following post on nonprofit strategic planning was written by Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant Susan Detwiler and is part of our “Ten Years of Advancing Excellence” blog series, celebrating ten years of the Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant program. A seasoned consultant, Susan Detwiler specializes in working with nonprofit boards and administration. She is a catalyst for boards in transition, aligning governance, resource development and planning with values and[…]
By Susan Detwiler | December 20, 2016 Read More>