Introducing the Good Governance Series

M. FauthIn the thirty plus years of working in the nonprofit sector I have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly that can occur in this field. I’m not saying that those traits are solely characteristic of nonprofits. Oh no, not at all, but in some way the public expects more and better of nonprofits and that is definitely a good thing.

With expecting more as my guide I’d like to continue with a series focusing on good governance.

Today’s post will start at the top: Assessment of the executive director.

I’ll begin with a story about my first position as an executive director.  At the time of my hiring there wasn’t much of a job description beyond run the center and raise funds to keep the doors open.

Previously I had been a public school teacher and had employee expectations based on that experience: clearly stated responsibilities for my position and an evaluation every year to confirm I was performing well. Around the six-month into my position I went to the board president and asked when to expect an assessment of my work. The response was “What? Why?” The board had never done one before, which might have been the reason why I was the sixth executive director in the organization’s five year history!

Point of my story? Because I didn’t want any surprises (as in ‘here’s your pink slip’), I wanted the board to identify what they expected of me and support me through the learning curve.

Executive Directors:

  • Don’t be afraid of being evaluated by your board.
  • Ask if they don’t bring it up first.
  • Go into the evaluation with a positive attitude.
  • You have a right to be involved and informed throughout the process.

Board Members:

  • Don’t be timid, evaluating your organization’s executive director is one of your Ten Basic Responsibilities.
  • An assessment clarifies expectations between the board and the E.D.
  • It should also foster growth and development of the E.D. and the organization.
  • Give the E.D. a heads-up that an assessment is in the works, engage him/her in the process if none is already in place.
  • Include a face-to-face with the E.D. with questions and time for them to respond.
  • Don’t have a closed-door executive committee meeting before the above – that’s scary to the E.D.!
  • Provide, in writing, the board’s consensus of the E.D.’s work. There are several templates available for assessment in the form of questions, surveys and self-evaluation which will make this responsibility manageable for any board.
  • Resources to help nonprofit boards begin, or improve their E.D. evaluation:

An annual assessment need not be a major undertaking every year.

Depending on your organization it may not be necessary to do a thorough assessment every twelve months.  Intersperse a full evaluation on alternate years with a less formal verbal evaluation and discussion between your executive director with the board chair or governing committee. Be sure to have a written record of the meeting.

There are several templates available for assessment in the form of questions, surveys and self-evaluation which will make this responsibility manageable for any board.


Board Size and Terms – from DWD “Mission-Minded” blog

CarrieMinnichwebGet on Board’s, Carrie Minnich, CPA recently posted “Board Size and Terms″ for Mission Minded, Dulin, Ward & DeWald, Inc.’s nonprofit blog.

Carrie’s post highlights the average board size and addresses term limits for board members. She clarifies that there is no law on term limits; however, strongly recommends instilling term limits.

Here’s a snippet and link to her post:

The State of Indiana requires nonprofit organizations to have at least 3 members.  Realistically the number of board members will vary depending on the organization.  The average is 7 to 15 members; however, some larger nonprofits may have 30 or more members.

Read more at Mission Minded


The Social Media 101 Scoop

Stephen J. Bailey of Detailed Web Design, entertained the audience in his presentation on social media platforms (Facebook, Twittter, and Instagram), Wednesday June 24, 2015. The first Social Media Seminar this summer, hosted by Amber Foster, Executive Director of Artlink, was very informative. He provided a plethora of tips and tricks. One of the best tips Stephen shared was about Facebook boosts. Numerous participants commented that his tidbit on boosts was the most helpful.

“Common denominator is love and social media is to connect with the human experience.” ~ Stephen J. Bailey

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Stephen J. Bailey presenting.

Stephen’s presentation had a humanistic quality. Very profoundly he said that the “common denominator is love and social media is to connect with the human experience.” He connected the audience in how to practically use these platforms and ways to connect with others. Stephen shared that taking a picture or writing a really great text line to hook your audience can connect people to you.  In one conversation, Stephen said “Care about others and they will care about you. If they aren’t responsive, let them go.”

Overall, this particular Social Media Series presentation had a great balance of the basic “nuts and bolts” and why social media platforms are a crucial marketing tool.

Join us for the next Social Media Series presentation!

When: Wednesday July 15, 2015

What: Social Media Content Management

Who: John Felts, Marketing and Communications Specialist of Visit Fort Wayne, and Jasmine Bejar, Marketing Assistant of Visit Fort Wayne.

Where: Allen County Public Library, Meeting Room C

Format: Lunch and networking from 11:30 to 11:45, presentation from 11:45 to 12:45, and then Q&A, networking, and filling out evaluations from 12:45 to 1:00. *Please note you are welcome to bring your own lunch. Lunch will not be provided.

How: Sign up here to attend.

2015 Stewardship Award: Call for Nominations

Foellinger LogoThe Foellinger Foundation is taking nominations for the 2015 Stewardship Award. They are due by July 10th. 

The award is designed to emphasize the important role of individual board members in the governance of nonprofit organizations.

The Stewardship Award honors the efforts of current or recently retired eligible Allen County nonprofit board members whose actions have contributed to the achievement of at least three of the Ten Basic Responsibilities, as identified by BoardSource.

Nominees and representatives of their organizations will be invited to a special recognition luncheon on October 21, 2015 

 Please consider nominating one of your outstanding board members for this award.

The organization whose nominee is chosen as the recipient of the 2015 Stewardship Award will receive:

$15,000 operating support grant

up to $10,000 for special board training

 Nominations are due July 10, 2015. Nomination materials below or at .

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Fundraisers: A Millennial’s Perspective

My brother-in-law recently bought tickets to a local fundraising event, and texted the family “Good thing we got tickets, they sold out in 4 minutes”. I thought about how I would feel if I coordinated an event that sold out that quickly and I imagined I’d be feeling pretty confident about the community’s support of the organization and the event.

What engages people in fundraisers? What keeps people participating year after year? What are some classic ideas for fundraisers and what are some innovative ideas that will engage the millennial generation?

My sister and I at the Le Tour de Fort 2014
My sisters and I at the Le Tour de Fort 2014

For me personally, I feel much more satisfaction making financial contributions to organizations when it involves a memorable experience. This past weekend, I attended a pub crawl on bikes that raised money for Wounded Warrior and almost every member of my family participated with me. For the price of registration, I got a day filled with fun, family, and unique experiences. That’s what makes me want to do it year after year.

To appeal to millennials, fundraisers need to bait the line with fun and make the fundraiser feel like an event that they would attend even if it wasn’t for charity. I’ve heard many times that millennials are self-centered, and though it is obviously not true of every person in my generation, one cannot ignore the fact that we are pretty single-minded when it comes to how we spend our free time. If we aren’t working, we want to have fun.

To appeal to millennials, fundraisers should appeal to the fun side of fundraising.

I know that millennials don’t generally have the giving capacity of older generations. Fundraisers like silent auctions, wine or gourmet tastings, and golf outings wouldn’t appeal as much to them because of the high costs. So what would appeal to millennials and why would an organization want to engage them?

Let me say it again…events that involve fun and provide a memorable experience, with low costs to attend, are ideal for millennial engagement. Pub crawls, whether on bike, foot, trolley, etc. are a fantastic way to get younger people involved in a fundraising. It’s organizing and tapping into an activity that many are already doing. Another event type that is utilized locally is an outside, downtown rave. It’s low-cost to get in and refreshments aren’t pricy, plus it’s open to those younger than 21, which would up the numbers of attendance. There’s really not a lot of opportunity (if any) to hear the type of music played in that environment any other time in Fort Wayne.

It’s fundraising offering a unique and fun experience. If your fundraiser offers that, we’ll want to spend our money on it. And of course don’t underestimate the millennials expansive use of social media, which can market your event and expose your cause to a greater audience.

*Point of View post written by Katherine Dwire, Intern.

This Week’s Programs – 6/23 & 6/24

When: Tuesday June 23, 2015 @ 4 pm

What: Stat! Finding Statistics, Data & Resourcesstat

Knowing where to look for these resources will make proposal writing a little bit easier.

Where: Computer Training Room- Main Library

How: Seating is limited for this hands-on class.  Reserve your seat today!


When: Wednesday June 24, 2015 @ 11:30 – 1 pm

What: Successful Social Media CampaignStephen J. Bailey

Presenter Stephen J. Bailey will discuss the three most common avenues of social media for businesses: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This will be a basic and informal presentation with an open dialogue and discussion both during and after the presentation.

Where: Meeting Room C – Main Library

How: RSVP 

You are welcome to bring your lunch.

Job Opportunity: WFWA PBS39 – Producer/Director

WFWA (PBS39) seeks a Producer/Director. PBS39 is home to our publicly supported television (WFWA) serving the communities of Northeast Indiana, Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Our mission is to educate, inform, enlighten and entertain through quality national and local programming

Producer/Director Overview:

The Producer/Director position will be responsible for producing local and national productions as well as performing field and studio production duties for station promotions and live local programming. This position requires hands on experience creating dynamic projects and strong storytelling skills. This position also requires strong organizational skills and the ability to work as a team player in a busy production department.

Producer/Director duties will include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform duties as producer and director for local and national productions
  • Research, Script, Produce, Edit and create graphics for projects
  • Direct and crew live productions, on location or in our studio
  • Perform other duties as assigned

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