Reflections on BLF14: Post #6 – Boards, Leadership, & the Power of Intention

Reflections on 2014 Board Leadership Forum, submitted by Carrie Minnich. This is the first of  several posts by Carrie, and it reflects her review of BLF14 Opening Plenary session by Daniel Forrester, which was also reviewed by Megan Hubartt.

GOB Washington

The GOB in front of the Washington Monument. Carrie Minnich is standing far right

“Leaders are called upon to make decisions.”

“Decisions require attention and focus.”

Daniel Forrester of Thruue, Inc. spoke about our culture of business and multi-tasking, asking the audience how we are able to intentionally take time to think and reflect about the decisions that need to be made.

Statistic:  leaders actually only spend 5% of their time thinking!  Daniel Forrester

Leaders remaining time is spent on absorbing content,  involved in meetings [sic], creating content and dealing with interruptions.

As leaders, we need to intentionally make time to think and reflect on decisions that need to be made.  As nonprofit board members, we need to intentionally set our organization’s direction through big ideas, culture and dialogue. Nonprofit boards must intentionally address issues, clearly understnad its organization’s problems and take time to think together in order for the organization to be successful in the future.

  1. Nonprofit boards need to intentionally take time to get their organization’s “big ideas” right. In order to do this the board needs to engage in thought and reflection and communication. Is this a good idea? After the idea is implemented, the board needs to take the time to make any necessary refinements. Mr. Forrester gave the example of ALS’ ice bucket challenge as a big idea.
  2. As board members, we need to seek to strengthen our organization’s culture. We can’t change the culture but we can strengthen it. Our desired culture should lean towards continuous improvement and learning.
  3. Boards must engage in dialogue. Dialogue requires both moments of pause for reflection as well as times of arguing. Mr. Forrester suggested asking board members to argue the opposite side of an issue in front of the group.

Nonprofit boards must intentionally address issues, clearly understand its organization’s problems and take time to think together in order for the organization to be successful in the future.

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Registration for Spring 2015 Board Bootcamp now OPEN

What is Board Bootcamp?

  • Board Bootcamp is a four-hour introduction into nonprofit board service,roles and responsibilities.
  • It is a program of the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center and supported by a grant from
    Mike Stone, Impact Strategies, Inc.

    Mike Stone, Impact Strategies, Inc.

    the Foellinger Foundation.

  • Board Bootcamp is facilitated by Mike Stone from Impact Strategies, Inc.

Who’s Eligible to Attend?

  • Board Bootcamp is for emerging leaders who are wondering if board service is right for them.
  • Individuals with interest, or curious about serving our community’s nonprofits who have no prior experience of board service.
  • Current board members of Allen County nonprofits with 2 years* or less experience.

When is it?

There are two Spring 2015 sessions from which to choose, but seating is limited and advance registration is required.

Click on date to go to registration for either Friday, April 10 | 9-1   or, Saturday, April 11 | 9-1


Details? (more…)

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Job Opportunity: Fort Wayne Philharmonic – Director of Development

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the premiere arts organization in northeast Indiana, is seeking a Director of Development.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development is responsible for the development, management, implementation and evaluation of all overall fundraising programs consistent with The Phil’s needs and goals. This position manages staff and volunteers in planning and executing all annual, sponsorship, capital, endowment, and planned giving programs, as well as fundraising events and benefits.

A minimum of 3 years’ professional non-profit development experience is required, preferably with an orchestra or other arts organization. The ideal candidate will have a personal commitment to symphonic music, demonstrated fundraising success, be able to work in a fast-paced, high energy environment, managing multiple projects simultaneously. A bachelor’s degree or higher is also preferred but not required.

To apply:

Interested candidates please send cover letter and resume to James W. Palermo, Interim Executive Director at No phone inquiries, please.


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Job Opportunity: American Cancer Society – Community Manager, Relay for Life

The American Cancer Society is hiring a Community Manager for the Relay for Life. The position is full-time and will include benefits. The Community Manager executes a portfolio of student and young professional/alumni Relay For Life events, with accountability for significant income targets, as well as event-related mission and advocacy activities. Ensures goal achievement through the effective leadership, engagement, empowerment, and mobilization of event volunteers. High concentration in youth events in Allen County.

Responsibilities include:

  • Developing and demonstrating skills in community organization, relationship building and talent identification and leadership development.
  • Engaging, training and managing relationships with volunteers to ensure successful events execution, with a focus on event volunteer leadership positions.
  • Engaging the campus community/young professional/Relay alumni community in Relay For Life to drive increased event participation in event committee, teams, team members, sponsors and survivor/caregiver engagement


Bachelor’s degree in related field and/or equivalent combination of education and experience. One year related experience preferred, working within a multi-million dollar organization a plus.



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A Fundraiser’s Journey: New Kid on the Block

Kelly Updike for PCNRC, A Fundraiser’s Journey seriesKelly pic

There’s this new thing called a sustained giving program. Several nonprofit colleagues, including PBS39, are offering this to their members and donors. This is when you ask members or regular donors to give a certain amount of money each month, say $5 which is about the same as a Grande Mocha at Starbucks, via credit card auto-pay.

According to Mary Male, PBS39’s director of individual giving, the station began the program in 2012 to increase donor retention. Mary knows her organization’s data, saying only about 12 percent of revenue is retained annually from PBS39 pledge drives. “In contrast,” she said, “the monthly giving program has seen a revenue retention rate of 86 percent from year to year. How has this helped us? Over the past two years, our overall revenue retention rate has increased from 49 percent to 62 percent.”

Mary listed donor benefits to this program:

  • Hassle-free, automatic monthly donations
  • Instead of giving one lump sum every year, a small donation each month eases budget constraints
  • Annual statements provided for seamless tax preparation
  • Flexibility to change or suspend the donation at any time
  • Ongoing membership continues month-to-month and year to year until the donor opts out
  • Satisfaction in continual support without the worry of membership renewal deadlines

And of course there are benefits to PBS39:

  • Increased revenue and donor retention
  • No need to send out appeals to sustaining members to renew their support annually which saves on costs such as printing and postage
  • Steady cash flow

With issues that require ongoing attention, Mary says:

  • “Credit card expiration” – Either use a credit card expiration date update service for a fee or contact the donor, which has proved to be challenging.
  • Closed bank accounts – This happens far less frequently.
  • Donor education – Some donors do not realize that we would like this to be an ongoing monthly donation. Some donors think it is simply a 12-month payment plan. We feel that if we can educate donors better on the front end, they would be less likely to feel they are done after 12 months.”

Many thanks to Mary for sharing this PBS39 success story!

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

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Job Opportunity: Early Childhood Alliance – Family Support Coordinator

Early Childhood Alliance

Early Childhood Alliance (Fort Wayne, IN) is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of building better futures for young children by promoting and providing quality early childhood education and services for families, businesses and early childhood professionals.

Responsibilities include:

The Family Support Coordinator supervises and coordinates parent programs and services, including coordinating the Let’s Talk Continuum, Parents as Teachers and Book Buddies. This position will be responsible for developing and managing the Let’s Talk Activities, Book Buddies and Parents as Teachers programs, staff, community partners and volunteers.

This position is located in Fort Wayne, IN and is a full-time position.


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Register Now for Board Bootcamp


photo credit: Andrew Hoffman, Get on Board

Has your organization recruited new board members in the last year? Sign them up for Board Bootcamp today – and help them discover their role in meeting your mission.

Perhaps you’re a new board member? Or curious about what that even means – and how you can begin to engage in nonprofit service? Begin your research with Board Bootcamp.

Consider Board Bootcamp


Board Bootcamp is for emerging leaders or new nonprofit board members with two years or less* board experience or who are wondering if board service is right for them.

Mike Stone, bootcamp facilitator


Expert facilitator Mike Stone from Impact Strategies, Inc. leads Board Bootcamp, introducing:

~ the basics of the nonprofit sector;

~responsibilities of a board member;

and how to find an organizational fit.


Friday, April 10 | 9-1

Or, Saturday, April 11 | 9-1

Details? (more…)

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Reflections on BLF14: Post #5 – Creating a Culture of Intentionality

Reflections on 2014 Board Leadership Forum, submitted by Megan Hubartt.

GOB Washington

The GOB in front of the Washington Monument. Megan Hubartt is on the left in front.

The nonprofit I work for has had a lot of conversations on the staff and board level about creating a culture of intentionality — ensuring what we do on a daily basis truly furthers our mission. So the opening session with Daniel Forrester at the 2014 BoardSource Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. this October seemed providential.

Forrester is the founder and managing partner of THRUUE Inc., a company that consults organizations on leadership, strategy and culture. So naturally, he focused on those topics during his talk.

His points on culture resonated the most for me — both the culture within our organizations and the culture we live in, which helps shape all our behavior. Forrester argued our fast-paced culture has an ever-growing penchant for immediate gratification and therefore a biased toward immediate action. And these behaviors are often to the detriment of our organizational culture and our leader’s decision-making abilities.

So then how do we create a space for decisive thought in an action-biased culture?

Leaders are called upon to make decisions, which require attention and focus. Forrester said leaders must take control of this process by design and act intentionally. He then went on to make suggestions on how boards and organizational leaders can create this intentional culture. Forrester suggested a good leadership must:

  1. Get big ideas right
  2. Strengthen the organizational culture
  3. Engage in dialogue

First, Big ideas, he argued, take time and reflection. Leaders must first clearly communicate the ideas within the organization; then oversee and implement those ideas; and finally, refine the ideas to become a learning organization.

I found the point of becoming a learning organization key in understanding the culture of intentionality.

Being intentional about decisions does not mean an organization must sacrifice innovation or creativity. The process of slowing down, thinking and discussing  before taking action can actually ensure an organization is fostering visionary ideas with tangible results.


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Reflections on BLF14: Post #4 – Consensus-based Leadership

Gems from the 2014 Board Leadership Forum, submitted by Laura Boyer.


GOB in DC at the 2014 Board Leadership Forum last autumn (Laura is third from the right)

The Get on Board committee is made up of a handful of talented people who are passionate about our community.

I have experience with collective decision making, so I was excited to hear more about it from consultants who train people in the process. They demonstrated the benefits of their process visually by lining us up in different formations that represented different forms of hierarchies.

The traditional business model, where everyone reports to a superior, had the greatest potential for communication delays, errors and personal agendas getting in the way. Specialized small groups reporting to a main leader or group of leaders were the most efficient way of getting everyone’s input.

We heard from a board member who had trained in the model and rose to a high leadership post in his organization. Since everyone has a voice in the consensus-based model, it is easier for people to shine who aren’t obvious leaders. The model encourages facilitates leadership from “talented introverts.” That was an “Aha!” moment for me because I have seen it happen and achieved it myself.

Submitted by Laura Boyer

A special thanks to Laura Boyer for taking the time to share her experiences at Board Leadership Forum 2014 with our community of nonprofits.  You are much appreciated Laura!

Marilynn Fauth


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Job Opportunity: PBS39 – Part-Time Education Outreach Coordinator

Location: PBS39, Fort Wayne, IndianaPBS39

Reporting to the Director of Individual Giving, the Education Outreach Coordinator plays an active role in supporting PBS39’s relationship with area educational institutions and programs, participating in PBS Kids educational initiatives and projects, communicating news and information about PBS39’s educational outreach activities with the general public, and maintaining the database of education-oriented organizations and institutions for use by PBS39.

Description: The Education Outreach Coordinator participates in educational initiatives by performing functions that include but are not limited to:

  • Connecting national PBS Learning Media and PBSKids initiatives to local PBS39 initiatives that service our community by planning, promoting, and executing education outreach workshops and events.
  • Managing the Explorer Club, a membership based kids’ club that provides educational outreach activities to its members.
  • Communicating to stakeholders (educators, donors, families, etc.) through print and electronic materials, promoting PBS39’s role as an educational resource.
  • Administering education specific projects as they arise.
  • Serving as the station’s liaison with schools, teachers, daycare providers, community partners and other educational organizations.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Maintain accurate and timely records as requested.
  • Participate in organization-wide activities such as periodic pledge drives, special events, etc. as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned by Director of Individual Giving.


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