August 23rd @ 4pm: Because Robert Said So

Henry Martyn Robert   1837-1923 

Here’s the history of how we came to have Robert’s Rules of Order:

Henry Martyn Robert was an engineering officer in the regular Army. Without warning he was asked to preside over a public meeting being held in a church in his community and realized that he did not know how. He tried anyway and his embarrassment was supreme. This event, which may seem familiar to many readers, left him determined never to attend another meeting until he knew something of parliamentary law.

Ultimately, he discovered and studied the few books then available on the subject. From time to time, due to his military duties, he was transferred to various parts of the United States, where he found virtual parliamentary anarchy, since each member from a different part of the country had differing ideas of correct procedure. To bring order out of chaos, he decided to write Robert’s Rules of Order, as it come to be called.  Source:

So, does presiding over board meetings give you chills?  Do you worry about not understanding Parliamentary Procedure?  Then this month’s 23rd@4pm program will help you be a more parliamentary leader.  Attendees will learn about:

  • Order of relevance
  • Purpose of parliamentary procedure
  • Basic principles
  • Typical order of business
  • Presiding officer’s role
  • Types of motions and how to handle one
  • Debate and its rules

Register here

23rd @ 4pm: Performance Reviews

Is your nonprofit too small to have a human resources department?

perfreviewSmall nonprofits have limited staff and some of those wear multiple hats so adding HR responsibilities to their duties may mean performance reviews aren’t a top priority.  Part of the difficulty is that nonprofit managers simply don’t have the will to perform unpleasant tasks, like telling someone in their employ how poorly they are doing.

Performance reviews are tough and time consuming, but postponing until a crisis occurs is problematic. Marilynn Fauth will provide resources and examples of the employee assessment process which you may find useful in your nonprofit.

Topics to be covered:

  • Where to find federal and state labor laws;
  • record keeping obligations from the EEOC;
  • the value of self-evaluation forms;
  • elements of a successful assessment process;
  • what questions are appropriate and
  • the best practices in nonprofit HR.

Come to this information session to learn and share your experiences with your nonprofit colleagues! Register for this free program here.

23rd @ 4pm programs are held on the 23rd of every month where the date falls during the work week. They are intended to introduce information in an informal setting in one hour or less and are perfect forums for networking with, and learning from, others in the sector.

March 23@4 – Board or Bored Meetings?

What: Board or Bored Meetings?

Meetings often get an eye-roll because it is easy to get side-tracked or go on far too long. This Infonet will provide you with tested ideas for making board meetings better, and warn you about what is sleep-inducing.  Marilynn Fauth will be presenting and attendees are encouraged to share what has benefited their nonprofit’s board meetings. Be sure to bring your business cards so you can network with your colleagues!

boredWho: Marilynn Fauth, Coordinator of the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center

When: Wednesday March 23, 2016 from 4-5 pm

Where: Allen County Public Library, Main, Meeting Room C

How: Sign up here to attend.

 23 @ 4 Programs provides attendees with an overview of a topic with reviews of quality resources and materials packed into 60 minutes. These are not intended to be workshops or classes, but rather resource review programs that require less of your time and more of your interest to peruse the materials on your own.

Nonprofit Storytelling Resources

Last week we held a small group program on nonprofit storytelling resources. Participants shared a variety of goals and formats for sharing their story – Here are tools to meet each of those goals.

Please let us know if you have questions. And stay tuned for our July 15th Marketing Seminar Series on Telling Your Story with Andrew Hoffman and Amber Recker.

Nonprofit Storytelling Resources

Why Nonprofits Need to Be Storytellers – a Bridgespan Group interview with Andy Goodman, nationally recognized author, speaker and consultant in public interest communications.

Nonprofit Communications Resource Guide – a PDF list by Lightbox Collaborative, hosted on CompassPoint

PCNRC Notes on Storytelling Resources – includes:

Notes on Andy Goodman’s Storytelling as Best Practice – if you take away one thing, you will get to know Andy Goodman’s material. Check out his quick, easy-to-read book, read and subscribe to his email newsletter, Free Range Thinking.

Story Banking Resources- from

Tell us Your Story” – a sample page for collecting stories
Strategies for Storybanking and Engaging Young Adults

The New Community Anthology: Digital Storytelling as a Community Development Strategy

WeAreMedia Storytelling page

“Blogging and Storytelling”

“Questions to ask when choosing topics”

“Video Storytelling and Strategy”

Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling as an infographic created by Emma Coats at LawnRocket for PNJPublishing – Thanks to Kevin Mullet for pointing to this last week!

Coming soon:

We’re creating a kit with 10 copies of Nonprofit Storytelling for Board Members and a DVD of the same title. We’ll post to this site when it’s ready to check out and share with your board.

Online bonus: 

Andy Goodman’s “Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes” Enjoy!

April 23@4: Storytelling for Nonprofits

image by williamcromar via Flickr

What’s the number one 21st Century skill for nonprofit employees, volunteer, and board members?

Storytelling, according to Peter Brinckerhoff, award winning nonprofit author and renowned workshop facilitator.

Join us for this month’s 23@4 program: Storytelling for Nonprofits

Relying on proven resources, you’ll discover how to:

  • identify good stories
  • collect your organization’s stories
  • tell stories in different settings and mediums – from the campfire to the digital environment
  • and as usual, you’ll identify practitioners who you adore and wish to follow

Bring your library card to check out the materials for further study.

Library: Main Library
Location: Meeting Room B
Register to attend.

 23 @ 4 Programs provides attendees with an overview of a topic with reviews of quality resources and materials packed into 60 minutes. These are not intended to be workshops or classes, but rather resource review programs that require less of your time and more of your interest to peruse the materials on your own.

2014 Program Survey

question markSpeak your mind!

We’re interested in what topics you’d like to see in 2014.


Please take this brief survey on nonprofit technology knowledge and skills so that guest presenter, Tom Heil can focus on what you’d most like to learn more about at the January 23@4 program. If you aren’t interested in that topic please take the opportunity to suggest any topic of your choice at the end of the survey!

Click on the question mark above and you’ll be sent to our Constant Contact survey – where your responses are anonymous, or copy and paste this URL into your navigation bar:


Board Evaluation

Board Evaluation Presentation

Wondering what a board evaluation is?   Why it should be done? What an assessment can and can’t do for your board?

October’s 23@ 4 posed those very questions and the presentation here will help you with the answers.

A board evaluation isn’t a test and there is no grade.  An evaluation or assessment is more like a health check up – you hope the tests don’t find anything wrong but you go regularly so that if there is something you’ve caught it early!

An assessment is a great way to find out what the board knows, and how the board thinks it’s doing. An assessment can provide an opportunity for discussion, leads to objectives and change.

A Strong Nonprofit Organization is equal to a Strong Board of Directors.

Tools for Board Assessment: