An Executive Director's point of view
February 24, 2017: Diversify
Here's one foundation that ignored that wisdom.
February 22, 2017: Open workspace
February 20, 2017: The elusive meeting time
Stress the need for everybody to attend and stagger meeting times, if necessary, to try to accommodate everybody's schedule.
Some people may want to meet during work hours, others outside of work hours. Some may not be available on particular days. Others may not be able to interrupt work activities to join the meeting.
So, set a schedule at the start of the year or term to provide participants with ample time to make arrangements to be present.
Note: For national associations meeting by phone, Skype, or other venues, take time zones into account and don't schedule meetings too early or too late for people on the coasts.
Unfortunately, international association meetings will have to break into people's personal time or even sleep time. Still, establish a schedule at the outset, so the same people won't always be excluded.
February 15, 2017: How to connect
That's especially true when it comes to age.
Every single older person was once a younger person and usually wanted different things than they want now.
Looking back, many of those people now realize they should have wanted something different. But that's not how they felt then.
So, give people what they want now.
They can think about later, well, later.
February 13, 2017: Family leave policy
February 08, 2017: No guessing
I clicked every link in every message I had received and finally found the connection at, "click here for webinar materials."
A drop down menu then led me to the webinar.
When issuing instructions to members, customers, users, or anybody else, don't make them guess how to find something.
Tell them what to click and label it accurately.
February 06, 2017: Board recruitment fail
If this had been a bona fide organization assembling its Board of Directors, I would have been contacted in a more personal manner and the reasons for my selection would have been specific to my background.
The organization that contacted me appeared to be trying to establish legitimacy. To me, it flunked the smell test.
When soliciting somebody for a leadership position in your organization, it's OK to send an initial email. But it should not contain the "sell."
The email message should be swiftly followed by a telephone call and nominees told who suggested them and why it was felt they were suited for leadership of the group.
They need to be told how they can make a meaningful contribution to the work of the organization.
Don't expect people to succumb to the flattery of having been asked to sit on a Board. Those who do will probably be lousy Board members.
And they'll simply be helping your group look more legit (which is maybe all you want, anyway).
February 03, 2017: Rescuing professionals
February 02, 2017: Pay your bills
Their work shouldn't matter. They should still pay their bills.
It doesn't matter if they serve war refugees, terminally ill patients, hungry children, the disabled, or anybody else in need.
While it's great if they can secure donations or discounts, they should not expect those nor think they are entitled to them.
Not-for-profits (already exempt from income tax and, sometimes, sales tax, too) should pay their rent, utilities, credit card fees, shipping costs, printing bills, internet service charges, and everything else required to conduct organizational business.
The Syrian American Medical Association is currently asking Facebook for a waiver of its fund-raising fees, which cover legitimate, online expenses. I hope Facebook stands firm and refuses the request.
This isn't the first time, and it won't be the last time, that a not-for-profit tries to avoid paying for costs it has incurred.
This self-righteous practice should end now.