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Maxie Carpenter Reveals, “Nonprofit Boards Make COVID-19 Tougher”

Maxie Carpenter Challenges

Maxie Carpenter Reveals, “Nonprofit Boards Make COVID-19 Reboot Much Tougher” is Maxie’s recognition that nonprofit board of directors need to stay in their “governance lane!” Here’s what the founder of The Leadership Consortium has to share:

This forced isolation is an anxiety-filled era of handwringing and handwashing for Nonprofit Executive Directors and CEO’s. Their worries are real and they must discipline themselves to be productive and prepare to rebound. I’ve been posting ad-nauseum about the many things Nonprofits can be doing during and post COVID-19.

In addition to meeting deadlines, keeping up with reporting, and participating in crisis planning, they must spend time preparing for a reboot. It’s even more difficult if they have a Board of Directors that doesn’t understand their governance role coupled with a high degree of non-engagement.

I spent two hours on a video conference this past week in a discussion that, unfortunately, I rarely have. It was with a Nonprofit (a local chapter of a national organization, I might add) asking for my assistance in helping them re-examine their organizational structure, programs outreach, key performance indicators and performance management. This discussion was an absolute delight because it was clear the Executive Director was being empowered and enabled to do the job they were hired to do by an engaged Board.

The rarity was that I was first contacted by the Board Chair and the two-hour conference included the Vice Chair and the Executive Director of the Organization. Typically, I’ll be contacted by an Executive Director or CEO asking about similar things because their instincts are telling them they need help. The unfortunate part is, because they’re being micromanaged, they’ll have to get back with me after visiting with their Board Chair. They rarely do because that’s just too big a decision for the person the Board hired for the job.

When I think about all the things that Nonprofit Executive Directors and CEO’s need to be doing right now to prepare for the reboot that’s coming, it’s mind-boggling:

  • Researching federal, state, and local emergency financial assistance and communicating with all stakeholders.
  • Tracking the support rolling out from private foundations and applying where appropriate.
  • Reviewing their organization’s funding needs to determine if the COVID crisis has changed priorities.
  • Gathering data and developing language to use in post-COVID communication.
  • Rewriting existing case statements or new narratives for emerging needs.
  • Reviewing the annual development calendar and updating as needed.
  • Scanning the external environment for emerging community problems as new needs are more clearly defined.
  • Reaching out to partner organizations and planning a collaborative response.
  • Researching and collecting the facts and data needed to make their organization’s case.
  • Gathering anecdotes and testimonials to ensure their narratives include the voices of those affected.

This is just what’s coming off the top of my head as I write this post. Heck, if I were inebriated (in high school the last time I remember that happening 😊), I could probably list a dozen or so more.

My point is this. We still don’t know how long this will last. What we do know is that our constituents and communities will need us now more than ever. Executive Directors and CEO’s of Nonprofits have a role to play in crisis management and planning for the future.

Truth be told, the last thing they need is a governing group that doesn’t know how to govern.

Maxie Carpenter Reveals, “Nonprofit Boards Make COVID-19 Reboot Much Tougher” was first posted at INSIDE CHARITY

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