Published Articles

Cycling Without Age Puts a Smile on Everyone’s Face

Cycling Without Age Puts a Smile on Everyone’s Face

Edna donned her fanciest blouse and a bright blazer in anticipation of her favorite activity. Perched on the half-wall to await her chariot she kept her eyes glued to the entryway. At 89, she felt giddy as a schoolgirl. She heard the trishaw before she saw it....

Time to Get Ready for Giving Tuesday

Time to Get Ready for Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday— the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the internationally recognized day to contribute to charity — is upon us. Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday invites us to improve our community by donating to causes that resonate with us. “I...

Time to Assess Your Nonprofit’s Year and Set New Intentions

Time to Assess Your Nonprofit’s Year and Set New Intentions

As each year draws to a close, I encourage organizations look back over the past months and make a list of their accomplishments. Most nonprofits are so focused on projects lying ahead that they forget to reflect on their successes. Yet, acknowledging triumphs can...

My Journey Through Overwhelming Grief

My Journey Through Overwhelming Grief

The following story is taken from a chapter in my book, My Wild and Precious Life: A Memoir of Joy, Grief & Adventure. This story describes my son’s dying process from cancer, the grief journey of a complex family and the aftermath of this powerful experience....

Your Nonprofit Should Have a Holistic Approach to Cash

Your Nonprofit Should Have a Holistic Approach to Cash

Diane Wondolowski is the Chief Financial Officer of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She has provided stellar service there since 1999. She has served on boards, finance committees, audit committees, and investment committees of a number of nonprofits over...

Beloved Nonprofit Executive Heidi Holly Steps Down After 38 Years

Beloved Nonprofit Executive Heidi Holly Steps Down After 38 Years

"It has truly been an honor to serve our elder generation and I am eternally grateful to learn from their pearls of wisdom, " said Heidi Holly, Executive Director of Friendship Center. "I never imagined that, when I began working at Friendship Center, how much my life...

Five Must-Do’s To Lead Your Nonprofit Like An Ambassador

Five Must-Do’s To Lead Your Nonprofit Like An Ambassador

By Scott Eblin of the Eblin Group Ideally, everyone who works for a company would act as an ambassador for that organization to the public at large. In the rare cases where you see that, it’s a triumph of a highly aligned corporate culture. And, as is true with any...

2023 Promises to be a Powerful Year for Nonprofit’s Earth Day

2023 Promises to be a Powerful Year for Nonprofit’s Earth Day

Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) was outraged when he toured the major oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in August of 1969. Nelson also went away that day impressed with the many people who rallied to clean up the mess. Witnessing the miles and miles of beaches...

Nonprofit Audit: Best Practices for Preparation and Compliance

Nonprofit Audit: Best Practices for Preparation and Compliance

By Joseph Scarano, CEO of Araize, Inc. A nonprofit audit is an independent examination of a nonprofit organization’s financial statements and records to ensure compliance. An audit can also provide insight into the organization’s financial health and help identify...

How You Start Your Day Is How You Start (And End) Your Year

How You Start Your Day Is How You Start (And End) Your Year

Article written by Scott Eblin of the Eblin Group How you start your day is predictive of how your day is going to end. And a consecutive series of good starts is predictive of not just how your year is going to start but also how it ends. Over the weekend, I saw a...

Nonprofit Pro Ernesto Paredes Explains How To Work A Room

Nonprofit Pro Ernesto Paredes Explains How To Work A Room

When you attend a nonprofit fundraising event, do you notice that some people make a point of speaking with lots of folks, while others talk to the same people for a long time or even just sit at their table? There is an art and a skill to interacting with people in...

Four Components For Successful Nonprofit Board Fundraising

Four Components For Successful Nonprofit Board Fundraising

Are you pleased with your board’s participation in fundraising? Do you wish you could find some way to inspire your board members to advocate more and raise funds for your organization? You aren't alone! Many nonprofits search for ways to help board members become...

Many Nonprofits Are Weighing the Benefits of Hybrid Work Schedules

Many Nonprofits Are Weighing the Benefits of Hybrid Work Schedules

As the pandemic woes fade a bit in our rear-view mirror, many people are left with some uncertainty about the best way to move forward in their work life. Creating the most effective work schedules can be confusing, for executives and employees alike. Should we tell...

Six Questions Donors Can Ask Before Contributing to a Nonprofit

Six Questions Donors Can Ask Before Contributing to a Nonprofit

This time of year, many donors begin contemplating their charitable giving. Some supporters give to their same favorite nonprofits every year. They are very clear about which organizations and causes resonate with their interests and experiences. Others are unsure...

10 Tactics to Keep Your Meeting on Track

10 Tactics to Keep Your Meeting on Track

Discover how to keep your meetings on track. Read this Harvard Business Review article from January 5, 2022 by Joel Schwartzberg Too many meeting leaders think their job ends when the meeting starts orthat they merely serve as note-taker and “agenda police.” But, as...

Our Wild Adventures in the Mediterranean

Our Wild Adventures in the Mediterranean

Our driver, Hakeem, picked us up at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 5, to whisk us off to our beloved Santa Barbara airport to begin our exciting adventure to the Mediterranean. Our first short flight took us to LAX, and after a two-hour layover we were off to...

Nonprofit Boards Seek Out Young Professionals for Diversity

Nonprofit Boards Seek Out Young Professionals for Diversity

“I would really like to serve on a nonprofit board of directors,” Hector said sheepishly. “But do you think anyone would want me?” Hector was a young professional working as a relationship manager in a local bank. He had asked to meet with me to find out if I thought...

Irresponsible Board Destroyed Their Nonprofit

Irresponsible Board Destroyed Their Nonprofit

Many of my articles focus on recommendations for nonprofit board best practices. While it is important for board members to know their roles and responsibilities, it is equally critical that they realize what to avoid. Today’s article will tell you about a board that...

Set Your Nonprofit Up For Success in With This Five-Step Process

Set Your Nonprofit Up For Success in With This Five-Step Process

As each year draws to a close, I encourage organizations look back over the past months and make a list of their accomplishments. Most nonprofits are so focused on projects lying ahead that they forget to reflect on their successes. Yet, acknowledging triumphs can...

Our Trip of a Lifetime to Tahiti on the Paul Gauguin ship

Our Trip of a Lifetime to Tahiti on the Paul Gauguin ship

Originally, we planned to take Dennis’ entire family of 14 on a cruise around Tahiti to celebrate his 80th birthday and graduation for some of his grandkids. However, the pandemic had other plans. We tried to reschedule twice to no avail. Finally, it looked like the...

Our Wildly Active Travels in Wales, Scotland and London

Our Wildly Active Travels in Wales, Scotland and London

It was the beginning of our grand adventure: a week of hiking in Wales, a week of cycling through Scotland, and a visit to London to meet my new sister, Susie. Our driver, Hakim, was scheduled to pick us up to take us to the Santa Barbara airport for a leisurely Noon...

The Relationship Between the Nonprofit Executive and the Board Chair

The Relationship Between the Nonprofit Executive and the Board Chair

The significance of a great executive director/board chair relationship cannot be over-stated. A strong, well-functioning board is one of a nonprofit’s most important assets, and one that is often underutilized.  It’s only when the executive and board chair work in...

6 Steps for Building a More Diverse Nonprofit Board of Directors

6 Steps for Building a More Diverse Nonprofit Board of Directors

When I served as CEO of the tri-counties Girl Scouts, we had a saying. “When I look at you, do I see me?” That question kept us on track for ensuring that people who served on our board of directors reflected the communities we served. Nowadays, that question is more...

How You Can Optimize Your Year-End Giving to Nonprofits

How You Can Optimize Your Year-End Giving to Nonprofits

Now is a good time to start planning your year-end charitable giving, if you haven’t completed it already. It’s time for you to be doing your IRA’s required minimum distribution, preparing for qualified charitable distributions, and updating your charitable giving...

What Type of Nonprofit Leader Are You?

What Type of Nonprofit Leader Are You?

By Catie Taphorn on Dec 06, 2021 in Nonprofit Boards I recently read this article and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share it with my readers. The article outlines seven types of leadership models patterned after Plato's ideas. Check it out to discover what type...

Our Wild Alaska Adventure

Our Wild Alaska Adventure

Dennis, his son Jeff, and I were off on a grand adventure to visit friends in Alaska. I was so excited about the trip because I had never been to Alaska, and it was at the top of my bucket list. It turned out to be a trip of a lifetime! On Thursday, July 29, 2021, we...

Board Members Are the Best Flag Wavers for Their Nonprofit

Board Members Are the Best Flag Wavers for Their Nonprofit

When is the last time you talked with a friend or acquaintance about your nonprofit’s work? Sometimes such a conversation starts organically or almost by accident, but as a board member you can be intentional about discussing causes you believe in. You don’t have to...

Is it Time for Your Nonprofit to Evaluate its Mission?

Is it Time for Your Nonprofit to Evaluate its Mission?

One board member of a regional organization dedicated to providing guide dogs for the visually impaired suggested that the group branch out to include production of a healthy dog food product. Another board member said he heard of a new grant that would fund provision...

How to Talk to Employees About Reopening

How to Talk to Employees About Reopening

Is your nonprofit planning to reopen soon? Have you planned how the work schedule and environment will be different? Most importantly, have you discussed this with your employees so they know what to expect? This insightful article from Harvard Business Review will...

2021 Promises to be a Powerful Year for Nonprofit CEC’s Earth Day

2021 Promises to be a Powerful Year for Nonprofit CEC’s Earth Day

Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) was outraged when he toured the major oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in August of 1969. Nelson also went away that day impressed with the many people who rallied to clean up the mess. Witnessing the miles and miles of beaches...

Is Your Nonprofit Ready for Hybrid Work?

Is Your Nonprofit Ready for Hybrid Work?

At the start of the pandemic, chances are your work life changed. If your role remained, you likely moved from working in the office to working from home. That was a big change for many people to adapt to working apart from each other. From the time we closed offices,...

Leading Boards in a Virtual World

Leading Boards in a Virtual World

Arnold Baker was worried. As board chair of the Davis County Food Bank, he perceived a gradual decline in the sense of connection trustees felt with the organization and between one another over the course of 2020. He suspected it had to do with the board’s move to...

Local Nonprofits Prepare for the Post-Vaccine Reality

Local Nonprofits Prepare for the Post-Vaccine Reality

This article will highlight how some of our local nonprofits are responding to the unknown new reality which will emerge from post-vaccine challenges. One thing is for sure, uncertainty will continue to weave through our every decision and prediction. Let’s begin by...

The Career Path of a Nonprofit Leader

The Career Path of a Nonprofit Leader

Through my work at Leading From Within over the years, I’vehad the good fortune to know many nonprofit leaders. They’re a special group of people that are uniquely called to make the world better than they found it. Many of them sacrifice a great deal in their...

Working with Legislators: A Nonprofit Board Member’s Guide

Working with Legislators: A Nonprofit Board Member’s Guide

BoardSource has published this excellent guide for board members to learn more about how to work with their legislators. One of the most rewarding things about serving as a nonprofit board member is the opportunity it affords to help create positive change. Board...

Help your Nonprofit Prepare for the Post-Vaccine Realities

Help your Nonprofit Prepare for the Post-Vaccine Realities

It appears that in just a few weeks many of our nonprofit staff and board members will have received the COVID-19 vaccine, ushering in a new set of challenges and changes. Here is an important piece of background information to consider. On Dec. 16, 2020, employers...

How COVID May Impact Your Year-End Giving

How COVID May Impact Your Year-End Giving

Most people have a list of their favorite charities that they donate to at year end. But the impact of the coronavirus on our nonprofits might shine a different light on your charitable giving. According to Philanthropy News Digest private donations increased 12...

Nonprofits Have Reason to be Hopeful in the Midst of the Pandemic

Nonprofits Have Reason to be Hopeful in the Midst of the Pandemic

Most nonprofits are scrambling for survival more than ever before. The pandemic restrictions have put the skids on their critical work in the community, raised havoc with their fundraising efforts and left many wondering if they will even be able to endure. Yet two...

Become Aware of How COVID is Impacting Breast Cancer Services

Become Aware of How COVID is Impacting Breast Cancer Services

According to the American Cancer Society breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Currently the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13 percent. Each year, about...