Ep 34: Leading a Small (But Mighty) Nonprofit (With Joan Garry)

nonprofits are messyThis episode is a little different than those that have come before.

We’ll get back to the regular “interview” format next time. But today I wanted to directly answer a few of the many, many questions I get on a daily basis from leaders at smaller nonprofits who simply don’t have the same kind of resources available to them as their counterparts at larger nonprofits.

While my consulting practice tends to focus on medium and large nonprofits, I am determined to find ways to help reduce the challenges that the leaders of “small but mighty” nonprofits face. I have some big ideas on this topic that I’ll announce soon, but in the meantime, this podcast episode is a small step towards just that.

Another upcoming opportunity that’s tailor made for smaller nonprofits (though larger nonprofits will benefit too) is a free online workshop I’m running starting on May 10. It’s called “How to Build a Thriving Nonprofit” and is designed for both staff and board leaders.

I hope you’ll join me in the workshop and you can register at www.thrivingnonprofit.org.

In this episode:

  • Who should handle which tasks at a small nonprofit?
  • Should a small nonprofit be run more like a business?
  • What can the board do when a founding ED leaves things a mess and trains the new ED to run things the same way… poorly?
  • How do you fix a “rubber stamp” board?
  • Should an ED ever be in charge of running board meetings?
  • What should a new, first-time ED ask the outgoing ED?
  • Everyone is working insane hours and money is tight. How do you decide when it’s time to hire a new person to help lighten the load?
  • What resources are available to help leaders of small nonprofits, both on the staff and board sides?

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Joan Garry
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Joan Garry

Widely known as the "Dear Abby" of nonprofit leadership, Joan works with board and staff as a strategic advisor, crisis manager, change agent and strategic planner. Joan also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on nonprofit communications and leadership.
Joan Garry
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  • The Cody Dieruf Benefit Founda

    Joan, as founder of our Cody Dieruf Benefit Foundation, I have learned so much from you, and know even after 12 years, I haven’t learned enough. Thank you for being you and being my mentor.