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Enabling Board Members and Executive Directors to Increase the Effectiveness and Impact of Their Nonprofits

Ron Wormser• Does your nonprofit have an ineffective board and unengaged trustees?
• Is it unsuccessful in consistently raising all the contributed funds it needs?
• Are any of your three key leaders – board chair, executive director and director of development – new to their positions and not yet fully prepared for their leadership roles?
• If so, Effective Nonprofits will be of interest to you.

For 40 years, Ron Wormser held executive-level positions with nonprofits, including responsibility for working with boards, developing fundraising strategies and overseeing fundraising efforts and making effective, efficient use of existing resources. The lessons from those experiences with fundraising led to a book of which he was the lead author, Informed Fundraising: An Introduction and Guide, published in 2015 by BoardSource. Since 2007, Ron has been providing consulting and executive coaching assistance to nonprofits and their leadership.

The breadth and depth of Ron’s experience and knowledge have led him to conclude that there is a formula for increasing a nonprofit’s effectiveness and thus impact:

  • Build a solid base of understanding of governance and fundraising;
  • Apply that understanding to thoughtful preparation of what steps are needed to strengthen governance and fundraising;
  • Then competently and consistently execute the steps, assess their effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.
  • Informed and prepared leadership by the board chair, executive director and director of development equipped to direct and guide strategic thinking, planning and execution of action plans for their organizations.

Just as four legs provide strength and stability to a table, the four pillars of informed understanding, preparation, execution and leadership will provide strength and stability to your nonprofit. Effective Nonprofits helps organizations strengthen those pillars.

“…Ron understands completely the challenges and unique nature of nonprofits and cares deeply about helping them achieve their full potential while negotiating the myriad of pitfalls that prevent success. His practical past experience in this field keeps his consulting and counseling extraordinarily relevant to nonprofits and individuals seeking his assistance.” — Ronn Rygg, Nonprofit Executive


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Photo Courtesy of Robert Walch, The Salinas Californian

How Ron Can Help

Ineffective Boards and Unengaged Trustees

Ineffective boards tend to talk more than act, act without asking relevant questions, fail to provide meaningful guidance for management, have low attendance and lack active participation by members in meetings.

Unengaged Trustees don’t come to meetings, don’t actively participate when they do, require frequent reminders to carry out assignments and may never do so, are not readily accessible to management for help and generally fail to live up to expectations.

These board and trustee symptoms are as preventable as they are common.

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Uninformed and Ineffective Fundraising

Ineffective fundraising occurs when those who make decisions about and engage in fundraising lack both knowledge and experience in how to raise money successfully, when the board thinks it’s the job of the executive director to raise money, when the executive director thinks it’s the board’s job, when fundraising goals are repeatedly missed and when fundraising activities are carried out randomly and are focused on immediate needs in the absence of long-term strategies and plans.

Learning how to be more effective and more successful in fundraising is not hard once certain basic concepts are understood and fundraising elementals are practiced.

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Unprepared Leadership

Unprepared leadership becomes evident when boards are ineffective, boards and EDs are frustrated or disappointed in each other, decisions are focused on immediate needs more than on identification and pursuit of longer-term objectives, decision-making is uncertain and too often deferred, fundraising goals are consistently missed and fundraising activity is more tactical than strategic. Unprepared leadership most often reflects the inability, particularly of smaller and/or newer nonprofits to attract and retain more prepared candidates for leadership positions.

Helping such leaders become more prepared and confident in their positions should be considered an important investment in their future success, that of the organizations’ and those they serve.

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