With all the competition for dollars out there, it’s critical that nonprofits operate efficiently and make sure both board and staff are up to date on current best practices. It is now so easy to find good information on the internet on pretty much any topic, that it’s surprising to me that more board and staff members don’t take advantage of what’s available.
I just listened to a very helpful webinar from the law firm Venable LLP, which has a substantial nonprofit practice. They have frequent FREE seminars on a variety of useful topics; this particular one was on legal aspects of executive compensation, and I learned some things I wish I had known a few years ago. You can attend their sessions in person (if you’re in Washington, DC) or participate through a webinar.
The executive director of another local nonprofit introduced me to Joan Garry’s blog, She’s a nonprofit consultant, too, and while I don’t always agree 100% with what she writes, it’s always thought provoking. And Guidestar also maintains a useful blog and offers free seminars..
And of course there’s a lot that’s not free, albeit very helpful. CNMConnect (the new name for North Texas’s Center for Nonprofit Management) and their neighbors Volunteer Now have lots of classes available on a variety of topics. A local accounting firm, CM Rosen, gives monthly nonprofit-accounting seminars under the auspices of the Nonprofit Accounting Society of Dallas. I went to one meeting and got a particularly thorny problem resolved right away.
The point I’m trying to make here is that every ED and every board president should be doing all they can to do the best they can for the nonprofit with which they’ve been entrusted. Money and time aren’t impediments; you can get absolutely free, timely, and accurate information delivered right to your inbox. These are by no means the only resources available, so do a little exploring–it will make you better at what you do, and may save you from disaster one of these days.