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Virtual Executive Director

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022 Building Unity Around Big Changes

Now that you recognize the signs of transition and you know you want to do something to get ahead of these challenges rather than wait for them to crash into you, this week's podcast talks about how to build the support you need around these big changes.

Duration: 00:12:11

021 Signs You Are Heading Toward Transition

In our nonprofit life we have purposeful transitions, like launching a new program, and accidental transitions, like a major sponsor going out of business. These are pretty straightforward and (for the most part) we know how to handle them. Then there is a middle ground of transitions that aren't here yet, but if you know what to look for, you'll see the signs. That's what we're talking about in this week's podcast.

Duration: 00:12:50

020 How to Start a Nonprofit

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about how to start a nonprofit. If that describes you or someone you know, here's the podcast to listen to first. I go over the steps to take that will set you and your org up for success from the beginning. To get the full checklist, visit

Duration: 00:14:24

019 My Favorite Quotes of the Week

Since it's the holiday season (fun!) and year-end (stressful!), this week's podcast brings the gift of an easy listen. In the Executive Director Mastermind group, we like to share "Quote of the Week" from our nonprofit life. This week's podcast is 8 of my favorite QOTW to entertain and help you get through the year-end crazies. See you in the New Year!

Duration: 00:12:27

018 Grant Writing Tips From a Panelist

Did you know I serve as a grant panelist for the Virginia Commission for the Arts? Yep! And now I'm sharing 8 of my top grant writing tips to keep you from wanting to smash your face into your desk.

Duration: 00:17:48

017 Nonprofit Lessons from GBBS

I'm back after being sick for two weeks! While slowly melting into the couch, I had the opportunity to watch "The Great British Baking Show." Maybe it was a fever-dream, but I think I learned a few things applicable to nonprofit life. Let me know if you think I missed any.

Duration: 00:10:08

016 Boundaries for Nonprofit Leaders

This past week has found me too sick to record a full podcast, so I found a video call that I recorded earlier this year with certified relationship expert, Jen Moff, on boundaries. Why are they so difficult? How do we set them effectively? And what do we say to someone when they violate them? This is a long one, and originally it was on video. There may be references to visuals, but I think you'll find this helpful. This can be an especially tricky time of year with work and personal...

Duration: 00:48:13

015 Tools

This week's podcast is about three new tools I've been using lately that might be helpful for you, too. They are Stay22 (map widget): MeetingSift (meeting survey software): Instrumentl (grant aggregator): Don't feel bad if I left out one of your favorites. These are 3 that came to my attention recently and that I've had success with. Feel free to comment and let me know what tools you're using that you love.

Duration: 00:16:27

014 Suffocating Negativity

Why is important to suffocate negativity in your organization, and what does that look like in day-to-day practice? This week I share how to get on top of this productivity issue.

Duration: 00:11:49

013 Things You Don't Want to Think About...

This week's podcast is a quick reminder about what matters.

Duration: 00:07:12

012 Finding Help

You can't do it all, but who do you delegate to when you have, like, zero budget? This week on the podcast I talk about where to find help when you're not ready to make a permanent hire.

Duration: 00:09:55

011 Tricks to Treat Yourself

This week's episode lands on Halloween in the US, so I thought I'd reward our hard fundraising work this month with an episode on self-care. I share 3 tricks I use to treat myself, so that I'm at my best for my org. BTW, listen to the very end, past the closing music for an audio treat, courtesy my dog, Oakley. This is real life, y'all.

Duration: 00:10:50

010 Effective Corporate Sponsorship Follow-up

Don't let your awesome corporate appeal package go to waste by slacking on the follow-up. In this episode I share with you how to approach follow-up from a place of service and take all the angst out of those phone calls.

Duration: 00:18:24

009 Individual Giving: Anatomy of an Effective Appeal Letter

In this episode I share with you the elements of a great appeal letter and how to structure your appeal so that it hits all the areas of the DiSC personality profile.

Duration: 00:10:58

008 Fundraising Prep

In this episode I go over the things that you should know and prep before you even start asking for money. This prep work will help make the fundraising process go much more smoothly.

Duration: 00:15:49

007.5 Board Orientation Template: The "Yes, You" Game

So....I could not, in fact, find anything online describing the opening icebreaker game I used at our board retreat, so I've recorded a bonus episode. Hope you have a chance to use this game at your next meeting!

Duration: 00:04:48

007 Board Orientation Template

When was the last time you led an effective and enjoyable board orientation? In this week's podcast, I report on our board orientation/retreat, talk you through the event outline, and share come cool team-building activities. Big thanks to those who helped me directly and indirectly with this event content. Here are the resources I mention throughout the podcast: Link for Board Orientation Outline:...

Duration: 00:21:31

006 Keeping in Touch

It's important for quality communication that you keep in touch with your board more frequently than at the monthly meeting. One way I accomplish this is through a weekly report. This accomplishes a few things: - It keeps you accountable - It engenders trust - It gives your board consistent talking points In this episode, I outline the weekly report I use. Swipe it for yourself and modify it to fit your needs. Download my weekly report template here:...

Duration: 00:12:08

005 Personality Profiling: Are you an Otter, a Wombat, or an Influencer?

Learning to recognize personality types can go a long way to facilitating quality communication with your board, staff, volunteers, and even fundraising prospects (like a nonprofit fundraising hack). In this episode, I touch briefly on several different profiling systems, and talk about the one I'll be using at my board orientation. Link to a free version of the DiSC Assessment: Link to a free version of the Myers-Briggs assessment:...

Duration: 00:34:25

004 Building Unity

Working with a unified board, staff, and volunteers is the key to speed, execution, and lower stress. In this episode I share the "5 Enemies of Unity" from Dave Ramsey's book, Entreleadership, and show you how to apply it to your nonprofit. Resources DiSC Profile: Meyers-Briggs: "Difficult Conversations":...

Duration: 00:16:50

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