Archive for the ‘Organizational & Personal Development’ Category
As a longtime California resident, Phil Mickelson vented after shooting a final-round 66 for a 17-under-par 271 total and tie for 37th in his 2013 debut at the Humana Challenge (January 22, 2013).
Recently Phil also made headlines in the business sections of newspapers across the country. Now, as one of the best golfers in the world, I’d expect to see Phil on the sports pages. But Phil was complaining about the California voters’ approval of Proposition 30 – which would cause an increase in the income tax rates by 3%. He threatened to pick up and move his family and residence to another state.
I was interested in what’s been happening with this and yesterday saw a clip on Fareed Zakarias GPS on CNN. Interestingly enough, a recent study by Christopher Young (Stanford) and Charles Varner (Princeton) about New Jersey raising the top income rate by 2.6% on incomes over $500,000 in 2006 (pre-Governor Chris Christie) showed some interesting results.
First, yes – New Jersey lost revenue or forgone levies of $16,400,000. But second, New Jersey saw 65 times this lost revenue made with nearly $1,000,000,000 (yes that’s Billion) in new revenues. This new revenue was from the increase in the tax but also from new income earners coming into the tax rolls at this level. Other studies in California and Maryland have shown similar findings.
Now, I’m not advocating across the board tax increases for millionaires and high income earners. Clearly, you can question policies, but not the numbers. Clearly, an increase on high earners does generate more money than it produces losses. This is true up to a point. That’s what the states and federal government are debating, and that’s why I think it’s so interesting to be involved in the business of philanthropic fundraising and fundraising consulting. We deal every day with the Phil Mickelsons of the world, and can share a little information around facts, just not opinion.
Now, I’m a fan of Phil’s and a great admirer of his. Here’s what he said the next day: “My apology is for talking about it publicly, because I shouldn’t take advantage of the forum that I have as a professional golfer to try to ignite change over these issues.” Mickelson said he understood immediately that his comments could be seen as unsympathetic. “I think it was insensitive to talk about it publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, that are struggling paycheck to paycheck,” he said.
For the record, my Internet search over the weekend about Phil’s residency couldn’t find that he has moved. Stay tuned.
We are very pleased to report that The Giving Institute has announced that Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. has successfully achieved membership re-qualification. JB&A was one of several firms that successfully met the rigorous requalification requirements. “We are proud of the results that reflect your company’s ethical practice in the philanthropy field and are pleased to work alongside other like-minded professionals, like you, who advance the causes of the non-profits we serve so successfully” stated Wendy McGrady, Membership Co-chair for the Giving Institute.
The Giving Institute was founded in 1935 to promote the need for professional and ethical standards of practice and to influence the creation of laws governing philanthropy. It has been involved in many milestones of philanthropy – developing the widely accepted Standards of Professional Conduct; helping to fund the start-up of the United Way; working with the New York State Legislature to develop and enact the Charity Registration Act, the basis for a nationwide model; creating the Giving USA Foundation™; and initiating GIVING USA, an annual publication that is the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America.
Giving Institute membership currently consists of fundraising consulting and service companies that assist not-for-profit organizations. Members are professionally and geographically diverse, annually raising billions of dollars for and providing invaluable types of counsel and services to philanthropic institutions. To become a member of Giving Institute, a firm must meet certain ethical standards as well as undergo an extensive client review process. In addition, once it has become a member of Giving Institute, a member firm must be re-qualified every five years to maintain its membership in good standing.
“I am delighted and deeply grateful to the Giving Institute for granting our firm membership re-qualification. Being awarded continuing membership is not only an accomplishment, but a real honor as well. We look forward to upholding the principles of the Giving Institute by providing our clients with the highest levels of integrity and passion” stated President & CEO Jeffrey Byrne.
If you would like to know more about The Giving Institute, please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with information.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many boards of directors both as a senior staffer as well as a consultant. I have been involved with boards from a number of different organizations and in all shapes and sizes. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in boards and when asked to assist in strengthening a poor board, I have found there to be one absolute consistency from one to the next: a lack of clarity in EXPECTATIONS… of the board and of organizational leadership.
Those organizations with successful boards are those whose leadership has gone out of its way to ensure that EXPECTATIONS were clearly stated, agreed to and practiced. And when I say EXPECTATIONS, I mean that there is absolute clarity about EXPECTATIONS of board members as well as those of leadership by the board.
If you are struggling with your board’s effectiveness, perhaps you might wish to consider sharing the following EXPECTATIONS with the board and with the staff:
Expectations of board members by the organization:
- Take attendance at board and committee meetings seriously… SHOW UP!
- Be informed about the organization and committed to its mission
- Help ensure effective planning
- See that the organization’s resources are being effectively managed
- Enhance the organization’s public image
- Serve as an enthusiastic ambassador of the organization within the community
- Utilize professional and personal skills for the betterment of the organization
- Give to the best of your ability and assist in identifying, cultivating and soliciting prospective donors
- Self-assessment of one’s performance as a board member
- Recruit quality new members to the board
Expectations of the organization by board members:
- A clear Job Description
- Frequent communication to the board on programs, developments and issues
- Provide meaningful opportunities to serve
- That board members’ time will be used appropriately and not wasted
- Provide ongoing education and training
- That organizational leadership will be active participants with the board in raising funds
- Serve as responsible stewards of the organization’s resources
- Ensure that board meetings are substantive and that board members are given every opportunity for meaningful input and participation
- Assign adequate staff to assist the board in carrying out its mission
- Actively participate in the orientation of new advisory board members
The last point in each of the above lists is in my estimation extremely important in building the right board. The very best time to ensure that a board member fully understands what is expected of them is when they are being recruited. And, once a new member has been enrolled, EXPECTATIONS should be reinforced during the formal orientation process. The last thing an exec wants to hear from a board member is “they never told me I was expected to do that.”
JB&A offers a comprehensive array of board training and educational programs and would be thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with you and your organization in making your board the most effective governance body it can be. Let us know how we can help – call us at 816.237.1999 or email info@FundraisingJBA.com.
This year, something unique will take place on Tuesday, November 27, 2012. It’s called #GivingTuesday, and with your help it will make history. The goal is to launch a day of giving at the start of the annual holiday shopping season and to show that holiday shopping can be about both giving and giving back.
As the only local member firm of the Giving Institute, Jeffrey Byrne & Associates will conduct a media campaign in the Greater Kansas City area to spread the word about #GivingTuesday.
People everywhere including retailers, charities, online organizations, community centers, individuals, families and more will come together with one common purpose – incentivize ways to give more, give smarter, and celebrate the great American spirit of contribution.
#GivingTuesday is not a new giving platform, but a call to action to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the Holiday Season. It’s an organizing principle to encourage the creativity and energy of Americans to work together for good.
The success of #GivingTuesday depends on the collective efforts of a unique group of partners and their participation. You are the most important part of making this movement a reality. Click here to go to the #GivingTuesday website.
We all have stories about favorite volunteers we have enjoyed over the years, and possibly some not so flattering recollections to share about those who might have made our jobs just a bit more challenging. Regardless, I think we all can agree that volunteers are absolutely indispensable human resources and can play an enormous role in the success of our organization.
A few years ago, I found a really terrific article written by none other than Erma Bombeck who shared her thoughts about what life in our country would be like if volunteerism did not exist. Listen to what she says in her article, “Without Volunteers, a Lost Civilization”:
“I had a dream the other night that every volunteer in this country, disillusioned with the lack of compassion, has set sail for another country. As I stood smiling on the pier, I shouted: ‘Good-bye, creamed chicken. Good-bye phone committees. So long Disease-of-the-Month. No more saving old egg cartons. No more getting out the vote. Au revoir, playground duty, bake sales and three hour meetings.’
As the boat got smaller and they could no longer hear my shouts, I reflected, ‘Serves them right. A bunch of yes people. All they had to do was to put their tongue firmly against the roof of their mouth and make an O sound. Nnnnoooo. Nnnnooo. No! It would certainly have spared them a lot of grief. Oh well, who needs them!’
The hospital was quiet when I passed it. Rooms were void of books, flowers and cheerful voices. The children’s wing held no clowns…no laughter. The reception desk was vacant. The health agencies had a sign in the window, ‘Cures for cancer, muscular dystrophy, birth defects, multiple sclerosis, heart diseases, etc., have been canceled due to lack of interest.’
The flowers on church altars withered and died. Children in day nurseries lifted their arms but there was no one to hold them in love. But the saddest part of the journey was the symphony hall, which was dark and would remain that way. So were the museums that had been built and stocked by volunteers with the art treasures of our times.
I fought in my sleep to regain a glimpse of the ship of volunteers just one more time. It was to be my last glimpse of civilization … as we were meant to be.”
I have been tremendously blessed throughout my career in having been associated with charitable organizations which were wonderfully “civilized” places due to the wealth of good friends who helped them become the warm and friendly place they had been for so many years. I always thanked God for the hundreds of volunteers who gave so freely of their time talent and treasure, doing so with little expectation of anything in return other than having the satisfaction of helping others.
There is no question that in addition to being a wonderfully rewarding experience, making certain that volunteers are both being fulfilled and accomplishing their volunteer tasks can often be like walking a tightrope: One must possess a great sense of balance. Some volunteers require little supervision, doing their jobs quietly and efficiently, while others can be more needy, requiring extra time and attention.
I firmly believe that the key to success when working with volunteers is in there being the presence of very clear EXPECTATIONS…..by volunteers of staff and by staff of volunteers. Let’s review a few of these expectations:
Volunteers will expect the Staff to:
- Know the nonprofit and philanthropic business as a professional
- Provide them with support and supervision
- Assist them in making appropriate contacts and delivering appropriate messages
- Recognize that work cannot be accomplished without them!
- Represent your organization in a positive manner
Staff should expect Volunteers to:
- Be dedicated and to fulfill their commitments
- Work and expect that volunteers will complete their assigned tasks
- Provide access, information and insight…..they can be terrific “door openers”
- Be in attendance, to “show up”
- Exhibit enthusiasm and passion in being a part of a solution
- Develop a sense of loyalty to your organization and its mission and purpose
Lastly, don’t forget that you have many obligations to your volunteers:
- Empower them
- Lead while appearing to follow
- Provide opportunities for meaningful work
- Provide appropriate information so that Volunteers can do their jobs well
- Provide adequate orientation and training
- Provide a thorough job description
- Conduct performance evaluations….Volunteers do want to know how they performed
- Provide them with feedback
- Provide appropriate and frequent appreciation and recognition
I’m hoping that after you read Ms. Bombeck’s article you will bestow a great big hug on the next volunteer you come across. Lord knows, they deserve it. And, I will bet you a buck that they will be most appreciative. Just Love ‘Em!