We are happy to share what we learn, and we do this as workshop instructors, by developing curriculum for the Maine Association of Nonprofits and individual clients, and by offering advice on our Starboard blog. Take a look. You just might find the guidance you need!

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When Your Advisory Council Meets Really Matters

Not too long ago we were at a meeting where a hospital administrator was talking about their Patient Advisory Council and the goal of engaging a diverse cross-section of patients. As she talked with some excitement about planning for a full-day retreat with the members of her advisory council, we couldn’t help but think about …
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A Guiding Document for Your Advisory Council

In much the same way that a board of directors is guided by bylaws, advisory councils should have a guiding document too–a statement of organization and purpose that describes the role of the group and the responsibilities of its members. Don’t confuse this guiding document with bylaws, however. In fact, the word “bylaws” should be …
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Reviving and Reconstituting Your Advisory Council

In our consulting practice we often work with advisory councils. In one case, we worked with an advisory council that had been in existence for over a decade. Where they once played an especially active role in the organization, they were finding they were in more of a “responsive” role. “Responsive” seemed like a better …
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Staffing an advisory council – words of warning

We knew an executive director of a nonprofit who did a time study (tracking her time by 10 minute intervals) that showed she was spending more than 40% of her time on the business of the board—supporting them, preparing for meetings, engaging in board communications, attending meetings of board committees, and so on. While we …
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Ingredients of a Successful Advisory Council

In our consulting practice we are often working with organizations that have an advisory council, or are considering one, so we’ve developed what we see as a list of essential ingredients for a successful advisory council: Clearly delineate what level of responsibility and authority the advisory council has It’s important to be clear, right from …
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Your Best Board Member Candidates Might Be Close at Hand

Board recruitment is one of the most important and challenging aspects of nonprofit work. Unfortunately, many nonprofits maximize their risks and minimize their opportunities because they look at it as an annual task rather than the ongoing leadership development process it should be. If your organization engages volunteers in your program delivery, events, or fundraising, …
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