Archive for June, 2010

Grantmaker Partnership: Building Your Board

The Support Center provides training for BoardServeNYC, a United Way of New York City initiative that connects nonprofits to a talented pool of New Yorkers who are passionate about service and are ready, willing and able to serve as board members.

Michael Davidson

Affiliate consultant and long-time volunteer workshop facilitator Michael Davidson is leading the BoardServe training program.


  • Is free to nonprofits located in NYC
  • Matches nonprofits with candidates who have undergone governance training
  • Provides guidance in how to effectively engage candidates and utilize new board members
>>> Consulting


Succession Planning – What we are hearing from Grantmakers

Written by Don Crocker, CEO/Executive Director, Support Center for Nonprofit Management

My four year old granddaughter enjoys our visits and is never happy when “suddenly” we are on our way.

We’ve learned that it is better to plan our departure and to give her a “heads-up” on the timing of when we will be headed out.

Don Crocker with granddaughter Haley

While she might still ask for us to stay (and play) a little while longer, the transition out toward home is always less dramatic and better accepted when it is planned.

Transitions are also challenging for CEOs in the nonprofit sector.  Sudden transition can lead to funder anxiety, board upheaval, and a drop in staff morlale.  Even a healthy organization can experience a significant loss of momentum when the CEO leaves.

Grantmakers want to know when a leadership transition is happening at one of their funded nonprofits.  A surprise – such as hearing such news “through the grapevine” – never lands well on a funder.

Successful nonprofit leadership transitions are hard work, requiring self-scrutiny, planning for the short and longer-term, and getting input from key partners.

Succession planning is helpful and an effective transition takes time – usually 6 – 9 months (the Support Center way) and additional financial resources to support the change.

Grantmakers are often willing to stay with thier favorite nonprofits during a transition and make this investment for nonprofits when they know the organization is being thoughtful and doing the hard planning necessary for future success.

Not all CEO transitions can be planned to the letter – life happens.

But pre-planning (succession planning and emergency succession planning) and transiton management can create a safety net for your organization.

Letting your funders know in a timely manner and asking for their advice and support when change is in the air, can soften what might otherwise turn out to be a rocky road ahead.

>>> Executive Transition Management

Testimonial: Organizational Assessment

Written by Alicia D’Amico, Executive Assistant, Marble Collegiate Churches

The highlight of the process was the realization by committee members that nurturing stewardship was both essential and doable for the benefit of the organization, its mission, and congregants.

The Support Center’s Senior Fellow, John Brothers, did an excellent job of keeping everyone on task and moving forward, adjusting to challenges.

His wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise shined through. We were thrilled with his work, and
we anticipate using the Support Center again in the future.

The project manager learned a lot by watching John work, and how he guided the ‘angle’ of completing the organizational audit and seeing all parts of the process as telling and valuable.

>>> Executive Transition Management