Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership: Because Nonprofits Are Messy

Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership: Because Nonprofits Are Messy

by Joan Garry


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Nonprofit leadership is messy

Nonprofits leaders are optimistic by nature. They believe with time, energy, smarts, strategy and sheer will, they can change the world. But as staff or board leader, you know nonprofits present unique challenges. Too many cooks, not enough money, an abundance of passion. It’s enough to make you feel overwhelmed and alone. The people you help need you to be successful. But there are so many obstacles: a micromanaging board that doesn’t understand its true role; insufficient fundraising and donors who make unreasonable demands; unclear and inconsistent messaging and marketing; a leader who’s a star in her sector but a difficult boss…

And yet, many nonprofits do thrive. Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership will show you how to do just that. Funny, honest, intensely actionable, and based on her decades of experience, this is the book Joan Garry wishes she had when she led GLAAD out of a financial crisis in 1997. Joan will teach you how to:

  • Build a powerhouse board
  • Create an impressive and sustainable fundraising program
  • Become seen as a ‘workplace of choice’
  • Be a compelling public face of your nonprofit

This book will renew your passion for your mission and organization, and help you make a bigger difference in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119293064
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/06/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 211,722
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JOAN GARRY began her career as part of the management team that launched MTV. After a successful eight-year tenure, she became an executive at Showtime Networks. In 1997, Garry left corporate America and was named the executive director of GLAAD, one of the largest organizations working for LGBT equality.

Since leaving GLAAD, Garry has worked as a consultant for hundreds of nonprofits, teaching them, with wisdom, joy, and humor, the keys to effective nonprofit leadership. She is a regular panelist on NBC's nonprofit reality show Give. Garry is also the founder of The Nonprofit Leadership Lab; an instructor at the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches nonprofit media strategy; and a sought-after speaker on nonprofit leadership.

She blogs regularly at the popular website and hosts one of the top nonprofit podcasts on iTunes, Nonprofits Are Messy.

Garry lives in New Jersey with her wife of 34 years and their three grown children.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1 The Superpowers of Nonprofit Leadership 1

A Quiz 3

You’re Not on Top of Anything 7

Power and Authority 8

What Do I Do with All This? 11

So What Was This Quiz Really About? 16

The Five Key Superpowers 16

The Real Power of Leadership 22

Chapter 2 You’ve Got to Get Me at Hello 25

Tell Me About Your Organization 29

In the Lobby—The Mission Statement 29

In the Elevator—The Pitch 31

Step Off the Elevator and Work the Room 33

Doin’ What Does Not Come Naturally 33

Two More Examples for Emphasis 39

Practice, Kid, Practice 41

Chapter 3 Co-Pilots in a Twin-Engine Plane 43

The Ideal Board Chair Profile 46

Recruiting the Ideal Board Chair 47

The Five-Star Board Chair Checklist 48

The Telltale Signs of Wrong 51

Playing the Hand You Are Dealt 52

Get It Right from the Start 53

The Partnership in Action: The Devil Is in the Details 55

Holding the Board Accountable 64

Here’s What They Signed Up For 65

Put It All Together and What Have You Got? 66

Chapter 4 The Key Is Not in the Answers. It’s in the Questions 69

The Power of Deleting a Word 69

The Power of Inquiry 71

We’re All in This Together 73

Start at the Very Beginning 75

A Mission Sniff Test 77

What Success Looks Like 79

Big Dreams, Big Challenges, and Small (No) Budget 84

Ten Final Words of Advice—Keep Them Handy 86

Chapter 5 You Can Do This 89

I Just Can’t 92

Fundraising Is “Terrifying?” 93

My Friends Will Be Mad at ME 93

Yes You Can 94

Yes, You Will Screw It Up 97

Case Study: Girl Scouts and Those Damned Thin Mints 99

How Can the Board Take the Lead on Fundraising? 106

Building a Culture of Fundraising in Your

Organization 109

Saving the Most Important Lesson for Last 111

Chapter 6 Managing the Paid and the Unpaid (Or, I Came to Change the World, Not Conduct Evaluations) 117

Managing in 3-D 119

Having a Voice in Decision Making 121

Ownership of the Work 125

The Missing Piece: Clearly Defined Roles and

Goals 128

And What About the Not-Paids? 131

The Clash of the Type A’s 133

Group, Team, or Family 136

Retreats Are Nonnegotiable 140

My Retreat Recipe 141

Keeping the Keepers on the Bus 146

Supervising and Evaluating the Executive

Director 147

Two Things Everyone in Your Organization

Wants 149

Chapter 7 When It Hits the Fan 151

How Are We Defining Crisis? 155

When the Light at the End of the Tunnel Is an Oncoming Train 156

Building a Crisis Management Plan 158

So Now You Are All Set for When It Hits the Fan, Right? 161

Is a Crisis Preventable? 164

What Crisis Management Should Look Like 166

The Most Common Nonprofit Crisis: Financial Crisis and Layoffs 168

The Main Thing 172

Chapter 8 Hello, I Must Be Going (Or Navigating Leadership Transitions) 177

Scenario Number One 179

Scenario Number Two 180

So Are These Folks Good at Their Jobs? 181

Board Leadership Gone Awry 185

The Autocrat 186

Board Chair on Steroids 188

The Weakest Link 189

Staff Leaders Who Aren’t Leading 191

The Five-Alarm Blaze 193

Toast 196

The Founder (The One Who Sticks Around Too Long) 197

The Five-Star Staff Leader Who Calls It Quits 199

The On-Deck Circle 204

Chapter 9 You Are the Champions 207

Bibliography 213

Index 217

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