policy

Master your time sheet skills

Master your time sheet skills

Posted in executive director / policy / staff team

Executive directors are never truly off the clock. Yes, we can take holidays. Yes, we can lean on our teams and hire admin support. But if a major system fails, it will be the executive director who will answer some serious questions about why it happened. So, we add a few minutes after work,...


How do you help a nonprofit become more effective? Simplify the bylaws.

How do you help a nonprofit become more effective? Simplify the bylaws.

Posted in executive director / policy / board of directors / members

Do you remember the confusion for voting at an annual general meeting that happened during the pandemic? Pre-pandemic, annual general meetings were easy. Everyone was in the same room and voting, as was often stated in the bylaws, was conducted by a simple show of hands. Fast forward to...


Can we do this in only 3 days?

Can we do this in only 3 days?

Posted in emergency / policy / board of directors / board meeting

Your non-profit has been selected to apply to a special funding program. Not tiny little peanuts funding, we’re talking 6-figure, big-bucks. No problem. As a non-profit executive director, you are very experienced writing grant applications. The catch? This odd little funding program requires...


It will only hurt for 2 years

It will only hurt for 2 years

Posted in financial management / office operations / policy

It happens. You’re working on a grant application and the computer starts to get a little glitchy. No problem. It’s old. Probably just needs to do an update. You could use a break to stretch and wander over to the staff room to find a snack. 10 minutes later you get back to your desk and,...


A non-profit's guide to online banking

A non-profit's guide to online banking

Non-profits have many reasons to embrace online banking (e-banking). It might start with a desire to make faster payments to independent contractors, to encourage easier donations, or simply avoid the time it takes for in-person banking. When an executive director begins to investigate...


The difference between operational and governance policy...

The difference between operational and governance policy...

Posted in executive director / policy

Non-profits rely on policies to guide everything from the number of board members needed for a meeting, to how to write a receipt. Policies are very helpful to guide board and staff in their jobs, but policies for the board are very different from policies for the workers. Don’t blur...


Governance Policy: Easy Four-Part Structure

Governance Policy: Easy Four-Part Structure

Posted in policy / board of directors

The board of a non-profit has a complex job. It is accountable to the stakeholders to meet the strategic goals, while at the same time governing the organization and monitoring management. No experience, no time, no problem! Non-profit board members rarely come to the position with a wealth...


The Secret Code Book to a Non-Profit’s Vision

The Secret Code Book to a Non-Profit’s Vision

Posted in policy / members / stakeholders

Here’s a fun fact, where I am, Bylaws are not a legal requirement, and yet, most non-profits have Bylaws. Bylaws are the rules created by the founding members to regulate the organization. They can be changed, but not easily. Bylaws are the rules created by the members. This is how it starts....


Is your non-profit incorporated? (and why does it matter)

Is your non-profit incorporated? (and why does it matter)

Posted in policy / members / stakeholders

Non-profit leaders, be it board members or the executive director, need to have a firm understanding of 4 key documents a non-profit uses for legal status, governance, and operations. Becoming familiar with these documents is not simply an orientation tool, rather, it is a critical step to...


How to Stop Non-Profit Policies from Becoming Mind-Numbingly Boring

How to Stop Non-Profit Policies from Becoming Mind-Numbingly Boring

Posted in office operations / filing / policy / board meeting

Non-profits have sooo many policies. Policies that define the work of the board. Policies that define what an executive director is and isn’t allowed to do. Policies that tell the staff team what they can and cannot do. A non-profit’s policies, from governing to operational, are the rules that...


Can an employee expect privacy at work?

Can an employee expect privacy at work?

Posted in office operations / emergency / policy

Office environments have changed over the last few years. We went from working in a central office to being required to work from home during the pandemic. When it was finally allowed to go back to work in a central office, many employees continued to work from home or embraced varying...


Take the Guess Work Out of Non-Profit Gift Giving

Take the Guess Work Out of Non-Profit Gift Giving

Posted in policy / staff team

Here and there throughout the operating year, a non-profit will give different kinds of gifts. It might be a gift when an employee reaches a work milestone. It might be a gift to thank a summer student. It might be a farewell gift for a departing board member. There is nothing like the...


What do you do when a board member goes rogue?

What do you do when a board member goes rogue?

Has there been a time when a board member didn’t follow policy and no one, you or other board members, said anything? Has a board member reported tasks that they’ve handled when they were neither asked, nor given the authority, to handle those tasks? Has a board member been making decisions...


The Board Speaks With One Voice

The Board Speaks With One Voice

Posted in policy / board of directors

When a non-profit board is being developed and new members added, there is excitement to embrace the diverse perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders. But having many different voices at the table can sometimes make it challenging for a board to make decisions. If a board doesn’t...


Writing Procedures for Great Board Meetings

Writing Procedures for Great Board Meetings

Posted in policy / board meeting

Meeting procedures is a policy that determines how a board meeting will be handled. It is very common for some meeting procedures to be defined in the Bylaws where the voting membership requires certain minimum requirements. For example: Minimum number of board meetings per year How a...


Anatomy of a Policy

Anatomy of a Policy

Posted in policy / risk management

Operating policies are the rules required for a specific task in how your non-profit will be run. You don’t need to have operating policies for every operational task, only for required tasks. Some of those required tasks might include, handling cash, cell phone etiquette, branding rules,...