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The PeopleCap Playbook

Timely insights and actionable people strategies for leaders.

Grow Your Board’s Fundraising Ability

How do I get my board to raise money?

Most nonprofits expect (hope, perhaps) that their board will raise money for them or at least strongly support their fundraising efforts. And yet it’s a common frustration among nonprofit leaders that their boards are falling short of those expectations. The reality, in my experience, is that very few organizations set their board members up to be successful at raising funds. Continue reading “Grow Your Board’s Fundraising Ability”

Meg Crosby excited to partner with SSM

PeopleCap is pleased to announce that Co-Founder & Principal Meg Crosby has been asked to serve as an Operating Partner of Memphis-based SSM Partners, a growth equity investment firm focused exclusively on software, services and healthcare.  Adding Meg’s experience and expertise to the advisory council reflects the significant value SSM and its portfolio companies place on their people, leaders, and culture.

Meg is excited for PeopleCap to be an official partner of SSM, and is proud to work with both SSM and their portfolio companies. Continue reading “Meg Crosby excited to partner with SSM”

Before You Promote

There are multiple factors, completely unrelated to ability, that drive decisions to put employees in people management positions, including the desire to: attract and retain top talent; recognize and reward service; or the need for someone to manage a growing team. Often these ancillary reasons result in managers who can’t manage. Successful leadership development begins with leadership selection. Continue reading “Before You Promote”

The Dark Side of the “Family” Culture

I have worked with many companies who have described their culture first and foremost as “a family.” What they generally mean is that they greatly value the relationships that they have with their colleagues at work. Though there is nothing wrong with building strong relationships with your colleagues, I have found over the years that the “family” culture has a dark side – a lack of accountability. Continue reading “The Dark Side of the “Family” Culture”

Midsouth Nonprofit Conference

PeopleCap is proud to be a sponsor of the Midsouth Nonprofit Conference!  We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, August 13th, for a great day of learning and networking.  This dynamic conference will be held at the University of Memphis, and will be a day-long learning experience examining the evolving role that data serves in strengthening human services work.

PeopleCap’s own Katie Spencer (and her father!) will be speaking, along with many other greats. Continue reading “Midsouth Nonprofit Conference”

Midsouth Nonprofit Conference

On August 13, 2019 at the University of Memphis, the Midsouth Nonprofit Conference will be a day-long learning experience examining the evolving role that data serves in strengthening human services work.

PeopleCap’s own Katie Spencer (and her father!) will be speaking, along with many other greats. Continue reading “Midsouth Nonprofit Conference”

100,000 Opportunities to Build or Dilute Your Culture – Lessons from Delta

By formulanone from Huntsville, United States - Delta N981EV Bombardier CRJ200 Takeoff ATL June 2015, CC BY-SA 2.0

Last year, I was asked to serve on a panel in Atlanta with senior executives of Cox Automotive, Rheem Manufacturing, and Delta to share insights on cultivating an effective culture. Cox Automotive, Rheem, and Delta were on the panel because of their vigilant commitment to maintaining a positive and productive culture for all of their employees. Collectively, they have over 100,000 employees, and their cultures are shaped every day by the actions and decisions of each of those 100,000 employees.

On my way to Atlanta, my Delta flight was delayed almost two hours. Fortunately, I was flying in the day before my panel, but most passengers were flying in for business meetings that day, and the delay was causing significant disruption to their schedules.  Tensions and frustrations were high. Continue reading “100,000 Opportunities to Build or Dilute Your Culture – Lessons from Delta”

Culture of Scarcity is Crushing the Nonprofit World

In another sector, alarm bells would be going off – talent is not keeping pace with technology and the strategic skills needed in a competitive, knowledge-based climate. Innovation is stifled, if alive at all. Spending is a bad word.

We’ve starved the nonprofit sector in the name of fiscal prudence grounded within the myth that running lean is a virtuous strategy. In the for-profit realm, we would expect overly anemic organizations to fold or completely reinvent themselves to oxygenate back to health. In the nonprofit world, we consider it a badge of honor to do more for less, chase our tails for a pittance, and live with the insecurity of our livelihoods failing to be renewed in the next grant cycle. Continue reading “Culture of Scarcity is Crushing the Nonprofit World”

#21 Culture Decision

In their first baseball tournament of the Spring, my son’s team found its way into the Championship Game. Late in the game, we had runners on first and second. We needed to move the runners around, but stealing was out of the question. Their catcher was throwing everyone out.

#21 came up to bat. He had gotten on base every at bat during the entire tournament, and this was his chance to remain perfect. The coach gave him the green light; but he didn’t swing for the fences. He laid down a beautiful bunt. Continue reading “#21 Culture Decision”

Herb Kelleher is the Boss.

On a recent trip, I flew Southwest Airlines and read a great article by Matt Crossman in the in-flight magazine eulogizing Herb Kelleher, Southwest’s long tenured and beloved CEO who passed away in January. The article describes Herb’s leadership style and the legendary culture he created at Southwest.

If you follow our blog regularly, you’ll be familiar with our description of culture: “Culture is the boss when the boss is not around.” Herb Kelleher embodied this saying. Continue reading “Herb Kelleher is the Boss.”

History of Underinvestment in Talent

pothole and traffic cones in road

The nonprofit sector has a long history and culture of underinvesting in talent. In the name of financial stewardship and the doctrine of mission, nonprofit employees have existed within a culture where working harder for less money is a badge of honor. As admirable as this commitment to working for the benefit of our communities and others has been, over time the ratchet effect of lower wages in ever tightening budgets, lack of investment in professional development, and the organic burgeoning of nonprofit roles in which people continue to take on more and more responsibility without increase in compensation has led to the sector falling far behind in talent compensation. Continue reading “History of Underinvestment in Talent”

Get on Board | “What To Know Before You Serve”

Do you have a heart for service? Are you thinking about joining the board of a non-profit but aren’t sure if you have the time, treasure or talent necessary to be a valuable member? Maybe you’ve already joined a board but aren’t quite sure of the full scope of your responsibilities. No matter what your situation, cityCURRENT and the Center for Nonprofit Management will help guide you through “what to know before you serve” at their inaugural Get on Board Luncheon in Nashville! Continue reading “Get on Board | “What To Know Before You Serve””

Human Resources Boot Camp


Nonprofit leaders wear a lot of hats, including serving as Directors of Human Resources. In this highly competitive talent climate, how can your organization attract, retain, and develop top talent without breaking the bank? In this two-day boot camp, we will discuss some of the challenges facing nonprofits in the current talent landscape and steps that your organization can take to ensure you hire great people, keep them longer, and continue to grow them into future leaders of your organization while ensuring that your organization remains legally compliant. Continue reading “Human Resources Boot Camp”