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The PeopleCap Playbook

Timely insights and actionable people strategies for leaders.

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”

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”

Listening Is Therapy

red sofa therapy couch

While conducting interviews with employees for a client, one person leaned in at the close of the interview and said, “You’re so easy to talk to. Thank you so much – it feels like therapy!”

The great part was that this organization isn’t facing any issue of note and the interview was pretty basic, as interviews in my world go – nothing heavy or emotional came up. It’s not uncommon for people to respond this way following an hour telling me about their work lives, some even get a bit choked up or cry. Continue reading “Listening Is Therapy”

Good Governance: Evaluating the Executive Director

Evaluating the Executive Director doesn’t have to be painful, overly time consuming or complicated, but it does need to happen.

Evaluating the ED is about three things: goal setting, alignment, and accountability. An ED’s evaluation actually begins 12 months out when the Board and ED work together to establish and agree upon goals for the following year. The process helps to align the Board and ED around those goals and set expectations for how they will work together to achieve them. At the end of the 12 months, the evaluation becomes largely about accountability. Were the goals met? Why or why not? Continue reading “Good Governance: Evaluating the Executive Director”

People Drive Results

People drive results. They are the key ingredient for achieving nonprofit mission impact or its greatest impediment. If people are not performing at their highest potential, the organization isn’t either.

The buck stops with the ED. An Executive Director’s primary responsibility is to realize mission impact – primarily through other people – board, employees, volunteers, etc. Great leaders know how to mobilize, engage and grow their people to unlock their potential and maximize impact. Continue reading “People Drive Results”