As a nonprofit coach, I hear these all the time:

“My board won’t fundraise.”

“We’ve got people on our Board who haven’t been to a meeting in months.”

“Our Board has lots of good people on it. They just don’t know what they’re supposed to do.”

Sound familiar?


These are common complaints from staff of small nonprofit organizations. And I’ve got just the thing to fix the situation!


Let me tell you about my
Board Magic Workshop.


You have such high hopes for your Board. You expect them to carry the vision for your nonprofit. You expect them to help you spread the word about your organization and help raise money. And you expect them to represent you well in the community. After all, they’re the top leaders for your organization, right?

Yet, too often you’re disappointed.

Board members don’t show up to meetings (and don’t rsvp). They don’t help with fundraising. Heck, they may not even make a gift themselves. They never seem to really understand what it is your nonprofit does.


So what can you do?

It’s frustrating to have a Board that doesn’t meet your expectations (I’ve been there!).  What I’ve found is that a little understanding goes a long way with Board members.

Many times, people say “yes” to being on a Board without knowing what that means. They don’t know what they should do. Without anyone to tell them, they may try to figure it out themselves or they may do nothing.

To bring your Board up-to-speed, I offer a half-day workshop just for nonprofit Board members called Board Magic Workshop. Here’s what I cover: board_magic_graphic2


  • Basic Board responsibilities
  • Recruitment of new Board members
  • Self-governance and enforcement of by-laws
    (including attendance policies)
  • Financial management
    (including creating and monitoring a budget)
  • Ethical and legal liability
  • Managing staff
  • Being an Ambassador for the organization
  • Fundraising and public relations






My style of training is fun and playful. Having studied adult learning styles, I know that people learn in different ways, and that sitting still for several hours listening to someone talk is NOT a good way for most adults to learn! I incorporate activities and games into the workshop to keep participants interested and engaged. I get LOTS of positive feedback about the things I work into my classes!

During the training, I’ll introduce a couple of my own interpretations of basic fundraising concepts to give you a simple way to understand how fundraising works. I break it down into the step-by-step chunks that your Board members can understand and absorb. They’ll come away excited, charged up, and ready to take action!



“Sandy led our Board retreat this year and it was the best one we have had in the four years I have been here.

Sandy got everyone engaged in the process and had them thinking very “big”. My Board has been very dysfunctional and negative for a couple of years. Sandy has had her hands full trying to get them on track. I watched with wonder as she led an extremely positive meeting. The group that would normally not want to do anything that would require fundraising is thinking of building a Wellness Center! They have since conveyed to me how exciting the meeting was and how they want to keep the momentum going.”

Debbie Henry, Executive Director
Health Education Awareness Alliance of Loudon County, Loudon, TN


“Sandy, thank you so much!

You did a terrific job and for the first time I have a board that seems energized and motivated to do fundraising. I really appreciate your help and plan to keep in touch with you for future assistance.”

Diana U. Allen, CEO
Primary Health Care Center of Dade, Inc., Rossville, GA


“Sandy’s Board Magic workshop was a great way to start the new year!

It was a real eye-opener for many of our board members, and even the most experienced members learned new things.  Everyone agreed it was four hours well spent. We are now using a consent agenda for our board meetings, which gives us to more time to discuss the clinic’s future.  We have formed a governance committee, and that committee is working on goals and an evaluation process for our board.  And we have other plans in the works–all thanks to Sandy and her workshop.”

Teresa Brittain, former Executive Director
Free Medical Clinic, Oak Ridge, TN


“I have gotten excellent feedback from those in attendance at our retreat.

You did such a great job.  You really addressed all of our issues in such a manner that it completely flowed with the training and I am certain that no one felt singled out or purposefully addressed.  I really feel that everything we went through in bylaw revisions was validated by the training, it provided closure to the silent struggle we were experiencing and gave us a positive path forward.  It was everything it needed to be and more.”

Michele Lewis, Executive Director
Loudon County Education Foundation, Loudon, TN


I’ll give your Board the nuts and bolts of what they need to be successful. Plus, I’ll give you a list of resources (books, periodicals, websites, etc.) that you can use to keep your Board moving forward after this retreat.

I’ve delivered this training for organizations like:

  • A Hand Up for Women (Knoxville, TN)
  • Athens Area Arts Council (Athens, TN)
  • CASA of the Tennessee Heartland (Oak Ridge, TN)
  • CEDnet (Community Economic Development Network of East Tennessee) (Knoxville, TN)
  • Center for Peace (Seymour, TN)
  • Cerebral Palsy Center (Knoxville, TN)
  • Christian Women’s Job Corps of Loudon County (Lenoir City, TN)
  • Clinch River Children’s Advocacy Center (Clinton, TN)
  • Community Mediation Center (Knoxville, TN)
  • Community School of the Arts (Knoxville, TN)
  • Concord Adult Enrichment Services (CADES) (Farragut, TN)
  • Health Education Alliance of Loudon County (Loudon, TN)
  • Hopkinsville Area Habitat for Humanity (Hopkinsville, KY)
  • Horse Haven of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)
  • Keystone Adult Day Care Services (Oak Ridge, TN)
  • Lisa Ross Birth & Women’s Center (Knoxville, TN)
  • Loudon County Habitat for Humanity (Loudon, TN)
  • Marshall County Habitat for Humanity (Mayfield, KY)
  • Monroe County Habitat for Humanity (Madisonville, TN)
  • New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center (Maryville, TN)
  • Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity (Prescott, AZ)
  • Primary Health Care Center of Dade, Inc. (Rossville, GA)
  • Putnam County Habitat for Humanity (Cookeville, TN)
  • Restoration House of East Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)
  • Sumner County Habitat for Humanity (Gallatin, TN)
  • The Gate (Gateway to Independence) (Maryville, TN)



As you can see, I’ve presented led this Board training for lots of different groups and I’ve learned lots of great stories that I’ll work into the training as examples. That means you’ll get the benefit of my experience as you hear real-world stories about other Boards, the challenges they’ve faced, and how they’ve overcome them.

If you think this might be for you but you aren’t sure, please contact me for a free consultation. Email me at to set up a time to talk.