Sometimes we think we know everything we need to know to effectively run our nonprofit organizations.  But sometimes there are things we don’t know that can really derail our efforts.

I’ve just returned from co-leading a Nonprofit Boot Camp with Greg McRay and Blair Dudley of The Foundation Group.

Here are a few of the tidbits shared throughout the day that made people think.

  • Board members are not only responsible for governing the organization, but each member can be held personally liable for the debt of the organization.
  • The by-laws are the organization’s bible, but many nonprofit leaders don’t have a good sense of what should be included in the by-laws.
  • You website can make or break your organization.  You may have things on your website that are red flags to the IRS.
  • There’s a difference in staff, volunteers, and contract employees. Do you know the difference and how to avoid getting in trouble and being forced to pay back-taxes?

It’s amazing how many well-meaning people start nonprofit organizations without knowing everything they need to know.

As a coach and consultant, I’m a huge proponent of continued education.  I encourage my clients to attend professional trainings and workshops to keep stretching and learning.

If you’re not confident in your nonprofit fundraising knowledge, I invite you to check out the Fundraising QuickStart. It’s a training program to help new Founders get up and running quickly with fundraising.



  1. Dear Sandy,

    Thanks for addressing the fact that most nonprofit board members have no idea what they’re getting into. They ARE legally liable for the nonprofit organization. They need to know NOT JUST what the nonprofit is doing in terms of taxes, but they need to keep a VERY CLOSE EYE on the Executive Director or CEO. They need to be talking with the staff. This is the person that will make or break your nonprofit. If this person doesn’t know how to fundraise or motivate, you can kiss your nonprofit stability goodbye.


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