June 4, 2020
My guest for this episode is Lynn Sanders. Lynn is a Story Empowerment Expert and Founder of Difference Makers Media, with a mission to help cause-driven entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and nonprofit leaders tell their stories effectively to build their impact, make a difference and grow their revenue.  Lynn's worked with nonprofits for 20 years as a marketing consultant, a scriptwriter, an author and fundraising strategist for the nonprofit sector. We talk about story is an asset for nonprofits.
May 28, 2020
My guest for this episode is Dr. Victoria Boyd. Dr. Boyd is President and Founder of The Philantrepreneur™ Foundation and has been a driving force in education and non-profit arenas as an author, trainer, administrator and advocate throughout the country. Under TPF’s umbrella she has developed and presents regular training based on the critical needs of the sector. Dr. Boyd and I discuss why continuing education is so important for nonprofit leaders and sustainability of their nonprofit organizations
May 21, 2020
In this episode I share some of what I learned when I studied the board chair/executive director relationship. When executive directors and their board chairs (and board members for that matter) interact on a 1:1 basis, what's really going on? I found there were four different types of interactions. Those pairs who experienced all four types of interactions has stronger relationships characterized by higher levels of trust. Listen to learn about the four types.
May 14, 2020
My guest for this episode is Pastor Kathleen Panning. She was ordained as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1980. She has served congregations in rural and urban settings, ranging in size from 150 – 6000+ members. She became the first clergy person to become a Fascinate® Certified Advisor. She hosts “Aflame Ministry,” an interfaith internet radio show. Kathleen uses the How To Fascinate® material with faith leadership boards to help them work together as a team.
May 7, 2020
Stephen has over 20 years’ experience with nonprofits in fundraising and fund development. In 1995 he founded Virtual Growth, the nation’s first cloud-based accounting service. Stephen spent seven years working at Amnesty International USA—first overseeing 300% growth as CFO, then raising over $20M a year as Director of Development. His time at Amnesty reinforced his life-long commitment to giving back to the community. We discuss organizational culture, financial management, and more.
April 30, 2020
My guest for this episode is Lindsay Simonds a nonprofit, fundraising and management professional with over a decade of experience. Having raised over $1 billion cumulatively, she serves nonprofit clients ranging from start-up to multi-billion dollar budgets locally and nationally. Lindsay founded Lindsay Simonds Consulting (LSC) in 2017. Lindsay and I talk about capital campaigns. What nonprofit leaders need to know and do for success.
April 23, 2020
This is a bonus episode--a moment with Mary.  In this episode I respond to an inquiry I received from a board chair asking what her role should be during a crisis. I had some suggestions all of which were prefaced by how important being in partnership with the CEO is for all of them. I discuss supporting the CEO in specific communications with both the staff and the board. Exploring how board members can use connections with community resources is also important.
April 16, 2020
My guest for this episode is Sherry Quam Taylor. Sherry has over 13 years’ experience with nonprofits: as a volunteer, staff, and on boards. Sherry has had her own business helping nonprofits for eight years. She teaches nonprofit leaders how to pivot from small-dollar donations to securing larger, investment-level donations so they can finally fund their missions. Sherry and I discuss getting unstuck in fundraising. Where should Executive Directors start?
April 9, 2020
My guest for this episode is Michelle Mendoza. Michelle’s Human Resources career spans more than 20 years. Since 2010, she has focused on HR consulting for companies and nonprofits. Michelle is bilingual and assists leaders to develop sensitivity to the nuances of diversity. Michelle works with executives as a Strategic HR Advisor. In this episode, we discuss maintaining a safe and healthy workplace especially during a crisis.
April 2, 2020
My guest is John Baird. John helps leaders leverage their natural talents and expand their skill sets to the next level. He is passionate about innovation and change and helps leaders scale and transform their teams and organizations while building cultures of inclusion and diversity. John holds a PhD in Organizational Communication and Leadership from Purdue University. He spent 17 years as faculty of San Jose State University. We talk about executive coaching - what it is and its value.
March 26, 2020
My guest for this episode is Matt Hugg. Over his 30-year career,  Matt has held management and fundraising positions at the Boy Scouts of America and the University of the Arts, among many others. Matt teaches fundraising, management, and marketing at a number of graduate programs and corporation, online, and in person in the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. Matt is founder of Nonprofit.Courses, an on-demand, eLearning resource for nonprofit leaders, staff, board members and volunteers.
March 19, 2020
This is one of our bonus episodes – a moment with me.  As nonprofit leaders we’ve all had to form a work group of some type. That may be a short-term group, could be a board task force or even an ongoing board committee. It could be your leadership team. I adapted a framework I learned years back that has been helpful to me in thinking about forming small work groups. I share it with you in this episode.
March 12, 2020
My guest for this episode is Vivienne Hsu, founder and CEO of LENDonate, a unique marketplace lending and donation platform where nonprofits and supporters leverage their collective power for the greater good. With over 20 years of financial services experience she is considered an expert in her field. She has appeared in numerous interviews and is frequently quoted in national publications. We discuss: When does it makes sense and how can an executive director use a loan strategically?
March 5, 2020
My guest for this episode is Rick Williams. Rick is the former CEO of the Sobrato Family Foundation, one of Silicon Valley’s largest philanthropic organizations. Rick served on the boards of Northern California Grantmakers, National Council of Family Philanthropy and was a founding member of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. We discuss the state of philanthropy, cross-sector collaboration, and the role absence of opportunity plays in so many of the challenges our social sector addresses.
February 27, 2020
My guest is Aila Malik, an experienced leader who helps nonprofits re-imagine their places within the education, correction, and community-based organization sectors. Aila has dedicated over 20 years to supporting and educating youth in many contexts. In this episode we discuss why nonprofits need an impact metric and the difference it can make in advancing the mission. Aila also shares five markers of success for nonprofits.
February 20, 2020
This is one of our bonus episodes – a moment with me. At a workshop recently, a board member asked how to increase the engagement of her fellow board members. She described poor attendance and lack of participation of those who do attend. There can be a lot of reasons for this, but I asked: Do you have an active board executive committee? It didn’t take long to discover the role the executive committee was playing.  This isn’t always a problem, but should we have an executive committees?
February 13, 2020
My guest is Caitlin Kerk, a communications strategist whose written about social issues for more than 25 years. In that time, she has developed communications plans and messaging platforms, conducted media campaigns, and created content for a wide range of communication vehicles. Caitlin launched Kerk Communications in 1997 to provide nonprofits with quality marketing communication services at competitive prices. Caitlin and Mary discuss communications planning for nonprofits and nonprofit leaders..
February 6, 2020
My guest is Andrea Hummel who is trained in multicultural diversity, mediation and trauma recovery. She holds a Masters in applied anthropology American University. Andrea is the developer of the cutting-edge “i4 peacedramas” method for helping individuals, nonprofits, and communities increase empathy, decrease miscommunication,  and create alternate endings to organizational conflict. We discuss gaining understanding of organizational issues and resolving them using experiential learning.
January 30, 2020
My guest is Christa Gannon, CEO of Fresh Lifelines for Youth—a nonprofit she founded in 2000. FLY serves about 2,500 youth annually in 25 cities throughout the Bay Area. The agency and Christa have received numerous local, state, and national awards.    Christa is a first-team Academic All-American basketball player and a Stanford Law School graduate who passed the CA bar. In our interview, Christa shares words of wisdom for other nonprofit executives, based on her 21+ years of experience.
January 23, 2020
In this bonus episode, Mary shares her experience that most executive directors don’t want their boards to meet without them on issues other than their own performance or compensation. On the other hand, there are executives who don’t seem to be bothered by it and some even encourage it. Not only is there disagreement about the practice, there is even disagreement about the definition! What to do! Listen in for some definitions and tips.
January 16, 2020
My guest is Dr. Mary VanHaneghan. She started her career in the human services field two decades ago as a direct service professional. During her tenure she has worked across the country in various capacities. Dr. Mary has been recognized for her accomplishments and contributions at a national level as a result of her work on behalf of people who experience intellectual disabilities. She serves as CEO of The ARC of the Capital Area in Austin, Texas. We chat about the board/CEO relationship.
January 9, 2020
My guest is Carol Hamilton who has more than 25 years of experience with nonprofits and associations. Her consulting business, Grace Social Sector Consulting helps nonprofits become more strategic and innovative. Carol speaks and trains frequently on leadership and innovation topics. She has an MA in OD and a certificate in design thinking from University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.  We talk about design thinking and the process that can be used at many levels by nonprofit leaders.
January 2, 2020
My guest is Jan Berthold - a Senior Vice President with Heffernan Insurance. She has over 25 years of commercial insurance experience and holds several insurance designations including Professional Workers’ Compensation Advisor and Chartered Financial Consultant.  Janice has received numerous awards, including YWCA's Silicon Valley Tribute to Women in Industry Honoree. She is a graduate of the University of San Francisco. We discuss risk exposures nonprofits face and what to do about them.
December 19, 2019
This is a bonus episode with Mary. Relationships are the most important currency nonprofit leaders attract. You influence the quantity and the quality of the relationships your nonprofit has with the people who care about - or could care about - your mission. Mary has a story to tell and a tip for you.
December 12, 2019
My guest is Mindy Berkowitz, Executive Director of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley. Mindy has been a nonprofit executive for many years, holding several positions in different nonprofits. Mindy has also held leadership positions in many county collaborations. Mindy has an MSW and a Masters (and Honorary Doctorate) of Communal Service from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.  We discuss what to do as an executive director when you don't have answers and other lessons learned.
December 5, 2019
My guest is Josh Selo, the Executive Director of West Valley Community Services, a Silicon Valley-based human services nonprofit. He is a CFRE certified fundraiser with more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit development, programs, and management. Josh has an MBA in Finance and a Masters Degree in Education. In this episode, we talk about the Executive Director’s responsibility for creating the culture of his/her nonprofit.
November 28, 2019
This is a bonus episode with Mary. She discusses some insights gained from an article she read while considering the common belief:  It is better to give than to receive. Learn some interesting distinctions between giving and generosity and some tips for yourself.
November 21, 2019
My guest for this episode is Maya Tussing. Maya is a Partner at Fairlight Advisors, providing investment management and risk consulting services. Maya has worked in the investment services industry for almost 25 years. She has coached hundreds of people at all levels of non-profit organizations. Maya's served on boards and volunteered for many years. She has an MBA in international finance. Maya and I discuss risk management and why nonprofits need a reserve and other insights.
November 14, 2019
The guest for this episode is Mary Valloni. Mary has over 17 years working with hundreds nonprofits. Former Development Director for the American Cancer Society, the ALS Association and Special Olympics, Mary has raised millions of dollars. In 2014, she started Mary Valloni Consulting to spread a message of hope and encouragement to nonprofit leaders. In this episode, we tap into Mary’s extensive experience in fundraising – exploring the 7 steps she shares in her book: Fundraising Freedom.
November 7, 2019
In this episode she shares some insights about how form follows function applies to how board committees are formed and how board member capacity comes into play. Establishing strategic goals for the board and, following that, a structure – i.e., committees – to lead achievement of those goals can glaringly reveal whether or not the board really has the capacity to use that structure – in other words who is going to serve on what committee/task force.
October 31, 2019
My guest Dr. Renee Rubin Ross has over 20 years’ experience in education – including teaching, serving as director of a religious school and conducting research in schools. From 2011 to 2014, she served as a Program Officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation. Renee teaches in and is the Director of the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at Cal State University East Bay. Renee and I explore adult learning and how nonprofit leaders can apply their understanding of it to tackle leadership challenge
October 24, 2019
My guest today for this episode is Beth Williams. Beth has worked in the non-profit sector since 1994. Her experience includes fundraising, special event planning and program development.  Beth earned her designation as a Certified Fundraising Executive in 2010 and has worked as a fundraiser for a variety of nonprofits. We discuss recent trends in fundraising and also explore what executive directors and board members need to think about as they consider hiring their first fund development staff.
October 17, 2019
This is a bonus episode with Mary. Many board members have not been oriented to their 3 legal duties. She discusses not only the duties themselves but the implications. Executive directors need to understand these duties too and be sure board members do. Knowing these duties and their implications can empower board members and give them confidence that they know this important part of their responsibilities. And, of course, complying with these duties contributes to board effectiveness.
October 10, 2019
My guest today is Emily Sterling. Emily has served as a strategic thought partner to thousands leaders for over 25 years. Emily is the Founder & CEO of Olive Grove Collective, a Silicon Valley based firm that works internationally toward its vision of “A Vibrant and Just Society.”  Emily has provided a comprehensive range of consulting services to philanthropists, nonprofit boards and CEOs. Emily and I talk about her insights and experiences dealing with change and helping nonprofit leaders do the
September 26, 2019
My guest for this episode is Gayle Gifford. Gayle has spent in the trenches, organizing for peace, environmental, human and civil rights. Gayle earned the advanced fundraising credential, ACFRE, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, in 2002. She has an M.S. in organization and management. Gayle an adjunct instructor at Brown University. Her consulting business, started in 1996, is Cause & Effect. We talk about how your funding model influences the role(s) the board can and cannot play.
September 19, 2019
We all have a stake in nonprofits’ success. And, we know that to be successful a nonprofit must be led by an effective board of directors. One of the biggest opportunities to ensure a nonprofit board realizes its full potential is in orienting new board members. But, orienting board members effectively isn’t easy. Nonprofits often make 3 mistakes when orienting board members.  In this bonus episode, Mary discusses these three mistakes.
September 12, 2019
My guest for this episode is Dr. Terrie Temkin. Dr. Temkin is a founding principal of CoreStrategies for Nonprofits, Inc., an international consulting firm that builds organizational infrastructure. She is an award-winning speaker and an engaging group facilitator, who brings more than 40 years of nonprofit management and adult education experience to her work.  Terrie shares tips to help those of you out there who are executive directors to stay sane and on top of things. We know how demanding it is.
August 29, 2019
I have two guests for this episode:  Luis Vergara and Bob Harrington. Both Luis and Bob have extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. They are both partners in the La Piana Consulting firm. In this episode, we discuss nonprofit strategic alliances and mergers. We talk about our direct experiences with them and also trends.
August 22, 2019
My guest today is Mike Burns. Mike began his career as an executive director of a community health center and now has over 20 years’ experience as a nonprofit manager. Since 1994 Mike has been an organizational development consultant and partner in BWB Solutions. Interestingly, Mike operates an organic farm and has been a professional foster parent for nearly 20 years! In this episode, Mike and I discuss national research on board chairs and board leaders.
August 15, 2019
In this episode, Mary discusses Advisory Groups. She gives examples and shares the benefits you can reap from forming an Advisory Group. Mary also goes over the important steps to take to evaluate if an Advisory Group is right for your nonprofit and how to form one with success.
August 8, 2019
John Robins has 18+ years of leadership experience, with nonprofits, faith communities, and technology companies. He has an MBA and training in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from TSNE MissionWorks, VISIONS, and the Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP). John brings a diverse experience and perspective having lived, studied, and worked in the US, India, and Southern Africa. In this episode, we tap into John’s vast experience and expertise and have a dialogue about diversity and inclusion.
July 25, 2019
Carol has more than 25 years of experience in the association and nonprofit sectors. Her consulting business, Grace Social Sector Consulting, helps nonprofits become more strategic and innovative for greater mission impact. Carol graduated from Swarthmore College and has her Masters in Organization Development from American University. Carol and Mary explore Carol's experience with and advice about leadership transitions in nonprofit organizations--and not just executive director transitions.
July 18, 2019
This is one of our bonus episodes – a moment with Mary.  In this episode, Mary discusses our capacity and shares some tips for how to make the best use of it--particularly as it relates to the work of nonprofit leaders. Do you have unlimited capacity? Of course not! Listen to this episode to learn how to maximize the capacity (time, energy, etc.) that you do have.
July 11, 2019
My guest for this episode Don Tebbe. Don is a consultant and author based in the Washington, DC, and one of the nation’s leading authorities on nonprofit leadership succession. Serving over a decade as a nonprofit senior executive, chief executive, and interim CEO, he experienced first-hand the challenges of leadership transitions. Don is the author of Chief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO. Don and I explore professional and career development for nonprofit leaders.
June 27, 2019
My guest for this episode is Maria Nicolacoudis. Maria has 25 years of experience working in mental health, providing workforce development and rehabilitation services for youth and adults with disabilities.  Maria is the Executive Director of Hearts & Minds Activity Center which is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions. Maria and I discuss her experience stepping into the executive director role following a founder.
June 20, 2019
My guest for this episode is Michael Davidson. Michael has a very diverse and interesting background. He has been a Peace Corps Volunteer, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, an Assistant District Attorney and an attorney in private practice. He holds a JD from Columbia Law School and an Masters in Anthropology from Yale University. He has over 30 years' experience in nonprofit board and managerial leadership. Michael is a consultant to nonprofit leaders and boards.
June 13, 2019
Rita has worked with nonprofit throughout the United States for over 30 years with budgets ranging from $1 mil. to $450 million. Rita was the executive director of National Parents Organization – the only national organization advocating for shared parented and gender equality in family law. Rita taught Entrepreneurship for Nonprofits as part of a masters program in organizational leadership. That’s the topic that we explore together in this episode.
May 30, 2019
In this episode, Mary shares some ideas about conducting a good board of directors’ self-assessment. If you want to have a board that is truly an asset and you know changes are needed, then the place to start is with Board assessment. Mary starts with a review of the benefits of doing a board assessment and then highlights the six steps of a good board assessment process. The episode ends with a caution about of the key—and unfortunately common—pitfalls boards make when doing an assessment.
May 23, 2019
Stephanie is a founder of fLO Content, fLO is a video content producer specializing in original, authentic, documentary style pieces that serve specific goals or strategic purposes. They work with decision makers in the for profit and non-profit sectors who have immediate video needs for marketing, promotional, or development goals. Stephanie and I talk about the different ways videos can be used strategically by a nonprofit organization and she shares stories of clients she has worked with.
May 16, 2019
My guest today is Lauren Cesare. Lauren has been practicing tax law in California for 34 years. Lauren has served on the Boards of Directors and as an officer of two nonprofits. She is the author of three books on Private Foundations and Public Charities. Here newest book on mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures among tax exempt organizations will be out in 2019.  Lauren shares some key points of law that nonprofit leaders need to know.
May 9, 2019
My guest today is Cindi Phallen. Cindi was a successful executive director for 18 years with Y’s around the country and is the founder and President of Create Possibility which provides consulting to nonprofits. Cindi is the author of “The Impact Triangle” in which she presents her proprietary secret sauce for building a thriving social enterprise. In this episode, Cindi and I talk about mindset. How it influences nonprofit leaders by limiting or by empowering effective action.
April 25, 2019
My guest today is Sarah Olivieri. Sarah is a nonprofit strategist with a passion for helping organizations thrive. The founder of PivotGround, she helps nonprofits increase capacity, deliver better programming, attract more funding. Sarah has over 15 years of nonprofit leadership experience. She co-founded the Open Center for Autism and was the executive director of the Helping Children of War Foundation. We discuss what makes a great strategy, why strategy is important, and more.
April 18, 2019
In this episode, Mary shares some tips for effectively evaluating the executive director and some cautions about pitfalls to avoid. We all know that effective leadership requires clarity of expectations and feedback on an ongoing basis helping people know how they are doing. Without a defined evaluation process, the Executive Director has no real structure in place for ongoing performance/professional development feedback.
April 11, 2019
My guest for this episode is Ellen Bristol. Ellen founded Bristol Strategy Group in 1995 after a 20-year career in corporate sales. She quickly transitioned to the nonprofit sector, where she has become a thought leader in fundraising management and now also has over 20 years experience. We talk about the role of the board in fundraising and how the board and staff work it out together. How should the board think about its role relative to staff's?
March 28, 2019
My guest today is Karen Mathews Radau. Karen is deeply experienced in human resources consulting. Karen specializes in helping small to mid-sized companies, including nonprofits, with not only how to comply with labor laws but how to apply best practices to help organizations and their employees be successful. Many nonprofits are unable to have even part-time staff dedicated to human resources management. We discuss some of the common HR mistakes Karen has seen nonprofits make and how to avoid them.
March 22, 2019
This is a bonus episode – a moment with Mary. In this episode, Mary shares what her research and that of others has shown are three critical success factors for improving a board of directors. Some nonprofit leaders have little trouble articulating what they think should, or could, be better about their boards. But, even if you are one who knows where you want your board to go, the challenge may be how to get there. Listen to learn the three factors that promote success in board improvement.
March 14, 2019
My guest today Theresa Kiernan. Theresa has over 20 years of corporate training experience. She is a consultant and coach in communications and leadership. Theresa has been an executive director in three nonprofits and a board member for several as well. She likes having fun and creating a safe environment where people can let down their guard. In today's episode, we talk about communication mistakes nonprofit leaders make and how to avoid them.
February 28, 2019
My guest today is Mike Burns. Mike began his career as an executive director of a community health center and now has over 20 years’ experience as a nonprofit manager. Since 1994 Mike has been an organizational development consultant and partner in BWB Solutions. Interestingly, Mike operates an organic farm and has been a professional foster parent for nearly 20 years! In this episode we explore the life cycles of nonprofits and the developmental stages of boards.
February 21, 2019
In this episode, Mary talks about how conflicts of interest come up in nonprofits – both with staff and board members and what to consider when addressing them. Mary shares her personal experience from her own board service as well as when she was a CEO and she offers three tips for safeguarding your nonprofit from the potential negative affects conflicts of interest can have.
February 14, 2019
Today’s guest is Suzanne St. John-Crane. Suzanne is the CEO of the American Leadership Forum which joins and strengthens diverse, cross-sector leaders to serve the common good. Suzanne has worked in community media for 24 years and has founded two community television stations. She has been an executive director for over 18 years. She has received over a dozen regional and national awards. We discuss lessons learned and how her view of a board’s value changed over time.
January 31, 2019
Today, Patricia shares lessons learned about advocacy for nonprofit leaders. Patricia has won numerous awards and is recognized throughout the state of California as a leader in nonprofit advocacy and public policy. ​ She believes nonprofits are central to the fabric of life, and through her role, at SVCN, she promotes the sector to make our community more aware of what  valuable community assets nonprofits are.
January 17, 2019
This is one of our bonus episodes – a moment with Mary. In this episode, Mary talks about why boards matter and how board members, when they are fully realizing their potential, make a real difference for the nonprofits they serve. Mary shares her personal experiences with her own boards when she was an executive director and the lessons she learned. As a CEO, working with a new board she experienced first hand the 5 key ways board members add value and advance the mission.
January 17, 2019
My guest today is Amari Romero-Thomas. Amari has over 15 years experience in the nonprofit sector. She was executive director for two nonprofits and has overseen grantmaking efforts within United Way. While a senior consultant for a management assistance nonprofit, she focused on executive transition and search and oversaw the development of their coaching program. Amari is the founder and currently the principal consultant at Mosaic Consulting and Coaching.
January 17, 2019
Stephen Nill has been working internationally in the third sector for more than four decades—as a publisher, lawyer, consultant, and volunteer. In 1992 Steve founded CharityChannel as a way to connect over the internet his nonprofit hospital chain’s fund development staff with their colleagues in other organizations. That first discussion community has grown into what is today the oldest and largest community of nonprofit professionals in the works – with well over 100,000 participants.
January 17, 2019
My guest today is John Horner. John has years of cross-sector experience. His initial career was in high tech as an engineer along with working as a professional photographer and in business. John created his own business, Thinker Toys. And, while running that business, John has been the Executive Director of the nonprofit Chamber of Commerce in Morgan Hill since 2013. Please be sure to rate, subscribe, and review the show. For more details about Mary Hiland please go to
December 9, 2018
In this short episode you'll get an introduction to what Inspired Nonprofit Leadership is all about and why I created it for you. Please be sure to rate, subscribe, and review the show. For more details about me or my work please go to
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