52 Tips in 52 Weeks: Wrapping up the 52 Tips in 52 Weeks Series
This has certainly been an interesting year, filled with all kinds of challenges and issues that we never thought possible at the start of the year in January 2020. One thing that I’ve held onto is this idea that the Standards for Excellence Institute would create a series of 52 Tips over each of the 52 Tips in 2020. With this latest post, I am happy to say that we met this goal. With the world changing so quickly, it was not difficult to come up with topics of relevance and interest to nonprofit leaders (most weeks!). I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read and digest these posts.
As we wrap up this series, I thought it would be helpful to reflect upon a book that was highly recommended to me that I am in the process of reading: Salsa, Soul, and Spirit by Juana Bordas. In the book, the author offers leadership approaches from Latino, Black, and American Indian Communities. The book has a significant focus on story-telling and shares the symbol of the mythical Sankofa bird, which has its feet pointing firmly toward the future with its head looking back on the past. I just love the imagery from this West African story and believe that we can gain so much by learning each others’ stories and backgrounds.
With our feet firmly pointed in the direction of 2021, we can hold onto all of the hope and anticipation that comes with a new year. With our heads looking back, may we take a moment to reflect on all that has happened in the last year, and what we have learned from it. Here’s a look back on the 52 Tips in 52 Months Series organized by the guiding principles of the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector. We think the lessons of 2020, and this series of 52 Tips, may provide some helpful perspective even in the new year! Happy New Year from the Standards for Excellence Institute!
Mission, Strategy and Evaluation
- Building the Public Trust
- Public Trust in the Charitable Sector
- Helping Your Nonprofit Live its Best Life
- Keeping the Mission Statement Front and Center
- Take the time to Check Your List and Check it Twice
- This is the Way It Has Always Been Done—Is this Mentality Stopping You from Achieving Excellence?
Leadership: Board Staff and Volunteers
- Creating Nonprofit Volunteer Policies
- Navigating Remote Work
- Moving Ahead with Board Orientation
- Check in with your Board: Update their Profiles
- Board Members: We need you now more than ever before
- Say No to Proxy Voting
- Professional Development in the Time of Covid 19
- Acknowledging Our Volunteers
- CEO Evaluations: Time to Take Care of this Important Responsibility
- Responsibilities of Board Members in the Midst of Dissolution
- Fall Brings Board Development Efforts for Many Nonprofits
- Board meeting Minutes are Important Now and Always
- Investing in Volunteer Orientation
- Sustainability Planning
- How are You Engaging Volunteers in These Times?
Legal Compliance and Ethics
- How Can I Prevent Conflicts of Interest in My Organization?
- Developing a Code of Ethics
- Sarbanes Oxley and Nonprofits
- Helping the Helpers
Finance and Operations
- Crisis and Disaster Planning
- The All Important Budgeting Process
- What Should my Social Media Policy Look Like?
- Operating at Home: Proper Controls during Covid-19 Pandemic
- Data Security
- Check in with your Board: Update their Profiles
- Purchasing During Covid-19
- Navigating Whistleblower Policies
- Employers should Avoid Sharing Medical Information
- Risk Management is More than Just Insurance Coverage
- Ensure that You Do Not Fall Victim to Paying Invoices that should NOT be paid
- Treating Donors with Respect
- The Importance of Having a Gift Acceptance Policy
- Fundraising and Working with Donors During the Covid-19 Crisis
- In Kind Gifts in the Time of Covid 19
- New, Timed Limited Above the Line Charitable Deduction for 2020 Underscores the Importance of Nonprofits Providing Gift Acknowledgements to Donors
- Charitable Giving
- To Accept or Not Accept, A Question for Campaign Leftovers
- What Can Donors Easily Learn about Your Organization?
Public Awareness, Engagement and Advocacy
- Advocacy and Public Policy
- Curating an Annual Report
- Remote Board Meetings in the Midst of Covid-19 and Beyond
- Communicating in a Time of Crisis
- Developing Your Own Statement
- May I Announce My Candidacy on Your Front Steps
- Its Time to Review Your Organization’s Advocacy Policy
- Nonprofits and Issue Related Election Day Activity
Amy Coates Madsen is the Director of Programs for Maryland Nonprofits and the Director of the Standards for Excellence Institute, a national initiative to promote the highest standards of ethics and accountability in nonprofit governance, management, and operations, and to facilitate adherence to standards by all organizations. The Standards for Excellence Institute is a program of the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations where Amy has served for more than twenty-four years. Amy is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the association’s comprehensive ethics and accountability program and efforts to replicate the program nationally. She serves as a frequent trainer and writer in the areas of board conduct, program evaluation, program replication, fundraising ethics, and nonprofit management. She has taught courses on nonprofit ethics and accountability at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies Certificate Program on Nonprofit Management.