The Gifford Newsletter

Fall 2022
Growing a Healthy Board of Directors

Banner photo courtesy of Salt City Harvest Farm

Salt City Harvest Farm Executive Director Jacob Gigler-Caro wears a t-shirt and jeans while talking to a farmer in their apple orchard.

Planting the Seeds for Organizational Growth

When Jacob Gigler-Caro first joined Salt City Harvest Farm (SCHF), he was faced with a daunting task that so many leaders in the nonprofit world must overcome: find a way to keep the organization running smoothly while planting the seeds for future growth and sustainability – all with a shoestring budget and minimal staff.

Less than three years later, the situation has changed. A large multiyear federal grant has enabled SCHF to nearly triple their annual budget, while a collaboration with Syracuse University’s Newhouse School has yielded tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of complimentary marketing materials including a state-of-the-art website redesign. How did they achieve such a turnaround?

In Case You Missed It: 5 Takeaways from the Board Development Series

We recently collaborated with the Central New York Community Foundation to host a three-part Board Development Series, offered for free to the CNY nonprofit community. Consultant Maria Fibiger organized and led the sessions, which also included special presentations by nonprofit consultant Babette Baker, CEO Maryann Roefaro, and a panel presentation featuring three graduates of the Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders program.

For those of you who were not able to attend, or for those who would like a refresher on some of the materials covered, we created a recap of some of the major lessons covered during the workshop series.

Sheena Solomon is the Executive Director of The Gifford Foundation. She is pictured smiling with a yellow dress and red hair.

Broadening Perspectives: How Boards Adds Value

When it’s working the way that it should, a board of directors can be a dream come true: a team of dedicated professionals, from different backgrounds, who help keep an organization stable and headed in the right direction. And you don’t even have to pay them! It sounds like a fantasy. But anyone in the nonprofit world knows that it can also work in the opposite way: board members can be apathetic, they can be disconnected from the needs of the organization, and they can slow down its progress through poor decision making or by not making decisions at all.

How can you make sure that your organization’s board is adding value?

Ask a Consultant: Making Hybrid Meetings Work for You

By Maria Fibiger

Nonprofit consultant Maria Fibiger has more than 15 years of experience in the field. Recently, she has seen many organizations struggle to successfully make the leap from in-person to hybrid – especially in the board room.

In this guest article, Maria explores the silver linings that come with hybrid board meetings and offers tips on how to grow engagement and set the stage for more impactful governance.

Looking for more board development tools?

10 Things Every Board Member Should Know

This guide from nonprofit consultant Joan Garry offers essential advice for anyone sitting on a board – or considering it.

10 Questions Good Board Members Should Ask

A collection of questions that apply to most organizations most of the time. New and veteran board members can use these to gain uncover valuable insights into the agency’s trajectory and history.

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