nonprofit executive directors

Nonprofit CEOs & Board Directors: How Expert Is Your CFO?

Nonprofit CEOs & Board Directors:  How Expert Is Your CFO?

By: Eugene Fram

When hiring a chief financial officer (CFO), nonprofit organizations often find themselves with a major challenge, since many financial and accounting functions are identical.  To compete, the organization may need to offer higher salaries that are somewhat competitive with for-profit organizations.  Consequently, some trim the level of expertise required to fill the position. This is a dangerous move, especially if the organization is growing.  Also the current CFO, if hired five or ten years ago, may not be up to date and make a major error that will harm the organization’s reputation, leading to a board restructuring and/or firing the CEO. (more…)

Attn. Nonprofit Board Recruiters: Marketing & Sales Are Not The Same!

Attn. Nonprofit Board Recruiters: Marketing & Sales Are Not The Same!

By: Eugene Fram

What are the differences and what do these background differences mean when a nonprofit board concludes that a person with a “marketing background” needs to be added to a board. ! 

If the nonprofit board needs a person help define and/or segment a market, a director with a strong marketing resume is needed.  For example, if a teen social center finds that its clientele is shifting from one ethnic group to another, a marketing person can help with the research to determine the overall differences between the two groups.  Then a marketing plan can be established to show how the organization can help solve the problems being faced by the new ethnic group.

Assume the board has a good knowledge of its market but has a critical need for action in the fund development function, and then the need is for a director with a strong sales background.  This person can help with planning fund raising events, provide techniques for “making the ask,” educate senior management and directors on the fine points of presentations to senior business executives and, in general, help spark the fund development effort.  However, some of the suggestions might seem to be “outlandish” to a conservative nonprofit board.  For example, it took me two years to establish a highly successful annual fund raising dinner for a human service nonprofit.

Another background to consider is a person with a marketing communications (often called Marcom) person who can assist with the website, developing print promotions and advise on communications to stakeholders and staff. 

In nonprofit board recruiting, a person with “marketing” background can vary greatly.  Be sure to define specifications. 



Can Lead Directors Help Improve Not-For-Profit Board Performance?

International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law / vol. 14, nos. 1-2, April 2012 / p.57

Some blog followers may be interested in this article.  .


Eugene Fram


How to know when a nonprofit board has achieved a positive culture?

How to know when a nonprofit board has achieved a positive culture?

Nonprofit board culture is really about having chemistry that works.  Is there transparency and openness?  It is an intangible, but it is critical.  Is there a spirit of inquiry?  That means, for example, that one director can disagree with another director or with the CEO without being hostile or being viewed as hostile for having an opposing opinion. (more…)

Att: Nonprofit Board Members, Trustees & Managers: Complimentary Leader’s Guide for Policy vs. Paper Clips

I thought some followers might be interested in the Leader’s Guide for my Book Policy vs. Paper Clips Third Edition (2011).   The book is available in paperback and kindle formats on 

Leader’s Guide for Policy Vs Paper Clips–Third Edition

by Dr. Eugene H. Fram, Professor Emeritus

E. Philip Saunders College of Business Rochester Institute of Technology
1 West Edith Ave (A103)
Los Altos, California 94022 | 650-209-5724)

While Dr. Fram is certainly an advocate for the Corporate Governance model, you don’t have to be a believer to find a number of gems applicable to all nonprofit governance issues contained now in his just-released third edition of Policy vs. Paper Clips.
Mike Burns

President of BWB Solutions, “Nonprofit Board Crisis,” April 5, 2011

Copyright 2011 by Eugene Fram


Using This Guide

The third edition of Policy vs. Paper Clips can be effectively used as a discussion vehicle for one-day executive seminars on NONPROFIT GOVERNANCE targeted to chief executives and board directors.

The book’s strength is based on recognizable problems and opportunities covered within a compelling storyline. (more…)

What are the most productive types of relationships between board & staff?

The relationships between the two groups can be productive informally and formally. It’s an important relationship because the staff must understand the board’s depth of commitment to the nonprofit’s mission, mission and values.

Informally, board members need to attend celebrations of organization successes (more…)