Time for a Change! What Communications Leadership Looks Like

Let’s Shift That Culture and Make Some Real Progress! There is more to effective nonprofit communications than following best practices. To get the best results, there needs to be a fundamental shift in how you lead your communications staff and the team culture you foster. TOMORROW, Kivi will share what she’s learned from more than…

4 Ways Executive Directors Need to Help Communications Staff

On today’s Facebook Live show, I talked about the four responsibilities that executive directors and other nonprofit leaders have if they want their communications staff to be successful. I call them the “4 Ds” of Effectively Managing Communications Teams: Dedicate yourself and real resources to communications. Define the work. Delegate the work, including decisions. Discuss…

5 Ways to Help Get Your Executive Director Excited About Marketing

Not getting buy-in from your boss is one of the biggest complaints we hear from nonprofit communicators. Today, former executive director, Angela Crist will give you some tips on how to get them to come around. ~Kristina Guest Post by Angela Crist As a nonprofit communications professional, you’ve got so many ideas. You love the mission…

How @GlennEMartin of JustLeadershipUSA Tweets Like a Boss

For my September NPMG Tweet Like a Boss webinar, I connected with Glenn E. Martin, President and Founder of JustLeadershipUSA, about how he personally uses Twitter to advance his organization’s mission. JustLeadershipUSA is dedicated to cutting the U.S. correctional population in half by 2030, and its leader Glenn speaks from personal experience. He spent six years incarcerated in a…

Three Ways to Overcome Decision Fatigue in Your #npcomm Work

On more than a few occasions, I’ve told friends and family that the gift I most want on my birthday or Mother’s Day is to NOT be asked to make a decision. I make what feels like a million decisions in managing work and family, and it’s exhausting. This respite from my “decision fatigue” is…

Waiting for Consensus and Certainty Will Kill Your #NPCOMM Plan

Patrick Lencioni wisely points out in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (Amazon) that two of the greatest causes for lack of commitment to a project are the desire for consensus and the need for certainty.  We often see these two factors hurting the chances for successful collaborations in nonprofit communications. Think about…

What a Development AND Communications Director Really Does

There’s a great conversation happening about whether one person can be both the communications and the development director in the Nonprofit Communications Professionals Facebook Group.   Here’s the original question: I’m seeing so many job ads lately for communications AND development managers/directors. I thought orgs were finally wising up and realizing that they’re generally not…

Unhappy at Your Communications Job? Slip This to Your ED

Last week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy published an op-ed I wrote called Why Your Communications Directors is Unhappy and What to Do About It  (Subscription required, unfortunately.)  In the piece, I talk about the frustrations communications directors share with us every day via our training and mentoring programs, as well as data from the 2016 Nonprofit…

Wisdom for Executive Directors Managing Communications Teams

After working closely with more than 100 nonprofit communications directors over the years, I’ve seen just how important a strong working relationship between the executive director and the communications director is.  Data in our most recent trends report confirms how essential these partnerships are too. I provided some advice to executive directors on improving their…

No Hard Choices = No Strategy and No Leadership

Just the other day a nonprofit communications director showed me her brand-new marketing strategy. Her organization’s leaders, the executive director and a committee of board members, had commissioned the strategy from a consultant. After several  months of work, the strategy was delivered to staff to implement. But the document I saw contained very little leadership…

5 Leadership Failures That Hurt Communications and Fundraising

Communications directors and development directors are not magicians or miracle workers, and yet many executive directors and boards seem to think they should be able to pull rabbits out of hats and turn water into wine. Too often, when I coach communications directors through their daily challenges, I find that their jobs are being made…