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How will you change the world?

GMA Foundations helps you define a clear path to transformative philanthropy, and then walks the path with you as an ally and a guide.

We partner with individual and organizational donors as managers, advisors, and facilitators. With over a quarter-century of insight and field experience, GMA Foundations is changing the world by helping you change the world.

Don’t Fear Change!

Common Transitions Can Make Nonprofits Stronger

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“Change is all around us,” said one nonprofit leader, “yet we tend to get stuck in our organizational habits.” This idea was echoed by others at GMA’s NPO Conversation in March, but the resounding sentiment I heard was that transitions provide the chance for an organization to explore new approaches, grow more resilient, and, yes, change.

Change – both contextual and organizational, and planned and unexpected – is to be expected, particularly in greater Boston, with a new governor, a first term mayor, a new school superintendent, an outgoing transit manager, and continual pressure on staff from salaries in the private sector and well-heeled mega nonprofits. The leaders we spoke with over an informal lunch shared their perspectives on leading through the challenges of common transitions and emerging as a stronger organization.

Long-time staff easing out of their role
When a long-time staff member or key leader decides to step back from their role, concerns about the stability and longevity of the organization are bound to surface. Continue Reading »

Leading through Transitions

NPO Conversation Wednesday March 4, 2015

hand shake smWe invite leaders of Boston-area nonprofit organizations join us each quarter for a brown-bag lunch discussion about issues, ideas, and concerns in the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The meetings are a time for us to “talk shop” and move beyond the usual conversation between foundations and nonprofit organizations.

After reading about this quarter’s topic, please let us know if you would like to register.

TOPIC: Leading through Transitions

Boston is awash in transition: new governor, first year mayor, incoming school superintendent, outgoing MBTA manager, shuttered homeless shelter, depleted snow-removal budget. Nonprofits and businesses will likely adjust accordingly, but not without facing the challenges of uncertainty and change.

In setting goals and strategy, nonprofit leaders and their boards often consider how they will respond to potential changes in the environment in which the organization operates and to changes in its leadership. We are interested in your experience in planning for and managing transitions prompted  by change in these two key areas.

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What can nonprofits teach us about great boards?

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We met recently with leaders from six Boston-area nonprofits to get their perspectives on building great staff/board relationships. Their advice has practical applications for our work with private foundations.

Like any relationship, staff/board relationships need nurturing, commitment, and trust. It takes time to develop a relationship and it takes work on both sides. One tactic to ensure the board relationship receives the attention it needs is for staff to think of the board as a program of the organization. Plan to nurture the board, setting aside time to get to know each trustee, set and achieve goals, and assess progress.

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