Check-in from Kim

About once a year I do a check-in with my contacts. I like to let folks know what I’m up to, and I love it when I get a response with an update on YOU! Would I prefer to sit down and have coffee with every single one of you? YES! Do I need that much caffeine in my system? No, no I do not.

It’s been just over a year since life’s circumstances led me to move back to Des Moines, Iowa from the Colorado Springs area. Overall, it’s been a great change for my family and me. I’ve been able to reconnect with my network, as well as family and friends. In 2023 I rode my bicycles more than the previous 5 years combined! My son is enjoying his senior year in high school, and my daughter is back in Colorado taking classes at CU Boulder. I so appreciate all of the support I received throughout my transition!

When I started my business I was doing consulting and coaching with just about anybody. Any of you who have a small business probably knows that doing anything often means doing nothing. As my journey continued, I narrowed my focus to nonprofits. Then getting even more specific, I now spend most of my time supporting nonprofit organizations with their volunteer governance boards, also known as their Board of Directors.

During my long career with the YMCA, I gained a LOT of knowledge and expertise in developing, leading, and empowering boards. What I didn’t realize at the time is that most nonprofit leaders do not receive any education on how a board should function, how to grow it, what to do with the volunteers once you have them, or what it means to have a healthy board. And those are the clients who I most love to help. A strong Board of Directors is vital to the long term sustainability and impact of an organization. Helping them get there is an honor!

Many people commit to new year’s resolutions this time of year (yes, I’m still considering this a new year, we’re only about 15% into 2024). In addition to trying to eat more green stuff and swear less, it’s also a great time to consider taking on a new role with a nonprofit Board of Directors. This kind of resolution is a win-win-win! You win by generating endorphins that come from doing good things for other people. The agency wins through gaining all your knowledge, passion, skills and expertise. And the community wins when you commit to making it a better place. If this is something that you are thinking about trying, check out my article on red flags to watch for, so that you can have the best experience possible.

If you are already serving on a board (thank you!), the new year is also a great time to take a good hard look at how it is functioning. Governance boards are often made up of business men and women. Sometimes we assume that since the people involved are all successful in their work life, they will be great in this role. Just like any other team or group – sports, staff, Girl Scouts – a board needs intentional thought put into getting, and staying healthy. To start a conversation about the health of your board, check out this article on conducting a board evaluation.

If you, or someone you know sits on a board that is not currently spending 80-90% of their time on governance work – I’d love to chat with the Chair/President or Executive Director. Governance work = visioning and planning, creating strategy, ensuring long-term sustainability, growing governance capacity, and partnering with the Executive Director in the leadership of the organization.

Below is a general list of the services that I provide to nonprofit agencies. One of the cool things about working with me is that I customize each contract package to meet the unique needs of the organization. Using listening and Motivational Interviewing skills I am able to create learning and growth experiences that advance the work of the organization.

Services:

  • Board evaluations
  • Executive Director and/or Chair/President coaching
  • Agency Consulting
  • Fractional support (part-time or temporary executive support)
  • Customized trainings
  • Strategic/Planning retreats

The nonprofit sector exists to make our world a better place. I love that I get to help these agencies get organized and build a healthy foundation. When you have your ducks in a row, saving the world is a lot more fun!

Respond to this email or schedule a Discovery Call if you would like to catch up, or discuss ways to improve the health of a Board of Directors you know and love.

Kim is a mom, lover of being active and the outdoors, and helper of nonprofit leaders.
kim@athena-coco.com