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Boards

My Last Board Meeting

Michael Kaiser | Posted 07.05.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

While board members bring their knowledge and experience from other ventures to the board room, this experience is not always transferable. Knowing how to market banks, soap or computers does not mean one knows how to market opera, for example.

Getting the Most From Your Most Potent Board Members

Michael Kaiser | Posted 05.10.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

As virtually every arts organization tries to improve their fundraising results, the pressure to get help from board members becomes a priority. And yet, try as they might, I find that many arts managers find it difficult, and often impossible, to get board members to assist, actively, in the fundraising effort.

The Balancing Act of the Executive Director

Michael Kaiser | Posted 05.03.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

There are numerous skills and qualities an executive director of an arts organization should possess, but my experience over the past 28 years suggests the most important quality is the ability to balance many needs, demands and requirements.

Likely vs. Able

Michael Kaiser | Posted 04.20.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The fact that people once came to a gala, made a modest contribution or attended a performance -- and happen to have a great deal of discretionary funds -- does not make them strong prospects for a capital campaign.

Women on Boards: Beyond Gender to Leadership

John Gerzema | Posted 04.16.2014 | Women
John Gerzema

In an open, social and interdependent economy, the skills and competencies required for leading are changing. In other words, this is more about leadership style -- the skills and competencies that corporate America rewards -- as opposed to gender.

The Ideal Board

Michael Kaiser | Posted 02.15.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The ideal board is a zero-based approach to designing a board. It starts with the assumption that the board has no members and we describe the salient characteristics of the board members we want.

Grabbing Every Opportunity

Michael Kaiser | Posted 02.01.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Here is troubled organization which has a thin staff and a modestly involved board with an ambitious plan for survival and growth. Can this group really afford to grab at every opportunity?

When Cultivation Events Are Not Cultivation Events

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.25.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I think there is a great deal of confusion about the meaning of 'cultivation event.' Every arts organization I know mounts several of these a year - ...

It Ain't the Bylaws

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.25.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

One of the tell-tale signs that a troubled arts organization is off course is when one or several board members announce they are revising the bylaws of the organization.

The Governance Committee: A Key Element of a Successful Strategy

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I am not a fan of having numerous standing board committees for arts organizations. But there is one committee that is crucial, and that is carelessly assembled all too often: the governance committee.

The Changing of the Guard

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

As governments worldwide cut their level of subsidy to arts organizations, these same organizations are increasingly turning to the American model of private arts funding. And a substantial amount of this funding is typically given, or raised, by members of the board.

A Plea to Board Members

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Especially for those arts organizations that are reducing staff, board members must be willing to prioritize their requests, be willing to forego the occasional set or committee minutes or pitch in and write and send a board meeting agenda themselves.

Sustainability: A Conversation

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.03.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

We are living in a very competitive world -- there are so many forms of entertainment available. If we are not interesting to our group of friends and supporters, they have many other places where they can give their money.

When Board Members Poach

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.19.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

If half as much effort that is devoted to trying to fix things was devoted to fundraising, most of the problems facing the organization would disappear. In fact, rarely have I observed a board member trying to take over the fundraising effort!

The Most Important Relationship Your Non-Profit Organization Will Ever Have!

Jeffrey Walker | Posted 10.13.2013 | Impact
Jeffrey Walker

The CEO of a great nonprofit has to be a "people person," sensitive to the needs, feelings, interests, goals, and communication styles of all those with whom he or she works, from employees and grantees to volunteers and donors.

One Role of the Chair

Michael Kaiser | Posted 09.07.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

As the pressures facing arts organizations increase, it has become more important than ever that the selection of a Chair of the Board be made with care.

Problems in Motown

Michael Kaiser | Posted 08.03.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The Emergency Mayor of Detroit is considering selling off a large portion of the collection of the Detroit Institute of Art to pay off the city's $15 billion debt. Kevyn Orr has said he is investigating whether the collection could be sold to help ease the city's burden of debt.

Why We Need More Women in the Boardroom

Susan Bloch | Posted 05.22.2013 | Business
Susan Bloch

Whatever the reasons, it remains difficult for many talented women to get a seat at the top table. It's now time to move from the "why" to the "how" and shift gears if we want to prosper and continue to grow.

The Busiest Time of Year

Michael Kaiser | Posted 05.11.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Just putting on stage a full complement of performances is enough to tax us. And mid-season is when we (should) acknowledge where we are falling short in terms of financial performance.

The New Model, Part 2

Michael Kaiser | Posted 08.25.2012 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Yes, the world is changing -- it has always been changing. Tastes change, needs change. We must adapt to new technologies, new art forms, new ways of communicating.

All Family Members Are Not Created Equal

Michael Kaiser | Posted 07.29.2012 | Home
Michael Kaiser

Every time you read about or visit the new Signature Theater, think of Edward Norton and one of his most powerful performances -- as a family member of staggering importance.

Implementation or the Lack Thereof

Michael Kaiser | Posted 07.21.2012 | Home
Michael Kaiser

I know asking for money can be uncomfortable; I know looking for board members or planning an institutional marketing effort can be time-consuming and challenging. But unless one acts on a board development, marketing or fundraising plan, the effort to develop it is wasted.

Every Arts Organization Has a Deficit

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.28.2012 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

In the challenging economic times we live in, it is especially important to protect our organizations by insisting on earning surpluses and conserving cash.

Art Works (And Is Celebrated at The White House)

Barbara Ernst Prey | Posted 01.09.2012 | Arts
Barbara Ernst Prey

On Wednesday, November 2, I enjoyed an uplifting ceremony at the White House celebrating the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards - the...

Board Members Need Training, Too

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.07.2012 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Those arts patrons, corporations and foundations that care passionately about the future of the arts in America must encourage members of arts boards to seek the training they need and must invest in the training programs required.