Dear Nonprofit Board President…By Susan Detwiler

We’re pleased to bring you this guest blog post from Susan Detwiler of The Detwiler Group.  Susan is a Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant.  Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultants are an elite group of independent consultants that have been selected by the Standards for Excellence Institute and have received extensive training in using the Standards for Excellence code and program materials for the advancement of their work and the nonprofits and other institutions with whom they work.  To find a Licensed Consultant in your area, check out the online listing of Licensed Consultants.  For more information on applying to become a Licensed Consultant, click here for application information (The deadline for the Class of 2014 is July 8, 2014). 

Dear Nonprofit Board President,

Your board members need to hear this. In person. From you.  

Thank you for all the time and wisdom you’ve been contributing to our organization.  We have a firm foundation now, with a great executive at the helm.  

Our clients rely on us to change their lives. You’ve heard their stories; and I’ve heard how passionate you are about what we do.  

Every time we’ve invested in making our dreams happen, we’ve had a great return on that investment. We invested time and energy into finding a path out of debt. We invested time and energy into finding our new executive.  

And in the last year, we’ve made great plans for the future.   Now we have to make those plans a reality. When you joined the board, you made a commitment to invest in our future.

It’s time to fulfill that commitment so we can start the new year knowing we can make those goals come true.  

Please join me in making this organization, that I know you passionately love, your top philanthropic priority.  

You have a vital responsibility to your agency (big or small!) to take your job to effectively lead your fellow board members seriously. As the President, you lead. Your words carry weight.   If your board members think the only reason for 100% participation is so other funders will give to you, then you need to rethink who’s on your board.   Donors give money. Volunteers give time. Board members do both.  

If you’d like to hear more about inspiring your board members  – please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you. Susan [link to]   The post was originally published by the Detwiler Group.  Susan Detwiler is a Standards for Excellence® Licensed Consultant who specializes in strategic planning, governance, board excellence and facilitation. Located in the MidAtlantic, she works with agencies across the United States. Have some thoughts to share on this subject?  Get in touch with her at


About susandetwiler

26 years for-profit work; 15 years nonprofit; and I see a lot of overlap -- and differences. Let's explore them! Currently consulting to nonprofit organizations in strategic planning, leadership development and marketing.
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