[New-hampshire-students] nh board

Joe Orozco jsorozco at gmail.com
Wed Feb 24 19:12:25 UTC 2010


I'm an outsider but follow the list carefully.  Speaking as someone who does
nonprofit development for a living, both local and national organizations, I
can pass along a few pieces of advice in the midst of a crazy work day.

1. Invest in a student division.  They're your future leaders, and if you
don't have enough people for a division, invest in the student you do have
at hand.  Pump them up.  Give them a scholarship, teach them all you know
and impress upon them the various reasons why the NFB is a good thing.

2. Scrap the traditional convention format.  Gather the people that show up
and go out for dinner, drinks, coffee.  In other words, turn the gathering
into a social, relaxed setting where you can speak intimately of the
affiliate's problems rather than standing behind a microphone where it is
all too likely the speaker will be full of him or herself.  The microphone
is the enemy in this case.

3. Have every member on the board come up with 3 things they wish the
affiliate could do in the next year.  Encourage them to be a little crazy.
The president can always whittle down the list to something reasonable.
Then, assign every leader and member to a specific task.  Committees can
quickly become traps for a whole lot of nothing accomplished, but if you
give people specific tasks, the committees will move along at a good clip.

4. Invite the state agency personnel, state school faculty, members of other
organizations to a wine tasting event, happy hour or some other neutral
occasion where a free exchange of ideas can occur in a relaxed networking

5. Adaptive technology is always a big seller.  If you do have a convention,
consider an exhibit hall where dealers can show off their products and maybe
even set aside a few sessions for some training.  Less talking and more
doing is the ticket.

6. Fundraising is a whole other animal.  You're going to need a good core
group of people to engage an effective fundraising strategy, but fundraising
itself can work several ways: A. to raise money; B. to create networks among
the general public and general businesses; C. design social settings where
friends can be raised since friends come before funds; and D. raise public
awareness about blindness itself.

Yet, the best piece of advice in this rather impromptu list is this:
Remember why you joined.  Convince others of the same, and have a hell of a
lot of fun doing it.

If you need someone to come out and lead an interactive workshop on whipping
people into shape, let's talk.  I won't come in and tell you what to do.
I'll just creatively help you come up with your own priorities and show you
strategies to make those priorities turn into active goals.

Best of luck to you guys.  However terrible you think things are, there is
always an organization that has experienced worse and come out swinging.

Joe Orozco

"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves,
some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."--Sam Ewing 

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