Alice Korngold's blog

Korngold has been consulting to global corporations on CSR, and training and placing business executives on nonprofit boards for 20 years. She also consults to nonprofit/NGO boards. She consults in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Her firm provides distance learning as well as interactive, on-site board governance training for corporations and nonprofits.

Korngold is the author of "Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Engaging Businesses" (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint, 2005). The Carnegie Corporation and Mott foundations funded her work consulting to cities nationwide to help them establish board-matching and leadership programs. She has lectured at Harvard Business School, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Columbia Graduate School of Business, and the Stern Graduate School of Business at NYU. She has a B.A. and M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Leadership Lessons From Nonprofit Mergers And Closings

Financial challenges facing nonprofits are driving organizational mergers and closings. Because the role of the nonprofit board is to ensure that the organization’s assets are used for designated purposes, the board must be thoughtful in deciding if and when a nonprofit is no longer viable, and then exploring options for the future. There are valuable leadership lessons to be learned from boards that have undertaken the serious responsibility of merging or closing a nonprofit...

GlobalGiving E-Gift Cards: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Naveen Kumar was first inspired to volunteer in his college years during the 2001 Gujarat earthquake in India. Two years later, his volunteer spirit was reignited while, as an employee of HP, he was taking information and communications technology (ICT) into rural communities in India. When a woman confronted him with the question, “How can computers give me food?” he determined to help her and her family to solve their problem of accessing the food ration cards for which they qualified; he did this online. Seeing the needs around him, Kumar also determined to engage himself and...

LinkedIn Board Connect: A Guide for Non-profits to Leverage This Valuable New Resource

LinkedIn Board Connect has taken online board matching to a new level for non-profit organizations. As I noted in my September 21 post here, this innovative approach is an advance in bringing non-profits and potential candidates together; the most important improvement is the opportunity for people to learn about each...

Fundraising Lessons From BRAC's $500 Million Clinton Global Initiative Commitments

Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) launched its 8th annual meeting today. Make no mistake about it, this is a deal-making event. The price of admission for global nonprofits, foundations, philanthropists, and corporations is making a clear and measurable commitment to action. For companies and foundations, the commitment must include a significant financial pledge. And if you don’t fulfill your promise, you’re not invited back.

So how is it that some very well intentioned nonprofits that...

LinkedIn Board Connect: 10 Things Board Candidates Need To Know

Helping nonprofit boards and qualified board candidates to find each other is vitally important, a cause to which I have been devoted for nearly two decades. Nothing powers a board better than talented people who are stirred by the mission, and reaching beyond the narrow circles of the "usual suspects" enriches the nonprofit strategically, culturally and financially. And for candidates who find the right fit, their nonprofit board experiences can be among their mostrewarding...

A Postscript To The Conventions: Nonprofits Are Part Of The Solution

 

President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney each addressed the nation’s major challenges in their recent convention speeches. With different perspectives and emphases, the candidates spoke to some or all of these issues: job creation and economic recovery, deficit reduction, education, healthcare, alternative energy development, and the elimination of poverty. In addition to the solutions offered by the candidates, the “third sector”--nonprofit organizations--can be a vital partner to the government and business sectors in achieving success....

The Role of the Nonprofit Board: Four Essential Factors for Effective Governance

 

Sophisticated and experienced NGO/nonprofit board members and CEOs routinely ask me to explain the role of the board. It's not surprising and I'm glad they do. So let me share my four essentials for effective governance.

1. Achievement: The role of the board is to achieve the organization's greater potential as well as its mission.

The role of the board must be crafted specifically for each and every organization. The role is determined based on what you seek...

Clinton Global Initiative's New Theme, "Designing For Impact," Emphasizes Action

 

For the first time in its 8-year history, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has assigned a theme to its Annual Meeting--"Design for Impact"--to remind participants that the goal of the organization is action, not simply ideas.

"When the history of CGI is written, it won’t be about the meetings, it will be about the impact of the commitments,” says ...

Nonprofit Board Self-Assessment: Creating the Path Forward

Given financial threats and opportunities and a passion for their missions, a growing number of NGO/nonprofit boards are seeking to assess how they can become stronger and more effective in maximizing their greater potential.

Business executives and professionals and people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives who serve on NGO/nonprofit boards can bring valuable expertise in helping boards consider new revenue models and opportunities and explore ways of increasing the organization's impact through new partnerships.

In my work with hundreds of NGO/nonprofit boards, they...

Everything I Need To Know About Life I Learned On My Nonprofit Board

 

In my experience, people on nonprofit boards almost always act with good will; they become disappointed or frustrated, however, when roles are unclear, and that can bring about tension. Under such circumstances, the board can get stuck. When the board underperforms, so does the organization; the community suffers.

This is a life lesson for people in workplaces, families, classrooms, and any relationship. That peace, happiness, and fulfillment come from creating a mutual understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish and each person’s role in achieving...

Penn State, And How Nonprofit Boards Will Shape Up In The Wake Of Scandal

To begin with, many of you did plenty. If you’re reading this post, then it’s likely that you’re active in social media. Public attention to recent nonprofit board scandals, as well as robust participation via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media has been influential in the cases of Penn State, University of Virginia, and the Komen Foundation. There were financial and reputational consequences for organizations led by people who made bad decisions.

Beyond these three cases, you are having an exponential impact because two messages are loud and clear: 1) Boards of nonprofit...

Nonprofit Board Scandals: Let Them Move Governance Forward

The nonprofit board scandals of the past year are highly distressing: revealing everything from complete board dysfunction in the firing of the CEO at the University of Virginia, to the cover-up of criminal behavior at Penn State, to policy decisions that arguably destroyed Komen's leading nonprofit brand. In all three cases, the financial and reputational losses are quite severe. People to be served by the mission and outsiders have been harmed, the victims at Penn State devastatingly so.

However, the fact that these boards and organizations have been raked through the coals,...

NOW is the Best Time to Rebuild Your Board: Here’s Why and How

According to surveys by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, nonprofits face growing financial pressures while also experiencing greater demands for services. At the same time, there are new funding opportunities for nonprofits, including corporations seeking to advance social and environmental purposes as well as investors and new philanthropists. The smartest NGOs/nonprofits will weather the financial threats while capturing substantial new revenues in the next several years....

MBAs Without Borders: Experience In Emerging Markets Gives Graduates An Edge

"Without question, I'm far more likely to hire MBA graduates who have had management consulting experience in emerging markets over graduates who have not," said Amit Sinha, Head of Database and Technology Marketing at SAP.

As an employer who hires graduates from many MBA programs, Sinha himself took advantage of the International Business Development program when he was a graduate student himself several years ago at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.

"Graduates who have worked on...

United Way Worldwide Restructures, With A Focus On Global Reach And Getting Involved

"Business strategy and social impact are a powerful combination, especially when companies fully align and integrate the two," says Barry Salzberg, the newly named chairman of the board of United Way Worldwide (UWW) and global chief executive officer at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL).

If you’re as surprised as I was to hear United Way described as a global NGO, this is actually recent and big news. In...

Nonprofit Boards: Take Heed of the Lessons of the University of Virginia

There continues to be upheaval emanating from the board rooms of major nonprofit institutions, including The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Penn State, and the University of Virginia. The facts will emerge over time as various perspectives are shared and evidence is revealed and examined. In the meantime, boards must realize that bad practices of old are no longer tolerated in this era where very little can be hidden from the public eye.

In a world where public and private organizations are held accountable for their decisions and the ramifications for the people they...

Increased Support For Small And Growing Businesses Helps Advance Emerging-Market Prosperity

“We will have achieved success when people at the ‘base of the pyramid’ have access to quality products at competitive prices,” said Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui, managing partner at IGNIA, an impact-investing venture capital firm based in Monterrey, Mexico. "When so many entrepreneurs see thriving companies in emerging countries that they set up competing enterprises, thereby creating entire...

5 Ways For You To Prepare For Your Next Better Job

 
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Baby Boomers held an average of 11 jobs from the ages of 18-44--and the trend continues with their children, members of Generation Flux. The BLS also estimates that Boomers experienced an average of over five periods of unemployment during those years. In today’s economy, for all generations, one can only imagine the likelihood...

Fixing Your Nonprofit Board: When Incremental Steps Aren't Enough

If your board is absent a person with expertise in a certain area -- like finance or law, go find and recruit the right person. If your board needs a bit of training and inspiration, bring in a terrific expert for a lively, illuminating session. In some cases, however, the board can't be fixed by simply adding a board member or two, or featuring a governance seminar.

Nonprofits face greater financial challenges than ever before; studies from the...

Executive Compensation in the Nonprofit Sector: Getting It Right

Excessive executive compensation is at the forefront of discussions about public companies, but what about the nonprofit sector? In fact, one of the most important things that nonprofit boards can do to strengthen the organizations that they govern is to get the salaries right for the CEOs of their nonprofits.

What does it mean to get compensation right? And why does it matter so much?

Getting it

...

International Corporate Volunteering: Experiential Learning Advances Diversity And Communications

“In spite of there having been a translator to help facilitate conversations, I have never been so keenly alert to my client’s body language and every nuance of expression, as well as my own,” explained Susan E. Wedge, partner, IBM’s Global Business Services Public Sector, about her experience as a member of a pro bono consulting team deployed by IBM to help Bucharest, Romania’s civic government to create a...

Nonprofit Finance Fund State Of The Sector 2012: A System Under Pressure

The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) 2012 State of the Sector Survey fourth annual survey of nonprofits nationwide was released today, showing responses from 4,607 nonprofits. Nonprofits have been reporting a steady rise in demand for services over the course of the survey’s four years, with 85% reporting an increase in 2011, compared to 67% of nonprofits in 2009. Financially, however, the picture continues to decline. Only 43% of nonprofits...

CGI University Gets Involved: Microscholarships, Hens For Haiti, WaterWheels, And More

How many students does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? Tony Anderson, Morehouse College ’08, can answer that.

Together with college friend Marcus Penny, they founded Retrofit A Million (LRAM) for the purpose of capturing and replacing 1 million incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs in homes in low-income neighborhoods. So far, 1,000 student volunteers from several universities have screwed in 40,000 bulbs.

The bonus is that these student volunteers have also installed water-...

The Single Best Way To Develop Leadership Skills

You might learn a great deal in school, but it’s doubtful that you’ll actually develop as a leader by reading a book or taking a course. The military is right about experiential development: People grow and become leaders by making a commitment to a cause, and having personal responsibility and accountability.

For those of us in civilian life, there are also ways for us to develop as leaders through experience: through volunteer service. There are myriad nonprofit missions from which...

Bracket This: March Madness To Save The World

Whether or not you filled out your NCAA basketball tournement brackets, you have a chance to fill out an even more important bracket for another competition of talented college students. This bracket features 16 student Commitments to Action that will be presented at the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), which will be held at George Washington University in Washington D.C., March 30-April 1. President Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart will announce the winner on March 31....

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