Helpful articles, essays and thoughts from M/J team members that will help shape your strategies, programs and professional development. We feature articles by our staff members that represent cutting edge thinking designed to help you and your nonprofit excel. Stop often to download the most recent works, then browse the complete list by subject area in the M/J archives. Great content that will keep you coming back again and again!

Behind in Your Think Time? by Larry Johnston.
"One of the most basic distinctions in personality “types” is the difference between the “think- ers” and the “doers.” Certain tasks require a minimum block of uninterrupted time, and that if you need several hours of concentrated time to achieve a high quality result, getting those hours in dissociated chunks of 15 to 30 minutes just isn’t going to do the trick. You need time to THINK." Read Larry's important article and you'll have a new perspective on time budgeting!


What's Driving Your Donors? by Larry Johnston.
While creating and keeping the right kinds of donors for your organization is one of the best definitions for "development," achieving success isn't merely the result of applying "muscle" to those objectives! Creating donors is the result of a host of activities including branding, marketing and communications in conjunction with a distinctive value proposition. Keeping donors increasingly entails knowing what real value IS for your donors -- and more specifically, what are their key value drivers.

Managing the Moments of Truth by Larry Johnston.
“Moments of truth” matter. What exactly are moments of truth? They are all the impressions stakeholders have of your organization along with the “service encounters” they experience as they interact with you. In a world where "experience is everything," have you considered the consequences of your stakeholders experiencing less-than-stellar customer / donor service? Whether it's a dysfunctional website or a dysfunctional staff member, the impressions left are lasting -- and, potentially, irreparably harmful. Larry unpacks the criticality of managing those "moments of truth."


How ALIGNED is Your Board? by Larry Johnston.
Contrary to the largely unquestioned dominance of the "governance" paradigm under which most boards operate, I contend that boards should exist to create value for the organization. On the assumption that value creation means aligning the board's work to the organization's strategy, this means that a lot of boards have some rethinking to do -- and likely re-aligning.


How Bored is Your Board? by Larry Johnston.
Keeping Board members active and engaged can be a real challenge -- especially if they are not being utilized in areas of personal strength! Larry Johnston demonstrates how a careful alignment of members' responsibilities with areas of personal and professional strength and professional competencies can dramatically change how board members perceive their role -- AND their productivity both as individuals and as a complete body.


Where's the BEEF? by Larry Johnston.
Remember the old Wendy's commercial with little old lady Clara Peller? In this article by Larry Johnston you'll find food for thought when it comes to delivering VALUE to your organization's donors. Although they may word it differently, most donors today are asking the same thing as they consider the nonprofit organizations they support. And if you think that all nonprofits are performing well, think again!


The Kingdom of Niceness by Larry Johnston.
Larry Johnston observes, "Show me an organization where no one has been fired for years and I’ll show you: 1. An organization so desperate or grateful for help it will take anyone; or, 2. An organization performing with such mediocrity that it will never achieve its full potential." Why are nonprofit organizations so reluctant to deal with "problem" personnel? How does this affect their ability to pursue critical organizational objectives? This insightful article will help you see the need to "fire" in a whole new light.

Plugging the Holes in Your Bucket by Larry Johnston.
Managing the energies within your organization can be the difference between success or failure -- but not in the ways you might think! Personal productivity can have a significant impact on achievement -- but can be affected by, not only the environment, but also the people who either "fill" you or "drain" you! Larry shows you the results of research that can dramatically improve your ministry's performance because it focuses on the people who work there. Oh, yes… He also provides you with simple and practical steps to make it work for your department or your organization.

What Makes You Strategic? by Larry Johnston.
What are the criteria by which nonprofits must examine their ideas of what constitutes "strategic" decisions, directions, projects, programs and other activities? Depending upon the definitions that are used, establishing the correct criteria for strategic choice is the key that determines whether or not a direction should actually be pursued. Being STRATEGIC isn't about having a strategy… It's about choosing the RIGHT strategy. Let Larry tell you how!

Stormproofing Your Major Donor Program, by Larry Johnston, Ph.D.
The economic downturn has some ministries reeling, but with the right development approaches -- especially to major donors -- you can weather the storm. Larry Johnston shows you how in this timely and practical article.

The Necessary Art of Creative Destruction, by Barry McLeish
Is there a better way to think and plan for your organization’s future success? According to Barry McLeish, the answer is an overwhelming “yes.” This insightful article is critically important to your organization’s survival in the turbulent time ahead!