Boards of Directors
and Board Coaching
Planning and Facilitation
Zimmerman Lehman Services
Lehman has served the nonprofit community since
1988, offering a broad range of services to help nonprofit organizations
maximize their board, volunteer, financial and staff resources. The energetic
approach of Zimmerman Lehman's consulting team is appropriate for all
types of agencies, from large to grassroots organizations, regardless
of the area of focus. We'll show you that board of director's work can be exciting,
empowering and fun. Our array of specialized services includes board assessments, training and recruitment, coaching, planning and facilitation, and fundraising, all of
which build the foundation for a healthy nonprofit.
Lehman acts as a catalyst for boards and organizations. We motivate board
members, staff and other volunteers, teaching them the art and science of board governance, planning and fundraising,
while offering timely, expert assistance to success. The end product will be a sturdy and prosperous agency.
Lehman can craft your nonprofit into a well-run
organization through our expertise in:
WOMEN & BIAS SERVICES
Women, gender and bias issues are in the news. Including elections that saw Democrats and Republicans chasing the women’s vote, Facebook CFO Sheryl Sandberg’s 21st Century conscious raising Lean-In groups, and a new social and civil rights movement based on the aftermath of Ferguson and Staten Island. It is an auspicious time for Zimmerman Lehman to launch its Gender Services Initiative in 2015. See Ann Lehman's publication list.
BOARD ONLINE ASSESSMENT SPECIAL
A process of board self-assessment is not only worthwhile, but a critical component to ensure your board is functioning at its highest level, and efficiently directing its efforts to accomplish its mission. If you have added or are about to add new members, a board assessment can double as a good introduction to, and reminder for all members of, what it means to be an effective board member. While evaluation is considered a worthwhile process, how many boards do this themselves?
The Zimmerman Lehman Online Assessment is a survey consisting of questions, such as those set out below, that each board member answer confidentially. The questions are geared to a set of benchmarks developed by Zimmerman Lehman in the field of board governance. The Survey consists of approximately 80 questions covering the following topics: planning–policy, program implementation & monitoring, board meeting logistics, board meeting operations, committees, recruitment–orientation, fiduciary/conflicts of interest, financial-accountable & transparent, management–personnel, fundraising & marketing. It between 15 and 20 minutes to fill out.
Sample Management Questions
Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree (scale of 1-5, five being agree strongly) with the following statements.
- Does the board monitor and evaluate the performance of the executive director on a regular basis (at least every other year)?
- Do all members participate on some level in the evaluation?
- Are annual performance goals set by the board and CEO
- Does the board review the compensation package of top executives for reasonableness?
- is the process of review and compensation documented in writing?
- Is there a succession plan in place
- Are board members discussing organization-wide policy issues, rather than managing the day-to-day affairs of the organization (i.e., not micromanaging the staff)?
- Does the board review personnel policies periodically?
- Has the board ensured a whistle blower policy exists?
- Has the board ensured a document destruction policy exists?
Following up on ZimNotes January issue "Four Reasons To Do Board Assessments
" and to encourage more self-assessments, Zimmerman Lehman is reducing its price for its ONLINE BOARD ASSESSMENT TO $395.
The Zimmerman Lehman Online Assessment
includes a half-hour consultation analysis of the Board’s answers. If you would like more information about Zimmerman Lehman's online assessment please contact Ann Lehman email
us or call 510.755.5701.
Lehman has provided valuable services to numerous and diverse organizations.
See our Client List.
Enhancing Board Effectiveness
Zimmerman Lehman assists organizations in developing and strengthening
With years of experience working with small and large organizations we are very familiar with the myriad challenges board's face. Our assistance and training will help board members increase their effectiveness, governance, board and staff relations, diversity, recruitment, accountability,
planning, transparency, fiduciary, fundraising capacity and advocacy skills.
Training and Facilitation: Effective
training and facilitation for the board of directors keeps an organization on
the leading edge of quality service. We combine our passion and can-do attitude
with practical and straightforward methods. Zimmerman Lehman's interactive
sessions draw on our combined experience working in the nonprofit sector
variously as staff, executive director, board members and consultants.
Our insightful facilitation skills ensure all are heard and are joined with proven adult learning
techniques. Whether it is basic board training on roles and responsibilities, developing a plan or vision, discussing a new program or
endeavor, brainstorming ideas, or reviewing a mission statement, Zimmerman
Lehman combines extensive knowledge and awareness of the nonprofit sector with intuitive and skilled assistance.
Thank you for an enlightening morning filled with ideas and direction for moving our organization forward. You had lots of big picture thinking as well as small little processes that I believe will play a big role in helping us to level up. Ken Fisher, Board member of Homeless Action Center
We provide advice in assembling boards of directors that will provide
financial, administrative, and programmatic leadership for their organizations. We can assist with developing strategic recruitment plans that focus on your nonprofit's mission and vision.
will guarantee that your organization takes an organized rather than episodic
approach to recruitment, ensuring that you have all the necessary skills
and diversity on your board to be truly effective.
and Evaluation: A strong and effective board of directors is a benchmark of a healthy organization. A periodic check-up can ensure that you are not just surviving but thriving in today’s environment. To check your board’s vital signs, or to put in place practices and strategies for a healthy and energized board, the best place to start is with a board self-assessment. To help make this easy for board members we recently launched a new online self-assessment tool that board members can access easily from their home or office. The process of developing benchmarks for board evaluation helps identify the standards for peak performance and can energize members and improves relationships by encouraging open discussion of the results. This helps board members make certain they are functioning at their highest level and working to implement your mission and vision.
(Ann Lehman) Thank you for all your thoughtful time and effort to plan and carry out such a successful meeting (to the Board). We covered a lot of ground in a very short time. I thought you did an excellent job, both in general, and particularly in really hearing what everyone said and helping reflect the comments back for constructive thought. I think you have already helped us a great deal.
-Sandy Sohcot, E.D., Rex Foundation (The Grateful Dead Foundation)
Members Rule: How to Be a Strategic Advocate for Your Nonprofit and Boards
That Love Fundraising: A How-To Guide for Your Board are
Zimmerman Lehman publications and training manuals that help busy board members learn their roles, responsibilities and how to fundraise with enthusiasm.
and Lehman have more than two decades of hands-on experience helping
board members know how to do their job. This workbook distills their
knowledge into helpful and easy exercises and tips that everyone in
the nonprofit can use to raise more money."
- Kim Klein, author of Fundraising for Social Change,
and publisher of Grassroots Fundraising Journal
Executive Director, Staff
and Board Coaching
Lehman offers effective, friendly coaching for your staff and board and those interested in entering the nonprofit world. Leadership
positions are always demanding and often isolating. New executive directors have a huge learning curve. Staff new to the nonprofit world need to navigate the waters, Board presidents need a sympathetic ear and sound advice. As coaches we offer years of expertise in the nonprofit world with strategic questions, sage advice, mentoring, planning expertise and accountable check-ins to help you move forward. We
provide coaching on a regular basis or as needed, in-person, phone conversations, or email
or text sessions.
invaluable. I found Ann Lehman's counsel and coaching to be straightforward,
supportive and insightful. It gave me the tools to solve challenging
-Janet Knipe, Former Executive Director of the California Youth Connections and Founder of Foster Youth in Action
"Few experiences in the private or public sectors fully prepare executives for all of the responsibilities of nonprofit leadership. Ann gets this. A rare and wonderful mix of intelligence and enthusiasm, of experience and good humor makes Ann's counsel as welcome as it is wise. Her expert advice on strategic planning, fundraising, and board relations have helped me and the foundation get off to a positive and productive start."
--James Carroll, Executive Director, The Foundation for Democracy and Justice
"Ann has infectious energy and is genuinely interested in helping people grow and excel. I know I can count on Ann to be my advocate and to help me navigate my career path as a young attorney."– Christine Lee, Lawyer with Eviction Defence Collaborative, former fellow of Ann Lehman
a solid vision and plan for the future is an essential
step for molding a successful organization. Zimmerman Lehman helps strengthen
organizations by examining their planning needs, benchmarking and identifying areas
that require attention. We will conduct effective strategic and program
planning to ensure a focused mission, stimulating vision, and strategies
to turn your objectives into realities. We emphasize the process in addition to the end product. For more information, see our article Strategic
Planning for Nonprofits
"We were fortunate to have had Ann and her team lead the foundation's first planning session. A combination of expert analysis and focused discussion resulted in greater clarity on fundamental issues as well as a pragmatic approach for moving forward -- a highly productive and hugely helpful process for board members and staff."
-James Carrol, Executive Director, The Foundation for Democracy and Justice September 2014
Fundraising & Marketing
Lehman guarantees successful fundraising by imparting a systematic approach.
We offer techniques to package your organization in such a way that donors
can't help but be proud to invest in your nonprofit. Our methods will rejuvenate
your organization and give it the inside track in the battle to secure funding. Whether it is a capital or major donor campaign, special event, fundraising audit and plan, annual fund drive, marketing plan, or planned giving program our team members will offer timely, expert assistance to help you succeed. The end product will be a sturdy and prosperous agency.
-Boards That Love Fundraising: Specific Responsibilities
This article details the tasks attributed to board members in fundraising for their nonprofits.
The Key To Successful Fundraising is Zimmerman Lehman's popular training manual for capital and individual campaigns.
high-quality executive and management staff can be a complex and time-consuming process. On-target hiring decisions will reduce staff turnover,
thus lowering hiring costs and increasing productivity. Zimmerman Lehman
works with staff and board members to hire top executive directors, development
directors, and management and policy staff. We can help you develop a thorough process and advice and counsel along the way.
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San Francisco Bay & Porltand, OR
zl (at) zimmerman-lehman (dot) com