Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

10 Lessons from 12 Years in Philanthropic Communications

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like, Uncategorized

A Full Court Press former client and friend Marc Moorghen recently left his role as Communications Director at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. With the announcement of this news, Marc reflected upon his time at the Hilton Foundation, in the world of philanthropy, and beyond. FCP is sharing his lessons below, as they resonated with us and reflect a shared philosophy on communications and professional growth. Thank you, Marc, for sharing your wisdom!

by Marc Moorghen

Today was my last day at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. After more than a dozen years working to improve people’s lives around the world, I thought it would be fitting to share a few hard-earned lessons that I picked up along the way. Advice is easy to dispense, but I think these recommendations apply to both personal and professional situations.

Image result for moorghen hilton foundation

1) Do your homework: no matter the situation, do some research, so that you know what you’re dealing with. Expect the unexpected; plan as much as you can.

2) Know your audience: understand who you are addressing and why. Try to learn as much as you can about them, so you can appeal to both their heads and their hearts.

3) Put yourself in other people’s shoes: take the time to learn what makes people tick — their hopes, dreams, fears and desires. This will help you calibrate your message.

Resistance Resources — 6 Ways to Fight Back and Stay Sane

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

Since November 8th, and even more prescient since January 20th, one can sometimes feel a palpable tension in the air. Between the never-ending news cycle, the real and pressing fear caused by shifts in policy, increased reports of hate-crimes, and what feels like an increase in divisiveness and hateful dialogue, it’s been hard not to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. In the face of all this, the FCP put their heads together to gather some our favorite “resistance resources”— ways to take initiative, be engaged, fight back, and stay sane in a political environment that can feel like the eye of a hurricane.

Resistance womens march

To Listen: Pod Save America

As mentioned, it feels almost impossible to keep up with the news cycle these days. It has the potential to make one feel powerless and overwhelmed. Enter: Pod Save America. This podcast was created by four former Obama White House officials following the election of Donald Trump last year. The podcast is a self-proclaimed “no-BS conversation about politics where you can laugh, cry, scream, share your ideas, and hopefully decide that you want to help fix this mess too. Many, including the FCP team, have found it to be a valuable resource for parsing out what is important, what is not, what is politically realistic and what is socially responsible for members of the progressive movement. We highly recommend it for anyone who is in need of a straight up explanation of our current political climate without self-serving spin or speculation.

We also suggest giving a listen to their spin off podcasts: “Pod Save the People,” “Lovett or Leave It,” “Pod Save the World” and “With Friends Like These.”

To Organize: Indivisible

Indivisible a national group with local chapters in every Congressional district in the country, including the East Bay and San Francisco. Stemming from an online guide drawn up by former Congressional staffers, the group works to unite citizens across the nation in resisting Donald Trump’s disastrous agenda. These groups are creating local strategies to target individual members of Congress, and developing a defensive approach purely focused on stopping Trump from implementing an agenda built on racism, authoritarianism, and corruption. Weekly meetings are held in your city.

Governance and Communications Webinar

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

On Leap Day, February 29, 2016, Olive Grove and FCP co-presented a dynamic 30-minute free webinar focusing on best communications practices for a productive relationship between an executive team and its board of directors. In case you missed it, here is the link to watch the webinar.

You can also read the 4 blogs below, and follow the hashtag #GovernanceComms on Twitter and Facebook!
 Three-Steps-to-Improve-Nonprofit-Board-Performance how-board-members-can-influence-and-grow-their-nonprofit-executive The-Three-Essential-Roles-of-Board-Members

A huge thank you to the team at Olive Grove and to everyone who participated in the webinar!

Three Steps to Improve Nonprofit Board Performance

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like


By: Anthony Tansimore 

Nonprofit executives sometimes find that their boards either underperform or not at all.  Some hope the magic bullet will be new board members who bring energy and a new commitment to the organization and are more engaged.  The dynamic of a low-functioning board rarely shifts with the addition of new people.  What results when nothing shifts is that the executive and board spiral into dysfunction.  The executive ignores the board or hides important matters from them, and the board becomes suspicious that the executive is doing something underhanded and they want to micromanage.  This hostility can last for a long time and both parties live with it, or the executive leaves on her own or at the urging of the board.  Board members fail to be effective stewards of the organizations they serve when executives take their power away.

The executive must determine how to get the best from her board rather than relegating them to the closet, which will hold the organization back.  The board can be a powerful partner with the executive in achieving the organization’s mission.  There are a few very simple steps an executive can take to ensure a productive relationship with her board and their effectiveness on behalf of the mission.

Be Clear About the Board’s Role and Expectations 

The simplest and most important thing an executive can do is to communicate expectations to the board.  Not once or twice, but all the time.  Having a clear job description for board members certainly creates greater understanding of the expectations, but ongoing communications about what the executive needs from her board gives them greater context for how they can serve the organization. 

How Board Members Can Influence and Grow Their Nonprofit Executive

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

shutterstock_70144576 SMALLBy: Dan Cohen

“I’m from your Board of Directors and I’m here to help…”  These words illustrate the worst-case scenario of a board and chief executive that are misaligned.  The board of any nonprofit or foundation has three main jobs, crucial among them hiring, nurturing, and if needed, firing the chief executive.

However, on a day-to-day basis, supporting the chief executive in her role is crucial to the near-term success and long-term stability. Helping your top executive succeed is all-to-often left off the formal agenda.

So, what can a board do to help support/manage its chief executive?  We have identified three main strategies – serving as a thought partner, being a network builder, and acting as a candid source of feedback for the executive’s professional development.

Be a Thought Partner

Where it works well, CEOs tend to rely on the boards to think about and noodle on big strategic questions.  I’ve seen CEOs who will call up board members and float ideas, help make a pivot, leverage their expertise, etc.  But the opportunities are much broader.  One opportunity is to “grow” the executive.  The board can create learning experiences, share personal anecdotes, and provide professional development opportunities both formal and informal.  Beyond that, the board members can serve in a mentoring function.  This may be crucial to a new chief executive and/or executives at key inflection points in their lives.