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Serving the nonprofit sector is a privilege. Leading a nonprofit organization is, (in my opinion), one of life’s greatest joys. And one of life’s greatest sources of heartburn. Where else can you both provide a critical service to your community and fill a key need in your market? While, simultaneously, be asked to work miracles on a shoestring budget and perform the roles of CEO and chief bottle washer. My podcast, that’s where.

Join me, Kari Anderson, as I share my take on the nonprofit sector. In my 20+ years serving as a nonprofit Executive Director, I saw just about everything, and didn’t think I could be surprised. From bad board behavior to fundraising successes, well-meaning donors to entitled staff, no-show volunteers to successful community partnerships…I’ve got a story to tell!


On this episode of “Karis Confessions,” Kari Anderson, a nonprofit executive and founder of Incite! Consulting, shares the art of effective goal setting for nonprofit leaders. With her 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Kari shares invaluable insights and practical strategies to help you redefine goal setting in a way that aligns with your mission and fosters growth. This episode is a treasure trove for anyone in the nonprofit world looking to start the new year with clear, achievable, and impactful goals. Whether you’re leading a team of one or twenty, Kari’s advice on flexibility, adaptability, and honesty in goal setting will empower you to propel your nonprofit forward.

Key Episode Takeaways:

  • The importance of reframing goal setting to avoid perfectionism and set realistic targets.
  • Strategies for setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) and the significance of celebrating achievements.
  • Practical tips on aligning your calendar with your goals to ensure consistent progress.
  • Kari’s personal experiences and challenges in goal setting, providing a relatable perspective.


Dec 31, 2023

In this episode of ‘Karis Confessions,’ Kari Anderson, delves into the crucial task of preparing for staff reviews in the nonprofit sector. Kari shares valuable insights on the importance of effective staff reviews for organizational success. She discusses the shortcomings of traditional review methods, as indicated by recent Gallup poll statistics, and emphasizes the need for ongoing communication, goal setting, and feedback for staff performance improvement. Kari also provides practical advice on structuring one-on-one meetings, conducting self-evaluations, and handling difficult conversations. Her expert guidance is aimed at helping nonprofit leaders create a more transparent and motivational review process, fostering employee growth and organizational development.

Key Episode Takeaways:
– The necessity of preparation for effective staff reviews.
– Insights from a Gallup poll highlighting the ineffectiveness of traditional review methods.
– The importance of ongoing communication and feedback for staff performance.
– Strategies for setting and achieving performance goals collaboratively.
– Tips for conducting productive one-on-one meetings and quarterly reviews.
– The value of self-evaluations and 360 reviews for comprehensive feedback.
– Techniques for delivering specific, empathetic, and constructive feedback.

Enhance your team’s performance and growth. Contact Kari Anderson for resources on crafting effective performance reviews, and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast for more valuable insights into nonprofit leadership.

December 17, 2023

In this episode of “Kari’s Confessions,” Kari Anderson, delves into the vital dynamics of the relationship between an executive director and a board chair in nonprofit organizations. Drawing from her extensive experience, Kari discusses the importance of staying in one’s professional lane, shares tips for fostering effective relationships, and emphasizes teamwork for organizational success. She recounts personal experiences, including a pivotal moment with a mentor, to highlight the critical role of open communication and trust in these partnerships. This episode is a must-listen for anyone in the nonprofit sector seeking to strengthen their leadership and organizational impact.

Key Episode Takeaways

  • The crucial role of the executive director-board chair relationship in nonprofits.
    Importance of clear role definition and staying in one’s lane.
  • Tips for effective communication and building trust between the executive director and the board chair.
  • Personal anecdotes highlighting the impact of mentorship and feedback in professional growth.
  • Strategies for effective teamwork and ensuring organizational efficiency.

December 3, 2023

In this episode of “Kari’s Confessions,” Kari Anderson, dives deep into the crucial topic of Fund Development Planning. As we navigate the complexities of budget cycles in the fall season, Kari emphasizes the importance of aligning revenue generation with organizational missions. She concisely breaks down what Fund Development Planning truly entails, going beyond mere fundraising to strategy development and donor engagement. Kari also highlights the critical role of board involvement in this process, ensuring board buy-in and support. With her expertise, Kari transforms the often-daunting task of fund development into an approachable and strategic endeavor, essential for the sustainability of any nonprofit organization.

Key Episode Takeaways

  • Understanding the essence and strategy behind Fund Development Planning.
  • The significance of planning in diversifying revenue streams and making informed decisions.
  • The importance of board members and specific committees in the planning process.
  • Insight into setting goals, measuring results, and engaging in effective fundraising.
  • Tips on creating a robust Fund Development Plan, aligning it with the organization’s mission and vision.

Nov 19, 2023

In this enlightening episode, Kari Anderson explores the art of maximizing year-end appeals in the nonprofit sector. Discover the secrets to making November and December your most lucrative fundraising months. We delve deep into the strategic planning necessary for a successful campaign, emphasizing the importance of ‘planning backwards’ for optimal impact. Gain invaluable insights on the most effective tools and techniques to engage donors and drive donations.

Plus, Kari shares essential tips on maintaining meaningful relationships with your donors, ensuring their continued support. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the nonprofit world, this episode is your go-to guide for setting and achieving realistic, data-driven fundraising goals. Tune in to transform your year-end appeal and make a lasting impact!

Key Episode Takeaways

  • Maximizing Year-End Donations: Uncover strategies to make the most of the fundraising potential in November and December.
  • Strategic Planning: Learn about planning your campaign from the end goal backwards and why it’s crucial for success.
  • Engaging Tools and Techniques: Discover what tools and approaches can significantly enhance your fundraising campaign.
  • Donor Engagement: Get insights into building and nurturing relationships with donors for long-term success.
  • Data-Driven Goals: Understand the importance of setting realistic goals based on your nonprofit’s unique data and demographic insights.

In this episode, Kari Anderson, emphasizes the importance of understanding that a nonprofit budget is not just a spreadsheet filled with numbers; it’s a strategic tool that plays a pivotal role in organizational success.

Throughout the episode, Kari shares insights on why proficient budgeting matters, how to make it a collaborative team effort, and the significance of starting the budgeting process early. She emphasizes the need for consistency in your approach and the importance of being realistic when estimating revenue and expenses. Kari also advocates for professional development funds, not only for staff but also for board members, highlighting their crucial role in your organization’s success.

Key Takeaways:

1. Nonprofit budgeting is more than numbers; it’s a strategic tool.
2. Proficient budgeting informs decisions and enhances donor engagement.
3. Budgeting is a collaborative team sport involving your board.
4. Start early and maintain consistency in your budgeting approach.
5. Allocate funds for board member professional development to enhance their contribution to your organization’s success.

Welcome to the very first episode of “Kari’s Confessions,” the podcast where the curtain on the world of nonprofit leadership is peeled back. In this inaugural episode you’re invited to explore the core responsibilities of an executive director. Whether you’re a seasoned nonprofit professional or just embarking on your journey in the sector, understanding the intricacies of this role is essential.

The episode delves into the five fundamental areas every executive director should excel in, regardless of the organization’s size:

1. Board Support: As an executive director, one is accountable to the entire board while reporting to the board chair. The episode offers insights into navigating this relationship effectively.

2. Staff and Volunteer Coaching: Whether managing a small team or a multitude of volunteers, effective coaching and engagement strategies are discussed to empower your workforce.

3. Fundraising: The chief fundraiser for the organization, the episode explores the development of a diversified fund development plan to maintain financial stability.

4. Community Outreach and Engagement: The role extends beyond the boardroom, with tips on effective communication and outreach strategies.

5. Administrative Functions: Managing payroll, databases, and finances is crucial for the organization’s success, though often less glamorous.

Listeners are encouraged to reflect on these core responsibilities in their own nonprofit journey. Are there additional responsibilities unique to their organization? Are they clear on their role as an executive director? And where do they need extra support?

The episode also touches on the nonprofit lifecycle, aiding listeners in identifying where their organization stands and what challenges they might face.

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