You can often catch me saying “Hope is not a strategy” and “structure gives you freedom” What do these KariCatchPhrases actually mean?

It means that when you do the hard homework and planning, you’ll be ready to respond quickly and easily. If you have an employee evaluation form ready, you won’t have to make one the night before the review. If you and the board worked on a succession plan, you won’t be blindsided when an Executive Director gives notice. Creating safety nets and action plans gives you the freedom to think objectively and act appropriately.

I’d like to give you examples of how certain organizational tools and policies can give you a way to feel less stressed, more creative or even save you time.

To download this chart in PDF format, click here.


What it does

How it works for you

Board Job DescriptionsClarifies and standardizes the role.Explicit responsibilities in order to hold staff accountable, standardization, potential for less conflict & misunderstanding later
Board OrientationWelcomes the new board member to the club, sets the tone, provides a framework for success.On average you lose a year of training without orientation. Your board will be onboarded and engaged faster, find their stride and determine where they can use their talent.
Strategic PlanFocuses the entire organization on the most important work.Board and staff are on the same page with priorities. Eliminates ambiguity and aids decision making. Signals to donors & supporters what you are doing and your path.
Annual Performance EvaluationsAllows the employee to hear about their successes, opportunities to improve and plan for the future.Encourages longevity & retention. Makes growth areas obvious. Helps employees avoid complacency.
Annual Board RetreatBrings the board together to pause and reflect, celebrate successes, and dig deeper into two or three critical topics.2 words- best practice. Builds culture, time to connect and allows for “blue sky” planning.
Contingency PlanningAllows you to be proactive, rather than reactive, when a crisis hits.Avoid panic! Think clearly and strategically about options when you have time and space.
Scheduled UnpluggingAllows for a much-needed mental reset.Be a good leader and model for your staff.
Fundraising PlanCreates a roadmap as to how your organization will raise funds for your current fiscal year.Allows you to gracefully say no to inefficient (or wacky!) fundraising ideas. You can make choices about  ideas that are not inline with your mission or if you have a lack of resources.
Regular Gathering of Data Point and MetricsAllows you to make decisions based on objective numbers, not subjective bias.Quality decision making and realistic goal setting.
Succession PlanMaps out key responsibilities for staff and board members, based on position, not personality.Ensures long-term functionality of the organization, regardless of circumstances. Institutionalizes info and makes transition easier.


It’s hard to address some of these items when you are trying to get things done TODAY. You know what? It’s even harder when you it’s imperative to get it done AND get things done today. Need a hand with your preparation or an accountability border collie? Schedule a call with me and we’ll come up with a plan together.


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