News & Resources

How to build capacity through collaboration

By Jim Morris, Consultant, Solid Ground Nonprofit leaders are always on the search for more capacity to realize their mission and make a bigger impact.  We at Solid Ground Consulting have come to believe a nonprofit has three basic choices for expanding capacity: Buy...

Habitat for Humanity affiliates build together

By Cynthia Winter, Consultant, Solid Ground In fall of 2020, the boards of Habitat for Humanity Portland Metro East and Willamette West Habitat for Humanity voted to merge operations to create Habitat for Humanity Portland Region.  The decision followed months of...

Building confidence and capacity of board leaders

By Marc Smiley, Principal, Solid Ground Leadership is a learned skill – for governing volunteers as much as for professional staff.   When called to lead, board members bring their experience and knowledge to their job.  Sometimes what they bring feels insufficient to...

Training Tips for Nonprofit Boards

Training is an important step in building a strong board of directors. In the winter 2015 issue of Saving Land, a publication of the Land Trust Alliance, our own Marc Smiley offers a few of his favorite tips: Look at the big picture. Many nonprofits put a lot of...

Land Trusts and the Challenges Ahead

Editor's Note:  The following post is adapted from remarks made by Wes Ward, Senior Advisor for The Trustees of Reservations and a consultant at Solid Ground, at the Sudbury Valley Trustees' annual meeting in October 2014. While most relevant for our land trust and...

Singin’ Sagebrush Sister

Consultants get up in front of groups all the time, but we don’t often stand behind a microphone with a guitar in hand -- wearing our fanciest cowboy boots and party dress -- open our mouths, and yodel. This consultant who moonlights as a Texas swing guitar player...

Leadership: Throw out the hierarchy and look within

Who are the leaders within your organization? Are they so named simply because they “manage” people, or do they have other qualities that have nothing to do with title and rank? More importantly, can leadership be learned? It sure can. My colleague Jim Morris and I...

Four steps to becoming a strategic storyteller

Our lives are full of stories, from those we tell our friends and hear from co-workers to those we consume all day across the media we can’t live without. Research tells us humans are hard-wired to be storytellers. It’s our default method for giving meaning to the...

Sharing the Love

“Donor”? “Member”? How about “BFF”? Many nonprofits struggle with how to describe their supporters: Members? Donors? Something else? In the strictest sense, “members” can only be part of a “membership” organization, which is defined by that group’s bylaws. And as they...