Meet Michael Brand, MNO
Michael Brand has raised millions, given away millions and despite his best intentions, probably wasted a million along the way. He knows the nonprofit community well, having lived on both sides of the street first as a nonprofit leader then as a philanthropist. In addition to his grantmaker experience, he’s tackled every leadership role imaginable: Board Chair, Director, Fundraiser, Volunteer, Donor, Advisor. And he’s done it not just in the USA but Europe and Australia as well.
Today, Michael infuses his speaking engagements, workshops, and coaching sessions with his passion for the role nonprofits play in creating a compassionate and civil society.
In addition, Michael is a keen observer of the trends that are just beginning to rock our world. If you thought the past 10 years were disruptive, wait till you see what’s coming in the next ten. When you work with Michael Brand you’ll be able to see over the horizon as well as position yourself for long-term success.
“A nonprofit sector influencer.” “Successful catalyst for igniting innovation and transformation.” “A dynamic speaker who is committed to developing entrepreneurial thinking and action in leaders.”
Are you passionate about your mission? Are you worried about where all this change is heading? Do you want to move from inertia to innovation? If you said ‘yes’ to any of these then you’re in the right place.
Creating Fiscal Sustainability & Restoring Funding
“If you still want to be in business in 2020 then you have to look for new ways of financing your agenda….dependence upon government contracts or large donors leaves you extremely vulnerable. To survive you have to seriously plan for social enterprise, joint operations, strategic alliances and other emerging ways to deliver services in the new environment.” Michael
Rekindling and Strengthening Leadership
“Old models of leadership are falling aside to make way for new thinking. Some of this change is driven by a wealth of creative, energetic talent flooding in from Generation X and Y. Another pressure point is the demands of the changing economy. Today’s leadership requires passion, open-mindedness and courage. Modern leaders need to adapt to this new environment.” Micheal
Developing and Improving Programming
“There are a wide variety of reasons for reinventing programming in a nonprofit…especially in today’s chaotic environment. However, there are several catalysts for reinvention that come up again and again. Each of my programs is custom-tailored to meet the needs and objectives of your organization and group.” Michael
Revitalizing Careers and Employee Enthusiasm
“The good news is that between 1980 and 2004 employee satisfaction grew at consistent rate…..the bad news is that trend has reversed….dramatically. Now less than 20% of the workforce is ‘engaged”, and on the other end 25% are openly disgruntled. That is a bad omen for your future productivity and economic growth.” Michael
“Improving employee morale benefits everyone at work. Boosting employee morale means that people will take more pride in their work, call in sick less often and be more productive. Happier employees mean happier employers, since the employer will not lose money due to inefficiency and lost time. I will show you how improving employee morale can be accomplished with some simple, consistent steps.” Michael
Driving Home a Message
“Sometimes you simply need an outside voice to drive your message home. Sometimes the old adage that the prophet is not welcome in his own home town rings so true. When you need a fresh face and fresh voice to drive your initiatives or trumpet your vision, I can help.” Michael
michael (at) michaelbrand (dot) org
Firing someone is a painful and emotional experience. I hate it….hate, hate, hate. It’s a big blow to someone’s financial, emotional and personal life; but if you’re skittish about firing someone because of how it affects you, then you have no business being in a position of leadership. Double down on this if it’s a small nonprofit where you can afford no dead wood.read more
Hannah Arendt described the ‘Banality Of Evil‘ of the Nazi empire as one where a lot of really smart people – ordinary people – who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view their actions were normal. So much of the BS we accept in life we do so because we think it normal.read more
While corruption can kill a nonprofit, equally damaging can be the mere appearance of impropriety. Your image and reputation translate into community goodwill as well as cash…conflicts of interests put that at risk.read more
The Great Recession has shaken many of the assumptions held by those in charge. Since half of the EDs in America are 55 and older, this means the majority of our leaders cut their management teeth back in the 70s and early 80s, an age which valued basic administrative skill and virtually ignored creative leadership.read more
Every day: studying, working, solving everyday issues, pursuing interests. We know how to compete and we like to do it, but our competition, our desire to be different, is built on knowledge, on the ability to interpret and process information, and not on monopolising it.read more
The main reason we should stop focusing on fixing traditional public schools is that, for the most part, they don’t want to be fixed. The people who make their living off of those schools have reasons for wanting schools to be as they are and have enormous political resources to fend off efforts to fundamentally change things. Trying to impose reforms…is largely a futile exercise.read more
The data backs up what I’ve observed over all these years. Great nonprofits (and great leaders) posses these five abilities.read more
Defective hiring processes are a major problem in nonprofits. One bad hire can cause disruptions in the organization as well as eat up resources. A good rule of thumb is that the cost of replacing an employee equals 30% of the salary for the position. Thus a bad hire eats up big chunks of dough. You can’t afford the hit to the bottom line, nor the headaches which come from bad hires.read more
In the past decade I’ve witnessed at least a dozen nonprofits where the Chairperson or a small cabal are running roughshod over the rest of the Board. What’s more puzzling is that the rest of the Board sits passively and lets this abuse continue. Not only is that legally problematic, but it wastes the talents of the smart people sitting in the Board room.read more