What do you benefit most from being a member of NCPC?
I believe the most important benefit of our NCPC membership is developing relationships with my colleagues in our field. It is important for me to continue to learn from others’ good work, observing their best practices. It is important to me to mentor the newer individuals in our field and to give back by becoming an active, contributing member of our nonprofit community. At the same time, I always try to expand my knowledge base by listening to my colleagues and adding their knowledge to mine.
What is your Mission?
Simply stated, the mission of Mirenda & Associates is to empower nonprofit boards, enabling them to build strong, successful nonprofit communities.
What do you offer to our community?
We offer the community a deep passion and wealth of experience and knowledge to transform nonprofit boards from “responsible” boards to “highly functioning” boards. In addition, we advise corporate executives on how to select and properly vet nonprofits which have invited them to be board members. We believe this body of knowledge strengthens the fabric of our nonprofit community.
During most of our experience as fundraising consultants, we learned many of our clients’ required extensive counsel in the key areas of board governance and fundraising. Several years ago, I decided we could make a larger systemic impact on an organization if we focused on board development. So, I began extensive research about board education and training, focusing on the areas of governance and fundraising, adding that knowledge to what we had acquired over the past four decades. Subsequently, I attended a three-day Board Source workshop and became a Certified Nonprofit Board Training Consultant, joining a relatively small nationwide cadre. This is important to me, as it represents a higher, more formal level of board training which distinguishes me from others.
Since then I have been writing and presenting extensively about board training. Those articles are available on my website at www.mirendaassoc.com. I have also done several presentations on various aspects of board enrichment, both in Denver and San Diego.
What is something about your organization/company that might surprise people?
Working with many of the icons of air and space, I managed a $180 million campaign to help build the Steven Udvar Hazy National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, located at Dulles International Airport. That campaign received a $58 million naming gift, the largest gift up until that time, to the entire Smithsonian Institution. That 750,000 sq. ft. facility is a magnificent monument to all those who contributed to the United States’ superiority in flight and space travel. For me, it was the most important and memorable project of my career.
Which event or campaign do you have coming up that you would like to share with our readers?
We are embarking on a campaign to provide presentations to a number of nonprofit boards and professional membership organizations that serve individual nonprofits including one with NCPC on March 24th.
What changes/opportunities have occurred due to COVID-19?
While the past year has been rampant with financial hardships for a huge number of nonprofits and saw many close, I believe it also included some very positive change. It made us leaner, more inventive, less prone to continue to “color within the lines” and willing to experiment with new programming and delivery methods. It also made us and our board leadership more committed to success and filtered out those who couldn’t stand the heat. It also encouraged more organizations to explore and commit to joining forces with other nonprofits with similar missions and constituencies, which will make them stronger and more effective.
And, as importantly, it saw donors step up to the plate as never before. More megagifts of hundreds of millions of dollars were given with consistent regularity. Donor advised funds saw a huge increase in outflows to nonprofits and the small donors continued their support.
Have you made a commitment to diversity?
Yes. More than ever, I strongly encourage clients to re-evaluate their diverse representation on their boards. It is extremely important for board leadership to reflect those they serve. And, I am not speaking of “tokenism”. They need to analyze seriously the leadership needs they have on the board and make a concerted effort to identify, cultivate and recruit representatives from their diverse constituents who can fill those needs.
For more information and to learn more about their work, go to www.mirendaassoc.com.