The Leaf Spring Blog


We see things, we hear things, we talk about them here.

If you have a subject you would like us to address, let us know.

Does Your Nonprofit Need a Staff Board Liaison?

Back in the day, nonprofit boards had a Secretary.  This person, often the actual personal assistant of the Board Chair from his work life, completed all the administrative duties needed for the board.  She (because traditionally this was a woman) would take minutes, keep records, and perform all the necessary administrative functions of the board.…

Boiling a Frog

I found myself in a difficult situation once.  My friend told me it was like boiling a frog.  I had never heard this expression, so I asked her to explain. What a great analogy. Apparently, if you take the average frog and drop him into boiling water, he will jump out immediately to save his…

The Auditor Myth

Unfortunately, I have run into more than my share of embezzlers in the nonprofit world.  Usually when I find fraud, the Executive Director is truly shocked.  And, one of the first things she says to me… “But we are audited every year.” Yeah.  I get that.  The word “AUDIT” carries a lot of weight.  The…

What’s Going on in Your Bathrooms?

You have heard all the advice about considering your physical space to see what sort of image it projects to your clients and potential donors.  Is the front desk neat and inviting or messy and confusing?  Are the plants in the lobby thriving or dead?  Is your signage professional, or do you use a hand-scribbled…

One Bad Finance Committee Meeting

“It was like a really bad SNL skit,” Janet* told me.   Janet was a brand new board member and chair-elect of the finance committee. They had been meeting in the conference room.  “They” being the finance committee:  the board chair, the board treasurer, the executive director, the bookkeeper, Janet, and a few other board members…

Leadership Lessons from Hospital Passes

Sometimes I find leadership metaphors in the strangest places.   My son played soccer with a local club team for many years.  He used to complain about one of the players on his team, Jason*, who just couldn’t seem to anticipate members of the opposing team closing in on his teammates.  Jason would make a seemingly…

But He Would Never Steal Anything

A friend invited me to her church’s Wednesday night program to hear a local celebrity speak. Dinner was a delicious buffet prepared by young man hired to be the church’s chef, custodian, and handyman.   Suggested payment for the evening was on the honor system:  $5 per person with a $20 max per family.  The sign…

Whom to Ask for Money During the Pandemic

The pandemic has hit many of us really hard.  Nonprofit revenues are generally down, and development directors everywhere are scratching their heads, trying to decide how to ask for donations during a recession. But not all your for-profit donors have experienced a drop in revenue.  In fact, some industries are doing quite well during Covid-19. …

How to Fire Your Auxiliary Group

Many nonprofits are fortunate to have a circle of enthusiastic volunteers who manage an annual fundraiser for their favorite cause, your organization.  If you are lucky, the fundraiser has continued to grow and now represents a significant percentage of your annual operating revenue.  Your nonprofit is reliant on the event, and therefore the auxiliary group,…

Cool Tools Part 2

Hey, we found a few more good (and free) aps and sites to pass along.  As always, if you have any to share, let us know. SocialTables.  Calculate your event space needs and instantly design your room layout for events.  There is even a social distancing tool. This site wants you to subscribe monthly, but…


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