Find Your Nonprofit Fit: 10 Questions to Ask Before Serving on a Nonprofit Board

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Behind every great nonprofit organization is a great board of directors. While many business and community leaders pursue board positions because they genuinely want to make a difference, research from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, in collaboration with BoardSource and GuideStar, suggests that far too many boards lack the sufficient skills, resources and experiences to meet the needs of most nonprofit organizations. Serving on a nonprofit board is about much more than an attractive designation on a resume — it’s a legal and ethical responsibility that has critical implications for nonprofit performance and community impact.

So how do you know if you’re ready to serve on a nonprofit board? How do you choose a nonprofit organization that’s right for you? Ask yourself these 10 questions to find your nonprofit fit.

1. Where’s your passion?
What activities or interests light a personal fire within you? What do you enjoy spending your time doing?

2. Who helped you?
In your life and career, who has been most influential to you? Is there a mentor, supervisor, family member or friend who shaped the person you’ve become today?

3. What’s most important to you?
What issues do you care about most deeply in your community and/or the world?

4. What makes you angry?
What frustrates you most every time you see or hear about it?

5. What makes you hopeful?
What are the things that make you feel positive about the future?

6. What makes you cry?
What brings out your deepest feelings and moves you emotionally?

Thinking through these first six questions will help you identify issues and causes that reveal the nonprofit organization that’s right for you. But serving on a nonprofit board isn’t just about your passions. It must also be a fit for the nonprofit organization as well. To ensure you’re really ready to commit to serving on a nonprofit board, think through the value you can bring to an organization based on what they need.

7. Talent: My talent is ________________.
What are your greatest strengths and skills? What are you best at?

8. Time: I can devote ____ hours per month to a nonprofit and board service.
Given everything you have going on in your life personally and professionally, what kind of time commitment can you honestly make to be fully engaged?

9. Treasure: I am willing to contribute $____ personally.
Think about the financial resources you and your family would/could contribute to support the nonprofit organization. If you’re looking to join a nonprofit board, make sure the organization is among your top three philanthropic priorities.

10. Ties: I am able to connect a nonprofit to the following resources ___________.
What doors can you open to help the organization and what relationships are you willing to call upon to do so? This may include introductions to community leaders, asks to other corporate supporters, connections to major donors, etc.

DOWNLOAD OUR WORKSHEET TO FIND YOUR NONPROFIT FIT

Serving on a nonprofit board is a serious responsibility that requires serious thought. By thinking through these questions and being thoughtful about your answers, you can help the right nonprofit organization accelerate its mission while advancing the community issues you care about most.

READ NEXT: 10 Ways to Engage Your Board in Fundraising


Become a Board Rock Star

Whether you’re new to serving on a nonprofit board or are a nonprofit executive looking to enhance your organization’s board, the Nonprofit Leadership Center offers many opportunities to help you strengthen your leadership and organization.

Get Your Certificate in Board Governance

In our two-part, interactive program, you’ll learn everything you need to strengthen your board governance. Specifically, you’ll understand how to …

  • Identify, recruit, orient and even release board members
  • Define board roles and responsibilities
  • Motivate board members and keep them accountable
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • Define an effective board-staff partnership
  • Determine the board’s role in financial oversight and fundraising
  • Plan and run a successful board meeting
  • Develop your nonprofit’s financial statements
  • Budget and manage cash flow
  • Complete audits and IRS filings

See what others are saying about the certificate program:

Explore Custom Training for Your Board

Need a custom solution designed specifically for your nonprofit organization and board? From two-hour refresher sessions to full-day retreats, we work with you to understand your needs and master board leadership within your organization. To learn more and explore opportunities, email us at info@nlctb.org.

See More Board Governance Resources

Check out our board governance resource page for a listing of resources, templates and worksheets to help you and your board. You can also find a listing of open board positions in the Tampa Bay area here.

Getting to Know Charlie Imbergamo

Team NLC Stories

There’s a new kid on the block at NLC. He’s part New Yorker, part Texan and part Floridian with a deep passion for social justice running through his veins. He’s as serious about tackling our community’s most important issues as he is about a game of office corn hole. Charlie Imbergamo has officially joined Team NLC as our new Director of Strategic Programs. Here are 15 things to know about the freshest face on our staff.

1. Charlie was born and raised in New York and grew up on the border of Brooklyn and Queens. He credits his mom, dad and maternal grandmother for instilling his strong sense of servant leadership.

“My family taught me the value of seeing a need and responding to it as generously as possible.”

2. Charlie has spent 25 years in education, with the past 12+ years as president and CEO of three private, independent, faith-based schools. He made his way to Florida after accepting the job as founding President and CEO of the Cristo Rey school in Tampa — part of the national Cristo Rey network.

3. Charlie isn’t just a self-proclaimed lifelong learner; he’s got the street cred to prove it. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn with a major in Spanish and equivalent major in Italian. He has a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. He’s a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has his executive certificate in nonprofit leadership and management from Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame.

4. Charlie’s greatest passion is creating opportunity where opportunity may not exist and closing opportunity gaps to deepen equity.

5. Charlie has been involved with NLC for years before joining as a staff member. He most recently participated in NLC’s CEO Circle #1. What’s the value he sees in being involved with NLC as a nonprofit leader? Listen for yourself:

Charlie reflects on his experience with NLC as a nonprofit CEO

6. When it comes to technology, Charlie thinks it has helped our sector innovate and be more responsive. However, he believes building relationships and community requires face-to-face interactions.

“The principal part of my work at NLC will be to listen to the challenges people are facing and then help develop solutions to those challenges.”

7. Charlie likes starting every meeting, class or training with a few moments of mindfulness.

8. Charlie believes building community is what he has been called to do. Here’s what he has to say about the importance of building strong community partnerships and the keys to doing it successfully.

Charlie on the importance of community partnerships

9. Speaking of building relationships, one of Charlie’s favorite quotes is this African Proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

10. Charlie is a big proponent of adaptive leadership because change is constant. Being flexible and thoughtful as we navigate change and respond to the ebbs and flows of our community, relationships and selves is what he believes makes a strong leader.

11. As someone from an Italian American family, Charlie loves cooking, baking and of course, eating great food. Food has always been an important way to deepen relationships and convene in his family.

12. Charlie loves being out on the water. Chances are that if you invite him to go out on your boat, he’ll say yes.

13. Charlie has a 10-year-old rescue dog named Ginger and a cat he rescued after Hurricane Irma named Rigoletto.

14. Charlie loves music and is a classically trained tenor. If you come to one of his classes or custom trainings, he might take your song requests *wink.*

15. There are a few other things most people don’t know about Charlie. He’s letting you in on them here.

All the fun stuff about Charlie

Want to connect with Charlie and get to know him better? You can find him at cimbergamo@nlctb.org, 813-287-8779 or on LinkedIn.

Getting to Know Charlie Imbergamo

wpengine Uncategorized

There’s a new kid on the block at NLC. He’s part New Yorker, part Texan and part Floridian with a deep passion for social justice running through his veins. He’s as serious about tackling our community’s most important issues as he is about a game of office corn hole. Charlie Imbergamo has officially joined Team NLC as our new Director of Strategic Programs. Here are 15 things to know about the freshest face on our staff.

1. Charlie was born and raised in New York and grew up on the border of Brooklyn and Queens. He credits his mom, dad and maternal grandmother for instilling his strong sense of servant leadership.

“My family taught me the value of seeing a need and responding to it as generously as possible.”

2. Charlie has spent 25 years in education, with the past 12+ years as president and CEO of three private, independent, faith-based schools. He made his way to Florida after accepting the job as founding President and CEO of the Cristo Rey school in Tampa — part of the national Cristo Rey network.

3. Charlie isn’t just a self-proclaimed lifelong learner; he’s got the street cred to prove it. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn with a major in Spanish and equivalent major in Italian. He has a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. He’s a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has his executive certificate in nonprofit leadership and management from Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame.

4. Charlie’s greatest passion is creating opportunity where opportunity may not exist and closing opportunity gaps to deepen equity.

5. Charlie has been involved with NLC for years before joining as a staff member. He most recently participated in NLC’s CEO Circle #1. What’s the value he sees in being involved with NLC as a nonprofit leader? Listen for yourself:

Charlie reflects on his experience with NLC as a nonprofit CEO

6. When it comes to technology, Charlie thinks it has helped our sector innovate and be more responsive. However, he believes building relationships and community requires face-to-face interactions.

“The principal part of my work at NLC will be to listen to the challenges people are facing and then help develop solutions to those challenges.”

7. Charlie likes starting every meeting, class or training with a few moments of mindfulness.

8. Charlie believes building community is what he has been called to do. Here’s what he has to say about the importance of building strong community partnerships and the keys to doing it successfully.

Charlie on the importance of community partnerships

9. Speaking of building relationships, one of Charlie’s favorite quotes is this African Proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

10. Charlie is a big proponent of adaptive leadership because change is constant. Being flexible and thoughtful as we navigate change and respond to the ebbs and flows of our community, relationships and selves is what he believes makes a strong leader.

11. As someone from an Italian American family, Charlie loves cooking, baking and of course, eating great food. Food has always been an important way to deepen relationships and convene in his family.

12. Charlie loves being out on the water. Chances are that if you invite him to go out on your boat, he’ll say yes.

13. Charlie has a 10-year-old rescue dog named Ginger and a cat he rescued after Hurricane Irma named Rigoletto.

14. Charlie loves music and is a classically trained tenor. If you come to one of his classes or custom trainings, he might take your song requests *wink.*

15. There are a few other things most people don’t know about Charlie. He’s letting you in on them here.

All the fun stuff about Charlie

Want to connect with Charlie and get to know him better? You can find him at cimbergamo@nlctb.org, 813-287-8779 or on LinkedIn.

Dates Announced for 2020 Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate Program at UT

Team NLC News

Are you a nonprofit leader or aspiring nonprofit professional who’s ready to take your career to the next level but aren’t sure how? A graduate certificate in nonprofit management is a powerful way to enhance your growth and impact. The Nonprofit Leadership Center offers a graduate certificate in nonprofit management in collaboration with the University of Tampa, and we’re pleased to announce our 2020-2021 session dates.

Dates & Timeline for Next Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate Session

The 2020-2021 session of the nonprofit management graduate certificate program at the University of Tampa will begin on May 13, 2020. Courses are delivered as four one-week seminars, representing 12 credit hours of graduate-level instruction. Program participants will develop skills in strategic thinking, leadership, marketing, development and accounting. The schedule and required in-person time commitments are as follows:

  • May 13-19, 2020: Thinking Strategically
    Students will focus on evaulating mission, analyzing board governance and conducting an environmental scan. They will also identify the focus area for their program-long project and business plan.
  • August 5-11, 2020: Marketing, Research & Communication
    During this session, students will learn how to conduct market research, explore fund development and develop a marketing plan for their chosen project.
  • January 6-12, 2021: Accounting & Financial Management
    Students will learn the fundamentals of accounting, financial performance, analyzing costs and internal controls. They will also develop a budget for their program-long project.
  • May 12-18, 2021: Leadership and Innovation
    In the final session of the program, students will evaluate their personal leadership and develop an implementation plan.
  • Week of July 19, 2021: Final Presentations
    The program culminates with students presenting their business plan to a group of nonprofit and community leaders for evaluation as the final step to receiving their certificate.

SEE WHAT PAST STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE PROGRAM HERE

Join us for an info session to learn more.

Join us for a lunch and learn to discover how quickly you can further your education with our nonprofit graduate program. You’ll receive a general overview of the University of Tampa as well as details about nonprofit management track options. Faculty and staff will be available to answer your questions, discuss the application process and review financial aid options.

SEE INFO SESSION DATES IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY HERE
University of Tampa
401 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, Fl 33606
Crescent Club, Vaughn Center floor 9

RSVP HERE

Have questions? Email us at info@nlctb.org, or contact our friends at the University of Tampa at 813-258-7409 or grad@ut.edu.

Dates Announced for 2020 Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate Program at UT

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Are you a nonprofit leader or aspiring nonprofit professional who’s ready to take your career to the next level but aren’t sure how? A graduate certificate in nonprofit management is a powerful way to enhance your growth and impact. The Nonprofit Leadership Center offers a graduate certificate in nonprofit management in collaboration with the University of Tampa, and we’re pleased to announce our 2020-2021 session dates.

Dates & Timeline for Next Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate Session

The 2020-2021 session of the nonprofit management graduate certificate program at the University of Tampa will begin on May 13, 2020. Courses are delivered as four one-week seminars, representing 12 credit hours of graduate-level instruction. Program participants will develop skills in strategic thinking, leadership, marketing, development and accounting. The schedule and required in-person time commitments are as follows:

  • May 13-19, 2020: Thinking Strategically
    Students will focus on evaulating mission, analyzing board governance and conducting an environmental scan. They will also identify the focus area for their program-long project and business plan.
  • August 5-11, 2020: Marketing, Research & Communication
    During this session, students will learn how to conduct market research, explore fund development and develop a marketing plan for their chosen project.
  • January 6-12, 2021: Accounting & Financial Management
    Students will learn the fundamentals of accounting, financial performance, analyzing costs and internal controls. They will also develop a budget for their program-long project.
  • May 12-18, 2021: Leadership and Innovation
    In the final session of the program, students will evaluate their personal leadership and develop an implementation plan.
  • Week of July 19, 2021: Final Presentations
    The program culminates with students presenting their business plan to a group of nonprofit and community leaders for evaluation as the final step to receiving their certificate.

SEE WHAT PAST STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE PROGRAM HERE

 

Join us for an info session to learn more.

Join us for a lunch and learn to discover how quickly you can further your education with our nonprofit graduate program. You’ll receive a general overview of the University of Tampa as well as details about nonprofit management track options. Faculty and staff will be available to answer your questions, discuss the application process and review financial aid options.

SEE INFO SESSION DATES IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY HERE
University of Tampa
401 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, Fl 33606
Crescent Club, Vaughn Center floor 9

RSVP HERE

Have questions? Email us at info@nlctb.org, or contact our friends at the University of Tampa at 813-258-7409 or grad@ut.edu.

10 Questions With Tampa Theatre CEO John Bell

Team NLC Stories

At the Nonprofit Leadership Center, we believe the best lessons in nonprofit leadership come from nonprofit leaders themselves. Our 10 Questions With Series celebrates and elevates nonprofit and business leaders across the Tampa Bay region each month who are making an enduring impact on our communities. Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to John Bell, CEO of the Tampa Theatre.

John Bell is an experienced arts and historic preservation leader who began his career in arts administration in North Carolina. After assuming management responsibilities at the Tampa Theatre in 1985, John has helped the Theatre become one of the busiest venues of its kind in the country. Today, with 535 film events, 10 concerts, 30 educational field trips, four weeks of summer camp and scores of corporate and community events each year, the Theatre averages an annual attendance of 140,000.

Grab some popcorn, kick up your feet and get excited to hear from this dynamic and innovative nonprofit leader who has been helping enhance Tampa Bay for more than 30 years.

Q1: As the CEO of Tampa Theatre, tell us about your organization and what drew you to serve this nonprofit. 

John: Tampa Theatre is a spectacular historic movie palace built in the 1920s that was rescued from demolition by the community in the 1970s. Like most patrons, I was first attracted to the Theatre by its over-the-top architecture. But what’s most fascinating about the Theatre is what happens inside it — the programming and events that keep it vibrant and relevant to new audiences and generations. The work here is intensely interesting because while we celebrate and honor history, we’re actually focused more on the future and how we can continue to weave the Theatre into the changing social fabric of our community.

Q2: In our digital era where capturing people’s attention is harder than ever, what strategies have you found most successful in reaching your audiences to attend your events and stay engaged? 

John: I think people — especially young people — are attracted to organizations that are authentic and speak with a compelling voice. The starting point for our authenticity is our building itself, and that’s why we took such pains to make sure the recent restoration work was faithfully executed. We had to get that right or nothing else mattered. 

But to get people engaged with our programming and events, focusing on developing a voice and tone that is consistent, a bit off-beat and straight to the point has helped us gain a lot of traction. That voice and tone is consistent across all the digital platforms we utilize.

Q3. Having been at the helm of the Tampa Theatre for 33+ years, what’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to new professionals or emerging leaders based on the many lessons you’ve learned along your own journey? 

John: That’s easy: Hire and surround yourself with brilliant people who share your passion. Oh, and if anyone ever offers you a breath mint … well, you should take it.  

Q4: At NLC, we’re huge advocates of lifelong learning. What’s the one area you still want to hone or learn more about? 

John: Although I think I’ve gotten better at it, I’m always looking to improve my strategic planning skills. Specifically, I mean the process of building consensus among our many stakeholders about our direction and priorities. I can certainly write a plan, but that means nothing. I think it was Dwight Eisenhower who said, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”

Q5: What’s the best book on leadership or professional development you’ve read that you think every nonprofit leader should read? 

John: “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter. It’s a great quick read on managing change. It has lessons for everyone in an organization. When it first came out, I distributed it to our staff.

Q6. What’s something interesting about you that most people don’t know? 

John: I managed another historic theater in North Carolina (The Carolina Theatre in Greensboro) before coming to Tampa. Our programming there was almost entirely live performing arts. Here, for a variety of reasons, film is the centerpiece of Tampa Theatre’s programming. While we do love to host concerts and community events at Tampa Theatre, film is the building’s heritage and is what the building still does best. Because of our film programming, many people perceive me as a film expert, but I’m not. If anything, I’m just good at figuring out the optimum programming mix for a facility.

Q7. What’s the one snack or treat you never pass up at the movies?

John: Popcorn, of course. 

Q8. What’s your favorite movie of all time? 

John: I love different types of films that are satisfying for different reasons, but the films that stay with me the most are those that have a genuine emotional payoff at the end. I love well-made films that succeed at pulling at the heart strings or that make me laugh unexpectedly. So, to “sort of” answer your question, here are a few that I’ll watch again and again: Cinema Paradiso, The General (Buster Keaton), The Shawshank Redemption, It’s a Wonderful Life and Saving Private Ryan. But that list is subject to change.

Q9. What events are happening at the Tampa Theatre that our community shouldn’t miss?  

John: There are so many! October at Tampa Theatre is always fun with the Tampa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival followed by our wonderfully creepy Halloween series, A Nightmare on Franklin Street with scores of live and film events. Tampa Theatre’s a great hall for comedians, and we have Nate Bargatze coming in on October 17, Eric Andre on November 9, Chris D’Elia on November 21 and Demetri Martin on January 18. The Florida Orchestra sounds glorious in the Tampa Theatre, and the Orchestra’s Holiday Brass Concert will be here on December 19. And of course, we’ll be announcing our annual holiday classic movie series very soon. We’re constantly adding films, concerts and special events to the calendar on our website. 

Q10. What’s the most important way people can support your organization?  

John: It seems so obvious, but I like to remind people that the best way to support Tampa Theatre — or any arts organization — is to become a member and/or buy tickets and attend events. While charitable contributions and event sponsorships are always important and cheerfully accepted, we measure our success largely by attendance. When you buy a ticket and attend an event, you’re not only helping Tampa Theatre achieve our goals, but there’s a really good chance you’ll have a great time. That’s a win-win.

READ NEXT: 10 Questions With NLC CEO Emily Benham

READ NEXT: 10 Questions With Frameworks Board Chair Jennifer Garcia


Would you or someone you know be a great leader to profile for an upcoming 10 Questions With Series article? Email us at info@nlctb.org with your recommendations.

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10 Questions With Tampa Theatre CEO John Bell

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At the Nonprofit Leadership Center, we believe the best lessons in nonprofit leadership come from nonprofit leaders themselves. Our 10 Questions With Series celebrates and elevates nonprofit and business leaders across the Tampa Bay region each month who are making an enduring impact on our communities. Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to John Bell, CEO of the Tampa Theatre.

John Bell is an experienced arts and historic preservation leader who began his career in arts administration in North Carolina. After assuming management responsibilities at the Tampa Theatre in 1985, John has helped the Theatre become one of the busiest venues of its kind in the country. Today, with 535 film events, 10 concerts, 30 educational field trips, four weeks of summer camp and scores of corporate and community events each year, the Theatre averages an annual attendance of 140,000.

Grab some popcorn, kick up your feet and get excited to hear from this dynamic and innovative nonprofit leader who has been helping enhance Tampa Bay for more than 30 years.

Q1: As the CEO of Tampa Theatre, tell us about your organization and what drew you to serve this nonprofit.

John: Tampa Theatre is a spectacular historic movie palace built in the 1920s that was rescued from demolition by the community in the 1970s. Like most patrons, I was first attracted to the Theatre by its over-the-top architecture. But what’s most fascinating about the Theatre is what happens inside it — the programming and events that keep it vibrant and relevant to new audiences and generations. The work here is intensely interesting because while we celebrate and honor history, we’re actually focused more on the future and how we can continue to weave the Theatre into the changing social fabric of our community.

Q2: In our digital era where capturing people’s attention is harder than ever, what strategies have you found most successful in reaching your audiences to attend your events and stay engaged?

John: I think people — especially young people — are attracted to organizations that are authentic and speak with a compelling voice. The starting point for our authenticity is our building itself, and that’s why we took such pains to make sure the recent restoration work was faithfully executed. We had to get that right or nothing else mattered.

But to get people engaged with our programming and events, focusing on developing a voice and tone that is consistent, a bit off-beat and straight to the point has helped us gain a lot of traction. That voice and tone is consistent across all the digital platforms we utilize.

Q3. Having been at the helm of the Tampa Theatre for 33+ years, what’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to new professionals or emerging leaders based on the many lessons you’ve learned along your own journey? 

John: That’s easy: Hire and surround yourself with brilliant people who share your passion. Oh, and if anyone ever offers you a breath mint … well, you should take it.

Q4: At NLC, we’re huge advocates of lifelong learning. What’s the one area you still want to hone or learn more about? 

John: Although I think I’ve gotten better at it, I’m always looking to improve my strategic planning skills. Specifically, I mean the process of building consensus among our many stakeholders about our direction and priorities. I can certainly write a plan, but that means nothing. I think it was Dwight Eisenhower who said, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”

Q5: What’s the best book on leadership or professional development you’ve read that you think every nonprofit leader should read? 

John: “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter. It’s a great quick read on managing change. It has lessons for everyone in an organization. When it first came out, I distributed it to our staff.

Q6. What’s something interesting about you that most people don’t know? 

John: I managed another historic theater in North Carolina (The Carolina Theatre in Greensboro) before coming to Tampa. Our programming there was almost entirely live performing arts. Here, for a variety of reasons, film is the centerpiece of Tampa Theatre’s programming. While we do love to host concerts and community events at Tampa Theatre, film is the building’s heritage and is what the building still does best. Because of our film programming, many people perceive me as a film expert, but I’m not. If anything, I’m just good at figuring out the optimum programming mix for a facility.

Q7. What’s the one snack or treat you never pass up at the movies?

John: Popcorn, of course.

Q8. What’s your favorite movie of all time? 

John: I love different types of films that are satisfying for different reasons, but the films that stay with me the most are those that have a genuine emotional payoff at the end. I love well-made films that succeed at pulling at the heart strings or that make me laugh unexpectedly. So, to “sort of” answer your question, here are a few that I’ll watch again and again: Cinema ParadisoThe General (Buster Keaton), The Shawshank Redemption, It’s a Wonderful Life and Saving Private Ryan. But that list is subject to change.

Q9. What events are happening at the Tampa Theatre that our community shouldn’t miss?  

John: There are so many! October at Tampa Theatre is always fun with the Tampa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival followed by our wonderfully creepy Halloween series, A Nightmare on Franklin Street with scores of live and film events. Tampa Theatre’s a great hall for comedians, and we have Nate Bargatze coming in on October 17, Eric Andre on November 9, Chris D’Elia on November 21 and Demetri Martin on January 18. The Florida Orchestra sounds glorious in the Tampa Theatre, and the Orchestra’s Holiday Brass Concert will be here on December 19. And of course, we’ll be announcing our annual holiday classic movie series very soon. We’re constantly adding films, concerts and special events to the calendar on our website.

Q10. What’s the most important way people can support your organization?  

John: It seems so obvious, but I like to remind people that the best way to support Tampa Theatre — or any arts organization — is to become a member and/or buy tickets and attend events. While charitable contributions and event sponsorships are always important and cheerfully accepted, we measure our success largely by attendance. When you buy a ticket and attend an event, you’re not only helping Tampa Theatre achieve our goals, but there’s a really good chance you’ll have a great time. That’s a win-win.

READ NEXT: 10 Questions With NLC CEO Emily Benham

READ NEXT: 10 Questions With Frameworks Board Chair Jennifer Garcia


Would you or someone you know be a great leader to profile for an upcoming 10 Questions With Series article? Email us at info@nlctb.org with your recommendations.

Meet the Newest Member of Team NLC

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As a nonprofit that exists to support other nonprofits, the Nonprofit Leadership Center regularly assesses our offerings and operations to ensure we’re meeting the changing needs of the nonprofit sector. After completing our recent mid-year review and going through the hiring process for several open positions, we’re pleased to share some exciting announcements to deepen our collective impact.

Charlie Imbergamo will join Team NLC on September 30 as our new Director of Strategic Programs.

Charlie is a skilled leader known for his experience in mission advancement, building relationships, creating collaborative teams and establishing focused strategies in leadership and revenue development. Most recently, Charlie served as the President and CEO of Cristo Rey High School in Tampa Bay and has led several other learning institutions, including Incarnate Word Academy and Saint Joseph Academy in Texas. Charlie is an enthusiastic lifelong learner who has a deep dedication to community building. He has been active with NLC for years, currently serving as a member of CEO Circle #1 and is a past participant in our strategic decision-making cohort known as the Matrix Map.

In his role as Director of Strategic Programs, Charlie will oversee all four program areas within our mission offerings:

  1. Classroom learning opportunities (about 90 classes per year in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties focused on leadership development, board governance, financial management, fund development and communications/marketing)
  2. Custom solutions tailored to specific organization and team needs
  3. Conferences (annual Leadership Conference and fall Board & Senior Leadership Conference)
  4. Cohorts that bring together small groups of leaders to focus on specific topics or learning opportunities over a longer period of time (e.g., CEO Circles, emerging leaders, sustainability planning, etc.)

In the past, NLC staff leaders have been responsible for overseeing individual program divisions within our portfolio of offerings. We identified an opportunity to deepen integration and impact by shifting our open Director of Education and Communications position to this new Director of Strategic Programs. In this new role, Charlie will spend 60% of his time developing programs and facilitating trainings across the full spectrum of our learning opportunities. He will spend his remaining time working directly with nonprofit leaders to strengthen relationships and results. To support the operational aspects of this work, we have reallocated another open position to a Program Associate that will be posted on our job board in the coming weeks.

“I am thrilled to be joining the NLC team of lifelong learners. I look forward to working with nonprofit leaders to build capacity and to continue responding to the needs of our communities. The possibilities are endless when we work together!”

Charlie Imbergamo, Director of Strategic Programs at NLC

Charlie will be a regular contributor here on the NLC blog and will be spending a great deal of time out in the community with nonprofit leaders across the region. Charlie and our entire NLC team look forward to continuing to elevate the support we provide to our sector. You can contact Charlie at cimbergamo@nlctb.org to share your ongoing feedback and ideas as we work together to develop and connect nonprofit leaders to strengthen organizations and our community.

Meet the Newest Member of Team NLC

Emily H. Benham News

As a nonprofit that exists to support other nonprofits, the Nonprofit Leadership Center regularly assesses our offerings and operations to ensure we’re meeting the changing needs of the nonprofit sector. After completing our recent mid-year review and going through the hiring process for several open positions, we’re pleased to share some exciting announcements to deepen our collective impact.

Charlie Imbergamo will join Team NLC on September 30 as our new Director of Strategic Programs.

Charlie is a skilled leader known for his experience in mission advancement, building relationships, creating collaborative teams and establishing focused strategies in leadership and revenue development. Most recently, Charlie served as the President and CEO of Cristo Rey High School in Tampa Bay and has led several other learning institutions, including Incarnate Word Academy and Saint Joseph Academy in Texas. Charlie is an enthusiastic lifelong learner who has a deep dedication to community building. He has been active with NLC for years, currently serving as a member of CEO Circle #1 and is a past participant in our strategic decision-making cohort known as the Matrix Map.

In his role as Director of Strategic Programs, Charlie will oversee all four program areas within our mission offerings:

  1. Classroom learning opportunities (about 90 classes per year in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties focused on leadership development, board governance, financial management, fund development and communications/marketing)
  2. Custom solutions tailored to specific organization and team needs
  3. Conferences (annual Leadership Conference and fall Board & Senior Leadership Conference)
  4. Cohorts that bring together small groups of leaders to focus on specific topics or learning opportunities over a longer period of time (e.g., CEO Circles, emerging leaders, sustainability planning, etc.)

In the past, NLC staff leaders have been responsible for overseeing individual program divisions within our portfolio of offerings. We identified an opportunity to deepen integration and impact by shifting our open Director of Education and Communications position to this new Director of Strategic Programs. In this new role, Charlie will spend 60% of his time developing programs and facilitating trainings across the full spectrum of our learning opportunities. He will spend his remaining time working directly with nonprofit leaders to strengthen relationships and results. To support the operational aspects of this work, we have reallocated another open position to a Program Associate that will be posted on our job board in the coming weeks.

“I am thrilled to be joining the NLC team of lifelong learners. I look forward to working with nonprofit leaders to build capacity and to continue responding to the needs of our communities. The possibilities are endless when we work together!”

Charlie Imbergamo, Director of Strategic Programs at NLC

Charlie will be a regular contributor here on the NLC blog and will be spending a great deal of time out in the community with nonprofit leaders across the region. Charlie and our entire NLC team look forward to continuing to elevate the support we provide to our sector. You can contact Charlie at cimbergamo@nlctb.org to share your ongoing feedback and ideas as we work together to develop and connect nonprofit leaders to strengthen organizations and our community.

5 Common Misconceptions About Organizational Culture

Margarita Sarmiento Tips

Your organizational culture impacts every aspect of your business, from employee productivity and engagement to donor retention and growth. Establishing a healthy environment for employee and organizational growth is crucial, and it can be costly if not taken seriously. Culture can help leaders achieve goals and objectives, but it can also create obstacles that prevent employees from doing their best work. Nonprofit organizations that minimize or fail to recognize culture’s important role will limit their ability to move their mission and organization forward.

Here are five common misconceptions about organizational culture to avoid at your organization.

1. Only large organizations and companies need to worry about their company culture.

Organizational culture is your organization’s personality. Just as a baby exhibits its unique personality at a very young age, organizational culture can be seen in groups and organizations of all sizes — from five employees to 50,000. Culture serves as a driving force, connecting employees to one another and to your organization’s mission. It can also create confusion or lack of focus when not addressed.

2. Culture happens organically. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t.

A strong organizational culture is not a random trait determined by fate. It’s something that can be learned and developed. In his best-selling book “The Culture Code,” Daniel Coyle shares that business leaders can learn to dial in to behaviors that create an extraordinarily effective culture. The first step is understanding that authentic relationships and transparency in leadership are foundational to strong, healthy organizational cultures. By thinking strategically and paying attention to what is happening in your organization, you can achieve closeness, trust and cohesion.  

3. Culture is a touchy-feely concept that doesn’t impact the bottom line significantly.

Evidence shows that groups working in a strong, positive environment will thrive, increasing efficiency and productivity and strengthening their sense of connection and organizational effectiveness. Conversely, an unhealthy or broken environment can destroy an organization. Detached employees lead to higher turnover, a lack of connection to customers and purpose and lower profits, which can negatively impact your bottom line. According to a Harvard study by J. Kotter and J. Heskett of more than 200 companies, a strong culture will increase a company’s net income 756% over 11 years. High organizational performance is accomplished when all the parts of an organization come together, performing at high levels.

4. Culture is simply about people getting along.

It’s true that one of the strongest indicators of your organizational culture is the health of the interpersonal relationships among your staff and between leadership and staff. But culture is so much more than how people interact. Culture, in its broadest sense, takes into account things like organizational structure, values and beliefs, unspoken behavioral norms, management and leadership practices, clarity of roles, effectiveness of meetings, group successes and outcomes, and commitment to mission and purpose … just to name a few. Culture drives employee performance. It’s the foundation of organizational norms and practices, and it can be seen in how people within an organization treat one another and their attitudes toward customers and constituents. Culture can even be tangibly reflected in the physical environment — from how work areas are set-up to the knick-knacks and pictures on desks.

5. Once a strong culture is in place, it will take care of itself.

Just as no organization remains static, culture will continue to evolve over time. Employees move and are promoted, customer needs change, mergers and acquisitions create a need for restructuring, leadership shifts, technological advances create demands for new processes and positions, and so on. The stronger and more grounded an organization is to its culture, the smoother its staff will weather change. A strong leadership team is in tune with cultural shifts and acknowledges the need to routinely assess and make appropriate adjustments when necessary.

Author Simon Sinek said it best: “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” A strong culture creates a stronger sense of purpose and employee commitment, enhanced trust and cooperation, higher levels of respect around disagreements, and a stronger bottom-line for companies. The most successful organizations foster cultures that allow their employees to grow and thrive.


Enhance Your Nonprofit’s Organizational Culture

If your nonprofit organization needs support developing and retaining your best staff in an ever-changing workforce, join the Nonprofit Leadership Center for an upcoming training class.

The Anatomy of Culture: Building Organizational Culture from the Inside Out

June 21, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST

What makes a strong organizational culture? It all begins with understanding how culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, clients and other stakeholders and how employees identify with their organization.

Join us for this half-day training to learn the difference between organizational culture and climate and how your nonprofit can enhance both. You’ll explore culture as a living, breathing organism that emerges from the social, physical, and psychological environment within your organization and learn the components of each of these areas.

  • Learn to identify culture and climate within your organization, and how workplace climate can permeate and affect organizational culture
  • Understand what is needed to build strong company culture
  • Examine what challenges positive culture today
  • Explore the steps necessary to build resiliency once a solid organizational culture is in place

Margarita Sarmiento has more than 25 years of management, training and facilitation experience in professional development, team building, leadership, organizational planning, board development, cross cultural communication and diversity. She has worked in corporate management and training with Progressive Companies, Busch Entertainment Corporation and the National Conference for Community & Justice — Tampa Bay. She’s also an active trainer and facilitator for NLC.