CompassPoints of View

12 Resources for your Self-Care Starter Kit

Maro Guevara and sujin lee

At CompassPoint, we believe that nonprofit leaders and social change makers are more resilient and can work sustainably when they have a practice of self-care. Embedding self-care into our work has become a theme for our own organization and a fundamental part of how we work alongside others to create sustainable ways of moving toward change. 

As you start to set commitments for the coming year, are you remembering to include self-care on that list? Developing a practice of daily self-care can be an essential contributor to success in 2015—for you and your organization. In fact, a consistent practice of self-care can be the underlying current driving and reinvigorating your other commitments and goals as you move through the year. Below are some resources to help you get started.


27 Coaching Questions To Close Out 2014 and Kick Off 2015

At CompassPoint, we use coaching as a powerful tool to deal with challenges, foster self-awareness and move forward to action. Whether you regularly work with a coach or not, coaching questions can be a powerful way of sparking new insights and setting goals. Below, we’re sharing a list created by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management's Coaching Affinity Group that you can you use to take stock of last year and prepare for 2015.




Reflections (Thus Far) on Thriving as a Board Chair

What does it take to thrive as a board chair? In this post, CompassPoint governance consultant Marla Cornelius shares key takeaways from one of our newest programs, Thriving as a Board Chair. This five-month learning experience for board chairs blends CompassPoint’s governance content, expert facilitation, and peer learning. Do her reflections resonate with your board experience?

In the blog post “The Impact of Board Chairs” I talked about (among other things) how important it is for board chairs to adopt a learner’s mindset and connect with other chairs to discuss the challenges that come with this important—but difficult—job. Inspired by this belief and our own experiences as board chairs, my colleague Adriana Rocha and I have been facilitating a five-month-long leadership development series just for board chairs called Thriving as a Board Chair.

We launched the series in August and quickly filled the seats with a terrific group of board chairs from diverse backgrounds. In addition to Adriana and me, there are participants representing all sectors (government, public, private) and stages of career—from emerging leaders to retirees. We are half-way through the series and as I reflect on what we’ve covered thus far, I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned.

My Seven-Year-Long Leadership Development Program

In this her final blog for CompassPoint as a staff member, Senior Project Director Marissa Tirona shares her leadership learnings from her seven-year tenure. We wish Marissa all the best in her new role as Director of Blue Shield Against Violence and, while we sadly say farewell to her, we move forward assured and thankful that our paths will continue to cross and intertwine in our work for greater social justice.

What We're Thankful For

From time to time, we use this space to shed light on the people who make up our practice. With the holiday season kicking off, we’re taking a moment to recognize the importance of gratitude and saying thanks.

While gratitude makes for a great daily practice, it’s also true that for many people this time of year marks a particularly important moment to stop, reflect, and express what we’re thankful for. Expressing gratitude and appreciation can connect you more deeply with the people in your life and boost your outlook on things. And that warm fuzzy feeling you get from saying “thank you?”— It might actually be making you healthier. With that in mind, here are some of the things we’re especially grateful for: 

Is Your Pending Office Move a Burden or an Opportunity?

Office moves are an inevitable fact of nonprofit life. In this blog, CompassPoint Director of Operations Sarah Gort shares lessons and resources on how she organized and led a thorough, creative, and enjoyable (yes, enjoyable!) organizational move that meshed with our culture and goals – and was a resounding success.

Since CompassPoint's move to Oakland in late 2012, I’ve received a steady stream of calls for advice and referrals from nonprofit groups in the Bay Area who are facing office moves. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these conversations and have noticed a few common themes: 

Strategic Plans That Go Bump In The Night

With humor as one of our guiding principles, CompassPoint has a long history of poking fun at ourselves and the nonprofit sector to skewer some “sacred cows” and celebrate the experiences that bring our field together. Our cartoon series, Planet 501c3, was created by Miriam Engleberg, ran from 1999-2005 and made fun of everything from fundraising to never-ending meetings and beyond. This Halloween, we’re having a chuckle with a topic that’s usually too hallowed to joke about—strategic plans!

Shared Leadership in Teams: Part 3 in a 3-Part Series on Effective Teams

In the third blog in this three-part series, Project Director Lupe Poblano discusses the role of leaders in teams, and how shared leadership can help teams thrive. In Part 2 he explored team decision making, specifically, when and how teams should be used for decision making. In Part 1, he explored common definitions for teams and outlined the circumstances that help them function at their highest level.

Why Problems Matter

In this thought piece, strategy and sustainability consultant and trainer Shannon Ellis writes about the power of a well-crafted problem statement in helping an organization strategically respond to the question “How are we currently thinking about the problem we are working to address?” It’s a useful filter and often a first step in CompassPoint’s work with organizations to develop a decision-making framework to strategically guide their actions going forward. 


Mastering Team Decision Making: Part 2 in a 3-Part Series on Effective Teams

In Part 2 of this three-part series on effective teams, Project Director Lupe Poblano explores team decision making, specifically, when and how teams should be used for decision making. In Part 1, he explored common definitions for teams and outlined the circumstances that help them function at their highest level.

“Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” - Winston Churchill

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