• Coach

  • Mentor

  • Master Trainer

Too often, NPO, executives, and volunteers unnecessarily struggle in fulfilling their respective roles. The roles for a nonprofit executive and volunteer are distinct. Volunteer board members’ role, provide governance to the organization. The executive role, the day-to-day operation of the organization. Often, both volunteers and executives require training to understand their distinct roles. Executives and volunteers want the same outcome, to fulfill the organizational mission.

There are a few key areas that make a difference for any nonprofit.

First, a strong strategic plan. Too often we see strategic plans that are voluminous. They are rarely effective. Dr. Steven Covey indicates you can focus on one item well, perhaps even two or three. The more items you focus on the less likely you will effectively accomplish any of them. While details of how you will accomplish your plan require a few pages, it has become my experience that a good strategic plan can fit onto a wallet card (credit sized) that you can carry with you. What is the one or key “Big Questions” that your organization needs to address to move to the next level? What filtering process will you use to assist you in making your decisions? Keep a plan focused on 1-3 years. The environment we live in requires a nimble organization that is able to adjust quickly, strategically, and thoughtfully.

Second, a comprehensive development plan is important. Too often organizations brush over this important process. The review and update of your development plan must occur annually and reviewed regularly throughout the year to monitor progress.

Third, each organization needs a reserve policy that addresses the financial needs of the organization. Those needs should address their operational cash needs throughout the year. The policy should also address emergency needs. And, the policy should compensate for unexpected opportunities.

Forth, each organization needs a well-trained staff and board of directors. Each group needs to clearly understand their respective roles for the organization to be able to effectively deliver their mission.


Lyman Gifford has been working in the nonprofit sector since 1984. He has worked in youth services and higher education. He has served in senior roles since 1987 including 15+ years as an Executive Director. He has worked in nonprofits located in Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Texas, Alaska, Washington.

Lyman has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 1995. He earned his Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy (MSNMP) from Baypath University in 2012.

Lyman has raised $100,000,000+ for local nonprofits for operations, capital needs, and endowed dollars.

Some Previous Clients:

Agile-International – Africa

Bell Consulting – Idaho

Renton Technical College – Washington

The American Campus – Africa

The Family Center – Georgia

Value Villiage – Alaska

Contact Lyman Gifford to discuss how he can assist you or your organization.