[NPFX Ep. 43] Building and Engaging a High-Performing Board (with Nate Rhoton and Rick McCartney)

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Welcome to The Nonprofit Fundraising Exchange, a podcast from IPM Advancement. Our mission is to empower nonprofits to succeed so they can make the world a better place.

Today’s topic: Building and Engaging a High-Performing Board

A good board of directors is essential to the health and success of any nonprofit organization. By contributing their talent and experience, raising funds, and providing guidance and oversight, the best board members ensure the nonprofit's mission gets carried out effectively and efficiently. In today's episode, our panel discusses strategies for finding good board members and keeping them engaged for the duration of their service.

Time-Stamped Episode Shortcuts:

  • Introductions [1:48]
  • The difference between an operating board and a governing board [3:44]
  • How to identify the skill sets you need in new board members [5:38]
  • Matching board members to where your nonprofit is in its lifecycle [7:45]
  • Why board members should be representative of your community and the people you serve [10:08]
  • Where should nonprofits look for good board candidates? [13:13]
  • How to handle dysfunction on a nonprofit board [16:25]
  • How to fill representation gaps on your board [20:30]
  • The process for orienting new board members so they can succeed [23:59]
  • Engaging board members so they show up and participate at board meetings [25:40] 

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Nate Rhoton serves as the CEO for one-n-ten, an LGBTQ non-profit delivering youth services in Arizona. Following a career of fifteen years in corporate management and finance, Rhoton chose to serve the community with his nonprofit fundraising and development expertise. Serving for twelve years as the operations director and then CFO of a local construction company, he worked to expand corporate community involvement and non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ employees. Over the last decade, he has committed himself to nonprofit service, serving on the Arizona steering committee of the Human Rights Campaign, the board of the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, The Melonhead Foundation, and as co-chair of the board of directors for Equality Arizona. Currently he serves as the chair of the Human Relations Commission for the City of Phoenix, vice chair of Leading for Change, and on the LGBTQ Advisory to the Chancellor of Maricopa County Community Colleges.

Rick McCartney, President and CEO of InMedia, a national tech-media company is no stranger to nonprofit board service. He serves as Chairman of the board at one-n-ten, an organization that takes LGBTQ youth off the streets. He serves as Vice Chair of the Thrive Services Group Board, an organization dedicated to eradicating poverty through impactful business dealings.  He is a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, past Chairman of the Board of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and a member of the Kellenberger + Tollefson LGBTQ Center at the Arizona Community Foundation where he raises money to grant to LGBTQ groups demonstrating great change. He serves as an Advisory Board Director of the Phoenix Film Foundation. McCartney is past chairman of the Maricopa Workforce Connections Board where he worked to create job opportunities for both the disadvantaged and unemployed. His other work includes mentoring two youths through New Pathways for Youth and raising money for nonprofits nationally that work with children, education and youth at risk.


Rich Frazier has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years. In his role as senior consultant with IPM Advancement, Rich offers extensive understanding and knowledge in major gifts program management, fund development, strategic planning, and board of directors development.

Russ Phaneuf, a co-founder of IPM Advancement, has a background in higher education development, with positions at the University of Hartford, Northern Arizona University, and Thunderbird School of Global Management. As IPM's managing director & chief strategist, Russ serves as lead fundraising strategist, award-winning content creator, and program analyst specializing in applied system dynamics.


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