What nonprofit leaders are saying:

“A real gem. Packed with accessible, useful insights and practical ideas.”
— Barry Posner, co-author The Leadership Challenge and Learning Leadership

“Step Up: How to Be an Excellent Association Board Member should be required reading. It’s beautifully done, artfully designed, and most importantly, it covers the role of board members in an easy-to-read, yet thought-provoking way. It should be a part of every association budget to provide a copy for each new board member.”
 — Mary Byers, CAE, Association Consultant and Author of Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations

If you’re on a nonprofit board or considering joining one, this book  is a must-read.” — Gail Connelly, Executive Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals

“Let’s face it. There are scores of books on the market which orient Boards to their role. My worry is that few of them are actually read. Step Up! is an easy read with uncluttered and to-the-point communication. I recommend it to any executives and Board chairs looking for fresh tools to orient their Boards.”  — Nathan Monell, CAE, Executive Director, National PTA

“This book not only packs valuable insights for first-time Board members, but also for those of us who have been around the table a few times.” 
— Cheryl Saban, Ph.D., Philanthropist and Board Member, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, The Clinton Foundation, Girls That Code

Part inspiration, part education and part how-to, Step Up! imparts the insights that new and tenured nonprofit board members wish they knew from the get-go.

Step Up! is written for leaders who want practical guidance presented in a graphic and easily digestible format. It’s based on research and decades of experience working with hundreds of nonprofit boards and organizations. It covers the basics and ventures beyond the usual topics into areas that aren’t openly discussed. 

Step Up! addresses situations that often play out in boardrooms and answers the questions that board members commonly raise:

    • What am I supposed to be doing?
    • What are the boundaries?
    • How can I make sure I”m helping and not hurting? 
    • Is it okay to raise that issue?
    • How can I add the most value?

Step Up! has been tailored for specific audiences: 

Step Up! How to Be An Excellent Nonprofit Board Member is for anyone who is currently serving on a nonprofit board or who is considering joining one. The nonprofit version can be purchased on Amazon

Step Up! How to Be An Excellent Association Board Member covers topics that are targeted to leaders of professional and trade associations. To purchase the association version of Step Up! please email info(at)


Our work has taken us inside the boardrooms of nonprofits and professional associations in nearly every part of the country. These experiences have provided us with extensive, real-world knowledge of both the pitfalls that can cause nonprofit organizations to stumble and the cultures and practices that help them soar.

Our board leadership development services include:

  • Free resources and handouts including a customizable Personal Impact Plan template and elevator speech framework. Email us at info(at) and we’ll gladly send available resources to you. 
  • Board Self-Assessments, including benchmarking against our national nonprofit board member survey data. 
  • Board Training on building board engagement; increasing accountability and creating board impact plans; maximizing the ambassador role, including delivering authentic and compelling elevator speeches; and more. 
  • Conferences, Board Retreats and Facilitation to ensure that your retreat inspires, educates, promotes a positive board culture and enhances board performance. Learn more.
  • Strategic Growth Planning that fosters meaningful board member involvement in charting your organization’s future. Learn more.



When it comes to board engagement, the board environment and experience that an organization delivers plays a more significant role than many nonprofits realize.

Engaged and On Board 2015 offers a fresh look at board engagement through the lens of those board members who are highly involved. More than 1,200 nonprofit board members nationwide participated in the study.

In a wake-up call for the nonprofit sector, the survey finds less than half of board members are likely to actively recommend serving on their own board to friends or colleagues. The study also makes clear that highly engaged board members are having a very different experience than their less enthused colleagues. And by examining the differences in their views about the benefits of board membership and the culture and practices of their boards, the survey findings offer insight and guidance to nonprofit leaders as they work to heighten the engagement and effectiveness of their board members. Download the survey report and press release.


Contact us to discuss your organization's needs.



Step Up! for nonprofits -- How to be an Excellent Board Member
Step Up! for associations -- How to be an Excellent Board Member
Engaged and On Board National Survey
© 2B Communications, Inc.