Jeff Jowdy: The Art & Science of Fundraising – Part 2

“One thing I’ve learned is I’m not young, but I still love having mentors. I have mentors younger and older than me in different phases of our life.” -Jeff Jowdy

Today, we’re continuing the conversation from last week’s episode with Jeff Jowdy about fundraising.  

When you talk with Jeff Jowdy, the conversation could go in a lot of different directions.  And if you Google Jeff Jowdy, you’ll see a lot of skills, achievements, and experience, and you’ll see he currently leads Lighthouse Counsel. In my opinion, Lighthouse Counsel is one of the premier fundraising consultancies in the Southeast. 

In this episode, we’ll be discussing nonprofit board leadership.  We’ll pick up the conversation at the point where I was asking Jeff who had taught him the most about leadership.

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Jeff. And if you’re just joining us, be sure to listen to the first episode with Jeff.

Thanks again for listening to Next Gen Nonprofit Leadership with Tommy Thomas and be sure to share this episode with the nonprofit board members you know.  And don’t forget to leave us a review wherever you’re listening.  It really helps us!


“I’ve seen small boards that were ineffective and I’ve seen large boards that were ineffective. I’ve seen small boards that were effective and I’ve seen large boards that were effective…it’s back to that process, and the big piece is the time you put into it.” -Jeff Jowdy

Show Notes

[1:44] – Who taught Jeff the most about leadership and boardsmanship?

[4:32] – What Jeff learned from Nelson Andrews.

[6:31] – This is what stands out to Jeff with how board chairs run board meetings.

[8:45] – Jeff explains what he wants to see on a board.

[9:25] – The pros and cons of working through an executive committee, according to Jeff.

[11:25] – Jeff talks about boards using executive sessions and what he likes and doesn’t like about them.

[13:15] – Jeff’s perspective on board composition and whether it should have protagonists and antagonists.

[14:10] – Here are the best practices Jeff has seen with onboarding new members to the board.

[17:05] – We learn Jeff’s thoughts about what new board members need to know before getting started.

[18:15] – The critical questions the board should be asking itself today, in Jeff’s perspective.

[20:10] – Jeff reveals the best thing a board can do to prepare a new CEO for leadership.

[22:27] – We hear an update about Jeff’s book, the largest-ever U.S. study on nonprofit board chairs.

[24:10] – When can we expect to see Jeff’s book published? 

[25:04] – Tommy recaps the conversation with Jeff Jowdy and shares his takeaways.

“The president is the leader and needs to be a part of the solution. And if they’re the problem, then if you reach a point of no return, then that’s when they need to be asked to leave the meeting and then the organization.” -Jeff Jowdy

Links and Resources

JobfitMatters – Website

Lighthouse Counsel – Website

Mastering the In-Person Fundraising Ask

Episode 23 – Jeff Jowdy – The Art & Science of Fundraising – Part 1


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