Board Cafe is pleased to find its new home in Blue Avocado. For 10 years, Board Cafe has been one of the most popular and influentialpublications in the U.S. nonprofit sector.

Ten years of hitting the right notes

CompassPoint Nonprofit Services launched Board Cafe in 1998 to reach a large audience that is more talked about than talked with: members of nonprofit boards of directors. Board Cafe quickly became popular because it was just right for busy board members: short, pithy, practical, real, suited to community-based organizations.

Board Cafe's and Blue Avocado'success and viewpoint come from our commitment to community organizations and our belief in the capabilities and power of volunteer leaders. Board Cafe takes on difficult subjects, such as racial diversity on the boards of ethnic-specific organizations, how to pay the executive director, whether to close down an organization, and what to do you when you really, really disagree with a board decision.

We've found that Board Cafe's readership is eager for dialog: each issue we hear from readers who serve on boards running from youth swim teams to hospitals, from theatres to cancer research laboratories, from preschools to civil rights advocacy organizations. Now, finally, these comments can be actively shared with Board Cafe's community through the Comments Sections at the conclusions of Board Cafe articles.

The Best of the Board Cafe

The Fieldstone Alliance (formerly the Wilder Foundation) published a compilation of materials in The Best of the Board Cafe, which quickly became a bestseller for them and is in its second printing. Its articles are reprinted in dozens of publications each year, and an updated and expanded second edition is planned for the fall of 2008.

Board Cafe's Kitchen Staff

Board Cafe is written by Jan Masaoka, and features occasional guest authors. A volunteer Editorial Committee, whose perspectives and sharp critiques make the column strong, reviews every article in advance. The Committee includes:

In addition, Karen Aitchison serves as Board Cafe's copy editor. And for nine years until her death last year, Brooke Mahoney of BoardNetUSA served as an energetic member of the Editorial Committee and constant Board Cafe promoter.

The Board Cafe is also grateful to its early supporters more than ten years ago: the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the James Irvine Foundation, and its early co-sponsors, BoardSource and BoardNetUSA.

Join the discussion table at the Board Cafe

We encourage you to register at Blue Avocado (free) so that you can post your comments on articles. We also hope you will join Blue Avocado as a supporting member, for as little as $20 per year. And let us know your ideas for future articles and stories as well.

Thank you for being a part of Board Cafe . . . and now, Blue Avocado!

Comments (3)

  • Anonymous

    i have a question. We just got the list of names of donors who chose our agency as their donor option through our local United Way. Several of them work at the same place as our Board chair (and most likely were recruited by him). When i told him how many donors were from his place, he wanted their names and the amounts of their donations. He said that as Board chair he has access to all our donor names and amounts of donations.

    So first, does he have the right to the names of donors? Secondly, does he have the right to know when they are from his place of employment? Third, if both those answers are yes, does he have the right to know what amount his fellow employees are contributing? If I contributed an amount to an agency because a coworker advocated for them, I would be most annoyed if the coworker found out how much I had donated. I don't want to anger these donors, especially since some of the amounts were quite substantial.

    Aug 02, 2010
  • I'm not a lawyer. In my view the board member does not have a legal right to see the list of donors, and so the question is a matter of judgment. I do think the names of donors and the amounts they have given should be shared with board members, but not their places of employment. If a board member wants to cross reference the donor list with a list of employees where he works (or a list of church members, or whatever), that would be up to that person. My two cents.

    Aug 02, 2010
  • How can I order a copy of The Best of Board Cafe?

    May 11, 2016

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