ED Forums… because it’s lonely at the top

Larry Tucker

Recently the Executive Coaches of Orange County inaugurated the Executive Director Forum program with three forums each comprised of about 13 executive directors of Orange County nonprofits. We continue to get lots of interest and specific questions about the program, so let me overview the program.

Why is it valuable to Executive Directors?

The forum provides an opportunity for executive directors to problem solve with their peers. Each ED brings to the table a specific issue which is then evaluated and discussed using a proven process for problem resolution. Members indicate that they learn things both tactical and strategic that will benefit their organizations. Yet, it’s also a “support group” in that members often share common problems and can help each other using their past experiences. In addition, the groups are facilitated by two experienced coaches who have years of experience working with nonprofits.

What is the commitment of time? 

Forum sessions are from 8:15 to noon once a month. Members commit to attend all meeting except, of course, when travel or an important meeting conflict with the session. Members are also asked to consider their issues in advance of the session so they are prepared to present the issue, the appropriate background information, what solutions have been attempted to date and what specifically they are looking for from the forum members.

Is there a cost involved?

The meeting leader coaches donate their time and the conference room is donated by OneOC. There is a charge of $20 per month in advance every six months to cover the cost of a continental breakfast and snacks during the sessions. Payment is required for all meetings even if you miss one or two. The costing assumes that one or two members will need to miss each session because of conflicts.

What are the requirements for participation?

To assure that the participants are truly peers, certain minimum criteria must be met to participate. The nonprofit must have:

  • A Board of Directors
  • At least two employees (ED +1)
  • An annual budget of at least $150,000
  • A commercial-based (not home-based) office

If you think you might be interested in joining one of our Executive Director Forums, please let us know by E-mailing us at admin@ECofOC.org.

Author: Larry Tucker, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org