Programs & Resources

ASK the experts

The Down syndrome leadership community has some of the best "experts" on topics related to Down syndrome, nonprofit governance and management, and overall leadership issues. Enjoy our monthly question and the answers from our "experts" in the field!

Answers are coming in now for our next question!  (see below)  Check back often for answers!

What was your greatest challenge in 2016 and how did you overcome it (or not)?

"Financial disorganization. Our income doubled within two years and we needed drastic steps to handle the size of our treasury. The board replaced our treasurer with an experienced financial expert, switched banks to cultivate a community partnership, and hired a bookkeeper."

"Our biggest challenges have to do with sustainability. Everything you put in place has to have new money associated with it to keep it going. We want to always do more than we are financially capable of. Large sums of new monies are not readily or easily available. Grants are getting harder to find that support general operations.

I would recommend creating a strategic plan to relieve frustration 

  • a plan helps plan or phase new programs. 
  • allows you to express concerns and tactics that everyone can feel good about. (Board and staff) 
  • The plan also reminds us that we don't have to do everything at the same time. Use a timeline 
  • It also forces you to think about your infrastructure. 
  • forces you to realistically look at what your strategies will be to do what you want to do so you can gain buy in. 
  • Much more"

Have a question you'd like answered by other Down syndrome association leaders? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered.

What is the most important thing you include in your board orientation packet?

"A letter of commitment, outlining the number of meetings the member is expected to attend within a calendar year, and the number of committees they are expected to join."

"We like to add recent press, a list of key supporters, photos of constituents with testimonials, and a list of goals and accomplishments that board members can use as talking points in the community and with the press."

"Make sure your packet includes the time and place of your regularly scheduled meetings. (You may even supply a quick map of the location from a main road.)"

"A copy of your bylaws!"

We love the Bobux Baby Bootie discount program. We had a lot of positive responses from our families...AND they raised approximately $9,000.                                       -Kathleen Forney, DSA of Minnesota


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