Why Use Me

Susan Fuglie ConsultingThe Benefits of Working with Me

My heart and my 40-year career are in the not-for-profit sector; these organizations make the world a better place.  My passion is to help them fulfill the missions for which they were created.

My experience includes nearly 18 years as the executive director at Hospice of the Red River Valley in Fargo. During my tenure, the hospice team grew the organization from a budget of $3 million to $25 million, expanding services from five to twenty nine counties and providing services from six locations in the greater Red River Valley regions of North Dakota and Minnesota. As the environment changed, so did our organizational structure, our staffing, our care delivery, our external partnerships and the functions of our board of directors. We had few roadmaps, so we used our mission as our compass. It was our true north.

While reporting to boards, I have also served on them, giving me the opportunity to see governance and administration from both sides. This rich experience has been liberally seasoned with serious challenges, inevitable missteps, a wealth of learning and collaborative successes.

Whether the mission is health care, human services, the arts, social justice or animal welfare, the need for administrative and governance effectiveness is similar.  When the leadership model works, an organization is truly freed to focus on its mission. Leading these transformations is some of the most rewarding work I have ever done, and it makes a difference in the world.

I believe this because I see its impact every day.

The Differences I Can Make for You

The role of a not-for-profit board of directors is to safeguard the mission of an organization.

A board of directors is intrinsic to a not-for-profit organization. My purpose is to build an effective governance model that guides both a board and an executive director towards mission-driven work that includes:

In the process, a good model will significantly enhance an organization’s strategic direction and strategic planning processes.

Here’s another plus: those standing board committees can be dissolved – and monitoring of an organization’s operations can become even more substantive without them.

The real difference?  Enhanced mission fulfillment.

The role of an executive director is to turn the mission into service.

An executive director (not the board) is supposed to run an organization.  Operational work belongs to the executive director and staff, freeing the board to focus on the mission and the future without being bogged down in administrative details.  When executive responsibilities and authority are clearly defined, organizational effectiveness increases exponentially.

When we accomplish this, the difference is tremendous.

Think of policies as glue.

Administrative fundamentals, such as bylaws, board policies, job descriptions, strategic work plans, clear indicators for operational performance, etc. are important and must be compatible and contemporary. Essentially, they are the glue that holds the important pieces together and lends clarity to each of them.

And, I actually enjoy the reading, evaluating, writing and editing of these documents so that they stick together.

Transitional executive leadership and executive coaching offer multiple benefits to not-for-profit organizations.

I can provide transitional/interim leadership when an organization is temporarily without an executive director. This frequently overlooked approach offers an ideal opportunity for an organization to reflect on itself, allow ideas and issues to surface, and pave the way for new leadership.

I also provide executive coaching, which is invaluable for:

An investment in an organization’s executive director is a very sound investment.