Ep 8: A Day in the Life of a Board Chair – With Joe Landau [PODCAST]

nonprofits are messy

So why exactly would anyone want to join a board, let alone agree to be the chair?! That’s a lot of time and responsibility for no pay. On today’s podcast, I ask exactly that question to Joe Landau who has been in the big seat himself.

Board Chair is one of the most important roles at a nonprofit organization, but it isn’t the job for just anyone. Learn about what makes a good chair and how the role fits into the messiness of your organization.

Joe Landau knows all about that messiness. Joe was once the chair of Immigration Equality. And I think he’s been a chair that’s gotten it right. You can learn an awful lot from his experience.

When Joe isn’t running a nonprofit board, he’s an award-winning professor at Fordham University Law School. He was once the Assistant Managing Editor of New Republic magazine. Very interesting career.

This is another episode where you’ll want your pad and pencil. Joe gives an information-packed interview with loads of helpful tips that you can use to enhance your work as a board chair, or to have a better relationship with your board chair. Joe and I talk about everything from how to get there, to how to exit gracefully. Pull up a chair and have a listen.


  • The top reasons to join a board
  • The difference between volunteering to be chair vs. being “volun-told” and why it matters
  • Is it necessary for a board chair to be a master fundraiser?
  • What to do if a board member has never fundraised before
  • What exactly is the role of the board chair? What should it be?
  • If Joe knew what he knows now, would he have agreed to become the board chair in the first place?
  • A good reason you should NOT want to become the board chair
  • The attributes of a good board chair
  • How to deal with those times you just want to roll your eyes
  • How to develop a great relationship with the Executive Director
  • Advice for boards during a leadership transition