Helping nonprofit leaders do better at doing good

Meet Faculty Member, Caryn Bosson

October 25, 2017

The basics!

Caryn Bosson, Principal, Caryn Bosson Consulting -

How long have you been a faculty member of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership faculty and/or teaching in general? What do you enjoy most about serving as faculty/teaching?

I've been a longtime nonprofit leader, founding the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation in the 1990s and heading it for a decade before playing leadership roles for another decade at TreePeople, the 45-year old community forestry organization in Los Angeles. For years I've specialized in facilitating groups to achieve new levels of vision and teamwork, whether the focus is strategic planning, youth-adult partnerships, or staff and board team building. I'm particularly interested in how we communicate with each other, and in creating settings in which real listening can take place. This one skill can grow a team's effectiveness by leaps and bounds. I’ve been a faculty member of the Center since 2016, and I’m also the Executive Director of The C.R.E.W., an Ojai-based nonprofit.

What workshop/event do you have coming up?  What can attendees expect?  Why should people register to attend?

I’m currently organizing the exciting new Nonprofit Resiliency Institute. Thanks to funding from Kaiser Permanente and the Amgen Foundation, this Institute is an opportunity for local organizations who have been financially impacted, directly or indirectly, by the Thomas, Hill or Woolsey fires. In four hands-on sessions with leading experts, organizational leaders will gain practical financial management and fundraising strength to better prepare for, withstand, and adapt to future challenges and opportunities. This program will be tailored to the needs of each organization through organizational assessment and goal setting, and coaching calls.  Yes, it’s an amazing opportunity. Applications for the first cohort are due Jan. 6—hurry and apply today!

For the second year, I also am serving as the lead faculty of the 2019 Board Leadership Institute: a six-month certificate program to enhance the knowledge and skills of leadership teams comprised of nonprofit board members and their head of staff. Participating teams have the opportunity to work on their own current organizational issues, as well as take ideas of how to implement best practices back to their full boards. Institute topics include the Board Chair/Executive Director partnership, strategic planning, development and fundraising, financial oversight -- and much more.  This program is currently full, but if you’d like to get on the waiting list to be first in line when another section opens, click here

How would you describe your teaching/facilitation style?  What do your students say about you?

My style is extremely interactive. I love using stories, questions, and other participatory techniques to create a free flow of ideas and spark connections. I always find that each group has its own tremendous wisdom, and as facilitator, I help move things along so that everyone shares, learns, and has fun along the way.  My participants appreciate that I keep things on track while allowing for lively discussion, and that my own inspiration and enthusiasm tends to bubble over. I'm pretty passionate about this work.