Trends

Virtual Strength: How the Internet Fosters Community

People are more mobile than ever; communities and jobs are more fluid, and relationships are taking on new shapes. Wh...

People are more mobile than ever; communities and jobs are more fluid, and relationships are taking on new shapes. While we are more globally connected, we are feeling ever more alienated and desperate for rootedness, connection, and community. For those of us in the expanding Zeitgeist of virtual communities, a number of questions require consideration

  • How do people retain both their deep connections and the casual ones that enable the migration of ideas?
  • How do virtual communities affect our humanity and relationships?
  • Is commitment to physical place important?
  • What do we gain and what do we lose through so much mobility?

I’ve spent most of the past fourteen years living in Israel and working for American educational institutions. At both Camp Ramah in Wisconsin (as founding co-director of its Northwoods Kollel) and at Mechon Hadar (as director of alumni affairs and recruitment), the essence of my position was intellectually and pastorally oriented community organizing. With the emergence of the Internet as the culture’s central information medium and hub for social organization, I found myself operating on new terrain – working in many places and nowhere. Yeshivat Hadar, for example, may be housed in New York, but the community it serves and represents – Jews interested in rigorous, literate, communal Torah life in egalitarian contexts – spans a far greater distance. While that might foster a network of kindred spirits, does it create community?

Spoiler alert: yes and no. We have an opportunity and challenge today to maximize the ways in which virtual organizations enhance community life while doing some serious, creative, adaptive thinking about how to nurture physical, local communities without smothering mobility.

In some ways, the kinds of fellowship and intimacy forged and nurtured virtually tend to be richer than those found exclusively in face-to-face contexts. And virtual communities are more democratic and inclusive and, consequently, more substantive.

Conversations in threads and wall posts on Facebook and other social media circulate information and perspectives more efficiently and inclusively than messaging that takes place solely on the ground. There are several structural reasons for this:

  • We can maintain the feel of a conversation’s urgency in real time and yet we can respond slowly — with more time to think and digest before speaking;
  • We can eliminate barriers that preclude shy people from sharing their insights;
  • We can include individuals who are socially isolated because of geography, economics, homebound caretaking responsibilities (e.g., parents of young children), or restrictions on their freedom of movement by others;
  • We can limit or block the voices of aggressive interlocutors who too easily dominate social settings in person.

Moreover, virtual communities sustain relationships when they need to grow the most but are at most risk of dissolving – when individuals move away and discover new insights ready to circulate and prevent communities from becoming intellectual silos. Take a biblical example: When they first meet, Moshe and Yitro are drawn together as strangers and kindred spirits. But only later, when they reunite and see one another, could Yitro learn of God’s ways with Israel and Moshe learn about Yitro’s community organization wisdom. The reuniting was essential to community growth, but difficult to achieve; too often, by the time it happens, if ever, people have lost the social rhythms needed to unlock and share their new knowledge. Today, many of our face-to-face relationships are immeasurably enhanced because connections that enable getting back together are better maintained while we are apart.

Virtual communities also enable the retention of our more creative members. During my tenure at Camp Ramah, I would encourage our brightest counselors not to return every summer. I felt it would raise the camp’s creative bar when veterans would eventually return with new perspectives gleaned from a broader array of experiences. This was usually met with resistance: “Once they’re gone, how will we get them back?” High net, low roof. Maybe they were right at that time. Today, though, an organization that loses contact with its members that quickly is simply not trying.

When the community is mindfully organized, it will have even more substantive and creative interactions during opportunities to meet face-to-face. Most of the catching up has already happened. “What have you been up to these five years?” can give way to: “I wanted to talk to you more about that post the other day.” Goodbye, reunions; hello, laboratories. Social media enable human relationships to be thicker, wiser, and more stable.

On the other hand, the malaise that many digitized people feel is real, and I suspect that it strikes the hardest when a virtual community is replacing, rather than supplementing a physical community of stable, face-to-face relationships. Intimacy is often accessible only when built on a foundation of interaction.

Further, geographically dispersed but like-minded individuals talking to one another can also become an echo chamber, deaf to the insights of those of different ages, politics, and lifestyles, and blind to the nuances of received wisdom and local custom. Our celebration of diversity doesn’t look so impressive if we forget how to listen to all the grandparents in our midst.

It is no surprise that the remarkable burst of Jewish innovation in the past fifteen years coincided with the emergence of a digitized generation or that the innovation took a quantum leap forward when social media became the norm. This decade’s big story will be the attempt of that generation to put down roots and establish a stable infrastructure without losing the creative soul of their flexible and mobile origins.

Rootedness in physical space is important, often crucially so: People crave the mutual understanding and dependability that come through long-term relationships. Truly buoyant physical communities today, though, will be those that recognize the ways in which digital community organization reinforces their natural strengths so they can be more democratic and inclusive and better retain their members. Accordingly, those who have discovered the humanity remarkably enabled via social media will go deepest with these relationships when they set down roots and commit to physical community.

Virtual Strength: How the Internet Fosters Community, July 22, 2014, eJP by Aryeh Bernstein
 

The Disconnect in Connecting the Workplace

There’s a lot of talk about the future of work… Technology is indeed connecting us in ways that imp...

There’s a lot of talk about the future of work…

Technology is indeed connecting us in ways that improve communication, discovery and connectivity. The world is becoming a much smaller place as a result. Chances are that you are connected in one network or another to people in at least 12 other countries. Although social networking and smartphones are relatively new as a staple in the everyday life of adults and kids, how we as consumers use these networks and devices is outpacing how we as employees use technology in the workplace. Over time, how we make decisions as consumers, what we come to expect from the companies that we do business with, and simply how we want to work with them is shifting the balance of power away from today’s business models to the connected masses.

Seems logical and almost commonsensical. The challenge however is that companies are anchored by decades or years of technology investments and the existing philosophies and processes that govern and support them today. But it doesn’t stop there. These connected customers though aren’t the only ones we need to understand, they also represent a growing percentage of our workforce.

Fighting Fire with Fire Will Only Burn Everything to the Ground

In my research, I’ve found that many executives are well aware of the onslaught of new technology. Many however, are unsure of how to solve the problem or even address what the problem really is for that matter. There are those in IT who are drafting new plans that alter long-established roadmaps to evaluate emergent social and mobile technologies. Some are bolting-on trendy technologies onto legacy systems to apply what will only prove to be a temporary fix. As my friend Stowe Boyd, a web anthropologist and futurist often says, “You can’t teach old tech new tricks.”

Either way, social and mobile threw a curveball. It wasn’t just because the technology overtook the world in a matter of a few short years, it’s that social media and mobile apps changed the behavior of people who use them. Suddenly businesses have to rethink…everything. Yet, how they’re structure today symbolizes an old guard of command and control approaches where employees use technology bestowed upon them because it was gospel. In today’s world though, all I can say is “good luck with that strategy.” More often than not, the technology we force onto people forces them to conform to a way of work dictated by technology and those who govern it within the organization rather than use technology as a seamless enabler to get work done, individually or collectively, the way that people organically use technology in their personal life.

Technology is most effective when it is invisible.

Throwing technology at the problem isn’t the answer. Technology is an enabler and we must see it for what it unlocks or facilitates. But that comes down to us not as information architects but as architects of collaboration and work to do something greater than what we accomplish today. With all of the hype, and fatigue, around new tech, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s hot and what’s next.

Technology is part of the solution but it’s also part of the problem.

In my research as a digital analyst and anthropologist, I explore the dynamics of human behavior from a bottom-up or escalation perspective. The conundrum facing IT and businesses overall, is that the philosophies and systems governing the way we work are traditionally designed from that of a top-down approach. Yet how we use technology in our real life is completely different than what we use or how we use it to get the job done.

Businesses can’t look at new tech as a solution until executives understand what it is they’re really trying to solve for or enable now and over time.

Intranets languish.

Knowledge sharing isn’t shared as much as businesses hoped.

Collaboration tools inhibit true collaboration.

Mobile access looks and feels nothing like the way our personal mobile apps feel and function.

So what’s the answer?

Social streams that allow people to feel like they’re tweeting inside their company?

Geo-location apps that allow them to check in to cafés or meeting rooms?

Facebook-like collaboration networks that allow employees to network and work with each other.

Shift to iOS and Android phones and tablets because you have to thanks to the momentum of employees + BYOD (bring your own device).

Cloud anything…because cloud!

Gamification rewards to incentivize people to use internal tech because they get points and there’s a leaderboard to show who’s winning?

It all sounds like it will work until of course, it doesn’t.

Why is that the case?

The answers are simple yet revealing…
When Technology Fails

When I study why technology fails to change behavior internally, the reasons always seem to surprise executives, but rarely do they shock employees.

  1. Older managers disagree philosophically with how younger employees work in general.
  2. Systems architects don’t get today’s employees.
  3. Technology is too painful to use and there’s a lot of it.
  4. Workflow is imposed rather than designed to emulate how people naturally use technology to communicate and connect.
  5. Legacy processes and reporting systems actively discourage people to adopt something new.
  6. Legacy philosophies protect those who work in dated paradigms rather than encourage aging workforces to gain new expertise through learning and collaboration.
  7. Management doesn’t actually reward cross-team collaboration as part of the day-to-day work.
  8. Incentives to change do not align with employee goals and aspirations.
  9. Leadership does not lead by example.
  10. A lack of vision as to why new technology will enable business goals and why employees should buy-in.
  11. BONUS: The culture of the organization is more rigid than adaptive, which inadvertently undermines any hope for innovation

Depending on the culture of the organization, this list only grows…often unwieldy like a weed. Pulling the weed out buys time, but it grows back. You have to get to the root of the problem and solve for it as it lines up with the ultimate vision of the company. And sometimes, because things are so different now with market and employee behavior, that vision may need to be renewed or completely revised to mean something, to be relevant now and in the future.

Things must change, but change begins with seeing and approaching this challenge cum opportunity differently…

This is a time for leadership…not the conventional management systems as we know them. Change doesn’t have to come from today’s executives or managers however. What’s important to understand is that change can come from anywhere within the organization. Anyone can assume the role of leader as long as they have vision for what’s possible, courage to break what isn’t yet fully broken, and passion to mobilize people to unite in transformation. This sense of conviction is contagious and when approached with a human and business focus, even executives can’t help but listen…and learn. I guess that’s what this is about. We have to learn to learn again and that will only help us lead.

The Disconnect in Connecting the Workplace, July 15, 2014, Brian Solis

Design A Better Dashboard

Take a look at any nonprofit dashboard and the most effective ones probably have an organizational process that lies ...

Take a look at any nonprofit dashboard and the most effective ones probably have an organizational process that lies beneath. Dashboard design is more than simply clarifying outcomes and key metrics. Dashboard design should also inspire buy-in and continuous improvement by using “human centered design” methods.

But shouldn’t dashboards be designed by data scientists and graphic designers? Yes they can be part of the team, but anyone can be a designer! These are methods for developing solutions (any type) in service of people. By applying this approach to any program development or strategy and even your organization’s dashboard, your nonprofit can more innovative and get more impactful results.

Many times dashboard design is focused on “getting it done efficiently” and graphs and does not address the human side – buy-in, learning from data, and consensus on metrics. A focus on the bar charts without taking the time to understand the challenges and open up creative thinking will not inspire organizational buy-in which is so important.

Here are two stories about two very different nonprofits and how they approached designing their dashboards with human-centered design techniques.

Tracking for Impact and Learning

Edutopia, a project of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, is an online web site that creates and curates content that is distributed through mobile, social media, video, and offline channels. They also have a robust online community. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of education. Their theory of change is about raising awareness of the issues and then inspiring, engaging and encouraging their audiences to take actions around this goal.

Their dashboard already did a great job at tracking impact metrics about the reach and size of their audience, but they wanted to go deeper in tracking engagement and taking action. With a large staff producing and marketing content, they also wanted a way to capture data for ongoing feedback to improve their content.

Again, using design-thinking facilitating methods, the process started with a presentation from the executive director on the strategy for the year and measurement. Staff were asked to use a technique called “Rose, Bud, Thorn” to identify strengths, challenges, and opportunities for change. They created a concept map of the different themes that emerged. While technical topics such data and measurement processes emerged, so did a lot culture change issues.

Next staff identified key impact metrics by creating a paper prototype of the dashboard on the wall, with sticky notes. Using a sticky dot voting process to identify metrics most important to senior management and the board and those most important to different staff departments, they were able to design different “views” – a high level for impact and more detailed version for “learning.”

What emerged from the conversation was a plan for impact reporting, but also a process for more intentional experimentation and learning linked to key metrics.

Metrics for Movements

GivingTuesday, a philanthropic movement to promote a national day of charitable giving that takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, organized a convening of key stakeholders called “Measurepalooza.” The gathering followed on the heals of the “Best Practices Summit” where partners and participants came together to share and learn best practices and identified the need for the movement to also capture metrics beyond “dollars raised on the day” numbers.

In particular, they were interested in looking at transformational metrics such as donor engagement, building nonprofit capacity, and global reach.

As a movement, GivingTuesday needed to address and get consensus on two big measurement questions: What metrics should the movement as a whole measure? What should participants each measure for their individual campaigns?

The session started with setting context on the accomplishments of the past year’s campaign and a summary of what was learned during the best practices summit. This lead to a discussion about the need to capture both “transactional” and “transformational” metrics related to specific outcomes as well as what and how to effectively use both quantitative and qualitative data for both movement level learning and for participating partners.

Through a facilitated design thinking process, small groups of participants created a draft of the Giving Tuesday movement level and partner level metrics.  As a consensus building process, participants used “sticky dot” voting to identify the most important metrics (green for partners; red for the movement as a whole). This allowed everyone to see visually what the group consensus was and hone in what was most important.

Summary

Whether you are using data to inform a digital content strategy or to build a philanthropic movement, it is important to remember that effective measurement begins with people.

How has your organization achieved buy-in from staff or senior leaders about what data to collect for impact tracking?  What are the processes that your organization is using to help ensure that data is used for decision-making and learning and not ignored?

Design A Better Dashboard, July 18, 2014, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter
 

Leadership in the Volunteer Community

Long standing professionals often forget for whom they work. They also tend to forget the importance of their role to...

Long standing professionals often forget for whom they work. They also tend to forget the importance of their role to nurture leadership and volunteerism. They forget the need to apologize to others, to admit they have erred.

I have been studying the structure of volunteer organizations and analyzing the leadership of their professionals’ leadership styles for a little more than forty years. I have founded a number of synagogues in Europe and the United States, worked as a congregation rabbi and finally served as the exec director of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC) for nearly thirty-five years. My work has been guided by the belief that if one wishes to build a community one must empower and invest in its volunteers.

This isn’t always easy and it runs counter to the way most organizations function. The majority of not-for-profit organizations when they wish to develop a community or a project choose to invest in professionals. This, is a logical means of moving forward but it often overlooks the fact that the professional staff is only one part an equation. The second part of that equation is the volunteer culture. The manner in which professionals interact with their volunteers often determines their continuity and the success of the organization they represent. The success of any not-for-profit organization is dependent upon this volunteer/professional relationship.

A large number of professionals assume that part of their position is to create and articulate a vision but the manner and the strategies that the professional employs to empower others with that vision is rarely taken into account.

In order to create a working meaningful volunteer/professional culture the professional or professionals needs to develop a plan that engages and develops volunteers. Too often this fails to occur and tensions between lay and professional leaderships develop.

I often ask newly ordained rabbis, serving in their first pulpit, to define their leadership style in a simple sentence ending with an adjective and a noun. For example, “I am a dynamic leader.” The results are usually very interesting primarily because they have never been asked to consider this question. When I am asked this question, and I usually am, my response is “I am a servant leader.”

Servant leaders help make their volunteers the best volunteers, the best leaders, they can be. Servant leaders places volunteers in the spotlight, and helps them learn how to motivate others. Servant leaders quietly create the roles models we wish to be emulated. They are the ones who help their professionals make decisions. They are the ones that learn how to lead grace after meals so they can teach others.

In order for this to occur, volunteer leaders require backups and partners and the security that they will never fail, because the professional understands that their lives, like ours, are extremely busy and very complicated. Someone will lose a job, or contract an illness, or have something happen to their family which will limit their ability to serve. At times this means that the volunteer leader might not meet some people’s expectations. They might not perform in a position the way someone else would. It might mean two steps forward one step backward. The servant leader helps leadership understand they are doing the best they can and are learning how to be more effective volunteers and possible leaders if they are properly encouraged. In the volunteer world a culture of friendship means that no one ever fails, they just might not succeed as much as they desired. The professional’s job is to create a culture of friendship and trust coupled with the recognition that everyone has different abilities.

I was recently asked by the leader of one of the great teaching institutions in America, how could I run an organization, the only one in the Conservative Movement that is growing and getting younger, with such a small staff? My answer was simple and straight forward. I empower volunteers to coordinate all of the various portfolios. I help them break down positions with tremendous responsibility into small achievable goals and tasks. I place them in positions where they can succeed and I trust them. I help them learn to share, to ask questions and to request help from others. I work hard at teaching them how to work as a team and to divorce themselves from ownership

Too often lay leaders, upon attaining high office, confuse “inauguration” with “installation”. They speak of their legacies and results. Attitudes like these creates cultures of fear and mistrust. When this occurs, organizational directions can be shifted in different directions at the whim of the president. On the other hand, a culture of friendship reflects a venue where incoming, existing and past leadership works together. They stay on course from administration to administration concentrating on previously determined goals.

In many instances the vision of the professional doesn’t always reflect the needs of the organization. This is one of the great pitfalls in the not-for-profit world. A person can be swept up in the perceived glory of becoming an international figure, a world Jew, when in actuality in order to strengthen the organization a different professional direction is needed.

Long standing professionals often forget for whom they work. They also tend to forget the importance of their role to nurture leadership and volunteerism. They forget the need to apologize to others, to admit they have erred. They forget how important it is to be a servant/leader.

Leadership in the Volunteer Community, July 15, 2014, eJP, by Charles Simon  

 

Rethink How You Approach Lapsed Donors

Conventional wisdom says it’s more cost effective to retain donors than acquire new donors. Of course you shoul...

Conventional wisdom says it’s more cost effective to retain donors than acquire new donors. Of course you should spend a fair amount of your time tending to your active donors, ensuring they’re seeing the impact of their donation and making them a part of your community. In this case, an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure. But what do you do if these supporters stop giving? Write them off and move on?

Not so fast, says donor retention expert, Lisa Sargent. In a recent newsletter, Lisa outlines her perspective, complete with a Monty Python reference. She offers superb examples of what to test with your lapsed and long-lapsed files (especially multiple or long-time lapsed givers), instead of immediately purging or ignoring these former donors.

As you assess your own approach, consider these five things before addressing your lapsed donors:

Lapsed donors probably don’t consider themselves “lapsed.” Be careful how you reach out to these donors—many may consider themselves to still be active givers to your nonprofit. Just because they’re not giving at the frequency you prefer, that doesn’t mean they don’t feel they’re important contributors to your cause. Acknowledge their contributions and make sure to let them know the difference they’ve made. In most cases, your next outreach to this group could be considered an “impact report catch-up.”

Different segments have different needs. As you build relationships with donors, remember that you have affinity groups who have specific motivations for giving, and give in different ways. Create a cultivation plan with these variances in mind, and do the same for those who have skipped a donation. Preventing a lapse is the best solution, but early intervention can help bring a portion of these donors back from the brink. (Alan Sharpe has a top-notch framework for a ‘win back’ letter.

Engage them with something different. It’s likely these so-called lapsed donors are still interested in supporting your cause in some way. Offer something new to this group, such as surveys, advocacy tools, volunteer opportunities, or event invitations to assess if they’re still interested. These activities will help keep your cause top of mind and communicate the impact of your work, which will allow you to build a case for giving again.

Look in the mirror. Is your donor stewardship model all it could be? Perform an audit of your donor communications from the point of giving throughout the lifespan of that donor. Then, compare that to a timeline of your donor churn rate. These are the critical moments at which you need to prepare compelling, proactive outreach. If you already have communications just before these time periods, it’s time for an overhaul. (Need some help? Listen to our recent webinar with Donor Relations Guru, Lynne Wester.)

Have a conversation. If a long-time or high-dollar donor stops their support, it’s time to pick up the phone and find out more. Use this as an opportunity to reach out and understand if everything is ok—for both your donor and your organization. Is something going on in your donor’s world that interrupted their support, or have they been soured by a miscommunication? Perhaps they’ve outgrown their current relationship with you and are unsure of other opportunities to do more with your cause. Be prepared to embrace any and all feedback—it’s likely to be an eye-opening conversation that could change your understanding of your donors.

So when do you cut them loose? Some fundraising advisors say never, while other experts say to take a hint after one year. I say: it depends. Look at the reasons why donors may stop giving to your organization and your fundraising cycles. Understand those first, then put a process in place to remediate, reactivate, or retire these contacts.

How do you handle your “lapsed” donors? Chime in and share your experiences below!

Rethink How You Approach Lapsed Donors, June 4, 2014 Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

Thoughts on the Relevance of Nonprofit Management Curricula

What is the state of nonprofit management education today? From the ways we establish community value to a renewed em...

What is the state of nonprofit management education today? From the ways we establish community value to a renewed emphasis on networking and an expanded menu of organizational designs (among other things), how we work in the sector is changing at a faster pace than ever.

In an effort to establish how curricula are, or are not, keeping up with the changes, I interviewed nine practitioners with extensive experience in the sector: Phil Cass, CEO of the Columbus Medical Association and Foundation; Deborah Frieze, former copresident of the Berkana Institute; Hildy Gottlieb, cofounder of Creating the Future; Mark Kramer, founder and managing director of FSG Social Impact Advisors; Heather McLeod-Grant, principal of McLeod-Grant advisors and coauthor of Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits; Allen Proctor, consultant and founder of Proctor’s Linking Mission to Money; William Trueheart, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream; Katherine Tyler Scott, managing partner of Ki ThoughtBridge; and Peter York, CEO, Founder and Chief Idea Guy at Algorhythm.

Generally speaking, the group seemed somewhat disappointed with the current state of nonprofit management education, at least in its attention to a rapidly changing context. As one interviewee—Hildy Gottlieb—offered, “Having degree programs in management as an end unto itself reinforces the notion that all that matters is means, with the assumption that somehow, if you have strong means, the ends will magically take care of themselves.” Peter York posited that, increasingly, nonprofit organizations don’t control the market on social change, and predicted that there will be quite an amalgamation of private and nonprofit businesses all competing to address social issues. In his opinion, “People are talking about impact investing, and they don’t care if you are for-profit or nonprofit as long as you demonstrate impact.” Although the group recognized that many graduates are entering the workplace with useful technical skills—from project management to budgeting and finance—they collectively articulated concerns that today’s programs lack attention to the broader context in which these skills might be deployed to improve conditions in communities and accomplish real change.

Five Key Ideas

Most of the nonprofit leaders I know, and that represents a fairly sizable group, have not gone through programs that have anticipated the radical changes that we are facing in many dimensions of our work today. And I am not just talking about the severe cutbacks to resources by public entities and the decline of resources available to nonprofits because of a bad economy; I am talking about the anticipation of radical changes in the demands of our local, regional, state, national, and international economies to have differently educated individuals who can function in a global economy.

William Trueheart

When interviewees were asked what a program might look like if they had the freedom to create a learning experience that would properly prepare people for a career in nonprofit leadership, their answers were clustered around five key ideas. First, leaders need to understand how to establish an organization’s community value. In order to garner the support needed for survival, the community needs to understand and embrace “how the organization contributes to the common good; how it creates a net community benefit.” Second, our programs must teach students how change happens. Students need to look to the future so that attention and resources are focused on the outcomes that must be achieved. Third, students need to learn how to work collaboratively and collectively as part of a group. Effectively addressing complex social problems requires a multisectoral coordinated response. Fourth, programs must recognize the importance of selecting an appropriate organizational structure and business model. So much of what we teach is fixated on philanthropy as a sole source of revenue, and that is simply not realistic in today’s environment. Students need to emerge from graduate programs with a basic understanding of organizational design options, capitalization, pricing, and various business models that can be used to achieve social impact. Fifth, students need to practice. They need to be immersed in authentic learning experiences where there are opportunities for reflection, self-directed discovery, and peer learning.

1. Establishing Community Value

We need to understand deeply the purposes for which nonprofits exist . . . what product or service we are offering to create a better world. That piece gets missed too often, as does the notion of really understanding the values and the purpose of what we are up to and the theory of change behind what we are designing our organizations to fulfill. And then, by the way, we can get to the mechanics.

Deborah Frieze

Without exception, every person who was interviewed emphasized that in order to be a successful leader, program graduates must ensure that their nonprofit is what Allen Proctor describes as a “reliable provider of a service that fulfills a useful need in the community.” On its face, this work is dynamic. As communities and circumstances change, program delivery must shift as well. Deborah Frieze explained that in order to deliver on our public value promise, we “need to figure out what communities actually need as opposed to what the nonprofit sector has been pitching that they need.” This is not easy work. It requires people to challenge their worldview—to let go of what they think they know and discover new ways of seeing and interpreting what is happening. At its best it requires constant iterations on practice and, every now and then, a complete deconstruction of what is in service of what could be.

For this, nonprofit leaders need to know the disciplines of self-reflective practice. “A nonprofit curriculum must immerse students in their own leadership, into themselves,” according to Katherine Tyler Scott. “They need to understand what is core and important to their own character and the values that guide them in their decision making.” These very values can either foster innovation and creativity or restrict and constrain thinking, but Frieze believes that this understanding of oneself is in service of understanding other voices and the facilitation of collective voice: “We need to really immerse ourselves into the community, not simply pass through as a voyeur.” And we must be able to state what is informing us, not as immutable truth but as our perspective, including the information we believe to be important. Phil Cass described this process through the lens of Theory U, a concept developed by Otto Scharmer, which explores the inner place from which leaders operate. According to the theory, leaders must identify the assumptions we have come to accept as reality and how those assumptions guide their thinking and participation. Tyler Scott went on to say that “this kind of work provides students with an opportunity to engage in reflective thinking and discernment: skills they will use for the rest of their lives. There will be no job that will not benefit from having this kind of skill.”

Perhaps one way to contextualize public value is to incorporate the associational history of the sector into the curriculum. As Tyler Scott noted, “Not many people have an understanding of the history of the sector. It’s almost as if they just landed yesterday. People need to know the root of why it was created, why it is important, and why it is important that it continue. They are our best advocates for the sector when they get out. History provides students with a richer context for the work they do. They are not starting over; they are part of a huge community of people, generations of people who have tried to make society better.” The more students know about the history, the more they can begin to think about their own worldview, says Tyler Scott. That is what they take with them from the academy into practice; it is what influences how they lead, how they serve, and how they decide. Tyler Scott believes we should encourage students to think critically about the meaning of their public-sector work and their roles and responsibilities in continuing the traditions that are going to create a better world.

This leads us to another important aspect of establishing community value: acting as a venue for creating a different future. This addresses different issues in different settings, but the methods for the establishment of commonly held vision are a critical and powerful knowledge and skills base, according to Gottlieb: “If we start by teaching how to create significant improvement in our community conditions—if we focus on ends first—it’s not negating teaching management, it’s just putting it in context. We focus on teaching the means within a focus on the ends. Organizations are just tools we use to create the communities we want. If we focus on the tool with no focus on the reason we have the tool, then we wind up with this finely crafted and well-maintained hammer that never builds a house.”

2. Understanding How Change Happens

We tend to have a curriculum now that assumes people are going to graduate and go into a nonprofit organization—and work within that organization using a very traditional [service-delivery] model that has not changed in twenty or thirty years. That’s not the future. That’s not where we see momentum and change and innovation happening. The knowledge and skills to leverage change are what people need to learn, and this is not in the nonprofit curriculum today.

Mark Kramer

It is certainly true that not all nonprofit organizations are about change, yet for those people who are planning to lead organizations that are about social change, an understanding of how change happens—and how to develop the tools needed to make change happen—is essential. Frieze noted that in her experience, change does not happen from the top of the system but rather from deep within it—when people move forward to solve a problem. Gottlieb expanded on that idea, suggesting that change has to happen simultaneously top down and bottom up, and it has to happen across all aspects of the social change arena.

William Trueheart shared a compelling story of how change happened in the Pittsburgh public school system. In 2002, Trueheart was one of three foundation CEOs who elected to suspend funding to the local public school system in Pittsburgh, because the group lacked confidence in the school board’s ability to run the district. Although this was a bold move on the part of the funders, they realized that in order for real change to take place they were but one cog in a very complex wheel; without interest and support from a broad range of stakeholders, systemic issues would never be addressed. Early on they recognized the need for a political dimension to their work, yet there were no political entities at the table. They knew that in order to create the kind of transformational change they were seeking, they needed to educate the broader community on the larger issues—not just that the schools were failing to deliver on their promises but also that there were underlying flaws in the system. This recognition led to a conversation with the mayor, who was then able to work with the foundation leaders to identify a team of thought leaders interested in addressing the systemic challenges. The Mayor’s Commission on Education was formed, and Trueheart served as cochair of the Commission.

Ad Sponsorship (YPTC)

The Commission, made up of representatives from community, business, civic, religious, and educational organizations, conducted an analysis of the school system. The findings released by the Commission almost one year later led to unprecedented mobilization of community-based advocacy groups exerting political pressure to elect a new school board, which eventually hired a new superintendent, who wound up closing a number of grossly underperforming schools that were costing the city millions of dollars. Moreover, the Commission worked with the new superintendent and the new school board to completely restructure the system. One such innovation was the creation of “Learning Academies,” in which the very best teachers were paired with the students who had the most significant needs. The results have been impressive.

Complex problems are by definition intricate. No single entity anywhere in the system has the requisite authority or control to impose solutions, and no single organization has the capacity to implement a solution. Addressing the complex social problems of today requires us to engage people involved with the issues in designing the solutions that will ultimately change community conditions and perhaps fundamentally alter the way work is done. Moreover, future leaders need to understand that the impetus for change can emerge at any place in the system. Gone are the days where we only make social progress in America through the nonprofit sector; in the future, real social change will happen at the intersection of community, nonprofit, public, private, and philanthropic interests—and our future leaders need to navigate this territory.

3. Working Collaboratively

Students don’t understand how groups work . . . how systems work. There are many people who do not understand group dynamics. I am not talking about just doing a project and coming back to the classroom and reporting on it, but really looking at how groups work, the roles in a group, the things that impede, the things that enable, how you intervene when there is conflict, how you deal with lethargy . . . the things they will need to deal with for the rest of their lives.

Katherine Tyler Scott

With all of the recent activity in this sector involving networking, collective impact, and boundary crossing—not to mention new, more reciprocal ways of managing staff and volunteers—future leaders must know how to create and manage partnerships. This was emphasized by Mark Kramer, as he reflected on how social change happens. York added that in order to foster social change, when leaders come to the collective table they need to recognize when to give up their individual autonomy—their identity as an organizational leader—and join in a collective agenda. This is not always an easy call.

Cass noted that true leaders recognize that they cannot be the person with all the answers but rather should be the “facilitator of collective intelligence.” Future leaders must also recognize that in order to move forward in a genuinely participatory way, it is important to engage in real relationships with people, where there is a desire for mutual understanding and collective learning. Manipulative interactions, where one party is trying to understand another so that information can be used to force action, does not build the kind of trust that is essential for authentic participatory practice. Leverage is often created at the collective table.

4. Selecting an Appropriate Organizational Structure and Business Model

One of the things that dismays me is that there is so much emphasis on fundraising, when the vast bulk of a business is running the business. Let’s talk about the business, how it was set up. . . . Maybe it started as a completely grant-funded organization that did what was required in terms of infrastructure, management, skills. Maybe it started as an advocacy group doing education programs. What does that say about how the business is structured? Maybe it is a museum or a performing arts group, which requires a whole different way to structure the business. We never talk about that. We talk about nonprofits as a homogeneous thing, and they really aren’t.

Allen Proctor

There are a myriad of organizational designs in use in the nonprofit sector, and the menu is being expanded daily as technology provides more options useful to organization. The ability to think creatively about design options goes far beyond discussions about hierarchy, ranges of traditional governance choices, and partnerships and mergers. Teaching through case studies about what design elements are necessary to support a high-engagement organization is both dynamic and exciting.

These organizational designs clearly must include an enterprise model, and that includes a clearly conceived revenue model. In an interview published by the Nonprofit Quarterly in 2008, Lester Salamon, Director of the Center for Civil Society Studies at The Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, noted that supplementing a focus on operating income with the need to attract investment capital was a “sleeper issue” for the sector. Salamon explained that unless nonprofits can find access to investment capital, they will be unable to respond to changing needs and increasing demands. I heard these very same sentiments from the people I interviewed. Interestingly, not only did the desire to provide students with a better understanding of the technical aspects related to capitalization, balance sheets, cash flow, liquidity, pricing, financial planning, earned income, and fundraising come up again and again in my recent conversations, those I interviewed also suggested that too little attention is focused on deciding the most effective way to structure the work so that social impact is achieved.

Sharing the story of Housing First’s approach to chronic homelessness, Kramer talked about how real social impact can be achieved when the work and the business model are substantively aligned to address the problem at hand. Kramer explained that about 10 percent of the homeless population (the chronic homeless) consume about 80 percent of the resources, partly because the system has of late been largely set up to work with people and families who are dealing with transient homelessness (people who are homeless for a brief period of time). Shelters, food banks, and emergency aid are tailored to this latter group of people; however, it is not uncommon to spend more than one million dollars per year on just one person who is chronically homeless, particularly if the individual has multiple disabilities or is moving regularly between the shelter, the emergency room, and prison. Kramer further explained that if the system were built to deal with chronic homelessness, some of these people would be provided with an apartment and a social worker, who would ensure that a full complement of services were provided to address the root causes of homelessness. He argued that the cost savings would be huge and the outcomes infinitely better.

Kramer’s key point was that while it is true that we have a service model where many are working to help the homeless, for the more chronic segment of the population that service does not accurately or effectively address the need. It is imperative that future nonprofit leaders look closely not only at the need but also at how services are delivered. If we look closely at the specific needs of the chronically homeless, we can see that a different program/business model would enable us to save public money and meet needs more effectively. For Kramer and a number of others, a leadership role in a nonprofit is about solving a social problem, but it involves adjustments to service delivery as well as to business models.

5. Practicing in the Field

As students spend time learning how to significantly improve community conditions, they will need opportunities to practice what they’ve learned. They will need opportunities to practice ways of thinking and working that actually improve conditions.

Hildy Gottlieb

While there is ample evidence to suggest that applied-learning experiences in the field provide students with a unique ability to apply the concepts they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations, several of the people I talked to had ideas about how faculty might provide similar learning experiences in the classroom. Proctor and Kramer talked about how cases could be used to lead students through complex decision-making scenarios. My understanding of their comments regarding cases is that they were not talking about the familiar “ethical dilemma” cases prevalent in the academy but rather cases that would challenge students to think critically about how best to achieve desired outcomes—cases that, as Margaret Wheatley and Frieze describe in Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now, invite you “to examine your beliefs and assumptions about how change happens and what becomes possible when we fully engage our communities. The resources and wisdom we need are already there.”2

Final Thoughts

It seems to me that there may be a disconnect between the kind of learning we expect students to emerge with and what we teach. As Frieze reminds us, there are many different types of learning environments. Perhaps the academy might practice a little of what we preach and experiment with different models and assess the degree to which alternative educational models produce the kind of learning described in the preceding paragraphs.

As I thought about all I heard, I continually returned to Frieze and Wheatley’s description of a learning journey. What if nonprofit management education were an immersion in an “experience” rather than a course-based curriculum? I wonder if the way many programs teach nonprofit management might not be counter to what we are trying to accomplish. We ask students to be thoughtful and reflective so that they can create a future of greater possibilities, yet we put them through a technical, course-based process that focuses attention on the means.

If systems are to sustain themselves they must focus on their niche purpose and their context in order to adapt and continuously learn. It may be that some nonprofit management education is too focused—not on purpose but rather on the more dry and secondary methods to fulfill the purpose, and in an environment that is evolving quickly or even long gone. If this is true, it robs students of the sense of adventure we should all have when we dive in to help lead a social purpose organization, and it would be a disservice to the sector.

Thoughts on the Relevance of Nonprofit Management Curricula, July 22, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Judith L. Millesen

4 Simple Ways to Leverage the Power of Twitter for Your Nonprofit

Did you know that Twitter is currently home to approximately 230 million active users who send over 500 million tweet...

Did you know that Twitter is currently home to approximately 230 million active users who send over 500 million tweets per day? Did you also know that many nonprofit organizations, such as the American Red Cross, have used Twitter as a tool to execute successful fundraising campaigns and build relationships with their community?

Used strategically, Twitter can help you bond with supporters, raise awareness for your cause, and promote fundraising campaigns. Despite this fact, many small nonprofits fail to take the time to implement a Twitter strategy that drives results. Luckily, by using the following four steps as a guide, you can make sure that your organization does not fall into this group.

1. Maximize your presence. Before you begin to think about implementing a strategy, you need to create or complete your Twitter account. Create a Twitter handle that is easy to spell and allows people to easily identify your organization. Beyond your account name, pay attention to the basics, especially the inclusion and accuracy of pertinent profile information. Use a profile and header image that positively represents your organization and its cause, ensure your bio communicates your organization’s purpose, and include the location of your organization as well as a direct URL to your website. Merely taking the time to do this will help others find and connect with you.

2. Design your strategy. Once you have optimized your profile, design a strategy that will allow you to engage and connect with members of your community and your target audience.

· Define your purpose and set goals. Do you want to raise awareness for your organization’s mission? Do you want to use Twitter as a way to promote your fundraising campaigns? Do you desire to build relationships with existing supporters? Decide what’s most important to you and build your social strategy around that.

Set specific targets that will allow you to accomplish your core marketing goals. For example, if you want to increase awareness about your cause, create a hashtag to share with your followers. Then, track the number of mentions, retweets, and favorites you receive in a given time period, as well as the number of times your unique hashtag is used. Remember, your goals should be easy to measure so that you can track your progress and improve your results over time.

· Build your network. Building a network of the right followers is crucial to implementing a successful strategy. Start by following business partners, advocates, experts in your issue area, and existing volunteers and members. Additionally, you can use social media tools such as Topsy to identify influencers associated with your organization. This will help you to showcase your expertise and spread the word about your cause!

· Do your research. Although Twitter is not rocket science, you do have to know the basics. Familiarize yourself with the five different types of interactions and incorporate them into your daily tactics.

The Tweet. A message from a Twitter user, may not exceed 140 characters in length.
 
The Retweet (RT). A re-posting of another user’s tweet that appears on your Twitter timeline.
 
The @reply. A public update that contains your response and the hyperlinked username of the person to whom you are replying.
 
The Direct Message. A private message you can send to your followers.
 
The Mention. Any tweet containing a username within the tweet, including the @reply.
 

In addition, take the time to master the art of the hashtag (#). Put simply, when you use a hashtag in front of a word or phrase within your tweet, your tweet will show up in any search results for that term. Use your Twitter sidebar, or tools including Google Alerts, Social Mention, Radian6, Trackur and Twitter’s search tool, to identify which hashtags are trending at any given point in time.

· Develop quality content. With only 140 characters to engage your followers, saying everything you want in one tweet can be a challenge. Keep your tweets creative and appealing by asking questions, providing statistics, and including images, videos and links. Always be sure to reply to those who mention you.

3. Integrate Twitter with your existing marketing efforts. To maximize your reach and audience engagement, your Twitter efforts should complement existing marketing initiatives. Don’t forget to add a Twitter button to your website, embed a live feed on your website and blog, and link to your other social accounts, such as Instagram.

4. Measure your results and calibrate your plan. As you execute your strategy, you must measure and track your performance over time to ensure that you are reaching your goals, but to also ensure that you are constantly experimenting and making changes to improve performance whenever necessary. Use social media monitoring tools such as Klout, Twitter Analytics, Demographics Pro, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite to help you manage your nonprofit’s Twitter account. Explore each of the options and choose one that provides the features that will best allow you to track the progress of your goals.

By taking the time to correctly set up your profile, design a strategy, integrate your Twitter with existing marketing efforts, and measure and monitor your results, your organization will start to leverage the power of this popular social site. Remember to use these steps as a guide, but never be afraid to experiment and see what tactics best engage your nonprofit’s target audience. Most importantly, take advantage of this tool as a cost effective way build relationships and fundraise for your cause.

4 Simple Ways to Leverage the Power of Twitter for Your Nonprofit, July 10, 2014, Network For Good, by DJ Muller

 

Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Play a Leading Role?

Is our organization relevant? If you work for a nonprofit, you've probably asked yourself that question more...

Is our organization relevant?

If you work for a nonprofit, you've probably asked yourself that question more than once. Concerns about relevancy stem from the most challenging aspect of organizational sustainability. Unfortunately, even when your cause is viewed as "relevant," your organization may not be viewed in the same way. And while the activist in you may feel that relevancy is overrated and that you didn't dedicate your life to a cause so that you could spend your days worrying about who's "hot" – and who’s not – the fact of the matter is that organizations perceived as "relevant" typically are the ones that receive the most attention, the most financial support, and the most acclaim.

Relevancy, by definition, means being closely associated with a topical cause or issue. A relevant nonprofit is a nonprofit that can speak to an issue with authority and has its thumb on the pulse of activities around that issue.

In other words, an organization is relevant if:

    it is a leading voice in the ongoing conversation/debate around its issue or cause
    it is recognized as a connector/convener with respect to its issue or cause.

I often tell my clients to think about their particular issue or cause as if it were a play, complete with actors in lead roles and a supporting cast. If an organization wants to be relevant, it needs to do whatever it can to ensure that it has a lead role in the play.

Playing the Lead

There's no shortage of nonprofit organizations or causes worth donating to in the world – a fact that goes a long way toward explaining the fierce competition that exists among organizations in the social sector.

With so many organizations vying for dollars and attention, it's to be expected that a few will emerge from the crowd and be recognized as the leading voice on their respective issue or cause. How do you know who they are? When funders convene, those organizations are usually in the room and/or a part of the conversation. They're the ones new donors are most likely to be familiar with and trust. They're the ones other organizations look to for their cues and people expect to be persuaded and moved to action by. They lead and others follow.

And if an organization has the chops to play the leading role, it usually has at least two or three people in roles that are critical to projecting its competence and capacity:

A CEO with personality. For an organization that aims to lead the way on an issue, nothing is more beneficial than a dynamic CEO. The most effective CEOs have first-hand experience with an issue and a compelling story that illustrates the human aspects of that issue. He or she has a unique ability to make people listen, laugh, and cry. He or she is  a connector par excellence and has an unrivaled ability to bring resources and people to bear on an organization's mission.

The expert. Leading organizations have at least one expert on staff, someone who is equipped to deliver the organization's message(s) with unquestioned authority and credibility. Experts are also critical in terms of attracting sophisticated and institutional donors, and to formulating a response when a would-be funder asks a question that goes beyond the talking points he or she has already been exposed to. This is where leading organization distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. Your expert(s) should be the authority on the issue and be setting the agenda for research, discussion, and finding a solution to the problem.

Passionate volunteers. Every leading nonprofit has a group of key volunteers who are deeply passionate about and committed to solving its issue. They want to see the organization succeed and are happy to attach their names to and advocate on behalf of its cause. In the case of the most effective organizations, they will stop at nothing to get publicity for its issue or cause and to share that with their networks.

Connecting the Issue

You know your organization is losing its battle for relevancy when you hear things like this:

"We're the best-kept secret in the city – and someday people are going to realize that."

"We do great work but people don't care."

"Our revenues were down, but it's not our fault; there's just too much competition out there."

Sound familiar? Don't despair; you're not alone. Awareness in today's noisy, message-saturated environment is less a function of branding and more about connecting your content expertise to the conversations and chatter that are happening around your issue or cause. Many nonprofits struggle with this, in part because it is a process that takes time, patience, and a willingness to try new things. For the uninitiated, here are a few suggestions to get your started:

Develop connecting points. Your organization needs to create what I call "connecting points" – places where its issue or cause are connected to conversations that are taking place on social media. The trick is to get in the habit of creating these points of connection not just once in a while but on a regular basis. Every week brings a new wave of trending topics on social media – and fresh opportunities for your organization to connect with trending stories related to its cause. Take the ONE Campaign, which is constantly working to connect its efforts to end extreme poverty and preventable disease in the developing world with the latest "happenings" in pop culture. In advance of this year's Academy Award ceremony, the folks at ONE created the Honesty Oscars, a week-long event that honored groundbreaking organizations, activists and "creatives" working to make the world more transparent and hold governments and corporations more accountable.

Create conversations. You've got a dynamic CEO at the top of your organization and at least one or two experts on staff. Now you've got to figure out how to use those resources to start and develop conversations about your issue that also tie into the broader national conversation. Through social media and other digital platforms, starting and engaging others in conversations has never been easier. Not as easy, of course, as posing a question on Facebook, crossing your fingers, and waiting for people to find you. No, you need to give your audiences content that reflects their concerns and values – and that they'll want to share with others. National Geographic is an excellent example. It makes a point of sharing content that is both visually and editorially compelling and, at the same time, strikes a nice balance between exotic travel characterized by themes of adventure and exploration and more topical posts that address serious issues such as food security and biodiversity conservation.

Focus on the right audience. I see this all the time: Organizations that would like to believe they are relevant but aren't because they focus on the wrong audience. In terms of relevance, only one audience matters: the people who are willing to support you, either financially or with sweat equity, or both. Has your organization developed a following that sees it as the go-to organization for your issue or cause? Don't waste your time and energy on persuading "thought leaders" that you're great. If your supporters and potential supporters don't think of you as the go-to organization for a particular issue or cause, you are in trouble. It doesn't matter how many experts love your "show"; if your own donors and supporters aren't willing to champion your issue or cause, you and your colleagues are not going to have a long run.

In the end, whether your nonprofit is "relevant" or not does matter; it’s a concern for every organization. In a play, it's the full cast and crew working together that make the production. In the social sector, an organization that aspires to be relevant needs to have a dynamic CEO, experts who can articulate its message, and supporters who believe in its mission. It's a tricky formula, but organizations that figure it out are likely to stay around and make a difference.

Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Play a Leading Role? July 14, 2014, Philanthropy News Digest, by Derrick Feldmann

Crisis in Israel

As we press forward with our daily work, serving people in need, we keep our hearts and minds with the people of Isra...

As we press forward with our daily work, serving people in need, we keep our hearts and minds with the people of Israel and Jewish communities around the world.  With 80% of the country within range of Hamas’ missiles, the trauma to children and adults in Israel is palpable.  We applaud and stand in solidarity with the many social workers, nurses, doctors, and social service agencies in Israel who are responding to the crisis even as they struggle to protect their own families.  In North America, we stand with communities that are peacefully organizing to support Israel and fundraising to provide needed services and respite to Israel’s citizens under fire.   In all times, and especially in times of crisis, AJFCA members are true to our values of tikkun olam, treating others with dignity and respect, compassion and caring for others, and our great sense of Jewish peoplehood.

Balance Small Wins and Long-Term Goals in Your Storytelling

How can we best frame social-change efforts so they feel ambitious but manageable? How do we do story-based communica...

How can we best frame social-change efforts so they feel ambitious but manageable? How do we do story-based communications so as to celebrate small, “tactical” victories along the way, while connecting each of those efforts to a larger social-change goal that may take years to achieve?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced this very problem when building support for his strategy in World War II. Speaking of his “fireside chat” radio broadcasts, he said, “I want to explain to the people … what our problem is and what the overall strategy of the war has to be … so that they will understand what is going on and how each battle fits into the picture.”

The president was confident that people could “take any bad news right on the chin” if they understood the larger story.

Maybe your organization is fighting a war of its own. The fact that you’ve identified the need to bring people along for the long haul is an important step. Following are some practical considerations as you do this.

Keep your eyes peeled for organizations that strike this balance well.

I posed your question to Brett Davidson of Open Society Foundations, and he cited the example of the marriage-equality work of the Human Rights Campaign

That organization, he says, “does a great job of highlighting small or interim victories and featuring individual stories at the heart of these battles, while maintaining a clear long-term vision.” The organization’s website features stories of victories and setbacks in individual states, and maps and other tools to show the big picture.

Consider your time frame.

My colleague at Working Narratives, Nick Szuberla, has worked on criminal-justice issues for 15 years. He says different groups in the movement to end mass incarceration cast their work in different ways.

 “Some are defenders of human rights engaged in an ongoing struggle,” he says. “Others are trying to reverse the trend of an ever-increasing prison population—that’s a long-term fight, but it’s got an end point. Still others are working towards a policy change in the foreseeable future.”

The same principle applies for any organization: Consider how big your big picture is, and plan accordingly for how to keep people engaged.

Avoid conflicts between short- and long-term communications.

Alan Jenkins of The Opportunity Agenda told me it may be tempting to use short-term messages that ultimately undercut your long-term “story” or goals.

“In California, for instance, one campaign argued that undocumented immigrants should have health-care access, otherwise immigrant nannies might, say, get tuberculosis and infect the kids they take care of,” he says. “That message moved some people in the short term, but it also ran counter to the overarching message that immigrants are part of us.”

Advocates realized the damage this message might do and shifted to saying that removing barriers to health care is important “so that everyone can participate and contribute to a thriving California.”

I hope these considerations help. I invite readers to add their thoughts and examples in the comments section. Please also read the Working Narratives blog for more discussion of storytelling strategy.

Balance Small Wins and Long-Term Goals in Your Storytelling, July 9, 2014, Chronicle of Philanthropy by Paul VanDeCarr

If You Build It, Will They Come?

Leadership is the single most meaningful force for success. Whether it is in politics on a global, national, or local...

Leadership is the single most meaningful force for success. Whether it is in politics on a global, national, or local level; in the corporate or private sector; or in the nonprofit world, accomplishment is propelled by the impetus and inspiration of one, or a small group of individuals, who develop creative mission and market-driven ideas, build plans of action around them, and effectively animate those plans through effective execution. Driven by vision and passion and a commitment to excellence and success, leaders create new reality, innovation and change.

Let’s focus on the philanthropic, especially the Jewish philanthropic, sector for this moment. We posit that successful organizations are driven by a central vision of an individual with a determined point of view and with the magnetism and vibrant energy to influence others toward a set of goals and results. That dynamic, crafting approaches and solutions and building consensus around them, frames a group’s agenda and positions it for success.

As I have written before, size and history are no longer sole determining issues or factors. The capability to marshal resources and to obtain results leading to transformative impact is the key metric today. The fact that a nonprofit has been in business for a century no longer matters as much; in fact it might even be a negative.

So the first imperative in marshalling resources is building a Board, a core circle of leaders who share the leader’s dedication to the work of the organization, and who have the drive, capacity, and connections to advance the organization’s purpose and mission and to take on a fiduciary responsibility for the organization’s well-being.

In addition to the fiduciary role, today’s effective Board is committed to mission specific expansion and diversification; being part of offering training and orientation so that skills are developed and expectations are met; personal giving to a level of capacity; and owning the imperative for encouraging and growing the organization’s “culture of philanthropy.”

The ideal Board member is passionate, connected, active, committed and confident. They are hands-on but not intrusive, engaged but not in the way. Members respect the role and the expertise of the organizational professional, especially in today’s increasingly complex and competitive philanthropic marketplace, and see where they fit on the critical path to success.

Starting with the “fundamentals,” effective leaders will assemble, sustain and grow strong Boards by setting clear expectations; linking fundraising to the mission; creating opportunities for mentorship; and setting philanthropy as a core value and deliverable at the point of recruitment.

And remember, successful Boards are inspired by leadership from the top. So a Board Chair must lead by example – doing the things that he or she is asking of their colleagues; affirming a commitment to Giving and Getting (not Giving or Getting – a topic for Part III – which often takes members “off the hook” and building in a lack of accountability); and encouraging and inspiring members to think and to do at the same time.

Ambitious and visionary expectations create strong results. Strong results ensure effective and productive (not necessarily large) organizations that get things done. If Board Chairs and CEOs want Board members to perform, they must make sure that members understand and accept the rules and expectations; that there are written “job descriptions” for Board members and the committees that comprise the Board; that there are meaningful and productive “rules of engagement” with executive and other professional staff; and that there is a mechanism to recognize Board members who achieve and meet targets.

And when it comes to involvement in fundraising, knowing that some will be more involved than others and every Board member comes to the Board with unique skills and personality, the Board Chair and CEO must continuously engage the Board member in the fundraising activity. That includes making introductions and being involved in “asks.”

Clarity in expectations and in assignments is also critical to success. We must live in the world of definition v. assumption, addressing the issues of who is doing what; who is the “leader,” especially when Board members and professionals share tasks; and where is the point at which the Board member comes in. This is especially important today, where the emerging entrepreneurial leader is asserting him or herself alongside the expectation of organizations professionalizing to meet the challenges of the market.

As parting thoughts in this first of three posts on Board Development and Organizational Success, we assert the following:

    As leadership, driven by vision and passion for the cause, is fundamental to organizational success, nonprofits must maintain a commitment to attracting the highest caliber leadership to continue to drive success.
    Set clear and transparent expectations and minimize the compromises, especially when it comes to fundraising, precisely because it often lives outside of Board member’s comfort zone.
    Recruit the right people for the right tasks – it is all about performance and results.
    Appreciate and acknowledge unique talents and successes, making Board meetings about celebrating accomplishment as well as reporting and decision making.

Stay tuned for the next two installments in the weeks to come.

If You Build It, Will They Come? July 14, eJP, by Avrum Lapin
 

Survey Links Fundraising Results to Annual Campaigns

Charitable organizations in the U.S. and Canada are more likely to raise funds successfully when they have a formal, ...

Charitable organizations in the U.S. and Canada are more likely to raise funds successfully when they have a formal, annual fundraising drive, according to survey results released by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative. This is some of the first research to look at how annual funds are conducted and the role the annual fund plays in helping an organization reach fundraising goals.

The organizations with a formal annual fund drive were 20 percentage points more likely to be on track in 2013 to meet their fund raising goals (77 percent on track versus 57 percent of those without an annual fund). This finding held even after taking budget size into account.

Among the 42 percent of organizations that offered donor benefits, the most common was invitation to special “donor-only” events. Far less frequent were commemorative items such as plaques or pins; privileges such as parking or concierge service; communications such as donor newsletters; or access to organizational leadership or “backstage” activities.

The survey asked about donor renewal rates and about the percentage of annual fund donors that “upgraded,” or increased their gift over the prior year. Organizations were highly likely to be on track to meet fundraising goals in 2013 if they had renewal rates above 50 percent and/or upgrade rates of 5 percent and above.

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) conducts surveys two times a year. The current report and prior reports from the NRC are available at www.NPResearch.org

This survey was conducted online in August and September 2013 about fundraising results from the first half of 2013 compared with 2012 and about annual fund drives. The 945 respondents form a convenience sample. There is no margin of error, as it is not a random sample of the population studied. Reported results are statistically significant using chi-square analysis.

Survey Links Fundraising Results to Annual Campaigns, July 15, 2014, eJP

12 Reasons Why You Should Gracefully Resign from a Nonprofit Board

Are you a valuable and valued board member for a nonprofit? If not, a graceful resignation and reassignment may be go...

Are you a valuable and valued board member for a nonprofit? If not, a graceful resignation and reassignment may be good for you and the organization.

12 reasons why you should resign from a nonprofit board:

  1. You’re serving on the board more for personal benefit than for public benefit.
  2. You have a material financial interest in a transaction with the organization that would be damaging if known by the public.
  3. The organization’s values or activities are inconsistent with your personal values.
  4. You are unable to support the organization when a board action is taken contrary to your vote.
  5. The organization is not operating consistent with the law and/or its own governing documents or policies despite your efforts to insist on compliance.
  6. You’re not informed about the organization’s current activities and/or mission-oriented results, and you’re not informed about the performance of the organization’s executive.
  7. You don’t review the organization’s financials on a regular basis.
  8. You’re missing a significant number of board meetings and therefore unable to actively participate in governance-related planning, deliberations, and actions.
  9. You’re not contributing resources (money, time, connections, or other valuable assets) to the organization apart from the time to show up at meetings.
  10. You don’t spend significant amounts of time thinking hard about whether the organization is effective at advancing its mission and how the organization could be more effective at advancing its mission.
  11. Your conduct at board meetings is viewed by the majority of other board members as disruptive, and you’re unable to work collaboratively with the other board members in a productive manner.
  12. You intervene/interfere with the executive’s management of the organization by personally directing the executive and/or staff and falsely asserting rank (because a board member has no individual authority and no inherent rank in the organizational hierarchy as an individual).

If you’re unable to meet your fiduciary duties of care and loyalty to act with reasonable care in good faith in the best interests of the organization, you’re failing to meet your legal responsibilities. While personal liability may be extremely rare for volunteer directors of nonprofits (absent some kind of intentional wrongdoing, fraud, self-dealing, or unpaid taxes), you’re also putting yourself at greater risk, including from claims that may not be protected by your organization’s D&O insurance. Further, your failure to meet your duties may be holding back the organization from better advancing its charitable mission and serving its intended beneficiaries. you’re able to meet your fiduciary duties but the majority of the board is not, and such deficiency results in an organization with serious compliance issues and values that don’t align with yours, you may also be putting yourself at greater risk. In such case, you may need to balance your duty to still meet your individual legal duties with your obligation to do what’s best for the organization and your interest in protecting your personal interests from possible legal and/or reputational harm.

12 Reasons Why You Should Gracefully Resign from a Nonprofit Board, July 10, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Gene Takagi

Passage of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

This week, the House passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the compromise legislation meant to ...

This week, the House passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the compromise legislation meant to replace the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The House approved the measure 415 to 6, following the Senate's overwhelming approval two weeks ago by a vote of 95 to 3. The final language in the bill was the result of months of negotiations and compromises by leaders in both parties in both houses of Congress. A bi-partisan, bi-cameral press release can be viewed at: http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=387219. The bill is now headed to the President's desk and is expected to be signed. Link to bill, enrolled Friday, July 11, 2014: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr803enr/pdf/BILLS-113hr803enr.pdf. Below, for your iteration, is a  summary of the key "improvements" to the Act.
 
Bill Summary:
 
Changes to the Workforce Development System:
- Eliminates 15 programs; 14 within WIA and one higher education program.
- Applies one set of accountability metrics to every federal workforce program under the bill.
- Requires states to produce one strategic plan describing how they will provide training, employment services, adult education and vocational rehabilitation through a coordinated, comprehensive system.
- Reduces the number of required members on state and local workforce boards.
- Strengthens alignment between local workforce areas and labor markets and economic development regions.
- Strengthens evaluation and data reporting requirements.
- Specifies authorized appropriation levels for each of the fiscal years 2015-2020.
- Adds a minimum and maximum funding level to the dislocated worker formula beginning in fiscal year 2016 to reduce volatility.
 
Changes to Training and Employment Services:
- Eliminates the "sequence of services" and merges "core and intensive activities" into a combined "career services."
- Emphasizes access to real-world training opportunities through:
•    Increasing the ability to use on-the-job training (reimbursement rates up to 75 percent for eligible employers), incumbent worker training (may use up to 20 percent of local funds), and customized training;
•    New opportunities to utilize prior learning assessments;
- Pay-for-performance training contracts for adults and youth (local boards may use up to 10 percent of funds); and
•    Requirements for implementation of industry or sector partnerships and career pathway strategies.
- Requires 75 percent of youth funding to support out-of-school youth, of which 20 percent is prioritized for work-based activities.
 
Changes to Job Corps:
- Improves the procurement process for center operators to support high-quality services by:
•    Collecting information on key factors indicating the ability of an applicant to operate a center;
•    Providing the operator of a high-performing center the opportunity to compete for contract renewal; and
•    Placing limits on the ability of an operator of a chronically low-performing center to compete for a contract renewal, or to continue to operate that center.
- Allows the U.S. Department of Labor to provide technical assistance to Job Corps operators and centers to improve operations and outcomes.
- Collects more data on Job Corps operations and financial management to better inform Congress and the public about the program.
 
Changes to Adult Education:
- Strengthens the connection between adult education, postsecondary education, and the workforce.
- Improves services to English language learners.
- Requires evaluations and additional research on adult education activities.
 
Changes to State Vocational Rehabilitation Services:
- Sets high expectations for individuals with disabilities with respect to employment.
- Provides youth with disabilities the services and supports necessary to be successful in competitive, integrated employment.
 

Informing Ourselves: The 2014 Social Media Marketing Report

A good set of benchmarking data informs future social media marketing decisions and helps us to rethink others. Socia...

A good set of benchmarking data informs future social media marketing decisions and helps us to rethink others. Social Media Examiner recently released the 2014 Social Media Marketing Report detailing how 3,025 business marketing professionals conduct social media marketing activities. The report reveals what platforms marketers are using, how much time they are spending on them, the perceived return on investment, what marketing jobs they outsource, and which marketing activities complement social media. Continuing reading here.

Informing Ourselves: The 2014 Social Media Marketing Report, July 8, 2014, eJP, by Debra Askanase

Can the Pew Findings Guide Philanthropic Investment in the Jewish Community

The 2013 Pew Research Center’s “Portrait of Jewish Americans” was like manna from heaven for pundit...

The 2013 Pew Research Center’s “Portrait of Jewish Americans” was like manna from heaven for pundits across the Jewish world. The study unleashed a virtual tsunami of commentary. Most commentators lamented the state of American Jewish life described by Pew and saw the findings as evidence of fuzzy identification with Judaism, growing secularization and lessened Jewish engagement. Pundits typically saw the findings as confirming their respective views of the Jewish community and bolstering their prescriptions for renewal of Jewish life. Continue reading here.

Can the Pew Findings Guide Philanthropic Investment in the Jewish Community, July 8, 2014, eJP, by Leonard Saxe
 

1 in 8 American Donors has Participated in a Giving Circle

One in eight American donors has participated in a giving circle – nearly half of them under the age of 40 &nda...

One in eight American donors has participated in a giving circle – nearly half of them under the age of 40 – and participation in a giving circle can both strengthen communal identity and expand philanthropic reach. These are some of the findings of the newly issued report Connected to Give: Community Circles, which combines quantitative and qualitative data to bring new insight to the philanthropic phenomenon of giving circles. Continue reading here.

1 in 8 American Donors has Participated in a Giving Circle, July 3, 2014, by eJP

Boards and Magical Thinking

As a consultant to nonprofits in situations of instability or turnaround, I have spent considerable time studying pre...

As a consultant to nonprofits in situations of instability or turnaround, I have spent considerable time studying precisely how and at what point nonprofits begin to get in trouble. I have backtracked the specific history of several nonprofit case studies to identify where a wrong turn was taken. In most such cases, it was a board decision—quiet acquiescence or approval of a strategic direction that was not sufficiently challenged. Board members would likely not take such chances in their own enterprises.

A few examples:

  • Business leaders know that their operating budgets must include building a surplus to cover technology replacement/enhancement and building repairs and maintenance. Very few nonprofit boards insist on this or even ask, “How much should be we building in reserves?” Few nonprofit board members would insist a current expense be cut to allow for the building of reserves for the nonprofit, but they would in their own companies.
     
  • Business leaders also know evidence-based decision making rules the day. “What proof do we have this might work?” Back home, they are not swayed by passion and great creative ideas alone; they ask for best practices. “What are others doing in this field?” “Who else can we talk to?” They seek information to mitigate risk. In their nonprofit leadership role, many go along with the recommendation of an ardent Executive Director, figuring, “Well, it must be okay or others would be asking the questions.” If it was their own company or their own money in play, you better believe they would be asking questions and have their ears perked up for possible risk. I have encountered nonprofit boards that have approved an ill-conceived strategy because they think it would be fun or fulfilling for the executive director to work on as some kind of reward.


Chasing Rabbits Down Rabbit Holes

Board members well know the cost of delaying or revisiting decisions in their own professions. Yet in the nonprofit board role, this happens far too often. Decisions made get re-opened repeatedly—by a board member who was absent for several meetings, or a staff person who really doesn’t like the decision, or a new board chair—because the board doesn’t recall this decision is “done and done.” In their business lives, this would be recognized as a distraction, a waste of time and energy and resources constantly chasing rabbits down holes instead of making an informed decision and implementing it. Time really is money, for nonprofit organizations as well as corporations.

 Drinking the Kool-Aid

In their own shops, board members have a balanced view of their executives and direct reports. They know their “rock stars” have weaknesses that have to be accommodated, worked around, or developed. But in their nonprofit role, where a primary part is managing the executive director, many don’t. They are often under the same spell they hear from others:

“You are so lucky to have her.”

“She is a godsend.”

“I hope you never lose him.”

“Can’t imagine this place without him.”

The executive director should be the well-respected face of the organization to the community, but the true, balanced picture of their performance must be known to the governing board. No one is perfect. In the “Dare to Lead” survey of nonprofit executive directors in 2011, 45 percent of nonprofit executive directors did not have a performance evaluation. (“Daring to Lead,” 2011, CompassPoint and the Meyer Foundation)

Some board members are so aware of the extreme stress and long hours on staff that  they feel unqualified gratitude for the ED. Would that happen in their own businesses—unconditional love? No way. In some respects, it is also a bit patronizing. Board members might believe that “no one else could do this” or would do this for so little money. If that is true, it’s a disservice to the organization and the incumbent ED not to be paying them market rate for the position. But it’s possible that it is not true, and the organization should never feel so beholden or held so hostage that they don’t acknowledge performance issues. I have frequently seen organizations where the board members, once in crisis, say, “We asked him/her over and over again for information on this, but never got it.” How is that possible? The board is the boss. If the board asked for information and didn’t get it, what was the recourse, the consequence of nonresponse?

At their own companies, no superstar is perfect. They are evaluated on results and the process for getting those results; their strengths and weaknesses are known. Not so with nonprofit leaders! Sometimes adulation rules the board about the exec director: We are so lucky to have her! Best in the city! That may be, but what are the weak points that have to be acknowledged so they can be balanced against what the organization requires? Is she great with state legislators but lousy with staff relations? Is she great on fundraising but not so good at budgeting and fiscal management? Is he a nationally renowned practitioner or artist but less skilled as an administrator? The bloom is not off the rose, but it can’t be unconditional love because that is magical thinking. No one is perfect. You can’t salute every idea because it is coming from this ED’s mouth. Some of those ideas should be challenged and sent back for further information, research, and proof of life.

Believing Your Own Press

I have heard board members, once they have the “facts, ma’am; just the facts” in hand from our business assessment, cry in dismay, “But we do such good work! People love us.” At one theater performance, though the seats were scarcely one-third full, those present exclaimed how excellent the production was and how this was their favorite night out—“so much more affordable than the uptown theaters.” Other board members have quoted other service recipients or endorsements on their brochures as the justification for hanging on despite near-bankruptcy conditions. It reminds me of a presentation I once made to a very large audience in Tucson, Arizona. Hundreds were in the audience as I waited to go on. I heard my introduction being ably read by the Chair of the conference where I was speaking. He was listing my accomplishments and my head was swelling. I actually had the thought, “You know, I have done pretty well for myself in a short time,” when I had the startling realization: “Wait a minute, I wrote that introduction!” Believing your own press release is the sign you have clearly lost objectivity in evaluating your own organization and performance.

How Nonprofit staff Contributes to the Problem

We in the nonprofit sector contribute greatly to the numbing down of board members. We emphasize in board orientations that nonprofit corporations are greatly different from for-profit concerns. The reality that we have to make our budget up from scratch every year often perplexes board members. They don’t have experience with having no starting point; a corporate annual budget usually starts with some allotment based on previous years and then percentages are negotiated with the corporate head office. For nonprofits, the annual budget must start with assumptions about revenue sources: what can be counted on and what is in jeopardy. County funding, large donor, major sponsor leaving town—all are closely followed by nonprofit staff.

“If X, then Y” thinking is how most nonprofit budgets are put together. Often, nonprofit annual operating budgets must be put together and approved by boards before the final budgets from government, grantors, or campaign totals have final approval, so these revenues are just estimates. However, there should be solid rationales and precedents for those assumptions. Because most board members don’t have this same experience, they rely on staff to tell them the operating budget and they leave the assumptions unchallenged or don’t ask, “What’s the basis for this revenue assumption?” What they hear from staff is different versions of “That’s not how it works in nonprofits,” “That’s not how we do it,” “We never have the money to do that,” and so on.

Board members encounter what often seems ludicrous to them but has grown to be expected by staff, such as government mandates without funding—extra reporting demands with no funding for personnel to prepare those reports; extraordinary increase in services needed but no extra funding; county and state arbitrary cuts in service that force increased demand for services to the door of nonprofits. Since none of that makes sense, they begin to think the whole business model seems illogical based on their experience and therefore they can offer no wisdom or objectivity to strengthen the business of the nonprofit.

Hope becomes the strategy of staff and boards because once upon a time, it worked. Before the most recent recession, in many communities if a nonprofit encountered a financial snare, a couple of community leaders made a phone call or two and “fixed it” with influence and getting large donations to cover the situation. That often doesn’t work anymore. Corporate and foundation coffers are tighter, with more explicit criteria and approval layers required for commitments.

Avoiding Magical Thinking

Deification of Staff

Realism and objectivity blunt magical thinking and can be the greatest contributions made by a board. Boards should have a realistic, albeit deservingly admiring, view of the nonprofit’s executive director and senior staff. Just as they do in their own business, they should know the skills and deficits of the team, the likelihood of turnover, the areas needing balance and oversight from the board, and what skills and characteristics need to be developed and hired for the leadership of the organization. Boards don’t need to micromanage hiring below the executive director level, but they should be alert to an ED hiring “in his own image” when what might be most needed is a complementary skill or expertise.

Board members are also expected to be aware of market salaries and benefits, per the 990 tax return, so that an ED paying a director much more than the market can be questioned, if not challenged, about the value of that decision. I have seen nonprofits that were unaware of the salary levels of direct reports to the ED, including one troubled organization with a program director making as much as the ED—and that salary was $15,000 above market for the position. The board should know that and know the rationale for it. There might be a good one, but it is inexcusable for the board not to know.

The best nonprofit leaders share their own assessment each year with a board committee, including what they want and need to develop to be more effective in the coming year. They do not hide areas for improvement about their own performance or the organization. They are secure enough with a trusted group of board members to be able to share, “My strengths are not in general operations maintenance; I am better at fundraising and relationship management. When we can afford it, let’s consider adding an office manager.” The board creates an environment where this is a safe conversation, not one that an ED has to be fearful of and never share in order to protect their job.

Working for a nonprofit doesn’t make an executive director a saint without flaw. They might well be an extraordinary leader, much admired by board, staff, clients and community, but it’s important that the organization takes priority over any one person. My firm increasingly runs into organizations that are at risk because one staff person—sometimes the ED, often the program or artistic director—is given more devotion than the organization. The regional or national recognition of such a staff person is valuable but does not trump the mission of the organization, and the organization cannot be designed around that person. Too often, we see organizational structure created to accommodate this, or performance expectations avoided because the person is so highly regarded externally. If there is any one person who everyone walks on eggshells around, that is an organizational risk and needs to be acknowledged and a plan created for the good of the organization. Nonprofits are not family or vanity businesses. Board members can often see this more objectively than the staff, who are in awe of the person’s respect in their field.

In their own businesses, board members know that the flip side of any strength is a potential weakness. If the nonprofit’s executive leader is a distinguishing strength, that can be a potential weakness if there is turnover, and the board should be alert and attending to that proactively. Heads in the sand don’t prevent a rock star ED from leaving, which is almost always to the surprise of a board that thought, “I thought she loved this, I thought this was her life!” Could be true, but also be why an exhausted, burned-out exec decides to leave.

Assume Responsibility for the Financial Performance of the Organization (because you are!)

I often ask nonprofit board members to imagine they were asking family members for a loan to fund this nonprofit. How convincing could they be? Would they ask their family to support it? This will often immediately clarify for them that the nonprofit is not a business model in which they have personal confidence. They need to know they are just as responsible as if they were managing a small business and ask questions to understand and ensure there is evidence and facts upon which to make sound decisions. It is very appropriate for board members to ask for fact-based justification, proof of life, and the basis for assumptions. Explanations such as, “Well, we had 1000 attend our free weekend, so if each of them paid $10 that would bring in $10,000!” are naïve, not fact-based justifications.

Cash forecasts must be based on reality, not hope or implied promises. In business, we are asked, “How confident are you? One hundred percent? Ninety percent?” The same question is useful to approving nonprofit operating budgets and revenue assumptions. What is guaranteed? Highly likely? Purely speculative? And at what point in the year will you have to know for certain in order to make this forecasted budget?

Create Time and Forums for Benchmarking and Assessment

In order to gauge discussions of progress, boards and staffs should be working on the same set of critical issues and indicators. Create a performance dashboard with interim benchmarks so the board doesn’t wait until end of year for a pass/fail grade. Build in enough time for board discussions, in committees as well as board retreats, so the hard questions can come to mind and get articulated and discussed. Asking if there is any old or new business ten minutes after the monthly meeting is supposed to adjourn doesn’t cut it.

In summary, the environment is still tough for many nonprofits, and nonprofit board members must remember that governing is serious, consequence-filled work. It is important for them to understand that a decision not made or made without sufficient grounding is as important as a decision made well. They likely know that in their own places of work, and the same applies here in nonprofitland.

Boards should be passionate about the mission but never be so mired in admiration and awed by the awesome that they neglect the practical considerations that help an organization survive and thrive in up-and-down economies. The vision of the organization mission might be lofty and entail risk, but the details to be measured are nitty-gritty. The mission of service is too important to be left to part-time, magical thinking.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”—Henry David Thoreau

Boards and Magical Thinking, July 2, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Kathy Ridge
 

Millennials on a Mission: Idealism, Impact, Innovation

During this year’s Millennial Impact Forum (also known as MCON), thousands of leaders in philanthropy, social e...

During this year’s Millennial Impact Forum (also known as MCON), thousands of leaders in philanthropy, social enterprise, and technology joined together for two days of inspiration from our next generation of leaders. MCON takes place on the heels of the release of the Millennial Impact Report, an annual look at the Millennial generation and the ground they are staking out as they mature into adulthood.

Derrick Feldmann, President of Achieve, the researchers behind the Millennial Impact Project, said in his opening remarks, “We don’t study Millennials because they’re a part of the culture. We study them because they’re defining the culture.”

Here are a few juicy facts from the report:Millennial Donations

    By the year 2020, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce
    91% of the female Millennials surveyed donated money to charities, and 84% of the male Millennials had donated
    Nearly half (47%) of the Millennials surveyed had volunteered for a cause or nonprofit in the past month.
    22% of Millennials surveyed gave more than $500 to nonprofits in 2013 and 12% gave more than $1,000.

Transforming the Nonprofit Culture

Millennials CycleDuring MCON, transformational young leaders shared their perspectives on giving—and living meaningfully—in a connected world. The conference centered on the key lessons learned since launching the research in 2010:

1. Millennials engage with causes to help other people, not institutions. And, they prefer to perform smaller actions before fully committing to a cause.

2. Millennials are influenced by the decisions and behaviors of their peers. Peer influence plays an important role in motivating Millennials to volunteer, attend events, participate in programs, and give.

3. Millennials treat their time, money, and assets as having equal value. Millennials view both their network and their voice as two additional types of assets they can offer a cause. Aided by technology, an individual who donates his or her voice may still give skills, time, and money.

4. Millennials need to experience a cause’s work without having to be on site. In 2013, more than 60% of respondents said they felt most invested in a cause when the nonprofit shared a compelling story about successful projects or the people it helps.

Throughout the conference, I noted three other key themes that should get you thinking:

    Millennials are seeking authenticity, and they are skeptical of ‘press-release’ good news, without human stories and data to back it up.
    They believe in the power of technology to drive real community change.
    Millennials do not see boundaries between work/play/family. As Jean Case related from a recent conversation with a Millennial, “I want to bring my full self to everything I’m about.” So employers, nonprofits, brands and Millennials are joined together in a cycle of engagement that unifies them in a way that did not exist in prior generations.

The Future of the Social Sector

As a nonprofit leader, why should you focus on Millennials, whose resources are small relative to their older counterparts? It’s simple. They have the power to generate passion, engagement and donations for your cause. (And, in less than 5 years, the oldest among them will be moving into major donor income levels.)

The strategies for engaging Millennials are no longer just preferences. They have become the norm for effective communication with all ages. As Derrick Feldmann puts it, “It is not overstating to say that a big part of the nonprofit sector’s future relies on its ability to respond to these young people’s charitable inclinations.”

Millennials on a Mission: Idealism, Impact, Innovation, July 1, 2014, Network for Good, by Jamie McDonald

Obama Seeks Nearly $4 Billion for Immigration Crisis

President Obama is requesting almost $4 billion in emergency funding from Congress to confront an immigration crisis ...

President Obama is requesting almost $4 billion in emergency funding from Congress to confront an immigration crisis from a wave of unaccompanied children surging across the southern border of the United States, White House officials said Tuesday.

The financial request, which is almost twice as much as initial reports had suggested might be necessary, would boost spending on border patrol agents, immigration judges, aerial surveillance, and new detention facilities. Nearly half of the money would be used to improve care for the children while they are moved through the deportation process.

“We are taking steps to protect due process but also to remove these migrants more efficiently,” a White House official said Tuesday morning. “We are taking an aggressive approach on both sides of the border.”
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage

 Congress will have its own ideas on how the $3.7 billion should be spent. And already there were signs from Republicans on Tuesday that the president’s proposal did not address all of their concerns. Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, said a “working group on the border crisis” would review the proposal.


As tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors cross into the United States this year, immigration reform is stalled. The issues are related but not the same. Here’s why.
Video Credit By Christian Roman, Carrie Halperin and Emily B. Hager on Publish Date July 7, 2014. Image CreditEric Gay/Associated Press

“The speaker still supports deploying the National Guard to provide humanitarian support in the affected areas — which this proposal does not address,” Mr. Steel said.

The decision to ask Congress for more money comes as Mr. Obama leaves for Texas on Tuesday on a previously scheduled trip that involves political fund-raising and events focused on the middle class and the economy.

Mr. Obama is not scheduled to travel to the border during his visit, but he has offered to meet privately with Governor Rick Perry, after Mr. Perry declined a photo-op handshake with the president in front of Air Force One when Mr. Obama arrives.

In a letter he sent to the White House on Monday afternoon, Mr. Perry rejected “a quick handshake on the tarmac,” but offered to meet with Mr. Obama “at any time” for a “substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue.”

Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser, invited Mr. Perry to a roundtable discussion about the issue with faith leaders and local officials in Dallas. White House officials said Tuesday that Mr. Perry had accepted the invitation, but officials in the governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The delicate negotiations over a meeting between the two leaders underscore the high stakes for politicians as they deal with the huge numbers of unaccompanied children crossing into the United States in recent months.

Mr. Obama is under intense pressure from Republicans to show that he is cracking down on the new wave of illegal immigration. The White House has said it intends to ask Congress for more money to more efficiently return the children to their countries. The administration has also said it wants Congress to give officials more authorities to process the children faster.

But the president is also receiving criticism from immigration activists, who have long urged Mr. Obama to reduce the number of deportations of illegal immigrants already in the country. The president is expected this summer to announce steps he will take to moderate deportation policies, especially in cases where the deportations separate established families.
Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

The immediate question of a meeting with Mr. Perry also highlighted the sensitive nature of the public relations decisions facing the White House in a situation like this.

White House officials had said last week that they saw no reason to send Mr. Obama to the border for a speech or event to draw attention to the latest immigration issue. Officials have said repeatedly that the president has no plans to do that on his trip.

But the governor’s letter made it clear that Republicans are eager to draw Mr. Obama into the issue more directly.

“I have followed up with several further communications inviting you to tour the border and view this crisis firsthand,” Mr. Perry wrote. “At any point while you are here, I am available to sit down privately so we can talk and you may directly gain my state’s perspective on the effects of an unsecured border and what is necessary to make it secure.”

White House officials said the emergency funding would support what they called an “all of government” response to the immigration crisis. Most of the immigrants are from Central America, and the funding request includes new money for those nations to combat the violence that is driving parents there to send their children to the United States, they said.

In a conference call with reporters, officials who spoke only on background declined to offer specifics about how many more children would be returned to their countries with the additional funding, or how much faster the children would be processed through the legal system.

“The bottom line here is the number of kids removed is not large enough,” one White House official said, adding that “the process, frankly, is much too long.”

Officials repeatedly described the situation at the southern border as an “urgent humanitarian situation” and said that unaccompanied children must be protected and treated well even as many of them are processed to be sent home.

The White House aides said they expected members of Congress in both parties to support the funding request in the same way that other emergencies like wildfires and floods often receive bipartisan backing.

Officials said they had not dropped a parallel request for Congress to amend existing laws to give the Department of Homeland Security more authority to process and deport the Central American immigrants more quickly.

Currently, federal law requires a more lengthy and complicated process for handling Central American immigrants than it does for Mexican immigrants who cross illegally. One White House official said the administration was seeking to have “one approach to children coming from the region.”

But officials said they do not want Congress to wait on the funding request while the question of changes to the immigration laws were debated.

Obama Seeks Nearly $4 Billion for Immigration Crisis, July 8, 2014, The New York Times, by Michael D. Shear


Please let Shelley Rood know if your agency is engaged in refugee resettlement.  It is our understanding that part of this funding would go to maintain existing refugee resettlement work.

 

5 Tips to Start Your Nonprofit Thought Leadership Plan

Every so often, change makers and nonprofit leaders are unsure about how to activate the most powerful resource they ...

Every so often, change makers and nonprofit leaders are unsure about how to activate the most powerful resource they have – their intellectual capital.

Organizations can be treasure troves of big ideas just waiting to be unleashed and shared with the world, but these same organizations can have limited resources and small or non-existent communications and marketing teams more focused on sharing information and trying to drum up support in an overcrowded charity marketplace.

Thought leadership communications is arguably the most effective and least expensive way a smaller organization can build awareness, support for ideas, and influence the communities they need to reach, including decision makers, policy makers and donors. Nonprofits have their missions but they are often unsure about how to wrap that same mission around a bigger idea – an idea that is woven into the every day world their donors and supporters live in, and that helps those same donors and supporters, better understand the nonprofits work. It’s not easy to all of the sudden turn your nonprofit leaders and your organization into a thought leader – it takes time and commitment but it can be done.

Here’s the thing: So many nonprofit leaders want to become thought leaders but that means so much more than asking your communications staff to share content on topics that are within the organizations subject area expertise. It means more than attending conferences. Thought leadership means you’re leading with your thinking. You’re leading with ideas. You’re leading because you are choosing to empower others with information and analysis that is difficult to find elsewhere. You’re adding real value to an existing conversation. And you’re doing it all consistently. It’s that simple … and that challenging.

Below are five ways your nonprofit can begin having the ‘thought leadership’ conversation:

Start with the big idea

1. Every big idea starts with a vision. It has a strong viewpoint and brings new insight and problem solving to an existing issue. Ask yourself and your team, what original, innovative and valuable perspective your organization and the communities you work with bring to the table. What do you want to achieve from it?

Overcome fear

2. Effective thought leadership programs are an organizational development function not just a public relations function. Powerful thought leadership campaigns need to be embedded into the culture of an organization in order to be truly successful. Sharing and taking a position can be a frightening act for a nonprofit that doesn’t necessarily engage in advocacy work. Teams need to be on board with sharing ideas and insights with the world. Does your culture support that? If not, what steps can be taken to inch toward that goal?

Tell a great story

3. Concentrate on telling one focused, compelling and clear story that supports your big idea and communicate it using channels you know your audience engages with. Social media is a no brainer but there’s also traditional media, speaking events, panels and conferences, that can position your organization as an expert in your field.

Become a resource

4. People don’t like to be sold things, for the most part. Even when what you’re selling is a noble and brilliant cause. That said, they do buy into solutions, expertise and problem-solving. Share your insights in an accessible and digestible way. Spread your idea. Be consistent. Offer guidance and people will follow.

Inspire action

5. Powerful communications and thought leadership can inspire people to act. Whatever your idea is, make sure that it is actionable. What do you want people to do? Be brave. Ask for what you want.

5 Tips to Start Your Nonprofit Thought Leadership Plan, June 25, 2014, eJP, by Caroline Avakian
 

U.S. Giving in 2013 Rose Significantly but Challenges Persist

The numbers are out today and we now have comprehensive, reliable 2013 data about American philanthropy, painting a p...

The numbers are out today and we now have comprehensive, reliable 2013 data about American philanthropy, painting a picture in broad brush strokes of how Americans gave and what kinds of causes donors supported. Measured as whole, the nonprofit community should be mildly encouraged by the results of the Giving USA 2014 Annual Report on Philanthropy. Although given our nation’s history and culture of generosity, the report suggests that we could and should be doing even better.

For synagogues, Jewish federations and other Jewish nonprofits, the data contained in the report is starker and very similar to what was in the 2013 Pew Survey on American Jewish life: the numbers confirm challenges that everybody already knew.

The Giving USA report was issued today by the Giving USA Foundation, which is affiliated with the Giving Institute, and its research partner, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Published annually since 1957, the report is considered the authoritative annual source on charitable giving in the United States.

Offering full disclosure, I sit on the Giving USA editorial review board and I’ll be the first to admit that the report has its shortcomings and limitations. First of all, from a Jewish perspective, the report doesn’t specifically break down giving to Jewish causes. We are left to infer the Jewish significance of the numbers, though the depth of the research largely gives us the tools to do so. Moreover, I’ve also made known that the report pays too little attention to the growth of online and mobile giving, particularly the emerging cultural phenomenon known as Giving Tuesday.

Then, of course, there is the pesky fact that the numbers can’t predict the future, nor can they answer some of the deeper philosophical questions we have about the role of philanthropy in American society. But the numbers do tell us a great deal about the direction about how and where donors are giving their precious philanthropic dollars. The data provides a broad economic and cultural context to the sometimes narrow task of asking donors for dollars. In many ways, 2013 represented a continuation of the slow growth in charitable giving since the end of the Great Recession but in other ways it reflects that Americans are passionate about philanthropy.

In 2013, total giving reached $335.17 billion. That figure represents a 4.4 percent increase in current dollars from 2012 and a 3 percent increase in inflation-adjusted dollars.

According to Melanie A. McKitrick, managing editor of the Giving USA report, the 2013 figure represents the fourth highest total in the history of the survey. Charitable giving nosedived in 2008 and 2009, the years of the Great Recession, but the numbers have been climbing back up slowly since 2010. Dr. Patrick Rooney, associate dean of Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy, said that he expects charitable giving to approach or pass the high water mark of $349 billion reached in 2007 within one or two more years.

“We are getting back on track and hopefully a year from now we will be able to say we have regained where we were in 2007,” said Rooney. “This is consistent with the overall business recovery and other economic variables.”

Giving is a lagging indicator of economic recovery. When bad times become good again, people tend to spend on themselves and their families before they spend on others. The fact that giving is up again is a healthy indicator about the state of our economy. 2013 represented the largest percentage increase in giving since the 2008 economic meltdown. The philanthropic sector is bouncing back more quickly than many experts predicted but are we seeing this rebound perhaps more slowly in the Jewish community.

Four straight years of philanthropic growth is certainly encouraging and demonstrates the fundamental generosity of Americans. Rich or poor, liberal or Conservative, we first and foremost look to ourselves and our charitable organizations to solve big problems. But the growth is much too incremental and lackluster. So many of what we take for granted in American life today, our hospitals, our museums, our schools, funding for disease research, were started by far-sighted philanthropists like the archetypical American, Benjamin Franklin. Where will the innovations of tomorrow come from? I sometimes fear that the incredible examples of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have failed to galvanize both Americans of means and smaller donors. And the numbers validate my concern in this regard. In 2007, individuals on the Forbes 400 list, who had a total wealth of $1.54 trillion, accounted for 15 percent of all charitable contributions. In 2013, the 400 wealthiest individuals’ earnings had climbed to $2 trillion, but their contributions only accounted for 12 percent of all giving.

Giving by SourceHere are some of the highlights of the report. There’s plenty here for those who take a glass half full approach and those who see the glass as half empty.

    Charitable giving outstripped the tiny 2 percent increase in GDP but was behind the 27 percent jump in the S & P 500 Index.
    Charitable giving increased in three of the four major sources, with only corporate giving showing a major decline.
    Individuals gave $240.60 billion in 2013, an increase of 4.3 percent from 2012. Bequests accounted for $27.73 billion, an 8.7 percent increase from 2012. Foundation gifts accounted for $48. 96 billion, a 5.7 percent increase from 2012.

Corporate giving totaled $17.88 billion, representing a 1.9 percent slide. At a time when corporate profits are near all-time highs, any slide is unacceptable and represents an affront to the notion of corporate responsibility.

Giving by Recipient OrganizationFor the Jewish community, the biggest headline coming out of Giving USA is that giving to religious organizations (all types of houses of worship) once again sputtered along in 2013, continuing a five year trend that perhaps foreshadows a permanent behavior pattern.

    Giving to religious organizations held flat in 2013, dropping 0.2 percent from 2012 and totaling $105.53 billion.
    At 31 percent, giving to religion still makes up the largest slice of the American philanthropic pie.
    Since the end of the Great Recession, overall giving has grown 12.3 percent while giving to religion has declined 2.4 percent.

Americans are becoming less religious and less connected to spiritual communities. No denomination is immune, whether it is the Catholic Church, Main Line Protestants or Jewish denominations. All faced difficult times raising money. A few large “superstar” synagogues are doing OK, but not spectacular, while most are not. To triumph against this trend, synagogues must inspire donors with truly original thinking about how to make synagogue life richer and more meaningful. Many are making valiant efforts and those that are approaching their fundraising campaigns with foresight and meticulous planning stand good chances of finding success.

And then, of course, remains the great riddle of American Jewish philanthropy. At last count, well over one fourth of the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans were Jews. Yet, while there are exceptions, most of those names reserve their largest gifts for non-Jewish causes. Synagogues and Jewish organizations of all types must find ways to inspire these wealthiest of donors. If they don’t give Jewishly, surely we can’t expect their children or grandchildren to do so.

In addition to synagogues, we know that Jewish federations – similar to other umbrella campaigns like United Way and Catholic Charities – have also faced challenging times. Today’s high net worth donors are likely to give to a specific project since they don’t trust well-meaning professionals or entrenched lay leaders to decide how best to use their money. Between 2010 and 2012, total giving to Jewish Federations nationally fell from $925 million to $900 million, according to JFNA’s own data.

Giving USA doesn’t track donations to Jewish federations per se. But it does keep statistics on a sector it labels public-society benefit, which includes umbrella campaigns, disaster relief efforts community foundations and donor advised funds. The results are clearly deceiving, prompted by such large numbers of dollars going to donor advised funds!

    Contributions to the public-society benefit subsector increased by 8.5 percent in 2013, accounting for $23.89 billion in contributions.
    The public-society benefit subsector comprised 7 percent of all giving in 2013.
    The losses at umbrella campaigns were offset by gifts to donor advised funds. For example, the largest gift in 2013 was Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan’s $992 million donation to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation as a donor advised fund.

Here’s a statistic that may concern those who concentrate on raising money for Israel-based charities:

    Giving to international affairs organizations declined 6.7 percent in 2013, totaling $14.93 billion.
    International affairs organizations received 4 percent of all gifts in 2013.
    Since the end of the Great Recession, giving to international affairs organizations has declined 16.1 percent, the most of any philanthropic sector. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Americans have turned their gaze inward as the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq war have receded into the past tense and that there was no very significant international disaster last year.

Much of the rest of the philanthropic milieu saw good news in the report.

    Giving to educational institutions represented 16 percent of all giving. Contributions to education rose 8.9 percent in 2013, representing 16 percent of all gifts, with the universities stepping up their campaigns and staffing. Jewish day school giving is included here but is not separated statistically.
    Giving to the arts, culture, and humanities subsector amounted to 5 percent of total giving in 2013, accounting for $16.66 billion in contributions. Arts giving saw a 7.8 percent increase.
    Contributions to foundations declined by 15.5 percent from 2013, totaling $35.74 billion. Foundations received 11 percent of all gifts in 2013. I believe many philanthropists are choosing instead to give to donor advised funds, which are much less costly and complicated to maintain than foundations.
    Giving to human services grew 2.2 percent in 2013, totaling $41.51 billion dollars and accounting for 12 percent of all gifts.
    Most gifts to human service organizations tend to be modest ones. With the economy coming back and unemployment numbers dropping, many mega-philanthropists have begun moving their money into other priority areas and away from this category. Note, too, that previous small donors to human service causes have become recipients as a result of the recession.
    Giving to hospitals and other health-related organizations grew 6 percent in 2013, totaling $31.86 billion and accounting for 10 percent of all gifts in 2013.
    Contributions to environmental and animal organizations rose 7.5 percent between 2012 and 2013, to $9.72 billion. These dollars made up three percent of all gifts.

What do these numbers mean? For synagogues and other Jewish organizations, the data reinforces the notion that new models are needed and the future community will likely look much different than the present. That is no reason to despair. It is a reason to charge forward with gusto but with respect for the challenges ahead. Jewish organizations must work even harder than other nonprofits to articulate their cases for giving and to inspire donors to invest.

People of all political persuasions should be able to agree that government can’t solve all problems, particularly those that seem intractable. Remember, it was one of the greatest fundraising campaigns in American history, the March of Dimes that led to the eradication of polio! We need nonprofits to work on solving intractable problems and making our country a better, healthier, more just, more prosperous and more enlightened place. Join me in applauding philanthropy and recognizing its necessity for the future of our Republic and the American Jewish community. We don’t need these figures to tell us that giving is important, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. And I’d like to offer a reminder that we can all give just a little bit more.

U.S. Giving in 2013 Rose Significantly but Challenges Persist, June 17, 2014, eJP, by Robert Evans
 

AJFCA Member Agencies Provide Thought Leadership on World Refugee Day

AJFCA is pleased to share some recent op-eds and a letter to the editor from our network in connection to World Refug...

AJFCA is pleased to share some recent op-eds and a letter to the editor from our network in connection to World Refugee Day, on June 20th. 

Jewish Americans Should Care About Refugees Today
The New York Jewish Week
By Mark Hetfield, HIAS President/CEO & Dale Schwartz, HIAS Board Chair

Making our voices heard on World Refugee Day
The Jewish Sound
By Margaret Hinson, Director, Refugee & Immigrant Service Centers, JFS Seattle

On World Refugee Day, let us remember our own history
JWeekly
By Avi Rose, Executive Director, JFCS East Bay

Letter to the Editor World Refugee Day-U.S. generosity leads way
Tampa Bay Times (scroll down to read it)
By Rochelle Tatrai-Ray, President/CEO, Gulf Coast JFCS

Support the Voting Rights Amendment Act

On June 24th Bend the Arc, created a powerful visual memorial in front of the Lincoln Memorial to Andrew Goodman, Jam...

On June 24th Bend the Arc, created a powerful visual memorial in front of the Lincoln Memorial to Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, who were murdered 50 years ago by the Ku Klux Klan. More than 3,000 yahrzeit chandles were lit. Throughout the day, more than two dozen members of Congress took photos with the yartzeit memorial candles. Click here for photos. Watch and share the powerful video. Click here to view a photo gallery created by The Washington Post. More details surrounding a recent press conference and vigil can be found here. The sharing of this information helps to build greater momentum around voting rights and the swift passage of the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA).

Giving Back Now a Primary Motivation for Millennial Talent in the Workplace

A company's involvement in social causes plays a significant role at every stage of a Millennial's career, ac...

A company's involvement in social causes plays a significant role at every stage of a Millennial's career, according to the just released 2014 Millennial Impact Report. An overwhelming 92 percent of respondents felt that they were actively contributing to a company having a positive effect on the world. This desire to do good through an employer presents new opportunities for companies (and organizations) to more effectively engage next generation talent. Continue reading here.

Giving Back Now a Primary Motivation for Millennial Talent in the Workplace, June 19, 2014, eJP


 

Attention to Refugees Ever More Important as Numbers Rise

World Refugee Day was observed last week, and it is ever more important to recognize the parameters of this issue, be...

World Refugee Day was observed last week, and it is ever more important to recognize the parameters of this issue, because they are expanding. The U.N. refugee agency announced recently that the world's population of refugees had increased by 6 million between 2012 and 2013. For last year, the 51.2 million refugees included 2.5 million new refugees from Syria and another 6.5 million people displaced within the war-torn country.

Attention to Refugees Ever More Important as Numbers Rise, June 23, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Rich Cohen

Is Strategic Philanthropy Yesterday's News?

We have now come to the conclusion that if funders are to make greater progress in meeting society's urgent chall...

We have now come to the conclusion that if funders are to make greater progress in meeting society's urgent challenges, they must move beyond today's rigid and predictive model of strategy to a more nuanced model of emergent strategy that better aligns with the complex nature of social progress. Continue reading here.

Is Strategic Philanthropy Yesterday's News? June 10, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by William Schambra

 

 

Board Member Independence

A key legal obligation of a board member is a duty of loyalty. The object of this loyalty is the nonprofit organizati...

A key legal obligation of a board member is a duty of loyalty. The object of this loyalty is the nonprofit organization each board member is helping to govern. Board members have a duty to place the interest of their nonprofit before anything else when acting in their fiduciary capacity. This undivided loyalty means objectivity in decision making, an unbiased approach to issues, freedom from ulterior motives or external control, and an absence of conflict of interest when choosing between options. Ultimately the full board as a body must act in an independent manner in its decision making. Continue reading here.

Board Member Independence, June 17, 2015, Board Source

From Nursing Home to Stay at Home: Jewish Organizations Try to Shift Senior Living

For many Jewish organizations, it has become clear that older adults are happier if they can live independently and &...

For many Jewish organizations, it has become clear that older adults are happier if they can live independently and "age in place," in their own homes rather than in nursing homes. "It has been a longstanding priority of Jewish federations and affiliated agencies to encourage aging in place, the feeling being that when older adults age in place, as distinct from being in an institution, they are able to live healthier and fuller lives," says William Daroff, senior vice president of public policy and director of the Washington Office of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

It is also more cost-effective to age in place because medical costs skyrocket for seniors who move to nursing homes or other facilities, Daroff explains. Read more here.

From Nursing Home to Stay at Home: Jewish Organizations Try to Shift Senior Living, May 28, 2014 by Michele Alperin

Strategic Planning or Strategic Thinking?

The well-known French expression attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, "plus ça change, plus c'e...

The well-known French expression attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" is often translated "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Anyone living in the world of nonprofit organizations (NPO's) could say that in fact the exact opposite is true. We live in an age where not only does the world continue to change, but the rate of change increases exponentially. For NPO's trying to keep track of their operating environment, the ferocious and unending pace of change can be dizzying. Continue reading here.

Strategic Planning or Strategic Thinking? May 26, 2014, eJP, by David B. Marcu

Sustainability by the Numbers

In 2014, it is the Pew Report on the practices and beliefs of American Jews that has stimulated much debate, some han...

In 2014, it is the Pew Report on the practices and beliefs of American Jews that has stimulated much debate, some hand wringing, and an evaluation of our communal priorities. What changes and adaptations will mark our Jewish life and institutions in light of Pew have yet to be seen. But this much is clear: The Jewish community is now deeply entrenched in the 21st century preoccupation with big data. We are now extremely reliant on data: to make decisions, track our success, better understand our constituencies, and demonstrate the power of our product. Read more here.

Sustainability by the Numbers, June 2, 2014, eJP

Supporting "Field-Building" Organizations

Conversations on funder collaboration have gained momentum. Challenges of and opportunities for collaboration between...

Conversations on funder collaboration have gained momentum. Challenges of and opportunities for collaboration between local and national funders were discussed at the 2013 Jewish Funders Network (JFN) conference. With a desire to maintain the dialogue, JFN coordinated a series of articles on the interactions between local and national funders called "Local and National Funders: The Launch of a Conversation." In turn, this exchange caught the attention of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) and led to a joint JFN/GEO webinar in January 2014: The Promise and Pitfalls of Local and National Funder Collaborations. Continue reading here.

Supporting Field-Building Organizations, May 18, 2014, eJP, by Shari L Edelstein, Marcella Kanfer Rolnick and Yossi Prager

 

Using Social Networks to Reach Thought Leaders

What is your organization's fastest path to reach influential people in your community? Many fundraisers once tri...

What is your organization's fastest path to reach influential people in your community? Many fundraisers once tried to answer this question by flipping through Rolodexes and brainstorming connections, but more are now using tools that analyze real-world social networks and identify shared connections with community leaders. Listen to the podcast here.

Using Social Networks to Reach Thought Leaders, May 15, 2014, Chroncile of Philanthropy, by Allison Fine

Using Cloud Technology in Storytelling

Storybanking, takes storytelling one step further. It is a process of identifying and organizing volunteers who are w...

Storybanking, takes storytelling one step further. It is a process of identifying and organizing volunteers who are willing to share their own stories in their own words, through interviews with media, testimonies before Congress, or speeches at public events. To do it right, it requires an organizational culture and technical infrastructure to collect and catalogue stories so that the right storyteller can be matched with the right opportunity at the right time. Read more here.

Using Cloud Technology in Storytelling, May 14, 2014, NTEN, by Elizabeth Prescott

New JCF-Slingshot Guide Provides "Crash-Course in Funding Jewish Innovation"

The Jewish Communal Fund (JCF) and Slingshot released "Funding Jewish Innovation: A Resource Guide," which ...

The Jewish Communal Fund (JCF) and Slingshot released "Funding Jewish Innovation: A Resource Guide," which can be downloaded here.
 
The guide offers a crash-course in funding Jewish innovation. It answers common questions around funding innovation in Jewish life, offers reflections from funders in the field, and provides practical next steps for individual donors to select innovative projects and organizations to fund. The guide also features Innovation Snapshots - brief examples of how Jewish organizations both young and old (including Our Jewish Community, the Pearlstone Center, Hillel's Ask Big Questions and G-dcast) are using innovative approaches to remain relevant in today's 21st century world. Continue reading here.

New JCF-Slingshot Guide Provides Crash-Course in Funding Jewish Innovation, April 30, 2014, eJP

2014 M+R/NTEN Benchmark Study: Trend Findings for Fundraising and Advocacy

M+R and NTEN have again partnered together to bring us their 2014 Benchmark Study. According to the exhibited results...

M+R and NTEN have again partnered together to bring us their 2014 Benchmark Study. According to the exhibited results, the trends in online giving in 2013 tended toward interesting, if somewhat predictable. The data in the study, addressing email list sizes, fundraising, online advocacy, websites, social media, and mobile activity, came from 53 U.S.-based nonprofits.
 
The results were not surprising; the infographic shows nonprofits reaching more of their client bases through websites, emailing, and social media.

2014 M+R/NTEN Benchmark Study: Trend Findings for Fundraising and Advocacy, May 8, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Aine Creedon

The Visual Foundation of Your Nonprofit Brand

A fundraising icon is an image that captures the essence of your cause in the minds of your donors. It instantly remi...

A fundraising icon is an image that captures the essence of your cause in the minds of your donors. It instantly reminds them what you do and why they care. It bypasses the chattering, rational left hemisphere of the brain and connects with the side that makes all the decisions -- the right hemisphere.
 
Finding and using a fundraising icon is the most important visual component of an effective nonprofit brand. Color palettes, font choices, and other design techniques are the window dressing of a visual brand. A fundraising icon is the heart. Learn more here.

The Visual Foundation of Your Nonprofit Brand, May 5, 2014, Future Fundraising Now, by Jeff Brooks

The Jewish Response to Food Insecurity

When it comes to relieving the effects of poverty, the work of Jewish charitable organizations has traditionally cent...

When it comes to relieving the effects of poverty, the work of Jewish charitable organizations has traditionally centered on the most vulnerable groups within the community. In central and eastern Europe, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and World Jewish Relief (WJR) among others have provided and continue to provide assistance in terms of food, winter fuel, and medical care to children and the elderly, including survivors of the Holocaust. Click here to read about a new crisis that has befallen Europe: the crisis of food insecurity.

The Jewish Response to Food Insecurity, May 8, 2014, eJP, by Liam Hoare

Reframing Human Services: Why and How

Irv Katz, President/CEO of the National Human Services Assembly and Karen Key, Executive Vice President/COO wrote an ...

Irv Katz, President/CEO of the National Human Services Assembly and Karen Key, Executive Vice President/COO wrote an article, Reframing Human Services:  How and Why, about the reframing human services effort for Policy & Practice, the most authoritative magazine in public human services, published by the Association of Public Human Services Association (APHSA).

The article clearly lays out the case for why reframing human service is necessary at this time, and it provides an overview of what the concept of framing. 

 

Canada Awards Design for National Holocaust Monument

The design "Landscape of Loss, Memory and Survival" presented by Team Lord of Toronto has been selected for...

The design "Landscape of Loss, Memory and Survival" presented by Team Lord of Toronto has been selected for the future National Holocaust Monument, which will be located in Ottawa.Team Lord's submission was selected from among six finalists who were invited to present their design concepts to a jury of professionals and to the public as part of a national design competition. The future National Holocaust Monument will be prominently located in the core of Canada's Capital, at the corner of Wellington and Booth Streets. The monument site faces the iconic Canadian War Museum and will ensure the lessons of the Holocaust remain within the national consciousness. The official inauguration of the main elements of the monument is scheduled for fall 2015.

Meet the Refugee Inspiring Me to Live Below the Line

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) is proud to be joining with other leading international organizations as a pa...

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) is proud to be joining with other leading international organizations as a participant in the Live Below the Line campaign, which challenges people to live on $1.50 for five days to raise awareness of extreme poverty and hunger around the world and to raise funds for organizations like HIAS. Along with helping to promote awareness about refugee issues, this campaign is also directly linked to our programs-in Chad alone, this year HIAS is distributing more than 8,730 tons of food to refugees from Darfur in the refugee camps where we work. Refugees, among the most vulnerable people in the world, must often deal with the impact of extreme poverty and hunger, in addition to all of the other trauma of their condition. 

Bipartisan Group Seeks Fund for Survivors

A bipartisan group of more than 60 members of the House of Representatives is seeking to create a $5 million Holocaus...

A bipartisan group of more than 60 members of the House of Representatives is seeking to create a $5 million Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund. The request was made in an April 4 letter to Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), ranking member of that committee. Continue reading here.

Bipartisan Group Seeks Fund for Survivors, April 9, 2014, Washington Jewish Week, by Suzanne Pollak


 

Holocaust Survivors Meet Sen. Cardin and Special Envoy Aviva Sufian

Holocaust Survivors from Maryland, along with Jewish Community Services in Baltimore and the Jewish Social Service Ag...

Holocaust Survivors from Maryland, along with Jewish Community Services in Baltimore and the Jewish Social Service Agency in Rockville met with Senator Ben Cardin to discuss the needs of the aging Survivor population. Kathy Greenlee, the Assistant Secretary of Aging at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Gloria Lawlah, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging, also participated in the meeting, demonstrating the full support of the state and federal aging service programs. The Holocaust Survivors spoke about the importance of remaining socially connected to the community, and the importance of rental assistance and transportation services. They identified specific barriers with existing services, such as not being allowed to use taxi vouchers for doctor appointments outside the county borders. The Survivors were pleased to have their voices heard, and the government representatives were grateful for the opportunity to meet. They look forward to working with AJFCA to support the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund in the federal budget.

Stretching the Limits of Involvement

Very often when we have developed relationships with professional colleagues, volunteer leaders, or donors in the com...

Very often when we have developed relationships with professional colleagues, volunteer leaders, or donors in the community we encounter a road block in our efforts to involve them more in our organizations. We find there are issues of competition among organizations, on one hand, and the person's desire to keep a low profile and not wanting to approach other people for donations, on the other hand. Whether we are communal professionals or volunteer leaders, how do we reach those who are already involved, but are reluctant to become more active and committed to the organizations we think are most important to the community?

Stretching the Limits of Involvement, March 19, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Storytelling: For fundraising . . . and Life, Too

Each donor experiences your organization differently-from her own vantage point, with his own personal lens. Each don...

Each donor experiences your organization differently-from her own vantage point, with his own personal lens. Each donor comes to your organization because of different events in his or her life, with a different perspective because of events in that life. Continue reading here.

Storytelling: For fundraising . . . and Life, Too, March 21, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Simone Joyaux 

A Better Board Will Make You Better

Organizations with boards that are consistently effective attain that level of performance because their leaders heed...

Organizations with boards that are consistently effective attain that level of performance because their leaders heed three enduring principles.  Emphasize Engagement: to be truly effective, members of a nonprofit board must engage directly and deeply in the substantive work of their organization. Tend to the Top: one of the most important responsibilities of a nonprofit board involves hiring and evaluating an organization's CEO or executive director. Cultivate the Right Composition: what's the right mix of people for a nonprofit board? Perhaps the best answer to that question lies in the venerable idea of "the 3 W's": work, wisdom, and wealth. Continue reading here.

A Better Board Will Make You Better, Stanford Social Innovation Review, by Kim Jonker & William F. Meehan
 

Top 10 Tips for Inclusive Engagement

Broad-and deep-engagement with community members is a fundamental building block of a successful community planning p...

Broad-and deep-engagement with community members is a fundamental building block of a successful community planning project. Authentic engagement is key because it makes all the difference to building stronger communities; it is a means to an end, and it is also an end in itself for the trust it builds, the ideas it sparks, and the new connections it creates. Read the ten tips here.

Top 10 Tips for Inclusive Engagement, March 11, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Betsy Rosenbluth
 

2014 Ruderman Prize in Inclusion

The Ruderman Family Foundation announced the launch of the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competitio...

The Ruderman Family Foundation announced the launch of the third annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion global competition. The Prize recognizes organizations who have demonstrated their commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities into the Jewish community through innovative programs and services. The $250,000 prize will be split equally by five organizations. Each year, the Ruderman Prize in Inclusion honors the programs and organizations around the world whose work best exemplifies the full inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrating them as inspiration and models which could be replicated elsewhere. Guidelines and a link to the application form for the awards are available here. Submissions are due by Monday April 7th and the winners will be announced in June.

Nonprofit Growth Outpaces For-Profits in U.S.

Although the overall economy has been expanding slowly, the nonprofit sector is vibrant, according to a recent report...

Although the overall economy has been expanding slowly, the nonprofit sector is vibrant, according to a recent report in the New York Times. From 2001 to 2011, the Times reports that the number of nonprofits in the United States grew 25 percent, while the number of for-profit businesses rose by half a percent, quoting recent figures compiled by the Urban Institute. Read more here.

Nonprofit Growth Outpaces For-Profits in U.S., March 10, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Larry Kaplan 

10 Tips for an Effective Nonprofit Content Strategy

The struggle to create effective content strategies for social networks either comes from not having enough time to d...

The struggle to create effective content strategies for social networks either comes from not having enough time to devote to social media or not having enough content to post. Truth be told, most nonprofits have an overwhelming amount of content on their websites or other communication channels that can be easily repurposed for social. Read the 10 tips for managing your time and dealing with the problem of feeding your organization's social media beasts.

10 Tips for an Effective Nonprofit Content Strategy, February 14, 2014, NTEN, by Cody Damon

Volunteer Professional Community of Practice Calls

Volunteer Professional Community of Practice Calls AJFCA is excited to announce that we will be providing quarter...

Volunteer Professional Community of Practice Calls

AJFCA is excited to announce that we will be providing quarterly Volunteer Professional Community of Practice calls for you all to share with one another and learn about topics of interest. 
 
The format will be as follows:
  • A volunteer professional from one of our member agencies will volunteer to speak a bit about their experience with a given topic.
  • We will then open up the call for all to share their experiences with the topic. For example, this time around - we'd love those who have been through the CVA process to share their experience - those who feel like you would never have the time to earn a CVA, speak up about the challenges that prevent you from doing so. Anyone with an opinion about how to make time for professional development in general - plan to share your experience.
  • Beri Schwitzer has volunteered to lead this first call - she will also act as the moderator to help facilitate the open conversation.
Volunteer Professional Community of Practice Conference Call
Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - 3 pm EST
 
CVA: I don't have time for that! 
Making Time for Professional Development
Moderator: 
Beri Schwitzer, Director of Volunteer Services, JFS Dallas 
 
Conversation about what the CVA (Certified in Volunteer Administration) credential process involves and why you should make the time for professional development.
 
Please email Jennie if you have an idea for a topic you'd like covered, or you'd like to volunteer to lead a call. We are planning these calls based on your interests.

Nearly Half of All Nonprofits Plan to Add Jobs; Few Predict Layoffs

Forty-five percent of nonprofits plan to add jobs this year, about the same share that created new positions in 2013,...

Forty-five percent of nonprofits plan to add jobs this year, about the same share that created new positions in 2013, finds a survey released today. As the economy continues to improve, nonprofits are not only adding jobs but are increasingly avoiding layoffs. Continue reading here.

Nearly Half of All Nonprofits Plan to Add Jobs; Few Predict Layoffs, March 10, 2014, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Nicole Lewis
 


 

How to Entice Your Board Into the Social Media Waters

Getting your board engaged and on board with social media can prove to be a challenging task at many nonprofits. But ...

Getting your board engaged and on board with social media can prove to be a challenging task at many nonprofits. But your board members want to make a difference and have a real-world impact, right? Otherwise, why are they there. Here's a short list of ways board members can help support your organizational goals via social media.

How to Entice Your Board Into the Social Media Waters, February 3, 2014, Socialbrite, by Caroline Avakian

Three Elements to Create a Powerful Communications Triangle

When aligning your fundraising strategy, you focus on two major paths: donor retention and donor acquisition. These a...

When aligning your fundraising strategy, you focus on two major paths: donor retention and donor acquisition. These are the everyday struggles for any nonprofit. While projects emerge from passion and commitment towards a cause or purpose, finding the proper support to get you there and even further is a true quest based on determination and perseverance. Continue reading here.

Three Elements to Create a Powerful Communications Triangle, February 10, 2014, NTEN, by Laura Iancu

Keshet Parent & Family Connection

The Keshet Parent & Family Connection is composed of remarkable parents and family members of LGBTQ Jews across t...

The Keshet Parent & Family Connection is composed of remarkable parents and family members of LGBTQ Jews across the country who are coming together to transform the Jewish community through peer support, public events, and advocating for change. We come from all streams of the Jewish world, have children of all genders and sexual orientations, and are driven by personal journeys of struggle and celebration. Learn more here.

The Dirty Dozen Website Mistakes

With 2013 behind us, we encourage staffers to take a close look at your website and examine every single page for con...

With 2013 behind us, we encourage staffers to take a close look at your website and examine every single page for content, style, tone and layout. Think about the big questions first and ask yourself: is this page really necessary? What is the main message from this page? Is there a shorter, more effective way of saying it? It's a best practice to regularly maintain your website to keep it functioning optimally, much like a car. Click here to read the dirty dozen website mistakes.

The Dirty Dozen Website Mistakes, February 25, 2014, eJP, by Molly Ritvo

 

 

Go Outside: Expanding Your Professional Development Horizons

The professional Jewish community overflows with conferences. The pockets of time between major holidays are crammed ...

The professional Jewish community overflows with conferences. The pockets of time between major holidays are crammed with opportunities for learning, connection, case studies, best practices and keynote speeches. While they are worthwhile, informative, necessary and valuable, they are also an echo chamber. Continue reading here.

Go Outside: Expanding Your Professional Development Horizons, February 20, 2014 Written by Lisa Colton

 

 

Jewish Immigration Advocates Push Eric Cantor To Support Broad Reforms

The organized Jewish community is known for its impressive bipartisan clout when advocating issues relating to Israel...

The organized Jewish community is known for its impressive bipartisan clout when advocating issues relating to Israel. But when it comes to domestic affairs, the community suffers from a lopsided lack of leverage on the Republican side. Some Jewish activists believe that they may have found a pathway to the GOP side of the aisle. Read more here.

Jewish Immigration Advocates Push Eric Cantor To Support Broad Reforms, February 21, 2014, The Forward, by Nathan Guttman
 

Email: Still The Digital Glue of Online Marketing

Greg Cangialosi, CEO of MissionTix is a big fan of email marketing, and have been for a long time. Having run an ESP ...

Greg Cangialosi, CEO of MissionTix is a big fan of email marketing, and have been for a long time. Having run an ESP (Email Service Provider) for 10 years, I've had the opportunity to see the power of ROI that the email channel can deliver for marketers across many different industries. Albeit email is a nascent channel for marketing, it still, in 2014, is one of the most powerful mediums out there. It truly is the digital glue and the workhorse of online marketing. Learn more about how to optimize your email marketing campaigns here.

Email: Still The Digital Glue of Online Marketing, February 4, 2014, Mission Media, by Greg Cangialosi

 

Design Thinking: A Praxis For Creating User-Centered Experiences

Design thinking should become part of the toolkit of all Jewish organizations, especially in a climate of profound ch...

Design thinking should become part of the toolkit of all Jewish organizations, especially in a climate of profound change, but it is particularly important for Jewish professionals charged with engagement work to master this skill. It will serve as a kind of course-corrector, keeping professionals accountable to and in touch with the needs of those they seek to serve. Continue reading here.
 
Design Thinking, February 23, 2014, eJP, by Rachel Cort

 

Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch Habit #3 - Create a Series of "Yeses"

We all love it when a donor says "yes" and agrees to a gift. But this "big yes" is rarely the onl...

We all love it when a donor says "yes" and agrees to a gift. But this "big yes" is rarely the only yes you hear. Securing a gift is actually a series of "yeses." If you deliver pre-written pitches and presentations to donors you won't have much success. Fundraising effectiveness requires you to ditch the pitch and engage donors in improvised persuasive conversations. Read on here.

Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch Habit #3 - Create a Series of "Yeses," February 3, 2014, eJP, by Steve Yastrow
 

Disruptive Innovation as a Framework

A major challenge for the Jewish community is the fact that many professionals working to engage Millenials bring the...

A major challenge for the Jewish community is the fact that many professionals working to engage Millenials bring their own assumptions, norms and values to bear on experiences meant to engage the unengaged. The first competency recommended to these professionals is an understanding of disruptive innovation as an approach uniquely suited to taking on the challenge of engaging those who are currently not participating in Jewish life. Continue reading here.

Disruptive Innovation as a Framework, February 16, 2014, eJP, by Rachel Cort

 

Do We Have a Nonprofit Overhead Movement?

Opinions may differ as to what constitutes a movement-but when two different and influential groups hold noteworthy c...

Opinions may differ as to what constitutes a movement-but when two different and influential groups hold noteworthy conferences on the same basic topic within three days of each other, you have to think something's up. Continue reading here and join AJFCA at this year's Annual Conference to hear Dan Pallotta address this issue.

Do We Have a Nonprofit Overhead Movement? January 2014, The Bridgespan Group, by Paul Carttar

Mazon Launches Project to Combat Senior Hunger

In response to the escalating number of seniors struggling to put food on the table, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hung...

In response to the escalating number of seniors struggling to put food on the table, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger (MAZON) has launched a new initiative, in partnership with the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies (AJFCA), designed to help low-income, food-insecure seniors get the nutrition assistance they need. More specifically, Solutions to Senior Hunger™, which is generously funded by the Walmart Foundation, is designed to reduce the barriers that keep vulnerable seniors from enrolling in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Continue reading here.

Mazon Launches Project to Combat Senior Hunger, February 14, 2014, San Diego Jewish World, by Donald Harrison
 

Disability Activists Lobby Congress

Caregiving for loved ones, lobbying Congress to help those with disabilities and joining the United Nations' conv...

Caregiving for loved ones, lobbying Congress to help those with disabilities and joining the United Nations' convention on rights for the disabled are some of the issues being discussed during Jewish Disability Awareness Month.
 
Sixty-five Jewish activists from 12 states and the District of Columbia lobbied Congress Feb. 6 during the fourth-annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. They urged their members of Congress to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and support the United States becoming a part of the United Nations' international disability treaty. Continue reading to learn more about AJFCA's involvement

Disability Activists Lobby Congress, February 12, 2014, Washington Jewish Week, by Suzanne Pollak

American Jewish Organizations Urge Public to Learn About their Options and then Get Covered

You're invited you to participate in the upcoming Jewish Community Day of Action for Health Care Coverage one wee...

You're invited you to participate in the upcoming Jewish Community Day of Action for Health Care Coverage one week from today, on Tuesday, February 18th. The Day of Action is part of The White House, Office of Public Engagement's ongoing efforts to ensure that Americans have access to quality, affordable health coverage and to educate them about the current open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which closes on March 31st. Learn more here.
 

Conference Registration - OPENS NEXT WEEK!

Inspiring Creativity in a Changing World May 4-6, 2014  Montreal, Quebec Registration for the 2...

Inspiring Creativity in a Changing World

May 4-6, 2014 

Montreal, Quebec

Registration for the 2014 AJFCA & IAJVS Annual Conference will be available soon. For a glimpse at the schedule, speakers and other details, visit this page of our website.

Pay-for-Success Projects Spread to More States

In pay-for-success projects, donors, foundations, or other investors provide money for social programs that are expec...

In pay-for-success projects, donors, foundations, or other investors provide money for social programs that are expected to produce results that in the long run will save money for government agencies. If the programs achieve specific results, the government repays investors with a profit generated from those savings. If not, the government pays nothing.  The concept is being explored in more than a dozen states, but only a few programs are now under way.  Read more here.

Pay-for-Success Projects Spread to More States, January 28, 2014, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Doug Donovan

Jewish Community Day of Action - February 18

To raise awareness about access to health coverage, the National Council of Jewish Women has declared a Jewish Commun...

To raise awareness about access to health coverage, the National Council of Jewish Women has declared a Jewish Community Day of Action on February 18.  Individuals and families across our country have just over 50 days left - until the March 31 deadline - to explore their options in the health insurance marketplace and to select coverage that works best for them, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Please note that HHS has released the new 2014 Federal Poverty Levels, which will be used by states and the marketplace to determine a consumer's eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP.

Rereading "Collective Impact": Fresh insights gleaned from the article that started it all

All collaborations go through cycles.  To sustain the collaboration beyond the first journey through the cycle r...

All collaborations go through cycles.  To sustain the collaboration beyond the first journey through the cycle requires that participants constantly reassess the rationale and value proposition of the collaboration-to learn and affirm why they are committed to working with others.  We live in an age where instant gratification isn't nearly fast enough. Who is willing to work "several years" to develop the trusted relationships and capacity required to achieve collective impact? How do we create a several-year view when so many funders consider three years long-term? The disparity between time required and patience available is one reason why collaboration for collective impact is so elusive.  Read the full article to discover the three lessons the author has learned during his personal collective impact journey.

Rereading "Collective Impact", February 3, 2014, Stanford Social Innovation Review, by Chris Thompson

Boards and Discussions of Public Opinion

If you want your board to have substantive discussions, some say to throw some red meat on the table. There is plenty...

If you want your board to have substantive discussions, some say to throw some red meat on the table. There is plenty of it out there, and discussions of organizational direction should never be confined to strategic planning processes. So what if you chose some content from the many studies and public opinion polls available? Even if the last thing you want to do is to follow public opinion, it is useful to have conversations about those elements of your operating environment. Continue reading here.

Boards and Discussions of Public Opinion, January 3, 2014, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Jeanne Allen

Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch Habit #1 - Think Input Before Output

Let's face it; most people look at fundraising solicitations and other forms of persuasion more as processes of t...

Let's face it; most people look at fundraising solicitations and other forms of persuasion more as processes of telling and convincing than as processes of listening and observing.  This is not an effective way to raise money, because the odds that a preconceived pitch will be right for the donor you are trying to persuade, at the moment you are trying to persuade her, are about one in a billion. To ditch the pitch, we first need to shift from an output-driven to an input-driven mindset. Read more here.

Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch Habit #1 - Think Input Before Output

Do's and Don'ts of Digital Fundraising

Digital technology enables us to venture into a dialogue with donors and potential donors along loads of new interest...

Digital technology enables us to venture into a dialogue with donors and potential donors along loads of new interesting channels, but it does not allow us to abandon the old school fundraising methods or mediums - quite the contrary. Our digital fundraising must be firmly integrated to work. Digital media has changed and is continuing to change the way the world works, and we charities are going to have to follow suit.  Read the full article for a list of digital fundraising do's and don'ts.

Do's and Don'ts of Digital Fundraising, January 27, 2014, The Connected Cause, by Monika McMahon

The 4 S's of the Modern Nonprofit

The modern nonprofit has a laser-tight focus on making a difference through one specific lens. Forget the 30-second e...

The modern nonprofit has a laser-tight focus on making a difference through one specific lens. Forget the 30-second elevator pitch: the new breed of nonprofit can be summed up by the "Four S's" which will be helpful in this new era of social enterprise.  Click here to review the Four S's.

The 4 S's of the Modern Nonprofit, January 28, 2014, eJP, by Matthew Fieldman

Effective Delegation in Three Simple Steps

Delegation requires a balance between trusting others to get the work done while offering a sufficient amount of supp...

Suggestions for the Next Generation of Jewish CEO's

The most predictable fact about Jewish communal life in the next generation is that the profile of future executives ...

The most predictable fact about Jewish communal life in the next generation is that the profile of future executives will differ from that of their predecessors. We can expect greater gender balance, a diversity of educational and prior career backgrounds and stronger Jewish experiences. While all without exception are for the better, new styles and backgrounds bring with them new challenges, trade-offs and potential pitfalls.  Continue reading here.

Suggestions for the Next Generation of Jewish CEO's, January 27, 2014, eJP, by Robert Hyfler, PhD

 

CMS Provides Health Insurance Marketplace Guidance

In an effort to assist organizations working with clients who are applying for health insurance coverage, CMS has pos...

In an effort to assist organizations working with clients who are applying for health insurance coverage, CMS has posted several informational articles on their website offering guidance on commonly-asked questions.  For example, frequently asked questions on eligibility, the application process, and helping consumers apply are answered on the site.

Why Assess?

To put it simply, assessment is one of the most effective ways to move your board and board leaders to the next level...

To put it simply, assessment is one of the most effective ways to move your board and board leaders to the next level of performance. And if you're like most, that's something you want to do! Why conduct a board self-assessment? Are you wondering whether you should change your board's size or composition? Restructure your committees? Put term limits in place? Do you want to step up your board's engagement? Explore issues related to board/staff relations? Or determine how your board is performing in fundraising or other key areas of responsibility? Read more here.

Why Assess?, January 30, 2014, BoardSource

Characteristics of a Winning Proposal

David Bowman, owner of Precise Edit and an experienced proposal writer, shares the characteristics of proposals that ...

David Bowman, owner of Precise Edit and an experienced proposal writer, shares the characteristics of proposals that get noticed and funded. Some key elements include having a clear connection to grantor intentions, a clear connection to strategic plan and mission and firm leadership support. View the entire presentation here.

Tip of the Month, January 28, 2014, Foundation Center

The Top 10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Visuals

It might be old news, but it's still true: Visuals trump text. Content with compelling images experience 94% more...

It might be old news, but it's still true: Visuals trump text. Content with compelling images experience 94% more views on average than content without images.  Nonprofits can harness the power of visuals to help boost their online presence, generate an engaged social media following, and share information with supporters and donors. Here are 10 ways your nonprofit can leverage visuals online and off.

The Top 10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Visuals, January 22, 2014, Network for Good, by Liz Ragland

5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2014

As the nonprofit sector is asked to do more and more, nonprofits will no longer be a "nice to have" but an ...

As the nonprofit sector is asked to do more and more, nonprofits will no longer be a "nice to have" but an absolute essential component of any way forward. We will move squarely away from the idea of "charity" and toward an economy and a mindset that fully integrates the social. No longer sidelined as a small piece of the pie, the nonprofit sector will be recognized for the undeniable and pivotal role it plays in our economy, our institutions, our systems. As such, the nonprofit sector will stop apologizing for the resources it needs to do the job. The sector will rise up and take its rightful place as a critical force in shaping a sustainable future.  Read about more trends Nell anticipates in 2014 here.

5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2014, December 17, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

AJFCA - MAZON Solutions to Senior Hunger Program to Launch in February

AJFCA is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the AJFCA - MAZON Solutions to Senior Hunger (SSH) Program. ...

AJFCA is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the AJFCA - MAZON Solutions to Senior Hunger (SSH) Program.  Pursuant to this collaborative initiative, 13 AJFCA member agencies will receive a one-year grant of $25,000 for program costs and capacity building around the goal of increasing awareness of and access to SNAP benefits for seniors.  The participating agencies are: JFS Colorado, JFCS of the Suncoast, JFCS Jacksonville, Ruth & Norman Rales JFS Boca Raton, JFS MetroWest, New Jersey, JFS Atlantic & Cape May Counties, JFSA Cleveland, JFS Cincinnati, JFCS Pittsburgh, JFS Lehigh Valley, JFCS Philadelphia, JFS Dallas, and JFS Seattle.  The SSH Program will launch officially on February 10, 2014.

Inclusion in the Jewish Community

There is a growing movement in the Jewish community to include Jews with disabilities in all aspects of Jewish life, ...

There is a growing movement in the Jewish community to include Jews with disabilities in all aspects of Jewish life, driven by the desires of families with children of all ages, people with disabilities themselves, professionals, advocates and private philanthropy. That's the good news. The bad news is that segregation in some cases is increasing, not decreasing. New segregated schools, housing complexes and other forms of segregation are still being developed as new ideas, as inclusion. They are not. Inclusion is part values and attitude, part law, part skillset and part funding. Values and attitudes are perhaps the most challenging thing to change of the four. To fully include people with disabilities, our communities must see them as valued participants. Not as recipients of Tzedek (justice), nor as part of Tikun Olam (healing the world), but as members of a community, valued for whatever contributions they make.  Continue reading here.

Inclusion in the Jewish Community, January 21, 2014, eJP, by Steven M. Eidelman

Creating and Maintaining a Value Driven Jewish Organization

Organizations that live according to a clear set of values are far more likely to achieve grand and lofty missions an...

Organizations that live according to a clear set of values are far more likely to achieve grand and lofty missions and visions and sustain their success over the long run than organizations that do not. It is ironic that for a people so rich in values, few Jewish entities are truly value driven. How many organizations' staff, regardless of role, can clearly articulate the institutional values? How many of those organizations truly live by them in any objective manner? Part of the difficulty in discussing organizational values is that far too many assume a false choice. This binary way of thinking suggests that institutions must choose between expending resources on defining and living by core values, or achieving results associated with the mission of the entity. Read more here.

Creating and Maintaining a Value Driven Jewish Organization, January 21, 2014, eJP, by David Bernstein and Mike Lasday

Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Determinations Rise in December

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility determinations grew throughout the end of...

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility determinations grew throughout the end of 2013, especially in states that have chosen to expand coverage to more of their residents, according to a new CMS report released this week. According to the report, between October and December over 6.3 million individuals were determined eligible to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP through state agencies and through state-based Marketplaces. That includes 2.3 million people in December alone, an increase of over 20 percent from November. These numbers include both Medicaid and CHIP new eligibility determinations in states that expanded coverage, determinations made on prior law, and in some states, Medicaid renewals and groups not affected by the health care law. These numbers do not include medicaid eligibility determinations made through the Federally-facilitated Marketplace. Continue reading here.

Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Determinations Rise in December, January 22, 2014

How to Move Your Nonprofit Board from Fundraising to Financing

Nonprofit boards of directors are notoriously fundraising averse. There are often countless excuses nonprofit staff a...

Nonprofit boards of directors are notoriously fundraising averse. There are often countless excuses nonprofit staff and their board members give about why some board members should be excused from fundraising. Some of the most popular excuses include: we want client representation on our board, but our clients don't have money; some board members aren't good at fundraising; we want board members with program expertise to focus on mission, not money; and some board members are uncomfortable with asking for money. Fundraising is hard.  But it is absolutely critical that the entire board of a nonprofit understand how fundamental money is to the work - without it, nothing else matters. And you simply cannot understand something that you only observe from afar. Continue reading here.

How to Move Your Nonprofit Board from Fundraising to Financing, January 7, 2014, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

How Does Your Donation Page Stack Up?

If you didn't see the online fundraising results you were hoping for in 2013 or you'd like to do even better ...

If you didn't see the online fundraising results you were hoping for in 2013 or you'd like to do even better this year, Network for Good has a new tool that can help. The Donation Page Grader will help you assess your donation page so you can see if you're getting the most out of your online efforts. Click here to take this short quiz to get your donation page grade and suggested resources to help you take your online fundraising to the next level.

How Does Your Donation Page Stack Up?, January 15, 2104, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report

Last month was spent compiling and analyzing the answers from the 2,100+ nonprofit professionals who completed the an...

Last month was spent compiling and analyzing the answers from the 2,100+ nonprofit professionals who completed the annual communications trends survey. Now it's time to officially release the 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends ReportClick here to see the infographic with key findings.

2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, January 8, 2014, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com, by Kivi Leroux Miller

How to Write a Fundraising Letter That Wins Back Lapsed Donors

Lapsed donors are donors who have not donated to your organization within the last year, two years or three years. Do...

Lapsed donors are donors who have not donated to your organization within the last year, two years or three years. Donors who have not sent you a gift in over three years are not lapsed donors -- they are former donors. Lapsed donors are valuable. Unlike strangers, they have supported you before. And they believe in your mission enough to have sent you a gift (or gifts). Click here to review some tips on writing an appeal letter that will win them back.

How to Write a Fundraising Letter That Wins Back Lapsed Donors, August 4, 2013, Network for Good; by Alan Sharpe

Lead, Learn and Live. Join AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps

AVODAH's application is open for the Jewish Service Corps, a prestigious year long program combining work for jus...

AVODAH's application is open for the Jewish Service Corps, a prestigious year long program combining work for justice, leadership development, Jewish learning, and community building. Learn about AVODAH  and how to spend the next year fighting poverty in one of four cities around the country.  Join a network of hundreds of Jewish social justice leaders that will challenge and support you!  Watch this video to learn more.  To apply, click here.  Application deadline is February 10th, 2014.

Neighbours, Inc. Webinar Rescheduled

Supporting People Toward Citizenship, Relationships and Full Life in the Community   RESCHEDULED TO &nbs...

Supporting People Toward Citizenship, Relationships and Full Life in the Community
 
RESCHEDULED TO  Wed, Feb. 26, 2014, 1-2:30 pm ET
 
People who live with the label of disability often tend to have few relationships outside of paid staff. Supporting the creation of strong, lasting, unpaid relationships -- those that assure safety, provide natural supports and lead to quality of life -- has been a key part of the work of Neighbours, Inc. over the past 17 years.  Join us for a webinar featuring Patti Scott, Founder and CEO of Neighbours, Inc., to explore the strategies and approaches that have been successful for Neighbours, Inc. 
Patti will address the following issues:
  • Long term supports that enable individuals with disabilities to lead rich, self-directed lives
  • The importance of relationships and unpaid supports in enabling people to be self-directing
  • Strategies for developing relationships and meaningful connections
  • Creating "friendships on purpose" via circles of support
  • Organizational priorities and structures that enable us to focus on relationships, citizenship and natural supports
  • Offering families peace of mind by assuring there are people who will love their family member when they are no  longer here.
This call was rescheduled due to inclement weather.  
Please email Sandy Rosenbaum to register or re-register for the new date.  

Workplaces For Everyone

Individuals with disabilities are everywhere in our communities. We, ourselves, may have been living with one for yea...

Individuals with disabilities are everywhere in our communities. We, ourselves, may have been living with one for years or may be recently diagnosed. Our Jewish summer camps include more and more campers with disabilities. Our parents, siblings, spouses, and children have disabil
ities.  Inevitably, fortunately, and slowly but quite surely, those with disabilities are moving in to workplaces as well. Aside from financial necessities that jobs support, individuals obviously gather more than just money through work. People receive purpose, organization and routine, confidence, relationships, and a place in a community. Jobs allow people to face and overcome challenges, learn from others, learn about others, learn about ourselves, and provide positive feelings from successfully completed work. Imagine that a job can provide emotional, educational, and interpersonal experiences every day. Would we not want that for everyone? Continue reading here.

Workplaces For Everyone, January 14, 2014, eJP, by Micah Fleisig

New Jersey Family Agencies Discuss Cost of Aging

This week, New Jersey agencies gathered for a program entitled "Striving to Ensure the Golden Years Are Indeed...

This week, New Jersey agencies gathered for a program entitled
"Striving to Ensure the Golden Years Are Indeed Golden: How Jewish Family Services Organizations Support New Jersey's Elderly in their Communities," sponsored by the NJ Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies and the NJ Association of Jewish Family Service Agencies. Speakers described the challenges and opportunities Jewish social service agencies will face to assist the elderly and their caregivers. Lee Sherman, President and CEO of the Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies, noted that America's elderly population is swelling, and that the Jewish community is aging disproportionately.  Continue reading here.

New Jersey Family Agencies Discuss Cost of Aging: Program Stresses Need to Expand Services for Elderly Population, January 15, 2014, New Jersey Jewish News, by Michele Alperin
.

What Nonprofits Should Stop Doing in 2014: Advice From the Experts

What Nonprofits Should Stop Doing in 2014: Advice From the Experts Ignoring people who make medium-size gifts! ...

What Nonprofits Should Stop Doing in 2014: Advice From the Experts
Ignoring people who make medium-size gifts!  People who give $500 to $10,000 annually fall through the cracks at far too many char
ities. These donors often aren't big enough to attract the attention of maj
or-gift fundraisers. But because they give generously, nonprofits often take them off direct-mail and email lists out of fear of offending them with too many solicitations.
To do a better job, organizations need to give at least one person in the fundraising department responsibility for concentrating on those donors. The key is to pair substantive mail and electronic appeals with personal interaction. Continue reading here for more advice.

What Nonprofits Should Stop Doing in 2014: Advice From the Experts, December 20, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Nicole Wallace

Raising the Bar on Nonprofit Impact Measurement

The key to progress is embedding measurement in practice. When you intervene in a complex system, you have difficult ...

The key to progress is embedding measurement in practice. When you intervene in a complex system, you have difficult choices to make about where and how to act. We may be fans of impact measurement in the social sector, for example, but what if it ends up driving a kind of "marketization" of the sector that pushes charities toward the biggest bang for their buck? Those choices are almost always underdetermined-you can't know what will happen if you push here instead of pulling there. But if you're lucky, you'll be able to see how the system responds over time and refine your strategies accordingly. Read more here.

Raising the Bar on Nonprofit Impact Measurement, July 10, 2013, Stanford Social Innovation Review, by Tris Lumley

Helping Consumers: Tips for In-Person Enrollment Assisters

While many improvements to the application process have been made, CMS recognizes that some consumers continue to hav...

While many improvements to the application process have been made, CMS recognizes that some consumers continue to have difficulty with their applications on Healthcare.gov. They have posted a Tip Sheet on their Assisters Resource page to provide guidance on how to best assist those consumers who are experiencing continuing issues with tax credit eligibility determinations, completing their applications due to technical glitches, Medicaid or CHIP eligibility determinations, or selecting an insurance plan.

Helping Consumers with Casework: Tips for In-Person Enrollment Assisters, January 2014, CMS.

Branding or Branded

Many companies and many nonprofits know that something has changed. Too often, their response has been to repackage t...

Many companies and many nonprofits know that something has changed. Too often, their response has been to repackage themselves and called it re-branding. It is as if they have adopted the old saw "fake it til you make it." For this group, calling a pre-existing program or project or offering by a new catchy with-it dot.com type title is all they have taken away from an era of rapid and deep change. Do people really believe that because a company or organization has a facebook page or twitter handle that it has changed the way it does things? Continue reading here.

Branding or Branded, January 8, 2014, eJP, by Richard Marker

Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch

A "shpiel," which is just a nice Jewish word for a sales pitch, is a very ineffective way to persuade someo...

A "shpiel," which is just a nice Jewish word for a sales pitch, is a very ineffective way to persuade someone to give money to a cause. Leave your shpiel at home. Nobody wants to hear a sales pitch. Do you? When was the last time hard sell worked on you?  When was the last time you enjoyed hearing someone's sales pitch? When was the last time someone "convinced" you to do something?  Your donors don't want to hear sales pitches. More importantly, they are usually not persuaded by sales pitches. If you deliver a sales pitch and walk away with a check, you have succeeded in spite of your pitch, not because of it.  Continue reading here to see why sales pitches don't work.

Fundraising Tip: Ditch the Pitch, January 13, 2014, eJP, by Steve Yastrow

2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report

Curious about how other nonprofits will communicate in 2014?  Want to see where the trends are?  Fill out t...

Curious about how other nonprofits will communicate in 2014?  Want to see where the trends are?  Fill out the Request the 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report form to request your copy of the 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. The trends you'll find in this report come from an online survey of over 2,100 nonprofits. A variety of marketing questions were presented such as: (1) do you feel you are currently overworked or under worked? (2) Which communications tools do you see as very important, somewhat important, and least important to you in 2013? Read more here the continuation of questions and highlights of the report.

2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, NonProfit Marketing Guide.com, January 15, 2014, by Kivi Leroux Miller

AJFCA Staff News

We are pleased to announce that we have hired Liz Woodward to fill the newly-created position of Director of Older Ad...

We are pleased to announce that we have hired Liz Woodward to fill the newly-created position of Director of Older Adults & Disabilities Services. 

Liz will lead the development and implementation of the AJFCA Older Adult Initiative as well as AJFCA's efforts in the area of Disabilities Services.  

Liz will start with AJFCA on February 3.
 


Also, we have changed the title of Jennie Gates Beckman to more accurately reflect her responsibilities and the role of her work within the network. 

Effective immediately, Jennie's new title is Director of Volunteer Strategy & Repair the World Programming.

A "Must Read" List Is the Start of Something Bigger

There are the matters of a body of content that a professional is responsible to study and master; essential work-rel...

There are the matters of a body of content that a professional is responsible to study and master; essential work-related skills to acquire; research into the work practices commonly found in Jewish organizations; requirements for continuing education; certification for advanced training; a communally accepted code of conduct; and on it goes ... all of which are lacking or entirely absent from the standard employment qualifications and formal performance requirements.  With these inherent limitations, identifying the "top ten books list that all modern Jewish leaders should read" is something that cannot be contributed to with any degree of confidence.  Click here for the list of suggested reading for those who manage and lead Jewish organizations.

A "Must Read" List Is the Start of Something Bigger, January 2, 2014, eJP, by Chip Edelsberg

Nonprofits Need to Integrate Learning into their Work in 2014

Nonprofits Need to Integrate Learning into their Work in 2014 The Chronicle recently published an article with expe...

Nonprofits Need to Integrate Learning into their Work in 2014
The Chronicle recently published an article with expert advice on what nonprofits should start doing in 2014 (highlighted below in this newsletter).  If you look down the list of tactical advice and tips, there is a bigger pattern that emerges. Nonprofits should integrate learning into their work, program delivery, and communications.  As suggested, there are three different frameworks for doing this at work: Adding, Embedding, and Extracting.  Continue reading here.

Nonprofits Need to Integrate Learning into their Work in 2014, January 2, 2013, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

Deepening the Impact of Professional Development

Tis the season for resolutions to do better - both individually and organizationally. One such way we do that in the ...

Tis the season for resolutions to do better - both individually and organizationally. One such way we do that in the work world is to invest in professional development. Sometimes, w we are afraid that if we continue down our current path, without growing or changing or learning in some way, we might get hurt in the future, or we might not succeed in the future. Sometimes we invest in professional development simply for the sake of growth and learning, and increased likelihood of impact and success. Sometimes we invest in professional development when we are in crisis, and need help in order to survive. Continue reading here.

Deepening the Impact of Professional Development, January 7, 2014, eJP, by Maya Bernstein

Office of Management Budget (OMB) has issued final guidance on federal grant reform

This change will have important implications for all nonprofit recipients of, and applicants for, Federal grants and ...

This change will have important implications for all nonprofit recipients of, and applicants for, Federal grants and cooperative agreements.  In a statement, the National Council of Nonprofits summarized the significance of the new OMB guidance this way:

"The new guidance means that nonprofits should be able to focus more on their missions... charities with no government contracts or grants could see less competition for scarce philanthropic dollars. This is a major win for the entire charitable nonprofit community."

Read the Special Notice from the National Council of Nonprofits highlighting the main points of this federal guidance.

 

What Nonprofits Should Start Doing in 2014: Advice From the Experts

Keep an eye on the numbers! To improve performance, nonprofits should pick out key pieces of data from each of their ...

Keep an eye on the numbers! To improve performance, nonprofits should pick out key pieces of data from each of their departments and review them regularly at staff meetings.  Looking at important data regularly helps organizations stop making decisions based on hunches and identify potential problems early such as no one has registered for an event or look at how low those numbers are. Continue reading here.

What Nonprofits Should Start Doing in 2014: Advice From the Experts, December 31, 2013, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Nicole Wallace

Five Ways to Cultivate Your Donors-Personally

You must have two personal contacts per year with each of your major donors. By continuing to tend and nurture each d...

You must have two personal contacts per year with each of your major donors. By continuing to tend and nurture each donor relationship, these same major donors will keep giving to your organization, often in substantially increasing amounts. Click here for the five suggestions for the most personal and effective ways to keep in touch and develop a relationship with each donor.

Five Ways to Cultivate Your Donors-Personally, January 3, 2014, Network for Good, by Terry Alexrod

Nonprofit Monthly Writing Prompts for February

Here are your Nonprofit Monthly Writing Prompts for February. Hopefully, these will help you think a little more crea...

Here are your Nonprofit Monthly Writing Prompts for February. Hopefully, these will help you think a little more creatively about your communications, and avoid the dreaded writer's block!  For the listing of monthly writing prompts, please click here.

Nonprofit Monthly Writing Prompts for February, January 8, 2014, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com, by Kivi Leroux Miller

Infographic: What is Driving Nonprofit Sector's Growth?

During the recession, while for-profit businesses struggled with decreased revenues causing significant downsizing, h...

During the recession, while for-profit businesses struggled with decreased revenues causing significant downsizing, high unemployment rates, and record breaking home foreclosures, the nonprofit sector continued its pattern of growth, and actually thrived. One-third of revenue for public charities  501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in 2011 came directly from government grants and contracts. The nonprofit sector is the third-largest workforce in the United States, behind retail and manufacturing, representing 10 percent of the total workforce in 2010. Public charities, the largest designation, contributed over $800 billion to the 2010 economy, making up 5 percent of the GDP and paying over $320 billion in wages. Continue reading here.

 Infographic: What is Driving Nonprofit Sector's Growth?, December 10, 2013, NonProfit Quarterly, by Jaclyn Lambert  

 

Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Determinations Continue Positive Growth in November

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility determinations continue to grow in Novemb...

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility determinations continue to grow in November, especially in states that have chosen to expand coverage to more of their residents, according to a new CMS report released today.  According to the report, over 1.7 million people have been determined eligible to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP in the month of November through state Medicaid and CHIP agencies and through State-based Marketplaces. CMS also finalized October eligibility determinations resulting in a change from 1.4 million to 2.1 million, bringing the total eligibility determinations in October and November to 3.9 million. These numbers include both Medicaid and CHIP renewals and new eligibility determinations in November.  For more information, Continue reading here.

Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Determinations Continue Positive Growth in November

 

The Best of The Year: 2013

Based on site analytics, and in alphabetical order are eJP's Top Ten posts from 2013: (1) 40 Plus and Screwed: Mo...

Based on site analytics, and in alphabetical order are eJP's Top Ten posts from 2013: (1) 40 Plus and Screwed: More on Less Young Adult Engagement; (2) Eight Giving Rituals for Your Family: Making the Most of Thanksgivukkah; and (3) From Pew Will Come Forth Torah: Judaism is in trouble in America. Continue reading here for the rest of the top 10 posts.

The Best of The Year: 2013, December 25, 2013, eJP

Juggling Work and Caregiving

Juggling Work and Caregiving A staggering 42 million Americans face the challenges of caring for a loved one whi...

Juggling Work and Caregiving

A staggering 42 million Americans face the challenges of caring for a loved one while wor  king. Although caregiving can be a richly rewarding experience, the role comes with enormous responsibilities-and pressures. AARP's gentle guide provides practical resources and tips that are easy to find when you need them, whether you're caregiving day to day, planning for future needs or in the middle of a crisis. And equally important, this book helps you care for the caregiver-you. For a free download, please click here.

Juggling Work and Caregiving, October 2013, E-book, by Amy Goyer

Five Ways Funders Can Replicate What Works

There's no question that innovation is a sexier funding opportunity than implementation. And yet effective implem...

There's no question that innovation is a sexier funding opportunity than implementation. And yet effective implementation is critical to the social sector's growing evidence-based movement. You need both to work to see results. Hence, a program proven to work in one place won't produce the same results in another if it is implemented poorly.  One solution to this problem is for funders to play a stronger role in the implementation process. Continue reading here to learn more about implementation.

Five Ways Funders Can Replicate What Works, December 16, 2013, Stamford Social Innovation Review, Laura Burkhauser

Track and Compare Year-end Giving

Network for Good is once again providing year-end giving data for The Chronicle of Philanthropy's 2013 Year-End O...

Network for Good is once again providing year-end giving data for The Chronicle of Philanthropy's 2013 Year-End Online Giving Tracker. You can use this resource to see how online giving is stacking up each day of December and to compare those numbers with the last few years.  To view the online tracker, please click here.

Track and compare year-end giving, December 17, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

Nonprofits Must Stop Apologizing for Needing Money

It has become increasingly obvious that the nonprofit sector suffers from a lack of confidence. Centuries of being si...

It has become increasingly obvious that the nonprofit sector suffers from a lack of confidence. Centuries of being sidelined as "charities" while the real work of the world (business) took center stage has made the nonprofit sector continually apologize for the work they do and how they do it.  Nowhere is this more true than in the financing of their work. But for the nonprofit sector to start to demand a seat at the big money table, nonprofits must stop apologizing for needing money. You can't simply decide to stop feeling bad about asking for money. Instead you have to find the confidence to identify and secure the right financing for your work. Please click here to find out how.

Nonprofits Must Stop Apologizing for Needing Money, December 2013, Social Velocity, by Neil Edgington

CMS Health Insurance Marketplace: New Content on Enrollment

CMS has published three new pieces of content on HealthCare.gov that may be useful if you receive Health Insurance Ma...

CMS has published three new pieces of content on HealthCare.gov that may be useful if you receive Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment questions.  The content gives information on how to proceed after you have started an application, relevant advice if you are stuck at certain points of the application, and appealing a marketplace decision, including expedited appeals.

CMS Health Insurance Marketplace: New Content on Enrollment

Starting a Movement Toward Higher Performing Nonprofits

Starting a Movement Toward Higher Performing Nonprofits This week, Social Solutions, Child Trend and the Urban Inst...

Starting a Movement Toward Higher Performing Nonprofits
This week, Social Solutions, Child Trend and the Urban Institute hosted the "After the Leap" Conference, building on the momentum created by Mario Morino in his 2011 book, Leap of Reason, and the companion book, Working Hard & Working Well, published by David Hunter t
social velocity

his year.  The conference was an attempt to bring the nonprofit, philanthropic and government leaders who are on the cutting edge of the movement to create a higher-performing social sector together to, as Mario put it "grow a critical mass who can mobilize for greater change." Continue reading Nell's impressions of this conference and the goals that emerged from it.

Starting a Movement Toward Higher Performing Nonprofits, December 18, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington.

Five Tips for Building High-Performing Nonprofit Leadership Teams

Five Tips for Building High-Performing Nonprofit Leadership Teams Many nonprofit CEOs find themselves overwhelme...

Five Tips for Building High-Performing Nonprofit Leadership Teams

Many nonprofit CEOs find themselves overwhelmed by the prospect of having to manage group dynamics amidst organizational needs.  A great team is the sum of all of its moving parts. Focusing on ways to build those parts outside of routine meetings will eventually lead to a group of people who look forward to working together and get things done. Click here for five suggestions for building a high-performing team.

Five Tips for Building High-Performing Nonprofit Leadership Teams, December 12, 2013, The Bridgespan Group, by Nicki Roth.

3 Ways to Help Donors Recruit Donors

Nonprofit 911 webinar guest, Darian Rodriguez, is a big proponent of leveraging your organization's year-end mome...

Nonprofit 911 webinar guest, Darian Rodriguez, is a big proponent of leveraging your organization's year-end momentum to boost individual giving. Promoting your cause on #GivingTuesday is a great start, but you can take this a step further by empowering donors to promote your work on their own all year long.  Continue reading here.

3 Ways to Help Donors Recruit Donors, November 26, 2013, Network for Good, by Liz Ragland

Why Matchy-Matchy Donor Communication is Always in Style

If a supporter donates on your website, does she see the same call to action when she visits your Facebook page...



If a supporter donates on your website, does she see the same call to action when she visits your Facebook page? If your messaging doesn't match, your potential donor may be confused and second-guess giving to your nonprofit.

Help your fans keep giving with these four tips to consistent donor communication!

Why Matchy-Matchy Donor Communication is Always in Style, November 5, 2013, Network for Good, by Melissa Raimondi


 

How to Create (Or Transform) an Organization: Top 10 List

How to Create (Or Transform) an Organization: Top 10 List, December 12, 2013, eJewish Philanthropy, by Maya Bernstein...

How to Create (Or Transform) an Organization: Top 10 List, December 12, 2013, eJewish Philanthropy, by Maya Bernstein

Dr. Anita Friedman, Executive Director of JFCS of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, was featured at UpStart's Executive Director Round Table series in 2009, and EJP loved the article summing up her points so much that they ran it again this week. The author shares how Dr. Friedman wowed participants with her Yoda-like wisdom - "Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness," "I hated it so much that I decided to take it over," "It's the difference between a Sushi Restaurant and a Cold Dead Fish Restaurant" - and with her genuine passion and phenomenal knowledge about making organizations thrive.  Continue reading here for her top-ten list of essentials for creating, or transforming, an organization.

How to Create (Or Transform) an Organization: Top 10 List, December 12, 2013, eJewish Philanthropy, by Maya Bernstein

 

The Content You Read Shapes How You Lead: Top 10 Leadership Themes

Carefully observe the leaders in your organization - the content they create and/or read shapes how they lead. &...

Carefully observe the leaders in your organization - the content they create and/or read shapes how they lead.    This is why the leaders who write well, speak well and read often are generally those who effectively lead.   Leaders gravitate towards content that fuels their know knowledge and provides them the insights and wisdom that keeps them on their toes and helps them better serve others. The most effective leaders are both "suppliers" of their own original content and "distributors" of other leaders' content.  Continue reading here for the top 10 leadership content themes.

The Content You Read Shapes How You Lead: Top 10 Leadership Themes, November 18, 2013, Forbes, by Glenn Llopis

How to Achieve a Flow State

"Flow", the state where we feel in command of what we do, do it effortlessly, and perform at our best, was ...

"Flow", the state where we feel in command of what we do, do it effortlessly, and perform at our best, was discovered by researchers at the University of Chicago. They asked a wide range of people, "Tell us about a time you outdid yourself - you performed at your peak." No matter who answered - ballerinas, chess champs, surgeons - they all described the flow state. One of flow's best features: it feels great. Today we all realize that we do our best work in those special moments when we are in flow. But how do you get into flow in the first place? Continue reading here for the three main pathways.

How to Achieve a Flow State, November 18, 2013, Daniel Goleman

CMS: Find Your Regional Office

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has ten Regional Offices (ROs) which represent CMS in external...

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has ten Regional Offices (ROs) which represent CMS in external affairs.  Need help finding your local CMS regional office and contact information? Visit: http://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/RegionalOffices/RegionalMap.html.

AJFCA Announces PEPS Cohorts 3 & 4

PEPS logo AJFCA is pleased to announce PEPS Cohorts 3 and 4.  The agencies participating in these Cohorts, which...

PEPS logo AJFCA is pleased to announce PEPS Cohorts 3 and 4.  The agencies participating in these Cohorts, which will launch this spring, are listed below.  A total of 24 AJFCA member agencies will take advantage of this valuable member benefit in Year 1.  Participating agencies will use PEPS to evaluate the impact of their current programs as well as new program opportunities.  Each cohort will connect periodically to share their experiences in implementing PEPS at their agencies.  AJFCA is grateful to our partner JF&CS Atlanta for working with us to bring this valuable benefit to our members.  Stay tuned for an application process for Year 2 this summer.

Cohort 3: JFS Gulf Coast, FL, AJFCS West Palm Beach, JFCS Southwest Florida/Naples, JFS Detroit, JFS MetroWest, NJ, and JFS Dallas.   

Cohort 4: Agence Ometz/Montreal, JFCS Toronto, JCFS Winnipeg, JFS Delaware, JFS Ann Arbor, MI, and JFCS Long Beach, CA.

Finding the Right Development Officer for Your Organization: Part 1

Executive directors often ask how to select the right candidate to serve as the chief development officer. The CEO (o...

Executive directors often ask how to select the right candidate to serve as the chief development officer. The CEO (or his or her representative) should conduct a preliminary interview to verify specific information and get an initial impression of the candidate. For more information on the interview process, continue reading here.

Finding the Right Development Officer for Your Organization: Part 1, December 6, 2013, NonProfitQuarterly.org, by Simone Joyaux.

 

Wexner Field Fellowship Program

The Wexner Field Fellowship Program is an opportunity for promising full-time Jewish communal professionals, without ...

The Wexner Field Fellowship Program is an opportunity for promising full-time Jewish communal professionals, without graduate training for Jewish communal work or in Jewish studies, who are seeking professional development. In partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation, three Wexner Field Fellows will be accepted as part of incoming classes of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program. To learn more about the eligibility requirements and awards, and to submit a pre-application for the Field Fellowship, please click here.

Wexner Field Fellowship Program

Investing in Leadership

Most people can identify effective leadership when they see it, interact with it, and work with it. We know how great...

Most people can identify effective leadership when they see it, interact with it, and work with it. We know how great leaders manage crisis situations or how they inspire greatness in their teams. The great debate on whether leaders are born or made actually doesn't matter at all -- it's not about how you acquired it, it's about how you act on it that defines leadership. Leaders have to continuously learn and adapt, which means redefining your personal style to help nurture talent or improve your bottom line. Continue reading here.

Investing in Leadership, November 22, 2013, Huffington Post, by Jose Costa

Ask Our Consultants: The Board Chair's Role as Ex-Officio Member of Board Committees

What is the board chair's role as an ex-officio member of all boboard sourceard committees? By serving on board c...

What is the board chair's role as an ex-officio member of all boboard sourceard committees? By serving on board committees as an ex-officio member, the board chair can ensure that there are good communication links between board committees and the board and that the work of all board committees is fully integrated into the whole. To lead effectively, the board chair must not only delegate some governance responsibilities to board committees, but also provide each respective board committee chair with the necessary support, encouragement, and guidance to ensure good accountability.  Continue reading here.  

Ask Our Consultants: The Board Chair's Role As Ex-Officio Member of  Board Committees, November 22, 2013, BoardSource, by Tony Scucci

Celebrating the Lay-Staff Relationship

In our desire for friendships and community, it's natural to categorize people from our closest friends to casual...

In our desire for friendships and community, it's natural to categorize people from our closest friends to casual associations. For many nonprofit professionals, there is an additional category of friend
ejp full logoship that holds significant meaning. It is the professional friendships we have with our committee and board volunteers, frequently referred to as "my lay leaders." The lay-staff partnership is distinct and the benefits are numerous. Continue reading here.
 
In our desire for friendships and community, it's natural to categorize people from our closest friends to casual associations. For many nonprofit professionals, there is an additional category of friend
ejp full logoship that holds significant meaning. It is the professional friendships we have with our committee and board volunteers, frequently referred to as "my lay leaders." The lay-staff partnership is distinct and the benefits are numerous. Continue reading here.

Celebrating the Lay-Staff Relationship, November 21,2013, eJP, by Marci Mayer Eisen

What Donors Want (And How To Give It To Them)

A new report has been released that sheds more light on the motivation behind a donor's decision-making process. ...

A new report has been released that sheds more light on the motivation behind a donor's decision-making process. Reinforcing what we have previously learned, this report offers insights on donor preferences on information by type and presentation while offering tips for nonprofits, as well as donors. Continue reading here for the report highlights.

What Donors Want (And How To Give It To Them), November 22, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

It's All About the Donor, Not the Nonprofit

Focusing on the donor's needs and interests can be key to receiving a philanthropic gift. This is especially impo...

Focusing on the donor's needs and interests can be key to receiving a philanthropic gift. This is especially important to keep in mind during November and December when nonprofits often sponsor end-of
ejewish philanthropy-the-year campaigns. These campaigns are waged to appeal to donors' interest in receiving a tax benefit for contributions made at this time. However, if the cause does not resonate with the donor's interest, then the tax benefit may not be enough of a reason to give to the organization and the efforts to solicit funds will be wasted. The most successful approaches are those that engage donors by way of their priorities and not the agency's priorities.  Read more here.

It's All About the Donor, Not the Nonprofit, November 27, 2013, eJewish Philanthropy,  by Stephen G. Donshik

Repair the World Accepting Applications for 2014 Fellows

Repair the World is on a quest to find courageous, compassionate go-getters who are eager to commit to a year of serv...

Repair the World is on a quest to find courageous, compassionate go-getters who are eager to commit to a year of service in their community, developing partnerships with local organizations doing great work and rallying local volunteers to do even more.
 
Repair the World Fellows will focus on a range of issues, including education, poverty, sustainability, hunger, and more.  The priority deadline to apply for the Repair the World Fellowship application is January 6, 2014.  Click here for more information.
 

Repair the World Accepting Applications for 2014 Fellows

We Want You On Our Team!

Join Team Sharsheret for one of their exciting 2014 half-marathon or triathlon races in New York city to help support...

Join Team Sharsheret for one of their exciting 2014 half-marathon or triathlon races in New York city to help support Jewish women and families facing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.  For more information on the race details and to join Team Sharsheret, please click here.

We Want You On Our Team!

5 Taboos Nonprofits Must Get Over

Nonprofit taboos are so insidious because they are unwritten and unquestioned. But that has to stop. If we want to mo...

Nonprofit taboos are so insidious because they are unwritten and unquestioned. But that has to stop. If we want to move the nonprofit sector forward, we must uncover certain taboos and determine whether they are really unacceptable anymore. For Nell's list of the five most egregious taboos in the nonprofit sector click here.

5 Taboos Nonprofits Must Get Over, November 19, 2013, Social Velocity, Nell Edgington

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People": I Transformed Myself Into a Fact Finder

In 1990, Lou Adler discovered Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and was transfo...

In 1990, Lou Adler discovered Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and was transformed. As a full-time recruiter, Adler quickly realized I could become a better recruiter and assessor of talent by looking for these habits in the people he presented for open jobs. By looking for Covey's seven habits as part of the fact-finding, it's easier to separate those who are a reasonable fit and those who are exceptional. Read more on how this strategy can be used for each of the seven habits.

  
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People": I Transformed Myself Into a Fact Finder, November 19, 2013, The Post, Lou Adler 

Living on the Edge: Economic Vulnerability in the Jewish Community

Next week is Thanksgivukkah, the rare convergence of the Hanukkah commemoration of reclaiming the freedom to worship ...

Next week is Thanksgivukkah, the rare convergence of the Hanukkah commemoration of reclaiming the freedom to worship and the American celebration of prosperity. The American Jewish community has much for which to be thankful and is, in large measure, extraordinarily successful in terms of income and educational attainment. As we celebrate freedom and prosperity, however, it is important to remember that there are many Jews who live on the economic edge, face substantial financial insecurity and do not have the means to fully engage in Jewish life. Continue reading the article here followed by Lee Sherman's posted comment.
 
Living on the Edge: Economic Vulnerability in the Jewish Community, November 20, 2013, eJP, by Fern Chertok and Daniel Parmer

Changes to Medicare Equipment and Supplies Program

If you help people with Original Medicare get certain durable medical equipment and supplies, such as oxygen, walkers...

If you help people with Original Medicare get certain durable medical equipment and supplies, such as oxygen, walkers, or wheelchairs, you should know about a Medicare program, called the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program, that saves money for taxpayers and people with Medicare and may change the suppliers people with Medicare will need to use.  Continue reading here.

The Skills Businesspeople Gain on Nonprofit Boards

Research done by the City of London demonstrated increased skills among volunteer leaders in categories including tea...

Research done by the City of London demonstrated increased skills among volunteer leaders in categories including team building, negotiating, problem solving, and financial knowledge.
Boards require collaboration, and "leadership moments" may present themselves to charity trustees at earlier stages in their careers than they might in the corporate setting, allowing business professionals to gain confidence and try out new skills in a different environment.  Read more here.

The Skills Businesspeople Gain on Nonprofit Boards, November 18, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Eileen Cunniffe

#MakeItHappen: Ideas That Make The World Go Round

One month ago, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network (SPN) launched #MakeItHappen, an online campaign inviting indivi...

One month ago, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network (SPN) launched #MakeItHappen, an online campaign inviting individuals to submit ideas for creating Jewish experiences in their communities for a chance to earn a micro grant.SPN is selecting up to 50 projects on a rolling basis to receive micro grants of up to $1,000 and five to get up to $5,000.The deadline to submit ideas is January 15, 2014.To learn more about this initiative, please click here.


#MakeItHappen: Ideas That Make The World Go Round, November 20, 2013, eJP

A Simple Question but So Hard to Answer: What Is Success?

There are many good ideas to help nonprofits become more effective in solving complex social problems. They include c...

There are many good ideas to help nonprofits become more effective in solving complex social problems. They include capacity building, social enterprise, and public-private partnerships, just to name a few. But they are all just means to an end, and the more important issue is what does the end look like. It may be the most important question that usually doesn't get asked or answered: What is success?

A Simple Question but So Hard to Answer: What Is Success? November 13, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Bill Shore

The Long-Term Proposition of Strategy Development

While having a strategic plan has become de rigueur for large nonprofit organizations and typical for smaller ones, h...

While having a strategic plan has become de rigueur for large nonprofit organizations and typical for smaller ones, how many examine the purpose of their strategy development before they jump in. Continue reading here.

Strategy, When It Isn't, Huffington Post, November 6, 2013, Irv Katz

AJFCA Volunteer Professional Compensation Survey - Deadline Today

In response to the interest of network professionals in the "industry standard" for compensation in the vol...

In response to the interest of network professionals in the "industry standard" for compensation in the volunteer field, AJFCA has launched a volunteer professional compensation survey.

Many of the survey questions used were based on the 2012 Jewish Communal Professional Compensation Survey, a summary of which can be found in "Toward Transparency."  
 
Member agency volunteer professionals are encouraged to complete this survey by Friday, November 15th. 
 
A link to the survey and more information regarding AJFCA's Volunteer Initiative can be found here. Please contact Jennie Gates Beckman at 410-843-7449 with questions.

What Your Year-End Appeal Is Missing

At Network for Good, it's the season for fundraising appeal reviews. As part of Fundraising Fundamentals premium ...

At Network for Good, it's the season for fundraising appeal reviews. As part of Fundraising Fundamentals premium training, Network for Good looks at year-end fundraising appeals for hundreds of nonprofits to help them be the best they can be for the busy giving season ahead. All too often, these appeals fall short of packing the emotional punch they need to have to spur donors to act. Read more here. 

What Your Year-End Appeal Is Missing, November 6, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

Keep Calm and Write It Down: How Reflective Practice Leads To Better Results for Nonprofits

There are many different methods for reflective learning after completing an event, communications strategy, or progr...

There are many different methods for reflective learning after completing an event, communications strategy, or program. One of the most valuable is to incorporate a process evaluation, capturing what actually happened as the event or program unfolded. You can always learn from documenting as an event unfolds and having a formal reflection or debrief post program or event. It isn't just about writing it down, it is also reviewing what you captured with your team. Read more here.

Keep Calm and Write It Down: How Reflective Practice Leads To Better Results for Nonprofits, November 6, 2013, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

 

The Forward 50: A Year of Looking In - and Speaking Out

Two thousand thirteen has been an inside/outside kind of year, a time of agonizing introspection for the Jewish commu...

Two thousand thirteen has been an inside/outside kind of year, a time of agonizing introspection for the Jewish community as a whole, and one in which individual American Jews played dramatic roles on the national stage. It was a year of thrilling gains and heartbreaking loss, a year when new words crept into our vocabulary, some welcome, others not. Continue reading here for the full list of the 2013 Forward 50.

The Forward 50: A Year of Looking In - and Speaking Out, November 10, 2013, The Jewish Daily Forward by Jane Eisner

The "Medium Data" Alliance between Guidestar and the Foundation Center: Get Your Information Here!

Last month, Guidestar and the Foundation Center announced plans for a strategic partnership-not a merger or acquisiti...

Last month, Guidestar and the Foundation Center announced plans for a strategic partnership-not a merger or acquisition. For more information click here.

Get Your Information Here! November 4, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Rick Cohen

 

The Power of Collaboration: The Potential for Local and National Funders

Most would agree that there is power in collaboration. Continue reading here. The Power of Collaboration:  ...

Why Every Nonprofit Board Member Should Fundraise

It's a controversial topic, but Nell Edgington, President of Social Velocity strongly believes that every single ...

It's a controversial topic, but Nell Edgington, President of Social Velocity strongly believes that every single nonprofit board member should contribute to the financial model of their organization. Watch a short video here.

Why Every Nonprofit Board Member Should Fundraise, October 30, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

How to Get People to Notice (and Love) your Emails

It's no secret that it's getting tougher to break through the noise and ensure readers are opening and acting...

It's no secret that it's getting tougher to break through the noise and ensure readers are opening and acting on your emails. Fortunately, there are things you can do to build a stronger email relationship with your supporters now so that you will have better success when you send those December appeals. Try these tips.

How to Get People to Notice (and Love) Your Emails, October 16, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

 

10 Free Tools For Monitoring Your Brand's Online Reputation

Occasionally Googling the name of your company, product or service might not be enough. The time to start managing yo...

Occasionally Googling the name of your company, product or service might not be enough. The time to start managing your online reputation is before it becomes a problem. Continue reading here.

10 Free Tools For Monitoring Your Brand's Online Reputation, October 28, 2103, Social Fresh, by Dan Virgillito

 

One Approach to Greater Impact: Giving Circles

The podcast below is from the series, "Shaping the Future of Philanthropy: Voices from Next Gen Donors", pr...

Using Outcomes to Measure Nonprofit Success

In the nonprofit world, however, there is no common, easily understood measure of success. In fact, having a large po...

In the nonprofit world, however, there is no common, easily understood measure of success. In fact, having a large positive bottom line may be an indicator that the organization is not doing as much as it could to fulfill its mission. The true measures of success for most nonprofits are statistics related to its programs, but such data are difficult even for management to obtain and understand, much less outsiders. Continue reading here.

Using Outcomes to Measure Nonprofit Success, October 22, 2013, NTEN, by Richard Larkin

Older Americans Act Advances Through Key Senate Committee

On Wednesday, AJFCA applauded the Senate HELP Committee's approval of the reauthorization of the Older Americans ...

On Wednesday, AJFCA applauded the Senate HELP Committee's approval of the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, which is the primary vehicle for home and community services such as nutrition, transportation, caregiver assistance, and senior centers for vulnerable older adults. Due to the work of AJFCA and JFNA, this legislation includes reference to Holocaust survivors and the urgent need to help them age in place. Read more here

Determining the "Right" Project

Deciding if an initiative-a project-should be undertaken means determining and evaluating the reason(s), justificatio...

Deciding if an initiative-a project-should be undertaken means determining and evaluating the reason(s), justification, and objectives of the project.  Well-meaning board members and volunteers as well as employees with ideas aimed at assisting a nonprofit can also add challenges to ensuring the right projects are occurring at the right time. Continue reading here.

Determining the Right Project, October 14, 2013, NTEN, by Laura Dallas Burford

Using Outcomes to Measure Nonprofit Success

In the nonprofit world, however, there is no common, easily understood measure of success. In fact, having a large po...

In the nonprofit world, however, there is no common, easily understood measure of success. In fact, having a large positive bottom line may be an indicator that the organization is not doing as much as it could to fulfill its mission. The true measures of success for most nonprofits are statistics related to its programs, but such data are difficult even for management to obtain and understand, much less outsiders. Continue reading here.

Using Outcomes to Measure Nonprofit Success, October 22, 2013, NTEN, by Richard Larkin

Engage Senior Leaders

When it comes to leadership development, the CEO leads the way. Regardless of titles, the CEO is the chief talent off...

When it comes to leadership development, the CEO leads the way. Regardless of titles, the CEO is the chief talent officer. No one else can more effectively champion the cause, and efforts will make little headway if the CEO is unsupportive. But no CE  O can do it alone. To build the next generation of leaders, the CEO needs to influence the work and perspective of everyone else involved in the effort, most importantly senior leaders and the board. Take the Board Leadership Development Diagnostic Survey

Engage Senior Leaders, October 15, 2013, The Bridgespan Group

Donor Retention a Growing Problem for Small Organizations

Working from a survey of 2,840 nonprofits, the Urban Institute published an analysis of 2011-2012 data that shows tha...

Working from a survey of 2,840 nonprofits, the Urban Institute published an analysis of 2011-2012 data that shows that over the last few years, nonprofits have been losing donors at a relatively fast rate. But the news is actually worse for smaller organizations because the numbers are, as might be expected, sensitive to size. Read more here.

Donor Retention a Growing Problem for Small Organizations, October 15, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Ruth McCambridge

Need a Clearer Message? Focus on the Musts

Messaging is one of the first and most important tools nonprofit communicators need in their toolkits. Whether you...

Messaging is one of the first and most important tools nonprofit communicators need in their toolkits. Whether you're out to drive donations, inspire actions, attract volunteers, or recruit participants, it all starts with a clear understanding of what story you need to tell and how to tell it. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? But when you spend your days working for a nonprofit, steeped in the complexity of your issue and the nuances of your approach, it can be almost impossible to boil all of that information up into a few simple ideas that really get your message across. Focus on the musts.

Need a Clearer Message? Focus on the Musts, October 16, 2013, Big Duck

Infographic: Tips on Promoting Blogs for Content Creators

Storytelling and growing your online reach is essential for nonprofits to expand awareness in this digital age. Launc...

Storytelling and growing your online reach is essential for nonprofits to expand awareness in this digital age. Launch Grow Joy has created an infographic that compiles some valuable tips on promoting online content and expanding your online reach. We are all well informed by now that social media is a huge driver in content traffic, but this graphic also touches upon several other important ways you can direct traffic to blog posts.

Infographic: Tips on Promoting Blogs for Content Creators, October 18, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly

Introducing the Slingshot Class of 2013-2014

Slingshot has released Slingshot 2013-14 - its ninth annual guide to North America's top innovative Jewish organi...

Slingshot has released Slingshot 2013-14 - its ninth annual guide to North America's top innovative Jewish organizations. The Guide, a go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects, will help ensure the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving. Continue reading here.

Introducing the Slingshot Class of 2013-2014, October 24, 2013, eJP

Building and Buying Your Way to Sustainability

"When nonprofits generate repeatable, predictable income, they have the resources to support their organization ...

"When nonprofits generate repeatable, predictable income, they have the resources to support their organization over time." Read the article here.

Building and Buying Your Way to Sustainability, October 24, 2013, Council on Foundations, by Heather Peeler

A Large Donor/Board Member Expects to Have a Bigger Say in Board Decisions

"One of our board members recently gave a large gift to our organization and now expects to have a bigger say in...

"One of our board members recently gave a large gift to our organization and now expects to have a bigger say in board decisions than others." A BoardSource senior governance consultant suggests a solution.

A Large Donor/Board Member Expects to Have a Bigger Say in Board Decisions, October 21, 2013, BoardSource, by Chuck Loring

Elements of a Successful Fundraising Effort

The most challenging aspect of financial resource development is planning a successful fundraising campaign, but we o...

The most challenging aspect of financial resource development is planning a successful fundraising campaign, but we only know after the campaign ends whether it was worth the effort. The value of all the hard work and good intentions that went into preparing the materials, training the solicitors, advertising in the media, and telling people's personal stories is only known once we look at the campaign results. Read more here.

Elements of a Successful Fundraising Effort, October 23, 2013, eJP,  by Stephen Donshik

How to Inspire Donors to Make Planned Gifts

Nonprofits that want to inspire more of their supporters to make planned gifts should begin talking to them about est...

Nonprofits that want to inspire more of their supporters to make planned gifts should begin talking to them about estate planning when those donors are in their 40s, according to a new study. View the live discussion here.

How to Inspire Donors to Make Planned Gifts, October 15, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy

Creating New Partnerships for Your Cause

We've all heard it before, "Give me your Rolodex, give me 20 names that I can contact." It can be overw...

We've all heard it before, "Give me your Rolodex, give me 20 names that I can contact." It can be overwhelming to produce a big list of people who are eager to raise money for your cause. But what if 20 names is 19 too many? What if all you need is just one? This is the idea proposed by philanthropist Jeffrey Walker and fundraising expert Jennifer McCrea in their recent book, The Generosity Network. Continue reading here.

Creating New Partnerships for Your Cause, October 22, 2013, Network for Good, by Melissa Raimondi

Successful Collaboration Yields Bountiful Harvests

There is great potential in working together - whether cooperating, coordinating or collaborating. Working together a...

There is great potential in working together - whether cooperating, coordinating or collaborating. Working together across agencies presents tremendous opportunities to leverage individual expertise into greater impact. Why don't we work together more? Why do some collaborations succeed and others fail? Continue reading here.

Successful Collaboration Yields Bountiful Harvests, September 23, 2013, eJP, by Judie Fien-Helfman

After Overhead: Investing in Nonprofit Financial Fitness

Increasingly, funders understand that "overhead" costs directly support an organization's ability to de...

Increasingly, funders understand that "overhead" costs directly support an organization's ability to deliver results and that the overhead ratio shouldn't be used as a simplistic indicator of an organization's ability to deliver on its mission. The bigger opportunity here, however, is to go beyond funding the full costs of delivering specific services to build an organization's financial strength through surpluses and savings. Read more here.

After Overhead: Investing in Nonprofit Financial Fitness, September 3, 2013, Foundation Center, by Rebecca Thomas

Some Organizations Just Don't Get It

The boards of directors must be an integral part of the organizations' functioning and become involved in determi...

The boards of directors must be an integral part of the organizations' functioning and become involved in determining their organizations' approach to raising their needed resources. They must not allow their agencies to follow a Band-Aid approach to fill in the gap left by cuts. Continue reading here.

Some Organizations Just Don't Get It, October 16, 2013, eJP, by Stephen Donshik

Your Supporters Are Your Best Spokespeople

The best advice I have for people who want to use social media to promote their cause is to make it easy for your sup...

The best advice I have for people who want to use social media to promote their cause is to make it easy for your supporters to be your advocates. Make them celebrities for your cause. Read the 6 tips here.

Your Supporters Are Your Best Spokespeople, October 3, 2013, Network for Good, by Katya Andresen

Fundraising Events in the New "Normal" Economy: Communication is King

In the "new normal" economy, fundraisers have to work smarter to earn their share of a more modest pie.&nbs...

In the "new normal" economy, fundraisers have to work smarter to earn their share of a more modest pie.  Even with the Dow soaring to new heights, donors remain sober in their giving. Nonprofits must abandon "the usual" to realize even usual results. Watch the video here.

Fundraising Events in the New "Normal Economy: Communication is King, October 1, 2013, Ventureneer, by Karen Perry-Weinstat

Design an Effective Mobile App

As modern technology strengthens its roots, mobile phones play quite a significant role, and that's why creating ...

As modern technology strengthens its roots, mobile phones play quite a significant role, and that's why creating a mobile app has become a necessity. Marketers often find it hard to design an app which produces effective results. The actuality depends on your survey and research, which in return help you choose the best option for your target audience. It is more important to build an application that fulfills all the requirements of your users. Learn the 9 tips to design an effective mobile app here.

Design an Effective Mobile App, October 6, 2013, Social Media Today, by Syed Norman Ali

COA's New Family Foster Care and Kinship Care Standards

The Council on Accreditation (COA) announced that their new Family Foster Care and Kinship Care Standards (Private, P...

The Council on Accreditation (COA) announced that their new Family Foster Care and Kinship Care Standards (Private, Public, Canadian) have been published to their website and are now available for us.! The standards cover a range of program models and advance effective practices for collaborating with children, youth, families, kinship caregivers, and foster parents to achieve positive outcomes. Learn more at the one of the following webinars:coa

  • Nov., 7th, 2pm EST 
  • Dec., 11th, 1pm EST

To register click here. Use the search and filter feature. Search by "training type" (i.e. Webinar). Check the box next to this training and click "Register for Selected". You will receive an email confirmation with log in details upon completion of the registration process.

Paying for Indirect Costs Essential to Succnational council of nonprofitsess, New Report Finds

Charitable nonprofits are less efficient and effective than they can be due to  government policies and practice...

Charitable nonprofits are less efficient and effective than they can be due to  government policies and practices regarding payment for indirect costs, a new report from the National Council of Nonprofits finds. Investing for Impact: Indirect Costs are Essential for Success details how a combination of governments' inconsistent terminology, arbitrary application of those terms, and unrealistic expectations impair the ability of nonprofits to deliver services that governments at all levels contract with them to provide.

Can Philanthropy Pave the Way, Not Get in the Way?

There is a huge disconnect between what nonprofits really, truly need to solve problems and how funding currently flo...

There is a huge disconnect between what nonprofits really, truly need to solve problems and how funding currently flows. But what if nonprofits and philanthropists could start working together to move those hurdles? Click here to read how.

Can Philanthropy Pave the Way, Not Get in the Way? September 18, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

The Importance of Philanthropy

For those looking to instill the spirit of giving to Jewish causes in the next generation, we must look beyond attrac...

For those looking to instill the spirit of giving to Jewish causes in the next generation, we must look beyond attracting people to traditional philanthropy and existing appeals and fund-raising programs. Continue reading here.

The Importance of Philanthropy, September 23, 2013, eJP, by Lynn Schusterman

Foundation Endowments Grew 12% in 2012

Endowments at private foundations grew by 12 percent in 2012, a significant improvement after they lost a little unde...

Endowments at private foundations grew by 12 percent in 2012, a significant improvement after they lost a little under 1 percent in 2011, according to a study of 140 funds released today. Read more here.

Foundation Endowments Grew 12% in 2012, September 26, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Doug Donovan

The Demographics of Users of Social Media

Business Insider released a report that breaks down some of the biggest social media giants' audiences based on t...

Business Insider released a report that breaks down some of the biggest social media giants' audiences based on their demographics. Learn more here.

The Demographics of Users of Social Media, September 26, 2013 Nonprofit Quarterly, by Aine Creedon

The Donor-Centric Pledge

The "donor-centric pledge" is a 23-point oath that affirms your organization's commitment to respecting...

The "donor-centric pledge" is a 23-point oath that affirms your organization's commitment to respecting and valuing your contributors. Continue reading here.

The Donor-Centric Pledge, October 3, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Simone Joyaux

Pew Research Study: Changing American Jewish Identity

The Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project has published the findings of a comprehensive survey that examine...

The Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project has published the findings of a comprehensive survey that examines changing Jewish Identity in the U.S. American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, but their identity is also changing: 22% of American Jews now say they have no religion. View the findings of the comprehensive survey here.

U.S. Jewish Population Substantially Larger Than Previously Estimated

The Steinhardt Social Reseach Institute (SSRI) and Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University have...

The Steinhardt Social Reseach Institute (SSRI) and Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University have released new estimates of the American Jewish population. Learn more here.

U.S. Jewish Population Substantially Larger Than Previously Estimated, September 30, 2013, eJP

Pew/Knight Session Finds Nonprofit News Enterprise Models Still in Formation

Changes in the market and in technology have had a dramatic impact on traditional journalism. The Knight Foundation a...

Changes in the market and in technology have had a dramatic impact on traditional journalism. The Knight Foundation and the Pew Research Center collected nonprofit-based news sites from around the country for a discussion of plans for sustainability and reader engagement. The resulting conversation was thought-provoking and insightful, even without any earth-shaking conclusions. Continue reading here.

Pew/Knight Session Finds Nonprofit News Enterprise Models Still in Formation, September 30, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Ruth McCambridge

When a Scarf Should Be a Scarf: Organizations and Network-Weaving

Increasing buzz around networks and their power to influence people, draw out passion and excitement, and spread idea...

Increasing buzz around networks and their power to influence people, draw out passion and excitement, and spread ideas has left numerous Jewish organizations wondering: What bearing do these concepts have for us? And if this is relevant - what should we do? Learn more here.

When a Scarf Should Be a Scarf: Organizations and Network-Weaving, September 29, 2013, eJP, by Deborah Fishman

Check the Calendar to Plan Marketing and PR Activity

Marketing and Public Relations professionals often look at the calendar to latch onto a timely news hook that will ju...

Marketing and Public Relations professionals often look at the calendar to latch onto a timely news hook that will juice up a campaign or a story idea. This tactic may increase the likelihood of reader, reporter and editor interest. Here are a few ways to get started.

Check the Calendar to Plan Marketing and PR Activity, September 24, 2013, Ventureneer by Janet Falk

Expand Generosity Through Transparency and Vulnerability

In The Generosity Network, philanthropist Jeffrey Walker and fundraising expert Jennifer McCrea team up to show how a...

In The Generosity Network, philanthropist Jeffrey Walker and fundraising expert Jennifer McCrea team up to show how a shift from transactional to transformational philanthropy can help your nonprofit accomplish even bigger goals. The book is a deeply inspirational instruction manual for forging connections that can move your mission forward. Continue reading here.

Expand Generosity Through Transparency and Vulnerability, September 24, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

Mental Disabilities in the Digital Age: Independence and Autonomy for All

In a nation that values liberty and the pursuit of happiness, there are few greater tragedies than the routine incarc...

In a nation that values liberty and the pursuit of happiness, there are few greater tragedies than the routine incarceration of millions of individuals who suffer from mental disabilities, dhuffington postevelopmental impairments, or the debilitating dementia that affects up to 25% of our elderly population. However, recent technological advances offer the possibility of restoring independence and dignity to mentally challenged adults while easing the burden on families, for a fraction of current costs. Continue reading here.

Mental Disabilities in the Digital Age: Independence and Autonomy for All, September 23, 2013, Huffington Post, by Ruth Bettelheim

Nothing Can or Should Substitute for Philanthropy

The current emphasis on revenue generation may be misguided. No matter how appealing this for-profit-derived trend ma...

The current emphasis on revenue generation may be misguided. No matter how appealing this for-profit-derived trend may be, there's no substitute for donors. Continue reading here.

Nothing Can or Should Substitute for Philanthropy, September 19, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Simone Joyaux

Tomorrow Is Here: What Do We Do Now?

We should strive to see all of our colleagues, whether they are on an equal level or subordinate to us, or whether th...

We should strive to see all of our colleagues, whether they are on an equal level or subordinate to us, or whether they are professional or volunteer leaders, as deserving the same attention, respect, and recognition as the people who make it possible for theejp full logocommunal organizations to exist, survive, and develop for the good of our community. Continue reading here.

Tomorrow Is Here: What Do We Do Now? September 17, 2013, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Be Strategic When Filling Multiple Vacancies on the Board

Multiple departures offer a rare opportunity not only to fine-tune the board but to significantly realign its composi...

Multiple departures offer a rare opportunity not only to fine-tune the board but to significantly realign its composition, competencies and culture. Continue reading here.

Be Strategic When Filling Multiple Vacancies on the Board, September 16, 2013, BoardSource, by Lee Hanson & Les T. Csorba

Managing Fundraising Messages: Make Sure the Cup is More than Half Full

Seemingly all-too-often often, fundraising professionals and nonprofit executives receive (deserved) criticisms for t...

Seemingly all-too-often often, fundraising professionals and nonprofit executives receive (deserved) criticisms for the negative perceptions they create and concomitantly, these negative self-perceptions carry into the messages these same nonprofit leaders share with their donors and stakeholders. How often have we heard the word "schnorrer" or an equally derisive term, even in good fun, associated with fundraising and those who are asking for money to support charitable causes? Continue reading here.

Managing Fundraising Messages: Make Sure the Cup is More than Half Full, September 18, 2013, eJP, by Robert Evans & Avrum Lapin

5 Things To Do Now for Year-End Fundraising Success

It's tempting to put off your planning for a few more weeks, but don't give in to procrastination. Proper pla...

It's tempting to put off your planning for a few more weeks, but don't give in to procrastination. Proper planning now is like insurance for a strong fundraising finish in 2013. Take a moment this week to assess your progress toward your year-end campaign plans. Here are five ways to make sure you're ready:  network for good

  • Review your results.
  • Set a goal.
  • Create a plan.
  • Craft your key messages.
  • Test your process.

Continue reading here.

5 Things To Do Now for Year-End Fundraising Success, September 18, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

It's a New (Old) Day for Volunteerism: Crowdsourcing Social Change

What drives successful volunteer mobilization, and is it time for a reevaluation of the powerful potential of volunte...

What drives successful volunteer mobilization, and is it time for a reevaluation of the powerful potential of volunteers in and around your organization? Continue reading here.

It's a New (Old) Day for Volunteerism: Crowdsourcing Social Change, September 18, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Peter O'Donnell

Jewish Donors Are Generous, Especially to Non-Jewish Causes

Jewish donors-especially those of modest means-are among the most generous Americans, says a new report. And many of ...

Jewish donors-especially those of modest means-are among the most generous Americans, says a new report. And many of them make a high proportion of their gifts to causes that have nothing to do with their faith. Continue reading here.

Jewish Donors Are Generous, Especially to Non-Jewish Causes, September 6, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Maria Di Mento

Strategic Philanthropy: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Strategic Philanthropy seems to be dominating not only the rarified air of the world of foundations, but now the Inte...

Strategic Philanthropy seems to be dominating not only the rarified air of the world of foundations, but now the Internet as well. Continue reading here.

Strategic Philanthropy: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, August 29, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Rob Meiksins

Nurturing LGBTQ Jewish Leaders

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to the fifth-largest Jewish community in the United States, and to a huge and dive...

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to the fifth-largest Jewish community in the United States, and to a huge and diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer population, including an estimated 36,000 LGBTQ Jews. And, yet, there are few out-and-proud LGBTQ Jewish leaders in the region's organized Jewish or LGBTQ worlds. Continue reading here.

Nurturing LGBTQ Jewish Leaders, August 30, 2013, eJP, by Nora Smith

Opening Nonprofit Board Meetings to the Public

Few nonprofits solicit advice on management decisions from the people they serve or other key players who are affecte...

Few nonprofits solicit advice on management decisions from the people they serve or other key players who are affected by an organization's work.

But some nonprofits are experimenting with new approaches to sharing board duties beyond trustees, such as holding open board meetings online and appointing advisers who give feedback on key issues. Continue reading here.

Opening Nonprofit Board Meetings to the Public, August 15, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Judy Freiwirth & Hildy Gottlieb

Your Board Leadership Needs to Be Able to Make Big Changes

This is a big challenge for nonprofits. How do you coach your board members - and especially your board chair - on th...

This is a big challenge for nonprofits. How do you coach your board members - and especially your board chair - on their roles?

This can get tricky because while we want close board relationships, there always will - or should be - a little dynamic tension. Why? Because the board - and especially the board chair - supervises a nonprofit's CEO. Continue reading here.

Your Board Leadership Needs to Be Able to Make Big Changes, August 29, 2013, Fundraising Success Magazine, by Jeff Jowdy

One-Page Scrolling Web Sites: A Great New Way to Tell a Story

One of Matthew Scharpnick, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Elefint Designs favorite ways of telling a story ...

One of Matthew Scharpnick, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Elefint Designs favorite ways of telling a story right now is the one-page scrolling site. While a Web site is a somewhat comprehensive showcase of everything related to an organization, certain campaigns, events, and other efforts require a different look and feel and need to stand out from the clutter. Increasingly these one-page scrolling sites are popping up to tell stories in interesting new ways. Continue reading here.

One-Page Scrolling Web Sites: A Great New Way to Tell a Story, August 15, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Matthew Scharpnick

Tweeting to Raise Awareness

In the age of social media, anything humans say can be transferred across the globe in a matter of seconds. Nonprofit...

In the age of social media, anything humans say can be transferred across the globe in a matter of seconds. Nonprofit organizations on Twitter are able to exploit this tool and do a lot of good with it. Continue reading here.

Tweeting to Raise Awareness, August 2, 2013, NTEN, by Shane Jones

Get More Out of Your Fundraising Events

Fundraising events are a nonprofit mainstay, but they typically take a lot of time, money, and effort to produce. Sin...

Fundraising events are a nonprofit mainstay, but they typically take a lot of time, money, and effort to produce. Since even the most basic events can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, it should be a no-brainer to squeeze every opportunity out of these big investments. Unfortunately, too many nonprofits see the event itself as the finish line, missing critical opportunities for more connection, insight, and inspiration (things that will lead you to more loyal donors and increased giving). Continue reading here.

Get More Out of Your Fundraising Events, August 26, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

Philanthropy-Not Even the Same Stream Once

The Nonprofit Quarterly is going to press with this issue on the changing landscape of philanthropy immediately after...

The Nonprofit Quarterly is going to press with this issue on the changing landscape of philanthropy immediately after the 2013 Giving USA report was released. The report confirms that the much-touted recovery from the recession that began in 2008 is only very slowly being felt in charitable giving. Putting this in perspective, in 2008, philanthropy was at its highest level ever, but the dive it took was precipitous, at about 15 percent in 2008 and 2009 combined-adjusted for inflation-and the climb back up may be so steep as to slow us nearly to a crawl. Continue reading here.

Philanthropy-Not Even the Same Stream Once, August 15, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Ruth McCambridge

Facing the Future: How Successful Nonprofits Link Strategy to Leadership Development

Nonprofit leaders make leadership development such a high priority, yet they give themselves low marks for execution....

Nonprofit leaders make leadership development such a high priority, yet they give themselves low marks for execution. What accounts for the gap between aspiration and achievement? They often don't specify the leadership qualities that will most strongly influence the organization's future impact. Continue reading here.

Facing the Future: How Successful Nonprofits Link Strategy to Leadership Development, August 21, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Elizabeth Bibb Binder & Kirk Kramer

Netsmart Releases White Paper: The Opportunity with Primary Care Integration

Netsmart, the leading provider of clinical solutions for health and human services organizations nationwide, recently...

Netsmart, the leading provider of clinical solutions for health and human services organizations nationwide, recently announced availability of a white paper, "The Opportunity with Primary Care Integration." The paper outlines the vital need for integration between primary care and behavioral health providers. As more and more consumers flood into the healthcare system, it's more critical than ever that these two areas work in concert together to bring about improved outcomes and lower healthcare costs. The white paper is available for download on the Netsmart website. Read more here.

Preparing the Board Leaders of Tomorrow by Involving Youth in Governance Today

Do you ever wonder where tomorrow's board leaders will come from? How they will be prepared? Whether they will be...

Do you ever wonder where tomorrow's board leaders will come from? How they will be prepared? Whether they will be as dedicated as the leaders of today? Identifying, recruiting, and preparing board members for the future, has always been a considerable undertaking for many nonprofits. Continue reading here.

Preparing the Board Leaders of Tomorrow by Involving Youth in Governance Today, August 26, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Olivia Selinger & Deb Walters

Addressing the Nonprofit Fundraising Elephant in the Room

If we truly want to ensure that more money flows to the organizations that are most effective at achieving social cha...

If we truly want to ensure that more money flows to the organizations that are most effective at achieving social change, then we must address the elephant in the room: how nonprofits are funded. Continue reading here.

Addressing the Nonprofit Fundraising Elephant in the Room, August 20, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

One-Page Scrolling Web Sites: A Great New Way to Tell a Story

One of Matthew Scharpnick's favorite ways of telling a story right now is the one-page scrolling site. While a We...

One of Matthew Scharpnick's favorite ways of telling a story right now is the one-page scrolling site. While a Web site is a somewhat comprehensive showcase of everything related to an organization, certain campaigns, events, and other efforts require a different look and feel and need to stand out from the clutter. Increasingly these one-page scrolling sites are popping up to tell stories in interesting new ways. Read more here.

One-Page Scrolling Web Sites: A Great New Way to Tell a Story, August 15, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Matthew Scharpnick

Pump Up Your Nonprofit's Facebook Page with These 10 Tips

Here are 10 ways you can pump up your nonprofit's Facebook page: People join Facebook to connect with the...

Here are 10 ways you can pump up your nonprofit's Facebook page:

  1. People join Facebook to connect with their friends and families, not with companies, so make sure you communicate like a real person. 
  2. Facebook success isn't about how many friends you have or how many "Likes" you get; it's about actions. Do your fans do what you want them to do? Do you reach out to them so that they come back to your page?  
  3. You must be relevant, interesting, concise, responsive, and add value. Ninety-percent of people who "Like" a page never visit it again, so give fans a reason to keep coming back. Interact, ask for input, and make sure social media links are on all of your materials: emails, websites, event registration pages, you name it.

Continue reading here.

Pump Up Your Nonprofit's Facebook Page with These 10 Tips, August 1, 2013, Network for Good, by Melissa Raimondi

The Conceptual Development of Jewish Leadership: A Review of Leadership in the Wilderness (by Erica Brown)

There are many books about leadership and leadership development, most of which focus on how to be a leader. However,...

There are many books about leadership and leadership development, most of which focus on how to be a leader. However, there are very few books that define and develop the concept of Jewish leadership as found in basic Jewish texts. Continue reading here.

The Conceptual Development of Jewish Leadership: A Review of Leadership in the Wilderness (by Erica Brown), August 15, 2013, eJP, by Stephen Donshik

Staying Relevant In a Rapidly Changing Service Environment

While much has been said and written about successfully managing nonprofit organizations (NPO's) it may be argued...

While much has been said and written about successfully managing nonprofit organizations (NPO's) it may be argued that not enough is being said and written about how not to manage NPO's. The following are common pitfalls that NPO managers and boards should minimize and avoid.

Staying Relevant In a Rapidly Changing Service Environment, August 20, 2013, eJP, by David B. Marcu

The CEO's Role in Board Recruitment

Whether board members of a nonprofit organization are elected by the organization's members or by the board, or e...

Whether board members of a nonprofit organization are elected by the organization's members or by the board, or even whether they are appointed by another authority, the chief executive has a role to play. What kind of a role and how extensive a role are questions that the board needs to explore. Read more here.

The CEO's Role in Board Recruitment, August 18, 2013, BoardSource, by Berit M. Lakey

If the Brand Fits

Meet an award-winning board that led a successful rebranding initiative. Continue reading here. If the Brand Fits...

Meet an award-winning board that led a successful rebranding initiative. Continue reading here.

If the Brand Fits, August 16, 2013, BoardSource, by Clarifi

How to Determine the Boundaries of the Nonprofit Board and ED

The Challenge - The distinction between the governance and oversight responsibilities of the board and the management...

The Challenge - The distinction between the governance and oversight responsibilities of the board and the management responsibilities of the Executive Director is clear in theory but very unclear in practice. Read more here.

How to Determine the Boundaries of the Nonprofit Board and ED, August 20, 2013, Ventureneer, by Michael Davidson

Is Your Nonprofit Website Open for Business?

Is your nonprofit website sending the right message to potential donors? Year-end fundraising season will be here bef...

Is your nonprofit website sending the right message to potential donors? Year-end fundraising season will be here before you know it. Now is the time to clear away the cobwebs and roll out the welcome mat for prospective donors, volunteers, and those who may benefit from your work. Read more here.

Is Your Nonprofit Website Open for Business? August 14, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

We Need More Philanthropists Who Listen

The most important part of Peter Buffett's op-ed from July was that it pointed out the complicity of many wealthy...

The most important part of Peter Buffett's op-ed from July was that it pointed out the complicity of many wealthy donors in creating the problems they're spending money to solve. To get real change, it's important to keep the people most affected in control of the big decisions. Continue reading here.

We Need More Philanthropists Who Listen, August 20, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Sharon Gary-Smith

5 of a Number of Takeaways from Blackbaud's 2013 Next Generation Giving Study

Blackbaud has released a 2013 study breaking down the donation patterns of different age groups by generation: Genera...

Blackbaud has released a 2013 study breaking down the donation patterns of different age groups by generation: Generation Y, Generation X, the Boomers, and Matures. The study looks at each generation's online giving and social media habits, as well as their makeup of the total donor population in the U.S. Continue reading here.

5 of a Number of Takeaways from Blackbaud's 2013 Next Generation Giving Study, August 15, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Aine Creedon

Raising Money in a Changing World

The deepest downturn since the Great Depression may seem like the biggest seismic shift charities face. But it's ...

The deepest downturn since the Great Depression may seem like the biggest seismic shift charities face. But it's America's demographic transition that has the potential to transform the philanthropic landscape. Continue reading here.

Raising Money in a Changing World, August 11, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Nicole Lewis

How to Get Your Organization Grant Ready

Obtain IRS Approval Before Seeking Grant Funding Demonstrate Success Track Revenues and Expenditures ...

  1. Obtain IRS Approval Before Seeking Grant Funding
  2. Demonstrate Success
  3. Track Revenues and Expenditures
  4. Meet Local, State, and Federal Reporting Requirements
  5. Have a Clear Mission Statement

Continue reading here.

How to Get Your Organization Grant Ready, July 31, 2013, Foundation Center

In Camera Board Sessions: Securing Confidentiality or Cultivating a Culture of Secrecy?

The governance of non-profit and charitable organizations sometimes requires the board and senior management to delib...

The governance of non-profit and charitable organizations sometimes requires the board and senior management to deliberate on sensitive matters. This can include personnel items such as salaries, the evaluation of the executive director or CEO, the awarding of a contract, the handling of conflict of interest situations, or legal issues. Continue reading here.

In Camera Board Sessions: Securing Confidentiality or Cultivating a Culture of Secrecy? April 26, 2011, Nonprofit Quarterly, by E. Grant MacDonald

No Board Member Left Behind

Should you include all of your board members in every orientation? Vicki Clark, a BoardSource senior governance consu...

Should you include all of your board members in every orientation? Vicki Clark, a BoardSource senior governance consultant says "yes" and explains why here

No Board Member Left Behind, July 19, 2013, BoardSource by Vicki Clark

3 Must-Have Productivity Tools for Creating Visual Content for Social Channels

You are on a roll. You've put together an editorial calendar for next month that lays out the themes, news events...

You are on a roll. You've put together an editorial calendar for next month that lays out the themes, news events, and content ideas for all channels, including social media. Continue reading here.

3 Must-Have Productivity Tools for Creating Visual Content for Social Channels, July 30, 2013, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

Trouble Connecting? Plug into Identity.

In just 68 words, Seth Godin recently summed up a fundamental truth of human behavior that all nonprofit fundraisers ...

In just 68 words, Seth Godin recently summed up a fundamental truth of human behavior that all nonprofit fundraisers should take to heart. (Read it here: "People like us do stuff like this.") Continue reading here.

Trouble Connecting? Plug into Identity. August 13, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

5 Tips for Getting Started with Nonprofit Video

With a good story as the foundation for your video, your organization can use YouTube to spread your message and rais...

With a good story as the foundation for your video, your organization can use YouTube to spread your message and raise money online. Here are some tips for nonprofits venturing into the world of online video.

5 Tips for Getting Started with Nonprofit Video, July 25, 2013, Network for Good, by Liz Ragland

Is It Charity or Is It Community?

We like to think that charity is a uniquely -- or at least, an especially -- American tradition. The French historian...

We like to think that charity is a uniquely -- or at least, an especially -- American tradition. The French historian, Alexis de Tocqueville, gave this notion credibility in the early 19th century when he referred to American's propensity to form voluntary associations of all kinds, including charitable. Read the rest of President/CEO of the National Human Services Assembly, Irv Katz's blog here.

Is It Charity or Is It Community? August 1, 2013, Huffington Post, by Irv Katz

Torn Between Two Causes?

Fears have been expressed about an association's ability to advocate for more than one cause, one disease state, ...

Fears have been expressed about an association's ability to advocate for more than one cause, one disease state, one group of people struggling or in recovery. Most recently such fears were voiced when The National Council for Behavioral Health announced a strategic alliance of the State Associations for Addiction Services, the Legal Action Center, and the National Council for Behavioral Health. Continue reading here.

Torn Between Two Causes? August 5, 2013, National Council for Behavioral Health, by Linda Rosenberg

Measure for Measure: The Nonprofit Impact Conversation Continues

So the conversation continues about how the nonprofit sector can best tell its stories and demonstrate its impact. Ba...

So the conversation continues about how the nonprofit sector can best tell its stories and demonstrate its impact. Back in June, it was big news-in NPQ and elsewhere-when the "overhead myth" was debunked and the conversation at long last began to shift away from measuring impact by calculating the ratio of dollars spent on programs versus those spent on management and fundraising. Continue reading here.

Measure for Measure: The Nonprofit Impact Conversation Continues, August 5, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Eileen Cunniffe
 

How to Evaluate and Strengthen Your Board of Directors

The hallmark of the third sector and its agencies is a strong, viable, committed, and passionate base of volunteer le...

The hallmark of the third sector and its agencies is a strong, viable, committed, and passionate base of volunteer leadership. Continue reading here.

How to Evaluate and Strengthen Your Board of Directors, July 31, 2013, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Donor Retention: What Do We Know & What Can We Do about It?

In the twelve years since the first academic article on the topic of donor retention was published, the state of know...

In the twelve years since the first academic article on the topic of donor retention was published, the state of knowledge has changed very little. Academic researchers continue to emphasize motives for giving rather than the determinants of switching or lapse, and even practitioner interest in the topic has been scant. The emphasis remains firmly on donor acquisition, with donor retention coming in a very poor second. Read more here.

Donor Retention: What Do We Know & What Can We Do about It?, August 6, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Adrian Sargeant

Why You Must Stop Ignoring Social

This week, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project released their latest findings on social me...

This week, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project released their latest findings on social media adoption. Even if you're a socially savvy fundraiser, you'll find these stats interesting. If you're still skeptical about social media, this is a wake-up call. Continue reading here.

Why You Must Stop Ignoring Social, August 7, 2013, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

How Do We Attract, Develop and Retain the Fundraising Leaders of the Future?

In the recent debate at the Institute of Fundraising's national convention, 'How do we attract, develop and r...

In the recent debate at the Institute of Fundraising's national convention, 'How do we attract, develop and retain the fundraising leaders of the future?' fundraisers got some top tips from experts on stepping up to a director of fundraising role. Continue reading here.

How Do We Attract, Develop and Retain the Fundraising Leaders of the Future? July 30, 2013, The Guardian, by Claudia Cahalane

Safeguarding Volunteers With Effective Risk Management

Among the lingering effects nonprofit organizations face from the economic downturn is a growing reliance on their vo...

Among the lingering effects nonprofit organizations face from the economic downturn is a growing reliance on their volunteers, and a corresponding need to help protect volunteers from the effects of accidents, injuries, or other unplanned incidents. Continue reading here.

Safeguarding Volunteers With Effective Risk Management, July 31, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Nicole Pitney

Leadership and Change from the Inside (and Below)

Good organizations create structures and cultures that embrace change, not just on the macro level, but on the micro ...

Good organizations create structures and cultures that embrace change, not just on the macro level, but on the micro and personal level. Continue reading here.

Leadership and Change from the Inside (and Below), July 30, 2013, eJP, by Dr. David B. Starr

How Are You Evaluating Your Programs?

Wondering how to best evaluate your programs? So is AJFCA's partner, Idealware. Idealware is working on a report ...

Wondering how to best evaluate your programs? So is AJFCA's partner, Idealware. Idealware is working on a report to help human service organizations successfully conduct program evaluations. As part of their research, Idealware is surveying nonprofits to find out how they currently evaluate their programs. Please pass this 10-minute survey along to human service staff who are involved in your organization's program evaluation.

How Are You Evaluating Your Programs? July 29, 2013, Idealware, by Laura Quinn

Navigating Tough Trade-Offs in the Era of Scarcity

Demand for social services is outpacing the ability of our traditional financing sources to keep up. So how should we...

Demand for social services is outpacing the ability of our traditional financing sources to keep up. So how should we balance the need to pay for services now versus the need to invest in adaptation for sustainability? Read more here.

Navigating Tough Trade-Offs in the Era of Scarcity, July 29, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Antony Bugg-Levine

Can Your Organization Handle Feedback?

Research suggests that thriving organizations achieve their goals by engaging the staff in meaningful feedback to mon...

Research suggests that thriving organizations achieve their goals by engaging the staff in meaningful feedback to monitor performance, holding people accountable, growing talent, and creating an atmosphere of respect and continued development. But knowing this and doing this are two different things. Continue reading here.

Can Your Organization Handle Feedback? July 30, 2013, eJP, by Nicki Roth

Boards as Bridges

The recent Great Recession has helped nonprofits rethink how they engage and interact with current and future funders...

The recent Great Recession has helped nonprofits rethink how they engage and interact with current and future funders. What was considered to be solid, long-term funding from state and federal agencies is now more difficult to retain, and the United Way and other federated campaigns are less likely to provide long-term support. Nonprofit leaders have been struggling to develop strategies to find, and successfully secure, the funding necessary to meet the increased need for services that go hand-in-hand with tough times. Continue reading here.

Boards as Bridges, July 25, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Brent Never

Researching and Planning for a Global Nonprofit's New Intranet: A Lesson in Understanding Your Audience

The concept of "understanding your audience" is frequently thrown around in nonprofit technology discussion...

The concept of "understanding your audience" is frequently thrown around in nonprofit technology discussions. But what does that really mean? It's more than just identifying who your audience is -it's digging deep to understand their intricate motivations and behaviors. Continue reading here.

Researching and Planning for a Global Nonprofit's New Intranet: A Lesson in Understanding Your Audience, July 2, 2013, NTEN, by Beth Burghardt

How to Create the Perfect Social Media Posts

We all wish there were a magic formula we could follow to create Facebook posts that our fans love or tweets that spa...

We all wish there were a magic formula we could follow to create Facebook posts that our fans love or tweets that spark retweets by the thousands. Alas, there isn't. Each social network operates a little differently, and each brand's fans have their own tastes and preferences. Continue reading here.

How to Create the Perfect Social Media Posts, July 25, 2013, PR Daily, by Kristin Piombino

Laying a Good Foundation: Quick Wins for Nonprofit Marketing

Laying a great foundation for the expansion of your nonprofit's marketing and donation efforts can help you find ...

Laying a great foundation for the expansion of your nonprofit's marketing and donation efforts can help you find success now while planning long-term goals. Here is a list of priorities to help you focus your time and maximize your impact ASAP.  

Laying a Good Foundation: Quick Wins for Nonprofit Marketing, Jun 26, 2013, Network for Good, by Liz Ragland

Using A/B Testing to Improve Volunteer Sign-up

What if you could double the number of volunteer sign-ups with only a little bit of time and no budget? What if you c...

What if you could double the number of volunteer sign-ups with only a little bit of time and no budget? What if you could find out the type of content that visitors to your site liked best without having to directly ask them? A/B testing can help you find out what type of content is most effective on your site. Read more here.

Using A/B Testing to Improve Volunteer Sign-up, July 10, 2013, NTEN, by Dane Cobain

Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry Benefits from High Holiday Challahs

The High Holidays will be here soon, and when it comes to purchasing traditional holiday food items, these special da...

The High Holidays will be here soon, and when it comes to purchasing traditional holiday food items, these special days of the year can be costly for many who observe, but especially individuals and families who are food-insecure in the Pittsburgh community.
 
This year, Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh is extremely grateful to volunteers from the Volunteer Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh who will make holiday challahs for our clients at the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry.
 
Thanks to the efforts of the Jewish Federation and the challah bake volunteers, as well as Deena Ross and Moishe Siebzener from Creative Kosher for their ingredients and time, JFCS Pittsburg can help ensure that each of their clients' Rosh Hashanah tables includes a fresh, kosher challah. Continue reading here.
 

3 Things Philanthropists Can Do To Move Nonprofits Forward

Could it be that philanthropists and nonprofits are starting to have real conversations about what nonprofits need? N...

Could it be that philanthropists and nonprofits are starting to have real conversations about what nonprofits need? Nell Edgington, 2012 AJFCA Annual Conference presenter was encouraged by GuideStar, Charity Navigator and BBB Wise Giving Alliance's open Letter to the Donors of America last week asking donors to stop focusing on nonprofit overhead expenses. There are 3 key things that philanthropists can do to move nonprofits forward. Click here to read what they are.

3 Things Philanthropists Can Do To Move Nonprofits Forward, July 10, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

 

Can Your Organization Handle Feedback?

Research suggests that thriving organizations achieve their goals by engaging the staff in meaningful feedback to mon...

Research suggests that thriving organizations achieve their goals by engaging the staff in meaningful feedback to monitor performance, holding people accountable, growing talent, and creating an atmosphere of respect and continued development. But knowing this and doing this are two different things. Continue reading here.

Can Your Organization Handle Feedback? July 10, 2013, Bridgespan Group, by Nicki Roth

More Tips to Involve Your Board and Board Members in Fund Development

Now that your board is invested in the prospect of fundraising, here are ten strategies to get them past anxiety and ...

Now that your board is invested in the prospect of fundraising, here are ten strategies to get them past anxiety and awkwardness and on to the business of reaching out to prospects and donors.

  1. Create your organization's story together.
  2. Require every board member to make a personal financial contribution.
  3. Require that every board member help identify those who might be interested in your organization.
  4. Require every board member to help nurture relationships with qualified prospects and current donors.
  5. Board members can call donors to thank them for their gifts.  

Read more strategies here.

More Tips to Involve Your Board and Board Members in Fund Development, July 11, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Simone Joyaux
 

How to Improve Nonprofit Board Meetings

The Problem For many organizations, board meetings are a problem rather than a solution. For staff, they create anx...

The Problem
For many organizations, board meetings are a problem rather than a solution. For staff, they create anxiety and time-consuming activity to "get ready," and mostly relief when they are finally over. For board members, they are too often seen only as a "duty." Boards can be deeply engaged for episodic decisions, such as a CEO transition, a financial crises, merger, major strategic decisions, etc. Read the proposal here.

How to Improve Nonprofit Board Meetings, July 16, 2013, Ventureneer, by Michael Davidson

How Long Should Content Be?

We all know that people are reading less and skimming more, and often relying on social media as a news source, all o...

We all know that people are reading less and skimming more, and often relying on social media as a news source, all of which means you should write shorter articles - say 200 - 300 words - right? Read 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference presenter, Kivi Leroux Miller's recommendations here.

How Long Should Content Be? July 10, 2013, Nonprofit Marketing Guide, by Kivi Leroux Miller

7 Ways to Tune Up Your Fundraising this Summer

Here are a few ways you can leverage these quieter days of summer to help make the most of the year-end giving season...

Here are a few ways you can leverage these quieter days of summer to help make the most of the year-end giving season downstream and avoid last-minute glitches.

  1. Test your donation landing pages and thank you's.
  2. Review your presence on Charity Navigator, Wise Giving Alliance, Guidestar, and other sites your most savvy donors might visit.
  3. Review your website analytics.
  4. Test for mobile giving on phones and tablets.
  5. Practice good list hygiene.
  6. Build your list now.
  7. Start planning this year's campaign now.  

Read more here.

7 Ways to Tune Up Your Fundraising this Summer, July 10, 2013, Big Duck, by Sarah Durham

Social Media Resources for Nonprofit Communicators

The team here at Network for Good recently released two updated resources on social media: a Social Media Mini Guide ...

The team here at Network for Good recently released two updated resources on social media: a Social Media Mini Guide for Nonprofits and the Nonprofit Social Media Checklist. You can download both of these resources for free (registration required), and they're focused on practical tips coupled with real examples to help you think about the best way to incorporate social media in your outreach. Check out the resources.

Social Media Resources for Nonprofit Communicators, July 12, 2013, Netword for Good, by Caryn Stein

Foothold Sets Stage for Interoperability with HIE Testing

Foothold Technology, a 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference sponsor and leading provider of Electronic Health Record (EHR) so...

Foothold Technology, a 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference sponsor and leading provider of Electronic Health Record (EHR) software, announced that it is testing data exchanges with Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs), a type of Health Information Exchange (HIE) being leveraged in New York State. Presently, Foothold is deploying data exchange functionality to connect with a handful of RHIOs that will be test cases for the statewide SHIN-NY RHIO. Continue reading here.
 

Unpaid Interns May Be Too Expensive

Nonprofits have long relied on interns. Many nonprofits are buoyed by the often-annual influx of interns' time, e...

Nonprofits have long relied on interns. Many nonprofits are buoyed by the often-annual influx of interns' time, energy, and new ideas. For the intern, the opportunity can mean job experience, network opportunities, professional references, and something to put on the resume-especially important during the recent period of high unemployment. Continue reading here.

Unpaid Interns May Be Too Expensive, July 8, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Jennifer Jones

Strategy is Culture is Strategy

Customarily, a strategy process begins with spending quality time developing a "mission" and a "vision...

Customarily, a strategy process begins with spending quality time developing a "mission" and a "vision." It is a widely used methodology and comes with quite legitimate operating assumptions - if one invests heavily up-front in developing consensus on the larger direction of a business, organization, foundation, or anything else, it will provide a constructive matrix to assess what to do and what the priorities should be. Continue reading here.

Strategy is Culture is Strategy, July 3, 2013, eJP, by Richard Marker

The New Normal: Shifting Organizational Resources to Thrive and Survive in a Rapidly Changing World

As technology and human communication become more and more intertwined, relevance in this rapidly changing world requ...

As technology and human communication become more and more intertwined, relevance in this rapidly changing world requires organizations to become adept at adapting. Continually. This is the "New Normal" - constantly adapting to an incessant stream of change - environmental, political, social, economic, and technological. Continue reading here.

The New Normal: Shifting Organizational Resources to Thrive and Survive in a Rapidly Changing World, June 10, 2013, NTEN, by Ian Rhett

What Has Been Invested?

Leaders of high quality organizations of any type or size who are inspiring, mission driven, relevant and well traine...

Leaders of high quality organizations of any type or size who are inspiring, mission driven, relevant and well trained are more likely to attract and retain the most gifted talent. Continue reading here.

What Has Been Invested? July 8, 2013, eJP, by Maxyne Finkelstein

The CEO As Board Chair?

Over the past thirty-five years as a nonprofit governance and planning consultant, Mike Burns has heard one consisten...

Over the past thirty-five years as a nonprofit governance and planning consultant, Mike Burns has heard one consistent theme from CEOs: "I work really hard to support my board." And, along this theme, he also hears, "I don't object to the hard work; I question what this work gets me." But imagine,if the CEO's board really were their board. Continue reading here.

The CEO As Board Chair? July 9, 2013, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Mike Burns

Online Giving Continues to Grow - How to Grow Along With It

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that online donations rose 14 percent from 2011, reaching $2.1-billion in 2012....

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that online donations rose 14 percent from 2011, reaching $2.1-billion in 2012. The study was based on data provided by Blackbaud, Network for Good, and PayPal, and examined online giving totals from 115,000 nonprofits. Continue reading here.

Online Giving Continues to Grow - How to Grow Along With It, June 25, 2013, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

The Right Way to Use Stock Images

There's not much that can stand-in for beautiful images of your organization's work. But we know there are ti...

There's not much that can stand-in for beautiful images of your organization's work. But we know there are times when stock images might be your only option for adding visual interest to your nonprofit website, newsletter or fundraising appeal. Continue reading here.

The Right Way to Use Stock Images, June 19, 2013, Network for Good, by Liz Ragland

10 Tips to Leveraging LinkedIn for Good

As a nonprofit professional, you and your organization should be leveraging the connective power of LinkedIn as well ...

As a nonprofit professional, you and your organization should be leveraging the connective power of LinkedIn as well to promote your career and your cause. The two main reasons your cause should be on LinkedIn? Connections and Knowledge. Here are 10 tips for nonprofits on how to make the most of LinkedIn.

10 Tips to Leveraging LinkedIn for Good, March 15, 2013, Network for Good, by Daniel Hartman

Engaging Volunteers Through Social Media

From designing volunteer opportunities, to recruiting new volunteers, to creating risk management policies, to screen...

From designing volunteer opportunities, to recruiting new volunteers, to creating risk management policies, to screening volunteers, to recognizing great supporters, there are a lot of elements to successfully engaging volunteers with your organization. Not all of these elements easily translate to the social media realm. Continue reading here.

Engaging Volunteers Through Social Media, June 25, 2013, Socialbrite, by Robert Rosenthal

Open Debate, Not Politeness, Is What Drives Nonprofit Innovation

Everybody in the nonprofit world talks these days about innovation, but not about what drives change: open debate and...

Everybody in the nonprofit world talks these days about innovation, but not about what drives change: open debate and critical thinking. Read more here.

Open Debate, Not Politeness, Is What Drives Nonprofit Innovation, June 16, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Cynthia Gibson

How to Get the Most Out of Big and Open Data

Becoming data literate is fast becoming a necessary skill, as data becomes more and more prevalent. "It's th...

Becoming data literate is fast becoming a necessary skill, as data becomes more and more prevalent. "It's the building blocks of fact and information," says Paul Smith, head of data at Open fundraising. Continue reading here.

How to Get the Most Out of Big and Open Data, June 20, 2013, The Guardian, by Abby Young-Powell

The Next Phase: Long Careers, New Opporgestalttunities

This three-day workshop is customized for a highly select group of Jewish communal service leaders considering, appro...

This three-day workshop is customized for a highly select group of Jewish communal service leaders considering, approaching, or in the process of transitioning following long and successful careers in top positions.The workshop is designed to enable participants to plan smoother transitions for themselves, their successors, boards and organizations.

The Next Phase:  Long Careers, New Opportunities
October 16-18, 2013 - Cape Cod, MA

Learn more here.

How to Write a Winning Grant Proposal

Don't Chase the Money Prepare to Do Extensive Legwork Determine Your Approach Get to Know t...

  1. Don't Chase the Money
  2. Prepare to Do Extensive Legwork
  3. Determine Your Approach
  4. Get to Know the Funder
  5. Do Whatever the RFP Says
  6. State Measurable Not Fluffy Objectives
  7. Spell Out How You Intend to Spend the Money
  8. Consult a Professional Grant Writer  

Read the entire article here.

How to Write a Winning Grant Proposal, June 26, 2013, Foundation Center

Eliminating the Executive Committee

Overworked executive committees can lead to disengaged boards. Do you need your executive committee? And if you elimi...

Overworked executive committees can lead to disengaged boards. Do you need your executive committee? And if you eliminate it, who will handle its work? A BoardSource senior governance consultant weighs in. Continue reading here.

Eliminating the Executive Committee, June 19, 2013, BoardSource, by Jim Schwarz

Audit Guide for Charitable Nonprofits: Role of the Board

A new, free online resource explains the role of the board in the audit process and includes tips and tools to help y...

A new, free online resource explains the role of the board in the audit process and includes tips and tools to help you manage the audit process. Access the guide here.

Audit Guide for Charitable Nonprofits, June 19, 2013, National Council of Nonprofits

Making Your Communications Feel More Current

One of the chapters in Kivi Leroux Miller's new book is devoted to the Six R's of Relevant Messaging for nonp...

One of the chapters in Kivi Leroux Miller's new book is devoted to the Six R's of Relevant Messaging for nonprofits. One of those R's is being "Real Time." You want your content to feel relevant given the context of everything else that is happening right now, and to always feel fresh, even when it actually isn't. How can you make your communications feel more real time and current? Here are seven ideas.

Making Your Communications Feel More Current, June 20, 2013, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com, by Kivi Leroux Miller

3 Ways to Stand Out to Your Donors

HubSpot announced a partnership with charity:water. This team effort will be one to watch for innovative ideas on app...

HubSpot announced a partnership with charity:water. This team effort will be one to watch for innovative ideas on applying inbound marketing tactics to the world of fundraising. Of course, charity:water has long been a source of inspiration for fundraisers seeking to transform the way they raise money. This post from HubSpot features some of the ways that charity:water puts their donors at the center of their success stories. Here are three important takeaways for you to apply to your work.

3 Ways to Stand Out to Your Donors, June 21, 2013, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

Analysis-Paralysis: Another Call for Action on Professional Leadership

The community increasingly looks to their professional executives to envision, inspire and lead the change and those ...

The community increasingly looks to their professional executives to envision, inspire and lead the change and those who hire executives realize that meaningful change will not occur without professional leaders who possess the vision, courage and skills to lead the process. Continue reading here.

Analysis-Paralysis: Another Call for Action on Professional Leadership, June 19, 2013, eJP, by David Edell

Are You a Giver, Taker, or Matcher?

The main thesis in the book Give and Take, by Adam Grant is that in a networked world success depends on how we inter...

The main thesis in the book Give and Take, by Adam Grant is that in a networked world success depends on how we interact with others. Grant suggests there are three different styles:  Givers (those who give to others without an expect for a return);  "Matchers" (those who give to get  something in return); and "Takers" (those who pretend to be givers, but are only motivated but what they gain.  The book shares many insights about how effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills can to success for "Givers."  In short, nice people can finish first in a networked world. Continue reading here.

Are You a Giver, Taker, or Matcher? June 19, 2013, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

How to Not Kill People with PowerPoint

PowerPoint presentations are a snoozefest. Most of them are. And if you've sat through them you know what death b...

PowerPoint presentations are a snoozefest. Most of them are. And if you've sat through them you know what death by PowerPoint feels like. But it's only the bad PowerPoint presentations that have this near-death effect. There can be - surprising but true - good and, great, PowerPoint presentations. So, if you don't want to go on a PowerPoint killer rampage, here's the top list of pointers.

How to Not Kill People with PowerPoint, June 17, 2013, No Small Change, by barapani

Why Your Board Should Raise 10% of Your Nonprofit's Budget

It's no secret that nonprofits struggle with money. In fact, the Nonprofit Finance Fund's most recent State o...

It's no secret that nonprofits struggle with money. In fact, the Nonprofit Finance Fund's most recent State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey found that 41% of nonprofit respondents ran a deficit in 2012. So here's a radical idea. What if every nonprofit board were responsible for bringing in 10% of their nonprofit's annual operating budget? Continue reading here.

Why Your Board Should Raise 10% of Your Nonprofit's Budget, June 19, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

The Hand-off Huddle

Don't expect your new board chair to simply pick up where the current one leaves off. New board chairs should be ...

Don't expect your new board chair to simply pick up where the current one leaves off. New board chairs should be formally oriented to their roles. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers explains how to do it.

The Hand-off Huddle, June 19, 2013, Board Source, by Thomas G. Loughlin

Planning Your High Holiday Appeal

Now is the time for communications and fundraising professionals to begin planning strategically about the direct mai...

Now is the time for communications and fundraising professionals to begin planning strategically about the direct mail, online solicitations, special events, and other types of important "touches" with current and future donors that will take place during the High Holiday season. Continue reading here.

Planning Your High Holiday Appeal, June 10, EHL Consulting, by Robert I. Evans & Avrum D. Lapin

How to Create a Nonprofit Editorial Calendar

Creating an editorial calendar is an effective way to keep your organization's newsletter, website, blog, and soc...

Creating an editorial calendar is an effective way to keep your organization's newsletter, website, blog, and social media content fresh and current. Should you go with paper or something more high tech? Use whatever works best for you and your team: a wall calendar, Excel spreadsheet, Google Calendar, or even dedicated project management software. While it can contain loads of info, an editorial calendar at its most basic organizes the what, when, and who of your media outreach. Continue reading here.

How to Create a Nonprofit Editorial Calendar, June 10, 2013, Network for Good, by Iris Sutcliffe

Do You Know Your 'Failure Rate'?

"Why do you think most fundraisers are so resistant to innovation and change?" Fundraisers resist experimen...

"Why do you think most fundraisers are so resistant to innovation and change?" Fundraisers resist experimenting with innovative tools and processes because they insist that 'It' - the 'It' being a predictive model, a new online tool, a new multi-channel process, you name it - be 100% correct, 100% of the time. Otherwise, forget it, they'll just stick with the same-old-same-old, thank you. Continue reading here.

Do You Know Your 'Failure Rate'? June 20, 2013, The Agitator by Roger Craver

Apply for Funding to Engage Senior Volunteers

The Corporation for National and Community Service has released the RSVP 2014 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to...

The Corporation for National and Community Service has released the RSVP 2014 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to provide local nonprofit and public agencies an opportunity to increase their capacity by engaging adults aged 55+ in high impact volunteer service. Up to $14 million is available to local organizations. Apply by September 10th. Learn how to apply.

Apply for Funding to Engage Senior Volunteers, June 19, 2013, NCOA

It's Time to Move Beyond Overhead

"The percent of charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costs - commonly referred to as "...

"The percent of charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costs - commonly referred to as "overhead" - is a poor measure of a charity's performance."Continue reading here.

It's Time to Move Beyond Overhead, June 18, 2013, eJP

Are You a Leader or a Manager? There's a Difference

The terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably, but there is a huge difference between a leader a...

The terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably, but there is a huge difference between a leader and a manager.
Leaders aren't always managers and vise versa. It is a rare individual that is both of these things. They have very different skill sets, both critical to success at a high-growth business. Continue reading here.

Are You a Leader or a Manager? There's a Difference, June 10, 2013, Inc. 500, by Curt Richardson

How Small Businesses Can Help Your Nonprofit

Small companies can be powerful sources of fundraising help for charities of all sizes, says Joe Waters, founder of S...

Small companies can be powerful sources of fundraising help for charities of all sizes, says Joe Waters, founder of SelfishGiving.com and author of Cause Marketing for Dummies. Continue reading here.

How Small Businesses Can Help Your Nonprofit, June 13, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Tony Martignetti
 

Idealware's Summer Sale

Idealware, one of AJFCA's partners has a full schedule-and now they're offering it at half price. The reason ...

Idealware, one of AJFCA's partners has a full schedule-and now they're offering it at half price. The reason is simple: They want you to have the tools you need to succeed. The options include a mix of brand new sessions and Idealware classics, including all their best-rated sessions. Idealware hopes a 50% discount will help you carve out some time during your busy summer schedule. The Summer Sale applies to all Thursday sessions in June, July, and August. Click here for a list of sessions. Use the discount code:  SUMMER2013.
 

Board Fundraising: Give or Get?

The question "Do you apply the 'give or get' rule with your board or are they asked to do both?" wa...

The question "Do you apply the 'give or get' rule with your board or are they asked to do both?" was posted by a member of our Nonprofit ED/CEO LinkedIn community. Below are selected answers to this question from this conversation, which offer guidance to other nonprofit leaders considering their board member's financial commitments to their organizations. Continue reading here.

Board Fundraising: Give or Get? The Bridgespan Group

The Challenge and Opportunity of True Connection

In a recent commencement speech, novelist Jonathan Safran Foer lamented the risk of isolation in our wired culture. A...

In a recent commencement speech, novelist Jonathan Safran Foer lamented the risk of isolation in our wired culture. As technology becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, simple actions that have traditionally involved face-to-face communication have been transformed by apps and interfaces. As we've become more connected than ever, it's become easy to avoid true connection. Continue reading here.

The Challenge and Opportunity of True Connection, June 13, 2013, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen
 

Review: Exploring Cutting Edge Social Media

Last month, Community Organizer 2.0 launched a new report, "Exploring Cutting Edge Social Media," about how...

Last month, Community Organizer 2.0 launched a new report, "Exploring Cutting Edge Social Media," about how to think about emerging social media tools. Debra Askanase offered this insightful review. As she stated, "The discussion about when to adopt these tools is never-ending." Continue reading here.

Review: Exploring Cutting Edge Social Media, May 29, 2013, Community Organizer 2.0

Why Is It So Hard to Find Good Development Help?

A nonprofit executive director asked members of the Bridgespan Nonprofit ED/CEO LinkedIn Group, "Why is it so ha...

A nonprofit executive director asked members of the Bridgespan Nonprofit ED/CEO LinkedIn Group, "Why is it so hard to find good development staff?" Her question inspired a nearly month-long discussion around the challenges nonprofits face in finding good development staff and ways to overcome the hurdles. Continue reading here.

Why Is It So Hard to Find Good Development Help? June 13, 2013, The Bridgespan Group

Can Volunteering Help You With Your Job Search?

Can volunteering be the difference-maker in your next interview? New, ground-breaking research at the Corporation for...

Can volunteering be the difference-maker in your next interview? New, ground-breaking research at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides evidence of a relationship between volunteering and finding employment. Continue reading here.

Can Volunteering Help You With Your Job Search? June 18, 2013, Corporation for National & Community Service

Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Based Practice

The quality of evidence-based programs is often a determinant of an organization's funding and the growth of its ...

The quality of evidence-based programs is often a determinant of an organization's funding and the growth of its client pool, reports the Vera Institute of Justice. Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Based Practice describes how to assess a program and is part of the MacArthur Foundation Models for Change initiative. Continue reading here.

Measuring Success, April 22, 2013, Vera Institute of Justice, by Jennifer Fratello, Tarika Daftary Kapur & Alice Chasan
 

Confessions of a "Remote Control" CEO

Working remotely once meant that you had less control. Decisions were being made without you, documents were often lo...

Working remotely once meant that you had less control. Decisions were being made without you, documents were often lost or misfiled, transactions stalled or just never happened. Being remote meant you had to leave someone else-someone who may not be the best choice-in charge of mission critical tasks. This is why many CEOs and CFOs who are still using a manual method to run their office are afraid to leave. They don't realize that the cloud has changed everything and that being a Remote Control CEO is actually a business advantage. Continue reading here.

Confessions of a Remote Control CEO, June 6, 2013, Bill.com, by Rena Lacerte
 

Enterprise from Ashoka: a Leader in Social Entrepreneurship

Our Jewish community wants to do big things. But we sometimes keep our people small either through interpersonal fail...

Our Jewish community wants to do big things. But we sometimes keep our people small either through interpersonal failings or system failings such as bureaucracy, defining jobs too narrowly, or revering hierarchy.

Last week Jennier Roberts, Director of ProteJ, participated in the Ashoka Future Forum. 400 people came together - social innovators, business entrepreneurs, philanthropists and media - to strengthen their ability to improve the world. They bettered their skills of storytelling and leadership and shared their big problems and big solutions. Continue reading here.

Enterprise from Ashoka, June 6, 2013, eJP, by Jennie Rivlin Roberts
 

How Nonprofit EDs Lead Boards

Michael Davidson, consultant specializing in nonprofit board development recently led a workshop for Executive Direct...

Michael Davidson, consultant specializing in nonprofit board development recently led a workshop for Executive Directors- "The Board: What Can I Do About it?" Answers to a pre-workshop survey made it clear that the participants had solid ideas about where they needed to go.  

  • The board has become too inward looking, they need to re-engage the broader community for opportunities for mission and fundraising
  • Increase dialogue between board members outside of meetings
  • Create formal processes for on-boarding new members, evaluating current members and providing training for the board chair
  • Foster more leadership from the Board Chair
  • Enhance the relationship between the Board Chair and the ED
  • Put processes in place for Board committees to deliver on stated objectives.
  • Greater engagement with the life of the organization. Spend time connecting with staff and programs
  • Change board roles from operational issues to fundraising and vision

Continue reading here.

How Nonprofit EDs Lead Boards, June 11, 2013, Ventureneer, by Michael Davidson
 

Nonprofit-Friendly Mobile Tools

NTEN asked the nonprofit technology community to share with them the tools they thought were nonprofit-friendly (mean...

NTEN asked the nonprofit technology community to share with them the tools they thought were nonprofit-friendly (meaning:  low-cost, easy to manager, no advanced developer skills requires, etc.) Here is a brief round-up of what they heard.

The latest issue of NTEN's quarterly digital journal, designed especially for nonprofit leaders, tackles the theme "It's a Mobile World." Click here to view the journal.

Nonprofit-Friendly Mobile Tools, June 4, 2013, NTEN
 

Four Tactics for Amazing Nonprofit Stories

Stories are older than written language. Stories have started wars and built civilizations. They renew and sustain ou...

Stories are older than written language. Stories have started wars and built civilizations. They renew and sustain our faith traditions. They teach us what it means to be a good person. Continue reading here.

Four Tactics for Amazing Nonprofit Stories, May 22, 2013, Network for Good, by Mark Rovner 

 

Throw Statistics Out of Your Fundraising Letters

Marc Pitman thinks nonprofit fundraisers have a love affair with rational phrases and statistics because they feel th...

Marc Pitman thinks nonprofit fundraisers have a love affair with rational phrases and statistics because they feel these make them seem smarter. Make their nonprofit seem like a smart investment. But as Tom Ahern said years ago in a post called You love stats. But do stats love you?:  "[statistics] can be surprisingly weak persuaders when you are trying to move people to give." Continue reading here.

Throw Statistics Out of Your Fundraising Letters! June 5, 2013, The Fundraising Coach, by Marc A. Pitman

Case Foundation Executive Named to Direct Social Innovation Fund

A senior executive from the Case Foundation next month will become the new leader of the Social Innovation Fund, Obam...

A senior executive from the Case Foundation next month will become the new leader of the Social Innovation Fund, Obama administration officials announced.
 
Michael Smith, senior vice president for social innovation at the Case Foundation will be the third Social Innovation Fund director since the first, Paul Carttar, was hired in April 2010. Mr. Carttar left in September and now works at the Bridgespan Group's New York City office. Continue reading here.

Case Foundation Executive Named to Direct Social Innovation Fund, June 4, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Doug Donovan
 

Holocaust Museum, Turning 20 Years Old, Confronts 21st Century Challenges Museum Moves Forward While Still Looking Back

When the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's 20th Anniversary National Tour comes to Chicago in June, Suzy ...

When the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's 20th Anniversary National Tour comes to Chicago in June, Suzy Snyder, the museum's associate curator, hopes that survivors and their children in the Windy City will consider donating their Holocaust artifacts and documents. Continue reading here.

Holocaust Museum, Turning 20 Years Old, Confronts 21st Century Challenges, June 7, 2013, The Jewish Daily Forward, by Menachem Wecker
 

Senior Volunteering at a 10-Year High

According to new data released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), senior volunteerin...

According to new data released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), senior volunteering is at a 10-year high - one in three volunteers is a senior age 55 and older. These men and women tap a lifetime of experience to help those in greatest need. More than 20 million senior volunteers gave nearly 3 billion hours of service, at a value of $67 billion. Continue reading here.

Senior Volunteering at a 10-Year High, June 10, 2013, Corporation for National & Community Service
 

Trustees Report Shows Reduced Cost Growth, Longer Medicare Solvency

The Medicare Trustees today projected that the trust fund that finances Medicare's hospital insurance coverage wi...

The Medicare Trustees today projected that the trust fund that finances Medicare's hospital insurance coverage will remain solvent until 2026, two years beyond what was projected in last year's report. Continue reading here.

Trustees Report Shows Reduced Cost Growth, Longer Medicare Solvency, May 31, 2013, CMS

Accreditation & Healthcare Reform

The Council on Accreditation (COA) proactively monitors legislation impacting the field of human services at the nati...

The Council on Accreditation (COA) proactively monitors legislation impacting the field of human services at the national and state levels and works with regulators, insurance companies, and other funders to add value to COA accreditation through recognitions. Following are important details for organizations to consider regarding COA accreditation and Healthcare Reform. Continue reading here.

                    
 

A New Paradigm for Leadership Development

What if, instead of barreling ahead, relentlessly focused on keeping their organizations afloat (until they burn out ...

What if, instead of barreling ahead, relentlessly focused on keeping their organizations afloat (until they burn out trying), effective nonprofit leaders started delegating more and more responsibility to staff - at once paving the way for a next generation of leaders, and freeing themselves to think about their own leadership in more expansive ways?  What would it take to affect such a shift? And what would emerge if, at the same time, a critical mass of these great leaders become a great network? Continue reading here.

A New Paradigm for Leadership Development, June 4, 2013, Barr Foundation, by Stefan Lanfer

Idealware Tip of the Month: May 2013 - Funding Technology

Nonprofits often already know that they could (or should) better make use of technology, whether it's out-of-date...

Nonprofits often already know that they could (or should) better make use of technology, whether it's out-of-date software and  aging infrastructure or newer tools like mobile phones or a Constituent Relationship Management system that could revolutionize the way they serve their constituents. What's holding organizations back, however, is funding.

Unfortunately, there is no magical technology funder out there. You need to be creative and look beyond foundation support.

How can you reduce technology costs and raise technology money at the same time? There are a couple of steps you can take to help. Continue reading here.
 

How Nonprofit Boards Can Use Dashboards to Focus on What's Important

The extent to which the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations understand the organization's mission, its...

The extent to which the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations understand the organization's mission, its priorities and mission based results, directly affects their level of engagement and ability to be effective stewards and leaders.

Dashboards are effective tools to communicate information to nonprofit boards about the extent to which the organization is being managed to achieve the social change outcomes of their mission. Continue reading here.

How Nonprofit Boards Can Use Dashboards to Focus on What's Important, May 21, 2013, Ventureneer, by Geri Stengel

May Fundraising Tip of the Month

How to Plan Your Fundraising Strategy:  Keep Your Organization Financially on Track with a Year-Round Plan ...

How to Plan Your Fundraising Strategy:  Keep Your Organization Financially on Track with a Year-Round Plan

  1. Gather Input
  2. Set Goals
  3. Consider Your Assets
  4. Integrate Fundraising With Other Activities
  5. Select a Few Key Strategies

Continue reading here.

May Fundraising Tip of the Month, May 30, 2013, Foundation Center

Benchmarks and Best Practices for Nonprofits and Video

See3, YouTube and Edelman have released a new report and guide for nonprofits about using video. The report, "In...

See3, YouTube and Edelman have released a new report and guide for nonprofits about using video. The report, "Into Focus:  Benchmarks for Video and A Guide for Creators," is based on a survey of 500 nonprofits and interviews with experts. The report describes current nonprofit use, adoption challenges, and best practices. Continue reading here.

VideoBenchmarks and Best Practices for Nonprofits and Video, June 3, 2013, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

What Does Collaboration Look Like?

As a "sector-within-a-sector," the Jewish innovation space must work together if we are to achieve maximal ...

As a "sector-within-a-sector," the Jewish innovation space must work together if we are to achieve maximal impact. Important   conversations about growth, sustainability, and impact cannot take place exclusively behind the closed-doors of boardrooms or within the four walls of any one organization.

Business experts tell us that the proverbial saying "two heads are better than one" is actually true. Organizations that stress cross-functional collaboration in diverse teams see the benefits of enhanced camaraderie, heightened creativity, and a greater return on investment than organizations that operate in compartmentalized silos. But thinking more broadly, what does collaboration look like across multiple organizations? Does the proverb still ring true when there are ten heads, representing six organizations and hundreds of constituents, gathered around the table to produce a joint initiative? Continue reading here.

What Does Collaboration Look Like? May 14, 2013, eJP, by No'a Gorlin, Lisa Lepson, Aliza Mazor, Toby Rubin, Jenny Kibrit Smith, Justin Rosen Smolen & Naomi Korb Weiss

Innovation: The Fuel That Drives Our World Forward

Justin Korda and Seth Cohen emerge from South By Southwest (SXSW), the annual music, film and interactive showcase th...

Justin Korda and Seth Cohen emerge from South By Southwest (SXSW), the annual music, film and interactive showcase that draws tens of thousands of the best and brightest minds in the industry, energized with great ideas about fostering innovation to ejewish philanthropyensure a vibrant Jewish future. Indeed, the SXSW experience validated for them the need to provide young Jewish innovators with more opportunities to learn from those leading change initiatives in a variety of sectors outside of the Jewish community.  Bringing in external ideas and resources will allow us to leverage the best of what we create within our community, combined with what we learn from others to create meaningful connection and impact inside and outside of the Jewish world.  

Read more, including Lee Sherman's comment noting AJFCA member agencies' collaborations within their own communities.

Innovation: The Fuel That Drives Our World Forward, March 21, 2013, eJP, by Justin Korda & Seth Cohen

Strategies to Increase Nonprofit Donor Retention Rates

While all nonprofits recognize the value of cultivating donors over the long-term, they feel an incredible amount of ...

While all nonprofits recognize the value of cultivating donors over the long-term, they feel an incredible amount of pressure to implement short-term strategies that will raise money today. Unfortunately, many nonprofits don't feel like they have the luxury of focusing on fundraising strategies that will bring in long-term results, which has led to low donor retention rates. According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, the commercial business customer retention rate is 94%. Guess what the nonprofit donor retention rate is? 49%. That is an attrition rate of 59%. Continue reading here.

Strategies to Increase Nonprofit Donor Retention Rates, February 11, 2013, Frogloop, by Allyson Kapin

Top Things to Consider Before Converting Your Nonprofit's Data into a New System

Recently, Laura Bibbo wrote a helpful post on 7 Things to Think About Before You Implement a Fundraising System. Now,...

Recently, Laura Bibbo wrote a helpful post on 7 Things to Think About Before You Implement a Fundraising System. Now, here are some things to consider before you move any data into a new system, and a few tips on how to get the conversion process started off right.

  • Data Mapping
  • Code Structure
  • Storage
  • Historical Data
  • Think it Through

Continue reading here.

Top Things to Consider Before Converting Your Nonprofit's Data into a New System, February 5, 2013, The Connected Cause, by Susie Saxten

The Strength of the Nonprofit Lies in Delegating Responsibility

How to delegate responsibility is not a issue unique to nonprofit organizations, but it is of such importance because...

How to delegate responsibility is not a issue unique to nonprofit organizations, but it is of such importance because ofejp full logo its implications for the productive use of human resources. Often the greatest asset of the nonprofit is its professional staff and volunteer leadership. If they are not utilized to the optimum the agency is selling itself short and stunting the growth of both the organization and the staff. Continue reading here.

The Strength of the Nonprofit Lies in Delegating Responsibility, March 13, 2013, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Nonprofits Race to Get Ahead of the Explosion in Small Screens

When Mercy Housing set out to make its Web site easy to navigate on smartphones and tablets, its top priority was to ...

When Mercy Housing set out to make its Web site easy to navigate on smartphones and tablets, its top priority was to remake the donation page before the critical holiday fundraising season opened.

And with good reason, it turns out. People using mobile devices accounted for 18 percent of the organization's year-end online gifts-nearly one out of every five online contributions-compared with just 2 percent during the same time just a year earlier. Continue reading here.

Nonprofits Race to Get Ahead of the Explosion in Small Screens, March 10, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Nicole Wallace

Gen Next on the Nonprofit Board

In these increasingly difficult times, the need for active and engaged board members is greater than ever. The genera...

In these increasingly difficult times, the need for active and engaged board members is greater than ever. The generation under 40 is a largely untapped resource, nationally comprising less than 15% of board members. This is a generation committed to the value of service. They have the expertise crucial for nonprofits seeking tventureneero create sustainable business models. They also have experience with fundraising. Continue reading here.

Gen Next on the Nonprofit Board, March 5, 2013, Ventureneer, by Michael Davidson

Building a Better Philanthropist

In the last couple of decades, a tectonic shift has altered the landscape of Jewish philanthropy. The phenomenon is n...

In the last couple of decades, a tectonic shift has altered the landscape of Jewish philanthropy. The phenomenon is not only Jewish - tejp full logohe number of foundations in the United States has grown fivefold in the last 20 years; the same growth in donor-advised funds has taken just a decade. Continue reading here.

Building a Better Philanthropist, March 10, eJP, by Andres Spokoiny

The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy.

In today's fast-changing world, why freeze your strategic thinking in a five-year plan? Take a moment and read ...

In today's fast-changing world, why freeze your strategic thinking in a five-year plan?
Take a moment and read these two words: strategic plan. Now close your eyes and picture one. If what comes up is a thick binder, gathering dust on a shelf next to other thick binders from five and ten years past, you're not alone. A better understanding of the history of strategy and what caused the demise of binder-bound strategic planning can point the way to re-inventing strategy for the world we live in today. It is important to remember that strategy's roots are military. Military strategy focuses on setting objectives, collecting intelligence, and then using that intelligence to make informed decisions about how to achieve your objectives-take that hill, cut this supply line. Continue reading here.

The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy. January 10, 2013, Stanford Social Innovation Review, by Dana O'Donovan & Noah Rimland Flower

DoGooder Awards Recognize Awesome Nonprofit Videos

See3 Communications and YouTube, along with the Nonprofit Technology Network, announced today the launch of the 2013 ...

See3 Communications and YouTube, along with the Nonprofit Technology Network, announced today the launch of the 2013 DoGooder Video Awards.  The DoGooder Awards recognize the creative and effective use of video in promoting social good. Cisco  is generously contributing $3500 to four contest winners.  In addition to prizes provided by Cisco, contest winners will be featured on the YouTube homepage and receive free registration to the Nonprofit Technology Conference, the signature event hosted by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). Finally, the winners will see their videos (and their message) featured on the YouTube Spotlight Channel on April 12th. Continue reading here.

DoGooder Awards Recognize Awesome Nonprofit Videos, March 7, 2013, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

Responding to Requests for Networking

Many of us receive requests to meet with people who are thinkingejewish philanthropy about entering Jewish communal w...

Many of us receive requests to meet with people who are thinkingejewish philanthropy about entering Jewish communal work or working in the nonprofit sector. Often these requests are relayed to us by a colleague who asks, in an email or phone call, that we meet with someone they know or with whom they have had a similar conversation. What should our response be when we are approached by those seeking a job or considering the field of Jewish communal service? Continue reading here.

Responding to Requests for Networking, March 6, 2013, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Key Findings: 2012 Jewish Communslideal Compensation Survey

In the spring of 2012, a group of NYU alumni, all young professionals working in the Jewish communal sector - launche...

In the spring of 2012, a group of NYU alumni, all young professionals working in the Jewish communal sector - launched a compensation survey of the field. Last week, at a panel discussion hosted by Advancing Jewish Professionals, the key findings were released. While this survey was crowd-sourced, and may not be representative, it still provides an important snapshot of the field.
 
An in-depth look at the survey results will be coming shortly.

Key Findings: 2012 Jewish Communal Compensation Survey, March 7, 2013, eJP

Do Alternative Breaks Have a Real Impact?

Each year, thousands of students like Jodi Suckle will volunteer in communities around the world by participating in ...

Each year, thousands of students like Jodi Suckle will volunteer in communities around the world by participating in Alternative Winter and Spring Breaks. These students interact with local neighborhoods, learn about social issues, and build relationships with other participants. But will their work really have an impact?
 
Repair the World's new study: "Breaking for Change: How Jewish Service-learning Influences the Alternative Break Experience" investigates just that. Continue reading here.

Do Alternative Breaks Have a Real Impact? March 11, 2013, Repair the World, by David Eisner

Innovators in Inclusion of People with Disabilities

The Ruderman Family Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2013 Ruderman Prize in Disability, which will pr...

The Ruderman Family Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2013 Ruderman Prize in Disability, which will provide $250,000 in funding for innovative programs and services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish community.

This exciting initiative will provide $50,000 to five organizations that work in the disability arena, serve those in the Jewish community, and actively champion inclusion in their work. All Jewish organizations from around the world that have an innovative model for inclusion are strongly encouraged to apply.

The application form for the awards is available on the Foundation's website. Submissions are due on March 18th and winners will be announced in May. In June of 2012, the Foundation awarded $200,000 in total to ten organizations in the U.S., Israel, Europe, and Mexico. The Foundation had received over 150 applications.

Please follow the Foundation's blog, Zeh Lezeh, to be kept apprised of news relating to the Ruderman Prize.

Testing Is Cheaper Than Getting It Wrong!

Testing is cheaper than getting it wrong! Be sure to always be testing to get the absolute best response from your on...

Testing is cheaper than getting it wrong! Be sure to always be testing to get the absolute best response from your online community.
Year in, year out, nonprofits are using every available online NTENtactic and tool to make real change. In fact, nonprofits are often on the cutting edge of web technology, using new tools and tactics always looking for new ways to build support for their movements and to cultivate and convert those supporters into donors. But not every new tactic works, and it's critical that nonprofits have short feedback loops to figure out what's working and where to allocate resources. Continue reading here.

Testing Is Cheaper Than Getting It Wrong!February 11, 2013, NTEN, Lawrence Grodeska

Understanding the Different Cultures of Different Generations

Conflict between generations is as old as parents and teenagers. All of us remember fussing at our parents with the c...

Conflict between generations is as old as parents and teenagers. All of us remember fussing at our parents with the common angst filled complaint "You just don't underSTAND!" Today, more than ever before, a lack of intergenerational understanding has spilled into the workplace throughout society, in for-profits, nonprofits, government and the military. It shows up in a variety of ways, and at some very important, and sometimes unexpected moments. Continue reading here.

Understanding the Different Cultures of Different Generations, February 25, 2013, eJP, by Peter Brinckerhoff

Said It Once? Now Say It 1,000 Times

By taking your multi-channel messaging through the following simple, three-phase approach, you will effectively repur...

By taking your multi-channel messaging through the following simple, three-phase approach, you will effectively repurpose your content to reach its audience without adding more hours to your day.
Supporters communicate with your nonprofit through multiple channels but engage differently with content depending on its delivery method. You must not only create a compelling message, but also optimize it so that it is received effectively across multiple channels frequently enough to resonate with your audience. Continue reading here.

Said It Once? Now Say It 1,000 Times, February 14, 2013, NTEN, by Jett Scott Winders
 

Surprisingly Uncomplicated Path for Developing Leaders

Kirk Kramer of The Bridgespan Group suggests some new approaches to leadership development in his recent papers. Read...

Searching for Gender Equality

To combat violence against women, mobilize feminist groups. A new analysis by political scientists Mala Htun of the...

To combat violence against women, mobilize feminist groups.
A new analysis by political scientists Mala Htun of the University of New Mexico and S. Laurel Weldon of Purdue University shows just how great an impact civil society has in this area. In a comprehensive study of policies in 70 countries, they found that mobilization by autonomous feminist movements has the most enduring impact on policies to eliminate violence against women. Continue reading here.

Searching for Gender Equality, Winter 2013, Stanford Social Innovation Review, by Corinna Wu

Nonprofit Film School Primer: Or, The Idealware School of Video for Nonprofits That Don't Video Good (Part 1)

As a species, we watch a lot of videos on our computers. Heck, being able to share short videos-a disproportionate nu...

As a species, we watch a lot of videos on our computers. Heck, being able to share short videos-a disproportionate number involving cats-helped make the internet so popular. You may even have been watching one just a few minutes ago. The rise of YouTube and other video sharing sites has made it possible for anyone to upload and share their own videos, and many nonprofits have jumped on board the video bandwagon without paying much thought to cost, equipment, or the experience needed to make videos worth watching. Continue reading here.

Nonprofit Film School Primer, February 14, 2013, Idealware, by Kyle Andrei

Your Quick Guide to Better Nonprofit Financial Management

If you feel the need to strengthen your financial management savvy, check out StrongNonprofits.org, a new website fea...

If you feel the need to strengthen your financial management savvy, check out StrongNonprofits.org, a new website featuring free tools, how-tos and guides.

Developed in partnership between The Wallace Foundation and Fiscal Management Associates, the site contains more than 64 resources for anyone involved in nonprofit financial planning, monitoring, operations or oversight, and particularly nonprofit afterschool program providers. Features range from a nonprofit accounting guide, to an article on sensible growth strategies, to a podcast on how to understand the true costs of programming. Continue reading here.

Your Quick Guide to Better Nonprofit Financial Management, February 25, 2013, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

Governance and Accountability: Who Is Responsible?

Who has the responsibility for governance and accountability in the nonprofit organization? What are the functions of...

Who has the responsibility for governance and accountability in the nonprofit organization? What are the functions of a board of directors, a board of governors, or a board of trustees? What is the difference between the bodies,given that the terms are often used interchangeably? What role does an advisory board or professional advisory committee have within the organization? What is the relationship between the board of directors and the advisory board? Continue reading here.

Governance and Accountability: Who Is Responsible? February 27, 2013, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Financing Not Fundraising: Find and Keep a Great Fundraiser

The news is not good lately about how effective the head fundraiser is at nonprofit organizations. A new study by Com...

The news is not good lately about how effective the head fundraiser is at nonprofit organizations. A new study by CompassPoint reveals some startling realities about the fundraiser role in the nonprofit sector:   

  • 25% of executive directors fired their last development director
  • 33% of executive directors are lukewarm about their current development director
  • More than 50% of executive directors say they can't find well-qualified fundraisers
  • 50% of development directors plan to leave within the next two years
  • And 40% plan to leave fundraising altogether

Continue reading here.

Financing Not Fundraising: Find and Keep a Great Fundraiser, February 20, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

Conflict of Interest . . . or Conflict of Loyalty?

"Conflict of loyalty" is a useful concept and term that gives us another dimension to work with than simply...

"Conflict of loyalty" is a useful concept and term that gives us another dimension to work with than simply conflict of interest:

In our legitimate desire to avoid conflicts of interest in nonprofits, we typically make two oddly opposite mistakes:

  • We narrow "conflict of interest" to a strict legal definition and focus only on matters that involve personal financial gain, and
  • At the same time we are too quick to label any kind of relationship at all as a conflict of interest.

Continue reading here.

Conflict of Interest . . . or Conflict of Loyalty? December 8, 2012, Board Cafe, by Jan Masaoka

The Five-Minute Nonprofit MBA

Among all the differences between nonprofits and the corporate world, one contrast that is often overlooked but influ...

Among all the differences between nonprofits and the corporate world, one contrast that is often overlooked but influential is the path to executive leadership.

If you're a nonprofit executive, chances are that you embarked on that path because you were committed to your mission, not to the art of management. This is the reverse of the pattern in the corporate sector, where many aspire to leadership positions first and often move between industries in pursuit of those positions. Continue reading here.

The Five-Minute Nonprofit MBA, October 9, 2012, Stanford Social Innovation, by Curtis Chang

The Trouble with "Passion for the Mission"

"Passion for the mission is a must" . . . so say many job announcements and board member requirement lists....

"Passion for the mission is a must" . . . so say many job announcements and board member requirement lists. Wait a minute. Let's examine this sacred cow cliche a little more.

First, is "passion for the mission" enough to make someone a good board member, good executive, good staff person? Of course not. Someone may have a deep passion for children's health, yet not be interested in a particular pediatric clinic or a toxics prevention organization. So we know that passion isn't enough. Continue reading here.
    
The Trouble with "Passion for the Mission" February 10, 2013, Blue Avocado, by Jan Masaoka

Easy to Forget, Critical to Remember: Perspective is Everything

Have you ever noticed how very young kids' drawings usually don't feature a person's neck? Have you wonde...

Have you ever noticed how very young kids' drawings usually don't feature a person's neck? Have you wondered why?

Katya's theory is that if you're two or three years old and your perspective is low to the ground, you don't see people's necks when you look up. You see a head sitting on arms.

She can't think of a better analogy for marketing. Marketing mandates that we look at the world through the eyes of our audience and communicate from that perspective. The process of pushing into a foreign frame of reference can be hard, but when we do it, we find its value. Everything looks wildly different from that perspective.  And our work must meld to its crazy contours. This is the mind-bending fun that is our profession.

Easy to Forget, Critical to Remember: Perspective is Everything, February 15, 2013, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

D.C. Forum Looks at Protecting the Most Vulnerable in Jewish Community

The JTA published an article on Monday, February 11th noting the importance and success of our Government Affairs Ins...

The JTA published an article on Monday, February 11th noting the importance and success of our Government Affairs Institute/Advocacy Mission held jointly with JFNA last week. During the three days, members from across the country enjoyed the opportunity to hear from experts on top issues of national importance, and then to share their priorities in meetings with their legislative representatives on Capitol Hill. GAI documents can be found here. We thank our members who participated and invite all of you to participate next year. To view photos of the GAI - go to the AJFCA Facebook page. While you are there - be sure to "like" our page for updates moving forward.

Fostering a Self-Advocacy Movement for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Israel

The human rights approach to disabilities shapes the piercing social message of "nothing about us without us&quo...

The human rights approach to disabilities shapes the piercing social message of "nothing about us without us". This message can raise the awareness of people with diverse disabilities, including people with intellectual disabilities, to their right to be involved in making decisions concerning all aspects of their life. Unfortunately the actualization of this basic human right is severely lacking in most people's day-to-day reality.  People with disabilities have been discriminated against for centuries and they have not had access to civic and political participation. This is particularly prevalent for people with intellectual disabilities. Continue reading here.

Fostering a Self-Advocacy Movement for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Israel, February 7, 2013, Zeh Lezeh (For One Another), by Jean Judes, Beit Issie Shapiro; & David B. Marcu

The Importance of Endowments: Building a Stronger Organization with Smarter Asset Management

While every vibrant Jewish nonprofit today should pay attention to building a strong endowment, some organizations ha...

While every vibrant Jewish nonprofit today should pay attention to building a strong endowment, some organizations haejewish philanthropyve approached the process through two concurrent (and compatible) philosophies: seeking more philanthropic support as the primary objective and, at the same time, developing ways to reduce costs and enhance investment strategies. Both are important. Continue reading here.

The Importance of Endowments: Building a Stronger Organization with Smarter Asset Management, February 8, 2013, eJP, by Robert I. Evans & Avrum D. Lapin

How To Easily Repurpose Your Content for Social Channels

Your organization uses an editorial calendar to plan out content for different channels, but there is still need the ...

Your organization uses an editorial calendar to plan out content for different channels, but there is still need the need to optimize it for different channels and do that efficiently. Optimizing your content for social channels does not have to be labor intensive. Many organizations create great content for their web sites or blogs and slightly tweak it for Facebook or Twitter - with a focus on making it visual. And, of course, there are benefits to visual content like increased engagement. Continue reading here.

How To Easily Repurpose Your Content for Social Channels, February 5, 2013, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

Honest Talk About Anxiety: Contest Winners Write About Sensitive But Important Subject

Moment Magazine and The Andrew Kukes Foundation For Social Anxiety, a 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference sponsor, announced...

Moment Magazine and The Andrew Kukes Foundation For Social Anxiety, a 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference sponsor, announced the winners of a contest designed to initiate public conversation about an important subject that is too often kept quiet. Readers were asked to write about anxiety as part of the magazine's Elephant In The Room Essay Content. The contest, designed to foster discussion about important but seldom-discussed topics, asked: How has anxiety affected you, your family or the Jewish people in general? Continue reading here.

Honest Talk About Anxiety, January 5, 2013, by Matt Friedman

GoDirect

People receiving federal benefits through Social Security, Veterans Affairs, and the Railroad Retirement Board have u...

People receiving federal benefits through Social Security, Veterans Affairs, and the Railroad Retirement Board have until March 1st to arrange to get their payments electronically. The U.S. Department of Treasury's GoDirect campaign includes free resources you can disseminate to your clients. Continue reading here.

GoDirect, February 6, 2013, National Council On Aging

Nonprofit Hiring Expected to Increase in 2013

Forty-four percent of nonprofit groups plan to hire more workers in the coming year, another sign charities are start...

Forty-four percent of nonprofit groups plan to hire more workers in the coming year, another sign charities are starting to feel confident about the economy, according to a new survey. The study of more than 580 organizations was conducted by Nonprofit HR Solutions, a human-resources consulting firm, and the Improve Group, a consultancy whose clients include charities. Continue reading here.

Nonprofit Hiring Expected to Increase in 2013, January 29, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Nicole Lewis

Don't Call Us, We'll Call You

Okay. You're working at a great nonprofit, you've got a wonderffoundation centerul idea that's going to c...

Okay. You're working at a great nonprofit, you've got a wonderffoundation centerul idea that's going to change the world, and all you need is a grant to get you started. Guess what? The majority of America's foundations don't want you to send in a proposal. Of the more than 86,000 independent, community, and corporate foundations in the United States, 60% state that they do not accept unsolicited proposals. Together they represent 32% of total assets and 34% of annual giving. Nearly $16 billion of the $46 billion distributed every year is not up for grabs; you need an invitation. Continue reading here.

Don't Call Us, We'll Call You, January 31, 2013, Foundation Center, by Bradford K. Smith

Can You Sum Up Your Charity's Work in One Simple Tag Line?

Amnesty International has a simple and concise tag line: exposing and preventing human-rights abuses. Some nonprofits...

Amnesty International has a simple and concise tag line: exposing and preventing human-rights abuses. Some nonprofits are able to articulate what they are and what they do quickly and clearly. But all too often, nonprofits-and even big businesses-make the mistake of failing to have an effective tag line. Continue reading here.

Can You Sum Up Your Charity's Work in One Simple Tag Line? January 17, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Matthew Scharpnick

It's 2013, Do You Know Where Your Web ROI Is?

Now that data on the web is pervasive, we technology professionals are being asked to put a value on every little thi...

Now that data on the web is pervasive, we technology professionals are being asked to put a value on every little thing that we do for our web presence: email campaigns, Facebook posts, logo redesigns, information architecture tweaks. It all can be measured, and if you are reading this, chances are you are one of those people doing the measuring. Budgets rise and fall with the lines on a bar graph showing the click-through-rates of your end-of-year email campaign. Return on Investment (ROI) for web projects has come to the forefront. Continue reading here.

It's 2013, Do You Know Where Your Web ROI Is? January 16, 2013, NTEN, by Marissa Goldsmith & Lynn Labieniec

How Small Nonprofits Can Improve Their Fiscal Health

Three-quarters of American nonprofits have annual budgets under $1 million, and most are even smaller. What these org...

Three-quarters of American nonprofits have annual budgets under $1 million, and most are even smaller. What these organizations lack in size, however, they make up for in impact. They respond to local needs, are absolutely critical to community building, and are staffed by people who understand and care about their communities-communities that have been abandoned by countless others.

Yet, it is known from work with small nonprofits (most recently through the Capital and Capacity for Economic Recovery Initiative) that they often struggle with financial challenges that are unique to their size and structure. Continue reading here.

How Small Nonprofits Can Improve Their Fiscal Health, January 3, 2013, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Anjali Deshmukh & Angela Francis

Our Challenge: The Under-Demand for Jewish Life

To "win" in the Jewish community of tomorrow we must continuously imagine what people will need, or what wi...

To "win" in the Jewish community of tomorrow we must continuously imagine what people will need, or what will make a difference in their lives.
At the May 2007 national Jewish Federation Leadership Summit, Marc Blattner, President and CEO of  the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland presented a paper about lessons the Jewish community should take from Target (the department store). He discussed then the consumer nature of the Jewish community and outlined what he believes are the four greatest challenges facing Jewish communal life: cost, convenience, value and meaning. Today, Marc reads more and more from others about "Jewish consumerism." The problem is many still do not want to accept it. Continue reading here.

Our Challenge: The Under-Demand for Jewish Life, January 22, 2013, eJP, by Marc N. Blattner

A Team Approach to Fundraising

Last week, CompassPoint and the Haas, Jr. Fund released "UnderDeveloped," a new report focused on the state...

Last week, CompassPoint and the Haas, Jr. Fund released "UnderDeveloped," a new report focused on the state of nboard sourceonprofit fundraising and - more specifically - the challenges that organizations face in recruiting and retaining strong development professionals and the underlying issues that often create those challenges. Continue reading here.  

A Team Approach to Fundraising, January 15, 2013, BoardSource, by Anne Wallestad

2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report

The 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report is now available. In addition to the overall data, shared there are s...

The 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report is now available. In addition to the overall data, shared there are some interesting insights when you look at the data by organization size, mission, and region of the U.S. Inforgraphics have also been published and are available for your use on Pinterest and Facebook.

2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, January 15, 2012, Nonprofit Marketing Guide, Kivi Leroux Miller

A Hierarchy of Program Evaluation Metrics

Idealware is diving into researching data-based decision making for a couple of projects, which includes metrics for ...

Idealware is diving into researching data-based decision making for a couple of projects, which includes metrics for program evaluation. Evaluation is a well trod field --a lot of people have said a lot of things about it... but a lot of it is contradictory or not that helpful. Laura Quinn, Director of Idealware especially dislikes the commonly used nomenclature of "outputs" and "outcomes." First, is it even possible to find two more confusingly similar words to represent two different concepts? Second, the terms aren't even used consistently and specifically-- there's a fair amount of overlap where one authority might call something (say, attendance at a workshop) a output when someone else would call that same thing an outcome. Continue reading here.

A Hierarchy of Program Evaluation Metrics, January 11, 2013, Idealware, by Laura Quinn

The Difference Between Partnerships and Collaboration

Two years ago Rabbi Aaron Bisno, began speaking of the need for communal collaboration. He laid down this gauntlet fo...

Two years ago Rabbi Aaron Bisno, began speaking of the need for communal collaboration. He laid down this gauntlet for both his own congregation in Pittsburgh, Rodef Shalom, as well as for neighbors because he felt the challenges faced were so significant that no single entity could possibly solve them alone. Further, Rabbi Aaron believed - and felt more strongly than ever - that the Jewish community will not be well served if we continue to rely upon the modus operandi that "has served us so well for so long but have only taken us so far." Continue reading here.

The Difference Between Partnerships and Collaboration, January 17, 2013, eJP, by Rabbi Aaron Bisno

Repair the World Names David Eisner President & CEO

Former Head of Corporation for National and Community Service and National Constitution Center to Lead Jewish Service...

Former Head of Corporation for National and Community Service and National Constitution Center to Lead Jewish Service Movement
Repair the World, the country's leading national nonprofit organization mobilizing Jewish volunteers, and AJFCA's partner in our civic engagement initiative, announced the appointment of David Eisner as its new president and CEO. Eisner, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to head the Corporation for National and Community Service and tapped by former President Bill Clinton to lead the National Constitution Center, joins as the organization embarks on a new strategic direction. Continue reading here.

Repair the World Names David Eisner President & CEO, January 16, 2013, by Repair the World

5 Building Blocks of Nonprofit Success

There is a way off of the exhausting nonprofit hamster wheel of trying to do more and more with less and less. If you...

There is a way off of the exhausting nonprofit hamster wheel of trying to do more and more with less and less. If your nonprofit can:

  • Articulate the value you provide
  • Strengthen your organization
  • Develop a groundbreaking boardsocial velocity
  • Chart a strategic direction, and
  • Attract more support

you will set yourself up to achieve the holy grail of the nonprofit sector: lasting change to a social problem. It's a process where your nonprofit assembles these 5 building blocks that each build on the next one. Continue reading here.

5 Building Blocks of Nonprofit Success, January 15, 2013, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

Social Enterprise Insight Center Launches

On January 10th, Harvard Business Review (HBR) and Bridgespan launched the "HBR-Bridgespan Insight Center,"...

On January 10th, Harvard Business Review (HBR) and Bridgespan launched the "HBR-Bridgespan Insight Center," a three-month series of blogs on HBR.org from social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and thought leaders on how entrepreneurial organizations can help scale social impact. Continue reading here.

Social Enterprise Insight Center Launches, January 10, 2013, Harvard Business Review & The Bridgespan Group

Networking Benefits Everyone

Sometimes we are not even aware of the value that our perspective on issues might have for someone else. At those tim...

Sometimes we are not even aware of the value that our perspective on issues might have for someone else. At those times we might tend to say no to a requested meeting because we think we just do not have the time. Yet often these meetings can be stimulating and invigorating. The questions and challenges that are posed can cause us to think about issues in a new or different way. Another person's search can often provide us with opportunities to rethink our own ideas and to question assumptions we have made in the past about ideas, concepts, and organizations. Continue reading here.

Networking Benefits Everyone, January 16, 2013, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

I Need a COO: The Translation

Often nonprofit leaders see the COO as the Superman/woman who will bring order to operational chaos, institute some d...

Often nonprofit leaders see the COO as the Superman/woman who will bring order to operational chaos, institute some decent management practices, address the whole range of people issues, and generally make life easier for the executive director (ED). But that's not always the case. Getting things back on track often requires more than a COO. Continue reading here.

I Need a COO: The Translation, January 10, 2013, The Bridgespan Group, by Nicki Roth

The Incredibly Simple, Science-Driven Way to Connect and Compel

Our brains are hard wired to relate to other people's experiences. When we witness or imagine someone acting, our...

Our brains are hard wired to relate to other people's experiences. When we witness or imagine someone acting, our own neurons fire in the same way they would if we were undertaking the same action. When we translate empathy into helping another person, we have another reaction in our brains:  We're rewarded with happy feelings, thanks to a chemical dose to our brain's pleasure center. The next time you send a message out to the world, make sure:

  1. It tells a vivid story of someone doing good
  2. It shows the reaction of the person helped
  3. It inspires the rest of us to do the same

This is the incredibly simple, science-driven way to connect and compel. Continue reading here.

The Incredibly Simple, Science-Driven Way to Connect and Compel, January 15, 2013, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

Blackbaud Highlights Key Nonprofit Sector Trends to Watch in 2013

As charitable giving continues to recover, mobile, global and new expectations are changing nonprofit operations and ...

As charitable giving continues to recover, mobile, global and new expectations are changing nonprofit operations and supporter engagement worldwide  Blackbaud, perhaps the largest software vendor to the global nonprofit community, has shared trends that will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector in 2013:

  • Increase in charitable giving will not be dramaticblackbaud
  • The nonprofit sector will go through a revaluing process
  • Technology will play a major role for both nonprofits and their supporters
  • The world is shrinking and philanthropic borders are broadening

Continue reading here.

Blackbaud Highlights Key Nonprofit Sector Trends, January 9, 2013, eJP

5 Things That Will Change the Way Nonprofits Work in 2013

Impact Investing More donors are exploring ways to combine their charity and financial investments. Some foundation...

Impact Investing
More donors are exploring ways to combine their charity and financial investments. Some foundations are putting a share of their foundation's endowment into social enterprises, while the F.B. Heron Foundation announced last year that its entire endowment would go to such causes.

Meanwhile, more cities, states, and federal-government agencies are eyeing social-impact bonds, which are loans that cover a social program's upfront costs and pay donors or more traditional investors a profit if the program succeeds. While it remains unclear whether these new approaches will augment or cannibalize more traditional philanthropy, charities that can prove their programs work are poised to benefit the most. Continue reading here.

5 Things That Will Change the Way Nonprofits Work in 2013, January 4,2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Suzanne Perry, Caroline Preston & Cody Switzer

The 4 Kinds of People Who Care About Causes - and What They Do Online

The Georgetown Center for Social Impact Communication has drawn on their recent research to profile who is most likel...

The Georgetown Center for Social Impact Communication has drawn on their recent research to profile who is most likely spread the word about your cause - and how. The headline is that while most people are active online, that doesn't mean that they focus all their advocacy efforts on the Internet. People spread the word both online and off, just as they donate online and off, just as they shop online and off. The wise nonprofit - and the wise company - recognize you have to meet people in the many real and virtual places they inhabit and provide easy ways of spreading your message wherever they are.

The 4 Kinds of People Who Care About Causes, January 3, 2013, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

2012 Nonprofit Marketing Communications: A Recap of Trends, Tools, and Tactics

The more communications technologies change, the more they stay the same. Budgets are barely budging, staffing is s...

The more communications technologies change, the more they stay the same.
Budgets are barely budging, staffing is scarce, and there's a growing arsenal of tools & techniques to be tinkered with. Julia Reich, Principal of Julia Reich Design surveyed the nonprofit marketing communications scene to find out which strategies, tactics, and activities worked-and which didn't-this past year. Continue reading here.

2012 Nonprofit Marketing Communication, December 13, 2012, NTEN, by Julia Reich

How to Thank your Donors

Over the past couple of weeks, Jennifer Stauss Windrum has worked tirelessly to raise almost $20K. Despite being with...

Over the past couple of weeks, Jennifer Stauss Windrum has worked tirelessly to raise almost $20K. Despite being with her mom 24/7, and going through so much heartache and exhaustion, Jennifer has showered her donors with love by thanking them personally via email, posting on their Facebook wall and in Facebook groups, tweeting them, etc. She is constantly connected to her donors and always extremely grateful. A lot of nonprofits can learn valuable lessons from Jennifer about how to shower your donors with love by personally thanking them. It's worth noting that Jennifer is just a one person shop. Imagine how far your thank you messages could spread with coordinated fundraising and communications departmental efforts. Continue reading here.

How to Thank your Donors, November 14, 2012, Frogloop, by Allyson Kapin

Board Matchmaking

Many nonprofit organizations dream of having a board matchmaker at its disposal. In reality, many nonprofits already ...

Many nonprofit organizations dream of having a board matchmaker at its disposal. In reality, many nonprofits already have board matchmakers in their midst, who are working tirelessly to recruit new members and strengthen the board. But making that perfect match often eludes many nonprofits, primarily because of a missed connection between where the organization is in its evolution and what kind of board can be the most helpful. So how can you accurately define what makes for an effective board at different stages in an organization's life? Continue reading here.

Board Matchmaking, December 17, 2012, The Bridgespan Group, by Sue Sullivan

How Content Marketing Is Different - The Terminology

On Tuesday, Kivi Leroux Miller, President of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com and 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference guest...

On Tuesday, Kivi Leroux Miller, President of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com and 2013 AJFCA Annual Conference guest speaker shared a Theory of Change for nonprofit marketing.

Let's try to clear up some confusion about the terms that are flying around in the nonprofit field. For example, what is "content marketing" and why should nonprofits shift toward it?

Content Marketing:  Content marketing for nonprofits is creating and sharing relevant and valuable content that attracts, educates, motivates, and inspires your participants, supporters, and influencers so that they can help you achieve your mission. Continue reading here.

How Content Marketing Is Different, December 6, 2012, Nonprofit Marketing Guide, by Kivi Leroux Miller

2013 Mutual of America Community Partnership Award Competition

Applications are now being accepted mutual of americafor the 2013 Mutual of America Community Partnership Award compe...

Applications are now being accepted mutual of americafor the 2013 Mutual of America Community Partnership Award competition, which recognizes and encourages partnerships dedicated to the public good among businesses, government and social sector organizations. Entering its 18th year, the CPA has recognized over 170 partnerships across America, expanding public awareness of their work and helping them attract additional partners and new sponsors.
 
The Award Guidelines can be viewed here. Applications to enter the 2013 competition must be submitted no later than April 1, 2013.

Interfaith Exchange: Faith-based Healthy Lifestyle Programs

In November 2012, sixty Jewish adults completed the fifth and final week of L'Chaim, a Jewish health and fitness ...

In November 2012, sixty Jewish adults completed the fifth and final week of L'Chaim, a Jewish health and fitness program piloted this year at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

With the pilot concluded, Dr. Kahn and the Adat Shalom leadership are looking at ways to evaluate the success of the program and its ability to encourage sustained lifestyle changes. They are also considering how this program will influence lifestyle choices within the synagogue. Continue reading here.

Five Tips for Better Serving Journalists and Media

Here are 5 ways to better serve journalists to up your odds for coverage: Provide imagery and videos. K...

Here are 5 ways to better serve journalists to up your odds for coverage:

  1. Provide imagery and videos.
  2. Know which other content forms media crave.
  3. Populate your press center with what media would want.
  4. Don't botch their names in pitches.
  5. The best way to gain a journalist's trust is help serve their needs.

Continue reading here.

Five Tips for Better Serving Journalists and Media, December 7, 2012, PR News, by Bill Miltenberg

8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Year-End Fundraising Campaign

Use this quick checklist to improve your odds of making the most out of this season of giving: Simplify your ...

Use this quick checklist to improve your odds of making the most out of this season of giving:

  1. Simplify your nonprofit home page to offer one call to action: Donate.
  2. Make your donate buttons large, colorful and easy to find.
  3. Send donors straight to your online donation form from appeals and your donate buttons.
  4. Include your donation link in your Facebook, Twitter and other social profiles.
  5. Encourage recurring gifts.
  6. Test your online donation process and fix problems before sending your appeal.
  7. Include third-party ratings or testimonials on your donation page.
  8. Create a "Why Donate" page that makes a case for why someone should care.

Continue reading here.

8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Year-End Fundraising Campaign, December 3, 2012, Network for Good, by Caryn Stein

5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2013

Nell Edgington, president of Social Velocity started a tradition in December of 2010 with a blog post on the nonprofi...

Nell Edgington, president of Social Velocity started a tradition in December of 2010 with a blog post on the nonprofit trensocial velocityds to watch in the coming year. Keeping with that tradition, here is her take on the nonprofit trends for 2013. Watch for:   

  • More Demand for Outcomes
  • Decreasing Emphasis on Nonprofit "Overhead"
  • More Advocacy for the Sector as a Whole
  • Savvier Donors
  • Increased Efforts to Rate and Compare Nonprofits

Continue reading here.

5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2013, December 2012, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

A Fundraising Cliff? What Does the Data Say?

There is a lot of speculation about what has been causing the challenges that fundraising is facing in the United Sta...

There is a lot of speculation about what has been causing the challenges that fundraising is facing in the United States. The data shows a troubling trend in the nonprofit sector: Donor populations have been shrinking for the past five years and revenue per donor has been flat. Disaster giving has provided some temporary relief to the situation. Continue reading here.

A Fundraising Cliff? What Does the Data Say? December 11, 2012, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

Kick Your Nonprofit Succession Plan to the Curb

There is a lot of talk about succession planning in the nonprofit sector, but for the most part, it's approached ...

There is a lot of talk about succession planning in the nonprofit sector, but for the most part, it's approached in the wrong way. The problem with traditional succession planning is that nonprofits take a too narrow view of nonprofit leadership. It's not enough to have a strong nonprofit executive director or CEO and to create a "succession plan" to guard against their eventual departure. Instead nonprofits need to develop a new approach to leadership that brings many people together to drive strategy. Continue reading here.

Kick Your Nonprofit Succession Plan to the Curb, December 2012, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

Onboarding is More Than Orientation

Onboarding is much more than orientation. Managers should think about onboarding as a multi-step process that enables...

Onboarding is much more than orientation. Managers should think about onboarding as a multi-step process that enables new hires to learn and adjust so they can function most effectively and happily in their new organization. ProInspire, a nonprofit dedicated to developing the next generation of social sector leaders by expanding the talent pipeline, developing professionals, and increasing diversity refers to the first three months on the job as "the onboarding period." This phrase comes from a book they give all Fellows before they start: The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels, by Michael Watkins. Continue reading here.

Onboarding is More Than Orientation, December 7, 2012, Idealist, by Monisha Kapila

Messages that Move

To really engage audiences as activists and ambassadors, you have to equip them with a shareworthy message. The ...

To really engage audiences as activists and ambassadors, you have to equip them with a shareworthy message.

The advocacy community has gone mad for story. But stories are only as strong as the latest retelling. While compelling characters and evocative details give stories life, it is email subject lines, tweets, Facebook posts, and headlines that give them legs.
 
The best stories have a clear message-or moral-that can be repeated over coffee or conveyed in 140 characters. And the messages that move tend to inspire and empower. Continue reading here.

Messages that Move, November 7, 2012, Resource Media, by Nicole Lampe

Sandy Recovery Micro-grants from Repair the World

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy's destruction, Repair the World is pleased to offer micro-grants to support winte...

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy's destruction, Repair the World is pleased to offer micro-grants to support winter and spring alternative break programs that focus on Sandy relief and response efforts. Learn more here.

Five Steps to Successful Crisis Communications

Is your organization prepared to respond to the next crisis? With more than a month since Superstorm Sandy hit, many ...

Is your organization prepared to respond to the next crisis? With more than a month since Superstorm Sandy hit, many nonprofits are asking the same question: how do we communicate during a crisis like that? It's not an easy situation to be in for anyone. Knowing how to get your message out and how to get support will help position you out in front the next time something like Sandy roars ashore (although hopefully not anytime soon!). Continue reading here.

Five Steps to Successful Crisis Communications, November 12, 2012, NETN, by Meghan Teich

Critical Steps to Getting Started in Leadership Development

If The Bridgespan Group's research is any guide, many nonprofits recognize that leadership development is an orga...

If The Bridgespan Group's research is any guide, many nonprofits recognize that leadership development is an organizational imperative but struggle with making it a priority. Over the past several months, The Bridgespan Group has posted articles explaining briefly a few simple actions that nearly any nonprofit can take to implement a systematic process of leadership development. Continue reading here.

Critical Steps to Getting Started in Leadership Development, November 27, 2012, The Bridgespan Group

13 New Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Irresistible

If you haven't touched your LinkedIn profile in months or years, it's time to take action.Think of it like a ...

If you haven't touched your LinkedIn profile in months or years, it's time to take action.Think of it like a makeover for your professional image.The site has steadily transformed its profile pages from simple resumes to a smorgasbord of interactive tools for job seeking and networking. It's no longer enough to just list your past jobs and schooling. But you have to log onto the site and use these tools. Ready? Continue reading here.  

13 New Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Irresistible, November 16, 2012, Business Insider, by Julie Bort
 

Food Banks Join Kaiser in Program to Offer More Nutritious Fare

Nonprofit insurer Kaiser Permanente and Jewish hunger charity Mazon are launching an effort to stock food pantries wi...

Nonprofit insurer Kaiser Permanente and Jewish hunger charity Mazon are launching an effort to stock food pantries with fresher, healthier fare, the Los Angeles Times wrote. The Healthy Options, Healthy Meals program, announced Monday, will involve 12 food banks in six states and the District of Columbia
 
Food Banks Join Kaiser in Program to Offer More Nutritious Fare, November 21, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy

Do our Compensation Patterns Reflect our Values?

An Initial Analysis of the 2012 Jewish Communal Professional Compensation Survey In the spring of 2012 a group of y...

An Initial Analysis of the 2012 Jewish Communal Professional Compensation Survey
In the spring of 2012 a group of young professionals working in the Jewish communal sector launched a compensation survey of the field. Inspired by the Forward's annual salary survey of executives of Jewish communal organizations, this survey was a grassroots attempt to open the "black box" surrounding compensation data up and down the Jewish professional ladder. Here's a sneak peek at six key findings (the full report is scheduled to appear in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service, to be published in early 2013).

Do our Compensation Patterns Reflect our Values? November 8, 2012, eJP, by by Avi Herring, Justin Rosen Smolen, Tamar Snyder, Mordecai Walfish, Ruthie Warshenbrot & Naomi Korb Weiss

Elevating Technology on the Boardroom Agenda

Boards are starting to guide management by asking the right questions about technology. Many senior-executive te...

Boards are starting to guide management by asking the right questions about technology.

Many senior-executive teams have been called upon to get involved in technology issues. Boards are also beginning to take a strategic view of how technology trends are shaping their companies' future. More boards than ever before are asking questions that ensure executives focus on the right issues. Continue reading here.

Elevating Technology on the Boardroom Agenda, October 2012, McKinsey Quarterly, by Michael Bloch, Brad Brown & Johnson Sikes

Nonprofits and the Economy, Infographic Style

The Rebecca Gordon Group has compiled information from Forbes, the Giving USA report (which NPQ covered in detail), t...

The Rebecca Gordon Group has compiled information from Forbes, the Giving USA report (which NPQ covered in detail), the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Atlas of Giving and Johns Hopkins University to create an intriguing visual guide to the complex ways nonprofits influence the economy. The infographic, titled "Nonprofits' Impact on the Economy," can be seen here.

Nonprofits and the Economy, Infographic Style, November 1, 2012, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Aine Creedon

Being a Professional in the Jewish Community

Stephen Donshik has taught and worked for the Jewish community for more than 40 years. All of his experiences have be...

Stephen Donshik has taught and worked for the Jewish community for more than 40 years. All of his experiences have been part of a quest to understand what it means to be a professional in the Jewish community and what it means to supervise and train others to fill professional roles in Jewish communal organizations. Continue reading here.

Being a Professional in the Jewish Community, November 14, 2012, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Want to Lose a Good Employee? It's as Easy as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5)

In an economy where some people are having a hard time getting hired, there are people who are walking away from or i...

In an economy where some people are having a hard time getting hired, there are people who are walking away from or in the process of getting ready to walk away from good paying jobs. There are, it seems, people in positions of power who are systematically demotivating and ultimately driving away successful, productive employees. Here are five easy steps to drive productive effective employees out the door.

Want to Lose a Good Employee? It's as Easy as 1, 2, 3, November 10, 2012, Secrets of Success, by Michael Bryant

Leadership: 6 Lessons Learned Along My Long and Winding Career Path

Much is being written on leadership transitions these days in the non-profit world in general and especially in the p...

Much is being written on leadership transitions these days in the non-profit world in general and especially in the philanthropy and grantmaking world. It is a worthy topic -- not simply because of the much-touted wealth transfer, and not simply because of the existence of multiple adult generations for the first time in history, but because it forces serious discussion about the nature of work and the workplace in the sector, and what leadership really means at this time in history. Learn about the 6 lessons here.

6 Lessons Learned Along My Long and Winding Career Path, November 11, 2012, eJP, by Richard Marker 

Why It's Hard to Grow

There is a notable lack of attention paid to growth in the nonprofit sector, and it's not because we're just ...

There is a notable lack of attention paid to growth in the nonprofit sector, and it's not because we're just starting to come out of The Great Recession. There is a larger structural reason why growth is so difficult in the nonprofit sector no matter what the economic outlook. Being able to recognize that reason is the first step in overcoming this structural locked brake.
 
Why do nonprofits need to grow? All successful private business entities face the same dilemma: the program model or models that were initially successful change over time.
In a process a 20th century economist labeled as "creative destruction," better ideas replace good ones, and newer organizations come along to displace the previous ones. To keep pace, nonprofits need to do their own internal creative destruction, eliminating or modifying old programs and developing new ones, hopefully more of the latter over time. Continue reading here.  

Why It's Hard to Grow, November 1, 2012, The Nonprofit Times, by Thomas A. McLaughlin

Creating Content: What They Want, or What You Want? Coming Up with an Editorial Calendar That Works for Both

You know that you are supposed to listen to your target audiences and give them what they want to hear from you. But ...

You know that you are supposed to listen to your target audiences and give them what they want to hear from you. But you also have your own agenda full of information you want them to have. How do you bring the two together?

Kivi Leroux Miller, President of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com has written a new article that looks at this question from the perspective of two different national organizations that are trying to serve local organizations in the same field. How can they give the locals what they ask for, while also providing what they, the national experts, believe is essential, especially when that creates two different lists of "what's most important"? Read the article to find out.

Creating Content: What They Want, or What You Want? November 15, 2012, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com, by Kivi Leroux Miller

Pinterest Debuts Pages for Nonprofits and Businesses

Last week Pinterest unveiled new free accounts for nonprofits and businesses to help them make better use of the popu...

Last week Pinterest unveiled new free accounts for nonprofits and businesses to help them make better use of the popular social network.
 
The new accounts don't look any different from personal accounts, but people who manage the new pages will be prompted to verify their Web sites by uploading an HTML file to their server. They will also be asked to add "follow" and "pin it" buttons to their sites.

Pinterest also added two features that allow people to embed pins and boards on other sites more easily.

To learn more about the new accounts and see case studies from businesses, go to business.pinterest.com.

Pinterest Debuts Pages for Nonprofits and Businesses, November 15, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Cody Switzer

Human Rights Campaign Releases First-Ever Index of LGBT Inclusion within a Faith-based Community

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released today its first-ever index of inclusion within a faith-based community. The ...

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released today its first-ever index of inclusion within a faith-based community. The Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOEI) provides benchmarks for gauging, and resources for improving, LGBT inclusivity policies and practices of North American Jewish communal organizations. The entire report is available at www.hrc.org/joei.

Key findings from the index create a preliminary snapshot of how a broad range of Jewish organizations-from national umbrella and advocacy groups to local nonprofits and synagogues-address LGBT diversity and inclusion in three categories of practice: organizational inclusion efforts, community/client engagement and workplace policies.

AJFCA worked with HRC to help them develop the JOEI survey and also promoted it to our agencies. AJFCA had several Jewish social service agencies that participated in the JOEI survey. A list of participating agencies can be found in the appendix of the report.

Human Rights Campaign Releases First-Ever Index of LGBT Inclusion within a Faith-based Community, November 12, 2012, Human Rights Campaign, by Paul Guequierre

November - National Adoption Awareness Month

Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are importa...

Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care.

2012 is an exciting year for National Adoption Month. As it always has been and as it always will be, the focus for November is finding loving, permanent homes for the foster children who are waiting to be adopted. But this year marks a modern twist--social media and digital efforts. This year's theme is: "National Adoption Month--Virtually: Adoption in the Digital Age." The U.S. Department of Human Services knows that social media and social networking allow information to be shared easily, quickly, and effectively, and this month's focus is on sharing, educating, and informing others about the 104,000 foster children in the United States who are currently waiting to find their forever families. Continue reading here.

The Alumni Advisory Board Model: Empowering the "Next Generation" Now

This article provides several key insights in engaging younger Jews on your agency's board. Although presented in...

This article provides several key insights in engaging younger Jews on your agency's board. Although presented in the context of an alumni program - it is easily translated to the context of a social service agency. Naamah Paley, a Bronfman Fellowships alumna stated, "just as young Jews need to better understand the value of governance and participation on boards, most established boards need to better understand the value of young voices".

Does your board include any members under the age of 40? Are you working on initiatives to foster young leadership for a more sustainable future? If you think you have a great model of young adult engagement in your agency - please contact Jennie Gates Beckman, AJFCA's Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming, who is conducting an inventory of young adult engagement in our network.

The Alumni Advisory Board Model: Empowering the "Next Generation" Now, October 17, 2012, eJP, by Naamah Paley

The Right Words Do Make a Difference in Your Proposal

An often overlooked mistake that nonprofit staff make is the effective use of Impact Words. When used effectively, th...

An often overlooked mistake that nonprofit staff make is the effective use of Impact Words. When used effectively, these words can convey to the grantmaker that the organization is experienced and competent.

Upon completing a grant proposal, review it, or better yet, have someone who has not been involved with the proposal review it and weed out the weak and ambiguous words. Replace them with Impact Words that clearly demonstrate your organization's strengths and expertise. In the end, words do make a difference. Click here to read the entire article.

Examples of Impact Words include:

  • Execute
  • Demonstrate
  • Experienced
  • Provides evidence
  • Comprehensive

The Right Words Do Make a Difference in Your Proposal, May 23, 2012, Foundation Center, by Ellen McCarty

Six Tips for Negotiating a Nonprofit Compensation Package

One of the biggest-and sometimes most intimidating-challenges people at all levels face in their careers is negotiati...

One of the biggest-and sometimes most intimidating-challenges people at all levels face in their careers is negotiating a compensation package. It can be particularly difficult for senior nonprofit executives. Most executives only go through this process a couple of times in their careers. By following a few simple guidelines, the process can be quick, stress free, and result in a package that will satisfy both parties.

ajfca logo-resized As a member of the AJFCA network you have the annual compensation survey as a complimentary tool for use in negotiating a compensation package. The survey report is located in AJFCA's Resource Library, housed in the For Our Members portion on the AJFCA website. Stay tuned for AJFCA's 2012 compensation survey, which will be sent via email in the next few weeks. Feel free to contact Megan with questions. Learn more about The Bridgespan Group's simple guidelines here.

Six Tips for Negotiating a Nonprofit Compensation Package, October 31, 2012, The Bridgespan Group, by Thomas J. Friel

Predictive Program Evaluation: Don't React, Predict

Any type of program evaluation tends to be reactive: something went right, so we keep on doing it, or something went ...

Any type of program evaluation tends to be reactive: something went right, so we keep on doing it, or something went wrong, so we try to fix it. Reacting is better than not acting at all, but relying solely on the after-the-fact "what happened?" -- often gathered ad-hoc in spreadsheets and anecdotal stories -- fails to take into account the hidden patterns that lie within the data as well as the dynamic factors that accompany reality.

By leveraging all of our available data and analyzing it, we can move from reaction to prediction, uncovering program inhibitors and drivers to predict how our programs will perform and what to do now to make them better. We call this predictive program evaluation, which is fueled by predictive analytics. Learn how to truly understand the power of a predictive program evaluation solution here.

Predictive Program Evaluation: Don't React, Predict, October 2, 2012, NTEN, by Mary Grace Bateman

Innovation to What End?

In just a few weeks, the eighth volume of Slingshot will be shipped to thousands of not-for-profit leaders, community...

In just a few weeks, the eighth volume of Slingshot will be shipped to thousands of not-for-profit leaders, community volunteers, Jewish community institutions, and funders of all ages. Slingshot is a Zagat-style guide to Jewish life. Each year, through a rigorous evaluation process, we select the 50 most innovative projects and organizations in Jewish life across North America. The selected organizations often receive increased funding, press, and volunteer attention. Click here to read the entire article.

Innovation to What End? October 23, 2012, Jewish Communal Fund, by Will Schneider

Timelines

Elizabeth Leinman Kraiem, Executive Director of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women has noticed recently tha...

Elizabeth Leinman Kraiem, Executive Director of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women has noticed recently that many organizations, especially in the Jewish world, are putting timelines on their websites. Timelines are decidedly old media, yet a combination of technology and chronology has made them new again. What else might explain their current popularity? What organizational and social needs do timelines address? Here are some observations about the role of timelines in organizations and short reflections on why this is a time for timelines. Review the observations and reflections here.

Timelines, October 24, 2012, eJP, by Elizabeth Leiman Kraiem

Monitoring and Improving Leadership Development Practices

To succeed at leadership development, you need to know whether your efforts are producing the leaders you will need. ...

To succeed at leadership development, you need to know whether your efforts are producing the leaders you will need. Use these four steps to determine what's working and what's not to ensure your efforts are getting results. Continue reading here.

Monitoring and Improving Leadership Development Practices, October 2012, The Bridgespan Group

2012 Consumers Guide to Low Cost Content Management Systems

Idealware has released the Consumers Guide to Low Cost Content Management Systems, published in partnership with Beac...

Idealware has released the Consumers Guide to Low Cost Content Management Systems, published in partnership with Beaconfire Consulting.This report reviews 11 Content Management Systems, which allow organizations to build and update their websites. Targeted at nonprofits looking to replace an existing Content Management System or implement one for the first time, this report is relatively easy for someone with a non-technical background to understand- but not so basic that it won't be of value for the technically savvy. Idealware has also included a directory of consultants with experience helping nonprofits install and implement the systems covered in this report.
 

Board Member Fundraising

The latest Nonpnonprofit research collaborativerofit Research Collaborative study on board member engagement in fundr...

The latest Nonpnonprofit research collaborativerofit Research Collaborative study on board member engagement in fundraising concludes, among other things, that board members serve two primary fundraising functions: helping the organization reach new prospective donors (access) and indicating the organization's value to the community by their own association with the group (signaling).
 
Click here to learn more about the various methods used by board members to raise funds.

Board Member Fundraising, October 19, 2012, Nonprofit Research Collaborative, by Melissa S. Brown

The Three Kinds of Internal Measurement Tools

The key to success is to first determine your communication goals. That, experts agree, should come well before even ...

The key to success is to first determine your communication goals. That, experts agree, should come well before even considering which tool you might use.

This is the first article in a four-part content series on internal email measurement. This series, in partnership with PoliteMail, will offer tips and multiple ways to improve your internal email communications.

Click here to learn about the three options.

The Three Kinds of Internal Measurement Tools, October 23, 2012, ragan.com, by Matt Wilson

What Marketers Need to Know About the New Foursquare Search

Foursquare announced a redesign of their homepage this week with the emphasis on discovery by opening up Foursquare E...

Foursquare announced a redesign of their homepage this week with the emphasis on discovery by opening up Foursquare Explore for everyone to discover popular places to go, member or not.

After shifting to more of a decision-based engine earlier this year, they are furthering their position as a leader for local social exploration.

With more than 25 million users worldwide, Foursquare has established a database of millions of unique insights about local things to do and see. By slowly introducing new product features like tips, to-do's, lists, and most recently likes and local updates with Foursquare Explore, they have built themselves quite the robust engine to serve up point-based recommendations to anyone now.

Read more about the new Foursquare search here.

What Marketers Need to Know About the New Foursquare Search, October 18, 2012, SocialFresh.com, by Nick Cicero

Merging May Be Best Route to Growth

Back in the '90s, Hilda Polanco, a CPA with a staff of 10, had an out-of-the-box idea. She realized that nonprofi...

Back in the '90s, Hilda Polanco, a CPA with a staff of 10, had an out-of-the-box idea. She realized that nonprofits had a real need for a cost-effective way to professionalize accounting and financial management but no one was providing that service. It was the perfect way to differentiate her service from other accounting practices.ventureneer

  • Know your goals and the best way to accomplish them
  • Build relationships before you need them
  • Know what you want from a partnership

The keys to Polanco's success were those two invaluable tools every entrepreneur must have and use: planning and networking. She clearly defined what she wanted to do, then she laid out what she really needed from a partner and what she could bring to the relationship.
 
Read the remainder of the article here.

Merging May Be Best Route to Growth, October 18, 2012, Ventureneer, by Geri Stengel

A Leap of . . . Entrepreneurship? Finding a Place for Faith in Social Innovation

In today's world, an average conversation about leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation would likely include r...

In today's world, an average conversation about leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation would likely include references to Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Square and Twitter fame; TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, and any number of other names frequently cited in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

This past August, Rebecca McQuigg Rigal, trend analyst attended a forum on faith-based social innovation - co-hosted by Jewish Jumpstart, a research & design lab for Jewish and interreligious innovation & social entrepreneurship, and Community Partners, a secular ideas incubator - at the Center for Healthy Communities in downtown Los Angeles. As it turned out, Rigal was in good company, as she came to find that many of the attendees - most of whom already tread quite deep in this space - had been having a broader conversation about the subject of faith-based social innovation and interfaith collaboration for quite some time. Rigal also realized that there was a lot to learn - not just about how faith-based organizations can inspire innovation but also how interfaith collaborations can surface highly effective entrepreneurial initiatives from which the secular world can draw.

Read the entire article here.

A Leap of . . . Entrepreneurship? October 22, 2012, eJP, by Rebecca McQuigg Rigal

Access New National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Video Courses Through The Essential Learning Library

Thanks to Essential Learning's exclusive training partnership with the National Council for Community Behavioral ...

Thanks to Essential Learning's exclusive training partnership with the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the release of new video courses based on sessions at the 2012 National Council conference are available.
 
National Council Video Courses Include:

  • Beyond EBPs: Using Science, Culture Change and Collaboration to Improve Outcomes for Children
  • Comorbid Mental and Physical Conditions: Preparing for New Treatment Expectations
  • Disaster Response: Five Key Strategies
  • Does Your Organization Measure Up: Are You Really Trauma-informed?
  • Ending Suicide: How Many Deaths Are Acceptable?
  • Practical Strategies for Engaging Families and Children
  • Promoting Recovery for Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Criminal Justice Supervision
  • Research-Informed Practices to Treat Children and Strengthen Families  

National Council video courses are just some of the exciting learning opportunities that await you in our library. Schedule a conversation with Essential Learning today, to view video courses.

Capitalizing on Emerging Jewish Charitable Markets: New Donors, New Causes and the New Normal

As expressed in several of eJewish Philanthropy's previous articles, recent trends indicate that generational, ge...

As expressed in several of eJewish Philanthropy's previous articles, recent trends indicate that generational, geographic, and gender shifts, as well as the expanded use of social media, have significantly influenced philanthropy and have created new and some worrisome trends in giving. Notably, Jewish causes are receiving decreased financial support, especially from Jewish donors who are now especially giving to causes outside of the Jewish community.

Specifically, two of the largest Jewish organizations in the United States have experienced a dramatic loss in their donor base. According to their latest tax filings, the Anti-Defamation League has lost more than $20 million in annual contributions over the past five years, going from more than $73 million in 2006 down to $51 million in 2010. Similarly, the American Jewish Committee, which brought in $62 million in donations in 2005, raised only $38 million in 2010.

Click here to learn more about new donors, new causes and the new normal.

Capitalizing on Emerging Jewish Charitable Markets: New Donors, New Causes and the New Normal, October 16, 2012, by Robert I. Evans & Avrum D. Lapin
 

Moving Beyond Natural Disasters: How Global Development Organizations are Using Mobile Phones to Engage Supporters

The rise of mobile phones in recent years has substantially affected the work of global development organizations, an...

The rise of mobile phones in recent years has substantially affected the work of global development organizations, and a few high-profile examples have made the news, such as the large-scale mobile-giving campaigns to provide relief following the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Japan's 2011 tsunami. But beyond natural disasters, can organizations-including smaller nonprofits-make use of the technology by applying the model on a more-suitable scale?

Idealware talked to four large global development organizations and two consultants to find out how they're using mobile technology to reach out to constituents, and whether smaller organizations can emulate their methods. This report highlights their approaches to a number of different technologies, including mobile websites, texting, mobile giving, QR codes and mobile apps: what they're using, what's working and what's not.

This 26-page report provides an overview of what Idealware learned  as well as detailed case studies of four organizations-Save the Children, American Jewish World Services, Heifer International and the Salvation Army-using mobile in interesting ways to see what smaller organizations in all sectors can learn from their experience.

Moving Beyond Natural Disasters: How Global Development Organizations are Using Mobile Phones to Engage Supporters, October 2012, Idealware

Senior Fundraisers and CEO's Don't See Eye to Eye

As turnover among fundraisers becomes a growing problem for nonprofits, a new study suggests that the revolving door ...

As turnover among fundraisers becomes a growing problem for nonprofits, a new study suggests that the revolving door in development offices may be due to a big gap in how chief executives and development officers see the process of attracting donations.

The study, conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, questioned 70 community-college leaders and 137 chief fundraisers at such institutions.

The biggest difference between those interviewed came when they were asked whether the top fundraisers had the resources they needed to increase giving.
 
Fifty-five percent of chief executives said their fundraisers had what they needed, but only 24 percent of chief development officers said the same.

Other differences were also stark: For example, 89 percent of the chief executives said they understand thechronicle philanthropy fundraising process, but only 63 percent of the senior fundraisers said their chief executive did.

Among the other findings:

  • More than two-thirds of chief executives said they actively "cultivate" donors, while only 60 percent of chief development officers agreed.
  • Chief executives rated themselves higher than senior fundraisers did in spending an appropriate amount of time on raising money (44 percent versus 30 percent), on being comfortable asking for money (82 percent versus 55 percent), and actively thanking and showing appreciation to donors (68 percent versus 59 percent).

What about the top fundraisers and executives at your organization? Is a lack of understanding about fundraising issues causing turnover and other problems?

Senior Fundraisers and CEO's Don't See Eye to Eye, October 11, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Holly Hall

Grants: 6 Six Principles For Acquisition Work

Facing vast funding demands, nonprofit boards all too often assign the executive director the quixotic task of slayin...

Facing vast funding demands, nonprofit boards all too often assign the executive director the quixotic task of slaying every dragon with a grant. The roof is falling in? Get a grant. Can't afford administrative salaries? Get a grant.

According to Barbara A. Floersch, director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, a successful grant acquisition program can do a lot, but not everything. It's just one element of what should be a diverse fund development plan. To set your grant acquisition work on the right track, keep these six principles in mind.

  1. A grant is a transaction in which your organization receives money to perform an activity that will achieve an agreed upon result. A grant is an obligation, not free money.
  2. Grants should respond to needs identified through a planning or assessment process. Successful grants aren't based on what someone thinks, believes, or assumes. They're based on facts.
  3. To win grants, you need an informed view of what grants can and can't do. Grants aren't for erasing deficits or rescuing organizations that are collapsing because board members and administrators have been asleep at the wheel, according to Floersch.
  4. A grant acquisition program must be based on solid research on grantmakers and government funding programs. You've got to understand what funders are interested in and what they actually support. Spraying hundreds of foundations with generic requests and then praying for results (the spray and pray approach) will get you nowhere.
  5. With foundation and corporate grantmakers, relationships matter. The grant acquisition effort should work hand-in-hand with the board and administration to build and maintain targeted relationships.
  6. The grants effort requires support from many within the organization-it's not a one-person job. Administrators, human resources, finance, and program management must be involved.

For more info on grants, go to www.tgci.com.

Grants: 6 Six Principles For Acquisition Work, October 10, 2012, The Nonprofit Times

How to Diagnose and Survive the Current Facebook Reach Drought

Over the past few week or so there have been a lot of rumors about Facebook decreasing Pages' Reach. EdgeRank Che...

Over the past few week or so there have been a lot of rumors about Facebook decreasing Pages' Reach. EdgeRank Checker released a quick study looking at how Pages have been impacted by this suspected change if you want to read more about the shift.

In summary, it was found that organic reach is down 25%, viral reach is down 45%, and engagement decreased  17%, while virality marginally increased 7%. The rumored date that this change went into affect is September 20th, according to Ogilvy. So the above research was ran for  the week prior to September 20th and the week after September 20th.
 
As more data is collected in the coming weeks, EdgeRank Checker will get a clearer view of the trend, but it is clear a shift has occurred.

Click here to see how the change affected your Facebook page, what you can do to improve your reach, and what Facebook has to say about all this.

How to Diagnose and Survive the Current Facebook Reach Drought, October 11, 2012, SocialFresh.com, by Chad Wittman

Inclusion and Access: Good Intentions, Bad Habits

A month or so ago, there was great discussion around the web about inclusion relating to an incident at Camp Ramah Ca...

A month or so ago, there was great discussion around the web about inclusion relating to an incident at Camp Ramah Canada. Nechama Cohen, founder of Makom Lekulam - A Place For All closely followed the fiejp full logorestorm, mostly in order to try and understand the way the different writers use the terms "inclusion" and "access."
 
As an initiator and developer of an educational program for schools in Israel, Nechama tried to teach using language that promotes an accessible society. In that language, "access" means:

  1. Viewing the world through the eyes of the other.
  2. Seeing each person as an entirety - to see past the disability, limitation or impairment, and relate to the person in front of you with all their abilities and achievements as well.

Click here to read how Nechama learned how easy it is to forget what inclusion and access really mean.

Inclusion and Access: Good Intentions, Bad Habits, October 9, 2012, eJP, by Nechama Cohen

Now, More Than Ever, Collaboration Matters

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, solving social problems is beyond the reach of any single sector...

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, solving social problems is beyond the reach of any single sector or actor. Our most complex challenges are best addressed through collaborative approaches, involving public, private and nonprofit sectors bringing together diverse knowledge, strategy and connections to turn vision into social change.

New technologies, new leaders and new money are changing the language and methods of philanthropy and nonprofits. This new energy and innovation are driving philanthropists to think big and invest in people and startups with similar passions and theories of change. Meanwhile, the changing roles of the public and private sectors, together with nonprofits and individual citizens' commitment to social innovation, increasingly require collaboration among diverse networks of nonprofits, foundations, businesses, social entrepreneurs and governments.
Collaborations have the potential to reach a wider range of ideas, leverage more resources, and find innovative solutions.

Yet, collaboration is not easy. Click here to read the entire article and learn more.

Now, More Than Ever, Collaboration Matters, October 10, 2012, eJP, by Helena Monteiro

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips for Counselors

Medicare open enrollment is just around the corner (Oct. 15th -Dec. 7th). Whether you're a person with Medicare, ...

Medicare open enrollment is just around the corner (Oct. 15th -Dec. 7th). Whether you're a person with Medicare, a caregiver, or professional helping clients to review their coverage options, NCOA has some helpful tips for you to keep in mind this season.
 
Tips for Counselors

  1. Remind your clients that change can be a good thing. Many clients are reluctant to switch plans, believing that if their current plan covers all of their medications, it must be good. However, a little research can equal huge savings. Such was the case with Ralph, a 75-year-old Virginian with limited income who had drug coverage through a former employer that cost him more than $300 each month. Ralph's counselor helped him to switch prescription plans and enroll in LIS, which ended up saving him $230 each month.    Tell clients that small savings can add up, and therefore it is important that they review their coverage options annually.
  2. Use the opportunity to think holistically. If you encounter clients that are struggling to pay the costs of their health care, chances are they may also have trouble paying for food, rent, utilities, and more. Make clients aware of the range of programs that may be available to help them out. Find out who in your community can help with benefits program applications, and have referral information readily available.  You don't have to do this alone. You can also encourage clients who are comfortable with the internet to use BenefitsCheckUp to conduct a free, confidential screening.
  3. Take advantage of NCOA's resources. NCOA updates our counselor resources regularly. Some that may be particularly useful for open enrollment include:

2013 Open Enrollment Toolkit
Part D Updates
Guide to 2012 Fall/Winter Mailings
What to Expect in 2013

All of NCOA's materials are for public use, so you're welcome to copy and paste them to use with your staff, volunteers, and clients. Need a resource in a different format? Write to NCOA, and they'll be happy to send it to you.

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips for Counselors, October 2, 2012, NCOA

Nominate Your Exceptional Board Members

BoardSource and Points of Light have launched the Board Member of the Month Award, which will honor outstanding indiv...

BoardSource and Points of Light have launched the Board Member of the Month Award, which will honor outstanding individuals for their commitment to advancing the public good through exceptional nonprofit board leadership.
 
Nominees will be evaluated on:

  • their record of excellence in board leadership
  • their strong commitment to their organization
  • the positive impact their actions have had on the advancement of their organization's mission

Award winners will:

  • receive a complimentary registration to the Points of Light National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the world's largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, corporate, and government sectors
  • receive a complimentary registration to the BoardSource Leadership Forum, the only national conference that brings together hundreds of nonprofit leaders and experts to focus on the impact of nonprofit boards and the unique role they play in advancing the public good
  • gain access to hundreds of resources on nonprofit governance and a network of more than 24,000 nonprofit leaders through a complimentary year of individual membership in BoardSource
  • become candidates for the Board Member of the Year Award, which will be presented at a jointly hosted signature event, beginning in 2013
  • be publicly recognized for their exceptional service on the Points of Light and BoardSource Web sites, in each organization's newsletters, and through various media channels

Nominate an exceptional board leader today.

7 Board Activities Can Help Charities Bring In More Money

Charities are more likely to meet fundraising success when their boards pursue at least seven types of fundraising ac...

Charities are more likely to meet fundraising success when their boards pursue at least seven types of fundraising activities, such as holding events and seeking gifts from friends, according to a new study.

The study-conducted by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative-assessed the use of 11 approaches to involving board members by examining the progress of 1,602 nonprofits in meeting their 2011 fundraising goals.

Below is a list of what the board can do and here's a podcast on one idea of how to energize people in the community to participate.

The techniques studied were:

  • Sharing their contact lists.
  • Seeking contributions from friends or associates.
  • Securing sponsorships from companies.
  • Making personal introductions to potential donors.
  • Visiting prospective donors.
  • Hosting a fundraising event.
  • Allowing the use of the board member's name in solicitations and other materials.
  • Chairing fundraising events.
  • Thanking donors.
  • Rating prospective donors on their ability to give.
  • Helping develop fundraising plans.

The study found that the power of board members to help nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals varied by the nonprofit's size:

  • Organizations with budgets under $3-million were more likely to succeed when their boards helped in a wide range of solicitations.
  • For charities with budgets of $3-million to $10-million, the number of fundraising activities pursued by trustees didn't matter as much. But those who met their fundraising goals were most likely to be successful when their trustees asked others to give, allowed their names to be used in solicitations, or rated potential donors on their ability to give.
  • Among charities with budgets of $10-million or more, getting the board personally involved in reaching out to other supporters increased the chances of fundraising success.

7 Board Activities Can Help Charities Bring In More Money, September 27, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Holly Hall

The Opportunity and Constraint of Mobile

Katya's heard a lot of smart people talking about mobile the last few months, and two consistent themes are worth...

Katya's heard a lot of smart people talking about mobile the last few months, and two consistent themes are worth sharing.
 
First, mobile is a huge opportunity. It allows us to reach people at new moments, including dawn (66% wake up with their phone). More and more, people will be opening emails and visiting sites on their smartphone. Around 67% of people already shop on their phone. Just as giving has followed but lagged online shopping trends, the same will prove true with mobile. So the headline here is, mobile will bring a whole new set of possibilities to your work.

But while mobile expands the ways in which we can engage with people, we need to recognize that we win by seeing not only opportunity but also constraint. We can't shrink down our website or giving page, stick it on smartphone and call it a day. No one wants massive amounts of options on a tiny screen. So we have to make hard choices about what we will feature on mobile. Less is more. We must have complete simplicity in design and choices, or it won't work at all.

Embrace the potential, but also the limitations.

The Opportunity and Constraint of Mobile, October 2, 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

Big Data Without Defining Success First Is A Big Mistake

With the release of the "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit:  Using Data to Change the World", author B...

With the release of the "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit:  Using Data to Change the World", author Beth Kanter is looking forward to participating in conversations about how nonprofits can use measurement, data, and learning to for social change.

"Big Data" is a theme being discussed this past month in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. It refers to large data sets that require powerful software tools to capture, storage, search, sharing, analysis, visualization and sense-making.
 
Here's a terrific round up of posts about "big data for small nonprofits" from Wild Apricot. But Beth thinks jumping into a process:  "Gather, Analyze, and Act"  without defining success (or failure) on the front end might lead to wasted time.

  • Define results
  • Identify research to formulate a hypothesis
  • Identify KPIs
  • Gather data
  • Jutjitsu data
  • Make decisions based on data

Click here to learn how DoSomething.Org does it.

Big Data Without Defining Success First Is A Big Mistake, September 28, 2012, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

The Eight-Word Mission Statement

Whatever windy drivel they might put forward as a corporate mission statement, mainstream for-profit businesses have ...

Whatever windy drivel they might put forward as a corporate mission statement, mainstream for-profit businesses have a clear, central mission: make money for shareholders. Some do it more sustainably, some are nicer about it, but they're all in the same boat. If they have a bad idea or execute poorly on a good one, they fail in their mission and eventually go out of business.

Mission statements in the social sector are often the same kind of word-salad, but there isn't a common raison d'etre. As investors in impact, the Mulago Foundation-doesn't want to wade through a bunch of verbiage about "empowerment," "capacity-building," and "sustainability"-they want to know exactly what you're trying to accomplish. They want to cut to the chase, and the tool that works for them is the eight-word mission statement. All they want is this:

A verb, a target population, and an outcome that implies something to measure-and they want in eight words or less.

Why eight words? It just seems to work. It's long enough to be specific and short enough to force clarity. Save kids' lives in Uganda. Rehabilitate coral reefs in the Western Pacific. Prevent maternal-child transmission of HIV in Africa. Get Zambian farmers out of poverty. These statements tell us exactly what the organization has set out to accomplish. Once we've got it, we know whether they are working on something that fits our own mission, and we have a useful starting point for any subsequent conversations.

Click here to read the entire article and see why 8 is sufficient to create a powerful mission statement.

The Eight-Word Mission Statement, September 18, 2012, Stanford Social Innovation Review, by Kevin Starr

Incentives and Young Jewish Adults: The Questions We Should Be Asking

It is no secret that in order to attract young adult participants, the organized Jewish community has readily provide...

It is no secret that in order to attract young adult participants, the organized Jewish community has readily provided incentives in exchange for participating in various programs. These incentives take on different forms, from free trips to Israel, to subsidized housing, to discounted JCC memberships, to the provision of free alcohol at events. There are even programs that go so far as to pay young adults to study Jewish topics. Knowing that we as a community are using incentives, it's essential that we use them responsibly, and to do all that we can to ensure that donor dollars used to provide them are having the greatest impact possible.

  1. What will the long-term impact of this particular incentive be?
  2. What are we doing to meaningfully evaluate the incentives themselves?
  3. What does this mean going forward?

The greatest challenge of all will be countering the historic tendency of Jewish organizations to embrace a narrative of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it," and having it shift to a narrative of "how can we constantly be improving and striving to most efficiently and effectively utilize donor dollars?" Admittedly such a shift will be difficult, but in a Jewish communal world that is contracting, and with donors (rightfully) demanding accountability and data, it is essential.
 
Read the entire article here.

Incentives and Young Jewish Adults: The Questions We Should Be Asking, September 20, 2012, eJP, by Daniel S. Horwitz

Everything social freshYou Need To Know About the New Twitter Profiles

A new Twitter profile design launched on September 18th on the Today Show. Twitter has added a nice "header"...

A new Twitter profile design launched on September 18th on the Today Show. Twitter has added a nice "header" image for all profiles in the right hand column. This header image also serves as a background image for the Twitter profile image, bio, location, and link.
 
How To Get It -The new profile design has rolled out to everyone, but the old Twitter profile design will remain for your account until you decide to upload a header image. To check to see if you can access the new profile go to Twitter.com/settings/design and upload a "header" image. It will be right above your background image options.
Old Enhanced Profiles - If you are a brand that previously had the enhanced profile page (EPP), this new design will replace the old wider banner image. EPP advertising partners will still be able to pin Twitter to the top of their Twitter profile.
Background Image Tweaks -Along with this rollout, Twitter has taken the opportunity to improve their background image functionality as well. "Twitter users now have more control of the creative elements within the background image on their profile page. The new design gives marketers the flexibility to align the image and, therefore, use both left and right side of the background image to display rich, engaging content. The photos module on the profile page has also been enhanced to show the most recent six images a user has shared."
More Examples - And of course, with any new combination of a cover photo and profile images, there are already users that have started creating clever visual hacks.

With this new addition, the header image will display really well atop profiles on Twitter's mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Similar to Facebook and Path mobile profiles. Since the new profile launched on The Today Show, it looks like NBC had a little lead time as many of their Twitter profiles already have the new design implemented.

Everything You Need To Know About the New Twitter Profiles, September 18, 2012, SocialFresh.com, by Jason Keath

Get Ready for Year-End Fundraising

Supporters choose to donate to organizations for a variety of reasons. While most of the time you're better off f...

Supporters choose to donate to organizations for a variety of reasons. While most of the time you're better off focusing on the emotional side of giving, at the end of the year data shows you  can get away with an appeal that's focused on the financial side because people love tax deductions.

Now is the time to focus on building stronger relationships with supporters to lay the groundwork for a big year-end giving season. By checking these items off your list now, you can strengthen the vital relationships that will set your organization up for a strong holiday giving season. Here are five tips to help you kick off your holiday fundraising now:

  1. First things first: Make sure your organization can accept online donations.
  2. Determine the fixes/updates you can make prior to December to your organization's website.
  3. Become friendly with an email marketing tool to communicate with your donors regularly - not just when you're asking for money.
  4. Get your story straight. Passion about your work is infectious, but too often fundraisers sap the emotion and color from our work when we seek to put it into words.
  5. Make a plan.Tips 1-4 get right to the practical heart of your marketing strategy. Don't forget to take a step back to plan ahead.

Read more about year-end fundraising here.

Get Ready for Year-End Fundraising, June 29, 2010, Network for Good, by Rebecca Higman and Julie Stofer

Why Can't We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume?

Today, Americans are the world's most generous contributors to philanthropic causes. Each year, we give about 2% ...

Today, Americans are the world's most generous contributors to philanthropic causes. Each year, we give about 2% of our GDP to nonprofit organizations, nearly twice as much as the U.K., the next closest nation, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Some 65% of all American households with an income of less than $100,000 donate to some type of charity, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, as does nearly every household with an income greater than $100,000. These contributions average out to about $732 a year for every man, woman and child in America.

Yet we cling to a puritan approach to how those donations are spent: Self-deprivation is our strategy for social change. The dysfunction at the heart of our approach is neatly captured by our narrow, negative label for the charitable sector: "not-for-profit."

It's time to change how society thinks about charity and social reform. The donating public is obsessed with restrictions-nonprofits shouldn't pay executives too much, or spend a lot on overhead or take risks with donated dollars. It should be asking whether these organizations have what they need to actually solve problems. The conventional wisdom is that low costs serve the higher good. But this view is killing the ability of nonprofits to make progress against our most pressing problems. Long-term solutions require investment in things that don't show results in the short term.

We have two separate rule books: one for charity and one for the rest of the economic world. The result is discrimination against charities in five critical areas.

Read the entire article here.

Why Can't We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume? September 14, 2012, The Wall Street Journal, by Dan Pallotta

LinkedIn Offers Tool to Help Charities Recruit Board Members

LinkedIn, the professional networking site, has announced a free new service called Board Connect to help charities r...

LinkedIn, the professional networking site, has announced a free new service called Board Connect to help charities recruit board members who have much-needed skills.

LinkedIn offers charities a place to post detailed information about their organization and the professional and volunteer connections of its board members and other leaders.

Through Board Connect, groups can then search LinkedIn for potential new board members by listing skills that would be helpful, such as an accounting or legal background, job title, nonprofit affiliations, and other characteristics. Board Connect returns a list of people who meet those criteria and have connections to one or more board members or staff members at the nonprofit.

To be eligible for the service, an official from each charity must complete a short questionnaire, provide proof of the organization's tax-exempt status, and participate in a 45-minute Webcast that describes how to use Board Connect.

Before it created Board Connect, LinkedIn officials held 20 focus groups with charities and others, conducted a survey of its members, and recruited four organizations to test the idea: Charter Board Partners, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund, and Teach for America.

Board Connect is an effort to "build in philanthropic impact for LinkedIn," said Reid Hoffman, the company's co-founder, who announced the new service at the annual conference of BoardSource, which works to strengthen charity boards. With more than 175 million people now using LinkedIn to detail their professional expertise, Mr. Hoffman said, the company is in a good position to help charities find qualified trustees.

LinkedIn Offers Tool to Help Charities Recruit Board Members, September 18, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Holly Hall

Who's Your Favorite Domestic Violence Activist?

Again this October, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month, Jewish Woman magazine plans to run profiles about ...

Again this October, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month, Jewish Woman magazine plans to run profiles about four Jewish women who are activists in the field. JWI needs your help to identify inspiring women at the local, state or national levels who passionately take a stand against domestic violence in their professional or volunteer lives. This will be one of several public awareness efforts from JWI next month.
 
The women JWI wrote about last year included Esta Soler, the pioneering founder of Futures Against Violence, one of the world's leading violence prevention agencies; Naomi Berman-Potash, founder of Project Debby, which enables domestic violence victims to receive temporary shelter in complimentary hotel rooms; social worker Toby Myers, "mother of the Texas battered women's movement;" and attorney Beth Klein, author of pivotal legislation to help prosecutors fight human trafficking.  You can read JWI's 2011 story, "The Power of Advocacy" on their website.

Groundwire's 10 Rules of Engagement

At Groundwire, they design and build strategies and tools to help organizations better engage the people that matter ...

At Groundwire, they design and build strategies and tools to help organizations better engage the people that matter most to their missions.  Over the years they've come up with ten rules that are key to excelling as an engagement organization:

  1. Understand your theory of change
  2. Identify your key audiences
  3. Know what you want them to do
  4. Know why they would do it
  5. Have a plan for what's next
  6. Use an engagement framework
  7. Use an engagement platform
  8. Don't forget the middle of your pyramid
  9. Love your data
  10. Constituents = friends

Finally, when you think about growing your volunteer pool or donor list, try to be in the mindset that you're in when you make friends. This is the most important rule, and also the easiest because we all know how to make friends, and what it takes to keep friendships strong.  You need to be a good listener, lend a hand once in a while, respect their opinions, and show gratitude when a friend does you a favor.  You need to give as much as you get.  Just imagine that database of yours and all of those contacts as folks with whom you'd like to be better friends.  Keep it in mind as you evaluate your engagement strategies and tactics and you'll be better at creating and cultivating the critical relationships for your organization.
 
Click here to learn about the 10 rules of engagement in more depth.

Groundwire's 10 Rules of Engagement, September 13, 2012, Groundwire, by Karen Uffelman

Keeping Track of Your People Power: HR and Technology in the Nonprofit World

Whether your organization has just a few employees or a few thousand, its staff is its most valuable resource. To man...

Whether your organization has just a few employees or a few thousand, its staff is its most valuable resource. To manage that resource effectively, you need to track all sorts of information-from information about your employees' demographics to salary history to their annual performance goals. How do you make sure that data is safe, accurate and easily accessible?

Human resources management systems and human resources information systems-commonly abbreviated as HRMS or HRIS-can reduce administrative time and improve efficiency by helping your organization track and organize its human resources data.

This sounds great to most organizations, but few of those Idealware spoke with-including a number of experts-agreed on the specifics about what a good HR system should include. What areas would it cover, and what information would be tracked? What benefits would it provide, and would it be worth the investment?

Idealware also wanted to know at what point in an organization's lifecycle would these systems help free up enough staff time to make them worth the resources that would go into purchasing and implementing them and training employees to use them. To find out, Idealware talked to a number of nonprofit HR staffers and consultants specializing in the area to find out what they were using and what recommendations they might offer other organizations.

Read about the state of nonprofit human resources, human resources information systems, payroll, tracking employee data, recruiting and hiring, performance management and training here.

Keeping Track of Your People Power: HR and Technology in the Nonprofit World, September 2012, Idealware, by Elizabeth Pope

Three Tips for Dealing with Corporate Partners

Earlier this week, Katya Andersen posted on four things one needs to know before pitching a corporate partner.  ...

Earlier this week, Katya Andersen posted on four things one needs to know before pitching a corporate partner.  She cited some interesting new research on how consumers feel about the products of companies that support charity. To summarize:

  1. A company that does good is perceived to have better products
  2. Consumer mindset dictates when "good" matters
  3. A socially responsible company trumps socially responsible product
  4. Consumers smell self-interest a mile away  

So what are your takeaways?

  • Companies benefit from working with nonprofits. Remember, you give companies a brand halo. And if the partnership is positioned well, people will perceive the company's products as superior. Assert and know your worth to the company - and have high standards for your partners.
  • Companies do best when focusing on their firms' work to advance social good as a whole company, not necessarily how each product is a reflection of those policies. So encourage company-level support - it's better for their business - and for your organization because of the broader support.
  • Companies don't want to appear self-serving with their corporate social responsibility, because that can backfire. So if your partners have genuinely advanced your cause and made a difference, help them tell that story. You'll be a good partner - and encourage more support over time.

Three Tips for Dealing with Corporate Partners, September 18, 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

Attention Data Nerds! NTEN Change Journal: It's All About Data

The new issue of the NTEN Change Journal is all about data or rather how we all should love data.  Whether you c...

The new issue of the NTEN Change Journal is all about data or rather how we all should love data.  Whether you call it data-driven or data-informed, the issue has several excellent articles about how to use data for decision-making as well as lots of useful tips.  It's a must read for data nerds.

As many of you know,  Beth Kanter just finished writing a book with measurement guru, KD Paine, called "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit"  that teaches nonprofits  how to embrace NTENthe data and use it to improve decisions and get better results as a networked nonprofit.  In the book, Kanter and Paine have a chapter about how one changes the organization's culture to one that uses data for decision-making. Paine has a fantastic article in this quarter's NTEN journal where she shares six steps on using data.
 
To learn more about NTEN's quarterly journal packed with informative articles, click here.

Attention Data Nerds! NTEN Change Journal: It's All About Data, September 5, 2012, Beth's Blog, by Beth Kanter

5 Leadership Lessons You Won't Learn in B-School

Forget vision, passion, and other B-school platitudes. Here are the nitty-gritty details on what makes leaders great....

Forget vision, passion, and other B-school platitudes. Here are the nitty-gritty details on what makes leaders great. Most of what we know about leadership didn't come from business schools or conferences or seminars.
The best leadership lessons are learned the hard way:

  1. Data comes and goes, but feelings last forever.
  2. Great ideas are never found in presentations. 
  3. The "volunteer penalty" kills the flow of great ideas.
  4. Sharing only the positive always results in a negative. 
  5. Data is accurate, but people are right.

SometimeInc magazine logos a decision should be based on more than analysis, logic, and reasoning. No decision should ever be made in a vacuum, because a decision must eventually be carried out by people. Leadership should be data driven, but great leadership is often subjective and even messy. If your employees don't agree with you, ask why, but don't ask just so you can defend your position. Ask in order to learn. You know things your employees don't know, and they know things you don't know--until you listen to what they say.

5 Leadership Lessons You Won't Learn in B-School, August 30, 2012, Inc. by Jeff Haden

The Social Media Policy Workbook for Jewish Organizations

Darim is pleased to announce the launch of their Social Media Policy Workbook for Jewish Organizations. The Workbook ...

Darim is pleased to announce the launch of their Social Media Policy Workbook for Jewish Organizations. The Workbook takes staff and lay leaders through step by step processes to explore and articulate your organization's policy and guidelines for social media. Each chapter includes explanations, case studies, and activity worksheets to advance your work thoughtfully and confidently.
 
Topics include:

  • What Does A Social Media Policy Mean to You?
  • Your Organization's Values in Social Media
  • Social Media Roles: Who Does What?darim
  • What Should You Say Online?
  • Monitoring
  • Responding to Negative Comments
  • Responding to Positive and Neutral Comments
  • Privacy and Permissions
  • Thinking Through Copyright and Attribution
  • Drawing the Line Between Personal and Professional
  • Sample Policy Language

The Workbook is made possible through the support and generosity of The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the AVI CHAI Foundation, See3 Communications, UJA Federation of New York, The Covenant Foundation, and Idealware. Download your free copy here.

Survey of Board Practices in Developing Nonprofit Leaders

How can boards play a role in developing current and future nonprofit leaders? What practices are common today, and w...

How can boards play a role in developing current and future nonprofit leaders? What practices are common today, and what shoulboard sourced we expect from a highly effective board? The Bridgespan Group, in partnership with BoardSource, is conducting research to better understand the answers to these questions. As a first step The Bridegspan Group and BoardSource are surveying nonprofit board members, CEOs, and other senior leaders to understand their perspectives.
 
In this survey, you will be presented with a list of potential board practices. For each, you will be asked to rate your level of agreement with two statements:

  1. Boards should perform this practicebridgespan
  2. My board performs this practice

If you are a member of multiple boards, please reference the board that you are most engaged in as you complete the survey. The survey should take approximately 10-12 minutes to complete. If you have any questions or have difficulty completing the survey, please contact Bridgespan.
 
All data submitted in this survey will remain confidential, and individual responses will not be shared with any third party. Bridgespan will use this data in aggregate for research purposes only.

Tweaking E-Mail for the Mobile Age

Ever since e-mail programs gave users the option of blocking images, many organizations have added short notes to the...

Ever since e-mail programs gave users the option of blocking images, many organizations have added short notes to the top of their messages-variations on "Trouble viewing this e-mail? Click here"-to direct recipients to online versions of the e-mails, images and all.
 
But while the notes make sense for people who read their e-mail on desktop computers, they can reduce the number of people who open the message when checking e-mail on mobile devices, says Holly Ross, executive director of the Nonprofit Technology Network.

She says that if someone is chchronicle philanthropyecking e-mail in a preview pane on a computer, they'll usually be able to see enough of the message to know what it's about.

"But on a mobile device, often all you see is a name, some part of the subject line, and then you see, 'E-mail not displaying correctly?' and that's about it," says Ms. Ross. "It doesn't give the mobile user very much information about whether or not they want to open that e-mail."

Mobile-Friendly Messages
As the number of people who read e-mail on smartphones continues to jump, nonprofits should think about creating a version of their messages designed to be read on the devices' small screens, says Ms. Ross.
And, she says, they should be smart about how they order the text in the mobile version of the message. "Instead of saying, 'Do these images look funny?' " Ms. Ross says, say something that tells recipients what the message is about.

Tweaking E-Mail for the Mobile Age, September 5, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Nicole Wallace

Becoming a Networked Nonprofit

In Beth Kanter's recent blog post in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, she defines a networked nonprofit as ...

In Beth Kanter's recent blog post in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, she defines a networked nonprofit as one that leads through active participation, openness, decentralized decision-making and collective action.  The networked nonprofit finds the conversations happening within its network and takes part.
 
With the launch of our Connections Initiative, AJFCA is seeking to create opportunities for broader and deeper conversations to occur within various segments of our network.  By generating more active participation, and helping to shape the conversation, this initiative will benefit our agencies' clients and the collective Jewish family service sector.  The Connections Initiative has launched with initial conference calls for the CEO Council, Agency Board ajfca logo-resizedPresidents, the AJFCA/Repair Volunteer Initiative, the Addictions Practice Group, the Canadian Agency Group and the Legislative Affairs Task Force.  Upcoming calls include the Domestic Violence Practice Group, Fund Development Professionals and second conference calls for some of the groups listed above.  We will be expanding our initiative with additional groups and some webinars before the end of 2012.  Please visit our calendar for a listing of all calls.
 
Ms. Kanter's goal is that all nonprofits connect more fluidly with their own networks.  Her blog post goes on to introduce her forthcoming book, which aims to help nonprofits figure out what incremental steps they need to take to get to the next level of networked nonprofit practice. It is designed to help them understand and measure the nature of the change process as they move through it. To read more, click here.
 

Tips for Writing frogloopAn Awesome Social Media And Communications Guide

The American Red Cross recently updated their Social Media and Online Communications Guide for their staff and it'...

The American Red Cross recently updated their Social Media and Online Communications Guide for their staff and it's packed with some great tips that any organization can adapt. Check out some of their great suggestions below.

Be a Good Social and Mobile Citizen
BE ACCURATE:  "Your network depends on you to tell the truth. Have fun, but make sure any news you report has been verified. If you're retweeting, sharing, or otherwise linking to someone else's content, give him/her credit," said the Red Cross.  
BE RELEVANT:  "Post content that invites responses - then stay engaged. Find others who have shared interests, cite them and ask them questions," said the Red Cross.  
BE CONSIDERATE:  "Encourage healthy debate but don't inflame others," said the Red Cross.
BE TRANSPARENT:  "If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction," said the Red Cross.
BE HUMAN:  "The social web is like a dinner party. Be yourself, but with good manners," said the Red Cross.

Balancing Your Professional and Personal Life
As social media becomes increasingly part of our daily lives professionally and personally, it can be a challenge to navigate these new waters. Check out the chart blogger Allison Fine created that discusses the Old Professional (pre social media) and the New Professional (in the age of social media).

Tips for Writing An Awesome Social Media And Communications Guide, August 18, 2012, frogloop, by  Allyson Kapin

It's a Brain Thing

Tell little stories all over the place. The human mind laps that stuff up. We're in a Golden Age for donor c...

Tell little stories all over the place. The human mind laps that stuff up.

We're in a Golden Age for donor communications, thanks to advances in psychology and neuroscience. Many debates are over. We've never had more information to base our ideas, offers, and words on.

We now know for sure why a bunch of hoary direct mail triggers, like flattery and fear, actually work so reliably. Those emotional triggers have now been laboratory tested. We've watched the brain act in real time through MRIs. We know that flattery produces dopamine and a sense of trust for the flatterer. We know that fear tickles the amygdala, the earliest evolutionary brain bud.

We now know for sure that sad images definitely out-raise happy images, in a head to head comparison of response. That was figured out in the psychology lab. So those people who preach, "We don't want to go negative with our donors...."? They are simply wrong. Science says so.

And here's Tom's favorite thing that science says: a taste for narrative is baked into the human brain. Again, dopamine. We take pleasure in stories. Great pleasure. Stories feel good in our brains.

Everything should tell a story: every picture, every caption, every offer, every headline, every deck, every pull quote, every testimonial and, of course, every article (but don't depend on them: very few people ever read past the first or second paragraph of an article, unless it's absolutely fascinating and professionally written).

It's a Brain Thing, August 30, 2012, Love Thy Reader, by Tom Ahern

Essential Learning to Serve as the Approved Exclusive Online Training Partner for COA

Essential Learning and the Council on Accreditation Partner to Help Human Service Agencies Prepare for a Successful A...

Essential Learning and the Council on Accreditation Partner to Help Human Service Agencies Prepare for a Successful Accreditation Process

Essential Learning, the leading provider of e-learning solutions to the behavioral health and human service industries, and theessential learning Council on Accreditation (COA), an international accrediting body of community-based social and behavioral healthcare services, have formed a partnership to develop a series of online courses designed to assist organizations throughout the accreditation process.
 
As a result of the partnership:

  • Essential Learning will develop a series of self-paced, online courses which will be made available through COA 
  • COA will review and approve Essential Learning's existing crosswalk of their online content to COA's accreditation standards 
  • Essential Learning will serve as the approved exclusive online training partner for COA

Combined, these initiatives will help meet COA's aim to provide superior training and support tools to accredited, in-process and prospective organizations.
 
In the coming weeks Essential Learning will be announcing more information about the partnership, including release dates of COA courses.
 
Learn more about the hundreds of courses Essential Learning already offers. Our ever expanding library contains thousands of hours of accredited courses that include compliance, clinical and workforce development topics.

Why It's Better for the Nonprofit When Consultants Work Together

Nonprofit organizations often engage more than one consultant at the same time and when this is the case, there can b...

Nonprofit organizations often engage more than one consultant at the same time and when this is the case, there can be an added value to their working with each other instead of separately. It is not only a matter of coordinating their effoejewish philanthropyrts to work within the framework of the organization's objectives, but rather to enable them to share their understanding of the challenges facing the agency. When consultants are encouraged to establish a strong collegial relationship it benefits them individually and strengthens their efforts on behalf of the organization.
 
Read the entire article to learn about the benefits of nonprofit consultants working together.

Why It's Better for the Nonprofit When Consultants Work Together, August 29, 2012, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

The KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge

Find your story in the Data Center. Create an awesome infographic. Win cool stuff. The KIDS COUNT Infographic Ch...

Find your story in the Data Center. Create an awesome infographic. Win cool stuff.

The KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge is an online crowd-sourced competition for young people and adults to use KIDS COUNT data to illustrate the story of America's children.

The Challenge is simple: tap into the powerful combination of art and data to educate, inform and engage. Great data and a fresh perspective can change how we think and inspire us to find new solutions to problems we face.
To enter:

  1. Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center and find data that speaks to you.
  2. Design an infographic or visual image using that data. (Need help? Check out visual.ly.)
  3. Upload it to the Challenge platform and activate your social networks to get your friends to vote for your entry when the voting period opens.

Show your creative sparks and win!

Friend-to-Friend Fundraising Works- So Why Aren't You Doing It?

Andrea Berry, Idealware's Director of Development is a pretty passionate advocate of nonprofits trying Friend-to-...

Andrea Berry, Idealware's Director of Development is a pretty passionate advocate of nonprofits trying Friend-to-Friend or Social Fundraising techniques for their organizations. Having come out of the health fundraising world, she's seen the power of having supporters fundraising on your behalf. Mobilizing an army of passionate advocates for your organization can tap into thousands of dollars in unseen funds and link your organization to hundreds--if not thousands--of new supporters. So why does this technique seem to be the domain of heath organizations alone?   

  • Is it the fear of the work of putting on a massive event like a Walk-a-thon or Dance-off? 
  • Is it lack of confidence in your supporters? 
  • Is it lack of knowledge about how to motivate your supporters?  

Idealware used to offer a seminar on "Getting Started with Distributed Fundraising," but no one ever took the class. Thinking it was due to a terrible name, they changed the title and tried again. Enter "Turning Your Supporters Into Fundraisers," but still no takers. Feeling very strongly that nonprofits should know about this approach, Idealware decided to offer the session for free, and it had the lowest registration rate for any of the 11 free seminars they've offered in 2011.
 
So what is going on? Why don't you care? Because honestly, you should. This method works.

Click here for answers to the bold questions above.

Friend-to-Friend Fundraising Works- So Why Aren't You Doing It? August 22, 2012, Idealware, by Andrea Berry

Wealthiest Don't Rate High on Giving Measure

Dividing the country into red states and blue states shows far more than who will likely vote for Mitt Romney or Bara...

Dividing the country into red states and blue states shows far more than who will likely vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama in the next presidential election. It's also one of several ways to gauge generosity, according to a Chronicle study that charts giving patterns in every city, state, and ZIP code.
 
People who live in red states are more likely to give generously to charities than those in bluechronicle philanthropy states.

The regional differences in giving are stark: In states like Utah and Mississippi, the typical household gives more than 7 percent of its income to charity after taxes, housing, food, and other living expenses, while the average household in Massachusetts and three other New England states gives less than 3 percent.

The same holds for the nation's 50 biggest metropolitan areas. The Chronicle found that residents of Salt Lake City, Memphis, and Birmingham, Ala., typically give at least 7 percent of their discretionary income to charity, while those in Boston and Providence average less than 3 percent.

To read the entire article, click here.

Wealthiest Don't Rate High on Giving Measure, August 19, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Ben Gose

How Crowdsourcing Can Help Your Nonprofit

Crowdsourcing can help you harness the crowd to increase awareness, cultivate new volunteers, gather information and ...

Crowdsourcing can help you harness the crowd to increase awareness, cultivate new volunteers, gather information and even get work done-all for a minimal investment. How can you put it to work for you?

Since the earliest days of the internet, people have used it to solicit and organize groups of people to participate in projects in small ways. Called crowdsourcing, this process can be done by a number of ways, and for a number of goals. In an early example of the practice, nonprofits would post questions to a Usenet discussion board to seek answers from the community-for instance, asking how to write a particular policy, or for recommendations about recognizing and rewarding volunteers. That "open call" approach is what distinguishes crowdsourcing from outsourcing, in which you'd send a task to a specific person or organization for help.

Crowdsourcing can be done at an organizational or individual level, and nonprofits have used it for everything from marketing and fundraising to volunteerism and activism. It's a great way to enlist help from a wider community knowledgebase, and to engage people in your work.

In the last few years, the rise of social media and new technologies made it easier to reach and engage a broader audience. But how can your organization harness the power of the crowd to help achieve your mission? Idealware asked nonprofit experts and professionals for crowdsourcing best practices and techniques that have worked for them. Find best practices and techniques here.

How Crowdsourcing Can Help Your Nonprofit, August 2012, Idealware, by Soha El Borno

Fantasizing Your Way to a Successful Organization

A recent satirical report in the online publication, The Onion, suggests that "the single act of pretending one&...

A recent satirical report in the online publication, The Onion, suggests that "the single act of pretending one's life is not in complete shambles ... works. 'Even when everything is coming apart at the seams and disaster is almost certainly imminent, putting up a good front for friends and loved ones makes everything better.'" While the Onion's report was written (it appears) tongue and cheek, its premise is grounded in the works of social commentators like Malcolm Gladwell and Norman Cousins who suggest that putting up a positive front leads to happiness and success. Although fantasizing about a better life might work well for individuals, it is not an effective strategy for organizations.

Professional fundraisers will attest (even when doing the opposite) that appeals based on positive messaging of what can be done, or is being done, are usually more successful and effective than the "woe is us approach." Although such an approach is logical in the fundraising arena, when it migrates to governance, well, "Houston, we have a problem".

Regrettably, far too organizations practice "strategy by pretend" in order to not upset volunteers, donors and most importantly, board members. That is ... until it is too late. While such positivism is critical to the success of effective branding and fundraising, many organizations have found themselves in deep financial and operational trouble because their leadership wore rose colored glasses. Rather than practicing organizational oversight, they believed their own messaging, and pretended that everything was okay - even when it wasn't. Any volunteer or professional who toils in this sector of the world can cite a litany of organizations who match this description.

Read the entire article here to learn about successful nonprofit and faith based organizations organizing around the juxtaposition of two basic premises-hope and reality.

Fantasizing Your Way to a Successful Organization, August 14, 2012,  eJP, by Lou Feldstein

Four Steps to Developing Your Future Leaders

Leadership is learned primarily by doing, with reinforcement from informal coaching and formal training. This article...

Leadership is learned primarily by doing, with reinforcement from informal coaching and formal training. This article, adapted from Chapter 3 of Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders, distills this concept into the 70-20-10 model that a growing number of corporations and nonprofits are using to develop the potential leaders identified in their Plan As - their road maps to developing future leaders in their organizations. As its name suggests, the model calls for 70 percent on-the-job training, supplemented with 20 percent coaching and mentoring, and 10 percent formal training. (Find a more detailed discussion of the model in "The 70-20-10 Model.")

Many nonprofits recognize the impact of on-the-job learning and offer their employees challenging assignments. In fact, 65 percent of respondents to Bridgespan's diagnostic survey on leadership development agree or strongly agree that their organizations "have sufficient quality opportunities for employees to gain new leadership skills via on-the-job opportunities." But it's not clear that organizations and their employees are making the most of those opportunities. Only about 30 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that "employees with the potential to move into leadership roles have development plans in place that identify areas for development and sources of development support." These responses suggest that many nonprofits need a more systematic approach to leadership development, one tied to existing HR and performance management processes.

Click here to read more and follow the steps outlined to weave leadership development into your organization's everyday activities using the 70-20-10 model.

Four Steps to Developing Your Future Leaders, August 15, 2012, Bridgespan

5 Hard Questions Every Nonprofit Should Ask

Nell Edgington is a huge believer in questions. Sometimes asking good, hard questions is the only way to get to the b...

Nell Edgington is a huge believer in questions. Sometimes asking good, hard questions is the only way to get to the bottom of ssocial velocityomething, to analyze potential options, to find the right path. So too in the nonprofit sector hard questions can play a pivotal role. It is critically important that we move away from an unwritten rule that "charities" are doing good things that shouldn't be questioned, to a place where nonprofits are continually asking themselves whether they are making most effective use of resources and providing real solutions. These are the 5 questions nonprofits should be asking themselves:

  1. Do we know if we are accomplishing anything?
  2. Are we adapting to our external environment?
  3. Is our board helping or hurting?
  4. Do we really need that new building?
  5. Are we using money as a tool?  

To move forward, the nonprofit sector needs to do away with safe, routine conversations and start asking some hard questions. Indeed questions are sometimes the only route to open up possibilities, try new approaches and find a better way.
 
Read the answers to each question in depth here.

5 Hard Questions Every Nonprofit Should Ask, August 14, 2012, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

Stop Documenting. Start Communicating.

Non-profits love 'documentation'. It's a love story of demand and supply. The demand originally started w...

Non-profits love 'documentation'. It's a love story of demand and supply. The demand originally started with donors asking for details of how their money was spent. And since non-profits work in tough areas where decades of work make up small yet significant achievements, they needed to come up with an answer. Hence they supplied details of wells dug, number of people employed in the digging of wells, people from the community who benefited from the water, and so on.

The demand by the donor was legitimate. "How has my money made a difference?" The response from the non-profit was equally legitimate. "This is how our work has changed lives: so many people, so many wells, etc."

But somewhere along the line, non-profits fell in love with the business - or rather the busy-ness - of documentation. To understand this, let's consider an example. We all prioritize the information we give out, according to what the listener is interested in.  But many non-profits have lost the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. And somewhere, the good stories, achievements and testimonials are buried under the rubble of documentation.

Click here to read more about avoiding your message losing its way in the morass of documentation.

Stop Documenting. Start Communicating. July 24, 2012, No Small Change

Have You Seen the New Klout.com

Klout launchedsocial fresh a preview of their new site refresh today to a few select users. One of the big changes is...

Klout launchedsocial fresh a preview of their new site refresh today to a few select users. One of the big changes is that the new Klout pulls in even more data to create it's influence scores. Previously Klout pulled in less than 100 metrics to create their scores. It now utilizes over 400+ data sources. That is over 4 times as much data.
 
People have always had the power to influence others, and that power is being democratized with new social media tools. Klout's mission is to provide insights into everyone's influence. Klout measures your influence based on your ability to drive action in social networks. Klout processes this data on a daily basis to give you an updated Klout Score each morning. Below are a few of the actions used to measure influence:

  • Facebook: Mentions, Likes, Comments, Subscribers, Wall Posts, Friends
  • Twitter: Retweets, Mentions, List Memberships, Followers, Replies
  • Google+: Comments, Reshares, +1
  • LinkedIn: Title, Connections, Recommenders, Comments  

It's great to have lots of connections but what really matters is how people engage with the content you create. Klout believes it's better to have a small and engaged audience than a large network that doesn't act upon your content. Klout wants to help you understand your influence wherever it may exist. They also understand given the number of different networks out there that it is nearly impossible for any person to be consistently effective across every network.

Have You Seen the New Klout.com, August 14, 2012, SocialFresh.com, by Jason Keath

Idealware's Upcoming Online Training

All of Idealware's on-demand recordings are 65% off for the month of August, so now's the time to catch up on...

All of Idealware's on-demand recordings are 65% off for the month of August, so now's the time to catch up on what you've missed. Just use the discount code CAMP812 and get any recorded seminar for only $9.

But wait, there's more! Idealware also has live seminars coming up this month. Find seminars here.

Idealware seminars are designed to give you the tactical advice you need to make smart software decisions. You can take one of Idealware's live online seminars, which are capped at 25 participants so you'll have lots of opportunity to ask questions and get the information you need. All you need is an internet connection and a phone line to participate in these 90-minute workshops. For an in-depth lesson, check out Idealware's online courses. These intense, five and six part trainings are offered in partnership with state associations across the country. Or check out Idealware's library of 17 (and growing) recorded seminars ready to go, whenever you need them.
 

United States of Aging

First United States of Aging Survey Shows Older Adults Optimistic but Uncertain About Future NCOA, UnitedHealthcare...

First United States of Aging Survey Shows Older Adults Optimistic but Uncertain About Future
NCOA, UnitedHealthcare, and USA TODAY surveyed 2,250 U.S. adults aged 60 or older for the inaugural United States of Aging Survey to examine seniors' outlook and preparedness for aging, and their community's ability to meet their needs as they age.

The results? Most older Americans feel their best years are still to come, but not all are prepared for the challenges of aging.

Key Findings

  • Seniors and baby boomers expect their lives to improve as they grow older.
  • A significant minority of respondents feel less secure: about one in four report trouble with current monthly living expenses; one-third say they will not be able to afford future long-term care services; and 72% of those who make less than $30,000 per year live with a chronic health condition.
  • Perceptions of community services for older Americans vary; boomers are less confident than older respondents that their community will provide the services they need to maintain health and independence.

 

As the Face of Philanthropy Changes, So Should the Faces that Promote It

Call it "Development for a New Millennium:" with the rise of online giving, the popularity of strategic cha...

Call it "Development for a New Millennium:" with the rise of online giving, the popularity of strategic charitable investments, and untold changes in not just how but where people are giving (as evidenced by the recent GivingUSA report on giving in 2011), the need for strong professional leadership, in the form of a talented Development Director to ensure effective fundraising efforts within a nonprofit organization, is more important than ever.

The undeniable importance of the individual donor remains paramount, and all too often, the organizational representaejewish philanthropytive that donors interact with most at a nonprofit is the Development Director. In concert with the Executive Director, the leader of the development department quite often serves as the "face" of the organization, representing its programs and cultivating its supporters.
 
A strong Development Director must partner with, educate, and motivate an organization's Executive Staff, and empower the Executive Director to inspire the Board of Directors as well as work hand-in-hand with campaign leadership and/or consultants for specific campaigns. She/he must be detail-oriented, work well on a team, and understand a variety of fundraising tasks, including gift acquisition, stewardship of donors, communication strategy, corporate giving, and both the writing and monitoring of foundation grants and government contracts.

Read the entire article here to learn about five new essential qualities of the modern-day Development Director.

As the Face of Philanthropy Changes, So Should the Faces that Promote It, August 5, 2012, eJP, by Robert I. Evans & Avrum D. Lapin, EHL Consulting

Focus on Finances and Feedback: Lessons From a Social-Venture Boot Camp

No matter how much nonprofits try to incorporate the world of finance into their work, it's rare that venture cap...

No matter how much nonprofits try to incorporate the world of finance into their work, it's rare that venture capitalists, grant makers and social entrepreneurs meet together to discuss their work.
 
That's why the Unreasonable Institute, a three-year-old nonprofit, brought 75 investors and grant makers to Boulder, CO, this summer to spend two days with social entrepreneurs attending a six-week boot camp on getting an enterprise off the ground.

As Scott Henderson participated in the event and spoke with foundation grant makers and traditional investors, he explored what lessons nonprofits and other social-impact start-ups could learn from this experience. Among them:
Value financial expertise.

  • Be open to feedback.
  • Explain your project clearly and concisely.
  • Find unlikely partners.  

Click here to read the entire article and learn about the lessons above in more detail.

Focus on Finances and Feedback, August 6, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Scott Henderson

The Best Darn Annual Report I've Seen this Year

Lately, Katya has been blogging on the concept of making the donor the hero of your story.  The center of your o...

Lately, Katya has been blogging on the concept of making the donor the hero of your story.  The center of your outreach.  The star of your show.
 
She's received several requests for examples of this concept in action. Below is her favorite, from blog reader Julie Burch of the Austin Children's Shelter. View the annual report here.  

The report does three things brilliantly:

  1. It gives the donors the credit and puts them at the center of the report.
  2. It is full of great stories.
  3. It has a deft way of telling a story and using powerful imagery without violating privacy

The Best Darn Annual Report I've Seen this Year, August 7, 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

Ventureneer's One-Stop Social Media Resource

Social Media for Nonprofits, Social Enterprises, Socially Responsible Companies Social media for nonprofits, social...

Social Media for Nonprofits, Social Enterprises, Socially Responsible Companies
Social media for nonprofits, social enterprises and socially responsible companies aren't optional anymore. They are an integral part of outreach, advocacy, fundraising, and client services and likely to become more so as technology advances. But nonprofits in particular are not getting all they can from social media, as discovered in our Ventureneer's Summer 2010 Survey, Nonprofits and Social Media: It Ain't Optional, of nonprofit social media use.

To that end, Ventureneer has compiled this one-stop, central resource of values-driven business -- socially responsible company, social enterprise and nonprofit -- social media best practices, research, learning opportunities, and conversations.

Be sure to check out 25 Best Social Media for Social Good Blogs and Putting the Power of LinkedIn to Use for Your Nonprofits pages.

The Importance of 'Noticing'

Yes! The qualitative data matter. What our participants think and feel matter. And its high time we started figuring ...

Yes! The qualitative data matter. What our participants think and feel matter. And its high time we started figuring out how to learn what they think and feel; what the qualitative results are of our programs.

For the past three years, Anna Marx, a Jewish organizational consultant that has been working with The Jewish Education Project and the Experiment in Congregational Education has been working with New York congregations in the Coalition of Innovating Congregations. As part of this work, teachers in part-time Jewish learning programs have been experimenting with ways to assess learning. Don't think assessment like in public schools - no fill-in-the-bubble-tests here. This assessment is about setting goals for learners that speak to their whole selves, not just the brain. We call it "Noticing" because it's about observing, witnessing growth in our learners as they travel their own journeys.

And the more Anna is a part of this work, the more she sees the possibilities for this whole-person assessment to translate to so many other kinds of programs in the Jewish community.

Click here to see what it looks like and read the remainder of the article.

The Importance of 'Noticing', August 9, 2012, eJP, by Anna Marx

Voices from the Sector: The Idealist.org Nonprofit Organization Report

Idealist approached the thousands of organizations on Idealist to ask them how they're doing, find out what they ...

Idealist approached the thousands of organizations on Idealist to ask them how they're doing, find out what they anticipate in the coming year, and learn more about their human resources practices. More than 1,000 organizations responded to the idealist-version 2Idealist survey. Overall, it was found that there is optimism in the nonprofit sector, which continues to rise, though many organizations still remain cautious in some areas. While funding has increased for many groups this year, some still sense uncertainty in the longer term. And organizations are facing a wide range of challenges in the areas of hiring, compensation, and staff development-and even in how to handle growth.
 
In 2012 Idealist also included data collected from more than 3,000 active job seekers in their Nonprofit Organization Report, who responded to their own survey. By assessing their experiences and comparing them with organizations' hiring practices and expectations, Idealist can help provide some insight into the challenges that face nonprofits so we can all continue to strengthen our work.

Click here to view the findings of the 2012 survey.

Use Social Media to Reel in Big Fish Donors

Many nonprofits already use social media, including mobile, to raise money among individual donors. Small donations a...

Many nonprofits already use social media, including mobile, to raise money among individual donors. Small donations add up, as Mark Hanis found. His first Facebook campaign raised $250,000 in 2005 for Genocide Intervention Network, now known as http://endgenocide.org/.
 
But few nonprofits use social media to build relationship with potential Big Fish donors. Yup, you can target and build these important relationships by engaging with them through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The relationship starts online, but the "ask" happens offline, perhaps on the phone, but most likely face-to-face.

Building these relationships is hard work but the benefits are enormous. Effective social media outreach takes at least 25 hours of staff time per week, according to the Ditch Digital Dabbling research report. Hanis has tips for those willing to undertake the task, based on his experience as head of the Genocide Intervention Network:

  • Identify prospects using the 990s of nonprofits with a mission similar to yours.
  • Research which social media these major donors are using.
  • Learn their areas of interest and how engaged they are in your cause.
  • Engage on an ongoing basis.
  • Coordinate all internal efforts.
  • Reach out.  

Read about Hanis' tips in more detail here.

Note from Beth: We know that social media can bring in the small dollar donors, but what about larger gifts? This is a question that was answered in a study from 2009 and the answer is yes. Find out how one successful nonprofit leader does it.

Use Social Media to Reel in Big Fish Donors, August 1, 2012, Beth's Blog, by By Geri Stengel

The Simple Secret to Building Community

Earlier this month, Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works wrote a post about Audience, Access, and Advertis...

Earlier this month, Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works wrote a post about Audience, Access, and Advertising on his blog.

He pointed out that the first two, Audience and Access, were two dials on the new machine of building your business, and that advertising was no longer the first and primary effective tool for this for most of us.
Let's dig just a bit deeper on how to go about building value for an audience and work on how providing access to your customers and prospects helps business.

Audience and It's Secret Better Half
To gain attention for whatever you seek to accomplish, you might have the goal to build an audience.
When we talk about audience, they might gather for you in many ways. You might be growing an email newsletter, or you might have a blog, or maybe you have a radio show, or a TV show. You want to attract people to whatever it is you have to say, so that you can then encourage them, educate them, convince them, sell to them, whatever that goal might be.
 
How do you get them there?

Audience building is one part self-promotion, one part creating useful and/or entertaining content (and we can interpret this one very widely), one part repetition (for getting an audience together once is rarely a win for anyone), and then we come to the parts that aren't as often a guarantee.

Click here to read about interaction, inclusion, and empowerment as well as the entire article.

The Simple Secret to Building Community, July 31, 2012, SocialFresh.com, by Chris Brogan

Growing Individual Gifts: An Analytic Approach to Data Driven Success

A WealthEngine Institute Workbook This workbook will take readers step-by-step through the strategies needed for su...

A WealthEngine Institute Workbook
This workbook will take readers step-by-step through the strategies needed for success and growth in individual giving, offering guidance from assessing and planning, through building strategies and measuring success. An accompanying toolkit shares electronic tools and resources available for download, to further enable readers to grow individual gifts at their organizations.

Is your agency interested in WealthEngine? AJFCA has been looking into a group subscription. Please email Megan if you are interested in WeathEngine's services.

WealthEngine provides clients in the United States with solutions that provide a complete picture of the people they already know, and tools to find new people they would like to get to know. We work with nonprofits, hospitals, institutions of higher education, political campaigns and advocacy groups of all sizes as well as luxury organizations and financial services firms to help them effectively identify individuals with the net worth, income, lifestyle and affinity to become their next top donor or customer.

Reinventing the Nonprofit Capital Campaign

In a previous article on About.com, Nell Edgington discussed the idea of capacity capital, an incredibly exciting new...

In a previous article on About.com, Nell Edgington discussed the idea of capacity capital, an incredibly exciting new funding vehicle for nonprofit organizations. Capacity capital is the money that nonprofits so desperately need to build strong, effective, sustainable organizations that can create more social change. It is a one-time investment of money to add new technology, an evaluation system, a new revenue function-ultimately money to grow or strengthen the organizatisocial velocityon. And it is infinitely more effective at achieving social impact than a traditional bricks and mortar capital campaign.
 
There are many perceived benefits to a bricks and mortar capital campaign. They can be a vehicle for asking for bigger gifts, a way to get in front of the community and be "noticed," and a method for energizing the board and giving them something to do.

Click here to read about the often huge downsides to these campaigns as well as raising money through a capacity capital campaign, for the things a nonprofit really needs to create more social change.

Reinventing the Nonprofit Capital Campaign, June 26, 2012, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

A Few Good Blogging Tools

Your organization's blog is a place to show a little personality, share resources, highlight your expertise, and ...

Your organization's blog is a place to show a little personality, share resources, highlight your expertise, and engage your constituents. What are the best tools for creating and hosting a blog?

Why do we blog? Personal reasons aside, blogs are particularly useful for organizations as a way to publicize expertise on a topic in your issue area, to educate constituents, promote your work, or share your story from behind-the-scenes. By making your organization easier to find through search engines, a blog is also helpful for promoting your website and online information.
 
Blogs are a way for nonprofits to show a little personality, too. By having multiple authors-staff members, volunteers or even friends of the organization-you can show a diverse set of perspectives and experiences, adding depth to your online presence. This also provides opportunities for supporters and constituents to share their stories-for example, you could ask a volunteer to write about their experience working with your organization on an important or emotional project.
 
If you use your blog to recognize the efforts of your supporters or highlight what makes your organization's mission and work special, you can encourage more people to volunteer, donate, or support you in other ways.  
 
There are many good reasons for nonprofits to keep a blog. Click here to learn about a few good tools to facilitate your blogging.

A Few Good Blogging Tools, July 24, 2012, Idealware, by Kyle Henri Andrei

Gripping Graphics: 2011 VolunteerMatch Annual Report

Annual reports present important information for board members and the community, but often lack imagination. Here is...

Annual reports present important information for board members and the community, but often lack imagination. Here is a neat and engaging annual report from VolunteerMatch that is presented as an infographic!

What does the web's largest volunteer engagement network look like? This yvolunteermatch annual report infographicear VolunteerMatch created an infographic to explore its scope, vitality and impact.
 
The data tell a very human story... about  engagement, participation and generosity. Take a closer look and you will see where volunteers are spending their time, what they are interested in and where they are coming from.

In 2011 you will see that the network helped VolunteerMatch nonprofit members attract $640 million worth of volunteer service on a budget of just under $4.5 million, or $145 dollars in social value for every $1 spent.

Click on this link to view the entire report.

Gripping Graphics, July 20, 2012, BoardSource, by VolunteerMatch

Out of the Closet, Into the Cloud: Case Studies of Hosted IT Infrastructure (An Overview of a Research Project)

[Editor's note: The following is an article written by Laura Quinn, Idealware, based on research conducted for NT...

[Editor's note: The following is an article written by Laura Quinn, Idealware, based on research conducted for NTEN regarding the impact, characteristics, and considerations of cloud options for nonprofit organizations' IT infrastructures. You can read the individual case studies in addition to this article, which summarizes findings from the case studies.]

There's a lot of buzz about the Cloud being the future of data storage and processing, and more and more Cloud-based options available to users every day, but we wondered to what extent organizations were effectively replacing traditional IT functions and servers with Cloud solutions. Is nonprofit technology moving out of the data closet and into the Cloud?

NTEN set out to find good examples of organizations that had taken staff email, file servers, phone services and other functions that would traditionally be housed onsite and replaced them with applications accessed over the Internet, or with "Cloud applications" like Google Apps, online file sharing or data backup services. To that end, NTEN posted an email to nonprofit technology discussion lists looking for nonprofits willing to share their stories, and contacted a few participants from an NTEN summit on Cloud technologies earlier this year.

From all the responses, 10 diverse organizations were chosen for case studies. Click here to read what types of cloud services nonprofits are successfully using, outsourcing server maintenance and issues, saving time and money, and security in the cloud.

Out of the Closet, Into the Cloud: Case Studies of Hosted IT Infrastructure, June 8, 2012, NTEN, by Annaliese Hoehling

 

Top Online Marketing Mistakes - and How to Avoid Them

Prestige Marketing emailed Katya this nifty infographic detailing the top 5 marketing mistakes. Katya wrote, "If...

Prestige Marketing emailed Katya this nifty infographic detailing the top 5 marketing mistakes. Katya wrote, "If I had to apply this to nonprofits, I'd modify this a bit. Our mistake is rarely too much advertising instead of content marketing - because we can't afford ads!"
 
Here are the top nonprofit variations of these errors:

  1. Me-me messaging: The corollary of too much advertising on social media with for-profits is too much promotional content on social media.  Does your content read like an ad?
  2. Lackluster content:  Not enough new, interesting stories about the difference your work makes in the world.
  3. No personality: Talking like an organization instead of a person working for your cause.
  4. No action: Failing to provide simple, clear and easy calls to action.
  5. Writing off email: It's still powerful and important.  Are you efforts reflecting that?

Top Online Marketing Mistakes - and How to Avoid Them, July 11 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

Executive Education: The Time for Action is Now

Thanks to David Edell for jumpstarting the conversation about what is possible regarding executive education for the ...

Thanks to David Edell for jumpstarting the conversation about what is possible regarding executive education for the Jewish nonprofit field. Lyn Light Geller, executive director of the department of educational resources and organizational development for UJA-Federation of New York agrees that the time for action is now.

In New York, UJA-Federation's Wiener Educational Center has been involved in executive education and professional development for many years and has learned some lessons from their current models of professional and executive education for the Jewish not-for-profit sector that may be more broadly applicable.

Their mission - to care for those in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and to strengthen the Jewish people, is foundational to all that we do. We understand that our mission cannot be accomplished without skilled and passionate professional leaders who are positioned to lead us to the next phase of Jewish communal life. And, UJA-Federation's NY has developed a multi-tiered program to recruit, educate and retain our professional leadership. Their strategy includes:

  • Widening Doors.
  • Emerging Professional Leadership.
  • Strengthening the Middle.
  • Executive Level Education.
  • Learning At All Levels.  

There are national and international models to learn from as well. There is indeed some action. What is needed is more conversation between those who talk and those who act; more dialogue between those who act; the development of a national strategy to be implemented on both local and national levels, and the support of our leadership, both professional and lay, to give this the priority that it deserves.

Click here to learn more about the observations UJF-Federation of NY has made regarding their professional development programs for the Jewish nonprofit sector.

Executive Education: The Time for Action is Now, July 24, 2012, eJP, by Lyn Light Geller
 

Report on CEO Transitions Just Released

AJFCA and many of our members participated in a survey of CEOs of Jewish organizations conducted last year.  The...

AJFCA and many of our members participated in a survey of CEOs of Jewish organizations conducted last year.  The survey results have been published in Effective CEO Transitioning/Leadership Sustainability in North American Jewish Nonprofit Organizations by Dr. Steven Noble. The report highlights the challenges organizations and their leadership face in effective succession planning and sustainability. Included are ten recommendations that address the underlying reasons for the immediate challenges, as well as suggested solutions.  AJFCA will be continuing to work with Dr. Noble as he does further work in this area.

Getting to Aha! The Nonprofit Marketer's Top Challenge

Poor Messages Hold You Back from the Change You Seek, but Survey Findings Signal Huge Opportunity to Boost Connection...

Poor Messages Hold You Back from the Change You Seek, but Survey Findings Signal Huge Opportunity to Boost Connection and Action

The overwhelming response to GettingAttention.org's recent Nonprofit Messages Survey highlights how vital it is for an organization's messages to connect quickly and strongly with the people whose help is wanted--and how rare that is today.
 
The way your nonprofit talks about its work, results and ultimate impact is a core competency critical to your success. Relevance is the heart of memorable, motivating messages--Aha! messages. If your messages are irrelevant (more than 7 of 10 nonprofits describe their messages as off target), your organization will fail to motivate the actions you need to move your mission forward-to give, volunteer, join or advocate.

The great news is that fixing the problem is highly do-able and promises vastly greater success in advancing your mission than you're experiencing now. It's incumbent upon executive directors, board members and marketing and fundraising leaders to lead the charge to make your messages relevant.

The survey findings can be found here.

Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing. Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to nonprofit organizations and foundations nationwide. She is the publisher of the Getting Attention e-update and blog. For more nonprofit marketing guidance like this, subscribe to her e-update.

Getting to Aha! The Nonprofit Marketer's Top Challenge, June 21, 2012, GettingAttention.org, by Nancy Schwartz

10 Facebook Photo Ideas Your Fans Will Love

Fear not, this is not another Facebook Timeline cover-photo tutorial. While the cover photo feature is certainly cool...

Fear not, this is not another Facebook Timeline cover-photo tutorial. While the cover photo feature is certainly cool and companies are doing very clever things with it, it's important to remember the cover photo just sits on your page. Most people will never return to your page once they "like" it. They most likely interact with your page from their news feeds, and may never even see your beautifully designed Facebook page.
 
What people do have the chance to see every day are the photos you post on your page. The more people like, share and comment on your photos, the better the chance your photos will appear in the news feed. This will drive more people to like, share and comment on them. In other words, photos matter a lot on Facebook. Start including more photos in your updates, and there's a good chance your engagement will soar. Below are 10 ideas for how pages can and should use photos on Facebook. Don't fret if you're not in the marketing industry. Any business can use these ideas.

1. Post images from blog posts.
2. Add images to announcements. pr daily
3. Show off your office.
4. Highlight your team.
5. Show life outside of work.
6. Create a meme.
7. Post comics.
8. Illustrate survey results.
9. Illustrate statistics.
10. Take screen shots.


Use the ideas above to better engage your audience and stand out in the news feed. Make sure the photos you post have a purpose and relate to your brand and/or industry. Aim to share photos that teach, entertain, inform or give an insider look at your company. Read about ideas for how pages can and should use photos on Facebook in more detail here.

10 Facebook Photo Ideas Your Fans Will Love, July 16, 2012, PR Daily, by Kerry Jones

Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders

While resource constraints are one challenge most nonprofits face, the biggest obstacle to improved leadership develo...

While resource constraints are one challenge most nonprofits face, the biggest obstacle to improved leadership development may be the behavior of leaders. Many nonprofit leaders (including nonprofit boards) confront the question of leadership development only when faced with a succession crisis. And by then it may be too late.

A change of thinking is needed to overcome this obstacle. Bridgespan has created Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders as a guide to help nonprofits think differently about leadership development.

Plan A treats leadership development not as an ad hoc response to crisis but as a proactive and systematic investment in building a pipeline of leaders within an organization, so that when transitions are necessary, leaders at all levels are ready to answer the call.

Click here to learn of the processes laid out in this guide designed to help nonprofits.

Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders, June 25, 2012, The Bridgespan Group, by Kirk Kramer and Preeta Nayak

Make the Smartest Budget Decision of 2012

Save Money with Online Staff Training from Essential Learning Would you like to reduce the cost of training yo...

Save Money with Online Staff Training from Essential Learning


Would you like to reduce the cost of training your staff? Over 1,000 organizations in 50 states and Canada have realized significant savings in their training expenses by choosing an Essential Learning e-learning solution. E-Learning Is The Best Return On Your Investment. With an Essential Learning e-learning solution you can:

  • Cut travel expenses by shifting mandatory trainings online
  • Decrease the loss of billable hours and time away from the jobessential learning
  • Reduce the time you spend administrating your training programs
  • Keep your staff credentialed and productive
  • Retain staff and get new employees on the job faster
  • Reduce training costs by up to 70% by blending online training into your current training program

Click here to read Essential Learning's case study on e-learning training effectiveness. Discover how Essential Learning can help you lower training costs, maintain compliance with training requirements and increase staff productivity. Request a free online tour today! View additional tips for calculating your ROI. For more information email or call 800-729-9198, ext.296

How to Make Sure Your Logo Tells Your Story

Your organization's logo offers the world a glimpse of who you are and what you do. It should not just be instant...

Your organization's logo offers the world a glimpse of who you are and what you do. It should not just be instantly recognizable but also offer a clear and compelling narrative that people will remember. Too often, nonprofits attempt to do too much with a logo, or they use generic, ubiquitous, and clichéd visual motifs that ignore what makes a group special. How many times have we seen a nonprofit using a logo with people holding hands? Or maybe the ever-popular abstract human-like figure.

However, if your logo looks like everyone else's logo, you stop saying anything at all. If all nonprofits see themselves as helping people and the planet, you don't really communicate anything valuable by focusing on such a generic theme.

To communicate the right message, it's important to find the right designer-someone who takes the time to understand your organization's core values and what makes you different. Then you can focus on creating a logo that truly captures your story. Here's what to keep in mind as you begin:

Overly complex logos can sometimes lead to funny misinterpretations.
Use shapes that have meaning.
Personality matters.
Simplicity is key.


To read the entire article, click here.

How to Make Sure Your Logo Tells Your Story, July 12, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Matthew Scharpnick

Board-Driven Achievements

Are you looking for inspiring new approaches to strengthening and building your organization's impact through boa...

Are you looking for inspiring new approaches to strengthening and building your organization's impact through board leadership? Then tune in to BoardSource's YouTube channel.

This year, all applicants for the 2012 Prudential Leadership Awards for Exceptional Nonprofit Boards, submitted a short video addressing their board-driven achievements. BoardSource has now posted 24 of the entries on our YouTube channel.

The Donor Lifecycle Map as a Useful Development Planning Tool

The Donor Lifecycle Map, created by Sarah Clifton, is a terrific tool to use in creating a strategic fund raising pla...

The Donor Lifecycle Map, created by Sarah Clifton, is a terrific tool to use in creating a strategic fund raising plan. The focus of the Map is determining where a donor lies in terms of his/her lifetime giving to an organization, not on the size of any individual contribution or amount of personal assets. The Donor Lifecycle Map emphasizes relationship building as opposed to transactions and on moving a donor along from first gift to endowment. It can be used along with data about the size of any gift, but its major advantage, is that it helps to organize the strategic plan according to the "next step" for the donor or category of donors. The question for staff and volunteers then becomes what must be done or what resources should be expended on this individual or group of people depending upon where on the Lifecycle Map they lie.

Read the entire article here.

The Donor Lifecycle Map as a Useful Development Planning Tool, July 10, 2012, eJP, by Deborah Kaplan Polivy

Community Outreach and Fundraising as an Integral Part of the NPO's Mission: Enlisting Professionals for Capacity Building

Those who manage nonprofit organizations are frequently involved in resource development and community outreach as si...

Those who manage nonprofit organizations are frequently involved in resource development and community outreach as significant aspects of our jobs. University presidents, hospital administrators and CEO's of other non-profit organizations (NPO's) can and should devote significant portions of their professional responsibility to these cejewish philanthropyritical elements of capacity building. First and foremost, nonprofit professional leaders and managers must recognize that donors rightly want to invest their funds in organizations with which they have confidence and trust, beginning with an accessible and personal connection to their leaders. For this reason, leaders of NPO's need to see fundraising and community outreach as a significant part of their personal professional vision and practically, of what they do day to day.      

Read Enlisting Professionals for Capacity Building to learn why CEOs must include engaging his/her colleagues and other professionals in the mission-critical resource development process.

Enlisting Professionals for Capacity Building, July 10, 2012, eJP, by David B. Marcu, CEO of Israel Elwyn and past president of IAJVS

7 Steps For Getting More Instagram Followers

As Instagram continues it's march to being the most popular mobile social network and most popular photo-sharing ...

As Instagram continues it's march to being the most popular mobile social network and most popular photo-sharing community in the world, figuring out the app can be difficult. Brands that are new to Instagram usually ask the same question: How can we get more followers?

After over a year managing one of the most active Instagram communities and starting a company based on Instagram, Brian DiFeo has learned some key strategies and best practices for a new brand interested in connecting with people on Instagram. For added inspiration, check out this list of brands on Instagram from Social Fresh.

    Jumpstart with Existing Audiences
    Content + Engagement
    Have a Content Plan
    Utilize Relevant Hashtags
    Consider Running a Contest
    Partner with Instagram Influencers
    Use Third Party Websites


Overall, if you work for a brand that sees value in Instagram, don't just close the app after you post a photo. The Instagram community is passionate about photography and social networking. It is in your best interest to interact with your followers and engage with them much like you would on other popular sites.

To read about the 7 Steps in more detail, click here.

7 Steps For Gesocial freshtting More Instagram Followers, June 27, 2012, SocialFresh.com, by Brian DiFeo

A Look at How the Environment Impacts Healthy Aging

In June, NCOA co-sponsored Healthy Environments Across Generations, an event organized by the Collaborative on Health...

In June, NCOA co-sponsored Healthy Environments Across Generations, an event organized by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) to explore scientific evidence confirming that certain early life experiences can influence health later in life.

Medical research reveals that environmental factors play a major role in the majority of cases of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Diet, exercise, exposure to toxic chemicals and other environmental pollutants, and socioeconomic stress can alter biochemical pathways influencing the risk of these diseases and other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Click here to learn more about chronic diseases driven by dramatic alterations over the past 50-100 years in the U.S. food supply and environment.

A Look at How the Environment Impacts Healthy Aging, July 6, 2012, NCOA

10 Things Your Home Page Absolutely Must Have

What belongs on your home page? One definite must is an impossible-to-miss Donate button. The "Donate Now&q...

What belongs on your home page?

One definite must is an impossible-to-miss Donate button. The "Donate Now" button should immediately take the user to the donation form, with no intermediate steps.

Another must is a way to capture information from people not ready to give. It takes time to cultivate supporters, so include an email sign-up so that you can build a relationship with visitors and turn them into donors in the future. Think beyond "join our mailing list".

So what are the other eight things? Click here-Network for Good has the rest of answers.  

10 Things Your Home Page Absolutely Must Have, June 26, 2012, Kayta's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

From Small to Scale: Three Trade-offs for Smaller Nonprofits Trying to Get Big

"Money often costs too much," wrote the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Many leaders of smaller nonprofits...

"Money often costs too much," wrote the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Many leaders of smaller nonprofits, struggling to find the funds to grow or sustain programs, surely feel the same way. It is easy to rack up costs chasing after foundation grants, public donations, and government funds, and the wrong chase can be financially fatal.

Truth be told, for most smaller nonprofits, growing revenue is more scattershot than science. Often, they can meet their budgets by inspiring a handful of donors, seizing unanticipated funding opportunities, or patching together a variety of funding sources. At the other end of the spectrum (as reported in the 2007 Nonprofit Quarterly article "In Search of Sustainable Funding: Is Diversity of Sources Really the Answer"), nonprofits that grow very large tend to be highly focused: they raise most of their money from a single type of funder (such as corporations or government) that is a good match for their mission.

But how do you connect the dots? Is the path to growth linear, or are there distinct, required inflection points in funding strategy as a smaller or midsize organization grows? And how does a smaller nonprofit need to adapt organizationally as funding needs change over time?

To begin to answer these questions, read the remainder of this article.   

From Small to Scale: Three Trade-offs for Smaller Nonprofits Trying to Get Big, May 8, 2012, Nonprofit Quarterly, by Peter Kim, Suzanne Tollerud and Gail Perreault

Why You Can't Have a Huge, Active Community Paying Attention at All Times

Katya Andersen is often asked, "How do we scale our dedicated fan base?" Here's the challenge. A lot of...

Katya Andersen is often asked, "How do we scale our dedicated fan base?" Here's the challenge. A lot of organizations (both nonprofit and for-profit) start with a dedicated following.  Then they try to grow their community bigger and bigger. Along the way, they keep talking to their audience as if it was one, homogeneous audience. But it's not.  A lot of people lose interest, because they care about different things.  The audience starts disengaging and dwindling.  And you might end up with a small audience that isn't dedicated at all. That's the rub.

As Clay Shirky said in his book, Cognitive Surplus, "People differ.  More people differ more...and intimacy doesn't scale."  He says everyone wants three things:

  1. A large group of people
  2. An active group of people.
  3. A group paying attention to the same thing.

It would be nice and easy if you're in nonprofit marketing to have that be possible.  But the problem is, you have to pick two. You can't have all three at the same time. So decide. As you grow and your audience diversifies, are you willing to segment that larger group into smaller groups? And talk to each of those smaller groups in a different way, based on their interests? It's what you need to keep growing. One message does not fit one mass.

Why You Can't Have a Huge, Active Community Paying Attention at All Times, June 18, 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen
 

11 Ways to Improve your Sponsorship Packages with Online Perks

If your organization works with corporate sponsors, you've probably put some thought into defining the different ...

If your organization works with corporate sponsors, you've probably put some thought into defining the different levels of sponsorship and what to include in each. Such perks can help lure new sponsors by offering a return on their investment beyond just a charitable contribution or can tempt existing sponsors to increase their donation.

There's an entirenpt realm of perks you can offer to increase the value of your sponsorship packages. By thinking about ways to incorporate online resources into your packages, including websites, email and social media, you might find exciting new ways to draw sponsors and let your community know about the businesses that help make your programs possible.

Here are 11 examples, some common, some more unusual, to get you started when thinking about your next set of sponsorship packages.  

  • Online logo placement.
  • Online ads.
  • Visual branding.
  • Naming rights.
  • Employee perks.
  • Social media promotion.
  • Sponsor guest posting.
  • Videos and photos about the partnership.
  • Let them provide real-time information.
  • Introduce them to your list with an email.
  • Offer opt-ins for information from your sponsor.    

Click here to read about the 11 examples in more detail.

11 Ways to Improve your Sponsorship Packages with Online Perks, May 3, 2012, The Nonprofit Times, by Laura S. Quinn

Beyond Dashboards: Business Intelligence Tools for Program Analysis and Reporting

Strategic, mission-critical decisions require a clear understanding of program performance, but for most nonprofits, ...

Strategic, mission-critical decisions require a clear understanding of program performance, but for most nonprofits, making decisions on facts rather than gut feelings is easier said than done. As a way to better understand program performance and become more responsive to changes, organizations are increasingly turning to dashboards-custom utilities that gather, organize and present information in an accessible way-that let them more effectively measure, monitor and manage the way they meet their missions.

There are a number of ways to create dashboards, including using such common tools such as Excel or Access, or proprietary systems embedded in databases. But these approaches can lead to dashboards that are not very user-friendly and difficult to update.

Business Intelligence tools, or "BI" tools, take the dashboard idea to the next level. More than simply graphically displaying static data, they offer trend analysis, forecasting and drill-down capabilities that can dramatically expand your insight into program performance. With a good BI tool, you can combine data from multiple sources, view it from different perspectives and distribute it more easily. Beyond simple reporting, BI tools allow a more comprehensive analysis of your organization's data.

Not every organization needs a BI tool, but if you have a solid strategy for program evaluation and monitoring and already capturing the raw data you need, but struggling to analyze data and make use of it, one of these tools might be a good fit.

Click here to take a closer look at what BI tools can offer and how they work.

Beyond Dashboards: Business Intelligence Tools for Program Analysis and Reporting, June 20, 2012, Idealware, by By Patrick Yurgosky

Six Theory of Change Pitfalls to Avoid

Over the past decade, more and more nonprofits have developed a theory of change- that is, an articulation of the res...

Over the past decade, more and more nonprofits have developed a theory of change- that is, an articulation of the results an orstanford social innovation reviewganization must achieve to be successful, and how it, working alone or with others, will achieve them. Organizations do this either of their own volition or because funders, board members, or other parties ask them to do so. In fact, according to Innovation Network's State of Evaluation 2010, half of nonprofits report having a theory of change, and of those, nearly 80 percent either created or revised it in the past year. But simply putting boxes and lines down on paper doesn't guarantee that your organization will make better decisions.

To start, a good theory of change should answer six big questions:

1. Who are you seeking to influence or benefit (target population)?
2. What benefits are you seeking to achieve (results)?
3. When will you achieve them (time period)?
4. How will you and others make this happen (activities, strategies, resources, etc.)?
5. Where and under what circumstances will you do your work (context)?
6. Why do you believe your theory will bear out (assumptions)?


Read the entire article to learn about the six major pitfalls that, if avoided, can help nonprofits create actionable theories of change.

Six Theory of Change Pitfalls to Avoid, May 23, 2012, Stanford Social Innovation Review, by Matthew Forti

Volunteers Are Not Free Labor

Most nonprofit organizations are thrilled to have volunteers working with them. Unfortunately, not all understand tha...

Most nonprofit organizations are thrilled to have volunteers working with them. Unfortunately, not all understand that before they can reap the benefits of utilizing volunteers, they must first commit to providing them with a meaningful experience. Only by investing and committing to the person who is prepared to donate their time will thejewish philanthropye volunteer be an asset to the organization.

Remember that from the perspective of the volunteers, they want an experience that simultaneously enables them to help people, learn new things and develop new skills while they are providing a service to the community. When an organization invests in its volunteers the volunteers will better serve the agency and feel a deeper sense of accomplishment, which ultimately benefits everyone involved.

Click here
to read more about developing a meaningful volunteer experience: designating a volunteer staff member, drafting a letter of agreement, volunteer training, guidance, supervision and the importance of volunteer feedback.

Volunteers Are Not Free Labor, June 20, 2012, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Collaborating in Good and Bad Times for the Right Reasons

Though it may not always feel like it, the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009--three years ago. Nonprofits...

Though it may not always feel like it, the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009--three years ago. Nonprofits have been hit hard with increased demand for services and a shifting funding landscape in the years since the economic crisis began, and predictably there has been much talk of a resulting spike in collaborations and mergers. But the notionchronicle philanthropy that collaborations are somehow linked with recessions leads to the false assumption that nonprofits should collaborate because of financial motivations.

Organizing strategic collaborations solely to reduce costs does not set up collaborating partners for success, and it ignores a fundamental function: to do a better job of accomplishing the mission.

So why do we associate tough economic times with collaborations and mergers?

Read the entire article to learn the answer and more about the right reasons to collaborate.

Collaborating in Good and Bad Times for the Right Reasons, June 1, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Peter Kramer

9 MORE Ways Board Members Can Raise Money Without Fundraising

According to Social Velocity President, Nell Edgington it seems so obvious to that there are a million different ways...

According to Social Velocity President, Nell Edgington it seems so obvious to that there are a million different ways for board members to contribute to the bottom-line of their nonprofits, that it didn't occur to her that a list like 9 Ways Board Members Can Raise Money Without Fundraising could be so valuable. But apparently it was.

So Nell wanted to add to the list, to give people even more ideas for how their board can contribute to the financial engine of their nonprofit without ever asking for money. And maybe with all of these options, more nonprofits will institute a requirement that EVERY board member contribute (either with a personal gift or by implementing some of these ideas) financially to the organization. So here are 9 more ways that board members who are fundraising "shy" can raise money for their nonprofit:  

  • Invite 5 Friends to Tour the Program
  • Talk About Your Nonprofit on Facebooksocial velocity
  • Show Up to One of Your Nonprofit's Events
  • Tell The Story Of Why You Serve
  • Help Craft a Case for Support
  • Analyze Your Networks
  • Go on a Solicitation Call
  • Educate a Funder About the Power of Capacity Capital
  • Give a Gift  

Read the entire article to learn about these nine ways in more detail.

9 MORE Ways Board Members Can Raise Money Without Fundraising, June 20, 2012, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

4 Laws of Networks - and What They Say About Your Best Messenger

If there's one thing that's changed in marketing lately, it's the relative importance of the messenger. N...

If there's one thing that's changed in marketing lately, it's the relative importance of the messenger. Not so long ago, the world was dominated by broadcast marketing - also known as "spray and pray." You were the messenger, and you'd promulgate your official message to as many people as possible, praying that someone would listen - and buy, give or act. And a lot of the time it worked. Old-school advertisers will remember Sarnoff's Law, which said the value of a rkatya nonprofit marketing blogadio or TV station was proportional to the number of listeners or viewers. When a viewer was added, the value of ad space went up by one.

But in an era when most of the world's population has a phone and is half connect to the Internet, the most important messengers aren't the official ones - they are our peers, whose opinions are just a click away.  When Edelman's 2012 Trust Barometer came out earlier this year, the biggest finding was the increasing stock people put in the recommendations of people like them. We've all experienced it.  When is the last time you trusted an ad for a hotel over a review on Trip Advisor?  In speaking about this finding, David Armano of Edelman noted, it is important that we "share the stage with 'regular' people who have a voice via a variety of social channels," as well as to be "in tune with the topics and issues they care about and discuss."

Click here to read more and learn what model applies to this new peer-dominated world.

4 Laws of Networks, June 19 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andersen

Talent Management: Diversity & Inclusion, Mentoring, Onboarding and Succession Planning

The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA) recently undertook a study of the practices of some of its members relati...

The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA) recently undertook a study of the practices of some of its members relating to diversity and inclusion and has produced a report entitled, Retaining and Developing High Potential Talent. The report begins by noting that having a policy that encourages diversity in hiring does not go far enough. Agencies must incorporate the value of their diverse workforce into the fabric of the organizational culture in order to show tangible results. The report offers a toolkit of five key elements for building a successful approach:

  • Planning: Begin with the end goals in mind so that you can demonstrate success.
  • Set the Tone: Create a climate of respect and acceptance for all.
  • Communicate: List diversity and inclusion in your core values, highlight progress and embed the diversity message wherever possible.
  • Ensure Accountability: Clearly specify the responsibility of each person on every management level and tie in to performance reviews.
  • Evaluate: Track successes and failures; benchmark using labor force statistics to compare yourself to the market standard.

The report goes on to discuss three practices that can provide the largest boost to talent management at the lowest cost:  mentoring, onboarding and succession planning. Through benefits analysis and case studies, the report illustrates the best practices in these crucial talent management tools. To read the entire report, click here.
 

The Meaning of FRD: Where's the Money?

During the last several years there has been a perception that nonprofit organizations have become more knowledgeable...

During the last several years there has been a perception that nonprofit organizations have become more knowledgeable about financial resource development. Recently Stephen Donshik, nonprofit consultant had two experiences with two large well established and sophisticated organizations in Israel. Although he expected there to be an understanding that fundraising is not about collecting checks it was surprising to learn that the development professionals working in the nonprofits were far more attuned than the chief executive officers of the organizations.

It is not easy to be a CEO and responsible for the day to day operations, however it is important to not lose sight of the bigger picture and the longer view of developing an organization. There must be a focus on the importance of strategically cultivating support by developing and maintaining positive relationships with donors. The CEO has to provide support and encouragement to enable the FRD professional to be able to be effective in assuring the nonprofit's financial sustainability.

Click here to read the entire article and learn more about the tension that exists between CEOs and Fund Development professionals.

The Meaning of FRD: Where's the Money? June 13, 2012, eJP, by Stephen G. Donshik

Ditch Your Board Composition Matrix

You know the board matrix: it has a list of skills and competencies that are "supposed" to be on the board,...

You know the board matrix: it has a list of skills and competencies that are "supposed" to be on the board, such as legal, marketingblue avacado, HR, fundraising, finance. And typically there are also demographic qualities, such as gender, race, age. The board matrix then shows what boxes you presumably need to fill.

What's wrong here is that these board composition matrices focus our attention on what people are, rather than on what the organization needs board members to do.

Three traps of the board composition matrix

Let's look at the three failures of board matrix approaches:

  • The skills trap.
  • The demographic trap.
  • The connections trap.

By focusing on what people will do rather than what people are, we accomplish three goals, which you can read more about in the entire article, as well as details surrounding the three failures of board matrix approaches.

Ditch Your Board Composition Matrix, June 11, 2012, Board Cafe, by Jan Masaoka

What Millennialmillennial impact reports Want-And How They Give

The 2012 Millennial Impact Report - a survey of more than 6,500 people ages 20 to 35 - shows 75% of millennials donat...

The 2012 Millennial Impact Report - a survey of more than 6,500 people ages 20 to 35 - shows 75% of millennials donate (in small amounts), 70% have fundraised for their favorite causes and most give for reasons that span generations---they have a relationship with the cause. The survey, which was conducted by Achieve and  Johnsomillennial infographicn, Grossnickle, and Associates, yielded these additional results and implications:

  • The majority of their donations were $100 or less per organization per year.
  • Millennials give for emotional reasons and like to "give in the moment."
  • 75% of respondents have a smartphone, and 7% said they had given via text message or through a mobile site. The number one reason they haven't given on mobile is they weren't asked.
  • Most prefer to learn about nonprofits via their websites, followed by social media and e-newsletters.  Your website still matters most online, folks!
  • About 70 percent of young donors reported that they had made a gift online in 2011.
  • About 39 percent of those who made a gift reported that they had responded to an in-person request, and 34 percent said they had made a gift through the mail. So asking through multiple channels is wise, just as it is with all generations of donors.
  • 67% of respondents have interacted with nonprofits on Facebook and 92% have "liked" a nonprofit's Facebook page.  Only 28% had interacted with a nonprofit on Twitter.
  • When it comes to volunteering, 81% prefer to hear about opportunities from their peers.  63% had volunteered for a nonprofit in 2011.

You can access the full study here.

What Millennials Want - And How They Give, June 13, 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, by Katya Andresen

5 Website Design Mistakes That Are Killing Your Social Media

We spend all this time and capital on social media. Creating wonderful content. Producing engaging campaigns. Respond...

We spend all this time and capital on social media. Creating wonderful content. Producing engaging campaigns. Responding to our communities and creating a groundswell of support. But what happens after sometimes can ruin it all.  You might have an amazing social media presence, and then the customer sees your website, and all that momentum is lost.
 
Bad Web Design Is Killing Your Business

While there is no limit to the amount of cringe-worthy design elements you can find online, these are some of the biggest mistakes businesses make on a regular basis. What makes most of these mistakes even worse is the fact many of them can be easily avoided by planning ahead and implementing a simple design strategy.social fresh

  • No clear call to action
  • Confusing navigation
  • Not testing different browsers
  • Incorporating way too much Flash
  • Poor readability

While this represents a small sample, all of these issues can be avoided by taking a proactive approach and carefully planning out both your web design and online marketing strategy. By utilizing some common best practices, you can increase the traffic to your website, as well as improve your chances of obtaining more online conversions.

Click here to read the entire article and learn about the five website design mistakes in more depth.

5 Website Design Mistakes That Are Killing Your Social Media, May 16, 2012, socialfresh.com, by Amy Moczynski

Good Governance Makes Tax Compliance More Likely, Says IRS Study

Charities that follow certain good-governance practices-for example, drawing up written mission statements and compar...

Charities that follow certain good-governance practices-for example, drawing up written mission statements and comparing their organizations to others when making compensation decisions-are more likely to comply with the Internal Revenue Service's tax code, according to preliminary results from a new IRS study.

The study was described by Lois Lerner, director of the IRS division that oversees charities, in a speech at Georgetown University Law School. "Good governance and tax compliance go hand in hand," she said.

The study, Ms. Lerner said, analyzed information provided by more than 1,300 charities that the IRS examined for reasons unrelated to their governance practices. But when researchers later reviewed those practices-as reported on the organizations' Form 990 informational tax returns-they found certain correlations.

The new study, Ms. Lerner said, found that charities are more likely to follow IRS tax rules if they:

  • Have a written mission statement
  • Always compare their organization to others in making decisions about compensation
  • Have procedures to ensure that contributions and other revenues are used in accordance with the organization's charitable mission
  • Require all trustees to review the organization's Form 990.

Charities were less likely to meet IRS standards when control of their organization was in the hands of one person or a small number of trustees, the study found.

Click here to read more about the good governance and the IRS study.

Good Governance Makes Tax Compliance More Likely, Says IRS Study, April 20, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Richard White

Businesses Measure Profit, What Do Social Ventures Measure?

It's becoming more and more of a necessity to find a way to measure and compare the impact of social entrepreneur...

It's becoming more and more of a necessity to find a way to measure and compare the impact of social entrepreneurship. A few companies are making new headway.

Tracking performance in the for-profit world is simple; you have, well, profits. Plus tons of metrics and measurers and lists--from the Fortune 500 toboard source the Forbes Rich list to further enshrine top performers. Without looking, you can probably name most of the top 10% of either of those lists. But which are the top social-good organizations? Who are the most influential leaders? What organizations have the most significant impact?

Where do you even start? Lives saved? Diseases treated? Laptops distributed? Trees not cut down? Parts-per-million reductions in pollution? It's easy to measure effort expended, but much more complex to track impact directly attributed to your efforts. Even in situations where measurement and evaluation are core to a project, they remain that task you do after you've completed the project to fulfill the grant contract, not inherently valuable.

It's easy to measure effort expended, but much more complex to track impact.

Read the entire article to learn more about evaluating and measuring social good.

Businesses Measure Profit, What Do Social Ventures Measure? May 17, 2012, BoardSource, by Alexa Clay and Jon Camfield

How to Get Donors to Relate to Your Nonprofit -- and Give More

Giving is personal. The closer we feel to a cause, the more likely we are to give. Just how much do personal con...

Giving is personal. The closer we feel to a cause, the more likely we are to give.

Just how much do personal connections influence giving? When people have a personal connection to a cause (ornetwork for good know someone who does), it can lead them - and others - to be more supportive. The researchers delved into the nuances of this "norm of self-interest." What they found is incredibly important.

Personal connections and stories have a big effect on giving - so if you've got them, use them.

Another way that giving is personal is that we give more when we feel we're helping another person to whom we can relate. This has been called the "identifiable victim effect" or "singularity effect."

Click here to learn how to reduce the feeling of social distance amongst your agency and your donors.

How to Get Donors to Relate to Your Nonprofit -- and Give More, May 17, 2012, Network for Good, by Katya Andresen, Mark Rovner & Alia McKee

Funders and Apes: Seven Steps for Constructive Failure

On May 18th Andres Spokoiny, CEO of the Jewish Funders Network wrote a bit about how funders, like all humans, are pr...

On May 18th Andres Spokoiny, CEO of the Jewish Funders Network wrote a bit about how funders, like all humans, are programmed by millions of years of evolution to hate failure. But, according to Andres our DNA hasn't kept pace with tejewish philanthropyhe changing times. If our brains were adapted to the modern world instead of the prehistoric reality of the first apes with opposable thumbs, we would have created different neurological and chemical reactions to failure. We would have realized that in these times our survival depends on embracing productive failure. Until that realization occurs, we need to trick our brains into interpreting failure differently.

For philanthropists and funders, embracing failure means creating a culture change. In complex endeavors, failure is a given. Here are seven strategies to help capitalize on the inevitable.

  • Remain focused and strategic, but diversify.
  • Ready, fire, aim.
  • Have a mechanism to analyze and create feedback loops.
  • Fail cheap and fail fast.
  • Organizational culture matters.
  • Let the information flow.
  • Network.

Read the entire article to learn about the seven strategies in depth.

Funders and Apes: Seven Steps for Constructive Failure, May 21, 2012, eJP, by Andres Spokoiny

Reaching Millennials Through Email

The conversation on email's demise and how Millennial's refuse to use it continues to be debated. According t...

The conversation on email's demise and how Millennial's refuse to use it continues to be debated. According to Nielsen's report, State of the Media: Advertising and Audiences, 61% of the general population checks email while they watch TV. And 52% of 13-17 year-olds check email while watching TV. It's interesting to note that 62% of Millennials checked social networks while watching TV, which is only a 10% increase over checking email.

Although the study didn't reveal what devices Millenials were checking email on, it's safe to say that a significant percentage was checking it via mobile. This is why it's important that organizations tweak (not abandon) their email strategy to reach Millennials and other target audiences who are increasingly using mobile email.

Four Key Mobile Email Tips

  1. Keep emails short and to the point. People are reading your email on a small, 4 inch screen and are often in a rush.
  2. Don't use large graphics. They take up a lot of room on a small screen. They can also take a while to download, which will annoy users and cause them to delete your message.
  3. Content should be scannable and flow down the screen.
  4. Use a mobile style sheet to setup your email in an email/CRM system.

Read the entire article here to learn more about millennials and email.

Reaching Millennials Through Email, April 29, 2012, frogloop, by Allyson Kapin

Returning to Facebook Groups

According to Debra Askanase, founder of Community Organizer 2.0, "Facebook Groups, not Pages, were written off a...

According to Debra Askanase, founder of Community Organizer 2.0, "Facebook Groups, not Pages, were written off and abandoned by almost every organization once Pages beefed up its functionality three years ago, but Groups is where the real community engagement is happening now."

According to her presentation, Engage! "Like"-able Social Media, Miriam Brosseau, Social Media Coalitions Manager at the Jewish Education Project and JCSA Annual Conference presenter agrees. Miriam focused on the basics of the social JCSANA logo for contestmedia revolution and the importance of not just presenting information, but engaging constituents through social media at the 114th JCSA Conference, held on June 5th in Baltimore. As the session came to an end, Miriam briefly mentioned the reemergence of Facebook Groups. Many left the room intrigued, an effect discussions surrounding social media seem to have and also interested in Facebook Groups, which they knew little of.

Debra admits that like so many consultants, she advised clients to close their Groups and focus on Pages a few years ago. With good reason: Facebook came out with the Like button that tied Facebook Pages to websites and almost every web interface. Facebook poured its time and promotion into Pages, making them even more robust with deep analytics, applications, and utility. There was no "join" button offered to join a Facebook Group, only a poorly-adopted "send" button.

Read Debra's entire article to learn more about Facebook Groups. "The answer lies in what I've begun to realize that Facebook Pages cannot offer: real community and deep engagement."

Returning to Facebook Groups, June 4, 2012, eJP, by Debra Askanase

Social Media Benchmarks for Smaller Organizations

When it comes to technology, it's often assumed that smaller organizations just don't have the resources to u...

When it comes to technology, it's often assumed that smaller organizations just don't have the resources to use the tools and services that larger nonprofits do. Fancy databases? Too expensive. Up-to-date computers on a working network? Not enough tech savvy staff to keep it going. While there are exceptions to the rule - and cloud services are helping make more of those exceptions - it's generally the case.

NTEN sees it year after year in their IT Staffing Survey - unless, as it turns out, you are talking about social media.

In the recently released Nonprofit Network Social Network Survey, when it comes to social media, smaller nonprofits are keeping pace with their larger counterparts, adopting and using social media at similar rates. It helps, of course, that Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are all free to use. But it still takes an investment of time, and small nonprofits are making it.

Read the remainder of the article to learn more about smaller organizations and social media.

Social Media Benchmarks for Smaller Organizations, May 17, 2012, NTEN, by Holly

4 Things that Should Shake Up Nonprofit Marketing

Blogger Katya Andresen is the COO of Network for Good and an NTEN Board Member. Below she shares a great blog; short ...

Blogger Katya Andresen is the COO of Network for Good and an NTEN Board Member. Below she shares a great blog; short and to the point with very well made suggestions.

Katya writes, "I used the word 'should' in the title of this post for a reason. These trends are shaking up the nonprofit sector, but they're not yet shaking up our marketing. And they should be.

  • The rise of mobile. More and more people have smartphones, and that means doing good is at their fingertips, all the time. If we don't create opportunities to act easily via mobile, we are going to miss out on a lot. Multichannel works best - and multichannel means mobile too.
  • The growth of peer networks. People listen to each other more than us, so we need to stop viewing social media as another form of getting our message out. Its primary value is that it allows other people to get the message out, for us.
  • The explosion of slacktivism. It is not bad. It is promising. Clay Shirky once said 'Activists are active but not everyone else is.' We have to grasp that - and not write off everyone who isn't a zealot. And as Katya said on Mashable, it's a starting point for your cause. Katya would rather have someone sign her petition than do nothing any day, because she or he is far more likely to take further action, later.
  • The increasing personalization of everything. We're in an era where marketing and communications are increasingly tailored to the individual. If we're still blasting out one message, we will alienate every last person. Make people a part of your cause and speak to their interests.  

The old ways aren't working as well for a reason. Let's shake it up ourselves, so these tectonic changes work to our favor rather than rendering us irrelevant."

4 Things that Should Shake Up Nonprofit Marketing, April 16, 2012, Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog

10 Awesome Free Tools to Make Infographics

Information graphics, visual representations of data known as infographics, keep the web going these days. Web users,...

Information graphics, visual representations of data known as infographics, keep the web going these days. Web users, with their diminishing attention spans, are inexorably drawn to these shiny, brightly colored messages with small, relevant, clearly-displayed nuggets of information. They're straight to the point, usually factually interesting and often give you a wake-up call as to what those statistics really mean.
make use of

Some great tips for designing infographics:

  • Keep it simple! Don't try to do too much in one picture.
  • Decide on a colour scheme.
  • Research some great facts and statistics.
  • Think of it as a visual essay: ensure your arguments hold and are relevant.
  • Remember that it's all about quickly conveying the meaning behind complex data.
  • Draw conclusions.
  • Reference your facts in the infographic.
  • Include your URL so people can be sure who made it.

Click here to learn about infographics, including tutorials on infographic creation, and free online tools and software for creating infographics.

10 Awesome Free Tools to Make Infographics, October 8, 2010, makeuseof.com, by Angela Alcom

What Does

According to a Booz & Company/Buddy Media survey released last October of more than 100 large companies, only a t...

According to a Booz & Company/Buddy Media survey released last October of more than 100 large companies, only a third have a senior executive charged with overseeing social media. And just over a third (38%) reported social media as a CEO-level agenda item. There are nearly a billion people on Facebook - just about everyone, that is, except CEOs.

Since 2005 executives from corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations have expressed their discomfort using social media for business purposes. The problem for them isn't learning which button to push; if that were difficult seniors wouldn't be the fastest growing segment on Facebook. The real problem is that using social media challenges their basic assumptions of what it means to be "professional." The definition of professional behavior is an immutable set of behaviors developed early in one's career.

Read Allison's entire blog to learn the new definition of professional behavior according to the developing social world.

What Does "Professional" Look Like Today? May 9, 2012, HBR Blog Network, by Allison Fine

Creating a Culture of Data-Driven Philanthropy

Measuring social impact and nonprofit effectiveness has been the white elephant for our sector since its inception. U...

Measuring social impact and nonprofit effectiveness has been the white elephant for our sector since its inception. Unlike for-profits, where the bottom line often defines success or failure in black and white, nonprofits live in a world of grey, evaluated on their success in achieving their mission and on how they raise and spend their money.

But when the solutions to social problems are so incredibly complex, it's not easy to come up with models for standardized assessment that we can have confidence in. On top of that, every organization is structured differently and has different financial needs to support its mission. In part, this is why donors use online ratings systems. When nonprofits are faced with a massive library of data and a limited amount of time, we will inevitably seek out the easiest way to get the answers we need - even if we know that the shortcut may oversimplify the picture.

The problem is that the ratios most commonly used for rapid analysis, typically focused on spending or growth, are not accurate measures of either organizational health of social impact. When nonprofit supporters use these metrics to make funding decisions, they contribute to a cycle that awards nonprofits for operating on razor-thin margins, ultimately distracting them from where their vision needs to be: on solving social problems. After all, if an organization could prove to you that they could eradicate homelessness, would you care as much about what they spent on salaries and staplers?

Creating a Culture of Data-Driven Philanthropy, April 30, 2012, Nonprofit Finance Fund, by Anjali Deshmukh

How to Turn Event Participants Into Long-Term Donors - PODCAST

Knowing how to identify which eventgoers are have the potential to become generous long-term donors can help an organ...

Knowing how to identify which eventgoers are have the potential to become generous long-term donors can help an organization in the long run.

Marathons, walkathons, and other athletic events can add a one-time lift to an organization's bottom line. But the real value comes when nonprofits use the events to identify new donors with the resources to give big.

In the latest episode of Fundraising Fundamentals, Susan Paresky, vice president for development at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, explains how her organization figures out which event participants are charitably inclined and have the resources to give. She also explains how the organization pursues prospects. She is joined by Therese Grohman, director of marketing at Event 360, a consulting company that specializes in working with nonprofits to plan fundraising events. Listen to the podcast here.

How to Turn Event Participants Into Long-Term Donors, May 14, 2012, Chronicle of Philanthropy, by Tony Martignetti
 

Measuring the Return on Engagement of Community Commitment

Debra Askanase, founder of Community Organizer 2.0, explains below, how to measure the success of one's online presence....

Debra Askanase, founder of Community Organizer 2.0, explains below, how to measure the success of one's online presence. Her research clarifies the concepts behind measuring online presence, which is what one should be looking for in a successful online campaign. Additionally, in this clear and specific article that pertains to AJFCA member agencies, Debra shares a sample tool for measuring online presence.

"I've been talking and thinking a lot about measuring social media engagement with colleagues, nonprofits, and social media activists. Two years ago, those of us participating in social media engagement and strategy were trying to come up with 'the' metric to define social media tactical success. We argued and conversed, exchanged thoughts, and thought about why it's so hard to pin this down. And then social media practice evolved, as did the thinking about measurement. In fact, it's crystal clear to me now:

Measuring Return on Engagement (ROE) is actually two measures: 
SMART goal Return on Engagement, and the ROE of Community Commitment

Using these two metrics, an organization can get a pretty good sense of whether or not its online activities and strategies are working, and whether or not it is building a community of committed stakeholders."

Read the entire article here.

Measuring the Return on Engagement of Community Commitment, May 23, 2012, eJP, by Debra Askanase 

Smaller Boards Flexible, Engage All Members

Nonprofit boards typically get big because of a give-or-get policy, adding members and morphing board sourceinto fundrai...

Nonprofit boards typically get big because of a give-or-get policy, adding members and morphing board sourceinto fundraising mechanisms, said Nancy Lublin, Do Something's Executive Director. Boards generally go by the law of thirds, according to Lublin: one-third of members are "super engaged," another third are not and essentially "dead weight," and another third are somewhere in the middle, no matter how small. "For a big board like that, it's easy for people to check out," she said.

According to the BoardSource 2010 Governance In­dex Survey, the average size of a board is 16 members, with a median of 15. Organizations with budgets of $10 million or more have an average of 18, according to the index, and those with less than $1 million typically have 14. Some states require only a minimum number of board members for a nonprofit, as few as one, two or three.

Read more about smaller boards and engaging members here.

Smaller Boards Flexible, Engage All Members, May 1, 2012, The Nonprofit Times, by Mark Hrywna

How Do I Draw On A Computer?

Hand-drawn images can add color and personality to your organization's website, blog and Facebook page, but how can you ...

Hand-drawn images can add color and personality to your organization's website, blog and Facebook page, but how can you make them on a computer? In this AskIdealware video, Idealware's graphic design intern and resident illustrator Joe Rosshirt explains his process for making illustrations on the computer.