“Many people do a fair job as board director. Many more do a good job as board director. To truly be a great nonprofit board member requires having good character, a strong commitment to the cause, the gift of time, and a willingness to use personal and professional resources to advance the organization’s mission.” To learn more about each characteristic click here.
Giving back to charities and nonprofits is something that many people value and do on a regular basis. However, increased competition in the nonprofit landscape has caused some organizations to develop misleading donor pitches. Matt Aspegren helps explain why individuals should be wary of where they place their donor money. His main piece of advice: be very careful when selecting charities and nonprofits to invest in. This article offers five tips on how to distinguish between donor pitches that are just good stories versus ones that are legitimate and could truly benefit from a substantial investment. Click here to read more about how you can support high-impact charities and not just good marketing.
Source: Excellence in Giving
"Most nonprofit board members and managers have acquired a measured of savvy when it comes to raising funds for their organizations. They have learned that building trust with current and prospective donors is the key to maintaining meaningful support." Click here to learn more ways to strengthen donor relationships and possibly increase contributions.
Source: Nonprofit Management
"...about two-thirds of nonprofits encounter a similar roadblock because their annual budgets get stalled below the $500,000 or greater level." This article explores how nonprofits can learn how to navigate roadblocks successfully. Click here to read more.
Source: Fast Company
Is your nonprofit accepting donations in bitcoin? "As Bitcoin continues to dominate the newsfeeds of tech-savvy innovators and create millionaires overnight, nonprofits that adopt cryptocurrency tools may be able to gain a competitive advantage. Click here to learn more.
If or when you decide to participate on a nonprofit board, there are ways to maximize your impact and effectiveness as a board member. This article suggests that you ask four questions to "probe, nudge, and prod to help the board perform better."
Click here to read more about why these four questions matter when serving on a nonprofit board.
Source: McKinsey Quarterly
"Strategic leadership is like a high-performance engine and requires each component to operate at a high level." Read about the seven essential components to effective nonprofit leadership. Click here for the article.
The Federal Employment Guidance Service (FEGS) of New York City was one of the largest non-profits until it collapsed. The organization closed $47 million dollars in debt. Click here to learn what they could have done differently.
Source: NonProfit Management
Did you know that nearly half of Colorado’s children have experienced cavities by the time they start kindergarten? This startling statistic drives Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation’s work in the community. The foundation works to eradicate childhood tooth decay through a variety of initiatives and grants. Their work includes integration of dental care into medical organizations as well as educating both medical and dental students.
The foundation has also developed creative methods to achieve their goals. They pioneered mini-grants in 2015 to award eleven organizations grants ranging from $1,000 - $15,000 per grant to spur oral health innovation throughout Colorado. Partnering with the company in 2016, they awarded five nearly $50,000 innovation grants. Three supported the development of technology from bacteria-fighting retainers to regenerative materials for teeth.
Their work also includes educational programs for children and pregnant women. This includes the bilingual “Cavities Get Around” campaign to emphasize the importance of baby teeth and to raise awareness of the impact sugary drinks – particularly juice – have on children’s oral health. The campaign provides resources to primarily low-income, vulnerable families in Colorado.
Innovest is proud to provide consulting services to Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation!
“Strong, smart, and bold” is the Girls Inc. inspiration! Girls Incorporated is about encouraging girls to step out in the world and to not be held back because of their gender. There are programs offered to help change their perspective and push them towards to a future they can have. Girls learn about self-defense, their bill of rights, business, music, art, cooking, etc. They learn that they can do so much in the world by being independent or having someone in their corner.
Everything happening at Girls Inc. demonstrates to girls how they are one step closer to a future that awaits them. One will grow up to be a writer, another a lawyer, or doctor, one might even become president, but that is up to them to make their dreams come true and up to many to help them achieve that dream. The staff at Girls Inc. works hard to create a safe and comfortable environment, and volunteers have a good time being role models. During the 2017-2018 school year, elementary and middle school girls are picked up when school is finished to come to Girls Inc. for programs or tutoring. Instructors are there to help with homework or give guidance.
To learn more about Girls Inc., click here to visit their website.
This article by Jeff Brooks explores five ways to improve your correspondence with potential donors, and ultimately raise more money. Click here to read more.
Source: Jeff Brooks adapted from his book, The Fundraiser's Guide to Irresistible Communications.
Are you guilty of making assumption? This article explores the importance of course corrections and shifting strategies on the fly to be more effective. Click here to read more.
Source: David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Scott Middleton recently presented to the Center for Nonprofit Excellence on the economy, markets and implications for fundraising professionals. Read below for a short Q&A about his presentation.
Can you summarize the economic outlook in a few main points?
“Unemployment is low and wages are rising. While the Fed is becoming less accommodative, U.S. leading economic indicators are still positive. A recession currently does not appear to be likely in the next six to nine months.”
What are some of the themes emerging in the markets right now?
“While bonds have very low yields and equities are not cheap, keep a long-term focus and expect market volatility to move back to normal (i.e., higher) levels. Also, realize that diversification will test your patience. If you hate part of your investment portfolio, it may be a very good sign that it is diversified.”
How does the current economic and market environment impact fundraising professionals?
“Fundraising professionals should consider speaking with their donors about gifts of appreciated securities and/or part of their IRA required minimum distributions. It’s important to keep an eye on personal tax legislation and its potential impact on charitable giving.”
"In the funder-grantee relationship, when we can mutually encourage and learn from one another, there is a deep sense of joy that makes even the toughest periods of organizational growth worth enduring. When we achieve this, we move from being solely funders to being more like partners called to work together to achieve something greater than we could have done alone. And that makes all the difference in our work." Click here to read more from the Center of Effective Philanthropy about giving relationally and prioritizing a culture of empathy and joy.
Source: Center for Effective Philanthropy
Nonprofit organizations often cut staff to reduce administrative costs. How is this common practice affecting organizations in accomplishing their missions? Click here to read more.
This article explores how the Surdna Family Foundation has maintained family involvement across generations by implementing a formal governance structure. Click here to read more.
Source: Surdna Foundation