Nonprofit Consultant Blog

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Back to the Future of Philanthropy

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Easy peasy, right? Well maybe not. I've watched the video a couple of times now, and Ms. What evolves are the methodologies and tools.

Challenges of an Interim Executive Director

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kirsten Bullock for her Nonprofit Leaders Network podcast. The conversation turned quickly to my experiences over the years as an Interim Executive Director. Kirsten asked great questions, and the time on the phone with her passed quickly.

Did LinkedIn help nonprofits & leave nonprofit professionals behind?

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Some time back I blogged about LinkedIn's (then new) Board Connect Service as a great new resource for nonprofit organizations. Price is a factor.

Every Donor a Major Donor

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

One question that's always likely to come up when I teach a workshop on fund development is, "How do you define a major donor?" For some organizations "major" may be those who give gifts over $25,000 or even $50,000, while for others it may be any donor who gives more than $500 or $1,000. It was no mistake that we were on the list.

The Five Stages of Nonprofit Board Fundraising

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

In the 1960s, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, working with terminally ill patients, hypothesized her five stages of grief, popularized in her 1969 publication of On Death and Dying. Imagine my surprise when I realized that nobody had yet applied the Kübler-Ross model to fundraising by nonprofit boards of directors!

Empathy for Sale

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

I've written about the power of storytelling in fundraising many times over. I've also written about the ethical question of organizations sharing their client's stories ( see Who's Story is it Anyway? ). Well, here we go again. He appeared to be in him mid-50s, neatly groomed long gray hair, comfortably dressed, ready to be of service. story.

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Nonprofit Mergers & Alliances: An interview with Thomas A. McLaughlin (part one)

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

found myself nodding my head and saying, "Yes, yes," throughout reading the book, and wish I'd had it during my three sets of merger negotiations.

Nonprofit Rescue: The Pitch

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

We all have dreams for the nonprofit sector: increased individual giving, more effective boards, simplified government grant applications, better trained staff. Well, one of my dreams for the sector is greater public understanding of the nuts and bolts of how nonprofits operate, and I've got an idea for implementing it: a reality TV show.

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Personal, Political, and Professional

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

The common sense advice that is frequently given about social media is to keep your personal and professional identities completely separate. I've not gone out of my way to completely hide one identity from the other, but I've been reasonably careful about not deliberately mixing the two. But, really, what have I got to hide? Oh well.

Boardroom Musical Chairs

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

At lunch with a group of consultants a couple of months back, we were lamenting the tendency of certain local organizations to fill their empty board seats by simply bringing on the termed-out board members of closely-linked organizations. In this scenario, as positions open up, a director will typically say, "What about so-and-so?

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The Waiting is NOT the Hardest Part

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

A Proposal for Uniform Feedback of Grant Application Denials From Guest Blogger: Brian Leitten. Non-profits can do nothing but wait.

Multichannel Communications - Management & Tips

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

A point I''ve been harping on for some time whenever I speak to groups of nonprofits is the importance of communicating to your supporters the way they want, not the ways you''re used to. This is what we mean by multichannel communications. This guest post is from Madeleine Hammond. messy, especially if you’re a charity doing this on the cheap.

Top Three Takeaways from the Nonprofit Overhead Challenge

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

If you''re not already talking about overhead, you should be, and you will be soon. Learn what your true ratio is, understand it, and embrace it.

Jan 8

Nonprofits as the Equalizing Force

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Today is Blog Action Day 2014. Each year, BAD organizes bloggers from over 100 countries to write on a single theme for one day of coordinated action.

Giving With Impact - The Benevolent Way

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

I''ve blogged endlessly about the importance of storytelling in fundraising. Last month I wrote specifically about the human need to feel and show empathy for others , and its relationship to fundraising. With traditional sources, your money goes into a pot with a lot of other people''s money. The real power of Benevolent lies in the stories.

Why You Have To Do It Better

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

The "It" referred to in the title of this post is Social Media. And the problem is nonprofits who are under the impression that Twitter, Facebook, etc., are just about marketing. They think that it's just fine if their postings consist of nothing more than a sales pitch (or, in the nonprofit case, a donation pitch). Where's that "unlike" button?

My First Nonprofit Job

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

A first blog posting after a long absence is always difficult; so many things to talk about, it's hard to decide what the most relevant topic would be. First, let me remind you where I've been. I've been working long days (and nights) and coming home exhausted but happy. Which brings us to the topic of this post, how did this career of mine start?

Crowdfunding Roundup for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

It seems that with the rise of Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, crowdfunding is on everybody''s minds these days, but what''s a nonprofit to do? First, let''s clear up what we mean by crowdfunding, and how it differs from traditional online fundraising. In this way, crowdfunding is just an internet spin on the old subscription business model.

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Interim Executives Are Part Of Succession Planning

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Yesterday, on Alan Harrison's Voice of Reason blog, he posted a great article about the pitfalls of bad succession planning and the occasional need for Interim Executive Directors. As a consultant who has five times served as an Interim ED, I agree with much of what Mr. Harrison has to say. So, who should be your Interim ED? Never. Never. Never.

Reaching Across Generations

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

How are you involving millenials in your organization''s work? This is a question we''ve all been hearing a lot lately. But I''m not sure that I like some of the answers. I''ve been in several conversations and meetings in recent months where the idea of creating a "millenial advisory group" was brought up. And so, the Millenial Advisory Group.

When is a Donation Not a Donation?

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

A donation that's not a donation? What's that? When it's a situation where the supporter believes they've a donation, but the nonprofit does not see it that way. Such as, a small nonprofit puts a link to Amazon on their website, because they get a few pennies back from each book sale as part of the "associates" program. donors sales cause marketin

The Irregularity of Regular Giving

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

We love our regular donors. As nonprofit professionals, we just love to look over our donor rolls and know that there''s a good percentage of those listed who will give again and again, year after year, and all we have to do is send them a nice annual letter. Man, do we love them! But don''t get too complacent. would give if asked by a friend.

The Power of Zilch: An interview with Nancy Lublin

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Now, to our rescue, has come Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something and founder of Dress for Success. Ken Goldstein: First off, thank you! Some things.

Social Media 101 for Nonprofit Consultants

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present an introductory workshop on social media to a few of my colleagues in the Fund Builders Alliance. It's always a great day when you can get together with a group of professionals that you respect and teach them something new. Here's the thing though. Fortunately, I am fascinated by it and enjoy that effort.

Nonprofits and the 99%

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

By now I'm guessing that you have all heard about the Occupy Wall Street protests and the 99% movement. The Wall Street protests started more than three weeks ago, and was at first largely absent from the domestic press, with coverage only getting to us through the European press until the story was just too big to ignore.

What's Your Non-Profit's Bottom Line?

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

From Guest Blogger Nick Cooney. Nick is the author of "Change Of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change" (www.ChangeOfHeartBook.com) , and the founder and director of The Humane League, an animal advocacy organization based in Philadelphia, PA. Is your non-profit succeeding in its mission? How can you tell?

Three R's of Grant Writing

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

We had a great turnout at yesterday's Basic Grant Proposal Writing workshop at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. Exhausting, but in a good way!

The Power of We the Nonprofits

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

And yet, this abstract theme encompasses all the others with a single answer. It is only when we come together in groups that real change happens.

Can non-profit organizations meet all the needs for-profit businesses currently meet?

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

I just came across an interesting blog post by Stephen Monrad with title of " Can non-profit organizations meet all the needs for-profit businesses currently meet? " His conclusion is that "If a non-profit organization wanted to produce toothbrushes, there is no reason in principle that it couldn't." I found it to be an interesting post. presumably.

Nonprofit Website Mistakes: Lack of Transparency

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

When people talk about mistakes nonprofits make with their websites, the first thing that comes to mind is usually either no direct donate button from the front page, or an unclear mission statement. But I'd like to focus on a different type of mistake; lack of transparency. First off, what do I mean by "transparency?"

LinkedIn Launches Board Connect Service

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

LinkedIn, the social network for professionals of all sectors, has just announced the launch of their new Board Connect service for nonprofit organizations. Other features and refinements over the years have turned LinkedIn into an essential social network for all professions, including active discussions, groups, job boards, and more.

Whose Story is it Anyway?

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

I am one who has always believed in the value of good story telling in fundraising. Nothing earth shattering in that statement. Most anybody who has been successful in nonprofit fundraising - whether writing grant proposals, doing direct mail, or creating event programs - will tell you the same thing. Until earlier this year. But what do you think?

I'm Nonprofit and I Vote!

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Two of my recent posts here were encouraging nonprofits (the organizations and the people behind them) to be more politically involved ( Nonprofits Talking Taxes & Nonprofits and the 99% ), so I feel I should also post a quick update when I see examples of how nonprofits are flexing their political muscle. Nonprofit elections voting politics

About Grant Writing Fees & Commissions

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

As a professional grant writer, I usually charge an hourly fee, or sometimes a flat fee per project. Never do I charge a percentage of funds received or in any other way work on spec or contingency. First off, this is just accepted professional practice in the nonprofit industry. Second, as a professional I need to be paid fairly for my work.

What Would You Say if You Were Me?

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Alternate title for this post, "What you got to say for myself?" What am I talking about? I'm offering you a chance to write the Nonprofit Consultant Blog for a day. I am interested in occasionally having guest bloggers come in and take over. The topics should be of interest and benefit to those working in the nonprofit sector.

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How Much Should Board Members Give?

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

This is the question that has haunted many a nonprofit Executive Director and Development Director. How to encourage Board giving without either asking too little or scaring off new members. posting today on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's website asks if "the expectation of giving is something that is simply understood?"

Yet more on percentage-based fundraising - AFP ups the ante

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

Just other day I posted an email exchange I had in which my correspondent argued that, contrary to what AFP (Association of Professional Fundraisers) and others may say, there are times when when contingency or percentage-based fundraising fees may actually be more ethical than flat fee or hourly rates. According to Paulette V. Donors first, eh?

Are You Treating Your Cats Like Dogs?

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

I love dogs. Who wouldn''t? They''re fun, happy, and above all, loyal. It doesn''t take much to earn a dogs love. Dogs are easy. Cats can be fickle.

Why Common Core Will Fail

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

You''ve likely heard or read about Common Core by now. Today, Ms. Taft currently has 2,700 kids and a 12% dropout rate. Not so in Boyle Heights.

The Business of Philanthropy - A Rant

Nonprofit Consultant Blog

I apologize in advance that today''s posting here is going to be more of a rant than a helpful article, but I hope you will sympathize with my frustration. This comes from two articles I read yesterday that left me shaking my head, wondering if the world''s gone crazy. Well, yes. It is a cost center! Donor relations is not free.