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Library

All VNR's Library publications are free of charge and can be downloaded either directly here, or from a link to another website. Publications are listed on this section in alphabetical order by title. By clicking on the Search function (link on the left side of this page), you can search by title, author or by 27 categories listed on the Search page, ranging from Advocacy to Technology.
 
Additional free downloadable resources are in Resources, Community Voice and on the VNR Home page. These sections also include publications available at the price quoted.

 


Resource Directory for Nonprofit Capacity Building in Los Angeles The thirteenth edition of this Directory (May 2014) offers a starting place to identify individuals and organizations providing capacity-building services and resources to nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles County. It provides information on Consultants, Foundations, Grantseeker Information Centers, Human Resource Provider Organizations, Information Centers, Management Support Organizations, Nonprofit Management Higher Education Programs, Nonprofit Resource Centers in Surrounding Counties, Technology Resources and Volunteer Centers. Contact and brief descriptive information is provided. A free copy may be downloaded from Resource Directory (.pdf).
 
4 Ways to Bringing a New Idea to Life an article written for The NonProfit Times, provides readers with four suggestions for finding grant support for new, emerging ideas. Readers will learn how to lay a solid foundation of accurate information, and both organizational and community support, to bring fresh ideas to life. To access this article, go to: 4 Ways to Bringing a New Idea to Life
 
5 Tips for Telling Nonprofit Stories is an article written for The NonProfit Times. The article explains how to tell a story that will drive engagement and donations, by presenting readers with five practical storytelling tips. To access this article, go to: 5 Tips for Telling Nonprofit Stories
 
6 Must-Haves for Your Nonprofit’s Website is an article written by Noah Barnett for TechSoup. The article presents several different options for increasing donations and building support through an organization’s website. To access this article, go to: 6 Must-Haves for Your Nonprofit’s Website
 
7 Reasons Millennials Give is an article written for The NonProfit Times. The article offers the top reasons why Millennials are motivated to give and briefly discusses their potential impact within an organization. To access this article, go to: 7 Reasons Millennials Give
 
10 Things to Consider in a CRM Constituent Relationship Management systems allow a nonprofit to track a 360 degree view of all interactions with constituents. What’s more, all the available options—including Salesforce.com, CiviCRM, SugarCRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM—are relatively inexpensive for nonprofits, or even free. Go to:10 Things to Consider in a CRM .
 
10 Things You're Doing Wrong With Social Media This article points out the ten most common misuses of social media, and how the problem of inappropriate use can quickly and easily be corrected. To access, go to: 10 Things You're Doing Wrong With Social Media.
 
Achieving Growth Through Partnerships When is a partnership the right path for greatly expanding the impact of a successful nonprofit? That's the question recently faced at BELL (Building Educated Learners for Life), a highly effective provider of summer and after-school programs that boost at-risk kids' academic performance and self-confidence. While partnerships can be an efficient way to quickly expand impact, the reality is that they are hard to forge and take more time and effort than you might think. BELL's journey to teaming up with the YMCA is instructive. To access, go to:
Achieving Growth Through Partnerships
 
Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage is an article written by Martin Reeves and Mike Deimler. Sustainable competitive advantage no longer comes from traditional positioning or resources. Instead, it stems from the four organizational capabilities that foster rapid adaptation: the ability to read and act on signals of change; the ability to experiment rapidly and frequently-not only with products and services but also with business models, processes, and strategies; the ability to manage complex and interconnected systems of multiple stakeholders; and The ability to motivate employees and partners. The article can be read at: Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage
 
Adapting To Change: 22 Structural Strategies for Nonprofits is an online article by Sandy Jacobson and Stephanie Jacobs that examines structural strategies for nonprofits that are dealing with organizational change. When major external change happens, it's important to revisit and, if necessary, revise the nonprofit's mission and approach in order to serve the community in the best way possible. Included is a "real time" resource chart with information and examples of the three main types of structural strategies. To access: Adapting to Change: 22 Structural Strategies for Nonprofits
 
Adventures in Email Fundraising is an article by Andrea Berry. Nonprofit organizations of all sizes increasingly use email to create contact points with constituents, and many have moved to online newsletters and e-blasts about events and new happenings as ways of keeping in touch. Email fundraising seems to be the logical extension of such communication, but many nonprofits are finding that last step difficult - even if they already have the tools in place. The article describes the efforts of two nonprofits as they implement their email fundraising programs. To access the article, go to:
Adventures in Email Fundraising
 

All Aboard: Boards that Work Building off the 2014 Money for Our Movements debate, at the last Grassroots Institute’s Conference, in this piece Kim Klein and Stephanie Roth argue that nonprofit organizations can have the boards they want and need, and offer ideas for how to achieve them. Go to: All Aboard: Boards that Work.

 
All Hands on Board is a guide to the top 10 jobs of a volunteer board in an all-volunteer organization. Go to: All Hands on Board
 
Advice and Tips for Nonprofits Creating a Marketing Team This is an easy to follow, step-by-step process for turning a nonprofit's staff and board into a marketing team. Go to: America's Dirtiest Job
 
America's Dirtiest Job: Nonprofit Telemarketer? So many people hate telemarketing calls that there are whole websites devoted to ways to torment and infuriate the people making those calls. Are telemarketers evil fiends who should be despised and tortured whenever possible? Read this article featuring first-person accounts of individual experiences in nonprofit telemarketing. Go to: America's Dirtiest Job
 

An Open Data Overview Should an organization be sharing the information it gathers about programs and services? There are benefits to doing so—and there are risks. Generally, sharing data is not common practice, but as funders increasingly demand information about the effectiveness of the organizations they support, more and more nonprofits are doing so. This article discusses how to share data. Go to: An Open Data Overview

 
Approaching an Audit by Kay Snowden, Fiscal Sponsorship Program Director, Third Sector New England, offers advice to nonprofit accountants and financial office staff on preparing for an audit. To access this article, go to: Approaching an Audit
 
Are You – Or Your Organization - Guilty of Trickle-Down Community Engagement? “Trickle-Down” is when an organization bypasses the people who are most affected by a certain issue, engages and funds larger organizations to tackle these issues, and then hopes that miraculously the people most affected will help out in the effort, usually for free. According to this article, such an approach often sabotages community engagement efforts. Go to: Are You – Or Your Organization - Guilty of Trickle-Down Community Engagement?
 
The Art of Irresistible Email Corporate employees receive and send more than 100 emails a day on average, according to tracking sites like Pingdom and Radicati. Competition for attention is fierce. So, no matter the job title or department, everyone needs to master electronic messaging to get the job done effectively. Go to: The Art of Irresistible Email.
 
Authentic Leadership: the Missing Ingredient in Diversity is a report by Mai Moua, PhD of Leadership Paradigms. Dr. Moua has presented research and conducted workshops on leadership and organizational effectiveness, cultural competency and diversity, and strategic planning, to internationally diverse audiences of leadership scholars and academics, executives and directors, practitioners and students from the Middle East, Europe and Canada. To access the PDF of this report, go to: Authentic Leadership
 
Automatic Revocation of Nonprofits' Tax-Exempt Status: What Nonprofits, Grantmakers, and Donors Need to Know is a GuideStar report by Linda M. Lampkin of the Economic Research Institute. On May 17, 2010, the IRS began revoking tax-exempt status from nonprofits that failed to file three consecutive annual returns. This report provides information on which organizations are at risk, what steps affected organizations should take, and the impact this action will have on the nonprofit sector. To download a free copy of this report go to: Automatic Revocation of Nonprofits' Tax-Exempt Status
 
B Corporations and Their Implications for Nonprofits is a new article in the Nonprofit Quarterly that defines the B Corporation legal format and explains how such a structure might be relevant to nonprofits. To read this article, go to Nonprofit Quarterly.
 
Balancing the Mission Checkbook: Depreciate Your Way to a Healthier Nonprofit Asset depreciation is a tool that a nonprofit can use to build its organization's financial reserves. In this article, Curtis Klotz explains why a nonprofit might want to create depreciate expenses. Go to: Balancing the Mission Checkbook
 
Being A Fearless Presenter This article presents tips on making public speaking easier from a well-known communications coach. Go to: Being a Fearless Presenter
 
Best Senior Staff Development Idea We Have Heard in a While—Or Maybe Ever This idea about finding the right professional development opportunities for talented people in an organization makes a lot of good sense on so many levels! Go to: Best Senior Staff Development Idea.
 
Beware Your Leadership Blind Spots Even under the best of circumstances, giving feedback on a nonprofit organization's effectiveness to those in higher positions can be difficult. Yet nonprofit leaders need to make sure they're getting this feedback; without it, executives can overestimate their organizations' capacity and neglect areas that need improvement. This article offers insight into weaknesses that could be corrected and how to get feedback about them from staff To read, go to: Beware Your Leadership Blind Spots
 
Being A Fearless Presenter This article presents tips on making public speaking easier from a well-known communications coach. Go to: Being a Fearless Presenter
 
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, 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. To read this article, go to: Beyond Dashboards
 
Beyond Financial Oversight: Expanding the Board's Role in the Pursuit of Sustainability is an article written by CompassPoint's CEO Jeanne Bell that was published in the current issue of the Nonprofit Quarterly. In it she presents the numerous benefits of moving an agency's board of directors from a strictly oversight orientation to a sustainability orientation. To read the article, go to: Beyond Financial Oversight
 
Beyond Selling Tables Moving Your Board To a Year-Round Fundraising Model Great fundraising boards know that events are an ineffective way to raise funds. They organize to raise major gifts. This article offers tips for board members to engage prospective donors throughout the year. Go to: Beyond Selling Tables
 
Big Impact in Small Spaces is a free eBook from Network for Good that provides nonprofits with information on how to effectively communicate organizational messages in email and social media platforms. The book offers tips for writing better email subject lines, headlines, tweets, and Facebook updates. For more information and to download a free copy of the book go to: Big Impact in Small Spaces
 
Blockbuster Controls: It's All About the Donor In this article, Patrick Sullivan discusses ways nonprofits can approach individual donors for funding support. Go to:
Blockbuster Controls
 
The Board Chair-Executive Director Relationship: Dynamics that Create Value for Nonprofit Organizations, by Mary Hiland, shows how nurturing the relationship and establishing and sustaining trust between board chairs and executive directors is strategic work essential to organizational effectiveness. The importance of connection, caring and meaning should not be lost in an over-emphasis on more business-like practices and claims of harried busyness. The potential to leverage the board chair-executive director relationship and increase nonprofit organizations' stock of meaningful, productive relationships is great. To access the article go to:
The Board Chair-Executive Director Relationship
 
Board Essentials: What Should All Board Members Know? Is a question and answer presentation that covers this topic. Included in the questions are: what should someone know before joining the board, how to keep board members informed, what are the individual responsibilities of board members and how to safeguard against conflict of interest? To access this presentation, go to:
Board Essentials: What Should All Board Members Know?
 
A Board Member Crosses the Line presents a case of inappropriate and potentially destructive behavior by a board member and suggestions for how the situation can be dealt with effectively. To access the article, go to: A Board Member Crosses the Line
 
A Board Member’s Guide to Nonprofit Overhead Amid the crosstalk about nonprofit overhead, board members and staff do need to understand what the conversation is really about, and how to interpret "what is overhead" for its own organization. This article presents eight key things boards and staff should know about overhead. To access this guide, go to A Board Member"s Guide to Nonprofit Overhead
 
Board Support Position: Sample Job Description features Meg Evans' job description of her position as Coordinator of Board Relations at the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation in Portland Oregon. It provides valuable information about what the position entails, qualifications for it, contacts that are necessary, etc. To access the article, go to: Board Essentials: What Should All Board Members Know?
 
Boards Cannot Be Sacred, Staff Cannot be Saints, and Founders Should Never Be Martyrs In this essay, Paul Hogan states his belief that nonprofit workers can be prone to a variety of feelings connected with the sacrifices that people in the sector make, and examines how nonprofit organizations can balance these feelings with being open to learning. Go to: Boards Cannot Be Sacred
 
Boards and Leadership Hires: How to Get It Right How a board handles a leadership transition can have powerful and long-lasting effects. In this article, Deborah Linnell discusses how a board's handling of this pivotal moment can result in long-lasting problems and what a board can do to get it right. Go to: Boards and Leadership Hires
 
Bridging Medicine and Management: A Profile of Community Clinic and Health Center Medical Directors in California is a study on California's community clinic leadership, completed by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and commissioned by the California Primary Care Association, which used a similar research design as the previous study of CEO's to explore issues among Medical Directors. Among Medical Directors, the central issue is preventing turnover and developing the managerial skills of doctors who are bridging medicine and management. To access this study, go to:
Bridging Medicine and Management
 
Budget and Finance Tips are offered by Third Sector New England in a selection of articles including Financial Analysis in Turbulent Times, Navigating the New IRS Form 990, Spending Out Grant Budgets, and Keeping Your Nonprofit Strong In A Down Economy.
 
Build Capacity to Measure and Manage Performance It's good to do measurement to inform external audiences, but nonprofits that want to have more impact in the world also need the capacity to use measurement to improve their performance. To access this article, go to: Build Capacity to Measure and Manage Performance
 
Building an Advocacy Board "Give," "Get" and "Take Action" is an article about how one nonprofit Board got involved and prevented the shut-down of its organization, a children's center. The author describes the skill sets of the center's Board of Directors and how they were utilized to accomplish a difficult task. To access, go to:
Building an Advocacy Board "Give," "Get" and "Take Action"
 
Building Advocacy from Within is a report that outlines strategies to boost the scope, scale, relevance and effectiveness of nonprofit advocacy. It is based on a roundtable co-sponsored by California Association of Nonprofits, organized by the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, and held at The California Endowment. Nonprofit advocates from California and other western states shared their experiences and ideas for improved policy engagement, and examined two key points: (1) "nonprofits must look inward to revitalize their advocacy efforts", and (2) "coalitions, funders and policymakers must modify their stance toward advocacy and lobbying." To access this report go to: Building Advocacy from Within
 
Building Bridges: How One Nonprofit Links Korean Americans With Health Care While numerous agencies exist for Spanish Speaking immigrants, and the Spanish language abounds throughout California, help isn't as readily accessible for people speaking Asian languages. This article describes how one woman, driven by a vision, established a nonprofit organization, Korean Community Services (KCS), to help Korean immigrants of all ages find health care. To access the PDF, go to: Building Bridges
 
Building Knowledge on the Fundraising Approaches of Nonprofits Based in Communities of Color CompassPoint and the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training conducted a study of nonprofits based in communities of color in Los Angeles to learn about their approaches to income generation, their staffing strategies, successes and challenges. This report on people of color-led nonprofits underscores the importance of ongoing training that is multicultural and builds multicultural fundraising leadership within communities of color. To download the report, go to:
Opportunities for Nonprofits within Los Angeles Communities of Color
 
Building on Outcome-Oriented Annual Incentives Nonprofit organizations have had to be innovative and flexible in tough economic times, and that is no less true in the area of compensation, especially for top positions. Even in the executive offices, doing more with less is a recurring theme. To access, go to: Building on Outcome-Oriented Annual Incentives
 
Building and Sustaining Strong, Engaged Programs by Hildy Gottlieb of Help4Nonprofits, discusses how nonprofits need to focus on building their infrastructure as well as their financing, and can be accessed at:
Building and Sustaining Strong, Engaged Programs
 
Building Your Social Media Fan Base is an article by Laura S. Quinn. The fact is, there isn't much reason to tweet if there is no audience-a fundamental truth of all social media channels. In this article, Quinn explains how to make the most of Facebook, Twitter and other social network media sites to build an audience for a nonprofit. To access the article, go to: Building Your Social Media Fan Base
 
Business Planning for Nonprofits: What It Is and Why It Matters is an in-depth article by Kelly Campbell and Betsy Haley of the Bridgespan Group. They explain every step of the business-planning process and give examples of some nonprofits' successful plans, and failures by those nonprofits who neglected to make a written business plan. To access this article go to: Business Planning for Nonprofits: What It Is and Why It Matters
 
Business Planning for Nonprofits: Why, When, and How It Compares to Strategic Planning is an article written by Brigette Rouson for the newsletter of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, Enhance. In today's nonprofit sector, with a growing emphasis on an entrepreneurial mindset and investment thinking, business planning is an important topic nonprofit organization leaders to consider, and to compare with strategic planning efforts. To access this article, go to: Business Planning for Nonprofits
 
Capacity Building for Nonprofits: A Hartford Example is a paper that discusses the need for nonprofit capacity building - stressing accountability, leadership and adaptability, as illustrated in a particular community. To access and download, go to:
Capacity Building for Nonprofits: A Hartford Example
 
Capacity Building Fund Report is a report written by Third Sector New England's Funding Learning Network for Community Impact program. The report documents eight years of grantmaking and includes recommendations to foundation to provide increased support for capacity-building activities within nonprofit networks that enhance their ability to collaborate build relationships and achieve outcomes over the long-term. For a copy of the report, go to: Capacity Building Fund Report
 
A Cautionary Tale Fiscal sponsorship, when done right, is a tremendously valuable, highly efficient way to build community social capital. In its most typical iteration, called comprehensive fiscal sponsorship, the nonprofit sponsor assumes legal and financial responsibility for the activities of groups engaged in work that furthers the sponsor's exempt charitable purpose, acting as a kind of umbrella for those activities. This article outlines precautions that help keep organizations out of trouble when engaging in fiscal sponsor relationships. To access, go to: A Cautionary Tale
 
The Challenge of Organizational Learning A recent Bridgespan study found three common barriers to knowledge sharing across nonprofits and their networks, as well as ways and means to overcome them. To download a copy of an article about these study findings, go to: The Challenge of Organizational Learning
 
A Charity's Guide to Vehicle Donations covers anything an organization might want/need to know if it decides to start a vehicle donation program to add to its fundraising efforts. To access the guide, go to: A Charity's Guide to Vehicle Donations
 
Clients at the Center: Realizing the Potential of Multi-Service Organizations is a report written by Bob Searle, Alex Neuhoff and Andrew Belton. Multi-service organizations (MSOs) -nonprofits that provide services across multiple categories such as substance abuse, housing, and education - are uniquely positioned to provide holistic help to clients. While nonprofits that provide a single service (from mentoring to job training) often draw more media attention, perhaps because they are easier to profile, MSOs have tremendous potential to help people struggling with complex problems transform their lives. Delivering on this potential should be an MSO's comparative advantage. To access the study, go to:
Clients at the Center: Realizing the Potential of Multi-Service Organizations
 
Coaching: A Critical Skill for Effective Nonprofit Management Nonprofit managers often forget that there is more to developing a successful team than just strategy planning and building necessary structures. It's equally as important to develop the people skills that will help team members become effective leaders. This article explains what coaching is and the kind of skills and impact that can come from it. To access, go to: Coaching
 
Coaching and Philanthropy Project: Action Guides for Grantmakers, Nonprofits, and Coaches is a project of CompassPoint, created to assess and advance coaching as a strategy for building effective nonprofit organizations. It reviewed the nonprofit sector's support for and use of coaching, as well as the coaching field's knowledge of and work within the nonprofit sector. Its publications were created as a resource for and about coaching in the nonprofit sector. Each contains relevant information for a particular audience - funders, nonprofits, and coaches. To download a PDF of the Action Guide for Nonprofits, go to: Coaching and Philanthropy: An Action Guide for Nonprofits
 
Coaching Strengthens Nonprofit Leaders and Their Organizations by Carolyn J. Curran is an article addressing key questions about coaching such as: why is there a discrepancy between interest in, and practice of, coaching; what is the difference between coaching and consulting; when is a nonprofit leader ready for coaching; what happens in a coaching session; how can coaching top executives impact a whole organization; and how to pay for coaching. To access the article go to:
Coaching Strengthens Nonprofit Leaders and Their Organizations
 
Collaboration: An Overview This 2-page VNR paper provides a summary of strategies for promoting effective collaboration among nonprofit organizations and other entities. To download a copy, click here.
 
Collaboration Tools for Foundations Unfortunately, there's no single silver bullet tool that can help foundations in their efforts to collaborate, but there are a number of tools that can be used in different ways to meet some of these needs. In this article, Laura S. Quinn discusses technology such as videoconferencing, Google Drive and grants management systems. Go to: Collaboration Tools.
 
Communicating Your Organization's Culture to Job Candidates offers nonprofits suggestions for how to help potential new staff understand and fit into an organization's culture as well as do the job. The article can help a nonprofit determine its organizational particular culture, communicate that information to potential employees, develop a job announcement/posting, interview candidates and extend an offer. To access the article:
Communicating Your Organization's Culture to Job Candidates
 
Communication Resources for Grantees and Other Nonprofit Organizations is a list of communications resources for nonprofit organizations that was compiled by The California Wellness Foundation. It contains resources that help nonprofit leaders examine the role of communications, and recommends an array of tactics that can help further the missions of nonprofit organizations. It also features resources on such topics as developing a strategic plan, advancing policy and advocacy issues, working with the media, creating advertisements and framing issues. To access this publication go to:
Communication Resources for Grantees and Other Nonprofit Organizations
 
The Complete Nonprofit's Guide to Heartbleed What is Heartbleed? In short, it's a backdoor into the popular (around two-thirds-of-the-internet popular) OpenSSL security software. What's scariest about this vulnerability is that, in addition to being unnoticed for two years, it exposes encryption keys, giving attackers the ability to "unlock" the passwords and names of users, as well as the actual content. In this article, Kyle Andrei details steps nonprofits should take as a result of the discovery of this vulnerability. Go to: Collaboration Tools.
 
Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Charities This is a resource compiled by the IRS to help nonprofit organizations stay out of trouble and protect their status. It covers activities that may jeopardize a charity's exempt status, returns and forms that must be filed, required public disclosures - and much more. To access the PDF, go to: Compliance Guide
 
Conflict of Interest...or Conflict of Loyalty? Often the "conflicts of interest" of nonprofit board members do not involve personal financial gain. Consider the board member whose commitment to rights for people with disabilities leads her to serve on the boards of two such organizations. At Board A she hears about a new grant opportunity that is opening up at a local foundation. Should she tell Board B about it, or is she obligated not to mention it? To read this article, go to: Conflict of Interest
 
Consultant or Employee? It is not uncommon for organizations to enter into consulting contracts with individuals who should legally be hired as employees. It is sometimes difficult to know how to define which is which. To access an article on this topic by Lyn Freundlich, Third Sector New England's Director of Administration and Human Resources, go to: Know the Laws When Hiring Consultants vs. Employees
 
A Consumers Guide to Grants Management Systems looks at the features and processes used by 28 grants management systems to help private foundations accept and review applications and track grants throughout their life cycles. Go to:
A Consumers Guide to Grants Management Systems.
 
Convergence: How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector highlights five key factors that will shape the social sector of the future. Based on extensive review of existing research and in-depth interviews with thought leaders and nonprofit leaders and activists, it explores the trends (Demographic Shifts; Technological Advances; Networks Enabling Work to be Organized in New Ways; Rising Interest in Civic Engagement and Volunteerism; and Blurring of Sector Boundaries) and looks at the ways nonprofits can successfully navigate the changes. The monograph is by La Piana Consulting. To access the report, go to: Convergence
 
Courage to Collaborate: Four Lessons From the Bridgespan Group's Merger and Collaborations Series The nonprofit leaders whose stories are quoted in this article show that collaboration does take courage and can be worth the initial pain. To help ease the process, four key lessons are described that every organization considering a merger or collaboration needs to consider. Go to: Courage to Collaborate.
 
Court-Ordered Community Service: Volunteers or Prison Labor? Each year, hundreds of thousands of court-ordered community service workers are placed in nonprofits to fulfill their sentences. Although the image is typically one of a teenager sentenced to picking up litter, court-ordered volunteers perform a wide variety of roles in nonprofits. This article discusses why and why not to accept such volunteers, and how to do it right. Go to: Court-Ordered Community Service.
 
Creating Effective Community Collaboratives This collection of guides - Community Collaborative Life Stages, Capacity and Structure, and The Next Generation of Community Participation-provide tactical pathways for community collaboratives to increase their chances of success. To access these guides go to:
Creating Effective Community Collaboratives
 
Creating High-Functioning Nonprofits: Who Should Have What Financial Information? is a post written by the editors of The Nonprofit Quarterly. This post, accompanied by a video, helps readers understand the importance of financial literacy, useful information, and organizational forms and styles, all of which help promoted sustained excellence of nonprofits. To access this information, go to: Creating High-Functioning Nonprofits: Who Should Have What Financial Information?
 
Creating a Social Media Policy As nonprofits have increasingly turned to social media, policies to govern their use have become the new frontier. It can be difficult for organizations to find examples that fit their needs. A good social media policy will provide clear guidelines as to what staff should and shouldn't do when posting and interacting with the community on a day-to-day basis, freeing them up to think more strategically. This article outlines what is involved in developing one. To access, go to: Creating a Social Media Policy.
 
Creative Disruption: Nonprofit Sabbaticals Improve Organizational Capacity is a study report by Third Sector New England's Deborah Linnell and CompassPoint's Tim Wolfred, exposing the myth that an executive sabbatical will be a chaotic disruption. Their study finds instead that the creative disruption of a well-planned sabbatical can be productive for the entire leadership of an organization. To access the study, go to:
Creative Disruption
 
Creative Fundraising for Ensemble Theatres This handout from VNR's January 2009 workshop, done in collaboration with the Network of Ensemble Theatres, offers a wealth of resources on fundraising strategies theatres and other arts nonprofits can use. A free copy may be downloaded from Creative Fundraising.
 
Crossing Borders, Sharing Journeys Lead Writer: Sarah Gleason. Publisher: Fieldstone Alliance. This report outlines seven broad factors found to contribute to effective capacity building with immigrant and refugee lead organizations (IRLOs). Case studies illustrate practices used when working with IRLOs and highlights principles that other capacity builders can apply when working with similar groups. A print copy can be ordered from Fieldstone (cost: $15.00 plus shipping), or a free copy may be downloaded from Crossing Borders, Sharing Journeys.
 
Crowdfunding for Nonprofits: Experimentation Required is a short essay from NPQ Online that provides some overview statistics about crowdfunding in the nonprofit sector, including the total estimated fundraising done by crowdfunding worldwide in 2012 - $2.7 billion. To download, go to: Crowdfunding Overview
 
Crowdfunding Sites is a guide, including brief summary descriptions, to some prominent crowdfunding sites that offer funding opportunities for nonprofits. Go to:
Crowdfunding Sites
 
Crucial First Steps to Start Thinking About the Sustainability of Your Nonprofit Organization In the current environment of increased demand for services and economic pressures, many nonprofits are concerned about their sustainability. There are multiple directions to consider, from diversifying revenue streams to partnerships and merger. Here are six crucial steps for Executive Directors and Boards to consider as they address the present and future of their nonprofit. Go to: Crucial First Steps
 
Danger Ahead!!! Beware the Three Dangerous Traps in Finding New Leaders. The hole that is created when a key leader leaves an organization is often frightening, and the desire to fill that hole can lead to high anxiety and knee-jerk reactions. The impulse to move quickly can often lead to poor decisions, and poor decisions can lead to a downward spiral of problems for the nonprofit. This article outlines and describes these traps. To access, go to: Danger Ahead!!
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Daring to Lead 2011: A National Study of Nonprofit Executive Leadership is the latest report of an ongoing research project. Since the last report in 2006, powerful new forces have influenced the work and careers of nonprofit leaders in the US, including the recession. One of the 2011 study's most important findings is that 2/3 of nonprofit executives plan to leave their jobs within five years, despite some slowing of their plans because of the hard economic times. This new report, produced by CompassPoint and the Meyer Foundation with the participation of more than 3,000 nonprofit leaders, tells the story of how executive directors are managing and surviving in the current environment. To access the report go to: Daring to Lead 2011
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Dealing with Difficult Volunteers Even the best-intentioned people working as volunteers in a nonprofit can cause problems. This publication offers tips to help manage volunteers who do. To access, go to: Dealing with Difficult Volunteers.
 
Deeper Capacity Building for Greater Impact: Designing a Long-term Initiative to Strengthen a Set of Nonprofit Organizations Author: Paul Connolly, 2007. This paper, funded by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, explains how to design a long-term capacity-building initiative. It is written primarily for funders, including foundations or corporate community involvement departments. The article may be downloaded from Deeper Capacity Building for Greater Impact (2MB PDF).
 
The Definitive Nonprofit Board Book: Index This publication is a humorous presentation of issues that arise in various board meetings and among board members. Go to: The Definitive Nonprofit Board Book: Index
   
The Delegation Dilemma: How Nonprofit Leaders Can Let Go Jerry Hauser, CEO of The Management Center, offers ways nonprofit leaders can identify the reasons behind their need to control and apply approaches for dealing with these challenges. Go to:
The Delegation Dilemma.
 
Delivering on the Promise of Nonprofits is an article by Jeffrey L. Bradach, Thomas J. Tierney and Nan Stone of The Bridgespan Group for the Harvard Business Review. In it they explore four important questions every nonprofit should use to evaluate their performance: Which results will we hold ourselves accountable for? How will we achieve them? What will the results really cost, and how can we fund them? How do we build the organization we need to deliver those results? To read a brief summary in which they explain how one nonprofit used this method to create a successful plan to meet their objectives, and for the link to buy the complete article, go to:
Delivering on the Promise of Nonprofits.
 
Demystifying Evaluation: Types of Evaluation - Outcome and Process Outcome evaluations assess the effectiveness of a program in producing change. Process evaluations help stakeholders see how a program outcome or impact was achieved. The focus of a process evaluation is on services delivered, the beneficiaries of those services, resources used to deliver services, problems encountered, and the ways such problems were resolved. This article explains the benefits and use of each type of evaluation. To access, go to: Demystifying Evaluation.
 
Developing Leadership on Boards of Directors by Barbara S. Miller and Jean Bergman is an article from the Journal of Nonprofit Management, published by the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, New York. It summarizes the results of a study of fifteen exemplary nonprofits, and provides insights into how boards can create a culture of leadership and transform themselves into an active, engaged, and knowledgeable team. These changes can help a nonprofit organization anticipate and respond to the myriad challenges in the sector today. To access the article: Developing Leadership on Boards of Directors.
 
Ditch Your Board Composition Matrix The board matrix has a list of skills and competencies that are "supposed" to be on the board, such as legal, marketing, HR, fundraising and finance. And typically there are also demographic qualities, such as gender, race and age. The board matrix then shows what boxes presumably need to be filled. 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. This article explains why this approach needs to be ditched. To access, go to:
Ditch Your Board Composition Matrix
 
DIY: Make a Bylaws Cheat Sheet It's cumbersome to have to look over all the legalese of bylaws when an organization wants to answer to a simple question. In this article, Jan Masaoka suggests creating a summary of the bylaws as a quick reference guide. Go to: DIY: Make a Bylaws Cheat Sheet
 
Do We Need Insurance for Our Volunteers? This article provides detailed advice along with several worst-case scenarios to show what kinds of events can happen and how to minimize costs, protect the volunteers and the organization. Go to:
Do We Need Insurance for Our Volunteers?
 
Don’t Let Constant Deadlines Derail Critical Work With a full to-do list, getting out each grant proposal on time usually becomes the most urgent matter that drives a grant professional’s days. This article suggests grant-seekers make sure they set aside time for items such as assembling a strategic grants submission calendar, developing and nurturing relationships with funders and colleague organizations, and creating an outcomes reporting system. Go to: Don’t Let Constant Deadlines Derail Critical Work
 
Do You Need A New Website? A website is often the first impression made by an organization. Beyond initial contact, it’s a central place for current and potential clients, donors, funders, and volunteers to learn more about the organization and its mission, the population served, the programs and services provided, and the myriad ways for them to get involved with the organization. But just having a website is no longer enough. All content must be up-to-date and accurate, including address, contact information, and staff bios. Visitors must be able to find what they’re looking for. And the visual design must look professional and modern rather than amateurish and outdated. This article presents ways to improve a website. To read this article, go to Do You Need a New Website?
 
Do You Know Who's Next? Planning for Changes in Leadership Before creating a succession plan for an organization, the board and leadership must agree on the need for the plan. In this article, Bill Hoffman presents a high-level look at succession planning for nonprofits, including difficulties and possibilities to consider. Go to:
Do You Know Who's Next?.
 
Doing More With More: Putting Shared Leadership Into Practice is an article written by Michael Allison, MBA, Susan Misra, MPA, and Elissa Perry. They state that no organization can afford to ignore the breadth of its leadership potential on staff and among its volunteers-ignoring these resources is wasteful and makes the group vulnerable to all kinds of shifts. But what are the best ways to approach optimizing the energy and creativity in and around an organization? To purchase the article, go to: Doing More with More
 
The Donor-Grantee Trap: Executive Summary explores how ineffective collaboration undermines philanthropic results for society, and what can be done about it. It is a brief, overview guide for nonprofit leaders, their boards, and their donors. To access this summary, go to: The Donor-Grantee Trap: Executive Summary
 
8 Healthcare Fundraising Myths Just as myths exist in life, so do they exist in the nonprofit sector.  This article presents eight of the most common myths for nonprofits. Go to: 8 Healthcare Fundraising Myths
 
8 Recession-Proof Tips for Communications HersheyCause, a communications consulting firm whose founder Chris Hershey is a long-time advisor to VNR, has put together this one-page overview of advice for nonprofits about communications strategies in response to the recession. To download a copy, go to: Recession-Proof Tips.
 
8 Steps for Successful Networking is a guide that was written by trainer and consultant Robbie Samuels. Forming and cultivating relationships is at the heart of any successful fundraising campaign, volunteer drive, committee effort or community building activity. The guide offers practical tips and best practices to engage someone in a conversation, keep it rolling, exchange information and wrap up. To access the guide, go to:
8 Steps for Successful Networking
 
The Effective Organization: Five Questions to Translate Leadership into Strong Management Organizational inefficiencies are all too familiar to nonprofit leaders. And they come with a high cost: lower potential for making progress toward the important societal challenges and opportunities nonprofits seek to address. It is critically important for nonprofit leaders to assess their organizations' effectiveness and become more purposeful about improving it. In this article, Kirk Kramer and Daniel Stid examine the link between organizational effectiveness and results and offer ways to improve unclear strategic priorities. Go to: The Effective Organization
 
Elements of a Volunteer Position Description Getting a job done right means getting the right person to perform the task. In volunteer management it is important to explicitly discuss the parameters of a position because of the overwhelming number of people who might apply. This publication describes what should be included in a volunteer position description. To access, go to: Elements of a Volunteer Position Description
 
11 Tips to Write More Original Appeal Letters More than ever, nonprofit appeal letters need to be creative, attention-grabbing and compelling. This article by Mazarine Treyz provides tips on creating an appeal letter that is original and rather than one that reads like a grant proposal. Go to: 11 Tips to Write More Original Appeal Letters
 
Embrace, Enable, and Educate: The Executive Director's Role in Governance In the first of a two-part series on nonprofit governance, Marla Cornelius writes about the executive director's role in governance and discusses the board's role in this interdependent partnership. She presents three tangible strategies for turning resistance, reluctance and resentment into embracing, enabling and educating. This first piece emphasizes the ways in which an ED contributes to good governance. Go to: Embrace, Enable, and Educate
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Embrace, Enable, and Educate: The Board's Participation in These CEO Strategies In the second of a two-part series on nonprofit governance, Marla Cornelius writes about the executive director's role in governance and discusses the board's role in this interdependent partnership. This second piece concentrates on how the board can maximize good governance in a nonprofit. Go to:
Embrace, Enable, and Educate: The Board's Participation in These CEO Strategies
 
Ending Hunger Through Citizen Strategic Volunteerism Means More Than A Food Drive is an article in the New York Nonprofit Press that describes a new initiative, Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service, which aims to redefine the way people think - and act - about volunteering to impact hunger in America. Citizen Service can end hunger in America, but showing up at a soup kitchen or food pantry once a year during the holidays is not the answer. In fact, this type of volunteerism does very little to make progress in the fight against hunger. This new initiative includes a volunteer tool kit and series of training conferences to arm volunteers and potential volunteers with concrete tools to more effectively fight hunger, improve nutrition and bolster community food security. To read the article and access the link to the initiative website, go to: Ending Hunger
 
Endorsing Candidates. Illegal. How to Do It. is an article written by Jan Masaoka which starts with the assumption that "the most effective way to bring about social change is to elect the right people." Yet nonprofit 501c3 organizations are prohibited from supporting or opposing candidates running for office. Some long-time nonprofit practices can successfully address this restriction, but are seldom discussed in public. The article discusses these practices -- and the reasons for them. To read this article, go to:
Endorsing Candidates. Illegal. How to Do It.
 
The Engagement Pyramid: Six Levels of Connecting People and Social Change is an article by Gideon Rosenblatt, Former Groundwire Executive Director. It discusses six levels of engagement people can have with a nonprofit and its social change agenda. To access the article, go to: The Engagement Pyramid.
 
Enlisting Your Supporters to Fundraise For You is an article by Andrea Berry, which provides a case study of how one small school raised $3,000 from mostly new donors with a minimal investment. To access the article, go to: Enlisting Your Supporters.
 
Evaluating the Executive Director is an article by Jan Masaoka for Blue Avocado. The article explores not just how the Executive Director should be evaluated, but, more importantly, why! To access the article, go to: Evaluating the Executive Director.
 
An Executive Director's Guide to Financial Leadership is a succinct primer written by Jeanne Bell, CEO of CompassPoint, focusing on the eight financial health concepts every nonprofit leader needs to keep in mind as they work towards sustainability. To access it go to: An Executive Guide to Financial Leadership.
 
Executive Directors on Fire A sound strategic plan provides focus for a nonprofit's priorities, and is an overarching guide for priorities in a crisis and every day. But even without a strategic plan, nonprofit leaders should have a clear action plan to guide the organization and its staff. This article by Harris Sperling from Executive Insights guides leaders with an action plan through emergencies. To obtain a copy of this article, or to subscribe to Executive Insights, please e-mail ESCSC Program and Communications Coordinator Nadine Levyfield at nlevyfield@escsc.org.
 
Executive Retirement Benefits in the Non-Profit Sector This is a white paper that explores the origins of current practices related to retirement benefits for nonprofit executives, and presents some solutions for problems that have recently arisen. To access, go to: Executive Retirement Benefits in the Non-Profit Sector.
 
Executive Service Corps of Southern California Fund Development Resources Two resources from a VNR workshop co-sponsored by ESCSC may be downloaded free of charge:

A - ESCSC's workshop handout, Surviving the Crunch: Fund Development in Perilous Times

B - A brief self-assessment instrument to guide nonprofit fundraising, Fund Development Assessment Survey (3.72MB PDF)
 
Exit Agreements for Nonprofit CEOs: A Guide for Boards and Executives This article offers readers a context and a set of choices in considering whether an exit agreement for CEOs is needed and, if so, what might be included in it. Because this is a relatively new area of exploration for the sector, each situation brings unique features, and broad generalizations aren't possible. This article provides a framework for (1) distinguishing between different types of agreements, and when and how they are best used (e.g., an employment agreement, a separation agreement, or an exit agreement); (2) sharing case experiences about the situations where an exit agreement may be appropriate, and the key considerations in exploring and shaping such an agreement; (3) understanding the legal and risk management questions that require attention in considering an exit agreement; and (4) providing an introduction to additional resources that may be helpful in considering this topic. Go to: Exit Agreements for Nonprofit CEOs.
 
Exquisite Tailoring is an article presenting the best psychological and wording approaches to an appeal for funds. Is it best to ask for a low number first or a high one? Should the appeal be worded with perfect grammar of should it be more "folksy"? All of these details are considered and weighed. To access go to: Exquisite Tailoring.
 
Extreme Makeover: Board Edition Despite the complaints of executive directors that their boards "need training," often the most effective way to change a board is to change the people who are on it. And sometimes, a board itself realizes it needs to change faster and more dramatically than it can by adding a couple of new members a year. This article offers suggestions and helpful tips for accomplishing this goal. Go to: Extreme Makeover.
 
Facebook for Volunteers is an article by Chris Bernard of Idealware. It's easy to get the impression that everyone is on Facebook these days, and maintaining a presence on the site is increasingly expected of organizations interested in engaging constituents. It seems like a logical assumption that Facebook should also be a good way to attract volunteers - but is that true? To access the article, go to: Facebook for Volunteers.
 
The Facebook Philanthropos: How much giving do online contests and networks really generate? Author: Georgia Levenson Keohane.  Nonprofits increasingly are using “social networking” approaches to reach potential donors, and some have sponsored online contests to draw in donations. This article from Slate Magazine discusses how these approaches are created and how well they work.  The article may be read online at:
The Facebook Philanthropos.
 
Facebook Privacy For Nonprofit Organizations is an article by Chris Bernard which addresses privacy issues on Facebook. What does that mean for an organization? The issues for an organization are different than those facing an individual-but still absolutely something that should be thought about. To access the article, go to:
Facebook Privacy for Nonprofit Organizations.
 
Fair, Consistent Staff Lay-Offs was the topic of a recent workshop at Third Sector New England. Realizing the personal and organizational disruption that layoffs can wreak, TSNE brought more than a dozen human resource directors, executive directors and consultants together in February 2009 to look at ways to help both nonprofit employees and organizations cope with layoffs. Lyn Freundlich, TSNE's director of human resources and administration, facilitated the discussion. To access a report on findings of this workshop go to: Layoffs Consistent with Mission.
 
FCC Opens FM Airwaves for Nonprofits This article describes how nonprofits in one community were able to avail themselves of the new legal accessibility to the radio airwaves. It goes on to describe how nonprofits anywhere can take advantage of this new ruling. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to open an application window for LPFM licenses starting Oct. 15, to run through Halloween. It will be the first time an application window has been opened since 2000. With an LPFM station, nonprofits can take to the airwaves to recruit volunteers and financial support, organize events and tell stories that don't make it to commercial media. Go to:
FCC Opens FM Airwaves for Nonprofits.
 
Feasibility Study: Valley Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Between January and July, 2008, a small-scale feasibility study was conducted to better understand the needs and interests of under-30 staff working for nonprofit organizations in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. Results will be used to help shape the Valley Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, a project currently being developed by VNR. To download a copy, click on Feasibility Report.
 
A Few Good Blogging Tools Personal reasons aside, blogs are particularly useful for organizations as a way to publicize expertise on a topic in the issue area, to educate constituents, promote the organization's work, or share a story from behind-the-scenes. By making the organization easier to find through search engines, a blog is also helpful for promoting a website and online information. For access to this article, go to:
A Few Good Blogging Tools
 
A Few Good Case Management Tools was written by Laura Quinn and Jay Leslie for Idealware. If thoughts of detailed client histories and reports to funders are daunting, it may be time to consider the many good case management tools that will help track demographics, interactions, scheduling, billing information, and more. In this article, the authors summarize what tools case management experts recommend. To access the article, go to: A Few Good Case Management Tools
 
A Few Good Constituent Relationship Management Tools An organization maintains relationships with a number of people in a number of different groups, some discrete, some overlapping, and being able to track and manage information about those relationships is critical to success. Go to: A Few Good Constituent Relationship Management Tools
 
A Few Good Methods for Processing Credit Cards If a nonprofit needs to accept credit card payments, it's never been easier to do so. Whether those payments include donations made over the phone, on-site registration fees at the next conference, or purchases at a booth, gift shop, or craft fair, there are a number of ways to accept credit cards as payment. Some require different types of hardware and software and relationships with banks. Here are several options and suggestions. Go to:
A Few Good Methods for Processing Credit Cards
 
A Few Good Online Conferencing Tools This article looks at the different tools currently available to help have a more integrated experience with a remote group of participants through online conferencing. In the article, a number of nonprofit professionals talk about the tools that have worked for them in this area. While these are not the only tools available—literally dozens of options exist—they are widely used and might work to meet a nonprofit’s needs. Go to: A Few Good Online Conferencing Tools
 
A Few Good Print-on-Demand Tools Despite frequent claims that print is dead, many nonprofits are looking for ways to affordably create and distribute published works-everything from local directories and guides to full-fledged books. But publishing can take a lot of time and money that could otherwise be spent on programs or mission-related tasks. A Print-On-Demand (POD) service can be a low-cost solution that provides creative services and distribution of printed resources to constituents, wherever they may be. To access, go to: A Few Good Print-on-Demand Tools
 
A Few Good RSVP Tools: Online Registration Options for Free Events Planning a free event? It can be difficult to justify paying a lot of money for online registration software, but trying to get by with email or online invitation tools like Evite can leave you frustrated. Don’t worry—you have options. We talked to seven nonprofit technology experts about useful and affordable options for collecting RSVPs for free events. Go to: A Few Good RSVP Tools
 
A Few Good Tools: Board Portals and Other Ways to Collaborate Collaboration is integral to the work done by foundations and nonprofits. This is especially true for boards of directors tasked with working together to guide organizations — but when board members and staff are spread across multiple offices or geographic locations, collaboration is not as easy as sitting around a conference room table. Whether voting on proposed budgets, preparing financial documents or recommendations for upcoming meetings, or evaluating pending grant proposals, sharing documents by email or participating in conference calls is sometimes not enough. Go to: A Few Good Tools: Board Portals and Other Ways to Collaborate
 
A Few Good Tools for eAdvocacy Advocacy organizations often encourage their grassroots supporters to influence politicians and corporations using different methods, from promoting a cause or opposing legislation to challenging ad campaigns or policies. A large display of public opinion can have a powerful message, and advocacy groups often help to focus and channel this support to make the most impact. It used to be done by mail, but this article shows how an organization can use internet-based communication tools to accomplish the same result. To read the article, go to: A Few Good Tools for eAdvocacy
 
A Few Good Tools for Nonprofit Payrolls Though payroll is an essential function of every organization, it’s easy for nonprofits to make it a low priority as they pursue their core missions. Many small nonprofits struggle to meet human resources needs, lacking the funding for dedicated HR staff—and the experience that comes with it. However, not giving enough attention to HR functions can make employees feel as though they’re being overlooked.Go to: A Few Good Tools for Nonprofit Payrolls
 
A Few Good Tools for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising This article examines online tools that can be used to set up individual donation pages for engaging donors in a fundraiser. Go to: A Few Good Tools for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
 
A Few Good Tools for Video Editing The ubiquity of video cameras and the proliferation of video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo have made it possible for even the smallest organizations to include short videos as part of their outreach and engagement strategies. In this article are a few good options for editing the footage that has been shot and readying it for public consumption. To access the article, go to: A Few Good Tools for Video Editing
 
A Few Good Tools to Manage Content On Simple Sites These days, it’s critical for every organization to have a solid, professional-looking, reasonably up-to-date website. Just like a physical address or a good brochure, a professional website enhances an organization’s credibility and helps people understand what it does. If the organization is hosting a big event but nothing is mentioned about it on the website, or if the site prominently displays news from last year, these inconsistencies raise questions about its ability to get things done. This article provides some options for fulfilling these basic functions. Go to: A Few Good Tools to Manage Content
 
Finding Leaders for America's Nonprofits is a report by the Bridgespan Group that documents how, even at a time when layoffs have put a lot of private sector talent back on the market, good nonprofit leaders are hard to find. The report is based on interviews with 433 executive directors of nonprofits across the country. It reveals a coming leadership crisis for nonprofits and documents the gap of 73,000 unfilled senior leadership vacancies in 2008. To read the full report go to: Report: Finding Leaders for America's Nonprofits
 
Finding Your Funding Model: A Practical Approach to Nonprofit Sustainability is a guide written by Peter Kim, Gail Perreault, and William Foster of the Bridgespan Group. Building on years of primary research and consulting experience with dozens of nonprofits, the approach presented can help organizations identify and develop funding models that can best position them to achieve programmatic aspirations. The guide provides practical guidance, and identifies decisions and tradeoffs that will confront nonprofit leaders. To access the publication, go to:
Finding Your Funding Model: A Practical Approach to Nonprofit Sustainability
 
Firing My Friend, the Founder This is a first-person account of an experience when his friend, who was the founder of a nonprofit organization, invited him to become a board member, and the pitfalls they ran into. Go to: Firing My Friend, the Founder
 
The First 100 Days of Your New Nonprofit Marketing Job This free e-book details what a person should do in the first 100 days in a nonprofit marketing position, to ensure continuing success on the job. To access, go to: The First 100 Days
 
First Step In Resolving Conflict: "Go to the Balcony" is a column by Bob whitee for Third Sector New England online. In today's economy, when everyone is "doing more with less," increased stress can result in increased conflicts between team members in a nonprofit. The article discusses a key step that can be taken to resolve the conflict with the least amount of disruption to the team. To read the column go to: First Step In Resolving Conflict: "Go to the Balcony"
 
Fiscal Fitness for Nonprofits is a collection of “stories from the field” describing how 25 nonprofits in Chicago adjusted and corrected their financial management efforts in order to operate more successfully and effectively. To download this PDF file, go to: Fiscal Fitness for Nonprofits
 
5 Action Steps for Leadership Accountability In this article, Brian Kight offers action steps to make accountability welcomed by employees rather than feared. Go to:
5 Action Steps for Leadership Accountability.
 
5 Hints for Going from Buddy to Boss Promotion is a way of recognizing talent, rewarding hard work and ensuring continuity within an organization. Promoting one employee from among the ranks of the person’s peers can have its drawbacks, however, if the promoted employee is now in a position of supervising people who previously were peers, or close personal friends.  This article discusses how to deal with some of these challenges.  Go to: 5 Hints for Going frome Buddy to Boss.
 
5 Moments to Ask for Help No matter how much a nonprofit manager or board member might want to think otherwise, he or she can't do everything without some help when it comes to writing a grant application. The question is, what parts require the most assistance from his or her colleagues? Go to: 5 Moments to Ask for Help.
 
5 Networking Values to Uphold Though the term "networking" might be of recent vintage, the concept is as old as humanity. Recently, however, the idea has become more popular and the application of the idea has become more intensified. Networks can be helpful for both individuals and organizations in the nonprofit sector, especially as charities try to do more with less. Go to: 5 Networking Values to Uphold.
 
5 Tips for Dealing With Difficult Volunteers There is sure to be some conflict when working with a group of different personalities. This is as true with volunteers as it is with staff. Even if only 2 percent of the volunteers are troublemakers, that small percentage is going to take up the majority of a manager's time. This article presents five tips for dealing with these people. To access, go to: 5 Tips for Dealing With Difficult Volunteers.
 
5 Steps to Recruitment and Retention Employers across the globe are concerned that they are faced with a workforce that is aging and a talent pool that is under-educated, or under-motivated and showing talent shortages in many critical areas. These problems create challenges for all businesses, but they are especially critical for nonprofits, which usually operate with a smaller number of employees than for-profit firms. To read this article, go to: 5 Steps to Recruitment and Retention
 
5 Tips for Maximizing Your Funding This brief article suggests ways to help nonprofits maximize grant funding as part of their strategic planning. Go to:5 Tips for Maximizing Your Funding.
 
Five Ways to Navigate the Fiscal Crisis How can nonprofits that rely on government funding stay afloat and even hope to make progress in today's bleak funding environment? This article shares five approaches that seem to be working for a number of human services nonprofits. To access the article, go to: Five Ways to Navigate the Fiscal Crisis.
 
Flu Season is Back - How Nonprofits Should Prepare For employers, especially in small organizations with limited staff, reviewing and preparing sick leave policies and contingency plans now will help when the flu hits. This article provides guidance on all these activities. To read this article, go to Flu Season is Back - How Nonprofits Should Prepare
 
Fooling With Subject Lines Not a Great Idea A holiday campaign email that about 450,000 people received from Boston, Mass.-based Oxfam America had some people in the fundraising world giggling and others growling. The email in question, the third in a series of five sent this past November and December carried the name of actor, comedian and Oxfam Ambassador Aziz Ansari. The subject line read: "Did I leave my jacket at your place?" This article points out the negative impact that can be done with what many people perceived to be a misleading subject line. To access, go to: Fooling With Subject Lines
 
For Nonprofits it's Time to End Business as Usual is an interview with Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of The Financial Fund. In it, he discusses how funding for nonprofits has changed in this economic crisis and how nonprofits need to change their thinking and perhaps their methods in order to survive. To read the article, go to:
For Nonprofits it's Time to End Business as Usual.
 
Fortifying L.A.'s Nonprofit Organizations: Capacity Building Needs and Services in Los Angeles County is the report of a study commissioned by the Weingart Foundation and conducted by TCC Group. To facilitate discussion about how to respond to the report's findings and recommendations, the Foundation, in partnership with the UCLA Center for Civil Society, will host a convening this Spring for the nonprofit community. Hard copies of the report are available by email request to capacityreport@weingartfnd.org. The full report and its executive summary are also available for download at the Foundation's website, www.weingartfnd.org.
 
Fostering Effective Relationships among Nonprofit Boards and Executive Directors by Jodie Butler Markey and Dwight V. Denison is a study of nonprofits that identifies key factors contributing to a good board chair-executive director relationship. Those factors include the length of time that the executive director has worked for an organization and the number of hours per week that the executive director communicates with board members. To access the article go to:
Fostering Effective Relationships among Nonprofit Boards and Executive Directors
 
Fostering Sustainable Collaborative Relationships is an article by John Vogelsang, Associate Director of the Support Center for Nonprofit Management which was published in the Journal of Nonprofit Management. It presents the experiences nonprofits have with collaboration efforts. To access this article, go to:
Fostering Sustainable Collaborative Relationships
 
Four Actions Nonprofit Leaders Can Take to Transform Organizational Culture discusses what can nonprofit leaders can do when it becomes clear that a shift in culture is needed to realize organizational goals or increase impact. It starts with acknowledging that simply articulating new beliefs and values alone won't change behaviors of staff. In fact, the experiences of executive directors and other senior leaders who have successfully shifted their cultures reveal a counter-intuitive lesson: it takes concrete actions to shift an intangible force like organizational culture. To access the article, go to:
Four Actions Nonprofit Leaders Can Take to Transform Organizational Culture
 
Four Ways to Remove a Board Member This article describes using personal intervention, leave of absence, term limits and impeachment to remove a board member. Go to: Four Ways to Remove a Board Member
 
14 Steps to Developing a Top-Notch Volunteer Program is a guide to building a successful volunteer program by Mary Quirk, Volunteer Resources Leadership Project Manager for the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration. It presents 14 action steps that can help build or improve its volunteer program, such as gathering ideas and developing a case statement, getting a buy-in from the entire organization, creating an initial program design and developing the resources for a volunteer program. To access:
14 Steps to Developing a Top-Notch Volunteer Program
 
Frequently Asked Questions About Volunteer Management is a handy guide, excerpted from the Southern California Center for Nonprofit Management's Nonprofit Answer Book that provides concise answers to the most often asked questions, like, How Can We Create Staff Support for a Volunteer Management Program? and many others. To order the book, go to: FAQ about Volunteer Management
 
From Desperation to Opportunity: Building a Diverse Donor Base from the Ground Up In today's climate of budget cuts, reduced funding and other tales of desperation, this article describes how building a diverse donor base, can help nonprofits survive the economic crunch. To access, go to: From Desperation to Opportunity
 
From Streamlining to Strengthening Performance Three mission-driven rationales can guide successful nonprofit mergers: an aim to grow to scale (broaden reach), to increase scope (broaden services), or to streamline operations (increase efficiencies). Each comes with its own set of challenges and lines can blur between them. The merger of Oakland East Bay Symphony, Oakland Youth Orchestra, and the Oakland Symphony Chorus shows how a merger to increase efficiencies led to a focus on community impact. Go to:
From Streamlining to Strengthening Performance
 
Fundamentals for North Hollywood Based Nonprofit Arts Organizations - Board Governance This handout from VNR's January 2009 workshop, done in collaboration with the Los Angeles Stage Alliance and the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, focuses on how to develop and operate an effective nonprofit Board of Directors, including the Board's responsibility for fundraising during tough times. A free copy may be downloaded from Fundamentals - Board Governance.
 
Funding Learning Networks: Lessons from Third Sector New England's Capacity Building Fund From 2004 to 2012, Third Sector New England and clusters of nonprofit organizations joined in a unique grant program designed to further social change through united effort. In this report, readers will learn lessons from 8 years of grantmaking in the area of nonprofit networking and explore the design of the CBF program where nonprofits planned, learned, and built relationships that would enable them to work together to achieve common goals. This report will be available in early Spring, 2013. Sign up now and receive a link to download the report as soon as it is available. To access, go to:
Funding Learning Networks
 
Funding Technology Projects Whenever a new employee comes on board, a nonprofit has to find a computer for this person, the software for it and licenses for any databases or systems used - and those costs add up quickly. To fund such technology, a nonprofit needs to be creative and look beyond foundation support. How can it reduce technology costs and raise funds for technology at the same time? This article provides helpful advice. To access, go to: Funding Technology Projects
 
Fundraising articles have been gathered together by Third Sector New England, including Turning Crisis Into an Opportunity, Integrating Online and Offline Fundraising, and Tips For Cultivating Donors.
 
Fundraising Guides for Animal Welfare Nonprofits Presented by ASPCA and PETCO Foundation at an October 2009 VNR workshop, these three publications provide guidance for animal welfare nonprofits in applying for grants from these two funders and others. To download a free copy click on: ASPCA - Tips for Grantseekers, PETCO Foundation - Applying for Support and ASPCA - Creative Fundraising Strategies for Animal Welfare Agencies.
 
Fundraising in Nonprofits of Color Almost all research on fundraising is done on mainstream nonprofits, and almost all advice and guides on fundraising are addressed implicitly to mainstream nonprofits. Yet because they have different development trajectories, nonprofits in communities of color often have fundamentally different assets and deficits than mainstream organizations of the same size and age. This article discusses a study of fundraising by organizations of color and look at fundraising capacity. Go to: Fundraising in Nonprofits of Color
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GATHER: The Art & Science of Effective Convening is a free, hands-on guidebook for convening designers and social change leaders interested in harnessing the potential of collective intelligence through in-person convening. It enables convening planners to determine whether convening is the right tool to use to advance a strategic agenda, clarify the purpose of the convening, build an effective team, curate an experience and ensure follow through for impact. For more information and to download a copy, go to: GATHER
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GEO 2013 Working Better Together: Building Nonprofit Collaborative Capacity Collective Action is an effective way for nonprofits to increase their impact, but key capacities are needed to enable these types of partnerships to thrive. This publication offers insights on the core capacities nonprofits need to collaborate and how funders can help. Go to: GEO 2013
 
Get Ready; Get Set: What You Need to Know Before Starting a Nonprofit is a complete guide to starting a nonprofit organization. The publication comes from the California Management Assistance Partnership and is available in PDF form by going to:
Get Ready; Get Set
 
Getting People Out of Poverty: Programs, Policies and Collaborations That Work This brief paper summarizes recommendations for reducing poverty in Los Angeles - concentrating on what leaders from nonprofits, government, foundations and corporations can do together, along with community advocates and coalitions. This Critical Issues Paper is being used to inform the new Los Angeles Poverty Action Collaborative on advocacy and other strategies that are being developed, and also to shape the agenda for the 2011 MENDing Poverty Conference. A free copy may be downloaded from
Getting People Out of Poverty.
 
Getting Social Media Right: A Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations was written was written by Richard Steele, Sivan McLetchie and Christopher Lindquist for the Bridgespan Group. To engage in social media with confidence, it is important to know what the goals are for doing so and how those goals fit with the organization's overall mission. This article lays out a rubric called the "Seven C's" of social media: Cause, Communication, Community, Collaboration, Costs, Capital, and Competition. By challenging themselves with questions around the Seven C's, leaders and management can begin to organize their thinking about social media, and plan or revise their approach so that the efforts create real value for the organization. To access the article, go to:
Getting Social Media Right: A Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations
 
Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making: A Workbook A recent report showed that, although some organizations are relying heavily on data, a number were doing very little to actually measure their work or use data to inform other decisions. What to measure? Why measure it? What are the metrics? How to communicate the results throughout the organization? How to use data to plan? This workbook will help answer those questions and make and it's free. To access, go to:
Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making
 
Getting Started with Email Fundraising was written by Andrea Berry, a fundraising consultant, for Idealware and made available on Third Sector New England's website. Email can be an effective way to communicate with donors, and to raise money without substantially raising overhead. While it isn't likely to replace direct mail fundraising in a communications mix, emails allow a nonprofit to inexpensively provide reasons and reminders to give, right when the donors can be most effective. Some donors are more likely to read and act on an email. To access this article, go to:
Getting Started with Email Fundraising
 
Getting to Know Your Communications Q&A In Idealware's Mastering Your Mix class, expert Chris Tuttle provided lots of information about integrated communications. Co-presenter Andrea Berry reposted some learning materials from this class on Idealware. Go to: Getting to Know Your Communications Q&A
 
Getting to 100% Board Giving Having 100% of board members make personal donations is not a meaningful measure of board member commitment, and often even the best board members have to be nagged. This article provides suggestions for how to fulfill this requirement more smoothly. Go to: Getting to 100% Board Giving
 
The Giving Library offers philanthropists a way to enhance their giving, by exploring an online archive of video interviews to learn about hundreds of nonprofits across the country. The Giving Library also serves nonprofits by enhancing donor access, and providing an opportunity to learn about peer organizations. Participation in the Giving Library is 100% free for selected nonprofits and includes travel costs to produce the video in Houston, as well as production costs - all supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Nonprofits also get assistance in preparing for their filming date. For more information go to: Giving Library
 
Giving on the Go: Mobile Apps for Fundraising With mobile devices reaching near-ubiquity, donors want to use their smartphones or tablets to give to their favorite charities. Some nonprofits are optimizing their websites to make it easier for mobile users to donate, others are experimenting with text-to-give programs. But with so many people downloading and using mobile applications, or apps, to their mobile devices, it makes sense to consider what types of apps are available to help nonprofits with fundraising. To read, go to: Giving on the Go
 
Going white: Tips from the NonProfit Center is an article written by Jackie Cefola, which offers advice on how nonprofits can "go white" in their buildings and operations. To access the article, go to: Tips from the NonProfit Center
 
Good Practices for Nonprofit Board Governance The California State Board of Equalization's 2008 conference for Valley Nonprofits included this session on board governance. The session's handout presents a variety of tips and information resources on how to set up and run a good nonprofit board of directors. A free copy may be downloaded from Good Practices for Nonprofit Board Governance.
 
The Governance/Support Model for Nonprofit Boards is an article by Jan Masaoka for Blue Avocado. Confusion about board responsibilities is often about what the board does (as a body) versus what individual board members should do. The model for governance and support presented in this article is used by many nonprofit boards. To access the article, go to: Tips from the NonProfit Center
 
Grantseeking Fundamentals Learn about the grant seeking landscape, researching opportunities, and strategies for writing winning proposals in this booklet. Includes sample budget and budget narrative, list of resources, and planning worksheets. To download go to: Grantseeking Fundamentals.
 
The Grantseekers' Guide to Foundation Affinity Groups Like the mysterious Freemasons and their Grand Lodges, foundation affinity groups feel open and warm to insiders, but to outsiders they appear to be secretive, cloistered societies with their own coded languages, titles, and hierarchies. Rick Cohen first tells us about the affinity groups -- then gives practical advice on how to make this knowledge work for a nonprofit. To access, go to: Guide to Foundation Affinity Groups
 
Growing Network Impact: How Nonprofit Networks Are Raising the Bar on Results is a report written by Mandy Taft-Pearman and Alan Tuck of the Bridgespan Group. It focuses primarily on two kinds of networks - federated and associated networks. Both are collections of independent 501(c)(3)s, whose affiliates focus on similar activities and services. But whereas federated networks (such as Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Boys and Girls Clubs of America) offer mostly standardized program models, associated networks (such as the Land Trust Alliance or Public Education Network) allow for a more varied set of program models. While this article focuses on nine large networks, the information it provides can be of help to many small nonprofits, and especially to those that collaborate. To read an excerpt from the report, and to download the complete document, go to:
Growing Network Impact: How Nonprofit Networks are Raising the Bar on Results
 
Growing Your Own: Finding (People of Color) Fundraisers in Our Midst As is the case with many other professions in the United States, fundraisers are overwhelmingly white. The Association of Fundraising Professionals, the professional association of individuals and organizations that generate philanthropic support for a wide variety of charitable institutions, counts only 11 percent of its more than 31,000 members as people of color. This makes for both a crisis and an opportunity. People of color-run organizations need fundraisers of color in order to raise money more effectively in the communities of color and to legitimize the fundraising profession in the eyes of the program and admin-oriented colleagues. This article presents information on how to take this opportunity and run with it. To access it, go to: Finding People of Color Fundraisers
 
Guide and Template for Fiscal Policies and Procedures These templates can make it easier to write and update a nonprofit's policies and procedures. The most important part of developing policies and procedures is that they are discussed, agreed upon, and regularly reviewed by both decision makers and those who implement them on a day-to-day basis. There is no "one size fits all" that will work for all organizations, but this guide offers a recommended structure for policies and procedures as well as some questions to guide user. To access, go to: Guide and Template for Fiscal Policies and Procedures
 
A Guide to Navigating Changing Times is presented in a question and answer form that defines issues and terminology, to clarify the transitions nonprofits find themselves having to make today. To access, go to: A Guide to Navigating Changing Times
 
Hanging Together: Capacity Building and Collaboration in Tough Times Recent research was presented at this presentation to the Glendale Healthier Community Coalition about how to keep collaborations alive and well, including sustainability and evaluation approaches. The session handout also includes a brief presentation of strategies for raising funds in tough times. Each section includes resources for further learning. A free copy may be downloaded from
Hanging Together: Capacity Building and Collaboration in Tough Times.
 
The Helper's Helper: Where Nonprofits Turn is an article that was published in the New York Times about 20 students in a class that was offered by the Support Center for Nonprofit Management. The students were employees from various nonprofit organizations and the subject of the class was "how to recruit celebrities to donate their time to help with fundraising." To read the article, go to: The Helper's Helper: Where Nonprofits Turn
 
Hidden in Plain Sight: Understanding Nonprofit Capital Structure is an introduction to capital structure for nonprofits and how it directly affects mission, program growth and organizational stability. To access, go to: Hidden in Plain Sight
 
Honesty Might Come with Caveats If the old cliché of honesty being the best policy is correct, why are there so many instances of dishonesty in the nonprofit workplace? That was the question discussed recently during a session of the 2013 Risk Summit, presented in Boston by the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. This article presents the answers and solutions. Go to: Honesty Might Come with Caveats
 
How Charities Can Weather the Bad Economy is a transcript made from a Chronicle of Philanthropy interview with Dan Cardinali, president of Communities in Schools; Rick Dunham, a fund-raising consultant with Dunham and Company in Addison, Tex., and Clara Miller, president and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund in New York. Among other topics they cover these questions: What can your organization do to state its case to donors and supporters during anxious times? How have groups weathered previous uncertainty? And how can you stretch your resources to meet your mission when money gets tight? To access the transcript, go to: How Charities Can Weather the Bad Economy
 
How Nonprofits Can Extend Their Reach & Build Community Social media offer nonprofits the very platform they need to get their voices heard, but going the social media route doesn't necessarily guarantee success. This blog post lists ways for nonprofit organizations to reach their audiences effectively in order to find supporters and donors for the cause at hand. Go to: How Nonprofits Can Extend Their Reach & Build Community
 
How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with their Communities To better understand how nonprofit practitioners integrate social media and online communications into their strategies, the Case Foundation, in collaboration with Social Media for Nonprofits, created an informal survey to help advance the conversation around how nonprofits use social media to engage their communities. Nearly 500 nonprofit professionals involved with running their organization's social media and online communications efforts responded to the survey detailing their own methodologies and practices. In this article, Ritu Sharma interprets some of the data from this survey. Go to:
How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with their Communities
 
How Social Media Transformed A Nonprofit Medical Professional Society is an article written by Jennifer Young. This media-studies graduate student helped the American Society of Nephrology (a national group of physicians specializing in kidney disease) more fully embrace social media. Her experiences in planning, implementing, and tracking the Society's rollout of its social media operation can be helpful to any nonprofit looking to deepen connections with members, donors, volunteers and the public. To access, go to: How Social Media Transformed a Nonprofit Medical Professional Society
 
How to Create Nonprofit Stories that Inspire Andy Goodman, a nationally known speaker, author and consultant in the field of public interest communications, is interviewed on this important topic. To download the article go to:
How to Create Nonprofit Stories that Inspire
 
How To Give a Good Media Interview is an article written by Hannah Brazee Gregory. In it she explains how media coverage can be an opportunity for a nonprofit - or a public relations nightmare, depending on how it is handled. She offers guidelines to make a media interview a successful opportunity. To access the article, go to:
How To Give a Good Media Interview
 
How to Handle Your Nonprofit's Technology When Staff Members Leave Employee turnover can have a negative impact on an organization's effectiveness. This article describes how basic planning can go a long way in lessening the impact turnover can have on an organization's tech infrastructure. Go to:
How to Handle Your Nonprofit's Technology When Staff Members Leave
 
How to Increase Office Productivity Using Free Software is an eight-part series that covers everything nonprofits need to know about moving from costly desktop office software to Google's free online office tools suite, which can be a good cost-saver in the current hard economic times. This series offers tutorials for getting started with Google - using and configuring Google Mail (Gmail); Google Calendar; and Google Docs, including the spreadsheet and presentation functions - as well as a host of other free applications that increase productivity. To read these articles, go to www.grantstation.com
 
How to Keep the Board Under Your Thumb When nonprofit executive directors say they want their boards to be more "engaged," they often really mean they want the board to have a lively discussion followed by a vote to agree with the executive director. This article presents some tips for achieving that goal. To read, go to:
How to Keep the Board Under Your Thumb
 
How To Raise A Lot More Money Now, 50 Great Ideas from 11 Top Experts is a recent e-book from Network For Good. Excerpts from the book are included in Third Sector New England's most recent newsletter. To access those excerpts and for a link to the entire book, go to: How to Raise a Lot More Money Now
 
How to Set Up an Internship for Your Small Business is an article that provides useful advice on internships and how to set up an internship program. They are a smart recruitment strategy for small businesses, allowing an organization to nurture and feed its full-time hiring efforts. To access this article, go to:
How To Set Up an Internship Program for Your Small Business
 
How to Staff and Support a Committee Is a staffing committee more like herding cats or like herding turtles? Staff at many levels support a nonprofit organization's volunteer committees, and can use tips to "lead from below." In this article, Jan Masaoka presents strategies for managing a committee. Go to: to: How to Staff and Support a Committee
 
How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in California is an online guide provided by Harbor Compliance that provides detailed information that covers topics like research that should be done as to the need for another nonprofit, the cost of forming one, necessary paperwork, tax information and other issues. Go to:
How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in California
 
How to Steal From a Nonprofit: Who Does It and How to Prevent It Is it easier to steal from a nonprofit organization than from a business? That's what a team of researchers have speculated, arguing that an atmosphere of trust, the difficulty in verifying certain revenue streams, weaker internal controls, a lack of business and financial expertise, and a reliance on volunteer boards all contribute to increased nonprofit vulnerability. In its Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) focused on both internal and external fraud. In all, ACFE studied in depth 508 cases of occupational fraud representing $761 million in losses. In segregating its findings by sector, ACFE's report draws some lessons and comparisons specifically related to nonprofits, including fraud prevention. To access, go to:
How to Steal From a Nonprofit
 
How Your Company Can Make the Most of LinkedIn: Company Profiles is the second installment of a series of articles on how nonprofits can use this social media tool to help build capacity and/or promote their mission. This article offers advice on how to build a "company" profile for a nonprofit. To read the article, go to:
How Your Nonprofit Can Make the Most of LinkedIn: Company Profiles
 
How Your Nonprofit Can Make the Most of Linkedin: Joining the Conversation This is the final installment in a multi-part series. It covers several ways to keep in touch with, and develop, the desired connections. LinkedIn currently offers 18 applications that can help share information, showcase an organization's work, and collaborate or communicate with a network. For instance, one application provides an easy way to post a LinkedIn status update on Twitter. Others offer a place to post travel advice, slide share presentations, event listings and cross-posting blogs. To access the article, go to:
How Your Nonprofit Can Make the Most of LinkedIn: Joining the Conversation
 
HR Without HR is the first in a series of articles about strategies and tools that nonprofits can adopt even if there is no dedicated HR staff person to implement them. To access the article, go to: HR Without HR
 
Human Resources Issues to Consider is a compilation by Third Sector New England of articles dealing with the various topics that can greatly affect the productiveness and survival of nonprofits. Titles include: Fair, Consistent Staff Layoffs, Tips for Working Effectively With Temps, Be a Better, Adaptive Supervisor, and The Future of Nonprofits: Developing Generation Y Stafff.
 
Human Resources Q & A: Supervision is a collection of tips for supervising employees based on questions frequently heard from nonprofits. To access, go to: HR Without HR
 
Human Services: Profiles from the article, How Nonprofits Get Really Big These profiles share the challenges the organizations faced, and the actions they took to help fund their growth strategies. To access, go to: Human Services
 
Humor: The Uncomfortable, Terrifying Site Visit Vu Le, the Executive Director of the Vietnamese Friendship Association, shares experience with a site visit from an important funder. He describes with humor how something an organization really wants, can also be dreaded. "It's a weird contradiction, like it's your birthday -- yay! -- but you're also getting a colonoscopy." Go to: Humor
 
Hunt for Thank You Opportunities is an article written by Sasha Dichter for her blog, which deals with aspects of nonprofit operations. She explains how effective a Thank You can be in assuring future donations. To access, go to:
Hunt for thank you opportunities - Sasha Dichter's Blog
 
Ice Buckets and the Psychology of Giving The end of the calendar year is traditionally seen as a time when people are feeling generous and are making donations to charities. What better time, then, to ask why people respond to some giving mechanisms, such as the recently omnipresent ice-bucket challenge, but not to others. This article explores a number of ways nonprofits have tried to encourage people to give. Go to: Ice Buckets and the Psychology of Giving.
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An Ill-advised Solution" to a Serious Problem A potentially revolutionary change in the way the Internal Revenue Service grants public charity status is in the works. Yet despite its far-reaching implications, this dramatic development has to date escaped the notice of most in the sector. In this article, Jonathan Spack discusses the IRS allowing applicants for 501c (3) public charity status to file a short Form 1023-EZ to attain tax exempt status instead of waiting for a nonprofit determination letter. Go to:
An Ill-advised Solution
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Implementing A Cloud Solution This workbook helps nonprofits define and plan a project, give a better understanding of an organization's readiness for the new system, and help identify the data to migrate from the old system and what can be left behind. Along the way, there is exploration of all the ways this change could impact an organization's processes, from how data are entered, to where to turn for help with problems. There is also help to identify what training is needed and how to provide or find it. Go to: Implementing A Cloud Solution.
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Implementing a New Website: Planning Your Approach This workbook is a guide to help nonprofit organizations through the website redesign process, better prepare staff to work with the chosen web developer, and plan the web content for launch. Go to: Implementing a New Website.
 
Improving Nonprofit Decision Making in an Economic Crisis is an article written by Kate Barr. When the finance committee chair of Youth Horizons Inc. announced that in just weeks the organization wouldn't have enough cash to meet payroll and didn't know when the cash situation would improve, members of the board of directors were speechless. After two years of deficits, the cash reserve had been spent and the finance committee had run out of options. Soon board members jumped in with questions: What happened to all the grant applications that had been submitted? Wasn't there a fundraising event planned? How could this have happened, and what should the board do now? To access this article go to: Improving Nonprofit Decision Making amid Economic Crisis.
 
In Search of Better Data About Nonprofits' Programs What is really being asked for when nonprofits are requested to produce data on performance, effectiveness and impact? While the surface logic is clear- this information needs to be known-the full context and set of assumptions surrounding the request bears closer examination. Go to:
In Search of Better Data.
 
Integrating Lean Management Principles in Nonprofit Organizations Nonprofit leadership and employees have found numerous creative ways to maintain operations as well as service delivery in tight times - from increasing the number of volunteers to expanding employees' job responsibilities. This paper presents longer-term solutions that preserve sustainability and set the stage for future success. To access, go to:
Integrating Lean Management Principles in Nonprofit Organizations
 
Internal Controls Checklist Internal controls are a set of policies and procedures to prevent deliberate or misguided use of funds for unauthorized purposes. To download this document, go to: Internal Controls Checklist
 
Investing in Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances is a paper written by Bruce Boyd and Reginald Jones, and released through Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors. It explores the benefits of strategic collaboration by nonprofits as another means of surviving today's economic crisis. Nonprofit mergers and alliances are a sensitive subject for some. Donors are cautious of the changes and some nonprofit organizations view it as a last-ditch means of survival. However, such concerns shouldn't prevent an organization from investigating the potential benefits of these practices. To access this Brief go to:
Investing in Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances.
 
IRS Advice to 990-N Filers The recent filing of 990-N forms in April, 2010 revealed so much confusion about which nonprofits needed to file and the revocation process in general, that the IRS put together a Q&A article which can be accessed at Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership. To access the article, go to: Filing Deadline Reveals Confusion
 
Is Coming to Work Required to Keep My Job? This difficult question was asked of an HR Attorney regarding an employee with disabilities. The answers to this and other similar questions are very valuable and educational. Go to:
Is Coming to Work Required to Keep My Job?
 
Is The Glass Half Empty or Half Full? Understanding the Priority of Expenses This article explores the challenges of budgeting a nonprofit organization's funds. It suggests planning two budgets, one for having the optimum amount of money, and another for a less-than-optimum reality. To access it, go to: Is the Glass Half-Empty or Half-Full?
 
Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter? presents findings of a survey by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations of executives and staff members of both nonprofits and foundations. Foundations in the study with staff and board members with nonprofit experience were significantly more likely than those without any experience to engage in grantee-friendly practices. To access the full report or a summary of it, go to:
Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?
 
Is "Open Source" Right for Your Organization? Lots of people seem to be talking about "open source" software these days, but for non-techies, it's not always easy to find out more about this option. The term "open source" itself means that the actual source code written by programmers can be viewed, modified or downloaded by anyone, and the software is typically developed, marketed and distributed by a loosely organized community of individuals rather than a vendor. To access the article, go to:
Is "Open Source" Right for Your Organization?
 
Is Your Board Normal? This article is about the BoardSource Governance Index, which is based on responses from 878 nonprofit CEOs and 246 board chairs. In some ways, the fact that the respondents are by definition people who have been in touch with BoardSource and therefore have evinced some interest in good governance practice makes the Index not entirely representative. But previous research suggests that the findings are still somewhat representative of the larger field. Go to: Is Your Board Normal?
 
Keeping Your Donor Data Safe How do you protect your organization's data? Donor information is stored in a database, fundraising is done online and volunteers carry laptops - all sources of risk. This article presents strategies that nonprofits should consider to prevent and minimize damage from data breach. Go to: Keeping Your Donor Data Safe
 
Keeping Track of Your People Power: HR and Technology in the Nonprofit World Whether an organization has just a few employees or a few thousand, its staff is its most valuable resource. To manage that resource effectively, all sorts of information needs to be tracked - from information about employees' demographics to salary history to their annual performance goals. This article provides advice on how to make sure that data are safe, accurate and easily accessible. To access, go to: Keeping Track of Your People Power
 
Know the Rules for Hiring Consultants vs. Employees is an article that defines the type of projects that can best be done by consultants vs. employees, and the responsibilities a nonprofit has toward one or the other. To access the article, go to:
Know the Rules
 
Latino Initiative Resource Guide provides information about leadership development programs, professional associations, and volunteer opportunities targeted to the San Fernando Valley's Latino nonprofit workforce. The Guide is a product of VNR's Latino Initiative, which since 2009 has been putting on learning events to bring together staff of Latino-led and Latino-focused nonprofits in the Valley. To download a free copy of this publication go to: Latino Guide.
 
Leaning Into Discomfort: Social Sector Leadership in the 21st Century is an article that uses interviews to explore the necessity for nonprofit leaders to "lean into" the discomfort associated with leading. The piece looks at two frameworks in particular: 1) that in order to lead anyone in a new direction, leaders "must be prepared to be diverted, attacked, marginalized, or seduced" and 2) a significant component of a leader's job is to "remain off-balance, adaptable, and open to other leaders taking the fore." To read the article, go to: Leaning Into Discomfort
 
Lessons from the Field: Improving the Grantee Experience at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation This report describes how the Packard Foundation, one of America’s largest philanthropies, developed and implemented “Grantee Experience Standards,” a set of criteria for high-quality interactions and clear communications between grantmaker and grantee. A free copy may be downloaded from Lessons from the Field.
 
Lessons in Funder Collaboration: What the Packard Foundation Has Learned About Working With Other Funders Funder collaboration has been a hot topic in philanthropy for years. But interest has grown of late as more funders realize that individual efforts simply are not enough to address complex social problems. To access, go to:
Lessons in Funder Collaboration.
 
List of Profiles from "How Nonprofits Get Really Big" These profiles share the challenges nonprofits faced as they grew significantly, emphasizing actions they took to help fund their growth strategies. To access, go to: List of Profiles
 
Living Into Your Strategic Plan: A Guide to Implementation That Gets Results" This six-step guide can help create a path toward implementation. It provides strategies and tools nonprofits can use to implement their strategic plans, in an effort to achieve impact year after year. Go to: Living Into Your Strategic Plan
 
Lost In Translation: Common Pitfalls for Bridgers Even the most prepared job candidate may inadvertently say the wrong thing during a job interview. For those bridging to the nonprofit sector from the for-profit world, the risk is even greater because there are distinct differences in the language used in the two sectors, and interviewers may be especially sensitive to these differences when interviewing someone whose career has been predominantly for-profit. Thus, a perfectly acceptable term in corporate America may elicit a negative reaction at many nonprofits. To access this guide, go to: Lost In Translation
 
Low Profile-High Impact is an article written by Jan Masaoka, discussing several topics that can have a high impact on a nonprofit's efficiency and effectiveness - nonprofit activity related to elections, how to prevent mis-classification of employees, and ways to improve board agendas. To read this article, go to: Low Profile-High Impact.
 
The M Word: A Board Member's Guide to Mergers: How, Why & Why Not to Merge Nonprofit Organizations by Alfredo Vergara-Lobo, Jan Masaoka & Sabrina L. Smith of CompassPoint is a booklet designed as a practical guide to help nonprofit board members, executives and funders think through a merger. It gives a quick trip through a merger's terrain, and provides a rough guide to expectations, processes and obstacles often encountered in a merger experience. To access the booklet go to: The M Word.
 
Maintaining Employee Morale During Tough Economic Times is an article written by Lyn Freundlich, Director of Administration and Human Resources at Third Sector New England. Maintaining employee morale in the nonprofit sector has never meant providing high-priced perks and exorbitant bonuses. But providing thanks for a job well done and recognition for the commitment and enthusiasm that nonprofit professionals bring to their work is critical, and doesn't need to drain resources. The article provides tips for simple things management can do to keep morale up. To access the article, go to: Maintaining Employee Morale During Tough Economic Times
 
Management Talent in 4 Easy Steps Fast-paced changes in everything from technology to views of the world from one generation to the next have made the job of managing increasingly challenging. Whether it’s new laws or court cases, employee expectations regarding working conditions or technology or financial pressures, the stress is unrelenting. All that makes the best management of human capital even more important for nonprofit organizations. To read this article, go to: Management Talent in 4 Easy Steps
 
Managing the End of a Funding Relationship Foundations rarely fund a project or organization forever. Even though the end of a funding relationship is normal, it's still often stressful for both grantmakers and grantees. Just like a divorce, the experience can be bitter, or both parties can remain friends and sometimes even reconnect at a future date. Tom Triplett's article covers the following topics: The Good Goodbye; Three Recommendations for an Effective Funding Exit; Broaden Replacement Funding Options and Where to Learn More. To access the article, go to: Managing the End of a Funding Relationship.
 
Managing Executive Transitions: A Guide for Nonprofits is a book written by the staff of CompassPoint and published by the organization. It guides nonprofits through a change in leadership, and can help boards and executive directors handle leadership turnovers in a way that prevents problems and sets the organization on a path for long-term success. To read more about it and/or buy the book go to: CompassPoint.
 
Managing In Tough Times Survey is a report by The Bridgespan Group. The negative effects of the economy on nonprofit organizations have deepened considerably in the last year, according to responses from more than 100 nonprofit leaders participating in a Bridgespan study initiated in November 2008 and updated in November 2009. But while the hardship of prolonged financial pressure cannot be overstated, many organizations appear to be making the difficult decisions that may gain them stronger footing as market conditions improve in the future. To access this report, go to:
Managing in Tough Times Survey Update
 
Managing Risk Within Nonprofit Organizations is a white paper that presents ways to reduce the risk in various nonprofit management responsibilities. To access the PDF go to: Managing Risk Within Nonprofit Organizations
 
Managing Volunteers: Balancing Risk and Reward This booklet contains information to help better manage volunteers. Topics covered include volunteer recruitment, screening and selection, as well as training, supervising and disciplining volunteers. It includes a brief explanation of volunteer liability and types of coverage available. To access, go to: Managing Volunteers
 
Mapping Your Mix: Are You Providing the Right Mix of Content? Odds are good that an organization is using multiple communications channels to reach people, from social media to direct mail and email to websites and blogs. Because each can attract a different audience, and may be better-suited for certain types and lengths of content, coordinating among them all can be difficult. This article explains what the ideal mix is to reach the goal. To access, go to: Mapping Your Mix
 
Marketing Plan Template - Invest 5 to 10 Hours to Grow Communications Impact An investment of five to ten hours can yield a baseline plan useful in starting a meaningful dialogue with colleagues and guiding a daily marketing focus. Just block out an hour (first thing in the morning is ideal) each day for one to two weeks to complete an effective marketing plan. To read, go to: Marketing Plan Template
 
Marrying Mission with Strategic Planning & Evaluation In this article, Karen Topakian describes nonprofit organizations that have found successful and innovative ways to couple mission with strategic planning and evaluation. Go to:
Marrying Mission with Strategic Planning & Evaluation
 
Measurement as Learning Increasingly, funders want to know exactly how their money is being used, and as nonprofits undertake rigorous evaluations to prove their programs work and attract funding for growth. But one of the most important uses of measurement is too often overlooked, and that is measurement for the purpose of learning and improving performance, or performance measurement. The Bridgespan Group has put together a guide on this topic. To download a copy go to: Measurement as Learning
 
Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Online Communications is an article written by Laura S. Quinn and made available on the Idealware web site. It talks through four types of measures-- Views, Followers, Engagement, and Conversion-- that help track communications efforts to see if they're effective. To access the article, go to:
Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Online Communications
 
Measuring Fundraising Performance vs. Fundraiser Performance In this article, the distinctions between fundraising vs. fundraiser are clearly defined as well as the difference between measuring effort and outcome. This and many other nuances of this process are explored. Go to: Measuring Funraising Performance vs. Fundraiser Performance.
 
Measuring to Improve vs. Improving Measurement In this article, Matthew Forti, Director of One Acre Fund USA, explores whether social sector organizations are thinking too narrowly about the whole paradigm of measurement. To access, go to:
Measuring to Improve vs. Improving Measurement
 
Media Advocacy: Developing and Framing Your Message This is the second in a series of articles about developing a media advocacy campaign. The previous article dealt with selecting the media and doing the basic preparation work. This article covers the next step - how to develop and frame the message. It includes an easy to remember list of guidelines: The Five C's of Messaging. To read the article, go to: Media Advocacy
 
Michael Eric Dyson: Re-Thinking Diversity The Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, a project of Third Sector New England, kicked-off its "Conversations with …" lecture series exploring issues of diversity and inclusion, with an address by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University professor author of 17 books. To access a video of Dr. Dyson's presentation and/or read an article with his comments, go to:
Michael Eric Dyson on Diversity and Nonprofits.
 
Michael Quinn Patton's Top 10 Developments in Qualitative Evaluation for the Last Decade For this article, Michael Quinn Patton collected data from colleagues and students about major recent developments in qualitative evaluation inquiry, and lists 10 of them. Go to: Top 10 Developments Qualitative Evaluation.
 
Microsoft Office vs. OpenOffice.org is an article by Brett Bonfield and Laura S. Quinn for Idealware. For a while, nonprofit organizations' choice of office suites was limited to Microsoft Office or... Microsoft Office. But over time, a viable open source option, OpenOffice.org, has become increasingly popular, making it an affordable option for organizations seeking a productivity suite. In this article, Microsoft Office 2010 is compared to OpenOffice.org 3.2. To access the article, go to: Microsoft Office vs. OpenOffice.org.
 
Millennial Strategy Program This PowerPoint provides an overview of facts and figures about the emerging Milliennial generation, which have many implications for the nonprofit sector. It was part of a workshop at the June 2008 MENDing Poverty conference, led by Jack MacKenzie, Executive Vice President of Frank N. Magid Associates and head of its Sherman Oaks-based office. A free copy may be downloaded from
Millennial Strategy Program (2.7 MB PDF).
 
Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New IT System Most people would rather have a long, slow root canal performed on them than make any type of IT transition. But, it has to be done and there are things to consider before doing it, which are presented in this article. Go to: Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New IT System
 
Mobilizing Change: 10 Nonprofit Policy Proposals to Strengthen U.S. Communities is the Aspen Institute's compilation of proposals from leading thinkers in the nonprofit sector who are working to address social problems and improve the lives of those in need through improved nonprofit/government policies. The report summarizes each proposal and explains how it would work, who would be affected, and what actions are required to make it happen. To access the report go to:
Mobilizing Change: 10 Nonprofit Policy Proposals to Strengthen U.S. Communities.
 
Money Changes Everything The bottom line is money. An organization can have the best mission but cash is the ten, jack, queen, king and ace. Finance has to be at the top of the agenda when developing organizational strategies. This article presents four key factors to achieve this goal. Go to: Money Changes Everything
 
The Money Value of Time: Increasing the Lifeblood of Nonprofit Organizations There are roughly 1.5 million nonprofit organizations, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, vying for roughly $200-$300 billion contributed annually, which roughly equates to $100-$200 thousand per organization. Seemingly, none are vying for time, skilled or unskilled. Why will corporations pay "finder's fees" of several thousand dollars for talent, but nonprofit organizations will turn it away when it is offered freely? To read this article, go to: The Money Value of Time.
 
More Bang for the Buck Three nonprofit organizations found ways to streamline their work while driving down their costs per outcome, the true measure of productivity. Lower costs per outcome show that a nonprofit's drive for efficiency and investments in people and processes create more bang for the buck. To access, go to: More Bang for the Buck.
 
Moving Over or Moving On: Next Career Steps for Health Clinic CEOs is a research report which begins with a perspective on why long term clinic leaders without plans to retire or transition into a new role in the community clinic movement, can hold clinics back. It then moves on to report on the career moves previous clinic CEOs have taken and how they prepared themselves for those moves. To access, go to: Moving Over or Moving On
 
Multicultural Organizational Development in Nonprofit Organizations is a paper by Laurin Mayeno and Steve Lew for CompassPoint, in which they describe the "building blocks" of multicultural organizational development that can help leaders and capacity builders to begin the process in their organization and sustain it by integrating multicultural values, practices, and plans into annual operations. To access the document, go to: Multicultural Organizational Development in Nonprofit Organizations
 
My Very First Experiment: How Changing One Sentence Led to a 42% Increase in Revenue As nonprofits put more energy into email content creation, they should consider a few key points in converting email readers to website visitors. Tim Kachuriak chronicles his experiences at a marketing communications conference and how small edits in presentation can raise an organization's email effectiveness. Go to:
My Very First Experiment
 
Needle Moving Collective Impact Guide: Capacity and Structure One of the defining characteristics of collaboratives that really get things done is dedicated capacity. In conversations with leaders of "needle-moving" collaboratives, it was learned that this capacity - and the structure it supports - is often what differentiates the most effective efforts from other forms of collaboration. The purpose of this guide is to provide guidance and examples of how to structure and staff a collaborative. Go to: Needle-Moving Collective Impact Guide: Capacity and Structure
 
Needle Moving Collective Impact Guide: Community Collaborative Life Stages Collaboration has long been a part of the nonprofit sector. But many have also experienced collaboratives that do not live up to their potential in one way or another-nothing happens between meetings, the group never reaches real agreement, the group loses steam as participants transition in and out, or the collaborative falls apart as participants jockey to claim whatever successes emerge. There is an exciting groundswell right now in a new kind of collaborative that may hold the key to addressing some of these problems. Go to: Needle-Moving Collective Impact Guide: Community Collaborative Life Stages
 
Needle-Moving Community Collaboratives: A Promising Approach to Addressing America's Biggest Challenges By enlisting all sectors to work together, a new kind of community collaborative is making strides toward tackling powerful challenges in communities. This report shares five core elements that contribute to their success, illustrated by examples of collaboratives that have achieved collective impact. To access the report, go to:
Needle-Moving Community Collaboratives
 
New Guide: Living into Your Strategic Plan The Bridgespan Group has assembled a six-step guide, incorporating lessons learned from a study of nonprofits, to create a roadmap to implementing a strategic plan. To download a free copy, go to:
Living Into Your Strategic Plan: A Guide to Implementation That Gets Results
 
New Nonprofit Resources for Social Media is a brief VNR publication listing resources nonprofits can use to increase their impact through social media, particularly with respect to online fundraising. To download a free copy, click here.
 
A New Seat At The Table: When is it Time to Add to Your Senior Management Team? is an article by the Bridgespan Group. As organizations grow, so do the demands on their senior staff. But because adding a new position to the senior management team can be a considerable expense and can significantly change how the organization works, most organizations don't undertake this change quickly. So, how does a nonprofit organization know when it's time to add a new position to the team, what specific skill sets to seek, and how to justify the expense? To access the article, go to:
A New Seat At The Table
 

New Study Finds Non-Reporting of Fundraising Expense Widespread: But Some States Much Worse Than Others Some nonprofits are loath to report the full costs of their overhead in an environment that focuses overly on these costs in measuring effectiveness, but that may be a mistake when it comes to an organization's credibility. To access this article, go to:
New Study Finds Non-Reporting of Fundraising Expense Widespread.

 
New Ways to Strengthen Nonprofits This workshop at the California Association of Nonprofits 2008 Annual Conference focused on cost-effective and creative approaches to capacity building that can help keep nonprofits strong, especially when resources are as limited as they are now. It featured four innovative capacity-building programs, including one sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation, each described briefly in this resource document. A free copy may be downloaded from New Ways to Strengthen Nonprofits.
 
Next Generation Organizations: 9 Key Traits What exactly does next generation leadership entail, how are their organizations structured, what practices are in place, what do their boards look like, and how are operations adapted? In this paper, written by Marla Cornelius and Tim Wolfred of CompassPoint have identified a set of 9 characteristics that demonstrate how next generation leaders are transforming organizations to operate in a fundamentally different way to raise the bar on mission impact. To access the report, go to: Next Generation Organizations: 9 Key Traits
 
No More Fundraising Thermometers! This is a free download e-book that offers creative and alternative ways to show the progress of fundraising other than the tired thermometer. Go to: No More Fundraising Thermometers!
 
Nonprofit Board Basics Online is a new way to learn about board basics. It includes an interactive animated virtual conference and online self-assessment. For more information and to access the course, go to: Nonprofit Board Basics Online.
 
Nonprofit Brochure Basics is a guide to writing and designing successful brochures for nonprofits. Offered by Kivi Lereux at Nonprofit Marketing Guide, the publication offers helpful tips and advice. To access it, go to: Nonprofit Brochure Basics.
 
Nonprofit Communications, With and Without a Content Strategy This article shows how and why communications can be more effective with a content strategy. To access, go to: Nonprofit Communications.
 
Nonprofit Consultants: How to Choose Them, How to Use Them is a guide that presents ten steps to choosing a nonprofit consultant, and how best to utilize them to help a nonprofit organization. To access, go to: Nonprofit Consultants.
 
Nonprofit Finance Fund State of the Nonprofit Sector 2014 Survey This survey finds that 80 percent of the 5,019 nonprofits polled reported an increase in demand for their services in 2013 while 86 percent expected increased demand in 2014. A total of 56 percent of respondents said they were unable to meet the demand for their services in 2013, while 58 percent didn't think they would be able to do so this year. The survey report also lists challenges nonprofits say they face, financial standing, responses to financial challenges, and requests for evaluation data from funders. To download a copy of the report, go to www.nff.org.
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Nonprofit Marketing Guide In this article, members of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide online community offer tips on things nonprofits need to check before sending out a bulk email. Go to: Nonprofit Marketing Guide
 
The Nonprofit Organizational Dashboard: Library of Sample Performance Indicators from CompassPoint As organizations strive to allocate and monitor resources in order to increase effectiveness and impact, many are turning to the use of dashboards and performance metrics as an inexpensive and simple way to facilitate meaningful decision making and track progress towards organizational goals. Often the most challenging aspect of developing a dashboard is choosing a set of performance indicators relevant for an organization. CompassPoint is collecting sample indicators and has compiled them into this library. While this list is not comprehensive, nor is each indicator right for all organizations, it can provide useful examples of what other organizations are using. To access this sample, go to: The Nonprofit Organizational Dashboard
 
Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness: Analysis of Best Practices In the face of increased accountability pressures, nonprofits are searching for ways to demonstrate their effectiveness. Because meaningful tools to evaluate effectiveness are largely absent, financial ratios are still the main indicators used to approximate it. However, there is an extensive body of literature on determinants of nonprofit effectiveness. This study tested the extent to which such assertions in the literature align with practitioner views. Results include a self-assessment survey on the basis of the practices that find support in both academia and practice. This survey provides managers with a tool to assess the extent to which the identified practices are present in their organizations and with suggestions, which might lead to improvements in their effectiveness. Intermediaries can use the tool to provide better information to donors. Funders can use it in their selection of grantees, and capacity-building efforts. Go to: Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness
 
Nonprofit Overhead Costs: Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Misleading Reporting, Unrealistic Expectations and Pressure to Conform Donors tend to reward organizations with the "leanest" overhead. So nonprofit leaders often feel pressure to spend as little as possible on backbone expenses. This vicious cycle ignores the fact that some overhead is "good overhead" - the kind that enables and organization to invest in the talent, systems and training that create a foundation for healthy growth. To access this article, go to: Nonprofit Overhead Costs
 
Nonprofit Overhead Costs Resource Center is an online set of brief resources all oriented to controlling operating costs. Topics include board job descriptions, what good outcomes cost, and access to a nonprofit cost analysis. Go to: Nonprofit Overhead Costs Resource Center
 
Nonprofit Performance Management: Using Data to Measure and Improve Programs Tracking and measuring data can give nonprofits a better understanding of the populations they serve and how they serve them, and help them identify areas to improve their reach and the efficiency of their programs. But many nonprofits struggle to track data--or even to define what data they should be tracking. Here are seven case studies on different ways nonprofits are tracking and using data to operate more efficiently. Go to: Nonprofit Performance Measurement
 
The Nonprofit Sector In Brief: Public Charities, Giving and Volunteering, 2010 is a new brief by Kennard Wing, Katie L. Roeger and Thomas H. Pollak. It highlights trends in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities as well as key findings on private charitable contributions and volunteering, two vital resources to the nonprofit sector. The brief includes the most recent data available. To access the brief, go to:
The Nonprofit Sector in Brief
 
The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide helps nonprofits determine what results and benefits to reasonably expect from social media, and guides them through the process of identifying the right channels for reaching various goals. Today there is little doubt that social media can and should be a powerful part of a nonprofit's communications mix, but exactly what should the nonprofit be using it for? Possibilities include outreach and engagement, event management, advocacy and fundraising. For many nonprofits, it's far more obvious that such tools can be useful than how to use them. Go to:
The Nonprofit Social Media Policy Decision Guide
 
The Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook As organizations strive to allocate and monitor resources in As nonprofits have increasingly turned to social media, policies and guidelines to govern their use have become the new frontier. The open and community-based aspects of social media can be a huge benefit for nonprofits looking to reach out to new audiences and engage their existing base, but sometimes it can seem that no one knows the right way to use each channel, or where the lines are drawn or even how to find out. This workbook explains how to make good use of social media. To access, go to:
The Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook
 
Nonprofits Added Jobs Faster Than Businesses Last Decade, Study Finds is an article by Noelle Barton. According to a study by the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University, nonprofits added jobs at a rate of 2% from 2000 to 2010 while jobs in the for-profit sector were cut by a rate of .6% each year during that same time period. To read the article and to access the study, go to:
Nonprofits Added Jobs Faster Than Businesses Last Decade, Study Finds
 
The Nonprofit Sector In Brief: Public Charities, Giving and Volunteering, 2010 is a new brief by Kennard Wing, Katie L. Roeger and Thomas H. Pollak. It highlights trends in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities as well as key findings on private charitable contributions and volunteering, two vital resources to the nonprofit sector. The brief includes the most recent data available. To access the brief, go to:
The Nonprofit Sector In Brief
 
Nonprofit Social Networking Report This study report, prepared by the Nonprofit Technology Network, Common Knowledge, and ThePort, gives the results of a survey completed in early 2009 that examined nonprofits' use of social networks. Nearly 1,000 professionals from small, large, and medium size nonprofits participated in the survey. They were asked about their use of commercial social networks, such as Facebook or MySpace, and use of constructed social networks through their websites. Major findings include: (1) use of social networks by nonprofits is popular but community sizes and presence remains small, (2) there is little fundraising and advertising revenue being generated so far from these communities, and (3) a small group of nonprofits have built their own social networks on their websites and membership on them remains small. The study report is available for free download at: Nonprofit Social Networking Report
 
A Nonprofit Space Odyssey is a booklet written by Sabrina L. Smith, Jan Masaoka, Jeanne Peters, Joel Ginsberg, Patricia Gardener and Ken Kurtzig. It is written for nonprofit leaders, individual donors, foundations and corporate leaders, and anyone concerned with nonprofit space needs. It can assist with the pre-development phase of a capital project, as well as thinking through the planning and financing options. To access go to:
A Nonprofit Space Odyssey
 
The Nonprofit Times Report on the Best Nonprofits to work for in 2014 This article not only lists the 50 best organizations, but also includes why they were chosen, and methods that can be used by any organization to improve the work environment. Go to: Best Nonprofits to Work For
 
The Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Marketing Approach This white paper presents ten ideas that could optimize a nonprofit organization’s marketing and fundraising strategy. Go to: The Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Marketing Approach
 
The Nonprofit Web: Boosting Fundraising Through Responsive Web Design and Localized Content Organizational fundraising is at a historically difficult juncture. In the uncertain economic climate, organizations complete with many more voices, such as crowdfunded campaigns, than previously. In response, nonprofits are increasingly using more sophisticated for-profit marketing and sales strategies. This article stresses the importance of strong web content for nonprofits. Go to: The Nonprofit Web
 
Nonprofits as Political Slush Funds in Los Angeles Nonprofits as Political Slush Funds in Los Angeles The nonprofit community has many existential challenges. This article describes a nonprofit created by a deal between Los Angeles city leaders and its public utility union a decade ago, and its troubled operation. Go to: Nonprofits as Political Slush Funds in Los Angeles
 
Nonprofits: Avoid These Social Media Silos Staff of nonprofits may find themselves working in social media silos as programs and departments of the same organization use many different kinds of social media. In this article, Jennifer Amanda Jones examines the pros and cons of the hub-and-spoke model for coordinating social media efforts. Go to: Nonprofits: Avoid These Social Media Silos
 
Nonprofits Need a Content Calendar In this article, Steve Boland discusses content calendars as part of a nonprofit's communications strategy. To access, go to:
Nonprofits Need a Content Calendar
 
Nonprofits Talking Taxes This toolkit helps nonprofits start a conversation to help participants realize their collective power in advoacting for public policy changes around taxes. It includes easy-t-use interactive workshop slides, a trainer guide and supplemental activities and materials. Download the toolkit at: The Nonprofits' Dilemma
 
NSA Mapping Your Social Media - Do You Care? In this article, Ruth McCambridge summarizes the kinds of information the NSA can collect, and what implications that may have for nonprofit organizations. To access, go to: NSA Mapping Your Social Media
 
On The Money: A Review of Key Financial Challenges Facing Nonprofits Today - And How Grantmakers Can Help is a review by Nancy Hurd, focused on the nonprofit sector's struggles to meet escalating service demands while at the same time addressing the underlying causes of social problems from poverty to crime and violence. Many foundation and nonprofit leaders continue to argue for grantmaking strategies that are responsive to the needs of grantees. The goal is not just to enable nonprofits to meet today's priorities but also to provide the kinds of support that will let them build strong organizations for tomorrow. To access the Executive Summary of this review or the entire review, go to: GEO Publications
 
Online Donation Forms: 2 Things to Increase Your Gifts With the ever-increasing importance of online fundraising and the significance of an online presence, it is important to simplify and optimize the online (and mobile) giving experience. Invest time in these two aspects of an organization's online giving program and there will be rewards. Go to:
Online Donation Forms.
 
Online Outreach Tools Guide This quick-reference guide is for anyone considering how to most effectively use the Internet to achieve their advocacy communications objectives. It offers a high-level look at the strengths and limitations of Web tools heard about daily; wikis, blogs, social networking sites and Twitter - and provides examples. To access, go to: Online Outreach Tools Guide.
 
Only Bad Restaurants Go To Scale Generally, people in nonprofits are good at taking on myths and sacred cows. But perhaps the least examined of these myths is the one about "going to scale." This OpEd takes a closer but brief look at the conventional wisdom in this area. To access, go to: Only Bad Restaurants Go To Scale.
 
Organizational Effectiveness Highly effective nonprofits exhibit strengths across five areas: leadership, decision making and structure, people, work processes and systems, and culture. The research and ideas in this guide explore these areas in depth, providing useful resources for leaders looking to improve the effectiveness of their organizations. To access, go to: Organizational Effectiveness.
 
Organizational Development Organizational development helps a nonprofit increase its long-term health and performance by building the capacity of and supporting the people who make up the organization. The process usually begins with an organizational assessment. The quantitative and qualitative information gained through assessment helps the staff, board, community members and other stakeholders identify what is working well, what can be improved in an organization and any barriers to effectiveness. To access this article, go to: Organizational Development.
 
Organizational Drama: A Systems Look at Conflict Some nonprofit organizations experience frequent and sometimes debilitating conflict. Although individual disputes may draw a lot of attention, the overall pattern of conflict rarely does. So over the years, a culture of conflict and melodrama emerges. This article offers positive suggestions for alleviating and/or eliminating conflict from an organization. To read, go to:
Organizational Drama.
 
Organizational Effectiveness Highly effective nonprofits exhibit strengths across five areas: leadership, decision making and structure, people, work processes and systems, and culture. The research and ideas in this guide explore these areas in depth, providing useful resources for leaders looking to improve the effectiveness of their organizations. To access, go to: Organizational Effectiveness.
 
Organizing the Board to Support the Revenue Strategy Instead of focusing only on how board members can raise individual donations, this article tells how to think more broadly and effectively about how board members can support the key aspects of an organization's business/revenue strategy. To access the article, go to:
Organizing the Board to Support the Revenue Strategy.
 
Our Executive Director is Embezzling It's the phone call that no board member wants or ever expects to get: word that the organization's Executive Director is being investigated by the police for embezzlement. To read this first person article detailing an actual incident, go to: Our Executive Director is Embezzling.
 
Performance Measurement and Organizational Effectiveness for Nonprofits Former Cheesecake Factory National HR director John McLaughlin, now a nonprofit human resources consultant, recently spoke to a VNR workshop. His two handouts provide an overview of an approach nonprofits can use to measure performance and improve it, and a definition of human resources functions in an organization. To download, go to:
Organizational Effectiveness Handouts.
 
Philanthropy's 10 Favorite Buzzwords of the Decade Show How Nonprofits Are Changing is an article by Lucy Bernholz and is available on the web site of Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership. The 10 phrases show the long, steady rise in market-based solutions for social problem solving, technology's infiltration of all things fundraising, and a shift in attention from local to global. To access the article, go to:
Philanthropy's 10 Favorite Buzzwords of the Decade Show How Nonprofits Are Changing.
 
Philanthropy Fact Sheet is a brief overview identifying reasons people give to nonprofits or causes, tips for how to approach donors ("making the ask"), an overview of national statistics on philanthropy, and a list of other kinds of charitable activities people engage in (such as volunteering). Go to: Philanthropy Fact Sheet
 
Phones On A Shoestring Budget Despite the increase in popularity of email, social media and other online networking tools, organizations still depend on the telephone for a good portion of their communications. But telephone service has gone through some dramatic changes, and the options for purchasing a new voice communications system are more numerous than ever before-and more confusing. Laura Quinn of Idealware has written an article explaining telephone systems in today's technologically advanced world. To read the article, go to: Phones On A Shoestring Budget.
 
Plan A: How Successful Nonprofits Develop Their Future Leaders This guide lays out five linked processes nonprofits can use to develop their future leaders more intentionally and effectively within the scope of their day-to-day work. To access, got to: Plan A.
 
Planned Giving: It's Easier Than You Think A toolkit is available online to help start a no-or low-cost planned giving program. It includes the basics about four popular planned giving options, four ways to talk about bequests, six steps to start a legacy society, two partnership models for low-cost giving management, and six template letters and brochures started right away. To access it, go to: http://pgtoolkit.org/.
 
Planning an Effective Media Campaign is an article that provides guidelines to develop and frame an organization's message, called "The Five Cs of Messaging." To read the article, go to: Media Advocacy.
 
Planning for Leadership Emergencies in Community Health Clinics Every community clinic leader knows of at least one story of a clinic struggling to overcome confusion and disarray when its chief executive was suddenly absent due to unforeseen circumstances like an accident or a health crisis. The essential risk management practice for avoiding such problems is the creation of an emergency backup for each of a clinic's top management positions. This paper outlines the elements of such a plan. To access it go to:
Planning for Leadership Emergencies in Community Health Clinics.
 
Planning for the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leadership This workshop, co-sponsored by the Valley Care Community Consortium, highlighted challenges of leadership transition faced by Valley health and human service nonprofits. One workshop handout provides information about executive director and board transition management, and about characteristics of young nonprofit staff. A free copy may be downloaded from Planning for the Next Generation Handout 1. A second handout is in the form of a PowerPoint, with detailed information on transition challenges and strategies, including a description of "executive transition management," to obtain a free copy by e-mail, contact VNR and request Planning for the Next Generation Handout 2.
 
The Power of Nonprofits charts the history of nonprofits in America and the impact they've had on the accomplishments, laws, and conditions and more of this country. To access, go to: The Power of Nonprofits
 
Preparing Your Nonprofit to Recruit Volunteers: Assessing Volunteer Needs and Developing Position Descriptions are Necessary, Not A Luxury by Lori Tsuruda, President of the Directors of Volunteer Administration and Founder & Executive Director of People Making a Difference is an article describing how to go about recruiting volunteers to help a nonprofit organization. To access the article, go to:
Preparing Your Nonprofit to Recruit Volunteers.
 
Proactively Plan for the Inevitable: A Guide to Leadership Transition and Succession Olive Grove and Vista Global Coaching and Consulting partnered on the production of this publication, which offers basic information and strategies nonprofit leaders can use to think about and plan for leadership transition and succession. It is based on a survey of more than 200 nonprofit executives and Board members, focused on all aspects of the “Silver Tsunami” of coming nonprofit executive retirements. Olive Grove’s own six-step process for successful leadership transition is included. For a free copy, go to Olive Grove Transition (.pdf).
 

Problem Boards or Board Problem? This analysis of the underlying problems in nonprofit board governance is available as a free download to help an organization determine if its board is an asset or a liability. Go to: Problem Boards or Board Problems.

 
Providing Services With Mobile Devices The use of smartphones and other mobile devices is on the rise, and more and more nonprofits are finding creative ways to tap into their popularity to deliver services and engage constituents. This increasing use of mobile phones holds some important implications for nonprofits. At a basic level, organizations can't assume everyone will be looking at their information on a large computer screen-if an organization is providing online information or emails, it's important to consider how it will look on the tiny screen of a smartphone. But this mobile phone ubiquity provides some interesting opportunities to nonprofits as well. People across a wide range of demographics are using phones, and in fact, many low-income audiences are more likely to have easy access to a mobile phone with at least a text messaging plan than they are to have reliable access to the internet via a computer. To access this article, go to:
Providing Services With Mobile Devices.
 
A Public Policy Primer: How To Get Off the Sidelines and Into the Game is intended to demystify policymaking and provide the average person with the guidelines, insights, and a "know-how recipe" to be able to help shape local, state and national policy decisions. Written by David C. Hollister, former mayor of Lansing, MI, the book uses his personal experience to illustrate key elements of effective (or ineffective) policymaking. Published by the Institute for Educational Leadership and the Michigan Education Policy Fellowship Program, a PDF is available for free downloading from: www.iel.org/pubs/publicpolicy.pdf
 
Questions to Ask Prospective Board Members is an article that suggests that an informal coffee or lunch might be an easy way to meet with a potential candidate for a new nonprofit board member. Planning ahead for such a meeting is the best way to ensure that it will be productive, from deciding what the goals of the meeting are, to framing questions to ask in advance. To read the article, go to: Questions to Ask Prospective Board Members
 
Quick Tips for Getting Your Job Search Together is a guide created by Kristin Saulnier, based on the information shared at a workshop of the Boston Chapter of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, that includes Power Search Strategies, Basic Search Strategies and Takeaways. To access the article, go to: Quick Tips for Getting Your Job Search Together
 
Raising Money From the Crowd: What Charities Find Works Best is a Chronicle of Philanthropy article which outlines strategies nonprofits should consider when developing crowdfunding plans. Go to: Raising Money From the Crowd
 
RAPID Decision-Making: What It Is, Why We Like It, and How to Get the Most Out of It. Decision making is often challenging for nonprofit leadership teams. In the worst cases, a poor decision-making process can create a climate of mistrust and even undermine the organization's mission. The good news is that there are a variety of tools available to help clarify and improve organizational decision making. This article profiles one such tool: RAPID, which helps nonprofit leaders and managers identify all of the activities that must occur in order for a decision to be made well. Using this tool, nonprofits can map out how decisions are currently being made, and also how they should be made. To read the complete article, go to: RAPID Decision-Making
 
Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out is a national study produced in partnership by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Meyer Foundation and Idealist.org that compiled information from numerous reports (and did original research), revealing that the nonprofit sector is facing large-scale executive turnover and has turned its attention to strengthening its leadership pipeline by focusing on the recruitment, retention and development of next generation of leaders. Findings suggest that there are indicators of strength within the leadership pipeline, with projections of future needs as far as 2016. Despite these promising indicators, it was also found that next generation leaders face significant barriers to pursuing executive positions. To access the study, go to: Ready to Lead?
 
The Recession Changed How Donors ThinkThink This article examines how the recession changed the ways donor think about giving, and about the organizations they give to. It also discusses how nonprofits can use these insights to plan for their organization’s survival. Go to: The Recession Changed How Donors Think
 
Reflections on Facilitation: Tips for Making it Flow and Having Fun is an article that points out how nonprofit trainings and other meetings can be more effective if people enjoy them. To read go to: Reflections on Facilitation
 
A Refresher on Receiving Donations Many organizations plan year-end appeals. A prompt acknowledgment of the donation is good practice. In addition, the nonprofit needs to comply with IRS requirements in order for donors to be able to claim tax deductions. This article reviews the basics of what an organization needs to do in receiving certain types of donations, in order to protect its nonprofit status. To access, go to:
A Refresher on Receiving Donations
 
The Regular Checkup: Preventive Medicine for Nonprofits So often, problems that have become intractable and far-reaching in a nonprofit organization could have been prevented with a judicious checkup at an earlier stage. Even when people feel healthy, most take time out for a physical exam every couple of years - or at least, know they should. In the same way, it makes sense for nonprofit leadership to carve out some time to assess the health of their organization, even when it seems that the status quo is just fine. To access this article, go to: The Regular Checkup
 
Resource Guide for Writing Successful Proposals: A First Course for Young Nonprofit Leaders describes a number of resources that can help nonprofit staff or boards learn how to write effective proposals for public or private funders. This brief document was created for a September 3, 2008 VNR "lunch and learn" workshop. A free copy may be downloaded from Resource Guide.
 
Resources on Advocacy for Children Youth and Family Nonprofits This 2-page list provides brief descriptions and access information for a number of websites and publications about advocacy activities of nonprofits serving children youth and families, along with several key resources for information on needs of these clients. All resources also are cited on the VNR website. To access a copy, go to: Resouces on Advocacy
 
Rethinking Your Budget Sustainability is becoming an increasingly common “buzzword” in the nonprofit and funder communities. As funder priorities shift towards investing in sustainable organizations, there is increasing need for organizations to refocus their budget development process. In the past it may have been feasible to look forward on only a 12 month horizon when planning an organization’s activities. However, to address the challenges of the current economic and funding landscape and to ensure sustainability in the long-term, organizations must work to broaden the scope of their financial planning process. Go to: Rethinking Your Budget
 
RHR International Leadership Briefs RHR International, one of the oldest and largest psychological consulting firms in the world, has recently released three short essays aimed at CEOs as they devise leadership and management strategies to deal with the recession. Though they were written for business leaders, their content is just as relevant for nonprofit leaders. To download a copy of these three pieces, go to:

Downsizing: Looking Beyond the Crisis
Leadership in Times of Uncertainty
CEO Leadership in Turbulent Times
 
Risk Management for Volunteer Programs In June 2013 VNR held a workshop on risk management challenges and opportunities for volunteer programs in nonprofits. From the handouts for this workshop we have available for free download four manuals shared by nonprofit organizations, along with some sample letters and instructions about TB testing, and a description of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, a valuable resource for more information. To download these materials, go to Risk Management. The zip file contains:

- Adult Volunteer Practices and Procedures, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles
- Managing Volunteers: Balancing Risk and Reward, Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance of California and Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance, Risk Retention Group
- BCHD Volunteer Handbook: Processes and Infrastructure, Beach Cities Health District
- Neighborhood Legal Services Volunteer Policies and Procedures Manual, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
- TB Letter, Beach Cities Health District
- Volunteer Screening Guidelines, Beach Cities Health District - driving, criminal record
- BCHD Volunteer Screening Information, Beach Cities Health District
- TB Retesting, Beach Cities Health District
- Nonprofit Risk Management Center Summary
 

The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences: At a time when the arts face new challenges in attracting and retaining new audiences, arts leaders are eager for information about what works – and what doesn’t – in audience building. Arts organizations are trying out new ways to increase the size of and diversify their audiences. Arts service organizations are exploring these topics at annual conferences.  This study represents an important contribution to a growing knowledge base. To download, go to: The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audience.

 
Role of the Executive Committee, by Hildy Gottlieb of Help4Nonprofits, points out how new technology has rendered the most critical role of the Executive Committee obsolete, and suggests ways the EC still can be relevant to nonprofit governance. This article can be accessed at: Role of the Executive Committee.
 
Sample Volunteer Recruitment Plan is a guide that offers solid advice on finding and recruiting volunteers. To access and download, go to: Sample Volunteer Recruitment Plan.
 
Scaling Impact originally written by Jeffrey Bradach for the Stanford Social Innovation Review is now available through the Bridgespan website. It poses the question: Is it possible to take nonprofits to scale using replication? And answers it by showing how pioneers have identified some tools and strategies that expand the impact of organizations well beyond what their size would seem capable of generating. To access the article, go to: Scaling Impact.
 
Scaling What Works is an article by Nancy Roob and Jeffrey L. Bradach of The Bridgespan Group. Despite the major downturn in the economy, the money potentially available in the federal budget and stimulus package may create a unique moment for making real progress on seemingly intractable social problems. To access the article go to:
Scaling What Works.
 
Securing the Safety Net: A Profile of Community Clinic and Health Center Leadership in California, is a study by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, commissioned by the regional and statewide clinic consortia, which examines the demographics, career paths, and job challenges of clinic CEOs. Among CEOs the data suggest a need for attention to succession planning as many founders and long-time CEOs approach retirement. To access the study go to: Securing the Safety Net.
 
Seeking What Makes us Valid as People and as Organizations This is a reprint of a speech made by Paul Hogan to the Buffalo Society of Artists about art, mental health and personal and organizational purpose. To access, go to: Seeking What Makes us Valid.
 
Selecting Software on a Shoestring Here’s a simplified six-step process that can help when an organization needs to make a simple choice of software quickly. Go to: Selecting Software on a Shoestring Here’s a simplified six-step process that can help when an organization needs to make a simple choice of software quickly. Go to: Selecting Software on a Shoestring
 
7 Keys to a Donor-Centered Approach Fundraisers know a lot about fundraising, usually, but many of them neglect to think of the people from whom they are trying to extract money. This article offers a perspective to donating from the donor’s perspective. Go to: 7 Keys to a Donor-Centered Approach
 
Seven Pivotal Points When Nonprofits Must Make Fundamental Changes is an article by Rebecca Post that looks at scaling back operations through the turning points lens. First e turning points are described in question form: Do we need to get organized? Do we need infrastructure? Do we need to let go? There also is a discussion about the importance of focus and setting priorities when navigating through tough economic times. To access: 7 Pivotal Points.
 
Seven Steps to Authentic Leadership is a handout from a 2009 VNR workshop led by Marta Segura, The Inspired Planet. It focused on preparing Latino nonprofit professionals for leadership positions in the nonprofit sector. To download a copy, go to:
Seven Steps to Authentic Leadership.
 
Seven Steps to Communicating Strategically by Kristen Saulnier, Communications Assistant at Third Sector New England, provides tips she learned at the Be the Media V conference she attended recently. She says, "Too often, crafting a robust communications strategy is a low priority for a nonprofit already struggling with limited time and funds. It can appear less important than raising funds or giving direct services to constituents. But communications is the foundation of achieving your mission. Community engagement, sharing information about your services, fundraising, community organizing and mobilizing constituents for advocacy all rely on communicating." To access this article, go to:
Seven Steps to Communicating Strategically.
 
7 Ways for Nonprofits to Make the Most of Google Hangout Google Hangout can be used to hold video conferences with multiple individuals or groups of people. It is accessible to employees, constituents and volunteers, as anyone with a Google account can take part in a Hangout without having to download additional software or sign up for anything new. In this article, Renee Alexander presents ideas for how nonprofits can use Google Hangout. Go to: 7 Ways for Nonprofits to Make the Most of Google Hangout.
 
Seven Ways to Train Staff Online was written by Laura Quinn for Idealware. Staff training and development can pay dividends for any organization, but because of the cost and logistics involved, they're often overlooked or ignored. Traveling to offsite trainings and conferences is expensive, and the nature of today's geographically-diverse staffs can make onsite training a challenge. Technology can overcome many of these difficulties in many cases, without significant expense. A number of viable methods for professional development online make it likely an organization can find one that works. To access the article, go to: Seven Ways to Train Staff Online.
 
Shared Services and Space: An Update From L.A. is an article defining the benefits and impacts of nonprofit organizations that collaborate to share space and resources. Go to: Shared Services and Space.
 
Should Staff Contact with the Board Be Restricted? is an article by Jan Masaoka for Blue Avocado. For nonprofit organizations with paid staff, a frequently thorny issue is that of direct contact between staff and board members, staff independent of the executive director. The article explains in detail how this issue can be addressed by a nonprofit and its executive director. To access the article, go to: Blue Avocado.
 
Should Your Organization Consider the Cloud Moving to the Cloud is not for everyone - its pros and cons need to be evaluated against each individual nonprofit’s needs. This set of nine easy-to-understand worksheets can help define software and security needs and weigh them against the benefits and weaknesses of the Cloud - including cost, security, and functionality priorities. The worksheets also helps determine whether the Cloud is a good cultural fit for an organization, if existing technology will complement the Cloud, and if it would be a worthwhile investment to make the switch. Go to: Consider the Cloud.
 
Six Steps to Rebranding a Nonprofit is an article from Third Sector New England, describing why and how the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation rebranded itself as Public Health Management Corporation and passing along tips about rebranding based on their experiences. To access the article, go to:
Benefit Financially and Otherwise from Rebranding a Nonprofit.
 
Small but Tough: Nonprofits in Rural America is a study by Alex Neuhoff and Andrew Dunckelman of Bridgespan. Poverty is more common in rural areas of the United States than it is in urban areas. Yet the nonprofit sector, a key force in the fight against poverty, is three times smaller in the rural US on a per capita basis than it is in urban areas. The study highlights the differences between urban and rural nonprofits, discusses barriers that rural nonprofits must overcome in serving their communities, and offers some lessons gleaned from the experiences of nonprofit organizations that have found ways to operate effectively in rural America. To access a summary or the full study, go to:
Small but Tough: Nonprofits in Rural America.
 
Small Nonprofit Organizations: A Profile of Form 990-N Filers is a brief written by Katie L. Roeger. In an effort to keep better track of nonprofit organizations, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandated that the more than 714,000 nonprofits with gross receipts less than $25,000 needed to file the new Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. This new form provides the first data to ever be collected on the smallest nonprofit organizations. This brief provides an overview of the new 990-N filing requirement, profiles the organizations filing the 990-N, compares 990-N filers to larger filers, and provides a look at small nonprofits reporting terminations on Form 990-N. To access this brief, go to: www.urban.org/publications/412197.html.
 
So Many Leadership Programs, So Little Change: Why Many Leadership Development Efforts Fall Short is an article by Mary Genis. Its premise is that too many seminars billed as executive leadership are really basic skill building endeavors that do not develop leadership potential. The article suggests ways to shift the focus to leadership capacity building and utilize the best practices of adult education. To access the article go to: So Many Leadership Programs, So Little Change.
 
Social Media for Nonprofits Resource Guide This VNR publication provides tips for nonprofits as they make more systematic use of social media for community outreach, professional collaboration and other purposes. It also identifies a number of social media websites, and provides resources for further exploration. To download a free copy go to:
VNR Social Media Guide.
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Solving the Mystery of Trust Trust is a hard thing to build, but an easy thing to break. This article offers advice on avoiding the breaking of trust and also on building and strengthening trust. To read go to: Solving the Mystery of Trust.
 
Some States Looking to (and Funding) Arts as an Economic Driver The news service for the Pew Center on the States reports that "there has been a 37 percent drop in funding for state arts agencies since 2001." However, a creative repackaging of the arts as an economic engine has, in some states, reversed this trend over the last year. The argument for government support of the arts was strengthened by a June report commissioned by Americans for the Arts that suggests nonprofit arts and culture activities create 4.13 million full-time jobs and $6.67 billion in state tax money. To read this article, go to:
Nonprofit Quarterly.
 
Spending Out Grant Budgets is an article by Kay Snowden, offering advice on balancing grant dollars as a nonprofit's fiscal year ends. To access the article, go to:
Spending Out Grant Budgets.
 
Starting a Nonprofit? is an online guide offered by the Center for Nonprofit Management that provides access to resources about how to start a nonprofit organization - including PDF documents and links to books for purchase. It covers many topics, such as finding free or low-cost legal services needed to incorporate. To access, go to: Starting a Nonprofit?
 
State of the Nonprofit Sector in the San Fernando Valley - 2008 VNR's first annual report on the state of the profit sector in the Valley was based in part on data gathered about Valley nonprofits as part of the UCLA Center for Civil Society's study Local Patterns & Dynamics: The State of the Nonprofit Sector in Los Angeles. The report also includes an overview of capacity-building activities in the Valley, and recommendations for future actions. To download a free copy, go to:
2008 State of San Fernando Valley Nonprofit Sector.
 
State of Nonprofit Sector in the San Fernando Valley - 2009 VNR's second annual report on the state of the profit sector in the Valley was based in part on data gathered about Valley nonprofits as part of the UCLA Center for Civil Society's study Resilience and Vulnerability: The State of the Nonprofit Sector in Los Angeles 2009. The report also includes an overview of capacity-building activities in the Valley, and recommendations for future actions. To download a free copy, go to:
2009 State of San Fernando Valley Nonprofit Sector.
 
State of the Nonprofit Sector in the San Fernando Valley - 2010 This is the third annual report on the sector by Valley Nonprofit Resources, created in collaboration with UCLA's Center for Civil Society, and based on its annual research study of the sector in Los Angeles County. It includes a summary of the latest UCLA research, along with reflections on what these findings mean for the Valley. To download a free copy, go to:
2010 State of San Fernando Valley Nonprofit Sector.
 
State of the Nonprofit Sector in the San Fernando Valley - 2011 is the 4th annual report about the opportunities and challenges of the nonprofit community in the San Fernando Valley. Once again, the report was prepared in collaboration with the Center for Civil Society at UCLA, and includes results from their annual survey of the nonprofit sector both for Los Angeles County and specifically for the Valley. To download a copy, go to:
State of Valley Nonprofit Sector 2011 Report.
 
State of the Nonprofit Sector in the San Fernando Valley - 2012 is the latest in VNR's series of annual reports about the opportunities and challenges of the nonprofit community in the San Fernando Valley. Once again, the report was prepared in collaboration with the Center for Civil Society at UCLA, and includes results from their annual survey of the nonprofit sector both for Los Angeles County and specifically for the Valley. To download a copy, go to: State of Valley Nonprofit Sector 2012 Report.
 
Staying Alive Resource Guide is a VNR publication which has detailed information and guidance on how nonprofits can best address the challenges of the recession. To download a free copy, go to: Staying Alive Resource Guide.
 
The Story of a Social Media Policy The Michigan-based HIV/AIDS Resource Center waded into the shallow end of social media for a few years by experimenting with a Facebook group and Twitter account. Today, the organization thrives across multiple social media channels, with an organized team of staff members generating content and guided by a formalized written policy. The story behind that evolution provides a closer look at the issues small nonprofits face and serves as an example for other organizations to follow when looking to create and maintain a strong, clear policy for social media use. To access go to: The Story of a Social Media Policy
 
Strategic Planning Overview This brief VNR publication provides definitions, tips for preparation and resources for nonprofits that are developing a strategic plan. It is also a reference document for VNR's technical assistance consultation to Valley nonprofits on strategic planning. To download a free copy, go to: Strategic Planning Overview.
 
Strategic Leadership and Public Value Creation for Nonprofit Organizations is an article by Mark Weinberg, Professor of Political Science at Ohio University, in the Journal for Nonprofit Management. Just as for-profit organizations must prove the value of their mission in the form of what their product does for their customers, so also a nonprofit must show its value, usually summarized in the organization's mission statement. To access the PDF go to: Strategic Leadership and Public Value Creation for Nonprofit Organizations
 
Strengthen Your Communication Skills was written by Julie Stofer and presents sound advice based on a recent study by Frank C. Dickerson, PhD, who found that the written materials of most nonprofit organizations focus more on transferring information than creating interpersonal involvement. For access to the article, go to:
How to Tap into the Heart and Soul of Your Organization When You Write
 
Study: Each Email Delivered Worth 1.7 Cents As nonprofits invest more time and money in social media, how can they measure their gains and returns? Go to:
Each Email Delivered Worth 1.7 Cents.
 
Study on Boards of Midsize Nonprofits The Urban Institute has released the report of a study about the needs and challenges of boards of midsize nonprofit organizations. For an excerpt from that report: Boards of Midsize Nonprofits.
 
Successful Successions: Executive Transitions that Worked Succession from one generation of leadership to the next is a period of opportunity and risk. This article by Ted Ford Webb includes three examples of organizations leveraging a unified board and favorable funding environment, adapting to partisan conflict and an unfavorable funding environment, educating poor board leadership and adapting to changes in funding and the marketplace, and building on a strong foundation. Go to: Successful Successions.
 
The Sustainability Formula: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Thrive In The Emerging Economy is an article by the TCC Group that presents an analysis and a series of suggestions for nonprofit boards and executive directors to consider about how to maintain organizational sustainability in the current rapidly-changing economic environment. To access the publication go to: The Sustainability Formula.
 
Sustainability: An Overview This 2-page paper outlines the science-based principles for promoting long-term sustainability of nonprofit organizations, and provides a number of reference citations for those wanting to know more. This VNR publication supports the 2013-2014 Sustainability Initiative described above. To download a copy, go to: Sustainability: An Overview.
 
Teams, the Economy and Stress is an article written by Bob whitee, Senior Consultant for Third Sector New England. It emphasizes that moving forward during this challenging economic time requires everyone to step up and work effectively. This is when everyone most needs to pull together as a team. Yet this is also when individuals and team relationships are under the most stress. To access to this article, go to: www.tsne.org
 
Ten Biggest Mistakes that Boards and Executives Make is an article by Jan Masaoka, the title of which says it all. To access, go to: Ten Biggest Mistakes.
 
Ten Myths About Nonprofit Boards by Blue Avocado's Jan Masaoka that explores the current assumptions about nonprofit boards and presents the correct facts to dispel those myths. They include: "Nonprofits have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley," "The best size for a board is 16," and "The annual approval of the budget is the cornerstone of the board's financial oversight." To access the article, go to: Ten Myths About Nonprofit Boards.
 
Ten Nonprofit Funding Models Written by William Foster, Peter Kim, and Barbara Christiansen, this article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review identifies ten nonprofit models that are commonly used by the largest nonprofits in the United States. It describes the models so that nonprofit leaders can more clearly the models they believe could suppose support the growth of their organizations. The article is available for download free of charge at www.bridgespan.org/ten-nonprofit-funding-models.aspx.
 
Ten Things Boards Do Right (Without Even Realizing It) Boards and board members don't get credit for some important work they do without even realizing they are doing it. They provide a safety net, put their own bank accounts at risk for staff wrongdoing, satisfy requirements, and more. In this article, Jan Masaoka discusses ten benefits of nonprofit boards. Go to: Ten Things Boards Do Right.
 
Ten Reasons Why Nonprofits Should Be Using LinkedIn is an article that clearly defines how to use LinkedIn to gain the most value. To access it go to:
Ten Reasons Why Nonprofits Should Be Using LinkedIn.
 
There's An App For That: Mobile Users Requiring More and More Attention A strong web presence is paramount to maintaining a strong organization, and having a mobile-friendly web presence is increasingly an important element. Currently, 85 percent of Americans own cell phones - and more than half of those use them to access the Internet. Industry analysts expect browsing the web on mobile devices to become more common than browsing on traditional desktops and laptops as soon as next year. To access, go to: There's An App For That.
 
Thoughts on Making Social Impact Bonds Work -- If They Should at All SIBs may be just another public policy fad sweeping the social sector, generating bipartisan excitement accompanied by heavy promotion by a few consulting and investment firms, but buried within the SIB/PFS concept might be nuggets of insight that could be useful in boosting the efficacy of both nonprofit service providers and the government agencies that provide the bulk of their funding. Go to: Thoughts on Making Social Impact Bonds Work.
 
Through the Valley of the Shadow of Failure A year and a half into Cate Steane's first job as an executive director, it looked like she was going to be presiding over the funeral of an organization that thousands of supporters had entrusted with their time, treasure, and hope for 23 years. An organization that had helped thousands of families move beyond homelessness would close its doors at the height of the worst recession in 70 years. Twenty-five hard-working and committed staff would be out of work. To access Cate's first-hand account of how she handled this crisis, go to: Through the Valley.
 
A Timeless Fundraising Strategy That Also Looks Good, an article written for The NonProfit Times, applies the idea of a “capsule wardrobe” to fundraising and marketing. The article defines the staple pieces in a fundraising closet and offers advice to those looking to organize or update their fundraising plans. To access this article, go to: A Timeless Fundraising Strategy That Also Looks Good.
 
Tips for Seeking Foundation Support There is both an art and science to learning how to approach foundations for support, how to craft grant proposals that stand out from the pack, and how to maintain long-term relationships with foundation program directors. Charlotte Dion of the Foundation Center offers valuable tips for nonprofits on these subjects. To access this article, go to: Tips for Seeking Foundation Support.
 
Tips on Facilitation: Tips for Making a Meeting Flow and Having Fun is an article by Nancy Jackson of Gabby Bird Consulting. The article discusses three key skills of a great facilitator: getting the group to feel safe and relax, telling stories, and having fun. To access the article, go to: Tips on Facilitation.
 
Tips and Tools is a collection of tips on various nonprofit management topics from fundraising to volunteer management, to retaining donors, live auctions and numerous other helpful hints. Go to: Good Practices for Nonprofit Board Governance
 
Too Many Tools for Nonprofit Success In the post-recession world, the still-growing demand for nonprofit services, depleting (or nonexistent) reserves, and funding cuts have sharpened the picture of the sector's strengths and weaknesses. To rise above constantly changing economic conditions and maximize the social impact of money, organizations need to come up with innovative and flexible strategies to survive and thrive-- right now and in the future. To read this article, go to: Tools for Nonprofit Success.
 
Too Many Nonprofits? Sez Who? is an article by Johnathan Spack, Executive Director of Third Sector New England in which he explores the constant complaint in the philanthropic community that there are "too many nonprofits" and points out the truth of the matter. To access this article go to: Too Many Nonprofits? Sez Who?.
 
A Too-Sad Truth About the Nonprofit Sector Is there something in society's subconscious that expects nonprofits to operate in "poverty-like ways"? This article provides a number of replies, asserting that the "poverty" approach is often not the most effective for a nonprofit to use in reaching its objectives. To access, go to:
A Too-Sad Truth About the Nonprofit Sector.
 
Top Six Do's and Don'ts for Thanking Your Supporters In this article, Andrea Berry offers suggestions for thanking donors effectively. Go to: Top Six Do's and Don'ts for Thanking Your Supporters.
 
The Top Ten Tactics For Email List Building is a slide presentation that is 60 minutes long and which focuses on thinking effectively and working economically to create an e-mail list. To access, go to: Top Ten Tactics for Email List Building.
 
Tough Time Strategies: Moving Beyond the Bake Sale is an online article by Sandy Jacobson offering advice on strategies for increasing revenue and cutting/controlling costs, plus the advantages of collaboration where two or more nonprofits work together to do more with less. Collaboration can be powerful, but working together has its challenges. More than any other strategy, collaboration requires innovation and openness to new ways of working. To access: Tough Times Strategies: Moving Beyond the Bake Sale.
 
Tracking Volunteer Time to Boost Your Bottom Line: A Complete Accounting Guide How can nonprofits calculate what financial value to give to volunteer time? In this article, Dennis Walsh explains the benefits of tracking and accounting for volunteer time. Go to: Tracking Volunteer Time to Boost Your Bottom Line: A Complete Accounting Guide.
 
Trade-Offs for Smaller Nonprofits Trying to Get Big Many smaller nonprofits struggle to find the funds to grow or sustain their programs. And for most, growing revenue is more scattershot than science. How to connect the dots? To begin to answer these questions and others, a study was conducted on a group of fast-growing nonprofits to understand what sets them apart. This article shares that research and their stories to help other nonprofits navigate funding their own growth. To access, go to:
Trade-Offs for Smaller Nonprofits Trying to Get Big.
 
Transformative Scale: The Future of Growing What Works As organizations try to scale impact with limited resources, they need more innovative solutions. In this article, Jeffrey Bradach and Abe Grindlet present nine strategies for addressing and achieving transformative scale. Go to: Transformative Scale.
 
Treasurers of All-Volunteer Organizations: Eight Key Responsibilities is an article by Jay More than half of the nonprofits in the United States are all-volunteer organizations. This publication is a succinct guide for the 600,000 + treasurers of such organizations. To access, go to: Treasurers of All-Volunteer Organizations.
 
Trends in Donor Management is an article by Jay Leslie that appeared in Nonprofit Times. As user demand increases, vendors are adapting their donor management system offerings to support mobile devices and cloud computing, one of several recent market trends that are adding value and capability to the software. They're also enhancing functionality that's critical for nonprofits, like integrated email and ease of use, in many cases adding substantial functionality without raising prices. To access the article, go to: Trends in Donor Management.
 
Tweeting for a Better World This article provides information on how a nonprofit organization can use social media, including Twitter, Facebook and others, to help with fundraising, marketing and other aspects for a nonprofit to achieve its goals. To access, go to: Tweeting For a Better World.
 
12 Keys to Successful Nonprofit Turnarounds is a brief article of tips written by Don Crocker, CEO and Executive Director of Support Center for Nonprofit Management - New York. To access these tips on how to undertake effective turnarounds, go to:
12 Keys to Successful Nonprofit Turnarounds.
 
Twelve Ways to Get a New Executive Director Off on the Right Foot When a new executive is hired, the organization's Board usually breathes a huge sigh of relief. They have likely been working hard interviewing candidates or taking on additional tasks if the previous ED has departed. This article presents 12 ideas to help get a new executive director get started on a path to success. To access the article, go to:
Twelve Ways to Get a New Executive Director Off on the Right Foot.
 
25 Metaphors Nonprofits Can Use to Get Their Messages Across - And the Decrepit Dozen to Avoid is a free ebook available online from the Nonprofit Marketing Guide. It offers helpful suggestions for new metaphors to replace those that have become useless due to overuse. To access the book, go to:
25 Metaphors Nonprofits Can Use to Get Their Messages Across.
 
20 Social Media Resources for Nonprofits is a brief guide written by Kris Putnam-Walkerly President of Putnam Community Investment Consulting Inc. It includes social media "how to" resources guides, blogs, information on foundations using social media, and social media policy resources aggregated from all over the web. A free copy of the article is available for download here
 
Twitter for Nonprofits: It's Who (Not Just How Many) You Know This article explains how and why Twitter was developed and how to get the most value out of using this social media site. To access, go to: Twitter for Nonprofits.
 
Twittionary: A Guide to Twitter Terms and Shorthand Abbreviations was created by Ross Penkala, a Communications Intern at Third Sector New England as a guide for staff beginning to read and use Twitter. It includes words, phrases and abbreviations that are relevant while tweeting about the nonprofit sector. To access the article, go to:
Twittionary: A Guide to Twitter Terms and Shorthand Abbreviations.
 
The 2 Minute Nonprofit Answer Guide is a website that gives concise answers to some of the most pressing questions in the nonprofit sector, and provides the opportunity to comment and ask questions. Among the questions found on this website are: is nonprofit sustainability a reality? Why is it important to diversify fundraising? Why is it important for fundraising and marketing communications to align? A broad spectrum of topics is covered, including finance, leadership, legal issues and board governance. Information on the website is updated regularly to continue to supply the most current answers. Advice comes from the experts at Center for Nonprofit Management. To access, go to:
Nonprofit Answer Guide.
 
Two Models for Nonprofit Funding Allocation: Lessons for Nonprofit Managers is an article by Maureen Berner, Meredith Hatch and Eileen Youens that discusses two models for nonprofit funding allocations and their relationship to government. It interweaves discussions with nonprofit managers and looks closely at ten local governments throughout the United States. To access the article, go to:
Multicultural Organizational Development in Nonprofit Organizations.
 
2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report This report covers a variety of issues about communications activities of nonprofits, including use of social media, marketing planning, and many other topics. To download a free copy of the report, go to:
Trends Report.
 
2013 Technology Guide is a Chronicle of Philanthropy collection of articles/blog posts describing ways in which nonprofits are using mobile technology to reach donors and clients, collect data, and improve operations. Go to: 2013 Technology Guide.
 
2014 M + R/NTEN Benchmark Study: Trend Findings for Fundraising and Advocacy According to this study, trends in online giving in 2013 tended toward interesting, if somewhat predictable. The data in the study, address e-mail list sizes, fundraising, online advocacy, websites, social media, and mobile activity; they came from 53 U.S.-based nonprofits. While number and size of online gifts increased, response to e-mail fundraising and advocacy dropped 11 and 25 percent respectively. Website traffic increased for study participants, and social media growth was slower than the previous year. For the full report and infographics, go to: 2014 M + R/NTEN Benchmark Study.
 
Types of Databases for Managing Constituents Every nonprofit has constituents, and just like every other nonprofit, each one wants to track data about them. From donors to clients to volunteers to advocates to alumni, and many other types, any organization would love to find a magic system that lets them track everything they want to know about each type of constituent, including every interaction and every conversation they've ever had with the staff-plus the ability to spit out exactly the right information whenever it's needed. Go to: Types of Databases for Managing Constituents.
 
The Ultimate How-To Guide for Special Events is a free toolbox that brings together 25 years of event planning experience in one complete how-to guide for nonprofit organizations. This publication provides planning guidance for objectives, logistics and marketing, and identifies common pitfalls to avoid. To access, go to:
The Ultimate How-To Guide for Special Events.
 
UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising All too often, nonprofit organizations pin their hopes and dreams for fundraising on one person – namely, the development director. This study’s results confirm that many of the fundraising challenges facing nonprofits today can be traced to high turnover and many other problems in the development director position. Go to:: UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising (.pdf).
 
Understanding and Improving Email Delivery Some electronic mail will simply never reach its destination - it might go to a bad address, get caught in a spam filter, or routed to a "junk" folder where it's deleted or overlooked. This can be frustrating for nonprofits who work hard to nurture a list of email addresses. However, there are ways to increase delivery rates when sending out mass mailings. This article offers tips and tools to improve the success of email deliveries. To access the article, go to:
Understanding and Improving Email Delivery.
 
Use Opt-In Email So You Won't Lose Out Nonprofit organizations know the power of targeted email campaigns. They are an immediate, personalized - and cost-effective - way to mobilize constituents to advocate on behalf of an issue the nonprofit is concerned with, attend a cultural event or provide relief funds in times of disaster. Email is also effective in building member and supporter relationships. This article presents tips on how to use e-mail effectively: Use Opt-In Email So You Won’t Lose Out.
 
Using Loans: A 101 Guide to Borrowing for Nonprofit Organizations Nonprofit organizations share many characteristics with businesses - both have revenues, expenses, personnel, and facilities - and like businesses, nonprofit organizations sometimes need cash in the form of a loan to operate their programs effectively. This article by the Nonprofit Assistance Fund discusses how loans can be a tool the helps nonprofits to grow and succeed. Go to: Using Loans.
 
The Value of LinkedIn for Nonprofits is an article by Kyle Gregory. LinkedIn is comprised of 110 million professional profiles and more than 2.2 million company profiles that can be tapped according to interest, specialty, location and background. Nonprofit professionals are now reporting some of the most valuable assets of this social-media tool and how it has directly helped their organization on many levels. To access this article, go to: The Value of LinkedIn for Nonprofits.
 
Venture Forth! The Essential Guide to Starting a Moneymaking Business in your Nonprofit Organization Building on the experience of many organizations, this handbook presents a time-tested approach for finding, testing, and launching a successful nonprofit business venture. Download the first chapter free, and get information on buying the complete book. To access, go to: Venture Forth!
 
VNR Volunteer Resource Guide is a brief guide to organizations, websites and publications that can help nonprofits and their staffs make better use of volunteers. Developed by Valley Nonprofit Resources as a handout for workshops on volunteer management, a copy may be downloaded from Volunteer Resource Guide.
 
Ways To Improve Your Sponsorship Packages With Online Perks If an organization works with corporate sponsors, there has probably been some thought put 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. To access this article, go to:
Ways To Improve Your Sponsorship Packages With Online Perks
 
Wellness Programs in Nonprofit Organizations For-profit companies have learned the benefits to helping employees stay well. Nonprofits generally have believed that the costs are prohibitive considering their often limited resources. This white paper points out ways to achieve the same benefits for nonprofits at limited cost. To access, go to:
Wellness Programs in Nonprofit Organizations
 
What Do We Know About Nonprofit Mergers? is a review of nonprofit merger research literature. It identifies 30 factors that can affect a merger's success. The review was compiled by Management Assistance Program in partnership with Wilder Research. To access the PDF of this report, go to: What Do We Know About Nonprofit Mergers?
 
What Every Nonprofit Should Know About Mobile: Lessons From Global Development Nonprofits Everybody is talking about mobile these days, and increasingly, people are spending much of their online time accessing the internet through mobile devices. What do small nonprofits need to know about mobile to make sure they're not missing out? This report looks at what big global development organizations are doing successfully with mobile and translates that knowledge to a scale that small- to medium-sized organizations could replicate. To access, go to: What Every Nonprofit Should Know About Mobile: Lessons From Global Development Nonprofits
 
What Helps Leaders Grow: Highlights from the Fund For Leadership Advancement presents key insights from Irvine Foundation's Fund for Leadership Advancement, an initiative to improve the leadership abilities of executive directors of selected grantee organizations. Based on an evaluation of the first 20 participating organizations, it finds that relatively small investments in leadership support can yield important gains in organizational effectiveness. And it suggests that the fund's approach, which includes executive coaching and consulting on organizational development, is an effective one, although it identifies some areas for improvement. The evaluation was conducted by BTW informing change. To access the report, go to: What Helps Leaders Grow
 
What Science and Common Sense Say About Collaboration and Sustainability This handout presents science-based principles about collaboration and sustainability, presented in a keynote speech by VNR Executive Director Thomas E. Backer, PhD to the 2007 annual conference of the Valley Community Care Consortium. A set of readings for further exploration of these topics also is provided. A free copy may be downloaded from
VCCC Speech.
 
What Strategic Planning Can Do...And What it Can't This column shares some thoughts on when strategic planning actually gets in the way of addressing priority organizational issues. To access go to: What Strategic Planning Can Do
 
What's a "Like" or "Follower" Worth? Many nonprofits have moved from establishing a social media presence and experimenting with tactics ,to strategizing how to leverage their networks to meet strategic goals. For small nonprofits, once the experimentation is over, the key question has become how to attract new followers and what strategy will achieve the highest return on investment. To read this article exploring the options, go to: What's a "Like" or "Follower" Worth?
 
What's the Right Size for the Board? is an article that discusses ways to determine the ideal number of board members for a nonprofit organization. To access go to:
What's the Right Size for the Board?
 
When Board Members Just Don’t Get It Every now and then there’s a board of directors that doesn’t seem to “get it”. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s never a pretty sight. Usually the not-getting-it board seems to be paying attention, and its members really do want the best for their organization, but somehow or another “the best” never seems to happen. There are many reasons why some nonprofits seem headed for doom, dysfunction, or both, and most of the time it isn’t directly attributable to board members. But when it is a board problem, here are some frequent scenarios and potential fixes. Go to: When Board Members Just Don’t Get It.
 
When Impact Data Goes Wrong: Good People Giving Bad Numbers This article offers examples of the ways in which data can be presented that can greatly affect the impact of the information being provided. Go to: When Impact Data Goes Wrong.
 
When Kids Volunteer: Liability Basics Whether kids sell cookies or help clean up a park, they are welcome volunteers. This article discusses how nonprofit staff can learn the basics of how to protect kids and the organization when it comes to liabilities (at the end of the article is a link to a sample waiver) To access, go to: When Kids Volunteer
 
When the Change Needs to be You is an article that points out how many executives and managers tend to focus in on faults that exist within their organization - but what happens if that individual is what needs to change? Here are examples of people who faced the realization and how they went about making essential changes. To read, go to:
When the Change Needs to be You
 
When Funds Go Missing, What Can You Do? What Must You Do? When a nonprofit discovers that its funds have been embezzled, what actions should it take? This article details steps involved in determining the extent of the embezzlement, confronting the perpetrators, reporting the incident to the authorities, and attempting to recover the misappropriated funds. Go to: When Fund Go Missing
 
When Strategic Planning Gets in the Way This newsletter column explains what strategic planning can do - and what it can't. Strategic planning is often seen as a cure-all for numerous organizational ailments that it is not well-suited to help. To access, go to: When Strategic Planning Gets in the Way
 
A White Paper: On Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship The term fiscal sponsorship actually refers to several different, often overlapping arrangements; the common denominator is generally that a group wishing to conduct a charitable program without incorporating or obtaining Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognition utilizes an existing 501(c)(3) nonprofit as its fiscal sponsor. Many groups, though charitable in nature, lack the legal status they need to receive grants from foundations, individual donors and government agencies. Regular tax exempt nonprofits are also increasingly using comprehensive sponsors, realizing benefits that extend beyond tax-exempt status such as enhanced back office efficiencies, cost savings and other value inherent in CFS. To access the paper, go to: A White Paper: On Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship
 
Who's the Boss? The Board or the Executive? In this article, Jan Masaoka says, "it depends on whether the board is acting as a body, or whether board members are acting as individuals. The key is remembering that the board is different from board members." Then she goes on to explain the differences of the positions and presents examples that clarify issues. Go to: Who's the Boss?
 
Why Assess? Are you wondering whether you should change your board's size or composition? Restructure your committees? Put term limits in place? This article examines how to conduct a board self-assessment, including individual board members' performances, and the chief executive's performance. Go to: Why Assess?
 
Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes Hard copies of both of these books are available on request free to nonprofits from Cause Communications. Each provides practical advice for nonprofits leaders about how to make effective presentations and develop successful advertisements. To request copies, go to: Cause Communications
 
Why Coach? is an article presenting the argument about why nonprofit leaders should coach, whether or not they were the recipients of coaching. To access this article, go to: Your Nonprofit Marketing Bank
 
Why is Fundraising More About Leadership Than About Skills? Fundraisers never lack for advice. The reality is that the board members should be raising money from foundations and major donors, and the staff and the executive director should be raising money from corporations. Fundraising also includes social networking tools such as Kickstarter and Twitter. Go to: Why is Fundraising More About Leadership
 
Why the Nonprofit Blog is Here to Stay The type of long-form content found on blogs - where they differ the most from short content-focused social media like Facebook or Twitter - can be a powerful tool for engaging with supporters and attracting new ones. It can offer fresh perspectives on an organization and the work it's doing toward its mission and provide a way for staff and supporters to tell their own stories, lending a feeling of clarity and personality to an organization that might not come across in an official communications or email blasts. A blog can also help to connect with others who are interested in an organization's mission and help to build a network of experts. Go to: Nonprofit Blog
 
Why Nonprofits Need to be Storytellers Storytelling is integral to a nonprofit's ability to advance its mission. Stories can shape people; they can inspire them to think and act differently. Stories can connect a nonprofit's community, funders, beneficiaries, and employees with its cause and vision. This article explores adapting the art of storytelling to a nonprofit's specific mission and needs. It also includes links to related articles. Go to: Why Nonprofits Need to be Storytellers
 
Winning Media Coverage for the Work You Do The process of courting the media may seem mysterious - or even dangerous – to nonprofit leaders. But more and more nonprofits are finding that it is necessary. Here are tips on ways to present a story to the media. Go to: Winning Media Coverage
 
Workshop on Capacity Building for Small Family Foundations—Resources Information resources are provided in this workshop handout to help smaller foundations in the Valley get stronger and meet their philanthropic goals. A free copy may be downloaded from Workshop on Capacity Building.
 
Workshop on Board Governance and Development—Resources Information resources are provided in this workshop handout about operating a board efficiently and recruiting new board members. A free copy may be downloaded from
Workshop on Board Governance and Development.
 
You Had Me at Hello: The Importance of Donor Stewardship "You had me at hello," a classic line from the movie Jerry Maguire, was in response to an extensive courting process. This wonderful one-liner is ironic for fundraisers – donors say "HELLO" with their first gift, and yet by the 5th solicitation, those first-time donors have left. The national retention rate is down to 39%, according to the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The gold nugget here is that fundraisers need to pay attention to the core of donor relationships – appreciating that first gift as a "HELLO," listening to donors, understanding what inspires them, and helping them achieve their best philanthropy. Go to: You Had Me at Hello.
 
You Hired Who? Top 10 Nonprofit Employment Mistakes Engaging in best practices for hiring and managing nonprofit employees will result in decreased employee turnover and in retaining high performers. These best practices will also help identify problem employees who might otherwise fly under the radar or be the low performing “hot potato” that gets passed between departments. Go to: Top 10 Nonprofit Employment Mistakes
 
Your Next Hire When a staff member at a nonprofit is arrested for stealing financial assets or sexual misconduct with a minor, the first question by onlookers is often: Did the nonprofit do a background check? The common view is that "if only" a background check had been conducted, the victimization of the nonprofit or a client of the nonprofit could have been prevented. There is more to the story than the "could have - should have" knee-jerk response. To access this article, go to: Your Next Hire
 
Your Nonprofit Marketing Bank is an article that describes a Marketing Bank as a a single location where all of the components needed for marketing, and that is often provided to others, is stored. Building a marketing bank will save a lot of time, because that logo, program description, color palette, etc. is readily available. Staff and volunteers can be sent right to it, saving even more time. The bank can be stored on a shared drive, ideally where others can access it remotely. To read this entire article, go to:
Your Nonprofit Marketing Bank
 
Your Writing: Profound or Just Badly Done? This article by Rick Schwartz discusses Rudolf Flesch's the Flesch Kincaid Readability Test and recommendations for writing your nonprofit's materials "in plain English." To access the article go to:
Your Writing: Profound or Just Badly Done?
 
Zeroing in On Impact is an article that covers getting critical resource decisions right-allocating time, talent, and dollars to the activities that have the greatest impact-is what "strategy" is all about. In this article, originally published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, authors Susan Colby, Nan Stone, and Paul Carttar draw on client experience to discuss the challenge of mapping limited resources against seemingly unlimited needs. To access the article, go to: Workshop on Board Governance and Development.
   
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