Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Taking Your Professional Development Global!

posted by
Maureen O'Brien
Development Director
Musical Instrument Museum
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Paris, France to attend the 5ème conférence de fundraising pour le secteur culturel (5th conference on fundraising for the cultural sector) put on by the Association Française des Fundraisers (French Association of Fundraisers). I was able to participate thanks in part to professional development grants from Arizona Commission on the Arts and Sigma Alpha Iota. When exploring your own professional development, I encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to identifying opportunities as well as ways to fund your experience.

This was my first return visit to France since studying abroad in Montpellier twelve years ago. It was wonderful to again be immersed in French culture and language. I rented a little apartment in the Canal Saint Martin neighborhood through Airbnb and pretended for one week that I was “une vraie Française.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Foundation Supported Social Enterprises (FOSE): Expanding the Use of Program Related Investments (part 2)

posted by
Patsy Kraeger, Ph.D.
This blog post is second in a two part series on Foundation Supported Social Enterprises. Click here to read part one.

Why did they do this?
The Nick Simons Foundation did not have a large staff. The foundation opened in 2005 when Nick Simons, a great lover and visitor of Nepal died. Nick Simons was keenly aware of the medical needs in high altitude low income countries such as Nepal. The family foundation members were interested in funding the development of a unique anesthesia machine that neither requires electricity nor compressed oxygen to function.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Foundation Supported Social Enterprises (FOSE): Expanding the Use of Program Related Investments (part 1)

posted by
Patsy Kraeger, Ph.D.
This blog post is first in a two part series on Foundation Supported Social Enterprises. Click here to read part two.

In March of 2013, I wrote a blog post that looked at transforming the mindset of social sector actors to think about a changing paradigm that moves away from the charitable giving model to the social economy shortly after the release of The Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint for 2013 authored by Lucy Bernholz and published by Stanford PACS and GrantCraft. Bernholz’s challenges actors in the social sector which include funders to think beyond the philanthropic-nonprofit funding model.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Volunteer and a Violent Stranger - A Question of Liability

posted by
Kathy Renfro
Graduate Student
ASU Master of Nonprofit
Management and
Leadership program
Nonprofit assignments can place volunteers in precarious positions of potential, personal liability. Prior to the 1940s, the Charitable Immunity Doctrine shielded nonprofits from tort liability, but did not protect volunteers. To prevent volunteers from abandoning volunteerism because of liability concerns, the Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) was signed into law by President Clinton in 1997.
The VPA provides conditional immunity for volunteers who are:
  1. acting within the scope of their assigned tasks; 
  2. not grossly negligent; 
  3. not operating a motor vehicle that requires state licensure; and 
  4. not committing acts of violence, terrorism, hate crimes, sexual offenses, or, while intoxicated. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An Alternative to Writing RFPs for Nonprofit Websites and Technology

posted by
Laura L Bush, Ph.D.
Communications Director
and Content Strategist
Highway Twenty
A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a common way nonprofit organizations invite bids for products and services. Any RFP includes a specific list of requirements that all responding vendors must address. In theory, an RFP’s intention is to filter vendors for quality and ensure competitive pricing.

Unfortunately, when it comes to technology-related RFPs, nonprofit organizations often write inadequate proposals that waste time and money for the nonprofit and the responding vendors. Two problems create ineffective RFPs: first, although well-intentioned, RFPs often demonstrate unrealistic expectations about the time and cost for executing on digital products or services; second, nonprofits often solicit technology they don’t need because they don’t know the right questions to ask.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Top 6 reasons nonprofits should use a CRM

posted by
Pierre Kaluzny
Sputnik Moment
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. I like to redefine it as a Constituent Relationship Management system. Originally limited to sales and support departments, it has now been widely adopted by nonprofit organizations. Here are the Top 6 reasons your organization should be using a CRM.

Know you are about meet a donor BEFORE you enter that meeting
We are all communicating more than ever and connecting with more people than ever. How are you supposed to keep track of the important conversations happening with your constituents? Let alone share it with your team. Your CRM system will provide a simple way for all staff to record emails, phone calls and meetings with your donors, volunteers or other supporters. Imagine it: all of your organization interactions with your stakeholders in one place and no more searching through multiple spreadsheets. This consolidated ongoing communication will enrich the contact profile and start building institutional knowledge, which is coincidentally my next point.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nonprofit Marketing: Beyond Social Media

posted by
Ryan Stewart
As the owner of a Miami based SEO and digital marketing agency, I've helped hundreds of businesses solve complicated marketing problems. I can honestly say that the most challenging clients have been non-profit organizations. The combination of low funding, manpower and resources make it extremely difficult to complete your mission statement and make a positive change in the world.

When your organization is working with this many moving pieces, a lot of important tasks tend to get de-emphasized. In my tenure the most common task that falls by the wayside is having a concrete marketing plan. A marketing plan is easily overlooked in a non-profit organization because it gets lost behind the goals, ideals, values and mission statement. What most non-profits fail to realize is that a marketing plan should go hand in hand with your mission statement and will ultimately maximize your impact on the world.


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