Tuesday, August 31, 2010

GuideStar Survey Shows Difficult First Half for Many Nonprofits

Jane Page-Steiner, JPS Nonprofit Strategies 

How are your nonprofit's revenues for the first half of the 2010? Some 40 percent of participants in a recent GuideStar economic survey reported that contributions to their organizations dropped between January 1 and May 31, 2010, compared to the same period a year earlier. Another 28 percent said that contributions had stayed about the same, and 30 percent stated contributions had increased.

How can a nonprofit organization address a shortfall of revenues mid-year in a budget cycle?

You may want consider the following strategies:

1. Reconnect with past donors by phone or in person to ask for their support - take the time to explain your critical need for support and how their support will make a difference.

2. Ask your board to increase their annual donation to your organization or challenge the board to create a matching fund appeal - where the board matches up to a targeted amount raised from an appeal to the community. Ask one or two board members to write a story for your newsletter or website sharing why they financially support your organization.

3. Make sure your organization is set up to accept donations on your website, FanPage or any other social media you may be using. MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR DONORS!

4. Revisit your strategy plan and how it relates to your budget - extend out goals to help minimize expenses.

5. Consider your policies and practices on utilizing your reserve funds or endowment - can these resources be used to sustain your organization as you build new revenue strategies?

Strong leadership and thoughtful planning can ensure that your organization will continue to thrive even during difficult economic times.

To read the full report from GuideStar "The Effect of the Economy on the Nonprofit Sector: A June 2010 Survey" go to ... Read more.

Jane Page-Steiner, President of JPS Nonprofit Strategies is the publisher of the Cincinnati Not-for-Profit News and a 20+ year leader and consultant with nonprofits. You can reach Jane at at jane@jpsnonprofit.com , call 513.574.9797, or www.jpsnonprofit.com .

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How to Engage 20-Somethings in Your Cause - Guidestar.org/August 2010

Finding new volunteers and donors is one of the biggest challenges facing
nonprofit organizations. For the past few years, more and more nonprofits
have used social media to get people to embrace their causes, but getting
the "social-media generation" behind your cause and then inspiring them to
contribute in time and resources is another matter.

Today's 20-somethings, sometimes called "slactivists," are often cynical of
corporate efforts. After all, at a formative age they witnessed dramatic
institutional and corporate failures. But they were also born during an age
of riches, are highly educated, and have been told that the world is their
oyster. So they are a very optimistic group.

The advertising agency TBWA/Chiat Day, with research partners Flamingo and
Changing Our World, recently conducted a study to explore what causes are
top of mind for people born between 1982 and 1992, and to find out what
types of marketing programs can successfully engage this group.

Here are eight ways the study suggests that nonprofit brands can engage
young adults:

1.Take time to understand what motivates your 20-something audience.

2.Seed information in places the 20-something audience goes for news.

3.Make your messages social.

4.Show how corporations you work with help support your cause.

5.Overcome logistical barriers. The top three reasons young adults don't get
involved in social causes are: time constraints; skepticism that their
involvement will make a difference; and a lack of opportunities to get

6.Ignite creativity.

7.Start an L3C staffed by young adults.

8.Consider going open source.

How do you engage your young-adult volunteers? What draws them to your cause
and organization?

Read the full article at Guidestar at http://www2.guidestar.org/rxa/news/articles/2010/how-to-engage-20-somethings-in-your-cause.aspx source=aug_5_2010nwsltr&hq_e=el&hq_m=714193&hq_l=5&hq_v=10589f9854 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Volunteering in America 2010

This year's 'Volunteering In America' report, from the Corporation for National and Community Service, reveals that for the second year in a row volunteering rates have increased in the United States.

This year's report was highly anticipated for the light it would shed on two issues: whether volunteer rates would drop during the recession, and whether there really has been a compassion boom. In addition to highlighting a number of statistics such as the overall number of hours volunteered per age group, and the states and communities with the highest volunteering rates, the report sheds light on the types of volunteer opportunities that were most popular. In 2009, fundraising accounted for 26.6% of volunteer work, followed closely by collecting or distributing food (23.5%), general labor (20.5%), and tutoring (19%).

Indiana Highlights:

- 1.5 million volunteers
- 29.9% of residents volunteer, 19th of the 50 states plus D.C.
- 42 hours per resident, 13th of the 50 states plus D.C.

"Americans have responded to tough economic times by volunteering in big numbers," said Patrick Corvington, the Corporation's CEO. "What we're seeing is the depth of the American spirit and generosity at its best. People are turning toward problems, working with their neighbors to find solutions to real problems, from homelessness to the dropout crisis."

To check out the full report, visit http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/IN

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Are Your Board Members Bowling Or Playing Golf?

I had one of those “AHA” moments a couple months ago when Dave Renz, Ph D from University of Missouri - Kansas City shared that in anecdotal research his team learned why most board members show little interest in attending training events to become better board members. They found that many board members do not really identify with the board member role or only view themselves as short-term board members. These individuals just see themselves as helping an organization they care about, and it happens to be as a board member right now. That got me thinking …

My “Bowling” vs.”Golf” analogy comes from my own experience as a hopeless amateur at both endeavors. (I offer this with all due respect and apologies, in advance, to accomplished bowlers and golfers.)

Bowling can be enjoyed by just about anyone who shows up at the bowling alley. Even the worst bowler gets to roll 20 balls and feel some satisfaction with knocking down some pins with their friends.
Becoming more proficient is admirable but doesn't change the basic experience. I propose that the individual who approaches their board experience like bowling views it as a great chance to show up, feel good about their efforts, and spend time with friends and people who share a common interest. They might assume that the board experience is the same for most board members in most organizations so there is really nothing more to learn.

In contrast, the beginning golfer quickly realizes they are experiencing a different game than the more capable golfer. Their game takes longer, they see different parts of the course and sometimes suffer the ridicule of other golfers - plus lose lots of balls. Though this person might have started as a recreational(bowling-style) board member they recognize a need to learn and improve. Something has helped them realize that different boards and different board members work at different levels of effectiveness and impact. I would suggest the reason we see many golfers take lessons but fewer bowlers is because golfers realize it really changes their experience.

When board members hold a limited view of the possibilities and potential of being part of a high performance, high impact board, they settle for merely participating. We want them to realize that learning the board member role changes the game and the experience for themselves, their organization, and the people they serve for the better.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

BIN2010: Social Media & Blogging Conference is a 2-day conference for both experienced and new bloggers and social media enthusiasts alike. Sessions will include topics ranging from beginner-level through more advanced social media marketing, business, publishing and tech topics. A beginners workshop, Social Media 101, is included for all ticket-holders.

The event is being held August 20-21st in downtown Indianapolis.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.blogindiana.com/2010. 

Use the discount code NFPNEWS and receive 15% off your ticket!