Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What to Get the Person Who Has Everything? Greek Food? Fun? An Opportunity to Help?

It is that time of the year when you may be searching for gift ideas for a few more people. Let me offer dinner at Santorini’s and the soon to be completed Southeast Community Services Youth Center as a terrific choice that is sure to fit.

I serve on the board of SECS and last year we arranged our event to celebrate the re-opening of Santorini’s after their unfortunate fire earlier that Fall. This year’s “Fire and Ice” theme is to remember the fire but really focus on an old building in Fountain Square, on Shelby Street across from SECS, that is in the midst of being salvaged and turned into a youth center and community meeting space. While the building is being funded by SEND and United Way, we need resources to help equip it and expand the programs that will happen there. The number of children and youth in that neighborhood is exploding and we have such an opportunity.

Last year, I was excited to see a number of friends from the nonprofit community in attendance and hope you’ll consider joining us this year. For $50 a seat, you get a great Santorini’s meal, an opportunity to learn more about SECS and the youth center, and a fun bag of surprises. Sunday night, January 29, 5:30pm until we’re finished, the place is all ours. FMI and to make your reservation, go here.
You can also join in as a sponsor for only $100.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year,

Bryan Orander
President of Charitable Advisors and Publisher, Not-for-Profit News

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wrapping up 2011/Prepping for 2012

I don’t know about you, but this year has flown by and had both highlights and some tough spots. As we finish the year, I offer a few reminders and suggestions:

‘Welcome to the Board’ and ‘Finance for Every Board Member’ booklets – these are a handy, short, inexpensive tool to help new board members get up to speed more quickly or to start a conversation about the work of your board. Use “Promo7” as discount code and press “Submit” for a 20% discount.

New Year's Resolutions for Board Members (Guidestar.org - January 2010) -It’s that time again—for turning over a new leaf, for reexamining our work and lives, for refocusing on what we really want, and for refreshing our commitment to good works. Here are some great New Year's resolutions for nonprofit board members. If you do these, you'll set an example and be a "spark plug" for your organization—and you'll also help make the world a better place through your favorite nonprofit. More

Get your job ads and December news in early – the Not-for-Profit News will not publish the week between Christmas and New Years. Job ads will be posted to the on-line database but we will not publish on Tues, Dec 27(Indy) or Thurs, Dec 29(Cincy). You can submit Job Ads to Ads@NotforProfitNews.com or CincyAds@NotforProfitNews.com and ads can now be as long as you like – no editing to 6-8 lines.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays in this special time of the year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Developing Your Board

(by Dennis Miller for www.thenonprofittimes.com)

(Readers know I am a big advocate for strengthening the relationship between the board chair and executive director and building a culture of accountability among your board members. Here's a good article that might fit into your priorities for 2012. Bryan)

The roles and responsibilities of boards and their members have been well researched and written about by experts in the field. Based upon my experience, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things. To unlock your board's true potential, boards need to constantly re-examine their own performance and make the necessary improvements that have been identified through their assessment process.

Two important aspects of improving a board's governance are:

. Selecting the board chair; and,

. Reappointing board members.

Read the full article.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Suggested New Year's Resolution-"I Will Not Start a Nonprofit"

According to a September study by Civic Ventures, a San Francisco-based think tank, more than 12 million Americans from 44 to 70 years old would like to start nonprofits or businesses that solve social problems. Among the most popular causes given were social services, economic development, and health care. Read More.

While I applaud our entrepreneurial spirit and am the first to acknowledge that innovation comes from all sources, the coordination of efforts among nonprofits is a significant issue and most new, small nonprofits are more likely to further splinter the community's efforts than to advance the work, in total.

For 2012, I would offer an alternative resolution - go get deeply involved with an existing nonprofit that works in the area that you are passionate about. You can find them by checking the 211 database at www.Connect2Help.org or at www.Guidestar.org or calling the Volunteer Center at United Way at 317-921-1271 or http://www.uwci.org/index.asp?p=55. There are organizations who need board members, marketing and fund raising volunteers, financial professionals and other key skill sets in addition to hands-on roles with youth, the elderly, and everyone in between. Even if you decide to start a nonprofit later you will be far better prepared.

In summary - If you want to work hands-on with a particular group of people, kids, the elderly, the homeless - join forces with an existing nonprofit as a volunteer or staff member. If you want to spend your time and energy on administration, meetings, and fund raising - start a nonprofit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

William Aramony Ushered in a New, More Difficult Era

To the younger generation of nonprofit professionals, the name Aramony may have little meaning. To those of us with more history in the sector, William Aramony’s actions and the public response marked the beginning of the end of a long held public trust in the work and motives of nonprofit leaders. His passing last week provides an opportunity for reflection.

Mr. Aramony's twenty years of leadership had built one of the first national 'brand names' for a nonprofit. But his career ended in disgrace in 1992 and six years in prison when he and two of his executive team were convicted of fraud and other ethical breaches. He shattered the illusion of nonprofit leaders somehow being different from regular people and not subject to the same temptations and failings – a perception that all nonprofits are working under some sort of unwritten ‘vow of poverty’ and always able to place the needs of others before themselves.

His actions and trial either initiated or accelerated a collapse of trust in the nonprofit sector and forfeited the "benefit of the doubt". Within a short period of time, nonprofits were increasingly being asked to prove how funds from donors and finders were used and the media jumped on the headline potential of big nonprofit salaries and hints of scandal that continues to this day. The focus became “how are funds used?” – meaning, are you using funds to enrich organization insiders, rather than a more appropriate focus of "what impact are you having?"

Looking back, I am certain that increased expectations of accountability from nonprofits were already beginning to happen, but it is interesting to consider how it might have evolved differently without this particular incident.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Merger vs. Acquisition-What Does It Mean? (BKD Insights)

In these trying economic times, exempt organizations increasingly look for ways to expand, diversify and replace lost or decreased funding. When discussion occurs around the board table, two options that sometimes rise to the top of the list are to merge with or acquire another not-for-profit entity. For many organizations, this has proven to be a rewarding venture.

On the surface, mergers and acquisitions tend to be grouped together, but there are distinct differences between the two on all levels of the transaction. ASC 958-805, Not-for-Profit Entities: Business Combinations (formerly FASB Statement No. 164) establishes accounting treatment for each type of transaction.

Read the full article here.

FMI, contact Debi Ladyman, CPA or Joe VandeBosche, CPA at BKD

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Graduate Certificate in Project Management

We are excited to have UIndy join our sponsor team, in Indy and Cincy, as they announce a new on-line certificate program targeted specifically toward human services professionals. This looks like a cost and time-efficient way to supplement your skills while working around your already busy schedule. This interesting series can make you more effective in your current role or prepare you for more responsible positions. We asked the UIndy team for a short overview of the program:

"Beginning in January 2012, the University of Indianapolis will offer a Graduate Certificate in Project Management for Human Services Professionals. This three-course certificate, offered in a completely online format, is designed for professionals from the human service sector who have a bachelor's degree or higher in any discipline. Content is focused on project management skills applicable for all disciplines and any human services environment. The certificate is offered through the university's Center for Aging & Community.

By completing this certificate, you will be equipped to effectively plan, monitor and execute projects. You will gain practical project management skills you can immediately put into practice in your everyday work. Earning this certificate will help you successfully manage complex projects while assessing the strengths of others, balancing needs of various stakeholders, and completing projects on time and on budget. These skills and experiences will help you deliver the best possible product and emphasize your versatility as an employee, project manager, and leader in your organization."

For more information and to enroll: http://cac.uindy.edu/project_management.php

Graduate Certificate in Project Management for Human Services Professionals All On-line from University of Indianapolis

We are excited to have UIndy join our sponsor team, in Indy and Cincy, as they announce a new on-line certificate program targeted specifically toward human services professionals. This looks like a cost and time-efficient way to supplement your skills while working around your already busy schedule. This interesting series can make you more effective in your current role or prepare you for more responsible positions. We asked the UIndy team for a short overview of the program:

"Beginning in January 2012, the University of Indianapolis will offer a Graduate Certificate in Project Management for Human Services Professionals. This three-course certificate, offered in a completely online format, is designed for professionals from the human service sector who have a bachelor's degree or higher in any discipline. Content is focused on project management skills applicable for all disciplines and any human services environment. The certificate is offered through the university's Center for Aging & Community.

By completing this certificate, you will be equipped to effectively plan, monitor and execute projects. You will gain practical project management skills you can immediately put into practice in your everyday work. Earning this certificate will help you successfully manage complex projects while assessing the strengths of others, balancing needs of various stakeholders, and completing projects on time and on budget. These skills and experiences will help you deliver the best possible product and emphasize your versatility as an employee, project manager, and leader in your organization."

For more information and to enroll:http://cac.uindy.edu/project_management.php

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Are You Managing or Leading Your Organization Through Tough Times?

Most organizations have managers that can maintain present operations and fix problems when they arise. Good managers excel in handling day to day operations efficiently and effectively. However, even when management is effective, there may be a void in leadership which prohibits an organization from truly thriving. Many make the common mistake of assuming that all individuals in positions of authority operate as leaders. This assumption can often lead to frustration for frontline workers, middle level management, and other stakeholders in the community.

Both the role of manager and leader are critical to the successful operation of an organization, yet their functions are quite different.  It is important for those in authority within an organization to understand the distinct differences between management and leadership. Managerial functions center on directing and controlling the work of a group of individuals. Managers ensure that a job gets done and done well. Leadership, on the other hand, has its emphasis on influence, vision, and change. Influence is the ability to affect someone else’s thinking or actions. Leaders in organizations exercise this influence in their ability to cast vision and create change. They are forward thinkers and are able to advance an organization by working with others to create a shared vision that organizational stakeholders can rally to support. Leadership in today’s not-for-profit organizations is critical for their continued growth, development and successful service.

Aaron Metzcar, Ed. D is Associate Director for Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University. IWU now offers a Master of Arts with a major in Organizational Leadership that can be completed in as little as 23 months. FMI  http://www.indwes.edu/Adult-Graduate/MA-Organizational-Leadership/

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Visit Our New Website and New Jobs Database

The whole Charitable Advisors team has been working hard over the past few weeks to pull our new website (you may need to refresh your browser) and jobs database together. The new website emphasizes our key roles in supporting area nonprofits through Leadership Transition, Planning, and filling Nonprofit Job openings. The jobs database gives employers some new tools to better promote and manage their search processes. Special thanks to Lora Olive for doing our web design, Nora Woodman for juggling all the moving parts, and Kristen for being a good sport about all the changes in her job entry routines. We hope you will take a few moments to explore the website and database, and let us know what you like. We’d also like to hear about what doesn’t seem to work or could be improved. For this week only, we are including the job ads in both formats, just to be safe and ensure that everything is working. www.CharitableAdvisors.com

Please send your comments or questions to Bryan@CharitableAdvisors.com or Nora@CharitableAdvisors.com.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our New Jobs Database Coming Next Week (10/25)

I am excited to share that we have been moving to a new jobs technology platform over the last few months and will release it next week (Oct 25). It will be accompanied by an update of our website. We will continue to post all jobs in the newsletter, but short introductions of the job will link to a much longer description, if employers choose to provide it. Our goal is to be the obvious choice for all of your nonprofit job advertising. Here are some highlights and benefits:

For Employers /Job Advertisers

· Same price, more features (Only $150 for 2 weeks in newsletter, 30 days on website).

· Unlimited job details in each posting by completing and submitting a new form we will provide.

· All applicants throughout the system are uniform with easy access to key contact information.

· Two standard screening questions, free, with ability to add more or customize for a small fee.

· Each job listing has its own web address and includes tools to circulate through social media.

· “Apply” button can link to your applicant tracking system, ATS, if desired.

· Beginning January 2012, you can license the full candidate tracking and communication capabilities of the system on a job-by-job basis.

For Job Seekers

· Easier access to job postings

· More information on each position

· Sort listings by job title or location

· Apply thru the system, attach your résumé and cover letter

Newsletter Readers

· Shorter, more uniform job introductions and ability to easily forward job postings to your friends and acquaintances through social media

Bryan Orander
President of Charitable Advisors and Publisher, Not-for-Profit News


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Board Development is “In Season” – Two Great Opportunities

One of the most common refrains I am hearing these days is how nonprofits who have always looked to their Executive Director/CEO and staff to keep the organization financially and operationally sound now need the board to step up and do more than attend meetings and review the financials. You might recall an article we ran in August overviewing research that found three critical success factors in boards that increased their effectiveness:

From: What Really Works in Building a Strong Board (Not-for-Profit News - July 13 Blog Post).

1. Outside governance expertise or training – a “nudge” – from a facilitator or board member attendance at outside training contributed to a new vision of the board.

2. The Board Chair - critical in creating movement and building momentum for change, in partnership with the executive director. The board chair usually engaged a few other board members, building a small group of champions for change.

3. Intention - Study participants described a specific, articulated intention to develop the board: ”We were obsessed with board development.” “Status quo was not OK.”

Here are two great opportunities for board leaders to set aside any excuses for not knowing how to create a strong board for their organization. Please get these dates on the calendars of a couple of your board leaders – or bring a group!

How True Philanthropy Can Transform Your Board: a workshop for nonprofit executive directors and board chairs with Jamie Levy of J.D. Levy Associates, Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 8:00 AM – Noon, Shepherd Community Center – Admission $15. Jamie Levy is president of J.D. Levy and Associates and a faculty member at Indiana University, where he teaches in the graduate and professional programs through the IU Center on Philanthropy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and The Fund Raising School. Through his teaching and consulting, he has trained nearly 12,000 professionals from over 30 countries. Join Jamie to explore how an understanding of "true philanthropy" can move your board from a group of individuals to a body of unified leadership, and how seeing your board through the eyes of a culture of philanthropy will empower your board members to be lifelong advocates as opposed to short term duty. See how the board meetings change when we view the board as a social asset and begin moving the board culture away from problem spotting toward value creation and framing.. We invite you to attend as a team, executive director and board chairman. Register at http://transformyourboard.eventbrite.com, or call 812-447-0345.

2nd Annual Central Indiana Board Chair Summit, January 21, 2011, 8:00am-Noon, Madame Walker Theatre – Admission $49. The primary purpose of the Central Indiana Board Chair Summit is to provide an opportunity for Board Chair leaders to learn new strategies and share ideas with one another that will foster healthier and higher performing Boards. The first-ever Central Indiana Board Chair Summit sold out in January 2010 and elicited tremendous feedback from the more than 80 organizations in attendance: 95% of board chairs rated the Summit as “above average” or “excellent”; 94% of board chairs learned new ideas or skills that could be put into practice immediately; 88% believe they will serve more confidently in their role as Board leader. As one of the 2010 Summit attendees stated: “Realizing that our problems were universal and typical with non-profit boards and hearing peers in my position talk about approaches for resolving them were the most useful aspects of the Summit.” Registration will open soon. Watch the NFP News for more information or contact nruschman@peacelearningcenter.org to be added to the mailing list.

Let us know what other resources you are finding to encourage and empower your board on our blog.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Failure to Communicate? Failure to Steward? The Board/CEO Relationship

Over the past year, the stress level on many local nonprofits has continued to increase as funds from most sources shrink, demands for services increase, and many board leaders and volunteers are distracted by demands in their personal lives.

Anecdotally, we are perceiving an increase in board-initiated CEO/Executive Director departures. Nationally, it has long been held that about 1/3 of chief executive departures are board-initiated. In an environment with high unemployment and unstable financial markets, we are seeing fewer retirements and less natural movement between positions so it may just feel like the balance has shifted. One of my long-held concerns is that a significant number of nonprofit boards do not evaluate their CEO/ED on a regular basis – this lack of discipline in defining and discussing organizational and personal performance sets the stage for knee jerk reactions to bad news and organizational “politics”.

In the weeks ahead, we will be distributing a short survey targeted to Board leaders and chief executives to ask for your candid, and anonymous, input on this topic. In preparation, we encourage you to review the findings of the latest Daring to Lead 2011 study conducted by CompassPoint in CA at http://daringtolead.org/. We did have some local organizations included in their sample this year.

If we can include your board chair in this survey, please forward their e-mail address to Nora@CharitableAdvisors.com. We will not add board addresses to any other mailing list and will only use them to distribute the survey and the results. I would love to hear your ideas and feedback as we prepare this survey – either on our blog at http://charitableadvisors.blogspot.com or to my e-mail at Bryan@CharitableAdvisors.com.

And thanks to all of you who participated yesterday in the 9th annual Get on Board event.

Bryan Orander, President
Charitable Advisors and Not-for-Profit News


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

IWU Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership – Begins in January

We are very excited to have Indiana Wesleyan University’s new MA in Organizational Leadership as a new sponsor of the Not-for-Profit News. As a group, nonprofit leaders know the value of education and I know many of you are looking for options to increase your leadership skills and your employment alternatives. IWU’s mission is to “change the world by developing students in character, scholarship, and leadership”– what better match could there be? This program will be offered beginning in January at the Indianapolis and Merrillville campuses and we encourage you to get more information and see if it might be a match for you. Here are some specifics:

·         Objective of the program - Students will participate in practical experiences complemented by relevant scholarly research to develop their capacity to lead and to enhance their ability to serve in an organization.
·         Program format - The Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership is a blended format program. Students will meet onsite the 1st class of every course along with the 4th and 7th classes for courses that are 8 weeks in length. Students do online coursework between the onsite classes.
·         Who is the target student? - Current leaders as well as those desiring to become leaders.
·         When does it start? Classes are scheduled to begin in Indianapolis and Merrillville on January 28th.  

Those interested in investigating this learning opportunity further should click on the link for more information. http://www.indwes.edu/Adult-Graduate/MA-Organizational-Leadership/. You can also contact Melodie Briscoe, MAOL Program Representative at 1-888-498-2329 ext 2972 or Melodie.Briscoe@indwes.edu.

Please let them know that you heard about IWU’s new program from the Not-for-Profit News.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Be a Board Member!

October 3 from 4:00-6:30pm, Conseco Fieldhouse is the ninth annual Get on Board hosted by Lacy Leadership Association. 

I am pleased to be a co-chair this year. Over the past 8 years, this event has connected nearly 2,000 local leaders into board and leadership volunteer roles in area nonprofits. There is no charge to participate.

Set up to look like a job fair, you can go to as many or as few booths as you like and learn more about the organizations that are of interest to you. If you aspire to be a nonprofit CEO, board experience is a critical and very interesting way to gain experience and perspective. I see nonprofit leaders/managers that serve on boards that are closely related to their organization or something completely different.

If you are interested in community leadership or making a difference around a particular effort, nonprofits are looking for capable, committed individuals who can assist in championing their cause. Register in advance to help us plan for the crowd and get information about who will be exhibiting. If you are new to the idea of board service, we will hold several brief introductory classes to answer your questions and overview the role of a board member.

One Caveat – in the past, the exhibiting organizations have complained of people who go table to table either selling their services or passing out resumes. Since these organizations have limited time to interact with as many potential board members as they can, we request that vendors and job seekers only attend as prospective board members.

See you there!

Bryan Orander

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Join Me in Supporting United Way

United Way of Central Indiana has recently kicked off their annual campaign with a goal of almost $40 mil. Personally, I started supporting United Way when I finished college and entered the working world in 1979(yes, I am that old J). I recall that I started with $5/pay coming out of my paycheck and every year I increased it another $5/pay until I had passed the $1,000/year mark. Today, United Way is still a philanthropic priority after tithing to our church.

I have two brief comments on my personal perspective of United Way:

1) In my mind, United Way plays a key role in studying and responding to many of the most important issues we face in our community. Though they can’t “fix” these problems on their own, they provide a basic infrastructure that we count on to help address them. I am on the board of Southeast Community Services in Fountain Square and the unrestricted operating support they receive from United Way is their life blood. My family makes our annual pledge to United Way ‘unrestricted’ because we know how important it is for the United Way team to be able to allocate resources to the place where they anticipate the greatest impact can be made.

2) Don’t lose your connection when you change jobs. I started my career in the big corporation world and appreciated the ease of payroll deduction. The annual workplace campaign was a convenient reminder and time to renew my pledge. When I changed employers, sometimes United Way fell off my radar and it took a year or more to get back into the cycle. After I started my own business, there was no “campaign coordinator” (it was just me in the office ) and with everything else going on it took me a couple years to get back into the routine. Now, I have our family checking account set to send a donation to United Way every month so that I don’t have another lapse. If you have changed employers or gone out on your own, don’t forget that United Way still needs your support – now more than ever.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Last Chance for Board Booklets! Welcome Survives!

In mid-July, we announced we were liquidating inventory of our four Board education booklets that have sold more than 25,000 copies across the country while we explore moving to ePub formats. In the past 4-6 weeks, our inventory has dropped from more than 1200 booklets to less than 300 and we have sold out of Welcome and Fund Raising, but Finance and Planning remain in limited numbers. Soooooo... you can still save 20% plus get a free CD (The Facilitator Guide is included on the CD) with eight PowerPoint trainings, covering all four booklet topics, Creating Better Board Meetings, and more. The "Finance for Every Board Member" booklet has gotten great reviews for making nonprofit finances more understandable both for non-financial people and for people who are only familiar with business finances. The "Planning for Every Board Member" booklet is not a 'How To' but more about perspective, context, and the board's role in planning. It can be a great complement to "Welcome to the Board" in introducing nonprofit concepts to the first-time board member.

Based on your feedback, we will continue to offer the "Welcome to the Board" booklet in hardcopy since so many of you use it as a handout when you meet with new board members, so we hope to have it back in stock by the end of September. To order the discounted Finance or Planning, please go to: http://www.charitableadvisors.com/ordercdbooklets.html and enter code "Promo7" and then hit apply and it will show a 20% discount on everything you purchase on that page. With each order, we will also include a free Training CD but the system will not show it as a part of your order.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement of our efforts.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Things That Make You Go HMMM! (Nonprofit Hiring)

We included a headline from the general media and a reference last week to the new Nonprofit Employment Report from the IU Center on Philanthropy that prompted a number of inquiries about how nonprofits have added jobs in Indiana through the recession while businesses have cut jobs. Questions along the lines of "Is this true?", "How can this be true?", "We have been cutting for years, who is adding?", etc.

The answer isn't hidden but the headline could be considered misleading for most of us who see hospitals and universities in a separate classification from "regular nonprofits". A clearer headline would have been "Growth of Employment at Hospitals and Universities Surpasses Business Hiring" or something like that.

It is an interesting report and worth a few minutes of your time to explore. Below are a few excerpts that clarify that headline:

· The nonprofit sector accounts for nearly 1 out of every 11 paid workers in 2009, up from 1 in 12 in 2005.
· Over half (54 percent) of all nonprofit employees worked in healthcare, another 13 percent worked in education services, 11 percent in membership associations, 11 percent in social assistance, and 3 percent in arts, entertainment and recreation.
· Nonprofit employment growth was concentrated in the health and education industries (up 9.6 and 4.8 percent respectively), while nonprofit employment decreased for arts, entertainment and recreation, social assistance, and membership associations
· The overall increase in nonprofit payroll was driven mainly by education and health care; nonprofit payroll decreased in social assistance and arts, entertainment and recreation.
· Nonprofit average annual wages grew the most in education (6.7 percent), membership organizations (5.1 percent) and health (3.2 percent), held steady in social assistance, and actually declined in arts, entertainment and recreation (-3.1 percent).

See a summary of the study.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Legacy – Brief Reflections on the Week

 From the first, vague cell phone photo on the 10pm news to the full color videos the following day, we all watched in horror at the unfortunate loss of life at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. A few days later a dear friend who has been sick for over a year, still in her 30s with a young child, goes to be with the Lord. As I watch the news memorialize each of the individuals lost in the stage accident and see the preparations going into the funeral of my friend I can’t help but reflect on whether I am making as much of a difference as I can with my life while I have the opportunity.

Beyond the precious relationships with family and friends, I suspect that almost everyone who reads this newsletter plays a role, either as staff or volunteer, in the work of a nonprofit doing important work. Are we investing enough of our time, energy, and resources to make a difference or just putting in the minimum and moving on to more busyness? What will each of us be remembered for?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Do-it-yourself Professional Development - Sally Migliore, Philanthropy Journal

Familiar with the expression, "No one person can fulfill all your needs?"

In the nonprofit world, it would be appropriate to change that slightly to: "No one employer can fulfill all your professional-development needs."

For nonprofits, particularly in this economy, it's not likely that money is available for professional development or, if it is, it's very limited.

Yet we know it's essential to invest in staff members who are the cornerstone of effective programs in our communities.

The responsibility for professional development is a shared one.

The role of an executive director is to promote a culture that supports employees' growth, while the responsibility of the employee is to take initiative in creating a plan for how he or she can acquire new knowledge and skills.

Professional development isn't an add-on; it's a core part of doing one's job well and with energy and enthusiasm for continued learning and performance.

So, I'd like to propose how nonprofit staff might go about creating a do-it-yourself professional-development plan.

Continue reading the article.http://www.philanthropyjournal.org/resources/special-reports/professional-development/do-it-yourself-professional-development?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Do-it-yourself+professional+development&utm_content=Do-it-yourself+professional+development&utm_campaign=Professional+Development%yourself+professional+3A+Philanthropy+Journal+Special+Report

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shared Leadership . . . What Is It Exactly? (TCC Group in NP Quarterly)

Theories about organizational transformation have been pointing in the direction of shared leadership for more than three decades. Experiments with "self-managing" work teams proliferated in the 1980s. In 1990, Peter M. Senge published The Fifth Discipline and popularized the concept of "learning organizations". In 1994, Jack Stack made waves with his book The Great Game of Business, where he championed the value of practicing "open-book management" and engaging workers at all levels. In 1999, Margaret J. Wheatley wrote in Leadership and the New Science, "Western cultural views of how best to organize and lead (now the methods most used in the world) are contrary to what life teaches. And, in 2003, Joseph A. Raelin coined the term "leaderful" in his book Creating Leaderful Organizations, which describes an organization that intentionally creates the structure and culture needed to share leadership among staff, board, volunteers, and other stakeholders.

Despite this dramatic shift in leadership theory, our combined research and experience with nonprofit organizations reveal that most organizations continue to accept a hierarchical structure, with the executive director shouldering an enormous burden of responsibility for organizational success. However, we found that this concentration of power was not because executive directors were power hungry. Nor was it even deliberate. It was due to a lack of familiarity with the alternatives. Read Full Article. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Success by Design

Innovation and Improvement in the Nonprofit Sector
Peter York – TCC Group

Similar to many organizations, the Philadelphia Zoo got to a point where it needed to assess how well it was doing in meeting its ambitious goals. In the mid-1990s the zoo had crafted a new mission, which called for advancing “discovery, understanding, and stewardship of the natural world.”

Years went by. Exhibits were built, opened and closed, and millions of people stepped through the zoo’s doors. And yet, how far had this experience gone in shaping visitors’ attitudes? Even more profoundly, could the zoo take credit for shifting people’s actions, for turning them into the stewards it had envisioned?

The zoo’s efforts to answer these questions suggest a new approach to learning that may no longer warrant the label “program evaluation” as it is typically used in nonprofit sector – to prove something to an audience of funders or donors looking for validation of an entire program’s right to exist.  Instead, it seeks to serve the people who create and design programs — the on-the-ground social innovators who benefit from direct insights that improve on their interventions. In other words, it functions like R&D in the private sector, providing a specific look at what is actually working.

So, why is R&D so important to the social sector? TCC Group's data from nearly 2,500 nonprofits provides statistically significant evidence that organizations whose leaders engage in R&D practices (only 5% of all nonprofits surveyed) are more sustainable -- nearly 2.5 times more likely to grow at or above the annual rate of inflation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

(Is An) Exodus of Executive Directors Expected?

Here is another take on the recently released Daring to Lead 2011 report of 3000 nonprofit executive directors from www.PhilathropyJournal.org. The findings would indicate that a significant number of nonprofit executives will be leaving their roles over the next five years due to frustrations with funding, boards, and lack of work/life balance.

Highlights or Lowlights:
· Sixty-seven percent of executives plan to leave their jobs within five years, down from 75 percent in in similar studies in 2006 and 2001.

· With one in six leaders age 60 or older, for example, 22 percent of that group said a loss in their retirement savings contributed to a transition delay.

· Forty-five percent of respondents said their boards had not reviewed their performance within the past year and only 18 percent said their performance review was useful.

· Thirty-three percent of current executives followed a leader who was fired or forced to resign, "indicating the frequency of mis-hires and unclear expectations between boards and executives across the sector," the study says.

· Nonprofits are not prepared for executive transition.

· Satisfaction with board performance was lowest among leaders on the job between one and three years.

· Only 17 percent of organizations surveyed have a documented succession plan, and just 33 percent of executives were very confident their boards will hire the right successor when they leave.

· Eighty-four percent said the recession had had a negative impact on their organization. Forty-six percent said their organizations had operating reserves of less than three months of expenses.

· The study offers a series of recommendations to improve transition planning, understanding of financial sustainability, professional-development options and performance and composition of boards.
In my work, I am seeing fewer nonprofit executives targeting the traditional retirement age of 65 as their date. Even those who are ready to step out of full-time leadership roles in their late 60’s are looking for another paid role – some for the financial aspect and almost all because they value the work and the people in the nonprofit sector. If your organization doesn’t have at least a written Emergency Succession Plan, we can do a short session with your Executive Committee or board to generate some good thinking and draft a plan. Bryan 752-7153

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Get Them While They are Still in Hard Copy! Board Training Booklets being discontinued - Save Now!

Eight years ago, I wrote the first version of "Welcome to the Board" as a training handout for participant's in LLA's first 'Get on Board' - board member recruiting event. Theresa Rhodes at LLA was kind enough to cover the copying costs for me. It was a family project to fold and staple 100 booklets. Unexpectedly, the new board members who took those booklets back to their boards prompted orders "for every board member" and we were in the publishing business.

Over the following two years, I wrote three more short booklets, "Finance for Every Board Member", "Fund Raising for Every Board Member", and "Planning for Every Board Member" with the same intention, to make board information accessible to expanding numbers of new board members. We wrapped all four titles under the label of "Too Rushed to Read" to further convey the short length.

Since that time we have sold more than 25,000 copies, total, of these four booklets - probably in every state. We have sold them in sample packs of one of each title and we have sold them by the hundreds for conferences and even university classes, but we have mainly sold them 10-20-30 at a time to nonprofits who use them as they recruit and/or train new board members or work to expand the perspectives of longer term board members.

As part of Charitable Advisors continued evolution, we see much of this type of information moving on-line and will be exploring options to develop our next generation of training and education. Right now, we have just over 1,000 booklets left in inventory and all four titles but we know that some titles will run out before others.

Save 20% plus get a FREE Training CD and Facilitator Guide, while they last!

I guess I am old school, but I still like to hold books in my hands and know many of your current and future board members feel the same way. We want to clear off our shelves and give you a chance to purchase them at a good price - only $4-5 a copy. Go to: http://www.charitableadvisors.com/ordercdbooklets.html and enter code "Promo7" and then hit apply and it will show a 20% discount on everything you purchase on that page. With each order, we will also include a free Training CD and Facilitator Guide, a $55 value.

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions at Bryan@CharitableAdvisors.com.

Bryan Orander, President
Charitable Advisors and Not-for-Profit News


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Get on Board 2011 – Does Your Board Need New Energy? New Perspectives? New Contacts?

A couple new board members can bring much needed energy to a nonprofit board. I have been excited to be part of the Get on Board event in Indianapolis since it started in 2003. Hosted by the Lacy Leadership Association(LLA), it brings more than 60 nonprofits together each year in one energetic setting to provide current and aspiring community leaders with an opportunity to meet board and staff members from nonprofits of all kinds – arts, education, youth, health, social services and more. The goal for exhibiting organizations, and attendees, is to find that special connection of interest, skills, and motivation to make a difference. Since its inception, this premier community event has infused more than 1,800 new board members, committee members and volunteers into the community as they have become involved with hundreds of nonprofits. This year’s event is on Monday, October 3 from 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Conseco Fieldhouse. If you attended last year, you will be pleased to hear that the floor plan is being expanded and there will be plenty for room for attendees.

Due to the high demand for exhibitor space, non-profit organizations are chosen to exhibit through a comprehensive application process. Applications are now available online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GOBexhibitor. Deadline to submit an application is August 5 at 5 p.m.

In order to be eligible to be selected for this year’s event you must:
Complete the on-line application in full by August 5. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GOBexhibitor
Submit payment to LLA for the $75 exhibitor fee (Your payment will not be processed unless you are selected to exhibit).

Commit to having at least one representative attend a mandatory exhibitor orientation in early-mid September. Date TBD

Once all applications are submitted they will be reviewed by a selection committee. The review and selection process will ensure a cross-representation of all areas of service. You will be notified in late August if you have been chosen to exhibit.

If you would like to attend as an individual and find opportunities to become a board member, you can register at http://www.lacyleadership.org/GetOnBoard.html, then the Attendees tab. There is no charge to attendees for this event. Please note that this is not a forum for seeking a job or soliciting business from these nonprofits.

If you have any questions about Get on Board, the exhibitor application or selection process, please contact Susie McKenna at 317.631.6542 ext. 133 or susiem@cicf.org

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lead People

Earlier this month I shared some insights from Lee Cockerill, a former Disney executive and author of Creating Magic about the difference between staff training and staff development. I wanted to share some additional notes that should get you thinking more about how we can only lead when we connect with people - Lee says leadership is a “contact sport”.

· A leader’s job is… to do what has to be done, when it has to be done, in the way it should be done, whether you like it or not and whether others like it or not.
· Everyone is important – tell them that they are!
· Your role as a leader is to create an environment where employees want to come to work
· The right people, well-trained, require fewer managers
· Leadership is a contact sport
· Trust is the key
· Know what you stand for and what you won’t stand for.
· Bond early with new employees (and board members?)
· Be brave enough to have the hard conversations – employees build trust with managers who give them feedback on the good and bad and are willing to help them get better.
· Empower the front line with the financial and common sense authority to serve the customer
· If you can’t trust your people to do the right thing, YOU have hired and trained the wrong people in the wrong way
· Start the day by making rounds with your people

His top 3 priorities around getting the right people in the right roles:
1) Crisp systems to recruit and hire staff. Use on-line questionnaires and view videos before completing applications. You can’t train people to have good attitudes and be nice and happy.
2) Training and development of staff – train and test before you “turn them loose on customers”. Use staff managers as training resources in their areas of expertise.
3) Ensure that every employee knows they matter

Think about how you grow people in four areas of competency:
· Technical – skills needed to do their specific job
· Management – controlling, getting things done
· Technological – creating leverage and possibilities
· Leadership – Building trust, being a person people want to work for, challenging and holding accountable.

Leadership > Staff Environment > Customer Satisfaction > Business Results … The customer does not come first: Leadership comes first. This is the way that ensures excellent customer service which translateds to improved results.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Staff Training does not equal Staff Development (Part I)

I am a huge fan of the team at the Foellinger Foundation in Fort Wayne (unfortunately, they fund in Allen County only). They recognize that it takes strong nonprofit organizations to deliver quality programs and to create meaningful results. Their refrain is that they support effective organizations who are “Well-managed, Mission Driven, Results-Oriented”.  To that end, Foellinger Foundation brings in a nationally known speaker each year to present to an opening session audience of 100’s of board and staff leaders followed by a workshop that delves deeper into the subject – but that’s not all.  Following the workshop, they offer the opportunity for many organizations to receive a grant to implement the ideas and strategies that have just been explored.

This year their guest was Lee Cockerell, former Disney executive and author of the book “Creating Magic”. This week, I wanted to focus on his theme that stood out most for me – “Staff Training is not the same as Staff Development”. Lee highlighted that these concepts tend to be lumped together, even thought of as the same thing. He emphasized that they are dramatically different and how your organization approaches them could determine whether you are creating “Disney Memories” or Delta Airlines Baggage embarrassments.

He explained that staff training is what you do to equip and prepare a staff member to successfully and effectively perform the basics of their job and then keeping them current on the skills needed to perform the role. Small nonprofits, in particular, struggle with this aspect of appropriate staff training and will sometimes wear “we do on-the-job training” as a badge of honor. Lee noted that at Disney, no employee (cast member) is turned loose on the public until they have been trained and tested on it.  What would it take for your organization to excel at equipping your people to do their current jobs well?

In contrast, Mr. Cockerell shared that staff development is individualized, one-to-one, focused on potential (expanding their job or on preparing for another role), and usually manager initiated. In too many organizations, nonprofit and business, this thinking is relegated to an annual performance evaluation exercise that often results in employee’s feeling that their supervisor doesn’t care enough about them to put real effort into helping them improve. Lee emphasized that many of his best relationships are with former employees that he was candid with about their weaknesses and how they could improve. What would it take for your organization to excel at preparing your people for additional opportunities or increased impact?

Share your insights.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cross-sector Hiring – Will It Become More Common?

I was recently meeting with the successful, long-term CEO of a large nonprofit and we were discussing the increasing numbers of people who have had careers in business that are now interested in working in the nonprofit sector. I commented that on several of the recent searches that I have supported, more than half of the prospects were from the business sector and had little nonprofit experience beyond serving on a board for a few years.

He shared an exchange with me that he recently had with a successful corporate executive (I am paraphrasing):

Corporate Executive to Nonprofit CEO: I have been successful in business and now I think I am ready to lead a nonprofit - to give back to the community and really make a difference. How do I go about getting a job in the nonprofit sector?

Nonprofit CEO to Corporate Executive: I’ve been very successful in my work as well. How likely are you to hire me to work as an executive in your company?

Corporate Executive to Nonprofit CEO: Not to be critical, but you don’t have any experience in our business and there are many people in our company and in our field that we would consider ahead of you.

Nonprofit CEO to Corporate Executive: Ditto.

Personally, I think the interest of Boomers in business roles moving into nonprofit leadership roles is a very positive thing and could ultimately help in filling both leadership and skill gaps as the older edge of the boomer generation retires. At the same time, there are incredible differences around scale, budgets, organizational culture, multiple stakeholders, and the nonprofit structure that are not an easy transition for many business people.

These business leaders need a path to prepare themselves for these roles. The current route would be to serve on nonprofit boards, volunteer, and get involved in giving back while you are still working in the business sector to develop enough of a network and reputation in the nonprofit segment you aspire to work in that your resume is a match for nonprofit role.

Please share your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Four Ways to Remove a Board Member

Once again Jan Masaoka from the Blue Avocado offers interesting thoughts on a difficult board issue. I have summarized this great article below and encourage you to share the link with your Board Chair and Governance Committee. Let us know what you think about this topic.


Occasionally, a board member needs to be removed from the board. In some cases, a conflict of interest or unethical behavior may be grounds to remove an individual from the board. In other cases, the behavior of a board member may become so obstructive that the board is prevented from functioning effectively.

The best boards often have strongly felt disagreements and heated arguments. Challenging groupthink and arguing for an unpopular viewpoint are not grounds for getting rid of a board member. But if a board member consistently disrupts meetings or is otherwise destructive and demoralizing, it may be appropriate to consider removing the individual from the board:

1. Personal intervention
One-to-one intervention by the board president or other board leadership is a less formal solution to managing problem board members. If a board member has failed to attend several meetings in a row, or has become an impediment to the board's work, the board president can meet informally with the board member in question. The conversation can occur in person or on the telephone; the board president can specifically request a resignation.

2. Leave of absence
Make it possible for individuals to take a leave of absence from the board if they have health, work, or other reasons why they cannot participate fully during the current term. A board member can take, for instance, a 6-month "disability leave," or a 3-month "busy with new job" leave.

3. Term limits
Most boards (62%) establish not only board terms but also term limits, such as two-year terms with a limit of three consecutive terms. In such a situation, a board member cannot serve more than six consecutive years without a "break" from the board. After a year off the board, an individual can once again be elected to the board.

4. Impeachment
Your organizational by-laws should describe a process by which a board member can be removed by vote, if necessary. For example, in some organizations a board member can be removed by a two-thirds vote of the board at a regularly scheduled board meeting. If you do not have a way to vote out board members, add this now to the bylaws, not when there's "a problem with a first and last name."


Read the full article.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's the Trend - Can We Govern Without Knowing?

One of my foundation clients contracted with a well-known national nonprofit to work with a number of their grantees last year to review their financial situations and provide the leadership of each organization with some insights into their efforts.

The smaller organizations, in particular, found the most benefit from consultant's approach of showing five years of information for all of the expenses and revenues, in various types of groupings. They could see where they were consistently strong or consistently weak and what impact various changes in people, programs, or the economy had on their work.

From my experience, too few nonprofits look at their work through the lens of multiple year trends, in finances or anything else. I hear common concerns of our nonprofit boards micro-managing or making important decisions without key information or not being strategic in their thinking.

It would seem ideal to spend more time in board meetings looking at trending information and less at isolated snapshots of how much money we have in the bank today or how many clients we served this month. I find that using trend data pushes the dialogue to a higher, more strategic perspective - just what we want for most of our boards.

Does your organization look at trends or settle for snapshots of today? If you use trend data, tell us how you use it and offer your thoughts on how other organizations can improve their own efforts with this strategy.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

10 Nonprofits That Act Like For-Profits

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The line between for-profit companies and nonprofit charities continues to blur. The organizational creep of nonprofits into areas that seem more in keeping with the for-profit world is nothing new. In an effort to boost their bottom line, many charities have branched out into other investments -- real estate holdings, property management, paid endorsements and retail sales among them. And the organizational structure of some nonprofits has evolved in new directions.

In 2007, Google(GOOG) launched Google.org, an effort defined as a for-profit charity. Seeded with 3 million shares of company stock, it has primarily funded alternative-energy projects. Other nonprofits are looking closer at "hybrid" models to combine profit-driven strategies with charity-minded outcomes.

"For many years nonprofits have often used for-profit subsidiaries or a fee-for-service approach," says Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator, a service that evaluates the financial health of more than 5,500 American charities. "In fact, the biggest piece of income for nonprofits is not individual contributions or government money -- it comes from fee-for-service income. This notion of hybrid, or the 'for-profit nonprofit,' is nothing new at all."

The impact of "this notion that for-profits have a social mission, the notion of doing well while you do good," remain to be seen, says Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator, a service that evaluates the financial health of more than 5,500 American charities.

Berger laments the fact that some nonprofits are formed with charity as a secondary intent. "There are occasions where businesses consciously choose to be a nonprofit because it gives them a strategic advantage over for-profit competitors," he says. "They get a tax exemption and therefore they get a leg up. We are clocking in now at about 2 million nonprofits, the largest nonprofit sector in the history of the world. For the past 20 years, we had more nonprofits formed than in the whole 200 years before that. Even in a down economy it is still explosive."

The nonprofits cited as working more like businesses include: 

-The College Board
-Mozilla Foundation
-The National Geographic Society
-American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure
-The PGA Tour
-Corporation for Public Broadcasting
-Higher Ed such as Harvard, Columbia, and Yale
-Hospitals and Blue Cross/Blue Shield

Read the full article at: http://www.thestreet.com/print/story/11121065.html

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Does ‘One Size Fit All’ in Interacting with our Supporters?

I had a conversation with a commercial banker last week who shared how his bank is trying to adapt their paradigm of customer relationships. Traditionally, bankers view spending more face to face time with a client, and in their workplace, as something special that shows how much the bank values the client relationship. Increasingly, customers are rejecting these offers of banker’s time and insight. Customers just want to know what is needed and to have their questions answered – some even requesting it by text. This puts the bank and banker in the new and difficult position of determining how to differentiate themselves and create or maintain a customer relationship with limited face to face interaction.

What might this type of thinking mean to your nonprofit? One thought is to find a way to let your supporters tell you how they want to interact. Most smaller nonprofits haven’t gotten to the point of doing much relational fund raising - so don't use this thinking to avoid relational fund raising, but to be more strategic is determining how you make it matter.

One resource to get you thinking might be the virtual 2011 Millennial Donor Summit, a national event co-hosted by Indy-area fund development firms Achieve and Johnson Grossnickle. http://expos2stage.com/demo/mds11/index.php

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2011 Indiana Achievement Awards - A CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

The IUPUI Solution Center is honored to host the Indiana Achievement Awards (IAA), recognizing and rewarding Indiana's nonprofits for exemplary practices and demonstrated effectiveness. You are invited to nominate an outstanding Indiana nonprofit for a 2011 Indiana Achievement Award.

IAA Winners will be recognized at a celebratory luncheon held as the crowning event of the Indiana Nonprofit Capacity Building Conference on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at the IUPUI Campus Center in Indianapolis. IAA Winners will each receive a cash award, statewide recognition, and a
professionally produced organizational video.

The Michael A. Carroll Award will also be presented during the luncheon, by the Indianapolis Business Journal to a nominee who demonstrates determination, humility, and devotion to the Indianapolis community. For more information visit Michael A. Carroll Award.

To begin your nomination IAA NOMINATION FORM - IAA Nomination Deadline: June 3, 2011 by 5:00 p.m. EST

Visit Indiana Achievement Awards for complete information.

IAA information is also available by contacting the IUPUI Solution Center at
317-278-9170 or emailing:solution@iupui.edu


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NEW - Resource Center for Good Governance and Ethical Practice

(WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011) - Independent Sector launches today the new online Resource Center for Good Governance and Ethical Practice, a comprehensive collection of tools for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to enhance the accountability and transparency of their operations and ensure they operate in ethical ways.

At the heart of the Resource Center is the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations, which has been called "the most significant industry-based effort to promote self-regulation by the sector to date." The Resource Center showcases, through downloads or links, over 250 model policies, research papers, templates and other tools. Most are available free of charge.

At a time when the nonprofit sector faces increasing scrutiny from government and the public - such as the case with the allegations surrounding inaccuracy behind Greg Mortenson's book, "Three Cups of Tea," and questions about the finances of his nonprofit Central Asia Institute - these resources provide an invaluable asset to organizations seeking to ensure that they are operating in accordance to the highest standards of ethics and accountability. They will be especially valuable to smaller organizations, which often lack and cannot afford to hire the expertise to address these aspects of their operations in a comprehensive way. Read More.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011



I will be participating again this year in an event called "Walking for Dreams," which is a 5K Family and Pet Walk on the canal downtown. The purpose of this walk is to help support dozens of local non-profit organizations by raising funds to provide services to the youth and families of Indianapolis.

This is the one time each year when I ask, personally, for you to support me in assisting a cause that I feel is important. Perhaps you found your current job through the Not-for-Profit News or your work has been enhanced by a connection or training you found through our publication. I would really appreciate a small donation or even invite you to recruit a few supporters and join us – you can quickly do either through the website at https://www.walkingfordreams.org/Donate.aspx.

I am raising money for and am on the board of Southeast Community Services, a Center for Working Families (CWF), who provides services leading to long-term financial stability for the families they serve in the Fountain Square area and beyond. SECS goal is to help individuals from the southeast side of Indianapolis find jobs and careers to increase their income, develop budget plans to help them use their money wisely, help them plan for college or other training, assist them in applying for state benefits, as well as connect them to other organizations and resources. Southeast Community Services also provides programmed activities for senior citizens, a summer youth program, and after-school tutoring.

The Family and Pet Walk is Sunday afternoon, May 22, 2011 on the Canal in downtown Indianapolis.

Click here to learn more about the event.

Click here to register for the walk on the official “Walking for Dreams” website.

Click here to make an online donation.

Thank you for your support!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Value Diversity, But Do We Act on that Value?

Boston, April 12, 2011 – According to a new report released by Commongood Careers and Level Playing Field Institute, nonprofit employees perceive that their employers claim to value building diverse and inclusive organizations, but that they do little to back up that claim. The report is from a nationwide survey of over 1,600 nonprofit professionals.

Key findings include:

Nearly 90% of employees believe that their organization values diversity. However, more than 70% believe that their employer does not do enough to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.

More than half of employees of all races – and 71% of employees of color -- attempt to evaluate a prospective employer’s commitment to diversity during the interview process.

More than 35% of people of color who indicated that they examine diversity during the hiring process report having previously withdrawn candidacy or declined a job offer due to a perceived lack of diversity and inclusiveness.

The report provides five strategies for organizations to shift from just valuing diversity to building and sustaining diversity. They include: (1) open conversations about race that include executive leadership, (2) effective communications about diversity commitments that include measured results, (3) building partnerships and networks that facilitate effective recruiting, (4) a hiring process free from subtle bias, and (5) taking the time to develop, mentor and promote a diverse staff.

“As the economy improves, nonprofits will compete more than ever before for top talent. Organizations that fail to address diversity issues will see a steep drop off in their ability to recruit and retain their talent, not just their employees of color,” said James Weinberg, Founder and CEO of Commongood Careers. “Nonprofits are at a unique moment in time to implement change. If they don’t, they may lose out to other employers who have made intentional efforts to increase and embrace staff diversity.”

To download the full report, please visit: www.cgcareers.org/diversityreport.pdf

We would appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unlucky 13 Merger Red Flags from the Nonprofit Times

The popularity, or maybe necessity, of mergers in the nonprofit sector has been viewed from many angles. Some have worked well, others not so, and any can bring an array of benefits and drawbacks. In his book "Nonprofit Mergers & Alliances," Thomas A. McLaughlin, a management consultant and long-time contributing editor to The NonProfit Times, offers advice about mergers, including financial red flags.

Some of those red flags are:
1. Balloon loan payments coming due. This is not necessarily a deal-breaker. McLaughlin offers two questions - 1. Are you aware that you will owe an unusually large debt payment in the future?; and, 2. Do you have a plan for paying it back? If you can answer yes to both questions, it is possible to move ahead.
2. General records disarray.
3. Indispensible staff. If a partner organization seems to work mostly because of one or two people, remember that those people might be lost in a merger.
4. Lapsed insurances.
5. Loss of (pick one): license, accreditation, large donors, large payer.
6. Maxed-out line of credit.
7. Nonfinancial "liabilities." A disgruntled officer, bad media story, for example.
8. Payroll taxes unpaid.
9. Qualified audit opinion.
10. Unacknowledged and serious CEO-staff conflict.
11. Unexamined accounts receivable.
12. Unreported litigation.
13. Low or negative net assets.

Add your comments or red flags. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Would You Recognize a Sustainable Nonprofit?

In a recent article, Richard Mittenthal, CEO of the TCC Group, notes that
the recession is not over yet for many nonprofits and that hard decisions
are still being made. He suggests four keys to ensuring your organization's
survival, or for donors who are looking for keys to organizations that will
be around tomorrow:

1) Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. And act on what you learn.

2) Cut costs.

3) Focus on planning, including contingency plans to prepare your
organization for the range of challenges that lie ahead.

4) Strengthen relationships with key funders, avoid the internally focused
bunker mentality that can happen in crisis. Ask board members to become more
actively involved.

If you serve on a nonprofit board, it is your responsibility to provide
oversight and input on the organization's financial condition. Every step
the nonprofit can take now to stabilize its finances will pay off later, no
matter how long the recovery takes.

Read the full article.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Interns are a Win/Win

Last week, I shared a few insights and resources that we have gathered over the past nine months as we have been encouraging nonprofits to consider whether they can provide, and benefit from, internship opportunities. Coincidentally, one of our friends, Mike Smith, an attorney who works with nonprofits was on the same track and shared some research he has done around that prickly issue of “Do we have to pay interns?”.  See last week’s article athttp://charitableadvisors.blogspot.com/  Here are Mike’s insights:

Bryan - I saw your blog post on summer interns.  Coincidentally, I’ve been working on a couple of my own blog entries– one for businesses and one for nonprofits – dealing with the question of payment of interns. 

For nonprofits, there are three categories of interns:
·         Employees, who have to be paid minimum wage and overtime compensation.
·         Trainees, a narrow category.  Trainees cannot be paid.
·         Volunteers, a much broader category.  Volunteers can be paid no more than a “nominal” stipend or fee, along with reimbursement of expenses and some benefits.

Only the first two categories are available to for-profit businesses.

These entries have some guidance (useful, I hope!) on the requirements for interns to qualify as either trainees or volunteers.

Michael Ray Smith

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Summer Intern Time!

While nonprofits who regularly use interns may already have their slots filled for the summer, many nonprofits are just beginning to think about the possibilities. Charitable Advisors would love to see more nonprofits use interns so we wanted to share what we learned from a short survey last summer and a seminar we co-hosted last fall with United Way and Indiana INTERnet. Many local colleges and universities will have Spring break in the next few weeks so you want to be ready to reach these students when they return.

Common Questions about Internships
  • What's the difference between an Internship and a Summer Job? - An internship is intended as a learning opportunity for the student, in addition to providing a contributing employee for the nonprofit. Positions where the primary responsibility is receptionist, data entry or file clerk, for example, provide little opportunity for learning. Camp and Youth Counselor roles are obviously summer jobs.  
  • Do we have to pay interns? - we have been told that 501c3 nonprofits are not obligated to pay interns. Still, most of these students have living or school expenses and an unpaid internship means they must also find a paying job. A third of the respondents to our employer survey thought that paid internships attracted stronger candidates. The Indiana InternNet report showed that $8-10/hr was pretty typical for nonprofits who paid by the hour. Stipends seems to range from a a few hundred dollars a month to a $1000 or more. Most internships seem to be in the 20-30 hour per week range.

Keys to a Successful Internship Opportunity

Last summer I took my first shot, since my big corporation days, at hiring a summer intern and it didn't work out very well - primarily because of me. I have since learned what experts suggest is needed for a good experience on both sides:
  • Opportunity to learn - as noted above, data entry is a job not an internship. While every internship will have some elements of routine and clerical tasks, there should still be several on-going opportunities to learn about the sector, the field, or a specific type of work.
  • Project-based - the student should be able to point to one or more projects they completed. They take an effort from concept to reality and you don't have to provide direction to them every minute.
  • Active and accessible supervision - though you likely won't be your intern's first place of employment, they will need active supervision and encouragement in their work.
  • A mentor - a terrific bonus is to have someone besides their immediate supervisor to meet with them several times during their tenure. This could be another department manager or even the CEO.       

Finding an Intern

The mechanics of the process are similar to filling any position - you identify some interested and capable candidates, interview the strongest, and negotiate your terms.
  • Do I have to coordinate through the university? - no, but universities can be a terrific resource. You can contact any college or university that your organization has a relationship with. If students will receive college credit, some coordination with a faculty member may be needed. In other cases, the internship is between you and the student directly. When you approach a university internship contact, ask how you would go about finding an intern - don't treat them like a staffing or temp agency who is there to fill your opening.
  • What other resources exist for finding an intern? - Two specific resources are:
    • Indiana INTERNnet at http://www.indianaintern.net, an on-line clearinghouse where nonprofits, and businesses, can post internship opportunities at no charge and students can post qualifications and apply as well. They added a nonprofit category to their database late last summer. 
    • IUPUI Solutions Center - while part of IUPUI, the specific role of the Solution Center is to connect nonprofits and businesses to the university - so they are a great resource for an organization that does not yet have a formal internship effort. They can even help to pay for your intern. Two resources they offer: