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.