Monday, July 23, 2012

Nonprofit Assessment: Richer Perspectives


How should we evaluate nonprofits?

Donors look for assurances that the resources they provide are being used
well. Those of us in nonprofit leadership look for ways to justify the hard
work we do. We live in a culture of numbers, so we count. How many pounds of
food did we distribute? How many houses were rebuilt? But since we work with
people, it's hard to measure good work. There are so many variables.
Progress is slow. You can count meals; it's hard to count healthier lives.

How do we know we are making a difference?

I propose that assessment can be meaningful, even if it might not be easily
quantifiable. Here are five evaluation tools for nonprofit leaders. It
should not be a surprise that ethics, the discipline of thinking about the
quality of human action, can help us think carefully and well when numbers
don't seem enough.

1. Rules: the best action is guided by principles

Questions: Are we doing the right thing? Are we doing it in the right way?

2. Consequences: the best action does the greatest good for the greatest

Questions: Are we making a difference? How do we know?

3. Character, or virtue: good organizations are good people doing good
things well

Questions: Do we have good people? Do we do our work well?

4. Context: it's good if it fits the situation

Question: Is our response the best fit?

5. Liberation: it's only good if it leads to greater human flourishing

Question: Does our work help make the world better for people? Does it not
only change individuals but systems as well?

Read the full article.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Need Board Members? Apply Now For “Get on Board 2012”

Exhibitor registration is now open for the 10th Annual Get on Board presented by Lacy Leadership Association (LLA). Get on Board is designed to link prospective board members with non-profit organizations. Since its inception a decade ago, this premier community event has infused more than 2,000 new board members, committee members and volunteers into the community. This year’s event is Monday, October 1 from 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. - NEW Location for 2012!

Applications are now available online at: The deadline for application is August 3 at 5 p.m. The exhibitor fee is $75 and your payment will not be processed unless you are selected to exhibit. Once all applications are submitted they are reviewed by a committee. The review and selection process will ensure a cross-representation of all areas of service.

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

Want to join a board? Mark your calendar for October 1!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grant Management Training Webcast from FTM

Financial Technologies and Management(FTM) has been a sponsor for a number of years and they support dozens of nonprofits across our local community and the midwest by providing accounting services plus accounting and fund development software. Bryan Orander

FTM is pleased to provide free access to a webcast from their nonprofit forum series on advanced grants management. The training webcast is divided into two key areas - 1) how to get the grant, and 2) how to manage the grant.

The speakers are Stacie Harting Marsh, Principal at Words for Good, and Jim Simpson, President of Financial Technologies and Management. Stacie's presentation focuses on the grant writer role by assessing grant readiness, preparing the grant proposal and application, and best practices of grants management. Jim's presentation focuses on the financial management for grants performed by executives, programs and the accounting or finance department. They include practical examples on managing grant budgets, improving grant reporting, and using grant projections to make grant decisions.

You can hear the entire recording of the webcast. 28%2012.38%20%20Grants%20Management%20Training%20%20.wmv

Contact Jim or Andrew at FTM at WWW.FTMLLC.COM to learn how they can help your organization.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A 5-Point Plan for Grooming Future Nonprofit Leaders

By Kirk Kramer and Preeta Nayak, Bridgespan Group

Surveys consistently show that nonprofit organizations are acutely aware of their leadership development gaps, but unsure about how to address them. The nonprofit leadership teams that Bridgespan has surveyed single out leadership development and succession planning as their most glaring organizational weakness by a margin of better than two to one. Reserach steered us to a straightforward five step "Plan A" for building the future leaders of your organization:

1) Engage senior leaders - you need board and senior staff buy-in and regular discussion at the top of the organization

2) Map out a vision of the future leadership team - what will your leadership team need to look like in 3 years and what people/skills will be needed?

3) Develop future leaders - you need commitment to finding and building the best talent on a day in and day out basis.

4) Seek new talent to fill the gaps - no organization can grow every leader internally and outside perspectives are important

5) Monitor and improve the process of developing leaders -ensure you are making progress toward your goal. Find a way to measure and reinforce your efforts.

Read the full Bridgespan article.