Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10 Tips for Writing Your Nonprofit Story

From Network for Good

Stories are powerful tools for nonprofit communicators. That said, a story will fall flat if it is not written or presented well.

1.Identify the good story. Not every event at your nonprofit is a story.
2.Stay focused.
3.Don't try to get fancy with your writing. Use clear, straightforward language, and tell your story in a logical sequence.
4.Find great anecdotes to illustrate your story.
5.Ask detailed questions in your interview.
6.Don't take a "kitchen sink" approach.
7.Tell your readers why they should care.
8.Answer the question: Why now? Give your story a sense of urgency and make it timely.
9.Make your story part of a larger picture.
10.Proofread and fact check. Better yet, have someone else proofread it.

Read the full article for explanations of each tip.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

6 Quick Tips to Get Ready for Your External Audit From Foster Results

Foster Results has published a series of articles to help nonprofits get ready for their annual audit. Not sure what comprises an effective audit committee? Learn more here. 

Here are six quick tips to get your started:
- Begin by creating sound financial policies that document the internal controls at your organization
- Understand best practices for Finance/Audit Committees
- Document how you allocate costs to your programs and track your staff time according to management/general, fundraising and program costs
- Have Board minutes organized so that the auditor can easily review them and maintain a current listing of Board members and terms
- Look at accounts receivable at least quarterly to follow-up on old accounts and ascertain if the amount will be received or if it should be written off
- Maintain current, accurate information about fixed assets such as purchase date, depreciation method, serial numbers and location of fixed asset in your organization

The most important take away is — if you follow processes and procedures throughout the year that are considered good practice, then getting ready for the external audit will be a matter of pulling things together versus putting undue pressure on you and your staff.

Questions? - Contact Beth Huffman, Nonprofit Services Director at: beth@fosterresults.com or learn more here. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Can UIndy's School of Adult Learning Do for You?

University of Indianapolis Logo

We are excited to have another school of UIndy join our sponsor team. The School for Adult Learning (SAL) at the University of Indianapolis offers programs for adults at any educational level. From undergraduate degrees to certificate programs to a new graduate degree, SAL's innovative programs are available in an accelerated format, and students are even able to earn college credit for what they've learned from life and work experiences.
Program options include:
- Five-week courses, each for three credit hours, through the Accelerated Programs Division www.uindy.edu/school-for-adult-learning/sal-apd
- A Master of Science in Strategic Leadership & Design www.uindy.edu/sal/strategic-leadership that can be completed in just two years
- Non-credit workshops, seminars, and other training through the Institute for Leadership and Professional Development www.uindy.edu/school-for-adult-learning/sal-ilpd

A one-stop-shop, SAL's faculty and staff take a one-on-one approach with students, guiding them through the application, admissions, and financial aid processes. A career advisor (www.uindy.edu/school-for-adult-learning/career-advising) is even available to SAL students and graduates for assistance with topics ranging from resume writing to job searching to graduate school applications. Learn more at: www.uindy.edu/school-for-adult-learning

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What is Project Management?

And why should nonprofit staff care?

“Project Management.” The term seems to be popping up all over in both not-for-profit and for-profit circles. But what does it mean – and why is it important for you to know? Project management is the process through which projects are planned, executed and monitored. Although you may be a social worker, volunteer coordinator, elder care provider, counselor, substance abuse specialist, or other nonprofit employee whose primary job focus lies elsewhere, you may find project management taking a place in your job as one of those “other activities as assigned.” So how do you become an effective project manager?

The University of Indianapolis offers a Graduate Certificate in Project Management for Human Services Professionals( http://www.uindy.edu/cac/graduate-certificate-project-management) . This certificate, offered in a completely online format, is designed for professionals specifically from the human service sector who have a bachelor's degree or higher in any discipline.

The three required courses (9 credit hours) are offered through the University’s Center for Aging & Community. The program content is focused on project management skills applicable for any human services environment, not just those who work in aging services.

Professionals who complete the certificate will be equipped to effectively plan, monitor and execute projects plus gain practical management skills you can immediately put into practice that make you a more versatile employee.

A new cohort of this program will begin in Fall 2013. Students who begin the certificate program can expect to finish by the end of Summer 2014. For more information, visit http://www.uindy.edu/cac/graduate-certificate-project-management or call (317) 791-5930.