Daring to Lead 2006

The Nonprofit Consultant

CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and The Meyer Foundation have just released a new report, "Daring to Lead 2006," exploring the leading causes of nonprofit executive burnout; in particular, widespread frustration with boards of directors and funders, and dissatisfaction with their pay. In both 2001 and 2006, 75% of executive directors reported that they were planning on leaving their position within five years.

Copper Plunges to Price Seen February 2006; Copper vs. Gold

MishTalk

Fueling the broad commodities collapse, the price of copper is now back to a level seen on February 28, 2006.

Flashback 2006: Senators Clinton and Obama Vote for Secure Fence Act, Bush Signs Bill

MishTalk

Inquiring minds are taking a flashback look at the Secure Fence Act of 2006 , signed by president Bush. more…). Economics

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Change One Thing

The Nonprofit Consultant

This is a story about about how the Internet brings people closer together. This is an example of why political borders are becoming increasingly insignificant. This is a demonstration of how a web 2.0

About Grant Writing Fees & Commissions

The Nonprofit Consultant

As a professional grant writer, I usually charge an hourly fee, or sometimes a flat fee per project. Never do I charge a percentage of funds received or in any other way work on spec or contingency. First off, this is just accepted professional practice in the nonprofit industry. Second, as a professional I need to be paid fairly for my work. But, most importantly, it is a matter of ethics.

(Re)Designing the HR Organization (Kates, Human Resource Planning, 2006)

Kates Kesler

Human Resource Planning, 2006. Amy Kates. Many HR functions have gone through the process of transformation over the past decade. This redefinition of the work of HR is intended to allow a more strategic focus on talent management and organizational capability while systematizing and controlling the cost of transactional work. Little formal consideration has been given, however, to how these new complex HR organizations should be configured to best achieve these goals.

Nonprofit Times Honors Hate Monger

The Nonprofit Consultant

Each year the Nonprofit Times, a trade publication for those of us in the public benefit sector, releases its "Power and Influence Top 50" - The 2006 honor roll was released this week, and I am shocked and insulted by one of the additions to this year's list. Take this excerpt from his June 2006 newsletter : "This effort represented an audacious attempt to reshape the beliefs and attitudes of an entire generation, beginning with the youngest and most vulnerable.

Joining a Nonprofit Board of Directors: The Why and How of It

The Nonprofit Consultant

(This is another older article that I'm posting to the blog to add it to the archives. This one was written for the January 2004 edition of "The Learning Curve" - The monthly newsletter of the Silicon Valley Chapter of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development). Perhaps you have had some experience giving your time and efforts to local nonprofit organizations, but find something lacking in the experience.

Maximizing Volunteer Impact

The Nonprofit Consultant

According to the 2006 Deloitte / Points of Light Volunteer IMPACT Study , you're probably missing the boat. Are you fully utilizing your volunteers skills? Are you putting volunteers in positions where they can use their professional skills most effectively, or are you having asking lawyers to sweep up? The study found that the "vast majority of non-profit organizations are not capitalizing on the valuable professional skills of their volunteers."

Regifting is Good!

The Nonprofit Consultant

Last week, I received an email from Ashley Gatewood of MissionFish.org saying, in part: Since the holidays are now over, we’re encouraging people to consider regifting items they received but don’t have a use for by selling them on eBay and donating the sale to a nonprofit. It can also be a great way for people who got a new item, like a digital camera, to turn the older model into funds for their favorite cause.

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Doing it the old fashioned way

The Nonprofit Consultant

Nancy Schwartz of the Getting Attention blog had a great and simple post the other day: Don't Forget to Call. As Nancy points out, those of us who blog on nonprofit topics often get so hung up on pointing out new technologies and nifty tools for reaching more people, or different people, or doing it all quicker, that we often forget to point out the obvious: What we already know works.

Show Me The Money in Santa Cruz

The Nonprofit Consultant

The conference -- which will be held one week from today: Thursday, May 4, 2006 -- is designed to help you: * Manage your finances. The California Association of Nonprofits (CAN), in partnership with the Community Foundations of Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, are presenting Show Me the Money , a one-day conference on nonprofit finance practices. Enhance your human resources. Align management with mission. * Get the inside scoop on policies impacting the way you work.

Welcome to Capaciteria

The Nonprofit Consultant

Capaciteria? Yes, Capaciteria, "Serving up peer-rated nonprofit capacity resources 24/7." According the site's home page, Capaciteria is. a comprehensive, searchable database directory of administrative resources that help nonprofits leverage their own capacity. It promotes peer review because MEMBERS can comment on and rate individual resource links as well as add useful new links.

The future of online fundraising

The Nonprofit Consultant

I received an email from a college student asking if he could interview me about ePhilanthropy and the future of online fundraising. The questions gave me an opportunity to think creatively about the application of some web 2.0 concepts, such as tagging and feeds, and how they can improve our practices. His questions and my answers follow. Let me know what you think. > * How did Internet change the way nonprofits fundraise?

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The Temporality of Digital Knowledge and Copyright Bozos

The Nonprofit Consultant

Pam Ashlund of the Nonprofit Eye Blog has a new posting about " the Temporality of Digital Knowledge " - the notion that for all the wonderful online information we have at our fingertips, the idea that the Internet is a permanent repository of information is a false one. How many times have you gone to your bookmarks to find a particular reference and landed at a blank screen marked, "401 Error - page not found"?

How generous is your state?

The Nonprofit Consultant

Thanksgiving is done with (hope yours was peaceful and happy), and we're now officially into the Holiday Season. That means plenty to each of us personally, of course, but as nonprofit professionals it also means quite a bit work-wise as well. As you hope for the best return on that holiday pitch you should have already prepared, and as you get set for those final big asks of the year, you might want to see where your state stands in the new state-by-state assessment of charitable giving.

What are we compaining about?

The Nonprofit Consultant

According to a new report from the Urban Institute, the growth of the nonprofit sector has outpaced the growth of the economy over the past decade. The report says that, "While the nation's gross domestic product grew by an inflation-adjusted 36.6 percent from 1994 to 2004, the nonprofit sector's revenues increased 61.5 percent." So why are we always whining about needing more? Probably because all that growth and resources is concentrated in hospitals and universities.

What about that election last week?

The Nonprofit Consultant

I generally try to keep politics out of this blog (not always successful), but I thought this was an interesting short article in the Philanthropy News Digest: Nonprofit Leaders Weigh Impact of Election. The article tackles the question of whether or not the incoming Democratic Congress would be "better for the nonprofit sector" than the exiting Republicans. The short answer is, "marginally."

Care2 join an online community?

The Nonprofit Consultant

I've written before about nonprofits using MySpace and YouTube and other mass market social networking platforms. One of the complaints about these sites is that the users are not really there to look for volunteer or philanthropic opportunities. Most users are there for fun, networking, or just killing time. What if I told you about an online community that was designed to link nonprofit organizations to people who are looking for action opportunities? Would you give that a try?

Get younger, wealthier, (better looking?) donors online

The Nonprofit Consultant

Network for Good, an online service that facilitates online charitable donations, has just released a report looking in detail at $100,000 in online giving to 23,000 nonprofits. Some of what stands out from the results are the differences between online and offline donors: they're younger and more generous.

Carnival of the Nonprofit Consultants

The Nonprofit Consultant

Welcome to the Carnival of the Nonprofit Consultants. This traveling carnival was started by Kivi Leroux Miller of the Writing911.com Nonprofit Communications Blog to bring you the best postings on nonprofit issues each week. This week I am honored to be the guest host. Soul Resources starts us off with Sacred cow tipping - Making a difference. The sacred cow in question? "An An individual can't make a difference" - well worthy of tipping this day before elections.

The Carnival Is Coming (again)

The Nonprofit Consultant

On Monday I will again be hosting the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants. For those who are not familiar with the blog carnival concept, it is a collection of the best posts on a particular subject (in this case, nonprofit management and fundraising) from the previous week. If you have a post you'd like to submit, there's still a few hours left to submit your blog by clicking here and following this link. Be sure to come back on Monday to join us at the carnival! I promise lots of good reading.

Pressing our buttons.

The Nonprofit Consultant

Stewart James, of Inside Collin County Business , writes that: American's trust and confidence in nonprofits is alarmingly low. Confidence in charitable organizations stands roughly 10 to 15 percent lower today than it did in the summer of 2001. Today, nonprofits need to operate like a business. Budgeting funds is a must, along with executing careful and appropriate fund raising with outcome measures in place to asses its use of funds and success.

Good news for your donors

The Nonprofit Consultant

Here's a real benefit that you can sell your donors when explaining what they get for supporting your organization: A good feeling! Researchers, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , have scientifically proven that charitable giving activates the brain's reward center. Known as the mesolimbic pathway, the reward center is responsible for the euphoria associated with sex, money, food, and drugs.

Goodbye Miriam

The Nonprofit Consultant

I just got word that the nonprofit world has lost a great friend, co-worker, and champion. On the 17th of this month, Miriam Engelberg lost her long battle with cancer. I first met Miriam during my time with HandsNet and knew she was somebody special. I got to know her much better once I joined the CompassPoint Nonprofit Services staff, where she was a technology consultant, teacher, and the artist/writer behind CompassPoint's in-house comic strip Planet 501c3.

Posting annual reports online and donor poachers

The Nonprofit Consultant

I heard an interesting comment from another consultant this afternoon that I'm not sure I agree with. The topic was nonprofit annual reports, and whether or not yours should be posted on your web site. For a long time we were all recommending this. Digital annual reports were a part of the paperless society all this technology was supposed to be working towards.

Disaster Fundraising

The Nonprofit Consultant

No, I'm not talking about fundraisers that turned into disasters. I'm talking about fundraising for a disaster. If you haven't run such a campaign for your nonprofit, you are certainly aware of the massive fundraising pitches that go out on the heals of any natural or man-made disaster.

The economic impact of nonprofit organizations

The Nonprofit Consultant

When you work in the nonprofit sector, you will occasionally speak to people who are a) shocked that you get paid to do "charity work" and b) act as if your work, while well-meaning and good, is an economic drain on the community. At those times, it's good to have an idea of the true, positive impact our sector has on the community. Not just in terms of the people served in fulfilling our missions, but in the size of our sector as a part of the business community.

Staff giving requirements

The Nonprofit Consultant

I subscribe to a number of e-newsletters and discussion lists, including the Consultants Forum at Charity Channel. One conversation currently raging on that list is whether or not nonprofit staff should be (or can be) required to donate back to their organization. I will try to summarize the main points of the discussion here for you to mull over.

Using video to enhance your web site

The Nonprofit Consultant

If you've been following this blog, you know that I've written about nonprofits using YouTube.com and DoGooder.TV to promote their causes, and that I'm a believer in keeping up with the technology revolution. I just visited a site that makes excellent use of embedded videos to demonstrate the power of their programs. The Camp ASCCA Journal includes several short videos about life at the Easter Seals camp for therapeutic recreation.

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Fraud, Burnout, and Getting What We Deserve

The Nonprofit Consultant

Pam Ashlund of the "Non-Profit Eye" blog has posted an interesting piece about the trend of fraud committed against nonprofits by their own staff and volunteers. Pam lists a few samples (all from the last month) and asks: Are non-profits just sitting ducks? Is it easier to steal from a non-profit? or is it a limit of imagination. our hearts are in the right place so much so that we can't conceive of someone setting out to take advantage.

Senate bill could spur charitable giving

The Nonprofit Consultant

New legislation, recently introduced in the Senate, would create tax-free "personal philanthropy accounts" to encourage pre-tax charitable giving. S 3881, introduced by Senators Isakson (R - Georgia) and Lautenberg (D - New Jersey), would allow workers to contribute up to $15,000 to nonprofits annually by payroll deduction.

It's a dot-org world, after all

The Nonprofit Consultant

According to the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the folks responsible for the ".org" org" top-level domain, there are now over 5,000,000 registered dot-orgs worldwide. This is a significant milestone for the.ORG registry and we are excited that the number of.ORG registrations worldwide has increased by over 25 percent in less than 1 year," said Edward G. Viltz, President and CEO of PIR.

The Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants - #13

The Nonprofit Consultant

Greetings and welcome to the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, edition #13. This carnival is the creation of Kivi Leroux Miller of the Writing 911 blog (and more). Each edition of the carnival is a collection of the best advice and resources that consultants and other support organizations are offering to nonprofits through their blogs each week. I am your guest host/consultant for the week, Ken Goldstein.

The Carnival is Coming to Town!

The Nonprofit Consultant

Well, maybe not to town, but to this blog. On Monday I will be hosting the next edition of the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants. What's a nonprofit consultant carnival?". It is a collection of the best advice and resources that consultants and other support organizations are offering to nonprofits through their blogs each week.

Delays in IRS Nonprofit Approval

The Nonprofit Consultant

Posted to the IRS' web site : Where Is My Exemption Application? Many exempt organizations and practitioners may have noticed an increase in the timeframe to process an application for tax-exempt status. We apologize for any delays you may be experiencing and we are taking steps to decrease processing time. This delay is the result of a backlog of exemption applications. The page goes on to explain the process and you can do about it (not much: "There is no need to call." ).

Corporations Versus Nonprofits - A real question?

The Nonprofit Consultant

This morning I was searching out blogs with "nonprofit" as a keyword when I somehow stumbled across the "Esdena: Student Marketplace" blog and read a post called " Welcome back MIT! and Why Do People Hate Corporations." Now, I'm fine with the MIT part (welcome back to school), it's the rest of the post where the writer has some interesting things to say about our nonprofit sector.

Thank yous and horn blowing

The Nonprofit Consultant

Last week I completed an Interim Executive Director position that involved merging a small nonprofit child care agency into a larger one. (I I will write more about that and the lessons learned in a future post.) Today, I received a wonderful thank you note from the [now former] board chair who hired me. I want to share part of that note and then use it to illustrate some points all nonprofits can learn from. First, the note: "Thank you for helping CFS during their interim phase.

A YouTube for Nonprofits?

The Nonprofit Consultant

By now you've probably at least heard of YouTube - the web site where users upload their home made videos. It's now one of the most popular sites around, with a variety of videos from serious and professionally done to silly little personal rants shot on cell phone cameras. This week I was introduced to a new site, called DoGooder.TV that intends to become somewhat of a YouTube for the nonprofit community. The concept behind DoGooder.TV

Follow-up: When Community Foundations Merge

The Nonprofit Consultant

Back in May, I first wrote about the impending merger of the Peninsula Community Foundation and Community Foundation Silicon Valley. At the time I expressed some skepticism regarding the result. I feared that it could result in a 1+1=1.5 situation, with fewer nonprofit organizations sharing in slightly larger grants. I said this because I truly admire and appreciate both foundations as they've been.