Why Nonprofits Must Innovate

BCG

But innovation is just as critical for nonprofits—especially as they face growing pressures to serve more people in need and to deliver measurable results. With less public funding available—and the need for social services growing—nonprofit organizations struggle to pick up the slack.

Did LinkedIn help nonprofits & leave nonprofit professionals behind?

The Nonprofit Consultant

Some time back I blogged about LinkedIn's (then new) Board Connect Service as a great new resource for nonprofit organizations. In the couple of years since, LinkedIn has built upon and expanded their vision of "LinkedIn for Good" and their offerings to nonprofits.

Aligning Nonprofit Strategy with Donor Preferences

The Nonprofit Consultant

Again, many of us have been harping on this for years, but too many nonprofits have still not heard the message: Your data may help get a signature on a large check, but to get to that point you need to share just one personal story of how your nonprofit has helped one individual.

Nonprofits as the Equalizing Force

The Nonprofit Consultant

As I searched around for a particular subject to write on, it hit me that I could not narrow it down to a single aspect of inequality that I could relate to work in the nonprofit sector. But I also realized that virtually all nonprofits are addressing some sort of injustice or inequality.

Nonprofits and the 99%

The Nonprofit Consultant

What surprises me is how little I'm still hearing from the nonprofit press about the movement. Perhaps they see the protests as happening outside of the nonprofit sector, being organized without the benefit of structured 501(c)(3)'s, boards of directors, strategic plans, or foundation funding. Perhaps many nonprofits themselves are wary of being seen as part of a protest movement, coveting their professional standing and reputation, thinking they are above the rabble.

Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Grow?

BCG

Growth can be a way for nonprofit organizations to have greater impact, increase scale, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and attract investors. Case in point: A nonprofit based in the US planned to extend its reach and impact by replicating its service model in other regions of the world.

Nonprofit Rescue: The Pitch

The Nonprofit Consultant

We all have dreams for the nonprofit sector: increased individual giving, more effective boards, simplified government grant applications, better trained staff. Well, one of my dreams for the sector is greater public understanding of the nuts and bolts of how nonprofits operate, and I've got an idea for implementing it: a reality TV show. So far the only time real, community, grass-roots nonprofits have been seen on reality TV is on shows like the Secret Millionaire.

What the Best Nonprofits Know About Strategy

Harvard Business

After years of working in tech startups, which strive to transform underdog status into competitive advantage, I dove into the nonprofit world. The contrast was striking: Too few nonprofits use the advantages of their nonprofit status. The nonprofit model has a strategic edge beyond tax exemption, and the best nonprofit leaders learn to leverage it. Khan Academy’s nonprofit mission catalyzed the partnership. William Andrew/Getty Images.

Crowdfunding Roundup for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Consultant

It seems that with the rise of Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, crowdfunding is on everybody''s minds these days, but what''s a nonprofit to do? For nonprofits, it is distinguished from traditional online fundraising in that it is focused on distinct, separate campaigns for specific purposes. In crowdfunding, this is usually seen in the form of turning donors into fundraisers and helping them tell their social networks why they support your nonprofit.

Nonprofits Talking Taxes

The Nonprofit Consultant

Earlier this month I attended a workshop at the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County called " Show Me the Money: Nonprofits Talking Taxes." Nonprofits that have always relied on those sources were suddenly in competition with schools and libraries. Not to mention those nonprofits who had been reliant on government funding suddenly got the message about diversifying their fund development plan and were also doing their first fundraising letters and grant proposals.

The Five Stages of Nonprofit Board Fundraising

The Nonprofit Consultant

Imagine my surprise when I realized that nobody had yet applied the Kübler-Ross model to fundraising by nonprofit boards of directors! So, here, without further ado, are the Five Stages of Nonprofit Board Fundraising: Denial - "I don't think board members should be required to fundraise." - "I don't know anybody with money anyway." - "I was asked to join the board for my other skills." - "Don't we have staff for that?" - "We're a nonprofit, we're supposed to live on the financial edge!"

The FCC is Coming After YOUR Nonprofit!

The Nonprofit Consultant

I''m not sure how closely any of you have been following the legal battles over "net neutrality" but the FCC has issued new (draft) rules that would effectively kill it (along with the ability of most nonprofits to use the web as an inexpensive communications strategy), all while wrapping itself up in the language of net neutrality. Guess which lane most nonprofits will find themselves in (unless we each find a generous benefactor who will pay off all the ISPs for us)?

My First Nonprofit Job

The Nonprofit Consultant

After about seven years as an independent consultant, in January I began a regular, full-time executive director position with a local nonprofit organization, and spent the month fully immersed in learning the programs, the culture, and the needs. The truth is, at the time of my first nonprofit job, I had no idea that it would be my career. What was your first experience raising money for a cause or working for a nonprofit? careers Nonprofit jobs

I'm Nonprofit and I Vote!

The Nonprofit Consultant

Two of my recent posts here were encouraging nonprofits (the organizations and the people behind them) to be more politically involved ( Nonprofits Talking Taxes & Nonprofits and the 99% ), so I feel I should also post a quick update when I see examples of how nonprofits are flexing their political muscle. Senior nonprofit managers were even more likely to register and vote than their staff, with 96% and 97% voting in the last two elections.

Top Three Takeaways from the Nonprofit Overhead Challenge

The Nonprofit Consultant

Overhead, of course, is shorthand for what nonprofits spend on general management and oversight, fundraising, and membership development. Nonprofits have to educate themselves, and their staffs, about what qualifies as program, and what gets lumped in with overhead.

The Power of We the Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Consultant

Fitting the Power of We into the mission of this blog, to provide useful information to professionals in the nonprofit sector, I suggest that my readers take this Blog Action Day as a celebration of all that they do. The nonprofit sector is how individuals put the Power of We into action.

How One Nonprofit Is Expanding Health Care for the Uninsured

Harvard Business

The answer is yes, as we found in the example of Ascension , the largest nonprofit health system in the United States. As Rhonda Anderson, the CFO of the nonprofit, told us: “Our mission goes back hundreds of years: providing care for the poor and the vulnerable.

So You Want to Start a Nonprofit?

The Nonprofit Consultant

Are nonprofits not "playing nice in the sandbox"? The responses I got back all seemed to agree with Mr. Anderson: "There are too many nonprofits!" But not, apparently, in the nonprofit sector. In the nonprofit sector, however, we're supposed to build a better mousetrap and then turn our plans over to the current leading mousetrap provider. He wants people with new ideas to get together with existing nonprofit organizations and "play nice in the sandbox."

Nonprofits, Foundations, And Capital Formation

The Nonprofit Consultant

Stannard-Stockton's response is demonstrate how nonprofits contribute to the economy, saying, in part: "Nonprofits employ people, nonprofits buy goods and services from for-profits, nonprofits are an important economic engine of the US economy. In fact, nonprofits are a bigger portion of the economy than many other industries." Stand up for the nonprofit sector; the most productive sector of all.

The four questions to ask when serving on a nonprofit board

McKinsey

Directors need to probe, nudge, and prod to make sure the organization achieves its full potential. Leadership

Using Design Thinking to Help Nonprofits Fundraise

Harvard Business

Far too many great ideas for solving pressing social problems are not being applied at the scale they deserve, because thousands of nonprofit organizations are teetering on the brink of collapse. Of the 300,000 nonprofits in the United States, two-thirds have an annual budget of $500,000 or below, which does not allow them to expand their operations or scale their solutions. Caiaimage/Chris Ryan/Getty Images.

Continuous Improvement for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Consultant

Tags: continuous improvement processes Nonprofit management efficiency

How Companies, Governments, and Nonprofits Can Create Social Change Together

Harvard Business

We see this in our research at Columbia University and have identified many examples where CEOs benefit their businesses by partnering across sectors with public officials, nonprofit managers, and community members. Our research finds that successful collaborations begin with a common process, one that applies no matter whether you are a CEO, nonprofit manager, philanthropist, or public servant. Ilka & Franz/Getty Images. Profit and purpose are converging.

Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Ethics

The Nonprofit Consultant

When should a nonprofit refuse a donation? When does an association with the wrong donor reflect poorly on your nonprofit's brand? Tags: donors branding Nonprofit marketing Today's blog post is in the form of a video.

Getting Nonprofit Job Classifications Right

The Nonprofit Consultant

No, I haven't turned away from the nonprofit sector. have you ever looked at the classifications for nonprofit jobs and said to yourself, "They just don't get it."? Well, this company is putting together a new, better job search engine, and is really trying to get the nonprofit jobs right. It gave me a chance to think about how we describe ourselves and our positions in the nonprofit world. Put your nonprofit marketing into high gear.

Donors Versus Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Consultant

While some people have agreed with me that, "it's about time that donors put the needs of nonprofits ahead of their own," others have taken great exception to that. One such person is Barbara Ruth Saunders, who this morning wrote: Aren't nonprofit organizations, in fact, supposed to be the vehicle by which DONORS direct their resources to goals which are socially important to the DONORS? If donors don't trust nonprofits, they should simply invest their money elsewhere.

Social Media 101 for Nonprofit Consultants

The Nonprofit Consultant

On a professional level, I got involved with nonprofit online discussions as a member of HandsNet around 1996. I hope to continue to learn and fascinated by social media, and I hope to continue to bring that experience and enthusiasm to my colleagues and clients in the nonprofit sector. online community workshops Nonprofit social media facebook twitter handsnet communications

Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants

The Nonprofit Consultant

It is my honor, once again, to host the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants. Jeff Brooks - On nonprofit "branding" as building a movement. Jack Yoest - On nonprofit corporate governance: The Rotary. Thank you for joining us on this round-up of what's happening on the nonprofit consulting blogs. Tags: Nonprofit blog carnivals strategic planning fundraising carnival of nonprofit consultants consulting

Nonprofit Website Mistakes: Lack of Transparency

The Nonprofit Consultant

When people talk about mistakes nonprofits make with their websites, the first thing that comes to mind is usually either no direct donate button from the front page, or an unclear mission statement. Because that's what a nonprofit is: A public trust. Lack of trust in nonprofits leads to lack of donations, and restrictions on what we can ultimately accomplish. Nonprofit mistakes websites transparency communications

Our Latest Mission: Rebranding a Nonprofit to Win

Women in Consulting

By: Jennifer LeBlanc Over the summer, we’ve been secretly working on a great project … we’re doing a pro bono brand relaunch for Operation Freedom Paws. Because we are a bunch of softies here at ThinkResults.

More nonprofit video

The Nonprofit Consultant

About a year ago I wrote a post here called " A YouTube for Nonprofits? I've recently been introduced to a new web site and production house focused on making videos for nonprofit causes: Charity Docs (dot org). Too many of the nonprofit promo videos I've seen elsewhere focus too much on the agency and not enough on the cause. Tags: video charity Nonprofit marketing fundraising outreach about the site DoGooder TV from See 3 Media.

Marketing? For Nonprofits?

The Nonprofit Consultant

Many in the nonprofit field don't like to talk about marketing. Nonprofit marketing may not always take the flashy, glossy, expensive route that you might associate with a marketing campaign for a new car, but it is marketing never-the-less. The just released 2007 Nonprofit Marketing Survey gives us a glimpse, and it's not too pretty. Tags: surveys Nonprofit marketing Marketing is sometimes considered a dirty word. It's all about selling, and we don't sell, we fix!

Nonprofit Mergers & Alliances: An interview with Thomas A. McLaughlin (part one)

The Nonprofit Consultant

Regular readers of this blog know that I've been involved in two successful nonprofit mergers, as well as a third attempt that was never consummated, and I've written several blog posts on my feelings about nonprofit mergers.

Giuliani Makes the Choice Clear for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Consultant

At the RNC, community organizing and nonprofit work is the stuff of humor, proof of inexperience, and a disqualifier for any "real" public policy work. I care too much about the nonprofit sector, and I care too much about this country to not post this here. In Barack Obama we finally have a candidate for President who actually understands and has links to the nonprofit sector. Tags: rudy giuliani Nonprofit barack obama presidential election

Carnival of the Nonprofit Consultants

The Nonprofit Consultant

It's my honor once again to host the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants. So, here you go with a variety of excellent brain food for the nonprofit professional. Rosetta Thurman presents Founder's Syndrome: A Leak in the Nonprofit Leadership Pipeline posted at Perspectives From the Pipeline. Kivi Leroux Miller presents How to Edit Yourself When You Write to Much posted at Nonprofit Communications >> Blog.

Nonprofit Professionals - Amateur Managers?

The Nonprofit Consultant

Think about this in relation to how nonprofit managers come up through the ranks. After reading JP's posting yesterday, I began thinking about my own preparation for my career in nonprofit management, and now consulting. Some of my best, and most relevant, management training came from professional development workshops at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. Tags: workshops education Bartleby Nonprofit management professional development leadership Billy Budd

What the Nonprofit Sector Needs to Reach Its Full Potential

Harvard Business

The nonprofit sector has limbs. When I say, “the nonprofit sector” here, I really mean what the public thinks of as “charities.” ” When I think of charities I think of the health and human services portion of the nonprofit sector.

Do healthy neighborhoods require nonprofits?

The Nonprofit Consultant

HNVF money is a result of the tobacco settlements, and San Jose has been using the majority of their funds ($10 million) to make grants to nonprofits. The leader of our group asked if we thought that the plan should specify the percentage of HNVF money that would go to nonprofits. Of course, the nonprofit agencies present all thought that would be a great idea. Tags: HNVF Nonprofit healthy neighborhoods san jose funding

Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Zone

The Nonprofit Consultant

I am pleased to announce that as of today, the Nonprofit Consultant Blog is part of the Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Zone. I'm honored that my posts will be in the company of posts from some of my favorite nonprofit blogs, including Donor Power Blog, Getting Attention, Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog, Studio 501c3, and several more.

A Scary Nonprofit Halloween Story

The Nonprofit Consultant

Once upon a time, a local government agency wanted to give grants in a particular issue area, so they put out an RFP and called all the area nonprofits to a special meeting. The nonprofits came to the mandatory 3-1/2 hour meeting and received over 60 pages of instructions on how to complete the seven page proposal package (two pages of actual writing plus lots of forms). Tags: Nonprofit funding nightmare government bureaucracy

Is your nonprofit blidgetized yet?

The Nonprofit Consultant

What's in it for a nonprofit organization? Tags: syndication promotion widgets Nonprofit marketing blogging blidgets What's a "blidget"? It's a widget to syndicate a blog. Basically, if you've got a blog, and you'd like to allow other web sites, blogs, profiles (MySpace, FaceBook, etc.) to embed your blog, a blog widget is an easy way to do it. Viral marketing made easy, that's what.

Carnival of the Nonprofit Consultants

The Nonprofit Consultant

It is my pleasure, once again, to host the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants. Katya Andresen presents How to court a blogger posted at Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog. Thank you for joining us on this round-up of what's happening on the nonprofit consulting blogs. Tags: causes blog carnivals marketing carnival of nonprofit consultants mission For those new to blog carnivals, they are a fun way to focus in on a topic and learn about new blogs.

Whose Nonprofit? Yours or the Board's?

The Nonprofit Consultant

Many people starting new nonprofits have a strong vision of what they expect the organization to be, and how they want to run it, only to wind up disillusioned or fighting with their board when they realize that nonprofits are cooperative enterprises. So, whose nonprofit is it anyway? That's the question being asked today on the new "Nonprofit Connectors" blog. But the answer to the question of "whose nonprofit" isn't the founder or the board; it's the public.