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GuideStar Blog

From the President's Office, March 2009

Dear Friend,

The Dance of the Four Veils

Excerpt from Seeing through a Donor's Eyes: How to Make a Persuasive Case for Everything from Your Annual Drive to Your Planned Giving Program to Your Capital Campaign

For the most part, nonprofit communications are boring. Not on purpose, mind you. Still, they are almost always uninteresting, my vast exposure to them suggests. And why? Because they swaddle themselves in one or more of the following interest-draining veils.

IRS Updates, March 2009

The IRS has announced the dates and locations of its spring workshops for small and mid-sized exempt organizations. The Exempt Organizations Division also released the final report of its study on nonprofit hospitals.

Reference Checking: More Than a Necessary Evil

You have found a perfect candidate! His job experience is a perfect match, the culture fit is just right, and everyone in the office loves him! It's a done deal, right? Not so fast; it's now time for the reference checks.

Too often hiring organizations treat the reference check stage as a necessary evil, as the last "required" stage before the excitement of finalizing an offer. It is important to realize, however, that reference checking is not the end of the hiring process but rather the bridge between the hiring and onboarding processes. Not only will reference checking help you make the best hiring decision possible but it will also support the hired candidate's successful transition into his or her new role.

Checking references is the last step of a process designed to help you identify the candidate who will be most successful in a specific role and within the organization as a whole. At the beginning of the process, you should have outlined the competencies required for success in the role. During the interview stage, you gathered data about each candidate's ability to be successful in that role. The résumé and cover letter gave you some information, the in-person interviews gave you a lot more, and your ongoing interactions and any assignments you had the candidate complete added to the picture. The reference check process is your first opportunity to gather data from an outside source; take advantage of it!

Tips for Entering Your Nonprofit into the Social Media Environment

Do you Tweet? What's your Facebook page got? Ever think of how to promote your nonprofit on YouTube? Follow any bloggers? What's an "influencer," and should you be, well, influenced? More important, are your target audiences socializing in cyberspace, not just for fun but for the purpose of deciding how and where to invest their time or financial resources?

Make no mistake, social media is changing the way we—from the individual to the corporation—are communicating. And the environment is rich with opportunities for nonprofit organizations to get noticed. The following tips will help you understand a bit more about this new medium and how it may benefit you and your goals.