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What’s Your Story?

Assemble three senior executives in a room and ask them what their nonprofit’s “elevator pitch” is and you often get three very different messages. The Chief Development Officer, who is talking to donors and funders on a regular basis, may tell a slightly different story than the Chief Marketing Officer, whose focus may be more on promoting programs and services to the community. Both messages can be different from what the Chief Executive Officer, who is looking at the big picture, is communicating to his or her constituents, including the Board of Directors.


Nonprofit Efficiency: 4 Benefits of Time Tracking You Never Realized

Business organizations are constantly adapting and evolving, striving to become leaner and more efficient to match their environment and competitors. The IT revolution has been an important catalyst for change--companies across every industry, including nonprofits, are implementing new technologies to help streamline their operations.


Three Important Alternatives to Overhead

Thank You

First, I want to a moment to say thank you. Thank you to the 2,000+ people who have pledged to end the overhead myth, thank you to everyone who has shared the news of the Overhead Myth campaign, launched in partnership with BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator, and thank YOU for reading this and learning more about the issue of nonprofit overhead expenses. You are the ones who are really moving the needle on this effort, and we’re thrilled that this campaign resonates with you.

We’ve talked a lot about what nonprofits shouldn’t focus on – overhead – and we certainly attempted to describe what they should focus on instead. In fact, our entire Money for Good II initiative was designed to inform nonprofits about how to better collect and communicate their impact data. However, it’s time that we dig deeper into three concrete things nonprofits should do today to move past overhead once and for all:

Giving Donors Better Alternatives to Overhead

1. GuideStar Exchange

It’s simple: give us your information and we will share it with the 10 million annual visitors we get to www.guidestar.org and millions more through the work of our amazing clients and partners. Our mechanism to do so is our GuideStar Exchange program, which is the only program of its kind that encourages nonprofit transparency on a national scale and allows nonprofits to supplement the public information that is available from the IRS. It is designed to encourage transparency, and it can help nonprofits get past their financials and administrative expenses and focus on outcomes once and for all.

GuideStar Exchange gold-level participant logo

We just overhauled the GuideStar Exchange to align with what we learned from Money for Good II: individual donors, institutional funders, and financial planners want basic information (mission statement, program information, key employees, etc), financial information, and impact/effectiveness information about your nonprofit.

One of the biggest improvements to this program is the integration of Charting Impact with the GuideStar Exchange. GuideStar embraces the 5 standardized questions for the sector that allow a nonprofit to report on their organizational impact to date. These 5 questions were crafted (with input from major institutional funders) so that once you’ve answered these questions once, you will have a head start on many other grant applications saving you and your staff precious time and effort.

Once you give us your information, we in turn give you a gold, silver, or bronze participation logo—a symbol of transparency in the sector—and a host of other benefits. All in all, the GuideStar Exchange is free, it’s easy to get started, and it’s truly powerful.

2. Stakeholder Reviews

GreatNonprofits provides a way for your non-paid stakeholders – your board members, volunteers, interns, etc. – to review your nonprofit, similar to Amazon or Yelp reviews. Their reviews help to tell your nonprofit’s story and explain your impact on a human scale. Using the GreatNonprofits platform, which the public will view through your GuideStar nonprofit report, you can solicit these reviews and push them out when you get glowing feedback. Again, it’s free, and it’s easy to do – we even have a tool kit to get you started. Remember – the more donors and funders know, the more they give!

3. Philanthropedia

If your nonprofit has received the distinction from Philanthropedia as an expert-recommended high-impact nonprofit you should be sharing this recognition with your community! Philanthropedia has a turn-key tool kit that you can use to spread the word and help impact-oriented donors and funders find you more easily. Contact Jasmine Marrow (jasmine.marrow@guidestar.org) for access to this tool kit.

I’d love to hear about how you plan to move past the overhead ratio! Leave your comment below.

Lindsay J.K. Nichols

Lindsay J.K. Nichols is the communications director of GuideStar, building on the organization's strong brand to sustain awareness of its mission through relationships with key audiences. Lindsay came to GuideStar with a deep consulting background with clients such as Best Buy, Heineken, National Geographic Education Foundation, Bracewell & Giuliani, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pre-K for All DC, School-Based Health Alliance, the Land Trust Alliance, RugMark, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Nursing Research, and others. She began her career at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), where she handled media efforts for the ASCE/WTC report on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Lindsay earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting Communications and Women’s Studies from the State University of New York at Oswego. The above can also be found on the Overhead Myth Blog: http://overheadmyth.com/three-important-alternatives-to-overhead/.


Call for Fellowship Applications

Call for Applications to the LeaderSpring Fellowship Program for Nonprofit Executive Directors

Are you an executive director of a nonprofit based in San Francisco who wants to improve your leadership and management skills? Enhance the capacity of your organization? Build collaborative relationships with other nonprofit leaders? If yes, LeaderSpring invites you to apply to a two-year, on-the-job Fellowship program. Applications are due Friday, August, 30th, 2013. Click here for more information, visit www.leaderspring.org or contact LeaderSpring at (510) 286-8949 or julie@leaderspring.org.


The urgency of symbiosis

The organization chart shows a vertical line: Development director reports to executive director. But in reality, organizational life is much more complicated than that one-way, one-dimensional figure would suggest. The relationship is symbiotic.


How the Overhead Ratio is Like the Left Front Knee of an Elephant

There’s the often-quoted parable of the three wise blind men touching an elephant and describing it: one touches the tail and says the elephant is a rope; one touches a tusk and says it’s a pipe; one touches a leg and says it’s a tree trunk.

This parable is usually told to illustrate the importance of perspective: individuals can perceive the same thing in different ways. But there’s another lesson here; one the nonprofit sector needs to embrace. That lesson is this: a full understanding of anything complex requires that we bring many perspectives together.

In the nonprofit sector, we’ve been blind in our sole focus on the overhead ratio. A nonprofit’s overhead ratio is kind of like the left front knee of an elephant: it’s an important part of a nonprofit’s makeup, but it’s not even close to the whole story.

In the nonprofit sector in general – and at GuideStar in particular – we face the challenge of figuring out how to articulate a holistic view of nonprofits. And if we are to truly replace the Overhead Myth, we must offer an alternative which reflects the full richness of individual nonprofits – and the nonprofit community as a whole. And, then, we have to actually collect enough data that donors and volunteers and journalists and nonprofit leaders can actually use.

Jacob Harold

Luckily, there are many efforts that are helping understand pieces of this broader puzzle: transparency (GuideStar Exchange), impact data collection and story-telling (Charting Impact—now part of the GuideStar Exchange), expert surveys (Philanthropedia), third-party analysis (GiveWell), stakeholder reviews (GreatNonprofits), star ratings (Charity Navigator), accountability standards (BBB Wise Giving Alliance), and many others. Our challenge is to take these pieces and bring them together. Our hope at GuideStar is to grow our GuideStar Exchange program into a common “profile” for the field—so that people can find what they need about a nonprofit in one place and nonprofits only have to provide their information once—and to supplement that with many types of analysis from these colleague organizations.

Over the next few months, we’ll be working to offer a clear framework for how the nonprofit sector can bring together these many parts of the elephant into a much greater whole.

The above is cross-posted on the Overhead Myth Blog: http://overheadmyth.com/how-the-overhead-ratio-is-like-the-left-front-knee-of-an-elephant/.


Finding the “Hot Spots” on the Form 990

“We love our Form 990!” Would any nonprofit organization ever make that statement? Loving it might be a lot to ask. We at least need to get to the point where we can say, “Our Form 990 represents our nonprofit very well and we are proud of its contents.”


IRS Updates, July 2013: Optional Expedited Application Process for Certain 501(c)(4) Exemption Applications, Nationwide Tax Forums, and More

It may be the dog days of summer, but IRS Exempt Organizations has been busy, busy, busy.


Raising Thousands of Dollars with E-mail: Interview with Madeline Stanionis

Madeline Stanionis, author of Raising Thousands (if Not Tens of Thousands) of Dollars with Email, recently spoke with her publisher about e-mail fundraising. GuideStar has published an excerpt from the book, and we're pleased to be able to share Ms. Stanionis's additional thoughts with you.

Some say a subject line should be no more than 40 characters. Do you agree?

A subject line should be as long as it needs to be to do the job. Sometimes it's a little longer, sometimes not. If you have a great, relevant subject line that's 45 characters, use it! Of course, if your subject isn't great, do keep it on the shorter side.

So tell me how to write a great subject line.

Okay, I'll give you nine (I like to be specific) pieces of advice:

  • Climb inside your readers' heads and understand where they're at when it comes to your cause and lead with what THEY are thinking (not with what your organization wants to say!).
  • Consider what else may be in their in-box that day. How will you stand out (without using a bait-and-switch gimmick that doesn't match the message inside)?
  • Pay attention to subject lines used by large organizations. Chances are good they're testing sub lines and are using theirs for good reason.
  • Use relevant news and pop culture. Use the sub line to connect what your reader is watching or reading with what you're messaging about.
  • Shock, but only when justified. Sometimes situations are horrific, gorgeous, unbelievable, deadly, hilarious, and/or devastating. Usually, they're not. But sometimes!
  • Get personal by using everyday terms, casual sentences, and occasionally questions.
  • Read your subject line aloud and listen to how it sounds.
  • Avoid CAPS.
  • Don't be afraid of sentence fragments, slang words, lowercase, and other casual conventions. E-mail is a relaxed medium.

And what are some of the best subject lines you've seen?

Well, the best subject line is the one that performs well today. It might not be the best tomorrow! But here's a few I've liked recently:

Dunkin vs. Starbucks (you know you have an opinion!)

Hey, did I leave my jacket at your place?

1982 called. It wants its pollution back.

1,000 more likes and we get a puppy!

What distinguishes e-mail copy from other forms of writing?

Other forms as in a novel or the NY Times? Or other direct response forms? I'm going with the latter. E-mail is:

  • Certainly shorter than most direct mail.
  • More casual.
  • More personal.
  • Frequent and single-focused vs. occasional and complex. (Except for maybe, e-newsletters).
  • Visual! That doesn't always mean lots of images, but it could.

Does a P.S. have the same power in an e-mail as it does it snail mail?

Jury's still out on that. Some organizations have found a P.S. lifts response; others have seen no lift.

How are smartphones and tablets impacting the way donors read e-mail?

If your e-mail isn't mobile-enabled, you're in trouble. Same goes for your landing pages—and maybe your whole Web site.

However! The upside is that smartphones and tablets make reading and responding to e-mail when you're on the bus or otherwise away from your laptop much more enjoyable. So chances are better that your busy reader might actually read your e-mail when she's on the run.

The best timing for e-mail—is it still Tuesday through Thursday, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-4:00 p.m.?

I always say the best time to send your e-mail message is when it's ready. However, the real best time is the moment your audience is most expecting it based on the news, what they're doing at the time, and what your offer is.

The tried and true weekday times still tend to be better for lots of things, but it does depend on a lot of other factors, so I wouldn't make that a hard and fast rule.

Should I ask for a donation in the subject line, or would you recommend a less direct approach?

Depends on what's happening in the world. In a crisis, when the only or best way to help is donating—sure. Year-end? It can work. Other times? Dicey. You don't want to say you're not asking for money in the subject line, but there may be a more enticing way into your story.

What's the fine line, in terms of frequency, between sending enough e-mail to keep people engaged and sending too many, thereby lowering open rates and increasing unsubscribes?

I think you're assuming way too many things in that question! First, you kind of imply that "sending a lot" of e-mail is the same as "sending too many" messages. And, whoa, I think you also decided that sending too many e-mail messages automatically lowers open rates and increases unsubscribes. Sure about that?

Look—I get that it can look that way. Sending too much BAD e-mail can seem like too many e-mail messages and can certainly decrease response. But you know what? If you send good e-mail—really good e-mail—every day, it won't seem like too much, and it can actually increase your response metrics. The problem is that most nonprofits don't have the time or skills to deliver good e-mail frequently. Or—eek—at all! And then we blame the frequency and not the content.

But if what you're asking me for is some sort of rule, I guess I'd say that if you can't gather your best together in an e-mail twice a month or so, then you really have no business sending e-mail at all. And if your words are golden more than twice a week, absent a crisis or critical time period, I'd be quite surprised.

What's a respectable open rate for our e-mails to donors?

Respectable? Hmm. There's a wide range! For big organizations, over 10 percent isn't bad. And many small organizations see much higher open rates. Most important is that you're tracking your open rates and setting your own (respectable) benchmark.

Compared to direct mail, is e-mail a good medium for acquiring donors? And, if so, is there a qualitative difference between the acquired donors?

Let's broaden the conversation to say, simply, online instead of just e-mail—and in doing so, the answer is definitely yes! In fact it's cheaper than many offline sources. Inspire prospects to head to your Web site to give, sign up for an e-mail list, or engage in social media, and you've got a great source of new names.

For a long time, we've known that long letters outpull short ones. Is it the same with e-mail?

Length, schmength. Most people have found that it doesn't usually make much difference. Some have found that short—really short—e-mail at the end of a big campaign can outperform a longer message. But, by and large, it's not a huge deal. And if so, why burn all that time and energy on a long message? Keep it short!

© 2013, Emerson & Church, Publishers

Madeline Stanionis has been raising money, organizing, and communicating for organizations and causes for 20 years, not counting her second-grade campaign for George McGovern. She is the CEO of Watershed, an online fundraising and advocacy agency; past president and creative director of Donordigital, a full-service online fundraising, advocacy, and marketing company; and author of Raising Thousands (if Not Tens of Thousands) of Dollars with Email.


Five Things Your Board Can Do to Lead with Accountability and Transparency

  1. Review & Share Organizational Financials: Providing financial oversight is one of the board's primary responsibilities, and one that should not be delegated to a small group of board leaders, a committee, or staff. It is critical that each individual board member thoroughly review the financials that are provided to the board and ask questions if there's something he or she doesn't understand.

    If the organization doesn't already do so, board members should encourage the CEO to provide a copy of their audited financial statements and Form 990 on the organization's Web site and on GuideStar, and the full board should review the organization's 990 prior to its being signed.
  2. Conduct an Annual Assessment of Your CEO: The CEO or executive director is the board's one employee, and providing appropriate oversight and management is essential. Conducting a formal, annual review is critical to confirming that the board and CEO are on the same page about the goals and priorities for the next year and ensures that the CEO receives constructive feedback about his or her performance.
  3. Regularly Assess Your Board's Performance: Self-assessment is a critical step in strengthening a board's own performance, and a powerful signal that the board is committed to effective and accountable leadership.
  4. Address Issues Head On: The strength of an organization's leadership is tested by how it handles tough situations. Make sure that your organization demonstrates a commitment to identifying and addressing potential issues.
    • Handle Conflicts of Interest: A commitment to handling conflicts of interests is essential to creating an organizational culture of transparency. Boards should create and follow a policy for identifying and handling conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. For more on coming to terms with a conflict of interest, download this free resource from BoardSource.
    • Establish a Whistleblower Policy: Make sure that you have a written whistleblower policy, and that all of your employees know how to activate it. After all, this is something your organization must verify on the 990!
  5. Lead with Authenticity: Your board's actions reflect on your organization and its ideals. Here are some important things to consider in terms of authentic board leadership:
    • Give: If your organization raises money in support of your mission, each and every one of your board members should make a personal donation in support of your mission. Read more in this free article from BoardSource.
    • Commit to Diversity & Inclusion: Your board's composition, policies and practices should reflect your organization's ideals as it relates to diversity and inclusivity. Learn more about why this is so important, and what you can do about it, in this free article from BoardSource.

© 2013, BoardSource


Follow-up to Fundraising with Social Media Webinar

During the June 26 social media fundraising webinar with my co-presenter Lesley Mansford, CEO of Razoo, I received several questions I wasn’t able to answer live. See below for my follow-up:


All Overhead is Not Created Equal: Distinguishing Fundraising and Administrative Expenses in Nonprofit Evaluation


“MOOC-sourcing” your data: A recap

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdpeU5dekQA?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]


Root Cause’s Overhead Myth Response

We applaud the campaign by BBB [Wise Giving Alliance], GuideStar, and Charity Navigator to raise awareness about the lack of correlation between a nonprofit’s level of overhead and its performance. The Overhead Myth letter encourages donors to invest in nonprofits based on their results, not based on how lean they are. Root Cause completely agrees with this and was founded 10 years ago with the vision that resources allocated to nonprofits based on results will accelerate social progress. However, the question remains, where do we find the kind of information we need in order to not have to rely on overhead as the proxy for performance?

Colette Stanzler

According to research conducted recently, donors are interested in indicators beyond financials; specifically on better understanding a nonprofit’s impact. Donors are also interested in seeing peer programs compared on standard indicators. However, the research further indicated that while information about financials is easily accessible, information about program performance, particularly at a comparative level, does not seem to exist for the average donor. Why isn’t information about results as easily attainable and standardized as the 990 or audited financials?

Over the past few years, Root Cause has developed a methodology to help move nonprofits to higher levels of performance and to share that information with donors. This work has culminated in the launch of Peer Performance Exchanges for different social issues. We believe that nonprofits should be able to provide, and funders should be able to request, information about program performance (or results) as regularly as they provide or request financial information.

We are currently developing three Exchanges: Youth Career Development, College Access and Success, and Healthy Aging. The Exchanges bring together nonprofits within these fields that have clear and measureable outcomes to receive a third-party independent analysis, including benchmarking, and capacity-building services. The independent analysis is at the core—providing nonprofit programs with an understanding of how they compare to their peers on over 100 indicators of organizational health (including financial stability) and program performance in their field. We also produce a summary report of the analysis, appropriately named the Transparency Report, for programs to share with key funders as a validation of their program and commitment to measurement and accountability.

We are excited that the key donor platforms where donors look for information to make confident giving decisions are focused beyond financials and on performance. And we believe that our work in providing independent analysis for programs through the Peer Performance Exchange will provide donors with the more results-oriented, comparative information they are seeking.

To learn more about Peer Performance Exchange, contact Colette at 617.649.1538 or cstanzler@rootcause.org.

As the Director of Social Impact Research, Colette provides strategic leadership, oversight of SIR’s core research process including methodology refinement and product development, client management on customized research projects, and actively participates in the broader development of the social impact market through collaboration and partnerships with other players in the market. From her experience in the business sector, specifically financial services, Colette brings an understanding of capital markets, investor expectations, and how data is used to inform investment decisions to apply to SIR’s research and analysis in the social impact marketplace. While she has experience in both product development and analysis from previous experience in the business sector, she has been involved with nonprofits most of her life and brings perspective to our process from being a volunteer, consultant, advisor, board member, and social impact investor. With the SIR team, Colette hopes to build a significant library of social issue research that enables donors to make more informed giving decisions and results in more resources being allocated to high performers. This a cross-post of her article on the Overhead Myth Blog and the Root Cause Blog.


Join us at Social Media for Nonprofits

Don't miss out as the only conference series devoted to social media for social good returns to Washington, D.C., this coming Monday, July 15.


Testimonials Spur the Confidence & Actions You Want (Case Study)


Non-profits and Top U.S. Civic and Community Projects

How do you create successful partnerships in non-profit work? Some of it depends on cooperation, some of it touches on chemistry. But what about about considering the attribute of civics and charity?


Breaking Through the Noise: How to Get Media Coverage for Your Nonprofit

Having spent nearly six years working for a large nonprofit organization, another eight years on the PR agency side servicing nonprofits and countless years volunteering for various organizations, I know how tremendously rewarding nonprofit work is. You feel like you are actually making a difference in the world — and you are!


Veteran Fundraiser Jerold Panas on the Subject of Asking

Jerold Panas has helped a diverse range of organizations raise an estimated $11 billion. He recently spoke with his publisher about asking for major gifts. GuideStar has published excerpts from Mr. Panas's books (see the links on the right), and we're pleased to be able to share his additional thoughts with you.

You've been at this for 40 years. What motivates a person to make a major gift?

I've done studies on this and the results are almost always the same. The primary reason someone gives a major gift is that he or she believes in the mission of the organization.

A second important factor is the organization's financial stability. Would-be donors have to be convinced the agency is prudently managed.

As you can imagine, people don't want to give money away. They want to contribute to bold and heroic programs. They want to make things happen. And mostly they want to change and save lives.

To be successful in asking, what factors have to be present?

As I discuss in my book, Asking, three pieces are important. The first is that the organization and the project must be relevant. The donor has to feel this is something that's significant.

Next, what you're raising money for has to have emotional appeal. I like it best when the hair on the back on the neck stands up! I want it to be exciting and have snap, crackle, and pop.

But most important, there has to be a sense of urgency. The donor must feel this can't be postponed. The project has to move forward and the decision to give must be made as soon as possible. Time is working against us. Lives are being lost. Kids aren't being served.

The single most important quality of an effective asker is what, in your opinion?

That the solicitor has passion for the cause.

You can't always achieve it, but the ideal is someone who's "burning in his bones" for the organization.

I'll also include persistence. That's because it often takes at least two visits to secure a gift. So you've got to stick with it.

And, finally, the ability to listen. I tell clients that they should talk 25 percent of the time and listen the other 75 percent.

Who's the best person to call on the would-be donor?

This will seem simplistic, but it's key: you send the person who the would-be donor will have the hardest time saying no to.

In some cases, it may be the CEO. It could be a member of the development staff. Or a faculty member who's had a great impact on the person. Or the doctor who performed open-heart surgery on the individual.

I like taking two people on the first call, if it can be arranged. For a potential major donor, I like having the chief executive officer accompany a volunteer. I call that a magic partnership.

I also believe the volunteer should testify to the gift he has made. If it's sacrificial or a stretch gift, that's powerful and compelling ammunition. Of course, you never take anyone with you who hasn't already made his own gift.

When the solicitor makes the call, what's usually going through the donor's mind?

The would-be donor wants to know, why should I give to this organization? What's so important about this cause that I should give it priority?

Next, why is this particular program important enough that I should give? Does the project have my full interest and will it make a difference?

Third, the donor wants to know why she should give now. Is it really urgent? Is it more important to give to your organization than some others I've been considering?

And finally, why me! She wants to know, why are you calling on me for this gift? Why have you singled me out?

My colleague Harvey McKinnon has a terrific book on the subject: The 11 Questions Every Donor Asks and the Answers All Donors Crave.

Many people fret about the words they intend to use when asking. They even rehearse them beforehand. Is phrasing really that important?

When I coach solicitors, I give them language I know is successful. I've learned this over the years. But I'm quick to point out they should use their own words—sing their own song. I want them to feel totally comfortable and as relaxed as possible.

I also coach our solicitors to say out loud the amount they're going to ask for. Go ahead, say it out loud—fifty thousand dollars. Say it! The more it's repeated, the easier it gets.

You say that printed materials and computer presentations aren't that important. Really? Even in this age of smartphones and tablet computers?

I put campaign brochures very low on the list of what motivates a donor. Every study I've done supports this. Those fancy line-embossed, die-cut, four-color brochures just aren't read, though the photos will be glanced at. Worse still, publications are often a turnoff, due to the perceived cost of producing them.

And as far as a computer presentation is concerned—ugh!

In my experience, there's nothing that takes the place of a one-on-one presentation, the solicitor probing and asking questions—and listening most of the time.

I do bring a few pieces to leave behind. One is usually a three-ring binder. That's because no one has ever thrown away a three-ring binder! Another is a simple question and answer folder—one that can fit in a breast pocket or purse. Think of seven or eight questions that are likely to be asked, or questions that simply must be answered. This Q & A piece will be one of the most-read pieces in your arsenal.

Reveal the secret once and for all: What makes a great fundraiser?

In every study I've done, the most important quality is integrity. If it isn't there, your donors feel it, and they're turned off.

Closely behind is the skill of listening. Prospective donors want to be heard. I call it, "listening loudly." Listen carefully enough and you'll learn everything you need to know about the donor, what they're most interested in, and how much they're willing to give.

And when I ask donors what qualities they like to see in the solicitor, they mention the three Es. It starts with energy. They want someone who is a spring ready to be sprung. They want someone who is enthusiastic about the organization. Head over heels committed. And finally, donors talk about the caller being empathetic. And you gain that by listening and caring.

OTHER ARTICLES BY JEROLD PANAS


© 2013, Emerson & Church, Publishers

Jerold Panas is the executive director of one of the premier firms in America and co-founder of the Institute for Charitable Giving. His popular books include Asking (newly revised), The Fundraising Habits of Supremely Successful Boards, and Mega Gifts.

 


It's Not a Question of Whether Nonprofits Need Technology

It's a Question of How They Will Use It Most Effectively

According to a 2012 Nonprofits Communication Trend Report by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, 7 of the top 10 necessities for nonprofits to survive include: a Web site, e-newsletters, social media, blogging, online video capabilities, and the ability to accept donations through their Web sites. The report states, "Increasing a charity's ability to tap its stakeholders, improve processes, consistently increase their knowledge, and attract resources to deliver on its mission and fulfill its vision are items that all nonprofit boards should be involved in implementing."

At issue here is that many small and medium nonprofit organizations do not have the staff, expertise, or budget to navigate their way through the flood of technology innovations developing on the Internet.

Working Together to Help Charities Succeed through Technology and Transparency ...

In a special partnership with GuideStar, Grassroots.org is offering exclusive free membership, tools, and services to GuideStar Exchange participants that have earned a Silver or Gold Participation Logo. These exclusive free tools and services include free Web hosting, Web builder, search engine optimization (SEO) consulting, and social venture consulting. In addition, a Grassroots.org membership includes other free tools, including Web design, graphic design, virtual office, fund development, language translation, e-commerce mall, Web security, Web filtration, social media, and password management and protection.

The Grassroots.org membership is free and allows nonprofits access not only to the free toolbox but also to the online community, which aligns nonprofits with volunteers, business sponsors, and donors and highlights each charity. The Grassroots.org community facilitates discussion, collaboration, project recruiting, and resource sharing and provides a forum for sharing new ideas and best practices. Nonprofit leaders can seek available resources from other nonprofits, volunteers, businesses, and donors on a local, regional, or national level who seek to donate their time, talent, and resources.

Raymond Henderson, Grassroots.org
© 2013, Grassroots.org

Raymond Henderson is the executive eirector of Grassroots.org, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002. Grassroots.org offers free technology tools and resources to thousands of nonprofit organizations in the United States and Canada. Raymond has served as an executive director in the nonprofit sector since 1999 and has received multiple honors and awards.


Can You Prove You Are Making A Difference?