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Tips for Activating a Culture of Well-being in the Nonprofit Workplace

In April, I was honored to present and facilitate an all-day workshop for nonprofit leaders at the Oregon Nonprofit Leadership Conference on how to activate a culture of well being in the nonprofit workplace, based on my book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout. I also delivered a workshop to South Carolina nonprofits on the same topic hosted by Shine The Light, Nonprofit Forums. The participants were amazing and came up with some terrific strategies and action plans.

Many times the reaction to focusing on organizational culture and well-being is considered “soft” or “nice” stuff that does not lead to results or impact. There is now enough evidence from research that focusing on resilience in the workplace is an essential strategy for sustainable results.


New Report: Cross-Border Philanthropy and Counterterrorism Regulations

In 2016, U.S. charitable giving to international causes totaled $22 billion, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year. Given the myriad natural and man-made disasters that struck last year, totals for 2017 will probably equal or exceed this amount. (Well know for sure when Giving USA 2018 comes out in a couple of weeks.) With this generosity comes risk, however.


Five Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask about Fundraising

Ask practically any executive director or development professional what they want most from their board of directors and you’re all but certain to hear “Help with fundraising!” It’s the nonprofit cri de coeur.

Such help will be more forthcoming if before recruiting a board candidate you encourage him or her to ask the five telling questions listed below. 


Mobile Bidding: 6 Questions Every Nonprofit Needs to Ask

When it comes to nonprofit fundraising, charity auctions are one of the events organizations turn to again and again. However, even though these events have been a staple of nonprofit fundraising, many organizations fail to realize they could be getting more from these events.


The SMART Way to Create Fundraising Goals

If you’re looking to increase donations for your nonprofit organization, your first move will be to improve the fundraising goals you set for your organization. Most nonprofits have fundraising goals, but not all goals are created equal. In 1981, an article by George Doran, There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives, appeared in Management Review. It outlined a five-part method for creating smart objectives that is now used in many industries for project management.


Introducing Discounted GuideStar Data Sets for Academic Users

For more than a decade, GuideStar has supported academic exploration of the nonprofit sector.  GuideStar for Education gives collegiate faculty, students, and unsponsored researchers free or discounted access to GuideStar Premium. In 2017 alone, we shared $1.8 million worth of services through this program. GuideStar Library Services enables university libraries to provide patrons with on-site or remote access to GuideStar Pro at a price far below the cost of multiple individual subscriptions.


4 Methods to Sharpen Your Leadership Skills

On the Classy Podcast, we have the opportunity to sit down and talk with leading executives and influencers in the social sector, and we like to ask them: “What makes a good leader?”

It might seem like a simple question, but developing leadership skills can be difficult for anyone regardless of how big or small their organization is.

Two recent guests, Piper LeJeune, the director of digital strategy and engagement for the Salvation Army Southern Territory, and Jeff Roman, executive director for Convoy of Hope, both offer a wealth of knowledge about how you can foster leadership skills to grow your team and organization. Below, we dig into their expert insights.


Why Don’t Donors Trust Us, & What Can We Do About It?

I once heard a quote that went something like: “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”

If you’ve ever felt betrayed, this sounds on point. It’s true in life, and it’s true in the nonprofit sector.


5 Ways to Demonstrate Progress Toward Your Nonprofit’s Goal

Most nonprofits have a single, lofty goal that they’re relentlessly pursuing, whether it’s curing a disease or ending childhood hunger. While your ultimate goal is most likely why your supporters came to you in the first place, it can be difficult to keep up momentum when your lofty goal feels far away. 

To keep supporters engaged on the long path toward your goal, there are several ways you  can connect with your community through your nonprofit’s blog, email newsletters, social media, and other platforms. Complex problems have complicated solutions, but when you show how you’re delivering on your mission even before you reach the finish line, your supporters will be there with you every step of the way. 


5 Tips for Asking for a Major Philanthropic Gift

You’re about to step up and speak to your supporters at your organization’s annual fundraising gala. You’re about to issue a “call for cash”—asking attendees to give anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000 more. 

Last year, the gala’s donations fell shy of the targets, so the pressure is on. How do you ask for a major philanthropic gift in a way that makes your supporters eager to play a huge part in your organization’s success? 


The State of Our Sector Is Resilient

I am deeply grateful to the thousands of you who raised your voices to tell the country what’s at stake by taking the 2018 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey. For the eighth time, NFF is proud to publish this collective megaphone, which has become a widely cited barometer of U.S. nonprofits’ financial and operational health, and a crucial evidence base for a wide array of sector funding discussions.

Here is what we heard from almost 3,400 of you, leaders of nonprofits large and small that address many issues on many community frontlines across all 50 states.


Moving Through (Not Around) Racial Equity Work: Lessons from a Community Foundation

“Look within. Be explicit. Don’t be afraid to be messy. Commit for the long term.” Jennifer Aronson, the Boston Foundation’s (TBF) Associate Vice President for Programs, shared these recommendations for shaping a racial equity lens at this month’s Grantmakers for Effective Organizations national conference. These tips ring true for most social justice work both within the philanthropic community and among our partner nonprofits. Understanding that this work, of looking both inward and outward when bolstering our racial equity lens, is not linear is necessary to move through, and not around, difficult conversations about race, power, and privilege. I would humbly add “be hopeful” to Jennifer’s tips, as there is more traction and more motivated people on similar journeys to building or strengthening the racial equity lens in their work than you might think.


Digital Currency: Proceed With Caution

It seems like news headlines about digital currency—another name for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin—pop up on a daily basis. With so many people talking about this, I’ve been asking myself if I should be taking part in the conversation. I'm new to the topic myself, and, frankly, skeptical about the value of jumping on this trend before some issues are worked out.


What Your Donors Really Want: The Simple Truth

Sometimes we spend so much time and effort and energy trying to get all of the systems and materials and research and processes of fundraising right that we plumb forget the most important things.

The Simple Truth about Donors

Your donors—no matter who they are or how much they give—want two things.


6 Blogging Best Practices to Write Content That Will Actually Rank

When it comes to ranking number one in Google search results, which do you think is more important?

  1. Technical SEO—things like getting meta tags, alt descriptions, and heading text right?

    or

  2. Writing really really really really useful content?


How to Democratize Fundraising for Nonprofits and Donors

The idea of democratizing fundraising and philanthropy is not a new one. Everyone has the desire to help others, and millions of people support causes they believe will effect change. It’s the goal of nonprofits and fundraisers to bring these causes to the forefront, and to make them accessible for the everyday donor. But for nonprofits with lean budgets or minimal marketing capabilities (and even those with extensive resources), finding and acquiring ideal donors can be difficult.

On the path to democratizing fundraising and making it easy to support causes, it seems a step has been missed: nonprofits don’t always have tools that help them bring their causes to the public at large. And as online fundraising becomes much more popular, nonprofits are now juggling more marketing platforms, fundraising channels, and methods of donation than ever before. But if the end goal is to make it easy for people to support causes they care about, nonprofits and fundraisers need access to the tools—and data—that attract donors.


Sustainability through Innovation: Taking a Fresh Look at Old Problems

Sustainability through Innovation: Taking a Fresh Look at Old ProblemsDon’t you hate it when you have donors (or potential donors) who are not supporting your efforts to the extent you believe their passion would indicate?  They’ve expressed support, maybe even enthusiasm, for your mission, and yet their financial gifts don’t reflect the same level of engagement.


Don’t Be Afraid of Your Mega Donors

In my years working with nonprofit and development directors, I’ve noticed a certain underpinning fear of major donors. This is not a monster-under-your-bed fear (or maybe it is for some of us). Rather it’s a reverence, awe, caution, and wariness that permeates the relationship and all interactions with the donors. 

And this makes sense. Your mega donor is literally the epicenter and foundation of charitable giving to your organization. And even I, an advocate of crowdfunding and the power of micro-donations, still realize that the majority of your monetary support will be generated by major givers. 

But sometimes this reverence and fear can lead to unhealthy practices. 


New Report: Nonprofits—America’s Third Largest Workforce

Employment in America’s nonprofit organizations continued to gain ground on other major industries in recent years according to a new report just issued by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.

Based on projections from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the new report, “Nonprofits: America’s Third Largest Workforce” reveals that as of 2015, America’s nonprofit sector:

  • Has the third largest workforce. The U.S. nonprofit workforce ranks third in size among the 18 major U.S. industries, behind only retail trade and manufacturing.

*Every* Nonprofit Leader Is a Fundraiser and Marketer

I recently happened upon a thought-provoking article: “Note to All Creatives: Marketing is Your Job,” adapted from Ryan Holiday’s Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts. The piece was written with an audience of authors, artists, and start-up entrepreneurs in mind. I firmly believe it applies in spades to nonprofits.

Holiday calls his book a meditation on how to create work that does more than just disappear.


Double Your Donation, Double Your Impact. Celebrate #GuideStarGivingDay.

There is no better time to donate to GuideStar! Why, you ask? Because May 15 is #GuideStarGivingDay, a day dedicated to raising funds to support our mission of providing millions of users with important nonprofit information! And to celebrate, we’ve got something special for you … 

From now until May 15, every dollar donated to GuideStar will be MATCHED by our generous partner, Sage Intacct!


 Don't miss out on donations this Giving Season. Add a Donate button to your GuideStar Nonprofit Profile today.