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Interview with GlobalGiving’s Mari Kuraishi, Part 2: Core Values and CEO Search

On December 31, 2018, Mari Kuraishi will step down as president of GlobalGiving, which she co-founded with Dennis Whittle in 2001. Gabe Cohen, GuideStar’s senior director of marketing and communications, sat down to talk with Mari. Yesterday’s post looks at GlobalGiving’s founding and early years. Today’s post discusses GlobalGiving’s values and the qualities the organization is looking for in its next leader.

Gabe: I was looking at your website and came across the core values, and I was curious if you could talk a little bit about how they were created, if they evolved at all over the years, why you picked those values, and how they’ve played out in a meaningful way for the organization.

Mari: So the core values were something that we felt we had lived by for a long time, but we only put together formally in 2006 or 7 or so.


Interview with GlobalGiving’s Mari Kuraishi, Part 1: Launching the World’s First Crowdfunding Community

On December 31, 2018, Mari Kuraishi will step down as president of GlobalGiving, which she co-founded with Dennis Whittle in 2001. Gabe Cohen, GuideStar’s senior director of marketing and communications, sat down to talk with Mari. Todays post looks at GlobalGiving’s founding and early years. Tomorrow’s post discusses GlobalGiving’s values and the qualities the organization is looking for in its next leader.

Gabe: What is GlobalGiving?

Mari: GlobalGiving is the largest global crowdfunding community, connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country. We help nonprofits from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe (and hundreds of places in between) access the tools, training, and support they need to be more effective and make our world a better place.


Make It Compelling

You are about to read the first page of a superb appeal letter. It was one of a series of recent direct mail pieces from a medical center.


Finding the Right Nonprofit Board Members? Formulate a Plan

Nonprofits from civic organizations to member associations to philanthropic foundations share a common opportunity and challenge—recruiting and retaining strong and effective boards. There is intense competition for effective and committed nonprofit board members, and organizations must be both strategic and targeted in the way in which they approach prospective candidates. While some of the best members serve on multiple not-for-profit boards, the majority of top candidates only have time and resources for one or two substantive commitments.


A Foundation Insider’s Eight Tips to Help You Win Your Next Grant

One of my favorite sections in the revised edition of my book the Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Winning Foundation Grants is called “The Grant Seeker’s Reality Check.” In 10 brief chapters I examine, from the vantage point of one who served for 40 years as a foundation CEO, a host of dos and don’ts when preparing and submitting proposals. 


Giving: The Science of Lasting Happiness

You know those deep, gaping, and painful existential feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and meaninglessness you’ve been feeling all your life? That bottomless void that you’ve been so desperately trying to fill with yoga, meditation, a spiritual trip to the Himalayas, and a monthly subscription to seven of the latest and greatest “mindfulness” apps. 


Six Expert Tips to Make Facebook Ads Work for Your Nonprofit

Facebook advertising is fast becoming a popular channel for nonprofits to reach their goals, whether that means growing their membership, filling up their events, or finding new donors.

And they’re turning to Facebook ads because they work—often better than more traditional channels.


Boost Your Donor Retention Rates: 5 Fundamental Strategies

Year after year, campaign after campaign, nonprofits find themselves asking the same old question: why aren’t we seeing healthy retention rates?


And the Greatest Challenge for Nonprofits Is: A Lack of Time and Staff

We at GrantStation are writing and publishing the results of our most recent survey, the Spring 2018 State of Grantseeking Report series. Over the years, the most frequent response to the survey question “What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to successful grantseeking?” has remained the same. This spring, 21 percent of our nearly 5,000 respondents told us that grantseeking’s greatest challenges stem from the lack of time and staff for grantseeking activities.


Six Ways to Punch Up Your Fundraising Appeals

You could have the best online donation form in the world. But people won’t give to you unless you make a really compelling appeal that inspires them. That’s often easier said than done! When you’re a nonprofit fundraiser, it’s hard to carve out a couple of hours to craft a really great appeal.

We’re here to help. Here are six in-depth strategies you can use to create a more effective appeal.


Small, But Mighty: Seven Ways Small Nonprofits Can Boost Their Performance

On June 6, 2018, more than 500 participants (81 percent representing small nonprofits with less than $3M in annual revenue) joined SHALVA’s Board President Sara Block, Executive Director Carol Ruderman, and me in the “Small, But Mighty: Seven Ways Small Nonprofits Can Boost Their Performance” webinar, moderated by GuideStar Vice President and Fellow Ambassador Adrian Bordone. You can view the webinar recording here. 

Over the course of the 90-minute session, participants heard how the Leap Ambassadors Community collaboratively developed the Performance Imperative (PI)—a definition of high performance and seven disciplines for achieving it. In the initial hour, I interviewed SHALVA’s leadership about their journey, provided tips for less-resourced nonprofit leaders, and then responded to a rich set of questions for the final 30 minutes. 


Funding Anti-Poverty Programs

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”
—Mahatma Gandhi

No matter how you slice and dice the topic, we all know that poverty is a huge issue throughout North America. I spend a good part of each year in Mexico and further south—in Chile—and have lived in Alaska for 40 years. I know how poverty has infiltrated Native villages throughout that state and Canada. And living in the New York Harlem neighborhood for part of each year, I see the “city side’ of poverty on a daily basis. That multiple perspective moved me to write this post as well as develop a new webinar focused on how to fund anti-poverty programs in North America.


Why We Ask in Person

Let’s be honest—most people don’t like asking for money. In fact most of us don’t like asking for anything. So, why do we not only solicit individuals for charitable gifts, but do it in person?


Perspectives on Giving USA 2018

Americans achieved a philanthropic landmark in 2017: for the first time total charitable giving surpassed $400 billion in a single year. A booming stock market and a generally strong economy combined to increase Americans’ financial resources and their confidence in sharing those additional resources through their philanthropy. 


Walking the Tightrope between Sympathy and Advocacy

  • The clients of a culinary arts training program are all formerly incarcerated. It promotes itself as a “job training” program without mentioning that its clients have criminal records.
  • A legal services provider for women caught in sex trafficking helps prostitutes, without any biases about the choices they have made, but has a hard time explaining its non-judgmental stance to donors.
  • A retirement community has a foundation that raises money from residents to allow fellow residents to stay even if they have exhausted their savings. Their fundraising literature emphasizes that the fund is for people who have run into financial difficulty “through no fault of their own.

8 Ways to Grow Your Nonprofit Social Media Followers

Every single day, nonprofits use social media platforms to raise awareness for causes, collect donations, and connect with constituents. The goal is to create a blossoming online community of your nonprofit’s ideal fans who will engage with the content that you have and share it. 

Here are eight simple steps you can use to attract and engage social media followers: 


What Are the New Significant Changes Required by FASB for Nonprofit Financial Statements?

Q & A with Rick Cole, Supervising Project Manager, FASB

Nonprofits need to be aware of changes to accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) because those standards will play a significant role in how the nonprofit prepares its financial statements and how people view the nonprofit’s financial health through its financial statements.


Getting a Holistic View of Financial Health and Sustainability

Today’s funding environment is becoming increasingly competitive. Navigating to, and staying on, the pathway for success can be a confusing journey.

That’s why GuideStar partnered with Sage Intacct, the innovation and customer satisfaction leader in cloud financial management software, to launch the Nonprofit Financial Board Book. This new tool is a powerful dashboard that gives nonprofit organizations a holistic view of their financial health.


Four Foundations Launch New Course for Grantees on Understanding Advocacy and Lobbying Laws

Free, online course available on Learn Foundation Law’s redesigned website

Four leading foundations have announced the launch of a new online course to help grantees understand the laws governing their lobbying activity. The free course is designed for U.S. public charities and their equivalents who are seeking funding from a private foundation to support advocacy work. “Advocacy & Lobbying: Rules for Public Charity Grantees of Private Foundations” is available on the redesigned Learn Foundation Law website at www.learnfoundationlaw.org.


If You Live Here. Give Here.

Across the country, throughout the year, community foundations sponsor giving days to raise money for local nonprofits. Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, shares the results of Middle Tennessees May 2 giving day, The Big Payback.

EVERY person in Middle Tennessee has been touched by a nonprofit. Their lives are better for it.
Maybe they were born in a nonprofit hospital.
They were certainly educated in a nonprofit school.
Every time they go to their church, synagogue or mosque ... they reap the benefits.
When they take out a book from the library or go to the theater or rescue an animal. ...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018—for 24 hours—it was again time for Middle Tennessee to come together to pay back these nonprofits for the life-changing work they do.
I mean, would any of us want to live in a community without schools, hospitals, religious institutions, animal shelters, art museums, and the rest?


Operations Professionals, You Are Awesome AF!

Last week, I sat down with a public notary to sign some papers to open new bank accounts for partner organizations in Rainier Valley Corps’s operations support program, where we handle the back-office tasks for partner orgs so they can focus on delivering vital programs and services. We were on a time crunch, and our bank’s new rules required signatories be notarized, which has been a huge hassle. It took days of RVC’s Operations Support Program Manager, Kristine, and me running around, sending endless emails, and strategically deploying chocolate: “So ... maybe this half-eaten bar of Theo sea salt almond 70% cacao might convince you shave a day or two off the paperwork turnaround time, wink ...”

In the middle of all this paperwork and failed attempts at bribery, I realized that we really do not appreciate our operations staff as much as we should.


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