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Jasmine Marrow

Recent Posts by Jasmine Marrow:

One Year of GuideStar Platinum: Lessons Learned and Plans for the Future

This month we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of our Platinum Seal of Transparency. Platinum is GuideStar’s highest level of recognition and an opportunity for nonprofits to share their progress in a meaningful way.


The Nonprofit Summer Games Closing Ceremonies


Thank you so much to all of the nonprofits that played in the first-ever Nonprofit Summer Games! We hope you all enjoyed participating as much as we enjoyed hosting.

Now for the official announcement of which organization(s) won each round, along with other key highlights from the games. Congratulations to all! (Note: all winners were selected at random from the participants in their events.)


Win Up to $500 in the Nonprofit Summer Games


You don't have to travel to Rio this summer in order to go for the Gold—or Platinum. Here's how to win big by representing your organization in GuideStar's first-ever Nonprofit Summer Games!


Green 2.0 Reports Lack of Transparency about Diversity by Major Environmental Funders, While Many Smaller Foundations Disclosed Data

Green 2.0 announced that one year from their initial call for transparent diversity data – and months after the Presidents of the Bullitt, Ford, Hewlett, Kresge, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Wilburforce Foundations jointly echoed the need for data sharing by environmental funders – a majority of the 40 biggest funders of environmental work declined to share diversity data on their GuideStar profiles. Green 2.0 reports that many funders outside of the top 40 disclosed their employee and board information. This summer, the six foundation presidents co-signed a letter urging their peers to upload data by August 15. The deadline was extended to September 15, 2015.


Want to Increase Nonprofit Funding? Start by Increasing your Transparency

On July 16th, GuideStar partnered with GlobalGiving, Foundant Technologies, and The California Endowment for a live demonstration on how nonprofits can update their GuideStar Nonprofit Profile and give their organization the potential to increase its funding through major foundations, corporate giving portals, and individual donors. In case you missed it, click here to download the full recording and slides from this webinar. As a follow up, here our panelists answer some of the most popular questions attendees asked during and after the event!

What are the “red flags” that grantmakers look out for when reviewing applications?
There are many and I think you should gather feedback from multiple funders on this subject but I’ll focus on one that I hear over and over again. Grantmakers typically want to hear your story in very concise terms with limited “fluff”. Grantmakers receive many applications and it is a tremendous amount of work to read and evaluate each proposal so there’s a reason why they do things like place character limits on each question on their online grant application forms. There are exceptions, but most grantmakers view lengthy applications with supporting materials such as multimedia, annual reports and copies of the invitation from the annual fundraising gala as a burden that costs them valuable time. Focus your efforts on telling the concise story of why you are the most qualified organization to deliver results that will maximize the use of the grantmaker’s funding. - Daren Nordhagen

How can nonprofits work together even though they're, in a sense, in competition with one another?
Great question and you're right, nonprofits definitely compete for the same funds. But this doesnt mean they don't see value in collaborating and it's not unusual for organizations to group together in a single proposal to a large donor. When it comes to fundraising on the GlobalGiving platform, we have seen different organizations raising funds for the same program when they are all involved in that program. But when it comes to sharing individual donor bases, this is less common. Individual donor relationships are really difficult to cultivate and organizations rarely share this information with others. - Linda Oatley

What’s one top way to attract the attention of grantors?
Share you stories of success AND failure. Everyone rushes to tell grantmakers about their success stories and it is critical that you show how you deliver successful outcomes. However, I believe that the willingness to share your failures and lessons learned along the way can help you stand out from the crowd. Sharing such stories helps demonstrate that you’re comfortable in your own skin and have gained valuable experience in the causes that you serve. -DN

Any tips on how to find new sources of revenue besides government and foundation grants?
Crowdfunding is a great source of revenue that doesn't involve grants. Alternatively, organizations that have the right set-up can charge membership fees or have revenue-generating activities. But the alternative we talk about most is crowdfunding (and GlobalGiving of course!) to fill the revenue gap. - LO

What advice do you have for nonprofits where transparency is not a true value of fellow officers?
In the age of digital information, a story is being told about your organization whether or not you choose to participate. Grantmakers and other donors have access to a wealth of public information as well as the social media dialogue about all nonprofits. At a minimum, nonprofits should be monitoring these channels to protect their brand from negative dialogue. More strategic thinking nonprofits should be leveraging their public data profiles to create positive momentum for their image. - DN

What are some tools to increase public/stakeholder understanding of organization's role/benefit to community?
Definitely check out Nesta's DIY toolkit and Feedback Store for tools to collect and analyze community feedback. GlobalGiving also just launched GG Rewards (learn more here.) We’re using gamification, incentives, and behavioral economics to encourage organizations to listen to the people they serve, to act on what they hear by testing new ideas, and to learn faster and more efficiently. (We call this the Cycle of Progress: Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.) - LO

What do grantmakers really look for in the finances of NPOs in order to make a decision to fund or not?
Each funder has different criteria by which they assess nonprofits. Ultimately, funders want to make sure that their investments are not just programmatically sound, but financially sound as well. Here are a few of the items The California Endowment reviews when considering funding requests. These items don’t necessarily mean we opt out of funding, but rather consider how our funding will empower the organization to success. Funders can look at the diversity of an organization’s funding stream. Are there multiple sources of funding or a single large funder over an extended period of time. Does the organization have audited financials? If so, are there any red flags, legal expenses, unpaid payroll taxes. How much operating reserve is available? - DE

Any tips for how nonprofits can attract new funders?
Complete your GuideStar profile as a first step and utilize your existing funding sources to help you make new connections! - DE

Thank you to Linda Oatley, Director, Partner Services Team, GlobalGiving, Dolores Estrada, Manager, Grants Administration, The California Endowment, and Daren Nordhagen, PResident, Foundant Technologies for partnering with GuideStar in this webinar and answering the preceding attendee questions. Want more GuideStar Webinars? Click here to register for our upcoming Impact Call August 10, 2015 at 2pm ET. See you there!


16 Top Nonprofits Working in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector Identified by 82 Experts

“[O]nce we can secure access to clean water and to adequate sanitation facilities for all people, irrespective of the difference in their living conditions, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won." -- Dr Lee Jong-Wook, Director-General, World Health Organization.


For Women’s History Month, Philanthropedia Celebrates 6 Top Women’s Issues Nonprofits


Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, public health epidemic, and major barrier to solving global challenges such as extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS, and famine. According to the United Nations, up to seventy percent of women experience some form of violence in their lifetime. Although methods vary, violence against women has always been, and continues to be, a global epidemic that knows no national or cultural barriers. The most prevalent forms of violence are rape and domestic abuse. However, practices such as female infanticide, acid throwing, dowry deaths, bride burnings, and honor killings are still widely performed around the globe today.

While the physical effects of violence are devastating in their own right, the emotional and psychological toll is even more detrimental. But violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential.


Philanthropedia Research Results: 18 Top Bay Area Nonprofits Working in Climate Change

 

Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved. It deserves to be a huge priority.  --Bill Gates

New Rankings: Top 16 Nonprofits Working in the Field of People with Disabilities

Collectively, people with disabilities constitute the nation’s largest minority group, and the only minority group of which any of us can become a member at any time. What’s more, people with disabilities are among the most marginalized groups in the world.

-- Disability Funders Network


Top 18 Childhood Health & Nutrition Nonprofits Identified by the Experts