GuideStar Blog

The Soft Underbelly of Nonprofit Collaboration

It seems like everybody is talking about how important is for organizations to work together. Foundations, who are seeing a growing demand for their resources but want to see a greater impact for their donations, encourage organizations to work collaboratively around key issue areas, geography, and target groups. Elected officials like to see stakeholders come together to tackle problems that plague the community. After all, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and probably several villages to save the world. Organizations work collaboratively to share the workload; strengthen organizational capacity; share lessons learned; and create synergies around new and existing programs.


Program Evaluation That Works

When you’re evaluating your nonprofit programs, you need not just good data, but data that is relevant to your success.


Connecting with Community Foundations: Your Partner Next Door

My colleague Jillian Rosen and I were both at grantseeking organizations before we joined the community foundation field. Having engaged with many other foundations during that time, I learned to deeply value the nature of community foundations—they are inherently more accessible, engaged, and respectful than many other institutional funders. It’s why we’re both so grateful to be working at a community foundation and pleased to present some background and tips for how YOU can engage YOUR community foundation.


9 Ways to Engage and Motivate Your Board Members to Raise Money

Recently I provided a webinar for Candid (formerly GuideStar and Foundation Center) called How to Engage Board Members in Fundraising in 15 Minutes Per Month (recording available here). There were a number of great questions at the end of the webinar.

I promised the attendees I would respond in a blog post. This is that post, and I thought my regular readers (like you) would benefit from the answers, too.


To Take Notes in Meetings with Donors or Not …That Is the Question!

And the answer is ...

In almost every case I think it’s totally fine to take notes. I have taken notes for 35 years, in more than 3,000 meetings with donors. Not in every meeting, but in the vast majority.


Replacing an Iconic Nonprofit Leader

A not-for-profit organization is blessed when its executive director or CEO stays for a lengthy tenure. A leader who stays for 10, 15, or even 20 years usually means stability, respect, and success around the mission. If wildly successful or even the founder of the organization, the individual may be deemed an icon.


The One Action Needed to be a Successful Fundraiser

Markita Andrews was thirteen when she was interviewed on NBC morning television. At the time, she was the all-time champion seller of Girl Scout cookies—eleven thousand boxes in a year. 


Pay Attention to the Information Reported on Form 990—It Could Alert You to the Fact That Something Is Terribly Wrong

The college admissions cheating scandal is all over the news, and rightfully so. This story involves the rich and famous, some of the most elite universities and colleges in the nation, and a nonprofit organization that allegedly engineered more than 800 bribes and other initiatives to benefit the children of its wealthy “donors.” The scandal involved everything from cheating on college admission tests to bribing athletic departments to giving students sports scholarships that they did not deserve.


The Value of ROI Analysis in Technology Grant Writing

Want to write a technology grant application that is a no-brainer for a funder to approve? Then don’t forget to explain the project’s return on investment (ROI) in the proposal.


7 Essential Tips for Growing Your Nonprofit Meetup

You have an excellent idea for your nonprofit to help those in need. It’s a series of meetups to help your target audience in some way. 

You’ve worked endlessly on designing the schedule. You did your outreach. 

You’re all ready to go. 

But—on the day of the event, there are more empty chairs than occupied ones. 

What went wrong? The event is free, and it offers an excellent service. Is there a way to grow your audience to ensure seats won’t be empty again? 

Absolutely