Blog

Three fundraising tips for board members

Summer is often the season for nonprofit board retreats. We have been asked to facilitate a few recently, with a focus on the role of the board in fundraising. Our clients want to know tips, best practices, and specific ways that board members can increase their involvement. With this column we share with you three suggestions you as a board member – and you collectively as a board – can take. Know your nonprofit. Before you become involved with fundraising take time to learn the nuts and bolts of the organization you serve. We know you are committed, but how much do you know about programs, advocacy, impact, staffing, revenue and partnerships? Can you quantify the organization’s impact? Do you know the environment the nonprofit is working in? Most importantly, […]

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What If

What IF? Preparing for the Future

Do you know what the future will hold? How do you plan for future opportunities and challenges that may not be known and might not materialize? A waste of time, or important work? While no one can predict the future, we can prepare for potential opportunities and challenges. Taking time with board members, volunteers, staff, and community leaders can help your organization consider future possibilities. Some changes are likely, others unknown. Think about what data you may need to review to help you understand potential changes in demographics, economics, government programs, law, policy, the arts, the environment… There’s a lot to consider. You can’t think of everything, but you can build future thinking into the life of your organization. Here are three things to consider that might happen in the […]

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A fresh approach to meetings

A fresh approach to meetings

“What another meeting? Are you sure I have to attend????” Does this sound like you? Or maybe this is something you hear when you’re trying to schedule meetings. Let these words be a thing of the past: learn how to increase the value of your meetings. Here are five things to consider. The meeting before the meeting. Have you experienced meetings that “blow up?” Surprises arise, there’s no shared consensus, you don’t get past the first agenda item, or maybe not enough people show up. Try the “meeting before the meeting” concept. Here’s how it works. As you prepare for the meeting reach out to participants in advance. If you can’t reach everyone, at least reach those who have a key role to play, or who you know may have […]

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Crisis and community – nonprofits and fundraising in the Latino community An interview with Cynthia Magallon Puljic

Crisis and community – nonprofits and fundraising in the Latino community

An interview with Cynthia Magallon Puljic Part two of a two-part series Contrary to what we may read in the papers or see on TV, Latinos are not all “illegal, uneducated, and in need of help.” Yes, there is a heart breaking crisis on the border with Mexico. Children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are being separated from their parents, the suffering is real, and the outcry is loud. Cynthia Magallon Puljic shared her experience as a Latino woman with us. “It is frightening to read the negative comments on Facebook especially when it comes to seeing children separated from their parents. Yet there are people – women – who are speaking from their hearts and not from politics. Both first lady Melania Trump and former first lady Laura […]

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Cynthia Magallon Puljic

Nonprofits and fundraising in the Latino community

Part one of a two-part series An interview with Cynthia Magallon Puljic Philanthropy is philanthropy and fundraising is fundraising, right? We’re not so sure. Wanting to know more about philanthropy and fundraising within the Latino community we talked with Cynthia Magallon Puljic to learn her thoughts and observations. Magallon Puljic has deep experience in the nonprofit sector, having worked for the YMCA for over 32 years as a vice president. She has served on the board of Latino Memphis, as President of the University District Business Alliance, and as Commissioner for Memphis City Beautiful. Other leadership roles include membership on the Deans Leadership Council for the University of Tennessee College of Health Sciences; Shelby County Greenprint Committee; Memphis MPO Active Transportation Advisory Committee; and the Shelby County Health Department MAPP […]

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Where are we going? What are we doing? The importance of roles and responsibilities.

Where are we going? What are we doing?

The importance of roles and responsibilities. A great idea can be the first step in the process of creating something wonderful. Bringing the right people together adds power to the idea. Having roles and responsibilities to guide the work can turn possibility into reality. If you want your idea to grow, be deliberate about who you invite to join your team. Think about what you are trying to achieve and what it might take to get there. Consider who has the required skills, resources, creativity and connections. Make a list. Know why you are inviting people and what you want from them. Be prepared for ideas, suggestions and leadership you may not have anticipated. Write down the role and responsibilities you want each person to claim. Share your list with […]

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Technology and communication – keep it human!

Technology and communication – keep it human!

The more things change the more they stay the same. Yes, technology is transforming all aspects of our lives. Our relationships, work environments, and community engagement are not the way they once were. Smart phones, social media, video conferences, and webinars are just a few of the new methods. If you’re young enough to feel these are the norm, keep reading… we have some tried and true methods we want to share with you. If you are “old school” we know you evaluate communication with an emphasis on traditional signals of excellence, and an understanding that it’s a new day. Here’s our bottom line: communication is at the heart of all relationships. Technology can bring everyone into the virtual room, but what’s really important is what happens once we are […]

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Nonprofits for “them” or for all of us?

Nonprofits for “them” or for all of us?

Who benefits from the nonprofit sector? Is it the poor, the hungry, the sick, the disenfranchised? Yes. And it is the wealthy, healthy, and wise! Along with government agencies, healthcare providers, grocery shoppers, opera fans, and scientists. The impact of the nonprofit sector can be felt in all aspects of our individual and collective lives. We may not always see that impact, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Direct services, advocacy, education, research, and performing arts are but a few of the types of organizations with impact that rolls, ripples and roars across our country and beyond our borders. Think about it: scholarships for college and post-graduate study support the men and women who become teachers, administrators, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and more. Gifts to a new cancer center support […]

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When is the right time for a fundraising campaign?

When is the right time for a fundraising campaign?

The development committee of your board is like the fire department. They should always be ready to fundraise. They should be planning for the next campaign, cultivating new donors, and understanding the philanthropic landscape. When the time to actively fundraise arrives they “spring into action.” It is always the right time for a campaign if your organization has done its planning, built its capacity, has volunteer leadership in place, and understands the philanthropic landscape. That is a lot of work. No organization can do it all at once and simultaneously continue operations. This is ongoing work, it takes place step-by-step, day-by-day. It is part of who you are as a nonprofit, large or small. Yes, you need to focus on your mission, vision, people, and constituency. At the same time […]

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(from left to right) Dr. Elwood L. Robinson: Chancellor, Winston-Salem State University; Dr. Karrie G. Dixon: Interim Chancellor, Elizabeth City State University; Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins: President, Bennett College; and Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.: President, Livingstone College.

Corporate leaders offer more than money

“What can we do to help?” That was the question asked by a corporate representative at a conference we attended last week. The already lively discussion quickly blossomed and increased in focus. Here are the details. We were in Winston Salem participating in the State of Black North Carolina conference. We fell in love with the people, energy, and positive, forward thinking. We were surrounded by people – including high school students and senior citizens – all of who were asking questions, offering solutions, sharing history, and strategizing. We facilitated a panel discussion on HBCUs: Their Mission, Their Value, Their Future. The panelists were Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins: President, Bennett College; Dr. Karrie G. Dixon: Interim Chancellor, Elizabeth City State University; Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.: President, Livingstone College; and […]

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