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Investing in Black-led organizations

Investing in Black-led organizations

Are all nonprofits created equally? Do they receive equal investment? Have equitable access to resources and expertise? Do we need to take a closer look at Black-Led Organizations to help ensure their sustainability and effectiveness? What role do these organizations play and why are they important? In the report Black-Led Organizations In The Bay Area: From Crisis to Change authors Constance J. Walker and Jeannine N. Walker refer to these organizations as “BLOs” and define them as “registered nonprofit organizations with Black staff and/or Board leadership.” Their report for the Bay Area Black United Fund documents and analyzes the results of surveys and focus groups that gather information about BLOs in the San Francisco Bay Area. We share the findings – and subsequent actions and investments – as an example […]

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ArtUp

Arts as a strategy for community and economic development.

What does an artist look like? What about a businessperson? Do they look the same? Different? What are they doing? How do they dress? Where do they live? Here are two more questions to consider. Which is the introvert? Which can assess the environment and create impactful solutions? We pose these questions as opposites, building on the assumption that artists and business people are of two different minds. That is the dominant message in our culture. It is “luck” that makes an artist successful in his or her lifetime, and “smarts” that lead to business success. What we are learning is that these assumptions are not necessarily true and can keep us – as a community and a country – from finding solutions to our challenges and building economic prosperity. […]

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GivingTuesday2017

Online giving and sexual harassment

As we enter the last month of the year there is a lot for nonprofits to consider, plan for, and take action on. With this column we share news updates on #GivingTuesday and sexual harassment. First up: #GivingTuesday. This new “holiday” is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is all about making financial gifts to nonprofits large and small. It is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. The early results are in. This year over 1.6 million gifts were made, raising $177 million online in 98 countries. We hope your nonprofit participated. If not, plan now for 2018. Go online to GivingTuesday.org to download tools, ideas and case studies. Schedule time and allocate resources to implement online giving and grow your […]

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Honor the people in your life.

Honor the people in your life

It’s here – the Christmas season. You cannot hide. It’s everywhere! How will you choose to participate? Will you remember the “reason for the season?” Will you remember to express joy for the “light of the world?” Will you get caught up in expectations that cannot be fulfilled? Will you try to hide from it all? We have an idea: honor the people in your life with a gift to a nonprofit. Yes, we know there are cynics out there, people who say “Oh, you didn’t want to take time to shop for something special, so you just wrote a check to a nonprofit.” Well, that is the height of cynicism. Any time you write a check there is no “just” in the sentence. It means a lot to share […]

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The economic impact of HBCUs – $14.8 billion annually

For too long historically black colleges and universities have been asked to answer for their very existence. “What is the value of an HBCU?” is an often-asked question. Is that a reasonable question? How many other educational institutions are asked to justify their very existence over and over again? “Why do we need HBCUs?”  “Isn’t that about segregation?” The United Negro College Fund has stepped to the plate and answered the question with their new report: HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This just released report documents a collective $14.8 billion economic impact. It looks at the economic impact on local communities and regions, the country as a whole, and individual students. Here are a few excerpts from the report In total, […]

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Learn how to identify your customers and how to use their perspective in defining your priorities.

What Business Are We In?

Adapted from a blog by Rick Williams of Growth Strategies, LLC – October 18, 2017 Guest Column by Lewis M. Rambo, PhD Does a nonprofit have customers? The answer is yes. Learn how to identify your customers and how to use their perspective in defining your priorities. “What business are we in? What are we selling?” These are often the starting points for a business school case study discussion. However, this may be a question that the board members of a nonprofit organization might not think to ask themselves.  Just because your organization is designated as nonprofit does not mean that it is not in business! The phrase “nonprofit” refers merely to its tax status. Inevitably, a serious examination of these questions can begin with an in-depth discussion of this […]

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Start Where You Are

Start where you are

When it comes to raising money, you can encounter objections. Some of them start with your own team! People may want to know how and why the fundraising goal was set, what the funds will be used for, and what the impact will be. They may want the most up-to-date data, coordinated strategies, and new marketing materials. While each of these are important fundraising prerequisites, they can also be excuses that keep your team from asking people to support an organization they believe in, or a university they graduated from. Fundraising can be intimidating, and fear can creep up unconsciously and sabotage the best intentions. We want you to be successful, and so we offer two tips to help you start fundraising today. First, if you work at a nonprofit […]

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Working with a coach is not a sign of weakness

Coaching is now part of American culture. On a personal level there are coaches to help us improve our nutrition, lose weight, and set goals. Coaches add value in our professional lives as executive coaches, business coaches, sales coaches and more. It is not a luxury but a necessity. We believe it is especially important in the area of fundraising. Here’s why. A fundraising coach can provide guidance, directions, suggestions and professional development for people at all levels within an organization or institution who have a responsibility for fundraising. Sometimes that person is the executive director. This can be the case when a person is new in this role and has strong content knowledge; is a former board member; or a well known community member, for example. In these cases […]

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Three things you need to know to solicit a gift for a nonprofit

Three things you need to know to solicit a gift for a nonprofit

What? Me ask someone for money? That’s just not me. From October to December nonprofits dedicate time and energy to fundraising. They reach out to supporters and ask them to give. They share their impact – what they have done this year and what they will do next year. They share stories from those whose lives have been changed as a result of donations from people just like you. Many use direct mail, social media, and/or online giving campaigns. Many also encourage their board members, donors, and volunteers to personally talk with potential donors and ask them to make a gift. For many this is the scariest aspect of fundraising. “I’ll do anything but ask.” This is something we hear from nonprofit board members and other nonprofit supporters. That’s not […]

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