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Nonprofit funding and COVID-19 – three things to do now

As we continue to live through this COVID19 pandemic we must ensure the health and continuity of our nonprofits. These organizations and institutions are the infrastructure of our communities and have been built over years and often decades. They are rich in community knowledge, networked across the generations and neighborhoods, and often connected to like-minded organizations across the country and internationally.Last week we offered suggestions for what do to now. Here are three more. Make sure your organization is aware of funding opportunities that are – or will become – available. Funding is opening up at all levels. Check websites for government, community foundations, nonprofit support organizations, and philanthropy networks. Be prepared to clearly and concisely define your immediate needs. Be aware that there is and will be funding for […]

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What to do now – don’t lose your momentum

In this time of uncertainty, we suggest taking time to look to the future and to begin planning for what will come next. We know that things will change, and past crises have taught us that some nonprofit organizations and institutions will recover more swiftly than others. We share what we have learned about how to position your nonprofit for recovery. Now is the time to assess where you are and take advantage of those things that you do well and make the necessary adjustments to maintain momentum as you move forward. Engage your board, staff, and volunteers. Use video technology – and the phone – to bridge social distances and strategize. The following are a few things your team can focus on for immediate and mid-term fundraising: Stay in […]

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Is Your Board Engaged?

Is Your Board Engaged?

In our decades of work with nonprofits we have worked with boards of all sizes, from large institutions to small grassroots organizations. We have worked with board presidents, members of development committees, and everything in between. This experience has taught us some valuable lessons about the crucial role of the board. Here’s one key lesson: All organizations benefit from having an engaged board. When your board is engaged it sets a tone and direction that is inspiring to all members of the organization. Engaged board members attend meetings and show up prepared and on time. They serve as advocates for the institution, sharing their knowledge of its vision, mission, activities, future directions, and impact. They understand the challenges facing the institution and are creative in helping find solutions and attract […]

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Help spread the word

Help spread the word

Talk really is cheap! It doesn’t cost you anything to talk with your friends about the nonprofits you are involved with. Most nonprofits do not have the funds nor the resources to help get the word out about their organization, the impact they make, and the needs they fill. This can be remedied by board members, volunteers, clients, and friends who take the time and effort to talk about the good works and the important role of the organization. People trust the people they know and admire: use that trust to share information about nonprofits you are involved with. When people ask, “what have you been up to?” you can answer with responses that let others know you are involved with a nonprofit and that it means something to you. […]

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HBCU alumni by birth

HBCU alumni by birth

Claim your birthright as an honorary HBCU alumnus, and make an investment in the sustainability and growth of our colleges and universities. As African Americans we are all responsible for the health and sustainability of our historically Black colleges and universities. We are standing on the shoulders of the students that these institutions supported, and this touches every Black person in America. Our civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., preachers, teachers, artists, scientists, doctors, nurses, social workers, engineers, and politicians from prior generations were educated, mentored, encouraged, prepared, and intellectually challenged by our HBCUs. Show your pride We are now at a point in our history where we can no longer enjoy the luxury of showing pride as alumni of specific institutions. We have to reflect […]

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Your first 90 days on the job

Your first 90 days on the job

The first three months can make you or break you as a professional who is entering the job market, or changing from one organization to another. Congratulations, you got the job. Now all eyes are on you. Quickly build other people’s confidence in you by demonstrating your competence, professionalism, and knowledge. Consider the following as you plan your first 90 days. Learn how you will be evaluated. Gain a clear understanding of your job description and what is expected of you. If your job description is vague or does not include evaluation criteria, ask what you will be measured against and what the quantitative and qualitative expectations are. Ensure you will meet weekly with your supervisor, and ask about upcoming important dates such as board meetings, special events, and grant […]

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The cost of noncompliance: Read the fine print before you start spending that grant money.

The cost of noncompliance

Great news – you just received a grant to help advance the work of your nonprofit! You’re excited and ready to get to work. But wait – do you know all that lies ahead? Receiving a grant is the start of a process that entails a lot of work. Yes, you have to complete the activities and meet the deliverables detailed in your grant request. But you also have to meet the funder’s reporting requirements. These can be simple and straightforward or time consuming and require additional work. We suggest carefully reading the letter that accompanies your grant. Record the due dates for reports or updates required by the funder. Include the types of information required. For example, does the funder want a narrative describing the work in progress or […]

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Is being the best kept secret a badge of honor?

Is being the best kept secret a badge of honor?

“We’re a best kept secret,” is one of the messages we hear from nonprofit leaders, staff, and volunteers. They can tell us their history, impact, and unique programs. Some know they are an economic driver; others pride themselves on how they have provided opportunities and scholarships that transformed a generation. Still others know they offer a needed service, even if others aren’t aware. They’re not in it for the “fame and glory:” rather they serve and advocate for their communities because they know it is the right thing to do. With this column we seek to separate bragging, beating your chest, being obnoxiously boastful, and hogging the spotlight from promoting your organization. Promoting your nonprofit is an important part of the fundraising process.  It is hard to ask people to […]

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Thoughts on diversity and equity

Thoughts on diversity and equity

Diversity has been a “buzz word” and a priority for a long time now. But what does it mean, and does diversity impact or change structural racism? Let’s start with diversity. To what extent is there diversity across your organization as a whole, and to what extent is there diversity within the different aspects of your organization? Reflect on expressions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, country of origin, educational attainment, and physical ability. Is there one “type” of person that dominates the organization? Is there an appreciation for those outside the dominant group? Ask, “How welcoming and affirming are we?” How would you assess diversity across your organization? Board of trustees or board of directors. Does everyone look and sound alike? Who does our […]

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Nominate your board member for the 2020 All Everything Honor Roll

Nominate your board member for the 2020 All Everything Honor Roll

It’s time to honor board members who help make your nonprofit better through their leadership and generosity. Here’s how to do it! Engaged board members are at the heart of a nonprofit’s vitality and success. Board members have a unique role to play and we believe it is important to honor those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help the nonprofits they are affiliated with to sustain and grow. All readers are offered the opportunity to nominate a board member to become part of the All Everything 2020 Honor Roll. All those who make a nomination will receive a certificate they can share with their nominee. Nominees for the All Everything 2020 Honor Roll are individuals who, over the past year, have made a difference […]

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