Conflict of Interest in Nonprofit Engagement

Given a nonprofit’s purpose to fulfill a community need, it is essential to remain in touch with evolving needs of the community.  The most direct touch point is engagement with clients and constituents. But experience has taught that this is easier said than done.

Is the nonprofit looking just for information? For engagement? For partnership? For ownership and control? It is […]

Are You Guilty of Trickle-Down Community Engagement?

In Seattle, if you’re a person of color and you walk down a dark alley late at night and you feel like you’re being followed, it’s probably someone trying to do some community engagement: “Psst…hey buddy—Go Hawks!—you want to attend a summit? It’s about economic inequity. We need your voice.” “Daddy, I’m scared!” “Stay calm, Timmy; don’t look him in […]

The Nonprofit Branding Bandwagon

I first wrote about the branding bandwagon back in 2007, when it seemed that every large nonprofit I knew was  spending serious money — and I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars —  for corporate style tag lines, logos, commercial partnerships and strategies that they thought would attract media coverage and recognition from potential donors. At the time I complained […]

Wells Fargo Donates $1.1 Billion to Nonprofits Over the Past Four Years

In 2011, Wells Fargo set a goal to donate $1 billion to nonprofit groups by 2017. The company achieved that goal three years early.

“Caring for our communities and helping individuals and families is one of the most important things we do at Wells Fargo and is a strong part of our culture,” said Jon Campbell, head of Wells Fargo Government […]

It’s Time for Us Nonprofit Professionals To Take A Break!

My fellow nonprofit professionals, I hope you are reading this from home, because I am calling for our sector to take a long and much needed break. If you are at the office, I want you to put down your pen, save your files, turn off your computer, and take a deep breath. Listen to me: You need to rest […]

Is The Cost of College Killing The Nonprofit Sector?

From recent, extensive media coverage, most people know that the cost of a college education is increasing. That’s an understatement when one looks at the actual numbers. According to the Institute for Higher Eduction Policy the cost of college has increased a whopping 500% since 1985. Compare that to the increase in medical costs over the same period — 286% […]

Nonprofit Crowdfunding Risks

The popularity of nonprofit crowdfunding is undeniable. Last year alone, it is estimated that $5 billion was raised through global crowdfunding with about 30 percent of that total going to social causes. While that figure pales in comparison to the approximately $300 billion raised by charities in the US over the same time period, the number of donation and reward-based […]

10 Steps for Writing a Kick-Ass Nonprofit Organizational Budget

Every year, at about this time, I start having night terrors. A lot of this is due to watching Game of Thrones and seeing all my favorite characters killed to death in gruesome ways. But it is also because VFA’s fiscal year ends in June, and we must go through the annual budgeting process, which is about as much fun […]

A Bitcoin for Your Thoughts: Virtual Nonprofit Donations

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an individual or group that uses the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.  It is a virtual currency, more properly termed digital crypto-currency to denote that it exists only in digital form and is encrypted for security. It allows people to send money anywhere in the world for free. Totally decentralized, it completely bypasses the […]

How To Prepare For A Fundraising Lunch

You have a lunch appointment with a prospective donor, but how do you make sure it’s a success?

 

While you can’t make your prospect’s decision for them, following this fundraising lunch checklist will help them be as open as possible to contributing to your nonprofit:

Know the prospect:
Take some time to do your research. Figure out who the person is, what motivates […]

Why Nonprofits Should Consider A Revenue-Driven Model

In a recent article in The New Zealand Herald, “Why Does Social Enterprise Matter?”, The Akina Foundation explores why now is a better time than ever for nonprofit social organizations to shift to self-sustaining (or even profitable) business models. We couldn’t agree more. Our organization, The Global Good Fund, accelerates the development of young social entrepreneurs through a 15-month Fellowship. […]

What Is A Nonprofit Limited Liability Company?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a legal form of enterprise, owned by one or more members, that may be organized and operated for a wide variety of purposes, including charitable purposes. One of the major advantages of an LLC is the limited liability protection it offers to its members. Members are generally not liable for the debts and obligations of […]

In Search of The Hybrid Ideal

In the first large-scale, quantitative study of nascent social entrepreneurs, researchers from Harvard Business School and Echoing Green examine the rise of hybrid organizations that combine aspects of nonprofits and for-profits and the challenges hybrids face as they attempt to integrate traditionally separate organizational models.

 

We expect this hybridization movement to be slow and gradual, as existing organizations are already embedded […]

Dear Businesses, Stop Thinking You Are Better than Nonprofits

My friends from the business community. I love you guys. Without you, the world wouldn’t have smart phones. And 70% dark chocolate. And airplanes. And a bunch of medicines and technology that save lives. And clothing. And running water inside our houses. And these giant flat-panel TVs that display all my favorite shows from Netflix. And kitchen gadgets like the […]