With the rapid growth of collective impact, we are seeing promising approaches to tackling the nation's mounting problems. Read about 5 lessons for driving large-scale social change through collaboration from a CEO of 20 years working with the world's largest foundations.
An aggregation of the best and most interesting techniques to motivate employees. Learn how to build morale, encourage brainstorming, nurture strength, keep employees focused, how to create an environment your workers won't want to leave and more.
How will our jobs be different in 2013 and what trends will we need to know about? Read this quick list of 5 and make sure they are on your radar so you don't miss out on the potential they can offer your organization.
The long awaited update to idealware's "A Consumer's Guide to Low Cost Content Management Systems" is now available. If you are shopping for a low cost CMS, this will give you what you need to be a smart consumer. If you're not shopping, this report can help you better understand content managerment systems and their functionality.
Learn how moving away from a board matrix might help strengthen your board. This article will show how you don't need to treat people like interchangable parts for your organization to run like a well oiled machine.
Here's a lesson from which we all could learn. When trying to create change, they key to success frequently lies in strategic collaboration. This article will show you how that collaboration, though sometimes challenging, can also be both exciting and rewarding.
When board members oversteps their authority, tactfully reining them back isn't always easy. This article contains great advice on how to do just that, giving you information you'll need to be a great leader.
A recent study from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative shows more successfull fundraising among organizations with boards that help in a wide range of solicitations. This article provides key take-aways from the study and a link to the full report.
Selecting a membership database can often be overwhelming with so many different choices available in today's market. This article and tutorial will walk you step-by-step through the process of assessing your needs, exploring your options, and implementing a database system that works for you.
While there is great pressure for nonprofits to merge, especially from funders in a tight economy, mergers often require new money, as well as significant time for board members and staff to conduct due diligence. This article examines several other models of partnership that can be more efficient and less stressful.
Ready to show off how much good you do? Looking for a new way to engage donors? This article stresses the importance of performance information and will show you how to track and report it in a way that will show the true size of your organization's impact.
When nonprofits scrape by, devoting almost all resources to programs and services, we often label them as "efficient." But are they as efficient as they could be if they spent more on overhead? This article argues that NPOs could maximize the good they do by changing the way they do business.
Do you segment your constituent base? The simple strategies laid out in this article can help you tailor your messaging to specific groups which will help your organization develop a more meaningful connection with supporters.
"Collective Impact" has become a popular buzzword in nonprofit circles, but what exactly is it, how is it created, and why are people latching onto the idea? Recently the White House Council for Community Solutions organized a discussion to delve into these questions. Here is the transcript.
Finding and hiring new staffmembers doesn't have to be a stress-inducing endeavor. By following the simple steps in this article, you can bring on board high quality employees in a way that minimizes anxiety for both you and them.
Network weavers, often the unsung heroes of the nonprofit sector, forge the connections that allow our organizations to thrive. Whether online or offline, these individuals are our best ambassadors, fundraisers, and recruiters. Be sure to listen to this podcast for great advice on cultivating a culture of networking in your own office.
You may be collecting the data that your funders want to see, but are you collecting the data that will really help you grow? Remember, tracking your progress provides you with the information you need to maximize your impact on your community. If you're only looking at your metrics when you need funding, you're probably missing a great opportunity for organizational improvement.
Wondering how nonprofit management has changed, and will continue to change, with the shifting economy? This article outlines strategies used to address changes in funding brought about by the challenging economic environment, noting: “While organizations will certainly need to include new options in their tool kit of responses, the tried and true will continue to be important.”
In order for organizations to transition smoothly from one executive director to another, a high level of board involvement is required. As tempting as it may be for board members to step back after the candidate selection process is complete, the ideas listed in this article show the importance of their continued mentorship for new EDs.
What does great leadership look like; why do we appreciate it and how do we develop it? Though many styles of leadership exist, most truly inspiring and successful leaders draw largely on the twelve criteria listed in this article, showing that leadership is, indeed, an art.
Do you spend most of your time reacting to problems and issues, with little time left for your actual job? Being proactive about your job and prioritizing can help prevent issues and problems from occurring in the first place -- learn tips on how to make this happen.
Does your organization have a clear understanding of the leadership capacities it will need in three to five years in order to achieve its strategic goals? If your organization does not, you are not alone - over 60% feel they don't. The three steps outlined here can help you systematically understand your future needs.
Philadelphia Social Innovations Young Professionals Editorial Contributors
As one generation retires and another enters the workforce, the needs of the nonprofit sector naturally change. In this environment, how can we leverage the strengths of different generational perspectives to address our shared challenges? Try reading this article for advice on how to best address this change.
What are the six powerful practices of high impact nonprofits and how can they be applied to your organization? This article illustrates how lessons learned from some of the nations largest and most successful nonprofits can be adapted and scaled to help the vast majority of smaller nonprofits achieve the success they want.
If you work for one of the many nonprofits unsure of how to find and train their next generation of leaders, Bridgestar has a plan to help you. This comprehensive road map will guide you through leadership development and succession planning in a way that will help ensure the longevity of your organization. Be sure to click the link at the bottom of the summary for a PDF of the full report.
While nonprofits spend enormous amounts of time fundraising, many have difficulty securing the money they will need over the next five years, even though their vision for how their programs will evolve is often sharp and clear. A well-thought-out approach to raising revenue that fits your organization can solve this problem.
Can collaboration enhance the sustainability of your nonprofit organization? What can be done to maximize the benefits it has on your organization, clients, and community? I f done properly, collaboration can move your organization toward greater mission fulfillment and enhanced long-term sustainability.
Searching for good models of collaboration? Consider checking out the Nonprofit Collaboration Database, now hosted out the Foundation Center website. You can follow the live twitter feed or use a variety of filters to search over 670 examples of successful collaboration.
Grantmakers increasingly seek to collaborate with one another to achieve greater impact. By doing so, they can leverage each others dollars, experience, and points of view. Check out these two reports and find examples of how funders have collaborated to achieve collective impact.
Many high performers would rather do the wrong thing well than do the right thing poorly. This article offers a powerful message on self reflectiion and taking your professional growth to the next level.
According to a recent report from the British National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts, "truly transformation public innovation requires creative decommissioning: actively challenging incumbent service models and mindsets to invest properly in new approaches. As public resources are increasingly precious, creative decommissioning will become a critical capability for public services."
Board composition matrices can sometimes focus our attention on what people are, rather than on what the organization needs board members to do. By replacing your matrix with a set of simple questions, there's a chance that you could improve not only your board's recruitment and retention, but also the overall effectiveness of your organization.
Whether you know it or not, most of you have developed a "theory of change" for your organization. It's more or less, the objectives you've set for your organization that you need to achieve to be successful. Using the results of a 10 year study, six major pitfalls were identified, that if avoided, can help make your theory of change more actionable. Is your theory of change actionable?
Community involvement and collaboration is critical in tackling complex social problems. This Bridgespan guide is intended to highlight approaches of existing collaboratives that focus on successful community participation.
Do you know how to identify which eventgoers have the potential to become generous long-term donors? Hear how the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute figures out which event participants are charitably inclined and have the resources to give.
How do you build and execute an effective social media strategy? Read Steinar's blog post OR join him in person at his training this Thursday to learn how. Visit our training page for more information.
Large businesses frequently receive requests for donations, event sponsorships, and other forms of financial support. To give your request the best possible chance of being granted, be sure you know the best, and proper, way to approach your potential benefactor.
A key ingredient to increasing a nonprofit organization's community impact is building the strongest possible team. Having the right people with the right skills helps the organization achieve its strategic goals. Critical to this team are an organization's board members. In this article, you will learn how to match potential board members with your organizations needs, goals, and culture.
Board evaluations of executive directors differ from all other performance evaluations in an organization, and these differences factored into the reasons why only 45% of executive directors received reviews last year. While the differences are crucial, they need not become stumbling blocks!
Though nonprofit boards can provide excellent financial oversight, this oversight must be coupled with an eye to sustainability and long term advancement for any organization to achieve their maximum potential. Boards must be composed of financially literate members, engaging in real-time analysis and focusing on answering the complex business questions that their organizations face today.
The ability to look back on our decisions and carefully calculate their impact often provides invaluable information, but sometimes, we don't have the time for lengthy evaluations. If you're less worried about the next cycle of a program and more worried about making sure that this one succeeds, you might want to consider using real time evaluation to guide your decision making process. To learn more about it and see if it might work for you, be sure to check out this article.
Fundraising begins with building relationships, and the best donors are usually those who understand your cause. If you find yourself feeling awkward or uncomfortable when you solicit donations, this article is for you! Be sure to check out this article for tips on how to engage and cultivate donors who passionately support your organization.
Using free programs like Google Analytics to track information about your website vistors can provide you with lots of great data, but sometimes that data can be a little overhelming. Don't worry! You probably don't need to focus on all of it. Be sure to read this article to learn where the most important information for your organization can be found.
You want an annual report that is both informative AND engaging. If you're having trouble finding this balance, you may want to consider changing the format of your report. In this article, you'll find lots of good information on different types of reports and how you can use them to achieve your goals. Don't miss out!
While it's always good to have tools that inform people outside your organization, the success you track can do much more than help you gain new funding; it can help you maximize your potential to do good! For more info, be sure to check out this great article on the importance of evaluation.
Rather than using your brand primarily as a fundraising tool, why not develop a broader approach. Through strategic management of your brand, you can create both greater social impact and tighter organizational cohesion! Read this article to find out more!
In an age of near instant communication, leaders don't (or at least shouldn't) lead alone. The opportunities for innovation through collaboration increase every day, and with a growing number of resources at their disposal, nonprofit leaders have the potential to greatly increase their organization's level of impact. For any organization interested in learning how communication can lead and drive social change, this is a must read article!
Impact evaluations -- typically, third-party studies that seek to prove a program model’s effectiveness -- seem to be all the rage in social sector circles these days, but do you REALLY need one? Check out this article to see if the time is right for your organization to begin the process and to learn what to expect along the way.
Every donor has a different reason for giving, so every time you ask for something, it's crucial that you personalize your approach! Read this article for five excellent tips on how to have better conversations with your donors!
What can nonprofit leaders do when it becomes clear that a shift in culture is needed to realize organizational goals or increase impact? Four of the most important and effective steps a leader can take are described in this article! Be sure to read them over!