Fort Meigs Assosication
Nonprofits are, at their core, champions for the best in their communities. To best assess how well they are advancing their missions, reaching target audiences, or enacting social and community change efforts, nonprofits need to gather focused and targeted data from engaged stakeholders and from those community members they seek to serve.
How you go about gathering information about or feedback from your stakeholders (participants, audience or community members, donors, or other people who are or may become connected to your nonprofit) will be specific to your organization. Your efforts should be focused on your mission, your programs, and the communities you seek to serve.
Starting with your nonprofit’s mission and vision, or the intended outcomes of a particular program, consider what questions you have that only your stakeholders can answer. Here are a few big-picture questions you might ask:
What is a Major Gift?
3 Reasons Why Size Matters
So How Big is a Major Gift for You?
Challenge Yourself Action Item
This post was originally published on AmyEisenstein.com in 2018.
Research suggests organizations supportive of diversity and inclusion tend to have higher levels of engagement and retention. For nonprofits, this results in a greater impact for their communities.
Creating a More Diverse Pool of Candidates
To learn more from Katena, join The Center for Nonprofit Resources on April 26, 2018 for her workshop titled Embracing the Power of a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace. Register at c4npr.org.
Katena Cain is a professional consultant skilled at helping diverse groups and communities think creatively and collaboratively together. She empowers people to translate conflict and differences into creative breakthrough. She is a management consultant with Nonprofit Network where is skilled in cognitive coaching, is a certified Bridges Out of Poverty trainer and is a co-creator of a statewide Diversity, Inclusion and Equity toolkit.
Nonprofit leaders and key stakeholders will spend days, weeks, even months discussing the precise wording to capture the mission and vision of an organization. They then place the mission statement carefully on the website, annual report, and other key documents.
But it often stops there.
Just making the mission statement available is not enough. To truly communicate your purpose, goals, and story to your audience, it is important to thoughtfully and purposefully create a messaging platform that inspires others to get involved. A messaging platform is a document that provides a solid foundation for how all staff, volunteers, and other key stakeholders of an organization will communicate with the public. It includes specific word choices, themes, and other guidelines for how to create messages in any circumstance. Think of it like a style guide for words.
“Well,” you might be thinking. “I have a 30-second commercial. That’ll do, right?”
To put it bluntly: no.
Thirty-second commercials are useful to a certain degree, but they often have two primary drawbacks:
To discuss your nonprofit in a way that is compelling, it is important to tailor your message to your target audience while also having a number of talking points to call on in conversation. Developing a messaging platform connects your (often jargon-y) mission statement to regular interactions you have with potential donors, volunteers, or the people you serve. It also provides your key stakeholders with consistent messaging to use whatever the circumstance.
So, what should be in a messaging platform?
Taking the time to create a messaging platform is well worth the effort. The result is consistent messaging that you can build upon to create case statements, grant proposals, fundraising campaigns, and yes—even talking points for those networking conversations.
To learn more from Tana, join us for her upcoming workshop on April 12, 2018 titled " Compelling Messages for Nonprofits." Click here to learn more and register.
Tana M. Schiewer, PhD, is the CEO/President of Schiewer Consulting LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in helping nonprofit organizations and small businesses establish operations, fundraising plans, and communications that lead to success.
In her recent workshop, titled Operational Excellence, Gretchen Upholt from FMA shared with us a variety of resources. An organizational assessment of internal controls was one of these resources. We thought it was too good not to share!
Click here to download this incredible resource.
In addition to all of the information Gretchen Upholt, from FMA, shared with us in her recent workshop, she also provided us with some incredible resources. One of these resources is a website map of a website connected to the Wallace Foundation: www.strongnonprofits.org.
To access this website map click here.
How confident are you in your organization's financial management practices? In her recent workshop, Gretchen Upholt shared a resource with us to reflect on the financial management practices of organizations.
To access this tool click here.
It’s important to know what kind of Lean Six Sigma project you’re considering. These are 5 classic project types to help you decide. If you’re looking to conduct a Green Belt project, then you should be working on a Process Improvement Project.
Our training partner Go Lean Six Sigma can show you how to decide. Click here to learn more.
Featured below is a success story from the nonprofit sector demonstrating how the LSS approach helped one organizations increase services to the Homeless. Click here to watch the short video. A transcript of the video and the slides are also available by scrolling down the page.
Our training partner Go Lean Six Sigma has many tools and resources on their website. www.goleansixsigma.com
We asked each expert to select the platform they preferred to present their fresh content. Some were guest bloggers on Gearing Up, the C4NPR blog. Others chose to digitally record a C4NPR Chat.
When we stood back at the end of the year and evaluated this body of knowledge in its entirety, we realized we had the opportunity to curate an incredible volume of thought leadership.
Click here to download your copy. It's a treasure trove of ideas, concepts and tools.
Applications Now Being Accepted For 2018 C4NPR Nonprofit LEAN Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Program©
This program specifically focuses on LSS work in nonprofits and enables you to complete a LEAN Six Sigma process improvement project from start to finish. Green Belts carry more recognition and can deliver measurable, sustainable improvements by finding the root causes of problems and streamlining processes.
If your organization believes any of the three myths below, you may be struggling financially but you don’t know why.
Myth One: Endowments are the best route to financial sustainability.
Endowments are typically seen as a safe solution for nonprofits looking to bolster financial sustainability. Funds in an endowment are permanently restricted and invested to produce an ongoing income stream for an organization —
It may be difficult—if not impossible—for the average community-based nonprofit to raise the funds necessary to generate the required income on an annual basis. There is a better way.
These funds can be put in the same accounts and earn the same interest as endowment funds but these types of resources provide more flexibility, which is critical for leaders of ever-changing organizations. Rather than raised in a full scale capital campaign, operating reserves are either built up slowly over time—by generating modest operating surpluses each year—or, increasingly, the result of foundation grants targeted for the purpose of building a reserve.
Myth Two: Nonprofits can’t make a profit
We meet many nonprofit leaders who subscribe to the general sentiment that nonprofits should never make a “profit” on the services they provide. Not only can nonprofits take in more money than they spend, they must do so to be sustainable over time.
The first step toward building a financial reserve is to create an organizational culture that accepts and strives to generate operating surpluses.
Myth Three: Building reserves is not a priority for organizations with chronic cash challenges.
For organizations facing chronic cash flow shortages, building an operating reserve can feel not only daunting, but perhaps even unrealistic.
It is possible for a cash-strapped organization to come to an understanding of what needs to be done to restore stability and commit to a rigorous financial fitness plan.
Operating reserves — liquid savings readily available for opportunities and emergencies alike — can be a game changer for nonprofit organizations.
Join Gretchen for one or both of her upcoming workshops on March 6, Telling Your Organization's Financial Story (9:30am-4:30pm) and March 7. Operational Excellence (9:30am-12:30pm). Visit c4npr.org to learn more!
Gretchen Upholt, an experienced staff and program manager, has expertise in training, capacity building, research, and program and volunteer management. Before joining the FMA team, Gretchen served as the head of the Volunteer Department at the Thabyay Education Network in Thailand. In that role Gretchen developed a strategic plan to improve monitoring and evaluation and program management in her department. Gretchen holds a Masters of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, where she was a Head Teaching Colleague for the core finance and management classes.
Heather is responsible for the overall management and operations of The Center, and technical assistance
supporting area nonprofits.
419-241-9513 Ext. 104
Lexi manages our signature certificate programs and all of our professional development offerings. She is also available to help answer questions about our do-it-yourself Job Center and Marketplace.
419-241-9513 ext. 124