Category Archives: Nonprofit

Grants Information

Looking for grant resources?  Check out the University of the District of Columbia (UDC).  Click here to read the news article.


Small NPOs and the pressures they face

The Baring Foundation of London, England has established a panel on the independence of the voluntary sector.  They have invited smaller charities to speak on the pressures they face in this economic climate.  Here is the link to the article.  So what do you think?  Do we need such a panel?   Are you a small nonprofit?  What pressures do you face?

Starting a nonprofit? Do your homework first.

Currently there are about 1.3 million nonprofit organizations in the United States.  That’s a lot of groups looking for funds.  So before you start your nonprofit, do some research first.  Here are 3 questions you need to answer:

1. Is there a need for your nonprofit?

2. Is there another nonprofit organization you can work with?

3.  Is there funding for your programs?

So You Want To Start A Nonprofit…Why?

As I interact with my networks a common question I see is how to start a nonprofit organization.  The questioners want to know where to go for funding, where to find space for their organization, where to get volunteers, how to set-up their boards, etc.  What is often missing is the why.  Why do they want to start a nonprofit?  What are they trying to accomplish?

The first step in forming a nonprofit organization is clarifying the mission.  What is a mission?  A mission is a purpose in life.  Or it can be a goal you want to accomplish.  Or it is a task you feel is assigned to you.

Why do you need to have a mission?  Well, the first reason is your mission can provide the motivation to keep you going when things get difficult.  Running a nonprofit organization is not always easy.  You have to secure funding for your program, manage staff and volunteers, handle paperwork, communicate with your donors, etc.  All of these tasks can take their toll on you.  When that time comes its helpful to go back to your mission.

Secondly, a mission will provide direction for your organization.  It will help you stay focused.  As stated previously there will be many tasks that will pull at you.  Also you will have to do a lot with a few resources.  In order to manage your nonprofit well and provide your services you will have to stay focused.  Your mission can serve as a guide as you set priorities.

Finally, your mission will be important in attracting funders.  One of the top reasons people give to an organization is that they like and support its mission.  As I learned from a fundraising conference, money chases ideas.

So if you want to start a nonprofit put first things first.  Clarify your mission before doing anything else.

Photo by sippakorn 

News Roundup: The 2013 budget and charitable deductions

Last week President Obama submitted his budget for 2013.  In the budget is a proposal to limit the percentage of charitable deductions than can be taken.  Many nonprofit leaders are critical of the plan because they think it will reduce contributions.  Here is an article on the budget by Lisa Chiu of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Rick Cohen of the Nonprofit Quarterly thinks contradictory messages are being sent from the White House.  A month earlier he reported White House officials as saying the charitable deduction cap was off the table for 2012.  (No change to charitable deductions)  Now it seems the White House has reversed itself.  Read Cohen’s article about President Obama’s plan.

Do you want to know the reasoning behind the charitable deduction cap?  Read a post by Jonathan Greenblatt, Director of Social Innovation who lays it out.

So what  does all of this mean for nonprofit  funding in the future?  Will the charitable deduction cap affect future contributions?  That remains to be seen.

Do you think the proposed change in the charitable deductions cap will negatively impact contributions?  Has the proposed legislation affected your fundraising plans?

Why NPOs need to use social media

Its becoming more important for businesses and NPOs to use social media.  This article contains links to statistics about online usage and mobile phone connections.  If you’ve been resisting using Facebook, Twitter, and the like, time to stop and jump inWhy Non-Profits Need to Leap into Social Media…

Financial Leadership instead of Financial Management

Fundrasising in 2012 is going to be more challenging that ever.  The challenges call for a new approach to funding nonprofits.  Here is an article from The Nonprofit Quarterly on financial leadership.  An Executive Director’s Guide to Financial Leadership

Website of capacity building resources

Here is a website that lists nonprofit capacity building resources.  (Capacity building:  actions that improve effectiveness.)   I’m also posting this link on the list of links.  Create The Future

Starting a nonprofit is hard work

Many people don’t realize how difficult it is to start a nonprofit organization.  There are many pieces to it and much to consider.  This article lists a few common mistakes start-up nonprofits make.  Passion is not enough: The most Common Mistakes Start-up Nonprofits Make

Social media books you should read

One of the trends in 2012 for nonprofits is the use of social media in marketing, fundraising, and connecting with donors.  This blogger has a list of five books she thinks should be read.  Five Social Media Books You Should Read