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Archive for March, 2013

Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

In the world of nonprofits, or my preferred term: public benefit organizations, mentoring comes at a premium. In the very small shop, there are not many people around to either serve as a mentor or to be mentored. So i hope board members will take cognizance of this, and in collaboration with the executive director, work out a way to connect with young/new staff so they have someone to help them through the puckerbrush. And, more importantly, get their career off on the right foot. In the Sunday business section of the NY Times, Adam Bryant interviews Ilene Gordon, CEO of Ingredion. Title of the piece in the March 17, 2013 edition of Openers: “When I Hire You, I’m Hiring Your Mentor’s Judgment.” Now there’s something to chew on a bit. And in the nonprofit realm, particularly if the board and CEO are rather long in the tooth and not thinking productively about leadership succession, neither the nonprofit nor the young staff are getting their due. Here, by the bye, is the link: http://nyti.ms/11ah85l. Sorry I couldn’t activate this from Twitter: It goes to a Chinese site, for some peculiar reason. Ms Gordon makes it a point each year to invite a group of young up-and-comer staff to a board dinner to get a chance to present what they are doing to advance the company, bring value to it. An area worthy of some thought and discussion for any nonprofit interested in developing its capacity for the long term.

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Memorial Gifts for Your Nonprofit Organization

When my Mom passed away a few years back, my brothers and I wanted families and friends to make tributes to a charity rather than sending flowers. So the obituary included this request: in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Bennie & Annie Goodman Scholarship Fund at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, NH. Our Mom had many friends, and the fund received many contributions in our Mother’s memory.
This is a very common practice. As people deal with the death of a parent and have to make the necessary arrangements, there is a certain feeling among many people to have something good come from a personally sad situation. Maybe the scholarship will help a college freshman make an important contribution to society later in his or her life.
Nonprofit organizations, particularly those with a mission related to health and fighting disease, should all have a program in place that makes it easy for the bereaved to honor the deceased’s memory with a tribute.
In addition to memorial gifts, many nonprofit organizations have a tribute or honor program so friends, users of the service, people who subscribe to your environmental newsletter, subscribers who buy tickets to your theater’s or performing art troupe’s events would like to use the celebration of a birthday or anniversary or graduation to pay tribute to a person you feel close to, don’t know what to buy as a gift, but know they are members of the Sierra Club, the Somerville Homeless Coalition, the American Repertory Theater, the Blue Ocean Society and would like to receive such a tribute.
These are good fundraising opportunities that can be used in a thoughtful, tasteful way that engender good feeling and bring in dollars to help you advance your mission.
A Memorial or Tribute program is a low-cost, low-maintenance fundraising method that will generate revenue for your mission.

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