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Archive for February, 2014

Community Connectivity for your Nonprofit

No nonprofit is an island. We achieve success in our Mission by employing networks. We connect people who together can add more value than they can individually, all by their lonesome.
So finding intelligent ways to connect to put our Mission to work in our community should be one of the primary jobs of a nonprofit executive and those who work under her/his leadership.
One good way to get this done is through Rotary. I recommend that nonprofit executives join their local Rotary Clubs. Or, other community connecting organizations like the Lions.
Joining the Chamber of Commerce is a peachy idea, too.
Places where connections happen. Where the executive can learn what’s cooking in the community and demonstrate the value of their nonprofit.
Right now, the Rotary Club of Peabody (Massachusetts) is preparing for our Taste of the North Shore. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we’ve been going strong for ten years. Raising upwards of $15K to then bestow on community charities to do their good work. As well as support Rotary International Foundation to do work on a worldwide scope. Like fighting Polio.
Connecting is a fundamental for delivering good work.
Find your best way to accomplish it and your Mission will go further than it would otherwise.

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St Louis Backstoppers Event March 1

Last summer, I happened to find (out of nowhere) the Origami in the Park event sponsored by the Backstoppers of St Louis: An organization whose mission is to raise funds for police and fire personnel injured in the line of duty. I thought that was an inventive activity…come to the park, volunteers will make Origami birds to decorate the park and donors can sponsor their creation and raise money for a good cause.
Next weekend Backstoppers will have their Mardi Gras event (March 1) to fundraise for their cause.
If you’re in the area, check it out.http://www.backstoppers.org/Point%20Mardi%20Gras.pdf.

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To Make an Omelette, You Need to Break a Few Eggs

Tuesday night (February 11) in my Northeastern University fundraising class, students presented their Donor Acquisition project to our “client” nonprofit. Our client is a living, breathing charitable organization based in the Greater Boston area. The student team was helping the Development Director think about raising money for a new program.
Usually when we work with nonprofits we’re thinking about the overall organization. We tend to shy away from projects where we raise money for just one aspect of the work. Because these funds become in a sense, “restricted.” These funds are for a single purpose.
We spent part our our time together Tuesday thinking through how to introduce this to the Board.
How can we build some enthusiasm for this new effort…recognizing that we run the risk of drawing attention away from the “old standbys.”
We recommended a specially designed presentation at the meeting that will put a spark in what otherwise might feel like a “business as usual” Board meeting. Maybe a musical skit. Maybe a party with special desserts, balloons, and all the stuff. Something. Out of the ordinary.
Nonprofit leaders should consider taking a special, unusual, even extraordinary approach when trying to get the Board’s attention on something important.
So think about escaping the “same-old, same-old” at your meeting when you have something new up your sleeve.

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