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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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Strategic Alliance Anyone?

Nonprofit organizations find themselves strapped for cash during slow months. And with the current economic environment: slow years. Community benefit organizations try to operate on the narrowest of margins.  They impair their capacity to deliver mission by cutting salaries, benefits, programs, training of staff, training of board.  And with the continued cuts in discretionary spending on the federal level, and the concomitant trickle down effect to State and local level, everyone will struggle to do more with less.

Now is the time to consider strategic alliance with other community benefit organizations in the same vicinity.  Sharing office space. Sharing bookkeeping service. Jointly retaining public relations, communications, web design help to take advantage of discount.  And for those still able to offer staff health benefits, forming a legal partnership to enlarge the group and get some savings on health insurance premiums.

There are ways to do this; and there are capable firms who can work with you to price these joint services.  And folks like me that can help you negotiate with fellow nonprofits to make the deal.  Getting appropriate legal counsel at the right time.

Here’s a reference of an initiative in Massachusetts by The Boston Foundation and partner organizations, providing incentives to do this strategic alliance work:  http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=308900014.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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