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Friday Five: June 15, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW?: The building at Prinsengracht 263, home to the “Secret Annex,” opened to the public in 1960 as Anne Frank House—a museum devoted to the life of Anne Frank. Her original diary is on display there.

DID YOU KNOW?: The building at Prinsengracht 263, home to the “Secret Annex,” opened to the public in 1960 as Anne Frank House—a museum devoted to the life of Anne Frank. Her original diary is on display there.

On June 12, 1942, a young Jewish girl named Anneliese Marie Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday. Just a month later, Anne Frank’s family went into hiding from the Nazis. Hidden in the attic apartment behind her father Otto Frank’s business in Amsterdam, Anne kept a diary for two years. The Franks and four other families were fed and looked after by Gentile friends as they lived in constant fear of being discovered. Life for the eight people living in the small apartment (which Anne dubbed the Secret Annex in her diary) was tense and required complete silence during daytime hours in order to avoid detection. In an effort to pass the time, the diarist chronicled her daily observations and feelings in her diary. In entries to an imaginary friend named Kitty, Anne would write about her loneliness, lack of privacy and typical teenage issues such as arguments with her mother and resentment toward her sister. She also displayed acute insight and maturity with regards to issues of humanity, war and her own identity. On August 4, 1944 the Secret Annex was discovered by the Gestapo after an anonymous tip. Anne’s parents were taken to Auschwitz while she and her sister were transferred to another camp. It was there, at Bergen-Berlsen, that Anne would succumb to typhus one month before the war ended. After having survived his time at the Nazi concentration camp, Otto Frank published his daughter’s diary in 1947 as The Diary of a Young Girl. Today, the book has been translated into 70 languages in more than 60 countries. Now that you’ve been reminded of the resilience of the human spirit, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Nonprofits and the Millennial Mindset

It appears as though Millennials have the odds stacked against them: mounting student debt, soaring costs of living and limited job opportunities. Yet, somehow, Millennials have been able to achieve what generations before them could not. Through the creation of a global community, this generation promotes connectivity and networking and demonstrates the interconnectedness of social change and startup culture. According to Forbes, Millennials have become one of the most powerful generations of our time working to diminish boundaries and create new dimensions within the nonprofit sector. Is this generation better suited for creating impactful change within the philanthropic stratum? Click on the link above to discover three attributes of the Millennial mindset that your nonprofit can leverage to generate greater and more effective reach.

2.  Where Have All the Donors Gone?

Whether it’s economic swings, demographic changes, "new" philanthropy or the plethora of ways to support a cause—no one knows for certain what’s causing our country’s decline in giving. The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s special report, “The Disappearing Donor,” examines this issue further with new data that shows a decline across all demographics (age, income, education, marital status and religion), even among donors that are typically staunch nonprofit supporters. In an attempt to reckon with this narrowing base of support, fundraisers within the nonprofit world are throwing ideas at the wall—with the hope that something will stick. As your organization begins to reassess its fundraising strategies, check out the link above for a more in-depth analysis of America’s shrinking donor base.

3.  U.S. to Receive Poor Report Card in Issues of Poverty

Philip Alston—United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights—is scheduled to present his findings from a 12-day fact-finding tour on poverty in the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council on June 21st in Geneva, Switzerland. Alston’s final report, published a month ago, focuses on poverty and stereotypes surrounding it as well as racism, voting rights, income inequality, health care, and even mass incarceration. While Alston will be giving the U.S. a poor report card in front of the international community, he also offers five policy recommendations as a helpful step in implementing change. Follow the link above from Nonprofit Quarterly to discover key insights unveiled by Alston’s report and his recommended changes in U.S. policy.

4.  Giving and Volunteering and Workplace Turnover

Fostering a workplace culture that emphasizes goodness and engagement proves exponentially beneficial to employers. According to a new report from Benevity, Inc., a social-responsibility and employee-engagement software provider, the turnover rate for employees that both donate money and volunteer their time is 57% below that of unengaged employees. Not only do charities benefit, but employees are happier and more engaged—making for a more productive and stable workplace. Want to learn more about employee-centric giving programs and how they may benefit your organization? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to read more.

5.  Artificial Intelligence for Good

According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, many mission-driven organizations will look to artificial intelligence (AI) to amplify their work, stretch philanthropic dollars and expand impact. This sort of “mission-driven AI”—dubbed “AI for good”—will apply AI to solve ecological and societal challenges as machine-learning techniques help to streamline operations and enhance programming within social enterprises and nonprofit organizations. Want to know how recent breakthroughs in the world of AI would benefit your nonprofit? Click on the link above to learn more about the opportunities AI presents to the social change sector.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re dusting off an old copy of Anne Frank’s diary and diving in. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: June 8, 2018

  “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it  —  always.” - Mahatma Gandhi

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of italways.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Born in India and educated in England, Mohandas K. Gandhi traveled to South Africa in 1893 as a young Indian lawyer. During a one-year contract to practice law, Gandhi was exposed to racism and subjugated to South African laws that restricted the rights of Indian workers. In a moment he would later recall as his “moment of truth,” Gandhi was removed from a first-class railway compartment and ejected from a train after he refused to comply with racial segregation rules. Upon the expiration of his work contract, he decided to remain in South Africa—determined to fight injustice and defend his rights as an Indian. Gandhi went on to launch a campaign against legislation that would deny Indians voting rights and form the Natal Indian Congress. These actions helped to shine a global spotlight on the plight of Indians in South Africa. But when the Transvaal government sought to further restrict Indians’ rights, Gandhi was compelled to organize his first act of mass civil disobedience—satyagraha—on June 7, 1893. After seven years of protest, a compromise with the South African government was finally made. In 1914, Gandhi returned to India where he lived an abstinent and spiritual life. Always nonviolent, he was revered for his philosophy of peaceful and passive resistance. Known as Mahatma—the great-soul—his persuasive methods of civil disobedience influenced and inspired leaders of human rights movements around the world. Are you feeling inspired? We wouldn’t blame you! But check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week before planning your next peaceful protest.

1.  Want to Change the World? You'll Need These Two Things:

The world we live in today is nearly unrecognizable from that of past generations. To keep up with the times, nonprofit organizations are ever-evolving in their efforts to facilitate change. But advancements in society do not arise from disconnect and lack of insight. According to Forbes, sweeping change and large-scale progression depend on two components—a big vision and effective collaboration. As both are essential to tackle the difficulties faced by nearly every sector, merging multidisciplinary efforts can help to implement organizational visions. Is your nonprofit’s vision hindered by a disjointed team? Click on the link above to discover how your organization can leverage collaborations in order to advance your mission.

2.  Want to Start a Nonprofit? Read this:

After battling an eating disorder, ADD and other learning disorders as well as meth addiction, Concetta Mantinan got sober and devoted herself to starting her first business—now, she is launching her third. A recent article from Entrepreneur focuses on the story of this social entrepreneur and the lessons she’s learned regarding how to establish, fund and run a nonprofit organization. Are you contemplating turning your passion into a nonprofit? Check out the link above to read more about Mantinan’s journey and three tips for a successful business strategy.

3.  Nonprofit and For-Profit: Can They Work Together?

Public for-profit companies and private nonprofit organizations have always behaved as rivals. Treating the other as polar opposite in both composition and intention, for-profit and nonprofit sectors are constantly competing for attention, recognition and funding. Because both have such distinct characteristics, is it possible to align the two sectors on a path toward mutual success? According to Forbes, both sectors can generate great, lasting change through collaboration. Want to know how your organization can achieve mutually beneficial success with a for-profit collaborator? Follow the link above to learn how to form partnerships for a greater cause!

4.  White Space in the Nonprofit Sector

In the days of viral videos and social media newsfeeds, the narrative and counter-narrative with regards to race in the United States is becoming increasingly predominant and hard to ignore. Nonprofit organizations, acting as overseers of the public space, should examine the ways in which “white space” plays out within its own sector. According to the Nonprofit Quarterly, our country is experiencing a shift from implicit bias to explicit violence—this shift is crucial to the nonprofit sector as its own narrative, for the most part, echoes a narrative of racial inequity. How are your organization’s leaders approaching and addressing the issue of race? Check out the link above to read more about the nonprofit sector as white space and its role in bringing systems change.

5.  Is Your Collaboration on the Outs?

Successful collaborations between organizations accomplishes more than either entity could on its own. But because power is the “secret sauce” of nonprofit collaborations, a power imbalance left unaddressed could result in an ugly and counterproductive situation. According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, collaborations fail when collaborative parties don’t discuss power and its implications. If you’re considering walking away from a collaboration because the other entity is seemingly too uncollaborative, consider whether power is the underlying problem. Click on the link above for suggestions on how to properly address power dynamics and leverage strengths for successful collaboration.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re feeling grateful for another reminder that lasting change is possible. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: June 1, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? Big Ben is one of the most iconic (and misidentified) landmarks in the world. The name initially referred not to the tower (Elizabeth Tower), but to the enormous 13-ton bell housed inside it. The name is now used to refer to the clock itself.

DID YOU KNOW? Big Ben is one of the most iconic (and misidentified) landmarks in the world. The name initially referred not to the tower (Elizabeth Tower), but to the enormous 13-ton bell housed inside it. The name is now used to refer to the clock itself.

Quintessentially British. Located at the top of the renamed Elizabeth Tower—rising 320 feet above Westminster, London—the famous clock known as Big Ben began to tick on May 31, 1859. After a fire ravaged much of the Palace of Westminster (the British Parliament headquarters) in October 1834, a design for the new palace was set forth. A standout feature of the project was to be a large clock atop a tower. Sir George Airy, the royal astronomer, wanted the clock to have pinpoint accuracy, a feat that many clockmakers at the time dismissed as impossible. But with the help of Edmund Beckett Denison, a barrister and expert of horology—the science of measuring time, Airy succeeded in producing a clock that is now famous for its accurate timekeeping. Big Ben’s accuracy is achieved by the steady movement of the clock's hands, guaranteed by a stack of coins placed on the clock’s gigantic pendulum. During nighttime, all four of Big Ben’s clock faces (each 23 feet in diameter) are lit, and a light above the clock is illuminated to indicate to the public when Parliament is in session. There are two competing narratives as to how the clock got its name. Some theorize it is nicknamed for a 19th century boxing champion, Benjamin Caunt, while others argue it is named after a Welsh engineer who oversaw the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament after the 1834 fire, Sir Benjamin Hall. Now that we’ve got you browsing flights to London for the next three-day weekend, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  "Othering" Language and the Nonprofit Narrative

Two types of language most commonly used for nonprofit and mission-based narratives are identity-first language and person-first language. Identity-first language defines individuals by their conditions—for example, a “homeless person,” while person-first language identifies the person first then adds a characteristic –for instance, a person experiencing homelessness.” Both languages are most frequently seen in donor- and funder-targeted materials and are used to evoke an emotional response that will lead to gifts. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, this type of “othering” language does a disservice to the individuals serviced by nonprofits. Have you examined the language used by your organization? Click on the link above to discover how your nonprofit can rewrite its narratives to empower, not victimize or dehumanize, individuals.

2.  Number of Nonprofit Organizations Nears 1.8 Million

The number of nonprofit organizations in the United States is now approaching 1.8 million, as more than 93 percent of tax-exempt applications were approved last year by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). With fewer than 100 out of 91,975 applications rejected by the IRS in 2017, the nonprofit sector is becoming increasingly saturated. Drastic steps taken by the IRS to expedite the tax-exempt application process with the shortened form 1023 and the high rate of approvals may be indicative of both resource constraints as well as budget stress. How will the high-rate of approvals for tax-exempt status impact your nonprofit? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to read more.

3.  Adaptive Strategy is Adapting

Through its work with foundations and nonprofits, the Monitor Institute by Deloitte has focused on the concept of “adaptive strategy.” This concept stems from the idea that organizations must do more than set a destination in its crosshairs—it must also execute and adjust over time. According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, advancements in the disciplines of execution management, data science and innovation are influencing the way nonprofit leaders approach strategy and have created new opportunities to increase impact. Want to know how your organization can adapt by integrating insights from these fields? Follow the link above to find examples and start turning strategy into a verb!

4.  Effective Grant Writers Are ________________.

Grant writing is unlike any other type of writing as it requires a nuanced, specialized skill set that melds personable and analytical writing. Because nonprofit organizations need supplementary support while putting together grant proposals, grant writers are now in high demand. But what traits make a candidate stand out when applying to fill a grant writing position? Before considering your next hire, click on the link above from Forbes to discover nine traits of effective grant writers.

5.  Why Don't College Students Want to Volunteer?

More than three-quarters of students entering college feel as though it is their duty to help those in need. While this sentiment has grown steadily in the past few years, only 26 percent of all college students actually volunteer—a number lower than high school students. According to Fast Company, this is troubling as the college set is thought to have a more flexible schedule and to be more affluent and better educated than high-schoolers. Additionally, those who do not volunteer as college students, do not go on to volunteer as adults either. So what can your organization do to encourage volunteerism from students in higher education? Check out the link above for real-world examples of programs focused on encouraging students to get involved, both entrepreneurially and philanthropically.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re contemplating grabbing a pint at the pub after work—if we can’t be in London, that seems like the next best thing. Cheers!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: May 25, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? The trademark color of the Golden Gate Bridge is “International Orange”—a vermilion color that is rust and fade resistant and meant to complement the picturesque sunsets of the San Francisco Bay.

DID YOU KNOW? The trademark color of the Golden Gate Bridge is “International Orange”—a vermilion color that is rust and fade resistant and meant to complement the picturesque sunsets of the San Francisco Bay.

The Golden Gate Bridge, a spectacular artistic and technological feat, spans the Golden Gate Straight at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay and connects San Francisco with Marin County, California. Prior to its construction, the concept of the bridge was so controversial that it took engineer Joseph Strauss 16 years to persuade doubtful city officials and others who opposed the project. After public opinion began to sway in favor of the undertaking, design plans were set and financing secured. Construction for the Golden Gate Bridge began in 1933—when the economy had reached bottom as a result of the Great Depression. Strauss and his workers endured many challenges throughout the bridge’s creation, including frequent storms, heavy fogs and tumultuous waters from the straight—strong tides that constituted grave dangers for the necessary underwater construction. After just over four years of construction and eleven casualties, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to the public to great acclaim on May 27, 1937. On opening day, dubbed “Pedestrian Day,” some 200,000 people showed up to marvel at the 4,200-foot-long suspension bridge—the longest bridge of its kind in the world at the time. At its unveiling, the Golden Gate Bridge stood as a symbol of triumph and progress amidst economic hardship. After 80-plus years of operation, the bridge stands today as one of the world’s most recognizable architectural achievements. Now that you’ve added some facts to your trove of trivia, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Hope, Not Rage, Driving Donations

According to a recent survey from Edge Research, approximately one in five people who made at least one donation in 2017 gave in reaction to a social or political shift that encroached upon their principles. While the press has begun to label these gifts as “rage donations,” findings from the above-mentioned report indicate that rage was not in fact the prime motivator for donating. Instead, hope (63%) and empowerment (58%) were the top two key drivers for reactive giving—with anger (26%) ranking fifth on the list overall. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, understanding what stirs donors to action is vital for fundraising, especially for nonprofits fighting regressive policies. Want to know more about emotionally driven charitable donations? Click on the link above to discover an in-depth summary of the study’s noteworthy findings.

2.  Franchise Organizations Serving Their Communities

Because of the unique structure of franchise organizations, individual owners are able to create a huge impact in the communities they serve. Through collaboration, shared technology platforms, buying power and pooled marketing dollars, networks of entrepreneurial business owners can give back and provide boots on the ground support to local initiatives. Most franchise owners are encouraged by their brands to participate in community efforts and some even have formal programs to streamline efforts. Want a snapshot of the types of initiatives taking place in the current marketplace? Check out the link above from Entrepreneur for three examples of franchise organizations providing much-needed resources to those in need.

3.  New Nonprofit? Avoid these Fundraising Mistakes

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million (and growing) tax-exempt organizations in the United States. That said, it can be a challenge for nonprofits to gain their share of charitable giving. This is especially true of newly-formed organizations that have not yet established recognition or a reputation amongst donors. A recent article from Forbes states that younger organizations oftentimes act too quickly in attempts to appeal to donors—leading to desperate measures that may cause long-term damage. Follow the link above to read about thirteen common fundraising errors to avoid in the infancy stages of your nonprofit.

4.  Donor-Advised Funds: The Basics

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) can be described as a personal charitable savings account. Donors create accounts and make contributions such as cash, stock, or other assets (artwork, real estate and the like) that are eligible for an immediate tax deduction. DAFs are controlled by nonprofits, referred to as sponsoring organizations, that manage the account and invest to charitable organizations according to donor wishes. While the use of DAFs is but a small part of philanthropy, their popularity has flourished in recent years. Because DAFs account for billions of dollars (and are seeing continual growth), people have are a lot of questions with regards to how these funds function. Want to learn more about DAFs? Click on the link above from The Chronicle of Philanthropy for the basics.

5.  Philanthropy Meets Advocacy

The widening rift between Democrats and Republicans is continually highlighted in headlines. Whether it is with regards to issues of race, immigration, the environment, or other serious issues, gridlock at the congressional level hinders elected officials' ability to solve our nation’s challenges. That said, Americans have begun to look to the nonprofit sector to address policy issues and take up the torch for causes they care about. According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, philanthropists can, and should, engage the public and policy makers and step up their advocacy work. But how should they proceed? Check out the link above for five questions philanthropists should work through to build and execute advocacy campaigns.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re wishing everyone a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend. See you next week.

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

 

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Friday Five: May 18, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW?   Segregation has existed in other countries throughout history, including England, Ireland, French Algeria, Germany, China, Italy, Latin America, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa, Bahrain, Canada, Fiji, Israel, Liberia, Malaysia, Mauritania, and Yemen.

DID YOU KNOW? Segregation has existed in other countries throughout history, including England, Ireland, French Algeria, Germany, China, Italy, Latin America, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa, Bahrain, Canada, Fiji, Israel, Liberia, Malaysia, Mauritania, and Yemen.

In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” railroad car accommodations conformed to equal protection guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. This ruling, Plessy v. Ferguson, was further used to justify the segregation of all public facilities, even schools. It wasn’t until the historic case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 that the federal tolerance of racial segregation was brought to an end. Because of the color of her skin, Linda Brown had been denied entrance to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas—a school that was miles closer to her home and far superior to her black alternative. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) rallied around Linda and her case. The case made it before the Supreme Court with Thurgood Marshall, African American lawyer and future Supreme Court justice, at the forefront of Brown’s legal team. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. This ruling was a major civil rights victory that ultimately led to the abolishment of racial segregation in all accommodations and public facilities. Now that you’ve had your history lesson for the day, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Nonprofits, Keep Your Partners Happy

Nonprofit leaders invest a lot of time fostering relationships with their organization’s partners. In this sense, charitable organizations operate just like any other business—with partners expecting a return for the time, services or financial investments they make to your organization. Because the support of these agencies often plays an integral role in the advancement of your nonprofit’s mission, it is important to show them exactly what they’re getting out of the relationship. How does your nonprofit maintain mutually beneficial relationships? Click on the link above from Forbes to discover 11 tips for sustaining successful partnerships.

2.  Social Responsibility and Your Small Business

The business sector is continually changing. This is due in large part to the fact that business operations are based on cultural, technological and generational changes. Because we are in an era of social impact, a large number of businesses have shifted to a more socially responsible company platform. Do you want to attract talent and investors and help them feel good about what type of company they are committing to? Check out the link above from Entrepreneur and consider five reasons smaller businesses could benefit from following a social responsibility business model.

3.  Help Your Board to Spot Red Flags

There has been a disheartening amount of news coverage lately with regards to nonprofits facing insurmountable financial challenges. Whether it is critical audit reports, back taxes, cancelled federal grants, or unpaid bills, one has to wonder if members of these nonprofit boards missed the red flags. With the gift of hindsight, it is easy to look at the evidence available now and wonder how these issues could have gone unnoticed. Because most board “best practices” advise against micromanaging, problems may go unresolved as a result of governance vs. management. So what can be done to ensure your organization’s operations stay on the up-and-up? Follow the link above from Nonprofit Quarterly to learn how your board members can spot red flags.

4.  Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Expand Globally?

After having perfected service to its local (and perhaps even regional) area, it is natural for a nonprofit organization to consider global expansion as part of its growth strategy. While the organization may believe outward is the next step, how can leaders be sure their nonprofit is truly ready to take the leap? Because replicating service offerings on a global scale is not always a simple feat, there are steps organizations must take before expanding. Is your organization considering transitioning from a national platform to an international stage? Click on the link above from Forbes to find out how to expand deliberately with a solid strategy.

5.  Building Capacity in Times of Disruption

Nonprofit leadership is no walk in the park. Even before the 2016 US election, nonprofit work has been at the mercy of a myriad of factors such as technology, increasing inequality, globalization, and social and political movements. In recent years, it has become clear that for change to endure, leaders must understand what is happening on the frontlines and what nonprofits must do to do their work effectively. According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, funders must also embrace the same tenents that nonprofit leaders are charged with. If funders are as adaptive as they ask their grantees to be, the social sector may be able to achieve change at the scale of the problems it faces. Check out the link above for suggestions for building capacity during times of disruption.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! With more knowledge of the past, we’re feeling even more appreciative for the present. See you next week.

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

 

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Friday Five: May 11, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? The "four-minute barrier" has since been broken by over 1,400 athletes. In the last 50 years, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13.

DID YOU KNOW? The "four-minute barrier" has since been broken by over 1,400 athletes. In the last 50 years, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13.

For years, many athletes tried (and failed) to run a mile in less than four minutes. So many were unsuccessful in the feat that the concept of the four-minute mile was thought to be physically impossible. In 1945, the world record for the fastest mile was set by Gunder Hagg of Sweden at four minutes and 1.3 seconds. In the 1950s, perhaps lured by the elusiveness of the task, several runners devoted themselves to being the first to finish within the three-minute time zone. It wasn’t until May 6, 1954 that a medical student named Roger Bannister accomplished the impossible by becoming the first person in recorded history to run a mile in under four minutes. After having broken track and field’s most famous barrier at three minutes and 59.4 seconds, Bannister paved the way for many athletes to follow. The once impossible task continues to be achieved, and the record for fastest mile lowered. But before you lace up your running shoes, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  New IRS Tool Provides Greater Public Insight into Exempt Organizations

Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service introduced a new online tool on IRS.gov that is meant to provide expanded access to information on exempt organizations. With quicker, easier access than its predecessor (EO Select Check), the new Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) will allow greater insight for taxpayers considering donations to charitable organizations. Key features of TEOS include images of newly-filed 990 forms—made available to the public for the first time ever—as well as the ability to search for favorable determination letters. Additionally, the tool has been optimized for mobile use and can be accessed through tablets and even smartphones. Before making your next donation, give the new TEOS tool a try. Click on the link above to discover what information is now available to you.

2.  Politics and Philanthropy

In an effort to understand what factors allow philanthropy to flourish or flounder, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI conducted the 2018 Global Philanthropy Environment Index (GPEI). The study evaluated 79 economies on a five-point scale across five key factors in order to evaluate the level of ease with which philanthropic organizations can operate. This year’s report examined how governing laws and socio-cultural and political environments either incentivize or hinder giving efforts around the world. Want to know how your region faired on the latest GPEI? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to learn how politics is affecting philanthropy in areas throughout the world.

3.  Follow Your Passion Without Losing Your Salary

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million registered nonprofit organizations in the United States. With that many organizations striving to bring about positive change, there are numerous opportunities for those wanting to turn their passion into something more valuable. As set forth in a recent article from Entrepreneur, passion and profitability do not have to be mutually exclusive. If you’re considering the switch from the for-profit to the nonprofit sector, consider the ways in which you may be able to parlay your corporate experience to achieve quantifiable results as part of a nonprofit organization. Socially meaningful investments made by nonprofits serve those in need as well as provide a return to social impact financial partners. Follow the link above to learn more about how to pursue your passion without sacrificing an important business role (or a paycheck).

4.  Issues of Inequity and Affordable Housing

On the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, President Johnson pleaded with congressional members to enact legislation that would prohibit discrimination in housing sales, rentals and financing. As a result, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fair Housing Act. While the law was a step in the right direction, affordable housing continues to be unattainable for many—as millions of families across the U.S. today still struggle with housing insecurity. According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, finding a solution to the affordable housing crisis means addressing issues of inequity—whether issues of race, age, class or gender. So how can we spark a conversation and adjust the public viewpoints encumbering better, quality housing for all? Click on the link above for a look at two ways to change the story told about housing in America.

5.  Nonprofit Website Design Mistakes

According to Internet Statistics Live, there are more than 1.8 billion websites—a number that continues to grow. With that amount of competition, it can be a challenge to create a website that excels in both content and design. This is especially true for nonprofits wanting to ensure that donors look to them when they are ready to give. Want to ensure that your website is user-friendly and attractive to viewers? Check out the Forbes article linked above for the seven most common web design mistakes and how your nonprofit can avoid them.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re feeling motivated and ready to tackle the impossible. See you next week.

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: April 27, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? It’s likely that Shakespeare’s parents never learned to read or write. William, however, attended Stratford’s local grammar school, where he mastered reading, writing and Latin. His two children who lived to adulthood are also thought to have been illiterate.

DID YOU KNOW? It’s likely that Shakespeare’s parents never learned to read or write. William, however, attended Stratford’s local grammar school, where he mastered reading, writing and Latin. His two children who lived to adulthood are also thought to have been illiterate.

William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon is believed by historians to have been born on April 23, 1564 and to have died on the exact same day 52 years later. In approximately one million words written over the course of 20 years, Shakespeare managed to capture the full spectrum of human emotion with a precision that allowed his works to remain relevant even 400 years later. His plays—which are suspected to be the most widely read works in the English language—are being read and performed with more frequency and in more countries than ever before. During his lifetime, Shakespeare was the principal dramatist of Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later the King’s Men), a popular theater group that constructed and operated London’s world-renowned Globe Theatre in 1599. The theater company performed such Shakespeare classics as Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With a stake in ownership of the Globe, he was able to make enough money to purchase a large home in Stratford in 1597. In the years leading up to his retirement in 1610, Shakespeare is said to have produced such masterpieces as The Tempest, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear, not to mention the 154 sonnets attributed to the playwright. Now that the nostalgia for your high school drama class has worn off, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Keeping up with the Times

Nonprofit executives are all too familiar with the balancing act—the organizational dilemma of striking an equilibrium between daily tasking and long-term strategic planning. According to Forbes, a critical part of strategizing is keeping close tabs on market trends. This in and of itself can create hurdles for executives too busy to keep their finger on the pulse of the outside world. Maintaining an awareness of the trends in your industry, however, doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or stressful undertaking. Want to know how to stay informed and balance your hectic schedule? Click on the link above to discover six effortless ways to keep up with industry trends.

2.  #NextGen Giving

A recent study issued by the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact, “The Next Generation of Giving Report,” suggests that generational changes should be accommodated by shifts in fundraising. While most fundraising departments have set their sights on Millennials, data shows that GenXers will most likely step in as top donors once Boomers decline. In addition to charitable giving by generation, the report shares its findings with regards to the various channels by which donors choose to give. Could your fundraising team benefit from an in-depth synopsis of this study? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to learn how a focus on generational giving can improve fundraising.

3.  How Funders Often Hurt, Not Help, Nonprofits

In pursuing positive change in the world, nonprofit organizations encounter a lot of unexpected, mission-crippling threats. These threats can be filed under Acts of God, destabilization of government, devaluation of currency, and even organizational misfortune. But what happens when positive change is torpedoed by the very organizations that are trying to enact it? The biggest, and possibly most surprising, threat to nonprofit impact is filed under “funder-created obstacles.” This is demonstrated by last-minute funder strategy changes, inflexible policies and delayed disbursements. According to an article in Fast Company, funders—in their pursuit of impact and return on investment—have become their own enemy. Follow the link above to learn more about (and how to avoid) funder failures.

4.  The Value of PSOs and Funder Collaboratives

Philanthropy is a multi-faceted sector that encompasses funding institutions, philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) as well as funder collaboratives. While PSOs support learning and networking with regards to specific issues and populations, funder collaboratives work to align grant-makers with specific priorities. Both were created by funders who, until the controversial 2016 election, questioned the value and continued support of these entities. According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, PSOs and funder collaboratives have provided a means for philanthropy to adapt during politically challenging times. Click on the link above for a look at three ways PSOs and funder collaboratives have demonstrated their value to funders this past year.

5.  Give Your Next Crowdfunding Campaign a Boost

Before a nonprofit can get to work on projects that will advance its mission, it first needs to secure funding. Crowdfunding is generally a great tool for financing new ventures as it makes use of vast social media networks and websites to connect investors and charitable organizations. According to Forbes, crowdfunding campaigns aren’t necessarily foolproof methods of fundraising, however, and nonprofit organizations may need to adjust their strategies along the way. Whether your organization has employed one or ten campaigns, consider the six tips linked above before jump-starting your next fundraiser.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon with a cup of green tea and a copy of Hamlet. See you next week.

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: April 20, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? Walking through Rome, one will inevitably notice the letters SPQR that appear all over the city’s monuments and buildings. They stand for “Senatus Populusque Romanus,” which is a Latin phrase that means “The senate and people of Rome”.

DID YOU KNOW? Walking through Rome, one will inevitably notice the letters SPQR that appear all over the city’s monuments and buildings. They stand for “Senatus Populusque Romanus,” which is a Latin phrase that means “The senate and people of Rome”.

According to legend, Rome was founded by Remus and Romulus—twin brothers and sons of Mars, the Roman god of war. The orphaned infants were ordered to be drowned in the Tiber River by the king of nearby Alba Longa, Amulius, who feared their birth would jeopardize his claim to the throne. The infants survived, however, and washed ashore where they were rescued and suckled by a she-wolf. The brothers grew up to become shepherd warriors, and, after having learned their true identity, defeated Amulius and founded their own city on April 21, 753 BC. From that small town in central Italy along the Tiber River, grew Ancient Rome—an empire that at its peak was comprised of most of continental Europe, Britain, northern Africa, the Mediterranean islands and much of western Asia. Today, Rome’s legacy is evidenced in the widespread use of Romance Languages, the Western calendar and alphabet, and Christianity as a major world religion. Now that you’ve had your history lesson for the day, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  "Plannual" Giving

Fundraisers too frequently associate planned gifts with older donors, but this type of thinking may lead to missed opportunities for charitable organizations. According to The NonProfit Times, fundraisers shouldn’t wait for donors to age before asking them about planned gifts. By that stage in donors’ lives, most have already decided which charities will be included in their wills. Has your fundraising team honed its gift planning approach? Click on the link above to discover how your organization can employ “plannual” giving messages in an effort to optimize outcomes.

2.  Choosing the Best Fundraising Counsel

Some nonprofits hire the right consulting firm the first time around. However, those that choose the wrong partners end up wasting countless time, energy and precious resources only to fall short of their fundraising goals. Partnering with a consulting firm is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly—taking the time to properly vet and research companies will save a lot of time (and even dollars) in the long run. Is your organization looking to hire a third-party fundraising counsel? Check out the link above from Forbes for seven tips for considering the right fundraising consultant for your organization.

3.  Glassdoor Ratings and Your Nonprofit

Most jobseekers are familiar with Glassdoor—the website that enables employees (past and present) to rate their employers. While one cannot verify anonymous reports made through such third-party forums, nonprofits would be remiss not to take heed of negative ratings. According to the Nonprofit Quarterly, ratings become entwined in the public’s view of any given organization and inform their understanding of its workplace culture. While less than stellar ratings may deter a nonprofit’s access to high-quality candidates, it may also negatively impact an organization’s relationship with donors. Follow the link above for a real-life example of a foundation that has been affected by damning ratings.

4.  Nonprofit Boards and the Merger Conversation

As organizations look to scale their impact with regards to their mission, they may consider inorganic means of growth. Whether this growth is through mergers, acquisitions or other strategic alliances, nonprofit boards may find themselves at a loss for ways to broach the subject. A recent survey from BoardSource states that nearly two-thirds of boards are open to mergers. Does this ring true for your organization’s board? If so, click on the link above from Stanford Social Innovation Review to learn about the six moments in every organization’s business cycle that are ripe for discussing mergers and alliances.

5.  Creating Impact Through Social Media

The world is more connected today than ever. Information and content know no bounds yet a large part of society is either unaware or impartial to many of the social and environmental issues the world faces. According to Forbes, nonprofits have the power to influence people and disseminate awareness through their everyday actions. Social media has enabled organizations to alleviate challenges and generate positive change through their fingertips. Is your organization impact-driven? Got a social media account? Click the link above to learn five tips for building an engaged community that can help you shift public awareness.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’ll be brushing up on our Italian for the remained of the day. See you next week. Ciao!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

 

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Friday Five: April 6, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? Maya Angelou never went to college but earned more than 50 honorary degrees and mastered five languages.

DID YOU KNOW? Maya Angelou never went to college but earned more than 50 honorary degrees and mastered five languages.

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. When she was three years old, her parents divorced, and she and her brother went to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. When Angelou was just eight years old, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. When exposing the truth of what happened led to the brutal murder of her assailant, the young Angelou—terrified by the power of her own tongue—did not speak another word for the next five years. From this bout of silence emerged a woman who danced, sang, recorded poetry, and aspired to be in professional theater. Her plans were put on hold at age 16, however, when she became pregnant. Angelou moved to San Diego where she worked as a waitress in a nightclub, got mixed up with drugs and prostitution, and danced in a strip club. Ironically, it was the strip club that led to her being discovered as an artistic powerhouse. Today, she remains one of America’s leading contemporary poets—having achieved much in the fields of acting, writing, theater and as a member of the Civil Rights Movement. Despite her iniquitous and turbulent youth, Maya Angelou provided a positive message of hope, humanity and love. And before you start searching for her multi-volume autobiography to order on Amazon, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Are Your Management Decisions Based on Values?

When it comes to making management decisions within a nonprofit, the values of the organization should be considered. While this may sound like a no-brainer to many of us in the nonprofit sector, a great deal of recent news coverage illustrates the contrary. According to the Nonprofit Quarterly, when a nonprofit mission does not guide internal practices in the same way it governs impact on the community, a misalignment occurs that could be detrimental to an organization. Want to ensure your nonprofit’s publicly stated values align with private managerial decisions? Click on the link above to discover real-world examples of alignment and misalignment of nonprofit values.

2.  Facing #MeToo Incidents in Nonprofit Workplaces

Thanks to the vast reach of social media and news headlines, the #MeToo movement has become a world-wide phenomenon. Highlighting systematic issues of harassment and sexism in nearly every major industry—including the nonprofit sector, the movement has left many employers wondering how to deal with accusations, should they arise. If you are a nonprofit leader faced with claims of harassment or abuse in the workplace, it is pivotal that the situation be handled with the utmost grace and dignity. Check out the link above from Forbes for six suggested steps when addressing a #MeToo incident.

3.  Crowdfunding Meets Humanitarian Aid

Rola Hallam was a practicing doctor in the UK in 2011 when war broke out in her home country of Syria. Over the course of four years, Hallam volunteered with several Syrian-based organizations to help set up hospitals and deliver medical aid. Inspired by her on-the-ground experience in Syria, Hallam launched CanDo in 2016—a platform that enables the public to directly fund humanitarian projects carrying out work within their own communities. To read more about the TED Fellow and how her platform is reconfiguring humanitarian funding, follow the link from Fast Company above.

4.  Is Your Nonprofit Scale-Ready?

The ever-growing needs that nonprofits strive to meet are enormous. These vast, unmet needs—when paired with the effect of economies of scale—make expansion of social impact increasingly important. Many nonprofits, despite best efforts to expand, remain small, and others manage to grow in size but fail to grow in impact. According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the nonprofits that do succeed in expanding their impact are those that are scale-ready and meet the seven essential elements of nonprofit performance. Has your nonprofit earned the right to scale? Find out by clicking on the article linked above.

5.  Workplace Issues as Agents for Change

Nonprofit leaders hoping to strike a healthy balance of staffing and support within their organization must approach change in a way that diffuses potentially volatile situations and allows for progress. If issues that arise in the nonprofit workplace are recognized as change agents, leaders can capitalize on opportunities for growth. According to Forbes, it is not enough to point out problems—leaders must also focus on proper engagement within the workplace culture as well as crafting clear solutions. Is your organization running into walls when it comes to tackling issues head-on? Click the link above to learn three tools for diffusing issues and turning them into wins.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re spending the rest of the afternoon captivated by an old, beat-up copy of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: March 30, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? The Eiffel Tower was almost demolished in 1909 after the 20-year lease on the land had ended—it was saved, however, for its use as a giant radio antenna.

DID YOU KNOW? The Eiffel Tower was almost demolished in 1909 after the 20-year lease on the land had ended—it was saved, however, for its use as a giant radio antenna.

In 1889, Paris hosted the Word’s Fair (L’Exposition Universelle) to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. In anticipation of the international event, the French government held a design competition for a monument that was to be built on the Champs-de-Mars in central Paris. More than 100 artists submitted their designs, but the selection committee chose Gustave Eiffel’s plan for an open-lattice wrought-iron tower—a monument that, once constructed, would be the world’s tallest man-made structure standing almost 1,000 feet above Paris. Eiffel’s great tower, completed after two years of construction, opened to the public on March 31, 1889 to much skepticism. Many believed it was structurally unsound, while others complained it was an “eyesore in the heart of Paris.” Today, the Eiffel Tower—remaining largely unchanged—is now regarded as an architectural masterpiece that is synonymous with the heart and soul of the City of Lights. Before you start daydreaming about a trip to Paris, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Before You Make Your Next Donation . . .

Charitable giving is a year-end practice for many of us. But the hustle and bustle of the last few months of the year can leave donors feeling overwhelmed and charities hard-pressed to meet fundraising goals. According to Forbes¸ donors can have more control of their giving by spreading contributions evenly throughout the year. Avoiding the last-minute scramble to donate allows for a more thorough vetting of charitable organizations. Want to take control of your giving efforts? Click on the link above to discover three benefits of making donations throughout the year.

2.  National Geographic's Self-Examination of Racism

Highly respected for its writing and world-renowned for its photography, National Geographic has a 130-year-long history—a history that came under careful examination in the April 2018 issue of the magazine. Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg titled her introduction to the issue, “For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.” This admission of the publication’s history of racism is the first step toward changing a long history of reporting the world through a narrow, white and elite Western lens. According to the Nonprofit Quarterly article linked above, this type of public acknowledgment of a past streaked with racism reveals valuable lessons for nonprofit leaders. A self-examination may raise questions as to how your nonprofit may err on the side of historically white perspective.

3.  Why Good Employees Quit

Hiring managers know how rewarding it is to onboard a candidate that is a perfect fit for their company. And while nothing is better than hiring an employee that is exemplary in their work, there is nothing worse than a valuable member of the team handing in their two weeks’ notice. According to Emplicity, exit interviews help gain insight for the future but are not enough to bring an esteemed employee back once they’re headed for the door. Is your organization struggling with employee retention? Consider the ways in which your organization manages its employees and check out the link above for five insights into why good employees quit.

4.  Corporations and Social Good?

While operating within the bounds of market-based capitalism, is it possible for corporations to inspire social good? According to a model developed by Jay Coen Gilbert’s nonprofit, B Lab, corporations can contribute to culture and improve the environment all while maximizing their bottom line. Gilbert’s team created a scorecard—the B Impact Assessment—for measuring a company’s social good along a 200-point scale. To date, B Lab has certified approximately 2,500 B Corporations (B Corps) which are expected to create quantifiable positive impact in conjunction with continual financial return. Check out the above link from Stanford Social Innovation Review to learn more about B Corps and how they demonstrate using the power of markets as a means to do good.

5.  #MeToo and the Nonprofit Sector

Taking its cue from national news headlines, a recent webinar from The NonProfit Times directed its focus to the #MeToo movement. Leaders from the legal, risk management and fundraising sectors were convened to discuss the movement and its impact on the nonprofit world. However unpleasant to address, the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace is one with which even nonprofit leaders are familiar. The webinar discussed systematic issues relating to harassment and measures leaders can take to prevent problems from occurring. Are you a nonprofit leader that could have benefited from the webinar? No need to worry. Click the link above to listen to the hour-long program in its entirety.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re browsing last-minute flights as we long for a glimpse of the Parisian skyline. See you next week… or not!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: March 23, 2018

  The #NeverAgain movement gains momentum as student activists gear up for the March for Our Lives protest on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

The #NeverAgain movement gains momentum as student activists gear up for the March for Our Lives protest on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

Protestors worldwide are preparing their signs for the March for Our Lives taking place this weekend. The march, spearheaded by the survivors of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, FL, is a protest advocating an end to gun violence and mass shootings in schools. On Saturday, March 24, the March for Our Lives will provide an opportunity for kids and families to speak out as the collective voice of a movement that demands change—change that protestors hope comes in the form of a comprehensive bill, brought before Congress, that addresses gun issues. The Washington, D.C. rally is expected to bring as many as 500,000 people to march on Pennsylvania Avenue, with at least 838 marches and events synchronously scheduled across the globe. Before you start searching for details of the events taking place in your city tomorrow, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Considering Third-Party Fundraising Help?

It is no secret that nonprofit organizations rely heavily on donations to stay afloat. Staff members and volunteers often take charge of fundraising endeavors, but some campaigns require more people-power to meet their goals. According to Forbes, nonprofits looking to enlist the help of an outside agency should not take the decision lightly. The choice to outsource a fundraising campaign can result in saving, or wasting, precious time and resources depending on the partnership. Is your organization considering an extra push to meet fundraising goals? Click on the link above for six factors to consider when hiring a third party to assist with fundraising.

2.  Parents Teaching Philanthropy

Is charitable giving a learned behavior? A recent study entitled “Women Give 2018, Transmitting Generosity to Daughters and Sons” from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at Indiana University seeks to answer this question. The study examines the relationship between parents that give to charity and potential influence on their adult children. The study suggests that children growing up in a household with parents that donate to charitable causes are more likely to give when they enter into adulthood. The report’s data also shows that adult daughters tend to absorb philanthropy lessons at a quicker rate than sons. Want to know how this data may be impacting charitable giving to your organization? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to discover more of the study’s key findings.

3.  Shaking up Board Diversity

It is a long-standing criticism of nonprofit boards that they tend to be homogenous. The University of California, Davis’s Women in Leadership Club, however, is looking to address head-on the lack of diversity that make up nonprofit boards. With their Board Fellowship Program, the club has designed an experiment that places carefully vetted and trained MBA students on nonprofit boards. According to the Nonprofit Quarterly, the benefits for both the students and the nonprofits have been significant. While students gain valuable leadership and management insights, boards are infused with fresh perspectives and new enthusiasm. Could your board benefit from a program like this? Follow the above link to learn more.

4.  Tap into Impact Investing

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are a small—but continually growing—sector of mission-driven organizations that strive to create equity in underinvested communities. But as funding dwindles and the disparity gap continues to widen throughout the U.S., CDFIs and nonprofits are forced to make hard-hitting decisions about how and where to focus their efforts. According to an article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), impact investing may offer new hope as well as access to capital. Is your mission-driven organization looking to develop new revenue streams? Check out the article linked above for a list of seven recommendations for tapping into the impact investment market.

5.  Traits of an Ideal Nonprofit Hire

Hiring great employees in the nonprofit sector can prove more difficult than in the for-profit world—a world that generally offers higher compensation for comparable positions. While this may be the case, nonprofit hiring managers should not be any less rigid when it comes to the expectations they have of any potential job candidate. When money is an issue, however, managers should consider the benefits of bringing someone with a less extensive resume on board and grooming them for a position. Want to increase your nonprofit’s chances of making quality hires? Follow the link for three traits to look for in potential candidates, despite relative inexperience.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We're feeling inspired by the students who are leading the charge on gun control and we're wishing everyone participating in the March for Our Lives a safe, productive and peaceful protest. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: March 16, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? By using 40 pounds of vegetable dye, the city of Chicago turns the Chicago River green every year to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day.

DID YOU KNOW? By using 40 pounds of vegetable dye, the city of Chicago turns the Chicago River green every year to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day.

The first Saint Patrick’s Day parade, named for the patron saint, bishop and national apostle of Ireland, took place not in Ireland, but in the United States when Irish soldiers, serving in the British army, marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. The dramatic increase of Irish settlers to the American colonies contributed to the popularization of the celebration, and as years went on, the parades became a symbol of unity and strength for Irish-American immigrants—many of whom were indentured servants. The revelry spread overseas in 1995 when the Irish government launched a large-scale campaign to market Saint Patrick’s Day as a means of boosting tourism. Today, March 17 is an international day of celebration with millions of people around the world (even those with no Irish heritage) drinking beer, toasting to the luck of the Irish—all while wearing green! But before you don your green gear and prepare for your pub-crawl, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Operate Your Nonprofit Like A For-Profit Business

While there may be countless differences that exist between nonprofit and for-profit businesses, there are a few operational strategies that prove effective for both types of ventures. According to Forbes, it is imperative that nonprofit organizations meet their yearly revenue goals. While it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations, nonprofits owe it to their donors to operate in a way that is independent of donations. By operating nonprofits like for-profit businesses, charitable organizations can avoid unnecessary expenditures and ensure they are fiscally successful. Want to learn more? Click on the link above for 12 effective tips for running your nonprofit like a for-profit business.

2.  AFP Launches New Initiative

In an effort to highlight and address issues women face within the fundraising workspace, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), has launched its Women’s Impact Initiative (WII). WII is the first of a series of new initiatives by AFP that will focus on research, education, training, support and awareness—all aimed at engaging various demographic groups within the fundraising sector. The WII initiative, which launched on International Women’s Day last week, combines public awareness, studies of gender-based wage equality and sexual harassment in the workplace. Are you a woman in the field of fundraising with insights to share? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to discover more information regarding AFP’s newest WII initiative and how you can take part.

3.  Creating an Organization's Data Culture

One may argue that the most pivotal practices of successful nonprofits cannot be measured: ideas such as believing in the greater good and working toward making a difference. But according to an article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), all organizations, no matter how big or small, have the capacity to create a data culture—a culture that is essential to an organization’s social impact. Nonprofits that are able to make good use of their data can better track program results. How comfortable is your organization using metrics to maximize social impact? Follow the above link for four suggestions for improving (or creating) a data culture within your nonprofit.

4.  Seven Deadly 'Sins' of the Nonprofit World

Even in the most altruistically-focused sector, bad things can happen. Putting religious law aside, the transgressions, or ‘sins,’ that continue to occur within the nonprofit world can result in the public’s loss of faith in institutions. According to the Nonprofit Quarterly, philanthropy as a whole should strive to be more transparent, engaged and forthcoming where its power and privilege are concerned. By examining the worst sins of the foundation sector, nonprofit leaders can take steps toward understanding how to respectfully support social change within their communities. Check out the article linked above for a list of philanthropy’s seven deadly sins and possible ways to absolve, so to speak, the nonprofit sector of these issues.

5.  Startups, Succeed in Fundraising!

According to the Business of Giving podcast, roughly two-thirds of charitable organizations are unable to break through the $500,000 revenue barrier. Even in instances where the nonprofits are making a difference and positively impacting their communities. Once organizations hit their wall, they are unable to optimize their full potential. Kathleen Kelly Janus, a social entrepreneur, author and Stanford University lecturer, set out on a journey to uncover best practices for startups to succeed in fundraising. After five years, Janus shares her experiences and research findings on the above linked podcast. Follow the link for five fundraising strategies to help your nonprofit surpass its revenue threshold and optimize its fundraising potential.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! Enjoy your St. Patty’s Day festivities and remember that no matter your heritage, “everyone’s Irish on March 17.” See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

 

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Friday Five: March 9, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? Hawaii and Arizona do not participate in daylight saving time but remain on standard time year-round.

DID YOU KNOW? Hawaii and Arizona do not participate in daylight saving time but remain on standard time year-round.

The reason for daylight saving time is based around energy conservation. The idea is that daylight hours should match the times when most people are awake. The first application of daylight saving was in 1916, during World War I, when Germany and Austria coordinated a one-hour clock shift as a means of conserving the electricity needed for the war effort. The United States followed suit two years later in 1918 but repealed the time adjustment just one year later in 1919. Daylight saving was seen as a wartime act by most Americans as it was reinstated in 1942 during World War II. Daylight saving became customary and continued even after the conflict ended, and the Uniform Time Act—passed by Congress in 1966—standardized daylight saving across the country as well as its start and end times (March and November). As you prepare to reset your watches and kitchen appliances, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Delegating Tasks to a Small Team

Running a small nonprofit company can have its advantages—team members, who thrive in the “startup culture” of a small organization, often feel instrumental to their nonprofit’s development, growth and success. According to Forbes, small nonprofit teams are passionate about their organization’s mission and are willing to pitch in whenever (and wherever) necessary to reach company goals. While employees of a bootstrapping organization are expected to be flexible and adaptable, executives should be careful not to delegate tasks in a way that may overwhelm their team. The link above provides seven effective tips for splitting up your small organization’s workload.

2.  Top Trends Facing Nonprofits

Trends in technology, economy, communications and even demographics can affect nonprofits in many ways. External influences shape both the decisions made by nonprofit leadership and those who invest in charitable organizations. According to the National Council of Nonprofits, an awareness and understanding of the trends influencing the nonprofit sector is helpful for developing foresight for strategic planning. Want to know what trends are affecting your organization? Check out the link above to discover the top three trends facing nonprofit organizations and a listing of resources to stay up to date with trends as they arise.

3.  Does Your Nonprofit Need a Brand Refresh?

Today’s changing communication landscape has made way for what has become a prominent shift to values-driven brands and marketing strategies. According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, this is because millennials, now the largest generation of consumers, tend to interact with and purchase from brands that reflect their values. While a variety of for-profit companies have updated their brands to connect with younger audiences, nonprofits—whose work benefits people and strive to create change—should take note. How well does your nonprofit articulate its values? Click the above link for three questions to determine if the time is right for a brand refresh.

4.  Advancing Causes Through the Arts

It is not unheard of for the work of artists and the nonprofit sector to overlap. Especially when artists find themselves advocating for policy change or engaging in projects that call attention to social issues. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, nonprofits seek the attention of artists and the arts community in general as a means of telling their stories through a different lens. In addition to reaching new donors, nonprofits assist artists in finding new audiences. Want to know more about how your organization can advance its cause through the arts? Follow the article linked above to learn about four nonprofits that partnered with artists or arts groups to successfully advance social causes.

5.  Building a Great Board

If you are a nonprofit leader, your executive board is one of your most vital resources. Members of a nonprofit board assist leaders to tackle challenges, stay on track and reach their nonprofit’s goals as well as shining a light on the organization’s successes and opportunities for growth. But according to Forbes, the board is only as useful as the advice it provides—the success of a nonprofit may be hindered if honest and valuable feedback is not given. Want to build a great board while encouraging honest input? Check out the link above to read eight tips for fostering good relationships with your board.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re looking forward to spring but not to the spring forward on Sunday morning. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: February 23, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? Participation in the ancient Olympic Games was initially limited to freeborn male citizens of Greece; there weren’t any women’s events, and married women were forbidden to attend, under penalty of death.

DID YOU KNOW? Participation in the ancient Olympic Games was initially limited to freeborn male citizens of Greece; there weren’t any women’s events, and married women were forbidden to attend, under penalty of death.

The Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece more than 3,000 years ago—with the first written records dating back to 776 B.C. The Games, which legend has it were founded by Heracles, were held every four years in Olympia from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. The ancient Olympics occurred between August 6 and September 19 during a religious festival meant to honor Zeus—the presiding deity of the universe and ruler of the skies. Before long, the Games had become the most famous of all Greek sporting festivals, and it is believed that their influence was so great that ancient historians measured time by the four-year intervals in between each Olympics—these were known as Olympiads. In A.D. 393, however, the Christian emperor Theodosius I banned all “pagan” festivals leading to the end of the ancient Olympic tradition. It wasn’t until 1896 that the Games would rise again when the first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece. Since 1994, the Winter and Summer Olympics have been held separately, alternating every two years. Eager as you may be to resume watching the events of the 2018 Winter Olympics unfold, take a moment to check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week first.

1.  Six Steps to Smart Spending

Most businesses strive to keep their spending to a minimum. This is especially true for nonprofit organizations that, rather than relying on traditional sales, depend on grant money and donations to keep operations running smoothly. While balancing your nonprofit’s budget may seem challenging, practicing the right financial strategies can help you keep your organization afloat. The above link from Forbes provides six practical tips for controlling overhead and keeping operating expenses low.

2.  Avoiding Collaboration Pitfalls

Different foundations bring harmonizing perspectives, strengths and communities to the partnership table. Because of this, foundation collaboration is favorable in most circumstances. Why then do partnerships between foundations remain so rare? According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, this is because efforts to create and preserve alliances, despite the obvious benefits of working together, can run into major obstacles. Check out the link above to learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of foundation collaboration.

3.  SDGs and Community Foundations

Community Foundations are playing an increasingly larger role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs are a list of 17 goals adopted by the UN in 2015 to address issues such as poverty, gender equality, environmental sustainability, hunger, and quality education. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, the power of foundations to organize as well as the fact that their missions relate directly to the improvement of the social fabric of their communities are what make community foundations ideal partners. If your foundation is not already focusing on SDGs, click the above link to learn 10 steps on how to get started.

4.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its Effect on Nonprofits

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed by Congress in December of 2017 and took effect on January 1 of this year. Under the new law, nonprofit organizations are among the most negatively impacted. According to an article published on NOLO, the main provisions that are expected to affect nonprofits include the fact that far fewer taxpayers will benefit from giving charitable contributions as well as the likelihood that more nonprofits will have to pay unrelated business income tax (UBIT). Want to know more about how your organization may be impacted by TCJA? Follow the article linked above to learn about the changes under the new tax reform.

5.  Mind the (Pay) Gap

According to Exponent Philanthropy’s 2018 Foundation Operations + Management Report, women outnumber men in executive, grantmaking and support roles within foundations. And while there is greater positional equality as compared to the for-profit sector, women are still reporting less income than their male counterparts (84 cents on the dollar). In addition to the gender pay gap, this year’s report featured insights on topics such as board size, diversity, payout rates, and succession planning. Want to gain a better understanding into issues that may be affecting your nonprofit organization? Check out the link above from The NonProfit Times to discover key findings from the report.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! In a bout of inspiration, we’re considering signing up for ice-skating lessons, but perhaps we’ll settle for watching the Olympics instead. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

 

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Friday Five: January 26, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? The idea of the Women’s March began on Facebook the day after the election as a reaction to Trump’s victory.

DID YOU KNOW? The idea of the Women’s March began on Facebook the day after the election as a reaction to Trump’s victory.

On President Trump’s first full day of office, hundreds of thousands of people crowded into the U.S. capital—not for his inauguration, but for the Women’s March on Washington. The march was a massive protest aimed primarily at the Trump administration and its perceived risk to reproductive, human and civil rights. Simultaneous protests in all 50 states and more than 30 foreign countries saw a turnout of more than 3 million people who gathered to show support for the movement. This past Saturday—one year into Trump’s presidency and the anniversary of the unprecedented march of 2017—protesters around the world took to the streets again for a second Women’s March. More than a single-day demonstration, the Women’s March has become the start of a resistance movement, and gives a voice to those who are particularly vulnerable under the new administration. And now that we’ve got you all riled up, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Belief Influences Leadership

With each morning’s news we are presented with yet another objectionable sign that the practice of leadership is far from impartial. Leadership, contrary to how it is often described in pop culture and literature, is not an inherent set of behaviors that is passed on through generations. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, it is an expression of a group’s particular ethos—the intrinsic character of a culture that informs beliefs, customs, politics and most other practices of a group or society. By acknowledging this, we embrace the idea that nonprofits will also make different choices depending on the values and politics of their leaders. Because different leadership practices produce diverse results, leaders must understand how their individual ethos can impact their board, staff, organization, sector and community. Want to know how your leadership practices manifest in your organization? Click on the link above to discover the four leadership domains and how identity influences leadership.

2.  Fostering the Next Generation of Leaders

Nonprofit organizations are implementing rotational development assignments as a means of developing future leaders. Through this cross-discipline training, employees are able to foster skills that will enable them to lead as effective managers. According to The NonProfit Times, broadening the scope of skill sets in emerging leaders should be a priority for nonprofits that want to develop a variety of abilities at high levels within their organization. Nonprofits have a tendency to keep workers where they excel, and should consider the for-profit sector approach that emphasizes exposing future talent to various roles. Check out the link above to learn how two nonprofit organizations are using a cross-discipline approach to cultivate future leaders.

3.  Does Your Nonprofit Use These Two Social Media Platforms?

In today’s age, there are no shortage of social media channels. Instead of being overwhelmed, one should remember that each exists for a reason and serves a different purpose. According to Forbes, the best way to learn how users interact with various platforms is to become a user yourself. Through first-hand experience, nonprofit marketers can gain insights on how to communicate with each channel’s unique audience. Social media should be an essential part of your nonprofit’s communication plan, and a cohesive brand and message should be present in every aspect of your communications. Which social media platforms does your nonprofit utilize? Click the above link to find out the two social media channels your nonprofit should be leveraging as well as successful approaches to enhancing your organization’s communication plan.

4.  Dos and Don'ts of Donor Meetings

The donor-grantee relationship is subject to the same normative “rules” that govern any successful relationship—courteousness and engagement. While the dos and don’ts of donor meetings may be common sense for some, they are worth reviewing in order to ensure your organization makes a poised, well informed and engaging first-impression on any potential donor. Want your organization’s representatives to ace donor meetings every time? The above link from The Chronicle of Philanthropy reveals a short list of behaviors nonprofits should keep in mind when meeting with donors.

5.  How to Lead for Mission Results

While every nonprofit leader wants to make a difference, there are various factors that prevent some organizations from getting the results they desire. When leaders consider broadening the lens of their choices in order to make more of an impact in the communities they serve, the capacity and will to lead with intent throughout certain unavoidable changes and transitions are better sustained. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, mission results—the ability to make a difference—are amplified when leaders are aware of how well they manage both predictable and unpredictable changes within their organizations. Want to better support your organization’s staff, board and executives to increase results? Check out the link above for tips on how to overcome barriers and lead a successful organization that can weather any storm.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re still riled up from Saturday’s Women’s March. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: January 19, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW?   The final piece of Martin Luther King Jr.’s stirring and historic “I have a Dream” speech is believed to have been predominantly improvised.

DID YOU KNOW? The final piece of Martin Luther King Jr.’s stirring and historic “I have a Dream” speech is believed to have been predominantly improvised.

As both a Baptist minister and social activist, Martin Luther King Jr. played a vital part in the American Civil Rights movement from the mid-1950s until the time of his assassination in 1968. King fought for human rights and equality for African Americans, the underprivileged and all who suffered from injustice. Through peaceful protest, he helped to facilitate events of historical significance like the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington. As a result of these events, watershed legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were voted into law. After sharing his vision of the future through his masterpiece, the “I Have a Dream” speech, King was named “Man of the Year” by TIME Magazine and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. King is remembered and celebrated each year on the third Monday of January on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986. And now that you’re feeling inspired, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Think Airbnb, but for Nonprofits

As real estate costs around the Bay Area show no sign of coming down any time soon, nonprofits find themselves faced with the same displacement and affordability crisis that is affecting the populations they serve. According to the Bay Area News Group, the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF)—which supports nonprofits—is launching Spacesforgood.org. This free online platform will allow nonprofits, landlords, real estate brokers, and event venues to advertise their available spaces to nonprofits for short-, long-term and temporary use. Is your Bay Area nonprofit concerned about the ever-increasing cost of real estate? Click on the link above to discover more information about NCCLF’s online tool, and how it could help your organization’s long-term financial sustainability.

2.  Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders

Long before the doling out of promotions, titles and bumps in pay, the cultivation of your organization’s future leaders begins early on. According to Forbes, many young employees and junior-level staff are willing to take initiative and are excited to make a noticeable impact within their organization. That being said, it is the responsibility of an organization’s executive team to encourage junior staffers to demonstrate leadership skills. Want your employees to feel empowered to contribute their ideas? Check out the link above to learn five ways to cultivate the next generation of leaders within your organization.

3.  The Affordable Housing Decline

High rents, stagnant incomes and a shortage of housing aid have resulted in lower-income families having an increasingly difficult time finding affordable housing. And according to housing advocates, the new tax bill and potential cuts in housing aid will only worsen the problem. The lowering of tax rates may make Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (credits used by developers to finance affordable housing projects) less appealing, and the supply of affordable housing will continue to shrink. Many may be forced to choose between paying rent or paying for medicine, food and other necessities. Does your organization help provide housing to low-income communities? Click the above link from NPR to read more about the difficulties facing affordable housing.

4.  Nonprofit Boards (Still) Lack Diversity

According to a recent BroadSource report, demographics of nonprofit boards have changed very little in the last several years. In addition to a severe lack of ethnic and racial diversity amongst board members, boards as a whole are putting little effort towards prioritizing demographics with regards to their recruitment practices. Because nonprofits serve communities that are largely underrepresented and populations that disproportionally consist of people of color, organizations have a greater responsibility to support and build diversity throughout their ranks. The above link from Nonprofit Quarterly provides four suggestions to achieve greater diversity on your board.

5.  Framework for Creating a 'People Handbook'

Most organizations have an operational handbook that explains how to execute work-related tasks, but very few organizations have a “people handbook”—a guide to navigating interactions with colleagues. Many of the conflicts that arise amongst team members are the result of workers' unfamiliarity with how personalities and work styles differ from those they work with. According to Forbes, this lack of understanding leads to conflicts between team members which in turn limits productivity. Want to create a ‘people handbook’ for your nonprofit? Check out the link above for a framework for improving team cohesion and communication.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We're off to spend the rest of the afternoon brainstorming ways to make King's vision a reality. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: January 12, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW?   It’s long been told that the Colorado River began carving the Grand Canyon about 6 million years ago, but a recent study suggests that the process may have begun as far back as 70 million years.

DID YOU KNOW? It’s long been told that the Colorado River began carving the Grand Canyon about 6 million years ago, but a recent study suggests that the process may have begun as far back as 70 million years.

Yesterday marked the 110th anniversary of President Theodore Roosevelt’s designation of the Grand Canyon as a national monument. While home to Native Americans for centuries, the immense and radiantly colored vision that is the Grand Canyon was not experienced by Europeans until 1540. Even as late as the 1860s, the breath-taking view of the Grand Canyon remained ‘terra incognita’ to most non-natives. By the late 19th century, however, the ever-expanding fascination with respects to wilderness and nature amongst Americans made the canyon an increasingly popular destination. By 1915, more that 100,000 tourists were visiting the Grand Canyon each year. With its conservation in mind, President Roosevelt believed the canyon should be forever preserved for the benefit of the people, and in 1908 the national monument was created. Congress increased its protection in 1932 and made it a national park. People who visit the Grand Canyon National Park today see a vista that has remained predominantly unchanged from the view of nearly 500 years ago. And now that we’ve got you awe-struck and googling pictures of the Grand Canyon, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  "M" or "F"? None of the Above

A new law designed to offer a gender-neutral option on state documents will soon allow Californians to identify as non-binary rather than the traditional “M” (male) or “F” (female). Under a bill from State Senator Toni Atkins which was signed into law in October 2017 by Governor Jerry Brown, those who fall somewhere outside the traditional conceptions of male and female will be able to mark their birth certificates, driver’s licenses and other official documents with an “X” (non-binary). So what does this mean for nonprofit employers? Click on the link above from Emplicity for four steps you can take to be proactive in addressing changes and to be more welcoming to non-binary employees.

2.  Want to Work at a Nonprofit? Read This First.

Nonprofit work is not right for everyone. Aside from being able to say, “I’m making a difference,” there are several other mitigating factors that motivate people to join the nonprofit sector. Whether you’ve made the decision to devote your entire career to nonprofit work or are considering making a mid-career transition from the for-profit world, there are a few things to consider. Are you yourself contemplating a professional life devoted to serving others? Check out the link above to learn the seven things Forbes says you should know before starting work at a nonprofit.

3.  10 Things Nonprofits Should NOT Do

Most of us in the nonprofit sector spend a lot of time reading and observing the ways in which nonprofits operate. While most of us in the not-for-profit world want to see mission-based organizations succeed and thrive, certain “crash-and-burn” thinking in nonprofit management seemingly appears to hope for the opposite. A recent article from Nonprofit Quarterly has named 10 ways to kill a nonprofit—a list of pitfalls that those who do not wish to put an end to their organization should avoid. Want to make your nonprofit as successful as possible? Click the link above to discover what NOT to do when managing your organization.

4.  Met Museum: Out-of-Towners Must Pay

For the first time in 50 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is changing its admission policy. Under the new policy, non-New Yorkers must now pay a mandatory admission fee of $25 as apposed to the current “suggested” admission price (also $25). According to The New York Times, the change—taking effect on March 1—is a consequence of economic necessity as the Met has seen a sharp decline of visitors willing to pay the suggested price. While the Met has seen a significant increase in attendance, only 17% of out-of-towners pay the full suggested amount. Some art critics argue the Met’s new policy is a mistake. What do you think? The above link provides a more detailed run down of the policy and the museum’s reasoning behind the change.

5.  Boring May Be Best

Often a discussion of excellence and collaboration, a conversation about organizational culture can seem a bit immaterial or redundant. While it is beneficial that organizations talk about standardized actions and values to align its team members, there are underlying systems in place that support and incentivize the way nonprofits interact. According to Forbes, these rarely discussed systems are “boring,” yet meaningful aspects in the creation of culture within an organization. Contemplating a change in culture for your nonprofit? For next steps, questions to consider and more information about how systems and processes help influence organizational culture, take a look at the article linked above.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re contemplating a last-minute road trip to Arizona this weekend to visit the Grand Canyon! See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: January 5, 2018

  DID YOU KNOW? January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings, transitions, time and endings. He is usually depicted with two faces—one looking forward to the future and one looking back at the past.

DID YOU KNOW? January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings, transitions, time and endings. He is usually depicted with two faces—one looking forward to the future and one looking back at the past.

New Year’s Day was celebrated for the first time in history on January 1, 45 B.C. with the introduction of the Julian calendar. Prior to the new, revised calendar the traditional Roman calendar attempted to follow the lunar cycle, but frequently fell out of phase with the seasons and needed to be altered. Moreover, the Roman body in charge of overseeing the calendar, the pontifices, would often abuse its authority by adding days in order to interfere with elections and extend political terms. Sosigenes, the astronomer who was enlisted to aid in the design of the new calendar, advised Julius Caesar to do away with the lunar cycle altogether and follow the solar year, as the Egyptians did. This change resulted in the new year beginning on January 1, instead of March. We’re hoping your first week of the new year was as good as the following five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Bosses, Beat Burnout!

Most nonprofit leaders and staff members continually strive to stretch the resources they have. Passionate about the work at hand, it can be easy for leaders to lose sight of when work ends and life begins—leading to burnout. Because philanthropic work often inspires greater emotional investment, self-care is particularly important. According to Forbes, it is vital for leaders to remember that accomplishing the goals of their nonprofit is not a sprint but a marathon, and that a healthy self, time for loved ones and a positive lifestyle help to make leaders more effective. Interested in a few great tips that will aid you as a nonprofit leader? Click on the link above for five productivity hacks to help beat burnout.

2.  Webinar: After the Donation

Simone Joyaux, an internationally recognized expert in fund, board and organizational development, teamed up with Nonprofit Quarterly to present a research-based workshop on retaining donors. “After the Donation” offers practical steps for nonprofits to take, particularly in the height of fundraising season, to keep donors long-term. According to Joyaux, a one-time gift from a donor is the beginning, not the endgame. Could your nonprofit use a refresher course in retaining donors? Follow the link above to watch the webinar and download a list of Joyaux’s favorite resources.

3.  "We Come Together, 'Cuz Opposites Attract"

Most, if not all, of us have heard the saying: “opposites attract.” But what happens in the workplace when complications arise due to differences in philosophy, management and work styles. According to The NonProfit Times, group work offers possibilities above and beyond those of working alone. And while working in teams can create a synthesis that results from each party contributing their best, it can also lead to ruin as personality differences cause conflict. Do you want to learn how to work cohesively through differences? Check out the link above to discover five steps from Jennifer B. Kahnweiler’s book “The Genius of Opposites” to learn how to draw upon the genius of the opposites within your organization.

4.  Nonprofit Alignment

The development of an organization’s strategic vision generally falls into the hands of its leadership. According to Forbes, leaders must first define the path forward, then develop strategies to help their nonprofit reach its goals. Not a one-time undertaking, leaders must continually strive to turn their organization’s vision from imagination to reality. Moreover, leaders must work to efficiently and effectively disseminate their vision to each member of the organization. Do you want to be a more effective nonprofit leader? Explore the link above for four guidelines to create a team that fully shares your vision.

5.  Research First, Give Later

According to the Nonprofit Quarterly, a small study in the United Kingdom has indicated that younger donors (those younger than 24 years old) are more likely to require background information on the charities to which they intend to give. This research from the UK Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator surveyed 2,000 respondents, and found that people between the ages of 18 and 24 years old are more likely than any other age group to research a charity prior to making a donation. Would your nonprofit pass the background check of younger supporters? Click the link above to discover insights from the study that may benefit your organization.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’ll be spending the rest of the afternoon fine-tuning our New Year’s resolutions. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: December 15, 2017

  DID YOU KNOW? Various vandals have tried to damage  The Mona Lisa . There have been attacks involving the throwing of acid, a rock, spray paint, and even a coffee cup.

DID YOU KNOW? Various vandals have tried to damage The Mona Lisa. There have been attacks involving the throwing of acid, a rock, spray paint, and even a coffee cup.

The Mona Lisa, arguably the most famous painting in the world, was completed in 1504 by one of the great Italian Renaissance painters, Leonardo da Vinci. The portrait, also known as La Gioconda, depicts the wife of Francesco del Gioconda, a wealthy Florentine citizen. The woman is shown with a mysterious facial expression that is standoffish yet alluring, seated before a quixotic landscape. On the morning of August 21, 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia, who had previously worked at the Louvre, removed the painting from the wall, hid it beneath his clothes and escaped from the museum. It wasn’t until two years after the heist that da Vinci’s masterpiece was recovered in Florence on December 12, 1913. Peruggia was captured by the police as he attempted to collect the ransom he had demanded from Italian art dealer Alfredo Geri. The Mona Lisa was eventually returned to the Louvre, where it can still be found today—behind bulletproof glass. And now that we’ve got you googling this story in disbelief, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  The Modern 3Rs

Great leaders constantly reflect on their organizations’ culture and core values and make adjustments as necessary. According to Forbes, a nonprofit organization that is grounded in definitive core values has a better chance of attracting donors, sponsors and stakeholders who enjoy being “co-branded” with the organization. Does your nonprofit want to improve its culture? Next time you talk strategy consider adopting the modern ‘3Rs’—respect, responsibility and resiliency. Click on the link above to read more about how you might use the 3R culture in your organization.

2.  10 Steps to Calm Angry Donors

A situation involving an angry donor can be a nightmare for a nonprofit organization. And even the most seasoned and experienced fundraisers can make a mistake that can snowball into a long, loud and tension-fueled phone call with a dissatisfied donor. If this sounds familiar, there’s no need to fret. An article from The NonProfit Times has highlighted 10 steps from Franz Metcalf and B.J. Gallagher’s “Being a Buddha at Work” to help your organization calm down angry donors as well as tackle problems that may arise. Check out the link above to discover how to best handle a situation with a displeased donor.

3.  Igniting Nonprofit Leadership

It is easy to feel powerless, given the unease and divisiveness we are experiencing as a society. But according to Nonprofit Quarterly, we are not powerless in this moment. The nonprofit sector has an opportunity (and the ability) to bring people together—to maintain courteousness and solution-oriented thinking that can move us forward despite partisan politics. But in order for organizations to successfully rally communities around a collective sense of purpose, the full leadership potential of boards and executives must be ignited. Follow the link above for four recommendations for how your organization can make that happen.

4.  Trends in Giving

According to a recent 2017 Global Trends in Giving report from the Public Interest Registry (PIR) and Nonprofit Tech for Good, more than 60 percent of donors prefer to give online—four times more than any other avenue. In addition, half of the donors polled said they were inspired to give by social media or fundraising events. And more than 91 percent of those surveyed gave donations this past year—13 percent of which went toward children and youth related causes. Interested in learning more? Explore the link above for more in-depth findings from the report.

5.  Donors: Combat 'Donor Fatigue'

2017 has been a year filled with natural disasters and other devastating tragedies that implored donors to contribute to disaster relief, charities and nonprofit organizations. So how, as a donor, can you avoid ‘donor fatigue’ when year-end holiday solicitations ramp up? According to Forbes, donor fatigue, while a real problem, is not inevitable. With a bit of exploration and the right questions, donors can educate themselves, maximize the impact of their donation dollars, and avoid fatigue altogether. Click the link above to discover four ways to combat donor fatigue and keep your philanthropic spirit going strong this holiday season.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’ll be spending the rest of the day analyzing the mysterious Lisa del Gioconda. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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Friday Five: December 1, 2017

  DID YOU KNOW?    Un bar aux Folies Bergère   ,   considered the last major work of French painter Édouard Manet, represents the lively ambiance of one of the most renowned cabarets of Paris.

DID YOU KNOW? Un bar aux Folies Bergère, considered the last major work of French painter Édouard Manet, represents the lively ambiance of one of the most renowned cabarets of Paris.

The Folies Bergère opened in 1869 in Paris, France as a music hall for operettas, pantomime and political meetings. The hall was a categorical failure until the 1870s when it began to stage vaudeville—shows that featured a snake charmer, acrobats, trained elephants, a boxing kangaroo and the world’s tallest man. The public was allowed to drink and socialize in the indoor garden and promenade of the theater, and the Folies soon became synonymous with the carnal temptations of the French capital. In 1886 the Folies Bergère underwent new management, and the first revue-style music hall show, the “Place aux Jeunes,” was staged on November 30. The elaborate show featured scantily clad chorus girls with spectacular costumes and sets. Following the taste for striptease, the Folies was quickly established as the premier nightspot in Paris with as many as 40 sets, 1,000 costumes and a backstage crew of approximately 200 people. And now that we’ve got your attention, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  #GivingTuesday 2017

2017 has been a year filled with natural disasters—tragedies that implored donors to contribute to disaster relief, charities and nonprofit organizations. Yet that did not hinder #GivingTuesday from reaching a new record this week. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the 2017 #GivingTuesday Data Project reported $274 million raised from more than 2.5 million contributions—a 55 percent increase from last year. Click on the link above from The NonProfit Times to read more about the fundraising platforms and various campaigns that contributed to the success of this year’s #GivingTuesday.

2.  From Partnership to Entrepreneurship

Nonprofit organizations that engage in partnerships are provided an opportunity to widen the scope of their impact. According to Forbes, nonprofits that work with companies in different regions are able to solve new problems for underserved populations by facilitating stronger community infrastructures and cultivating entrepreneur-friendly environments. As partnerships are nurtured, new entrepreneurial opportunities are created and future business leaders emerge as a byproduct of those philanthropic ventures. Is your nonprofit considering potential partners? Check out the link above to discover three factors by which to evaluate candidates.

3.  Corporate Arts Giving is on the Rise

According to a recent study by CECP, titled Giving in Numbers, support for culture and arts is on the rise. The study, which evaluated corporate giving and employee engagement data from the world’s largest companies, reported giving to culture and arts programs had increased by 48 percent between the years 2014 and 2016. The study also cited research on the positive impact of the arts in terms of improving health, safety and well-being. An article from Inside Philanthropy suggests these findings help to reinforce the marketing strategies of arts organizations that are leveraging their community impact when appealing to donors and future employees. Curious how the arts can affect your organization’s balance sheet? Follow the link above for further analysis of the study’s findings.

4.  Nonprofits Responsible for Decreased Crime Rate?

Marked by all-too-frequent mass shootings and acts of violence, it is no secret that the United States faces many challenges. Yet, according to Nonprofit Quarterly, the past two decades have seen a remarkable decline in crime. And it is nonprofit organizations that may have contributed largely to that decline. Research suggests that while not every nonprofit plays a role in reducing violence, the organizations that focus on summer jobs for teenagers, in-school programming, behavioral therapy and tutoring can have a direct impact on crime rates. That being said, it is possible that these community-based organizations are vital to the effort to control violence within the communities they serve. Does your nonprofit have a strategy in place to help foster members of its community and curb violence? Explore the link above to find evidence of the potential organizations have to build stronger communities and reduce violent crime rates.

5.  How National Nonprofits Meet Local Needs

Nonprofit organizations are oftentimes evaluated more on the happenings of the local level rather than what is occurring nationally. So how can national nonprofits meet the needs of their communities in a way that mollifies local factions? According to Forbes, organizations that have hundreds of offices around the country operate in a way that is similar to franchises. This level of autonomy can present both challenges and benefits to the nonprofit—while the fairly decentralized structure requires extra diligence in terms of consistency, communication and quality control, the flexibility helps to meet the needs of local supporters. Is your national nonprofit working to better address local impact? Click the link above to discover three takeaways to help your organization stay connected with the communities it serves.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’ll be daydreaming about Paris during La Belle Époche—a time of such sweet joie de vivre, new forms of entertainment and the perfection of champagne. See you next week!

Can’t get enough of the Friday Five? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to info@b-alaw.com. We’ll be back next week!

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