DID YOU KNOW? Many believe Michelangelo painted the ceiling lying on his back, but he actually constructed his own scaffolding so he could paint standing up.

DID YOU KNOW? Many believe Michelangelo painted the ceiling lying on his back, but he actually constructed his own scaffolding so he could paint standing up.

Michelangelo Buonarroti, arguably the greatest artist of the Italian Renaissance, was summoned to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV in 1508 to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—the foremost consecrated space in the Vatican. After several years of work, the ceiling was opened to the public on November 1, 1512. The legendary ceiling frescos are among Michelangelo’s most memorable works, particularly the biblical panel entitled The Creation of Adam. This painting depicts both God and Adam stretching their arms out toward one another. And now that we’ve given you more knowledge for your next ‘Art of the Italian Renaissance’ trivia night, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Nonprofits, Don't Be Shy!

Nonprofit organizations tend to shy away from advocacy out of fear of jeopardizing their tax exemption status. However, issue advocacy is an important matter that should not be shied away from. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, nonprofits can use their expertise to weigh in on public policy for the good of the communities they serve. This mission-related activity is legal so long as charitable organizations do not allow themselves to be manipulated for political purposes. Don’t let politicians exploit your nonprofit’s advocacy. Click on the link above to discover how your nonprofit can fight for your community and the resources it needs without being a political pawn.

2.  Value Over Recognition

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about creating strategies that produce quantifiable results and long-lasting impact. When companies place CSR ahead of reputation and public relations, they are able to channel their strengths toward creating more meaningful, enduring change. While ranking high on the next sustainability list may garner a heap of recognition, CSR work results in tangible benefits that can manifest in genuine connections with communities and the trickle-down effect of positive change. Does your company want to start providing greater value to its community? Check out the link above from Forbes to find three strategies for putting value over recognition.

3.  Nonprofit Fundraisers: This One's for You

In recent years, the field of fundraising has become increasingly more sophisticated. With new insights into human behavior, there is much to learn that can help fundraisers improve results—whether it’s to raise more money from current donors or encourage new donors to give. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, there is an abundance of relevant research and studies that offer valuable data to assist development departments in honing their tactics. Are the fundraisers at your organization on the hunt for an edge? Follow the article linked above for a roundup of incisive research findings featured by The Chronicle in recent months.

4.  Leveraging Nonprofit Networks

Creating a good network takes time, energy and sincere effort. According to The NonProfit Times, nonprofit organizations that participate in a network are able to leverage knowledge and resources more effectively than those that choose to keep others at an arm’s length. As network organizations begin to engage with each other, the network itself becomes a cache of invaluable relationships. Can your nonprofit benefit from being part of a network? The link above features four lessons to help nonprofit leaders leverage networks to build capacity.

5.  Mission Statement Poetry

Whether an organization is a startup or an accomplished foundation, its mission statement is the foundation of external communications as well as its internal vision. In a few carefully selected words, mission statements represent the entire essence of an organization’s complex vision. Much like Japanese Haiku, mission statements are composed purposefully and succinctly—keeping every word’s denotations and connotations in mind. Is your organization writing or rewriting its mission statement? Click the link above from Nonprofit Quarterly for examples of how to take a poetic approach to crafting mission statements.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’ll be spending the rest of the afternoon searching for the hidden messages Michelangelo was suspected to have placed in his paintings. See you next week!

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