DID YOU KNOW? Prior to the eruption of 79 AD a word for Volcano did not exist. Volcano derives from the word Vulcan  —the Roman God of the Flame and Metal Forgery.

DID YOU KNOW? Prior to the eruption of 79 AD a word for Volcano did not exist. Volcano derives from the word Vulcan—the Roman God of the Flame and Metal Forgery.

Mount Vesuvius, after centuries of dormancy, erupted on August 24, 79 A.D. leaving the prosperous ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum devastated in its wake. It is said that 20,000 people were living in Pompeii during the early Roman Empire—Roman elite, manufacturers, merchants and farmers alike. The rich soil of the region near the Bay of Naples made for verdant vineyards and bountiful orchards. On the fateful day of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption, a 10-mile mushroom cloud of pumice stone (some 3 inches in diameter) and volcanic ash was propelled into the sky. The fiery eruption along with toxic gas continued to hail down on the city of Pompeii for 12 hours and quickly traveled to the neighboring city of Herculaneum. Both cities were completely engulfed and buried, and it was not until the 18th century that they were rediscovered and excavated. Preserved in their final moments, both cities offer an unparalleled snapshot of the day-to-day life of an ancient Roman city. Before you jet off to book your sightseeing tour, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.  

1.  R.I.P: Nonprofit Dissolution

The dissolution of a nonprofit organization is a trying and significant decision, and, unfortunately, one that is not too uncommon. While it is required by state and federal law that nonprofits outline policies and procedures for organizational dissolution in their bylaws and articles of incorporation, many organizations do not have a plan. Whether the death of a nonprofit is brought about by involuntary or voluntary means, organizations should be prepared. Does your nonprofit have a protocol for if ever it is time to call it quits? Let the linked article from Nonprofit Quarterly serve as a guide: click on the link to learn four principles to keep in mind when establishing an honorable dissolution for your organization.

2.   Millennials: Influencers for Good?

According to the Forbes article above, the Millennial generation is both idealistic and altruistic as a whole—Millennials donate an average of $600 annually to the causes that are important to them. While this may seem insignificant when compared to contributions from older generations, consider that many Millennials face crippling student debt, stagnant salaries and a continual rise in the cost of living. In addition to being generous with their money, Millennials invest their time and influence in charitable causes, particularly on social media platforms. This trend is creating a shift in the modern workplace as many companies race to create programs designed to best engage Millennials. Check out the article linked above to discover four tips to building and expanding social responsibility programs through Millennials.

3.  Thinking About Starting a Nonprofit?

The desire to help people is at the heart of all nonprofits. But the desire to do good is not enough when considering whether or not to start a nonprofit organization. This article from Entrepreneur mentions that not all entrepreneurs are created equal, and that not all are driven by the same forces. Many choose to leave corporate America behind to launch nonprofit endeavors—organizations that enable entrepreneurs to give back to their communities and see more tangible immediate results. But even enterprises that are driven by social responsibility must be run like a for-profit business. Do you plan to start a nonprofit and aren’t sure where to start? Follow the link above for five thoughts to consider before you get the ball rolling.

4.  George Costanza's Advice to Fundraisers

Anyone who has seen even one episode of Seinfeld may argue that there are “valuable” life lessons to be learned. An article from The Nonprofit Times points out a lesson from George Costanza that may be of particular interest to fundraisers; the importance of keeping organizational social and marketing relationships separate. While the theme of the Seinfeld episode was more geared toward the separation of romantic and social relationships, the warning should be heeded just the same. It is important to leverage your social influence in order to maximize fundraising as it aligns with your mission, but it is equally essential to understand that connecting with your supporters is more than discounts and promotions. The link above provides four tips your organization can employ to avoid the intersection of marketing and social relationships.

5.  The How-To Guide for Nonprofit Boards

The board of a nonprofit is meant to represent the public interest in the organization. Acting as the legal voice of the nonprofit, the board assists in maintaining tax exemption of the organization as well as establishing its bank account and filing its annual reports. Moreover, the board guides decisions and can positively influence the nonprofit to take actions toward carrying out its mission. A lack of accountability can lead to involuntary dissolution for a nonprofit, so it is vital that nonprofit boards understand their responsibilities in detail. But what specific actions are required of the board to best represent and facilitate the operation of a nonprofit? Take a look at the linked article from Nonprofit Quarterly for an in-depth guide to nonprofit board basics and best practices.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re busy planning a trip to join the 2.6 million people that visit the Pompeii archeological site each year. See you next week!

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