As the month of August comes to a close, Americans across the country welcome September with open arms as they gear up for the three-day weekend. Labor Day, observed on the first Monday in September, was created in order to pay tribute to workers and their achievements. Today, the extra day off is celebrated with barbeques and picnics, athletic events, parades, and trips to the local fairground. While most look at Labor Day as a joyous occasion, the holiday came out of one of the grimmest chapters in American labor history. At the peak of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s the average American worked 12-hours a day, seven days a week in extremely unsafe conditions. Without access to fresh air, sanitary facilities or adequate breaks, tensions overflowed which led to strikes and riots. On September 5, 1882, approximately 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in New York City for better pay, hours and working conditions. This event became recognized as the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. It didn’t take long for the idea of a “workingmen’s holiday” to catch on, and Labor Day became a federal holiday just 12 years later in 1894. Before you race out of the office to participate in the shenanigans you’ve planned for the long weekend, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on Friday of last week. Pummeling the Gulf Coast with more than 2 feet of rain, Harvey has left thousands of people in Houston and along the coast displaced. According to NPR, an estimated 30,000 people are in need of shelter, while approximately 450,000 “may qualify for federal flood victim assistance.” As Harvey continues to loom over the Gulf Coast with heavy rain, floodwaters continue to rise in Houston—sending residents scrambling for safety, shelter and aid. Are you looking for a way to offer support to the thousands affected by Hurricane Harvey? Take a look at the linked article above for a list of organizations offering aid to those touched by this tragedy.
According to The NonProfit Times, some top consumer brands have retention rates that surpass 90 percent while most nonprofits float just over the 40 percent mark. This begs the question: what is being done in the corporate sector and what can nonprofits learn and replicate from their for-profit counterparts? Americans have been conditioned to appreciate high-quality customer experiences and to expect personal touches. Any experience that is deemed mediocre or disappointing stands out to customers who are more mindful than ever. Is your nonprofit looking for ways to improve donor relations? Click on the link above to discover six tips from the for-profit sector that your nonprofit can use to better steward your donors.
In the wake of the tragic events that unfolded in Charlottesville, mayors from cities across the country are working together to create local solutions to end extremism, violence and bigotry. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is joining forces with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for an initiative called the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate. The Compact is designed to “promote fundamental principles of justice and equality” in a bid to make cities safer for all. Thus far the Compact has been signed by more than 270 mayors pledging their cities to be beacons for acceptance, respect and inclusion. Check out the article linked above to learn more about this new endeavor and the ways in which cities can employ the expertise and training of the ADL.
There is no doubt that nonprofit work, when successful, can be extremely gratifying. But a fruitful nonprofit is usually the result of dedicated nonprofit professionals who put in long hours tackling never-ending, ever-evolving to-do-lists and shortages in funds. With the many challenges these devoted staff members face daily, it is no surprise that some eventually burnout. According to the Forbes article linked above, there is a way for compassion-fatigued workers to regain their motivation and sustain their passion throughout their nonprofit careers. Are your employees on the cusp of emotional exhaustion? Follow the link above for seven tips to help them avoid burnout in your workplace.
Just as the commercial sector competes for customers and sales, nonprofits must also stay competitive in order to gain and retain donors and their loyalty. For many nonprofits, this means having an effective direct mail program. But not all programs are created equal. This is why, according to The NonProfit Times, testing is critical before ideas are adapted and implemented in the marketplace. The improvement of metrics through testing ensures that direct mail programs reach their ultimate goals to engage supporters and raise money for the organization’s mission. Want to generate more revenue through direct mail campaigns for your nonprofit? The link above provides more information on different types of testing your organization can use to maximize your nonprofit's direct mail potential.
That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re gearing up for one last summer hurrah with some much-needed relaxation, barbeques and family time. See you next week!