DID YOU KNOW? Every year on the eve of  Dia de la Independencia , the President of Mexico re-enacts the  Grito  from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City, while ringing the same bell   that Hidalgo rang in 1810.

DID YOU KNOW? Every year on the eve of Dia de la Independencia, the President of Mexico re-enacts the Grito from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City, while ringing the same bell that Hidalgo rang in 1810.

Dia de la Independencia (Independence Day) is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated each year on September 16. This date marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence that was launched in 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, issued his famous Grito de Dolores or “Cry of Dolores.” Read aloud in the town of Dolores while ringing the bell of the church, this call to arms rang out for the end of 300 years of Spanish rule in Mexico as well as racial equality and the redistribution of land. Hidalgo was joined by thousands of mestizos and Indians, and it wasn’t long before a peasant army was marching towards Mexico City. While Hidalgo himself would never see the end of the war, Mexico would eventually gain its independence 11 years later in 1821. Today, Mexican’s celebrate their country’s independence with fiestas, fireworks, music, dancing, and, of course, food. Mexico’s official colors—red, white and green—are displayed abundantly throughout Mexican towns and cities in the form of flowers, flags and decorations. But before you rush off to check when and where local celebrations will take place, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Nonprofits: Collaborate and Listen!

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the U.S. is home to 1.5 million nonprofit organizations. Within an increasingly saturated nonprofit community, organizations find themselves competing for the same funding while many struggle to stay afloat. But the industry’s continuous expansion does not mean that everyone cannot succeed. The Forbes article linked above illustrates the importance of collaboration among competitors to work together in order to strengthen community outreach. A convergence of ideas and knowledge can create networking opportunities that allow likeminded, ambitious people to come together for the greater good. Is your nonprofit interested in collaborating? Click on the link above to discover three strategies your nonprofit can use in pursuit of mutually beneficial relationships among competitors.

2.  The (White) Face of Nonprofit Boards

Nonprofit leadership is predominantly white and is not likely to diversify anytime soon, according to a recent report from BoardSource. The study found that whites account for 90 percent of board seats and CEO positions, and more than one-quarter of nonprofit boards are all-white. An article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy states that diversity, when it comes to recruitment at the board level, is not a high priority to most nonprofits. The findings of the BoardSource report illustrate a disconnect between attitudes and actions and are a sign of obstinate bias with regards to hiring and the appointment of board members. Is your nonprofit committed to diversity? Check out the link above to discover more data from the study that can help your nonprofit to better improve its diversity outlook.

 3.  Let's Get Social

There are a multitude of individuals who are ready and willing to help your organization succeed—the key is knowing how to reach them. By focusing their energy in the right place, according to The NonProfit Times, nonprofit organizations can harness the magic of micro-targeting through social advertising in order to engage audiences. Even organizations that are not operating with a large budget can make an impact with a small investment in digital. Want to know how your nonprofit can cash in on social advertising plugs? Follow the article linked above to discover examples from organizations that have had success using social advertising to leverage groups of potential supporters.

4.  Nonprofit Guide to Communications Strategy

Nonprofit organizations focus a large chunk of their time on raising awareness. The Standford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), proposes, however, that nonprofits should, instead, focus on strategic communications efforts that result in long-term change. Many imagine communication strategies as large undertakings—detailed playbooks of sorts—that take weeks to actualize. And busy nonprofit professionals have little time to waste. However, the SSIR suggests strategies that are “flexible, scrappy, and accessible to everyone” in the organization. Is your nonprofit ready to focus its efforts in a more meaningful direction? The link above provides a detailed, four-question guide to help your organization conceive an effective strategy to yield the change you seek.

 5.  A New Way to Measure Social Impact

Organizations in the charitable sector are not strangers to statistics. While numeric metrics provide a snapshot of achievement, nonprofits may depend on these numbers as a means to measure success and progress—terms that are relative in the framework of social services and may overshadow the human experiences that positively impact the community. According to Forbes, the lack of an evaluation tool has given rise to alternative ideologies in the social sector that place individuals at the core of reporting metrics. An example of this is Human-Centered Design (HCD) which places community stakeholders at the center of service. Want to shake up your organization's metrics? Click the link above to discover more about the innovative ways in which HCD measures impact and differs from traditional approaches.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! Don’t mind us, we’re just brushing up on our Español. ¡Viva México! See you next week!

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