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!

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