As a CPA, one of the things I enjoy most about my job is getting to work with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations and seeing all the great work they do. In my opinion, one of the best opportunities to learn more about the issues affecting your nonprofit organization is at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) Annual Conference, which was held recently in St. Paul. I attended the conference and there was so much good information that I took two pages of notes! My favorite session was about generating monthly donors.Read more
White people, we need to talk. Despite our talk of equity and inclusion, there is an insidious thing happening. Nonprofit fundraising still hinges on a relic of white supremacy that it seems white people are just not willing to quit.
I’m talking about the white savior complex, discussed in Nonprofit Quarterly here. The article quotes Teju Cole, who describes a white savior as someone who “supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.”Read more
We’ve all heard it, I’m sure. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Right?
Whether or not you’ve heard this aphorism, I’d be willing to bet you’ve experienced it. I sure have – in different sizes and types of organizations, and in different ways within those organizations.
But never have I been more frustrated by this truth than when it relates to the lack of a culture of philanthropy in a nonprofit.Read more
Applying for grants can seem like a scary clown living under your bed. You don’t entirely understand how you were put in this situation, it can feel like there’s no one there to help you and there’s a lot of mystery to all of the logic involved. I hope to offer you some advice on how to navigate this process if you’re new to applications and if nothing else, hopefully some of this might get rid of Mr. Pennywise who’s below the mattress.Read more
Outside a fancy lounge in downtown Minneapolis, I duck behind a marble column and change my winter boots to dress shoes. I breathe heavily, having booked it from the lightrail, and bend to notice the crack along the front of my right shoe.
I have researched the people I am about to meet inside, because that it is what fundraisers do. The people have Ivy League educations, wear neutral tones, and speak in low, even keeled voices. I prefer jewel tones, no one researched my public school education before this meeting, and my voice is a product of a confusing mix of messages about who a working class woman is to be: a fighter, strong, and also vulnerable to the whims of men around her, suddenly cut off and quiet.Read more
In the world of Harry Potter, Defense Against The Dark Arts is a required class at the Hogwarts Witchcraft and Wizardry School, where the students learn the skills needed to defend against unsavory Death Eaters and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Similarly, staff members at nonprofit organizations can equip themselves against unaccountability by learning how their organization's system of internal controls, human resources, and financial protections work.
Now when you cast the spell “Expecto Patronum” (a shield of positive energy), the spell you cast will be well-crafted and effective. (My patronus comes in the form of a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.)
As we close in on the end of the calendar year, your nonprofit organization might be scrambling to maintain end-of-year obligations to donors while simultaneously meeting the demands of their staff. This is all the more reason to be mindful of your nonprofit's accountability expectations.Read more
Since the wild success of the Ice Bucket Challenge last year, the impact of successful social media marketing has become a hot topic among nonprofits. Personally, after seeing countless friends douse themselves with iced water in the name of charity, I started to look more closely at how my favorite nonprofits use social media. Unfortunately, I see too many nonprofits’ Facebook pages that haven’t been updated since 2014 and Twitter accounts with ten posts per day. Navigating social media can be a difficult task for marketing purposes—and a daunting one for fundraising.
Thankfully, GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day is a statewide crowdfunding initiative that makes it easier to use social media for fundraising. It’s unprecedented growth each year is a testament to the importance of crowdfunding in modern fundraising. If your organization isn’t capitalizing on crowdfunding through social media, here’s why it should:Read more
We've got big news.
No, we're not making any presidential endorsements. We are, however, beyond excited to announce that for the first time ever, YNPN Twin Cities has an approved operating budget and fundraising plan!Read more
If you work in nonprofits, then at some point you will bump into the people that fund nonprofits. What is the most important thing you can do in that moment? Thank You! It does not matter if you are at a gala, touring a site, or working on a project for your executive director, take a moment to express true gratitude to that partner. Donors are much more than a fiscal sponsor. They are (if you treat them right) lifelong advocates for the same mission you are passionately working for day-in and day-out.
If you work in nonprofits, then at some point you will bump into the people that fund nonprofits. What is the most important thing you can do in that moment? Thank You! It does not matter if you are at a gala, touring a site, or working on a project for your executive director, take a moment to express true gratitude to that partner. Donors are much more than a fiscal sponsor. They are (if you treat them right) lifelong advocates for the same mission you are passionately working for day-in and day-out.Read more