January 7, 2014
What’s the most common mistake organizations make when recruiting board members?
Not fully describing what’s expected in terms of their role and responsibilities. Too often we understate expectations because we want people to serve. That’s self-defeating. Full disclosure from the beginning will bring you amazingly dedicated and committed board members. By the same token, understating the requirements (“You only have to come to meetings – the staff does everything else”) will backfire and create resentment. (more…)
December 31, 2013
For many of us, ushering in a new year means a chance to transform aspects of our lives. We do that by resolving to do things – lose weight, quit a bad habit, increase physical activity, call our moms more frequently and so on. While they are all great aspirations, all of which are on my list, there is something else that makes for a great resolution – doing good and helping others. (more…)
December 27, 2013
It’s that time of the year! There is just a couple of days remaining in the year to make your charitable donation. The stock market’s been good to many of you this year – so celebrate and give. As they say, “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”
This year you have so many great choices among organizations to give to. How do you choose?
Here’s a checklist –
1. What issues do you care about? You can make a difference on a wide array of issues. There are many ways in which you can give and make an impact. Your donations could…
- Provide dental care in communities where no doctors took children under 7 or accepted Medicare: PRASAD
- Build camp, latrines, provide food and water for families fleeing violence in the Central Condo Republic: International Rescue Committee
- Bridge the gap between science and policy, provide interesting briefings to Congress, open to the public, about complex energy and environmental issues: Environmental and Energy Study Institute
- Provide counseling, homework and SAT help: A Place Called Home
- Match volunteers with people with HIV/AIDS to ensure that men and women do not have to face their illnesses alone: Shanti Project
- Pay for fees for kids’ activities such as tutoring, summer camp, ballet lessons or ice hockey lessons while their parents are deployed overseas: Our Military Kids.
- Provide creative writing classes at community libraries for the low-income: LOFT
- Rescue and rehabilitate ill and injured seals and sea lions: Marine Mammal Center
- Help low-income people get medical care that they can afford: Access Partnership
These are just a few examples from the GreatNonprofits 2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit List.
2. Go with your heart – are you interested in having a local impact or national? National organizations tend to have more impact in raising awareness and policy-making, and therefore can have broader impacts. The advantage of local giving is that you can get more involved with an organization in addition to donating. There are thousands of nonprofits in each major city providing services ranging from meals for the elderly to legal aid for the low-income. Find your city’s list of nonprofits: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland,Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Honolulu, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Portland,San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington DC and more.
3. Go visit the nonprofit and experience it for yourself. Many nonprofits have community outreach events – and you can drop by and talk to them at their table at the community fair, or at their open house. Walk around and see if you can meet some of the people they serve – talk to them and get a sense of what services they value and their experience with the organization. Sign up to volunteer and see first hand the work of the nonprofit. By volunteering, you will meet other volunteers, even some board members or clients and get to witness their program first-hand.
Just remember, you have just a couple of more days to make your 2013 tax-deductible donation count. Giving unleashes endorphins – so give to a worthy cause, and enjoy the true season of giving!
November 21, 2013
In the 6 years in which my organization, GreatNonprofits, has been collecting beneficiary feedback, we’ve gleaned some lessons. A wide range of nonprofits from cancer support organizations to after-school programs to arts organizations use our tool to collect feedback. These nonprofits range in size and audience from small, grassroots organizations, to well-known international nonprofits. (more…)
November 20, 2013
The enormity of the human tragedy and pain caused by Typhoon Haiyan is splashed across every news site and TV. As we think about how we can help, there are several lessons we’ve learned from Hurricane Katrina, the South Asian Tsunami and the Haiti earthquake to remember. (more…)
November 20, 2013
So the day we’ve all been waiting for is here! #GivingTuesday – a national movement and brainchild of the 92nd Street Y– The idea is to create a daylong national effort to help charities raise money online during the holiday season – and right on the heals of Cyber Monday and Black Friday. We’ve been preparing for months. But what do you do when the day is here? Here are tips depending on who you are!
November 20, 2013
By contributing writer Amanda Howard, and Brad Jamison, contributing writer and founder of Good Citizen,
Christmas time is often called “the most wonderful time of the year” and I couldn’t agree more. I LOVE Christmas – the traditions, time with family and friends, gift giving, cooking, eating, singing holiday favorites, church on Christmas Eve and more.
Now, there is another side of this time of year that has gotten a bit out of control – the commercial side. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to the commercial side of the holidays. I love giving gifts to those I love – I get a thrill out of finding just the right thing, big or small, and presenting it to them. But, I do think it has gone too far, as the hope and joy seem to have been replaced by greed and selfishness.