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Most Quotable Nonprofit Leaders

Here are some of the most inspiring words from some of the world’s greatest nonprofit leaders.

Malala Yousafzai

  • Malala-Yousafzai_Antonio-Olmos“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”
  • “Some people only ask others to do something. I believe that, why should I wait for someone else? Why don’t I take a step and move forward.”
  • “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.”
  • “I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.”

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Funders, Your Grant Application Process may be Perpetuating Inequity

Vu-LeWe just love this blog post from Vu Le at Nonprofitwithballs.com and thought that we would share it with with you!

This past year, my organization assumes more and more the role of a quasi-funder. Rainier Valley Corps (RVC), was formed to build the capacity of communities-of-color-led nonprofits while simultaneously developing leaders of color. We do this by selecting host sites and then sending emerging leaders of color that we train (and whose wages we pay) to these organizations, where they work full-time for one or more years to build these organizations’ capacity. The ethnic CBOs increase their capacity and effectiveness and ability to be involved at the systems level, and the field has a slew of awesome future nonprofit leaders of color that I will personally help to train to be kick-ass nonprofit warriors. Our inaugural cohort of ten leaders starts this September.

Because small nonprofits have to apply to be partners and host sites in our program, we have started being viewed as somewhat of a funder. (We have the best of both worlds: The joy of having to reject great organizations, and the fundraising-associated night terrors of being a nonprofit). I noticed the shift in dynamics when I was visiting these organizations as part of the review process, and some people seemed visibly nervous. As I mentioned earlier, program officers are instantly 27% more attractive than civilians. Suddenly, my wrinkles were marks of experience, my twitching left eye now charming, and this weird gap between my front two teeth a distinguishing feature. Not only that, but apparently my jokes on those site visits were 100% funnier too! (more…)

Frances’ Story

I work for a grantmaking foundation. Daily I read grant proposals, research nonprofits, and recommend which ones should receive grants. A dream job, right? In many ways it is. I meet people who are passionate about their work; and our foundation supports arts education, so I get to see young people creating art. They inspire me.

A challenge in this work is discerning the truth at the core of applications. Grant seekers are generally honest, but grant proposals are pitches and often there is a gap between what a nonprofit means to do and what it’s actually accomplishing. When reading proposals, I seek three additional information sources—direct observation of a program or talking to peers at other foundations. The hardest information to uncover is opinions of people who participate in the nonprofits’ programs.

GreatNonprofits is a source for these hard-to-find constituent voices. Many of my applicants have not yet been reviewed but I’ve learned from the reviews of those that have been. I have four observations to share about using this resource. (more…)

“I Do” Want More… For Less!

How do you really get more for less when it comes to one of the largest grossing industries in the world? The wedding industry makes billions of dollars every year and the average amount of money spent on a wedding today is $30,000, continuing to rise as time goes on. Although we all want our wedding to be a beautiful and lavish affair, is that really possible without spending a fortune? Of course it is! With so many weddings happening at any given time there are innovative ideas, as well as, websites popping-up all the time that can do just that. Although the saying may be old, many brides still hold it true that unless they have “something old, something new, something borrowed, something new” with them on their wedding day, they won’t have the good luck they desire.

Check out some easy ways to make the most of your money and still fulfill the old British saying:

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Summer Meals for Kids in Need

In a recent blog post, the U.S. Department of Agriculture stated that more than 21 million American children and teens depend on free or reduced-price school meals during the school year. When school cafeterias close, many of these kids are at risk of going hungry.

The USDA has stepped up to expand its summer food program. And a number of organizations are pitching in with special programs during the long, hot summer.

Check out these groups around the country that fill in the gap. (more…)

Short on Time to Volunteer?

Donating money is as easy as sending a text message on your cell phone. Sometimes that donation just doesn’t seem like enough. You’d like to do more to help your local community or make a difference to the world at large. But time is short, and a commitment to a long-term volunteer job may seem daunting.

You might be surprised to learn that short-term or even onetime volunteer opportunities abound. Think about causes that are important to you and use these suggestions as a starting point. Then give a call to a local nonprofit and suggest a way you can help.

Here are ten ideas to help you get started.

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Selecting a Grants Management Solution

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How do you know which tool is right for the job?

There are several factors nonprofit organizations need to consider when selecting a grants management solution. Finding a solution with a quick payback period, positive ROI, and one that fits the organization now and in the future is the primary goal. So before you invest a new solution, take time to consider how the following factors impact you’re your organization and which grants management solution is a good fit for you and your team. (more…)

25 Nonprofit Twitter Tips From The Pros

According to the most recent Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, 76% percent of nonprofits are now using Twitter. It’s the second most popular social network used by nonprofits, after Facebook.

Twitter can be used to distribute news about your organization and your stories. And you can use a variety of apps to automatically tweet that news (Hootsuite and Buffer are tops)!

But the real power of Twitter is using it to engage influencers.
I’m not talking about Lady Gaga. I’m talking about engaging journalists, sponsors, and community leaders who are passionate about your cause. When you network with the right influencers, you gain access to their followers by way of retweets.

But what is the best way to use Twitter, without wasting valuable time? I reached out to a few pros, and here’s what they offered for nonprofit Twitter tips:

3 Ways to Integrate Your Nonprofit’s Marketing and Fundraising – Clairification

Avoid becoming irrelevant in the digital age. It’s revolutionized fundraising and nonprofit marketing.

There are so many different ways to communicate today that it can be dizzying!

Ground yourself by remembering that though technology has changed, people have not. We have the same drives… needs… yearnings as prehistoric tribes. We long for connection and meaning. We want to find where we “fit.”!

Baseball Gives Back

Baseball season now underway—it’s time to kick back and cheer for our local teams and favorite players. These professional athletes and coaches we see on the field are also champions in the community, supporting organizations that help children and families in preventing violence, encouraging fitness, fighting diseases, and promoting literacy.

Major League Baseball (MLB) and its 30 teams sponsor events throughout the season, raising money and awareness about issues in the community and the country at large.

Many individual players have started foundations or charities to support causes important to them, their families, or their local community. Read the inspiring stories about these generous men and their contributions. (more…)

How to Give Without Spending a Cent

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 11.29.54 AMWhen people think of giving often the first thing that pops into you head is donating, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. There are so many other ways to give without having to open the purse strings. Here are some great ideas to get you started: (more…)

Give and Take: Becoming a Successful Giver

 

In his book Give and Take, Adam Grant describes three categories of people found in the workplace: “takers,” “matchers”, and “givers.” You probably see them in action every day. Takers try their best to get what they can from coworkers, making sure they always come out ahead. Matchers only give as much as they get, always on the lookout for someone who can help them to get ahead. Givers are willing to contribute, bending over backwards, without considering what they’ll gain (or lose) in return.

When measuring success at work, Grant’s research shows that givers are overrepresented at both ends of the success spectrum. Some givers are classified as doormats and burnouts whereas as others are superstar performers and motivators. (more…)

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s day is right around the corner on May 10th and it’s the perfect time to thank those women who’ve made an impact on your life, no matter how large or small. If you’re still on the lookout for a gift, don’t worry about it; we’ve got you covered. We gathered up a list of gifts that everyone can feel good about. Not only will your mom love it, but you’ll feel great knowing that your purchase was able to help a nonprofit organization too.

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Smarter Nonprofit Networking: Building a Professional Network That Works for You

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“You are not ever a genius all by yourself. Your ideas are a function of the people you are connected with…” – Carol Dweck, Author, Mindset

Your professional network is your greatest asset no matter what stage you are in your nonprofit career, whether you are an emerging leader or an acknowledged thought leader in your industry or somewhere in between. When you intentionally build your professional network in the right way, you create a circle of individuals who are all rooting for your success and happy to help you.   An effective professional network can be a valuable asset to your nonprofit’s goals if you are leveraging your network in service your organization’s mission.

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How to Help Victims of the Nepal Earthquake

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The earthquake in Nepal has left has left 8 million individuals and 1 million children in need of assistance. There are 14 international medical teams on the way to Nepal and up to 15 international search-and-rescue teams. The country is running out of water and food, and there are frequent power cuts from the initial earthquake and the numerous aftershocks. Below are some organizations that plan to provide relief to the victims of the typhoon.  If you know of other organizations who are on the ground helping, let us know by commenting below.

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3 Tips for Getting More Online Donations

This blog post was written by JustGive.

Despite what we all really want, there’s no single magic bullet for raising more money online. It’s finding the right combination of what your organizations says and does to reach out, capture donors’ attention, and be persuasive. There are, however, several best practices for increasing online donations. Here are three of the most effective ones:

  1. Optimize your site and emails for mobile donations, and use responsive design.

Make it easy for donors to give when and wherever they are online. With the ever-increasing use of smart phones, tablets and iPads, you don’t want to miss out on any donations because it’s difficult or impossible to give from a mobile device.

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What’s the Most Important Question in Your Life?

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Aaron Schwartz, the famous programmer and internet activist who died before his time, said: “You should be asking yourself all the time what is the most important thing in the world I could be working on right now, and if you are not working on that, why aren’t you?”

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