Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Do you have an innovators heart for your nonprofit mission?

May 31, 2013 1 comment

There is a gap that is growing in your nonprofit. It is the gap between the connected constituent, their expectations and the programs, products and services you are offering. 80% of the U. S. adult population uses the internet. Most of them have smart phones or will soon. Most of your constituents are constantly connected from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep. As nonprofits, our reality is a digital world. And so do you have a sense of urgency to bridge the gap?

What does it take to compete for the hearts of your connected constituents? Do you have a plan? Is that plan funded?

One thing to think through very carefully is the urgency to create a culture of innovation to be able to compete for the connected constituent. Someone is going to do it. Will it be your nonprofit?

You will be a hero if you take up that mantle. You will lead a journey to a new level of engagement for the connected constituent and their engagement with your mission. Do you have a heart for innovation? If so, then you will be a hero. You will be the champion for the new world. You will create amazing experiences to generate new loyalty to your cause.

So here is a challenge. Primarily for the C-Suite. Think through it carefully. One of the greatest opportunities before you is the evolution of the connected constituent. How your nonprofit is designed and structured today will work against you if nonprofit digital transformation is not on your agenda. As a leader, you know that management structure, goals, strategies, people, processes, systems, and rewards are all constructed to improve “what is” today. Typically we ignore “how it should be” for the new connected constituent. To innovate requires an innovators heart. Do you have one? Who else at your nonprofit does?

Hirable like me?

Most managers would like to think they base their hiring decisions on candidates’ skill. But new research suggests that once a candidate passes through an initial HR screening, a bigger factor comes into play: how similar the interviewee is to the person doing the hiring. Kellogg School of Business assistant professor Lauren Rivera spent nine months embedded in a professional service organization and noted three key reasons why this takes place: the “Will this person fit in?” question; the fact that people define merit on the basis of their own experiences; and that managers get excited by candidates who have similar passions and interests. Hiring managers forget that “there are other ways people can a) be likeable and b) be socially skilled other than being a mirror image,” Rivera says.

More here: Hirable Like Me (Kellogg Insight)

How to build a great nonprofit Board of Directors

April 15, 2013 1 comment

Identifying and recruiting board members can be a daunting task, especially if an organization is new or reshaping itself. Either way, existing members of the board and community have a challenge ahead of them when identifying and recruiting qualified candidates. Blue Avocado, a nonprofit magazine for nonprofits, compiled a list of the Ten Biggest Mistakes Boards and Executives Make. Some of the mistakes mentioned can be avoided by trying out a couple strategies.

One of the more overwhelming challenges is determining the “Who,” “What,” and, eventually, “How” of establishing a board. Who do we want? What is actually necessary? How do we even find them?

More here: Building a board | MSU Extension.

Who are the most generous online U.S. cities?

April 13, 2013 1 comment

When it comes to charitable giving, some U.S. cities consistently rise to the top in their adoption of digital giving channels. Blackbaud recently released its fifth annual ranking of the Most Generous Online U.S. Cities based on 2012 online giving data from Blackbaud customers.

The rankings remain largely unchanged from last year’s analysis, with the top four cities holding firm. For a second straight year, Seattle, Wash., earned the top spot, followed by Alexandria, Va., and Washington, D.C. Minneapolis made the biggest strides, jumping four spots to enter the Top 10 in 2012. Bellevue, Wash., dropped one position and out of the Top 10.

The analysis ranks 265 cities with total population of more than 100,000 based on per capita online giving. More than $509 million was donated online by donors in the 265 major cities, a 15 percent jump from 2011.

The current rankings come from donations processed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012.

Top Ten Most Generous Online U.S. Cities

  1. Seattle, Wash.
  2. Alexandria, Va.
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Arlington, Va.
  5. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  6. Cambridge, Mass.
  7. Berkeley, Calif.
  8. San Francisco, Calif.
  9. St. Louis, Mo.
  10. Minneapolis, Minn.

More here: Blackbaud Ranks Most Generous Online U.S. Cities for 2012; Five N.C. Cities in Top 50 | Philanthropy Journal.

As a leader, do you have more than two modes of operating?

Any great leader faces a multitude of challenges every day. Whether it’s communicating strategy, helping people through change, holding on to excellence in the face of compromise, or just navigating the leadership environment, there is no shortage of development opportunities lurking in each day’s schedule.

Les McKeown has worked over the years with leaders on all of the challenges above–and many, many more. But surprisingly, the skill that he sees more leaders struggle with more than any other is relatively mundane (but very important): the ability to work with their team as an equal. To be “merely” a resource, rather than the team leader.

As we’ve seen, many leaders can only operate in one of two modes–in charge, or not there. In other words, once they join their team (virtually or otherwise), the team instantly defers to them, and they take the lead.

Truly great leaders have a third mode: The ability to sit with their team without needing to be in charge, using their subject matter knowledge just the same way as anyone else around the table would. More here.

How is your nonprofit doing?

April 3, 2013 1 comment

The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has released its annual State of the Sector survey, and it shows nonprofits are struggling with a tough funding environment and increasing need for the services you provide.  This is requiring tough choices – and changing the way you do business, according to the survey.

Here’s a summary of the report from the NFF.  Does it capture your situation?  Are you better or worse off than your peers?

According to NFF:

Nonprofits need new funding sources and models:
• 42% of survey respondents report that they do not have the right mix of financial resources to thrive and be effective in the next 3 years.
• 1 in 4 nonprofits has 30 days or less cash-on-hand.
• Over the next twelve months, 39% plan to change the main ways they raise and spend money.
• 23% will seek funding other than grants or contracts, such as loans or investments.

Nonprofits that receive government funding face particular challenges:
• Only 14% of nonprofits receiving state and local funding are paid for the full cost of services; just 17% of federal fund recipients receive full reimbursement. Partial reimbursements require additional funding to cover the growing gap as nonprofits serve more people.
• Government is late to pay: Among those with state or local funding, just over 60% reported overdue government payments; over 50% reported late payments from the federal government.

Under these challenging conditions, many nonprofits are unable to meet growing need in their communities:
• For the first time in the five years of the survey, more than half (52%) of respondents were unable to meet demand over the last year; 54% say they won’t be able to meet demand this year.
• This represents a worrying trend; in 2009, 44% of nonprofits said they were unable to meet demand.
Jobs (59%) and housing (51%) continue to be top concerns for those in low-income communities.
• 90% of respondents say financial conditions are as hard or harder than last year for their clients; this is actually a slight improvement from prior years’ outlook.

Nonprofits are changing the way they do business to adapt to the new reality. In the past 12 months:
• 49% have added or expanded programs or services; 17 percent reduced or eliminated programs or services.
• 39% have collaborated with another organization to improve or increase services.
• 39% have upgraded technology to improve organizational efficiency.
• 36% engaged more closely with their board.

For more on the survey and detailed data, go here.

Why are we going online?

Americans are going online to pass the time more than they were just a few years ago, according to a new study.

A report from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that about 53% of young adults ages 18 to 29 go online on any given day for no particular reason except for a diversion or just for fun. About 81% of people in this demographic said they have done so at least occasionally.

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