ICYMI: Last Week’s Nonprofit News, Today | May 13

Last week, we learned (among other things) which are the most and least charitable states in the nation (We’re No. 14!), what warning signs to look for in your board, why your steering wheel makes a good sounding board, how walking can lead to better meetings, some bottom-line reasons for investing in your people, what a “fundraising icon” is and why you need one, and which cloud-based apps your staff will find helpful. Plus: technology at events, a new national day of giving, and a metro-area spat between Mayor Reed and Fulton County Chairman John Eaves over who’s doing less for Atlanta’s homeless population.

 

HEADLINES

How Give Local America Raised Over $51 Million in 24 Hours
(John Haydon)
On May 6, a national day of giving organized by fundraising consultants Kimbia became the largest single-day charitable crowdfunding event ever. Haydon talked to Kimbia’s Vice President of Community Foundations to find out the keys to their success. For more, check out the Knight Foundation’s collection of images that drove donations on the day of the event.

What Are the Most (and Least) Charitable States in the U.S.?
(The Two-Way / NPR)
A new national Gallup poll asking people whether they donate money or time to nonprofits provides a state-by-state comparison of residents’ charitability. Georgia lands in the top 15, with 66% percent of pollees stating they donated money, 40% saying they donated time, and 35% saying they donated both.

 

GEORGIA

Eaves to Reed: Join Me to Talk About Homelessness on May 19 
(Fresh Loaf / Creative Loafing Atlanta)
It began with a May 1 editorial in Creative Loafing about the “overhaul” in the metro area’s strategy to fight homelessness, calling out the city for abandoning the Tri-Jurisdictional Collaborative. It continued on May 5, when Mayor Reed responded to the editorial, saying it omitted “significant strides the City of Atlanta has made toward reducing chronic homelessness,” including the Unsheltered No More initiative. The next day, Fulton County Chairman John Eaves lambasted Reed for asserting in his response that “Fulton County is abandoning its historic role as a human services provider because of its diminished financial capacity.” That led Mayor Reed, on the 7th, to respond that Fulton county has indeed “been cutting funding for key services” to a “startling” degree. Which brings us to the latest, from Eaves: inviting Mayor Reed to discuss solutions to the issue with Eaves and a collection of county leaders and service providers.

 

BOARDS & GOVERNANCE

Warning Signs of Board Underperformance—and What to Do About It
(massnonprofit.org)
Why do boards underperform? “Because they can!” Author and governance consultant Cathy Trower points out the signs of a board slipping into dysfunction, and provides ways to reverse course before it’s too late.

 

FUNDRAISING

Your steering wheel: The single most important tool for making effective fundraising asks
(The Fundraising Coach)
Following up a popular post about why major donors want you to make the ask (even on a “first date”), Marc Pitman gives you a guide to asking: that is, “the exact words to say when making a major gift solicitation.” The secret to getting it right, though, is to say it to your steering wheel: alone, in the car, over and over again.

Data Driven Fundraising Is on the Rise for Universities and Nonprofits
(Inbound Marketing / HubSpot)
A clear, practical explanation of data’s place in fundraising, how you can use it to target specific audiences, test different methods for engaging donors, and set goals. Plus: common mistakes data newbies make, and how to avoid them.

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

The Business Case for Investing in Talent
(Stanford Social Innovation Review)
The founder and CEO of a nonprofit talent recruitment firm explains why developing your employees through training and compensation “yields more efficient and effective impact.”

 

LEADERSHIP

5 Tips for Nonprofits to Host Effective Walking Meetings
(Beth’s Blog)
Beth Kanter recently endorsed walking as a means to help you work—a technique embraced by a few pioneering companies that, according to science, can boost creativity and cognitive function. In the follow-up, she gives you some practical methods for bringing others along, in the form of a walking meeting.

 

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

The visual foundation of your nonprofit brand
(Future Fundraising Now)
In an excerpt from his new book, nonprofit marketing expert Jeff Brooks explains why your nonprofit needs a “fundraising icon,” as in the icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church: a captivating image that “paves the way to action in viewers’ minds.” (If the idea resonates, be sure to check out the follow-up, “What your fundraising icon looks like.”

Report: Digital Storytelling for Social Impact
(Beth’s Blog)
The Rockefeller Foundation’s Director of Digital unveils the organization’s new report on nonprofit storytelling in the digital age, asking questions like, “Could funders prioritize storytelling as a reporting and evaluation mechanism?”, “Are organizations using the rights tools to collect and store stories?”, and “How can storytelling be embedded into the DNA of an organization?”

 

PHILANTHROPY

What I Learned from Bill Gates
(LinkedIn)
The president of the World Bank shares three lessons he learned from a long discussion with Bill Gates about building highly innovative institutions, as a leader of both business and philanthropy.

 

TECHNOLOGY

How Nonprofits Can Get Started with Cloud-Based Tools
(NTEN)
Don’t know much about the “cloud” that everyone seems to be talking about? You may be surprised to find out that if you’re using Gmail or Dropbox, you’re already taking advantage of cloud computing. In this highly useful roundup, a nonprofit digital strategist explains and provides links to a number of online tools for your project managers, campaign organizers, event planners, and anyone else who needs to create and share documents—including forms and spreadsheets

Event Tech Supplier or Strategic Partner—What’s the Difference? 
(Event Manager Blog)
Because technology is vital to planning an event, and because you probably don’t have much tech skill on-hand, bringing in a technology supplier is, increasingly, a necessity. Here’s how to leverage that necessity into a strategic advantage, using an outside tech expert as a partner rather than a provider.   

 

ON GCN.ORG

Rethinking, Reorganizing, Rewarding: A Transformative Plan for Enrichment Services Program
(GCN)
The decision to restructure in processes and approach isn't one to make lightly; that's why GCN member Enrichment Services Program made it a deliberate, all-inclusive process based in solid data and effective tactics.

Nonprofit Voice | Everyone’s Market: Starting a Movement, and Fighting Food Insecurity, at the Farmers Market 
(GCN)
To get the word out about the dozens of farmers markets statewide, many of which accept (and even double) funds provided through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), GCN member Georgia Organics started the My Market Club program.

Funding and Resource Opportunities | May 2014
(GCN)
For many organizations, the end of fiscal year 2014 is rapidly approaching. Check out this month's diverse array of funding, award and learning opportunities that you can utilize to close out the year on a good note... or get a nice jump on FY 2015!

GCN Brings Funders, Sector Pros, and a Bit of Romance to The Fox 
(GCN)
Last week, GCN welcomed more than 250 nonprofit professionals—members and nonmembers alike—to The Fox Theatre for a free afternoon of funder insight, thought leader expertise, and in-depth networking with grantmakers, colleagues, and the author of Romancing the Brand: How Brands Create Strong, Intimate Relationships with Consumers.

Marc Schultz is contributing editor at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. 

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