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Who Run The Nonprofit World?

For years, I’ve noticed that the majority of faces you see in most nonprofits belong to women. Beyonce got it right: women are the backbone of the social sector! They lead organizations, run departments, and power nonprofits at all levels. In fact, women make up most of the nonprofit workforce, yet despite that, we still occupy only a small percentage of the leadership slots at the top 400 charities. Read on to learn how we can change that.

Creating An Individual Giving Program

According to the GivingUSA reports for at least the last 5 years, more than 70% of the $378 billion contributed to nonprofits each year has come from individuals—and if you factor in family foundations, that number probably comes close to 80%.  Since individuals consistently make up the largest donor group, it is worth looking at how to can create a sustainable fundraising model that focuses on building relationships with your donors.

Ten Characteristics of High Performing Nonprofit Organizations

Despite the size of the $1.5 trillion nonprofit sector in the U.S.—nearly 10% of the economy—nonprofits are subject to rather minimal independent professional scrutiny beyond annual audits. If you work at a nonprofit and want to assess your own performance or if you are an investor looking to give to the most impactful organizations, how can you spot superior performance?  Here is a brief overview of ten things you should look for when determining if a nonprofit organization is a high performer.

Are We Listening For What Is Trying To Happen?

Most working professionals spend more than half their time in meetings. Feel the pain? Me, too! Early in my career, I realized that I needed my meetings to be significantly transformed. So I began paying attention and trying to figure out how to lead more effectively. I learned from different sources, and recognized that every meeting was a chance to expand my powers of observation. Here's what I began to notice that makes some meetings better than others. 

Your Check Engine Light is On

I’ll be the first to argue that staff (and donors!) need some restorative time after the year-end hustle. But, it is also an opportune time to pause and examine your personal and departmental strategies. I encourage development professionals to take a critical look at three areas that play an important role in the success of your organization: personnel, programs, and patrons.

Mmm...Making Meetings Meaningful (Again!): 3 Tips

Years ago, after a long day of facilitating meetings, I was having dinner with some of the meeting participants, and after a big sip of wine, I said, “Gosh, but I bet most of you just want to hit the snooze button on these meetings, right?” Wrong. The group at the table actually enjoyed meetings, with qualifiers. Here are three less-talked about approaches for making meetings meaningful.

Tips for Finding In-Kind Sponsorships

Have you ever noticed that often the only way to find out whether or not a company sponsors nonprofits is to visit or call them? Once you know that they sponsor, there’s often no way to find out if they’ve maxed out for the month. Did you know that SponsorLane can be used to look up local corporate sponsorship opportunities?

Quick Tips For Locating Federal Grant Opportunities

One of the questions we get asked most often is how to find federal funding opportunities. People really want to know how to find out about government grants available before they are announced in the Federal Register or on Grants.gov. Here are some tips to help you stay informed so you can plan proactively.

Aquent Provides $25,000 In Design Grants To Nonprofits

At Aquent, we see the amazing impact that design has every day. Yet we know many nonprofits don’t have the resources to hire designers to help tell their story. That’s why we created our Design for Good grant program. We'll be awarding $5,000 in design grants to worthy nonprofits who partner with designers to support their mission.

Crafting Stories to Engage Donors, Volunteers and Staff

Yet creating engaging and ongoing story content can be a real challenge for many nonprofits. You’ve probably heard the content mantra many times - stories focused on those doing the work and those impacted by your organization's work should illustrate your successes, inspire action by donors and volunteers alike, and reinforce your mission’s value firmly in the reader's mind.

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