Thank you George, Abraham, Martin, and Lyndon

Martin Luther King. Abraham Lincoln. George Washington. In winter, we remember the birthdays of American leaders. Considering the underside of our history, we have much for which to be thankful. Things might have all turned out much worse.

Washington was the only founding father who freed his slaves. This was no passing gesture. He meant what he said. For more, read Henry Wiencek’s An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America. During the civil war, …

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Is Your Nonprofit’s Overhead Too Low?

This article is from our free monthly newsletter, Added Value. You can subscribe. Did I mention it’s free?

Are you sitting in an uncomfortable chair? Dealing with crummy software? Writing with the world’s cheapest pen? Why? In all likelihood it is to minimize your nonprofit’s overhead. Appropriate overhead is the funding a nonprofit needs to do its programs well and frugally, with quality prioritized over frugality. Like a well-fitting hiking boot, appropriate overhead protects, supports, and allows you climb …

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If Only They Would Work Well Together! Your Board of Directors

You want them to work together well. You want their support. What works? Help them to know each other. Help them learn if they can trust each other. Over time, and sooner with your leadership, most of your directors will learn to trust each other. As trust grows, your meetings will become more productive and in time more supportive of your nonprofit. Most importantly, the board of directors will become a sub-community with deep and enduring connections to your nonprofit.…

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Take Fifteen to Renew

What is the most important thing you will do in the next seven days? When will it take place? How will you prepare? When you complete it, what, besides relief, will be your response? For most of us, it will be hurry on to the next goal. For others there will be a short gap to clear out the jetsam of emails, calls, and paper that the river of time deposited on you while you focused on the event.…

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Can You Find The Donors on Your Membership List?

(The following is from Karen’s Your Ingenious Nonprofit Column last month.) 

One of your donors makes a six-figure gift to another nonprofit. Can you use this information to further your mission, and help the donor and your community? By leveraging his nonprofit’s member benefits, one director of philanthropy designed a way to help generous donors achieve more of their goals.

When a Director of Development (we’ll call him Bob), started working at a particular museum, members were mailed tickets that …

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Resolve: Ignore Busyness, Proceed

Did you expect things to calm down after the holidays? How’s that working for you?

Marshall Goldsmith in his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, writes that we all share a fantasy that in a month or two or sometime not too far away, things will get better. Our calendars will ease and we’ll get back to normal.

If you’re like me you anticipated a lull in January. True, after the holidays and my son’s wedding, …

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Do You Understand Nonprofit Income? Take this Quiz

This article is from the January issue of Added Value. Click here to subscribe to Added Value.

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A-B-C, when you sing you begin with do-re-mi….”

Do you recognize these lyrics from The Sound of Music? Maria sings them to teach music to the Captain’s seven children. She starts at the beginning and with the basics. Over time, the von Trapp …

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Free Webinar: Creating Strong CEO-Development Relationships

With 4Good, Feb. 5 at 3, Eastern

A recent survey showed that less than 60 percent of development directors and CEO believe they have strong relationships. Yet, this relationship is key to raising donated funds. Nonprofits make significant investment in development. Its not uncommon for nonprofit to spend over $100,000, between salary and other costs, on relationships that don’t work.

Based on recent interviews and twenty years of income development work, this webinar explores the CEO-Development relationship in terms of …

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Reality Test: How Much Time Do Spend Obtaining Nonprofit Income

How much time do you spend developing income? Fundraising? Earning revenue?

We often think we do a lot, but if we measure our efforts, we find that we do less than we thought. Your doctor, like mine, probably encourages you to eat well and make sure you get adequate vitamins and minerals. Since I do eat healthy, I assumed I had the vitamins and minerals under control. Recently, as part of Yale University course, I logged my food intake for …

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This Year Achieve Your Most Important Goal

It’s the New Year. Everyone is setting resolutions. My advice: don’t join them.

Instead set one goal. Since you are only going to choose one, make it important. Determine an appropriate reward for yourself for achieving the goal.

Now, identify what an you need to take to make the goal happen. Your goal, for instance, is to improve board relationships. Your action: contact one board member every working day to thank them for one thing they’ve done to help your …

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