Become a Volunteer Magnet to Reduce Your Expenses

Your Ingenious Nonprofit

May 2013

“Beating the mouse,” is the goal of volunteer experiences at the Houston Food Bank according to Brian Greene, President and CEO. “The mouse” is a day at a Disney theme park. Almost all nonprofits offer volunteer experiences. Few nonprofits design operations, buildings, and processes with the goal of offering better-than-vacation-day ones.

The value of creating extraordinary volunteer experiences includes tremendous community branding, and something critical to the Food Bank: reduced labor costs. Envision organizing 70 …

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Setting Fees for Services and Goods: Nonprofit Options

You have options when it comes to setting fees for your services or products. Use this chart to consider your fees their consequences, with your leadership team.



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Overcoming Name Confusion

Helping Donors Recognized You

Dennis Stover, Regional Vice Chancellor of Advancement at the University of South Florida and I were having coffee at Starbucks. On the jacket of his lapel, Dennis wore a USF lapel pin. Two couples sat near us with beverages in hand. They saw Dennis’ lapel pin jacket and began to compliment him.

“We love on what you are doing with the museum.”

“And the art students.”

“And the Bull’s.”

“And everything.”

As they talked, it became …

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On the Joys of Singing and Fully Participating

I like to sing. It can be in the car to an oldies hit that takes me back to my teens, in worship with new songs and old hymns, or at a ball game, as we stand for The Star Spangled Banner.

Singing is about reciting poetry and making melody. Singing is about using our voice in a different ways than we use them daily. Singing with others is about coordinating efforts and creating more. I know that science …

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The Gap Between Now and Your Vision

Finding The Best Strategy to Bridge The Gap

Are you energized by an exciting wonderful vision for your nonprofit? How can you close the gap between where you are now and move to your vision as effectively and as efficiently as possible? With effective strategy, of course.

This Visual, Strategy Options “Hurricane Tracks” gives you a picture of a nonprofit engaged is examining several strategies and the possible impacts of  their choices. It is helpful because:

  • It illustrates that developing
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A 6th Reasons to Refresh Your Nonprofit’ Income Strategy

In the former blog, Advancing the Nonprofit Sector, I wrote about five reasons to “refresh” your nonprofit’s income strategy. Refreshing your income strategy is about gathering and studying your income opportunities and designing a strategy to obtain the income you need with the most impact. Over time, by following the strategy you obtain income to sustain you.

What does a solving the nonprofit income challenge look like in a nonprofit? It means the nonprofit has enough money in the …

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Translate a Successful Process Into Sustainable Income

This Month’s Installment of Your Ingenious Nonprofit

Translate a Successful Process Into Sustainable Income  

“Most online calendars are not very good,” explains Jonathan Glus, the CEO of the Houston Arts Alliance. “We knew, with our help, that other groups could develop great ones.” The Houston Arts Alliance can help your organization, for a fee, to develop a super calendar modeled after the one its sponsors, Artshound. On a recent Saturday, the calendar listed over 140 events that you can sort …

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The Thrill of Victory: Time Management

If an uncontrollable fire broke out at the Louvre—what art would the staff rush to save? Undoubtedly, the three great ladies — the Venus de Milo, the Victory of Samothrace, and Mona Lisa. Likewise, when the fire of busyness breaks out at your nonprofit, what do you save from the fires that consume your time? What key actions do you do despite the blaze of urgent tasks that consume your days?

Successful time management requires two musts setting priorities and …

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Karen’s Member Motivation Continuum

Membership MotivationAbove is Karen’s Member Motivation Continuum. Use it to explore your membership program. The Continuum identifies five different membership motivations. From left to right, member motivation moves from intrinsic, coming from inside the member, to extrinsic, coming from external motivation. The later includes the use of tools such as peer pressure and gifts. You members may be motivated by one or more of the motivations pictured.

Use the tool answers questions such as–

  • Why do most people join your current
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Mastering Self-Motivation, Help Your Nonprofit Reach Your Wildest Dream

Mastering Self-Motivation, Help Your Nonprofit Reach Your Wildest Dream

Self-motivation, the ability to cajole yourself into doing your most important priorities, is an incredibly valuable tool in your nonprofit success toolkit. When we stop to think, we recognize that what keeps us from doing our priorities is not urgent matters, but a willpower shortage. We need more willpower because most priorities require us to step outside our comfort zone. Without willpower, any excuse will do.

A friend recently told me …

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