Category Archives: nonprofit leadership

Social Impact & Innovation Conference Wrap-Up (April 2017)

We are introducing a new ongoing series on the highlights and key takeaways from social impact and innovation conferences around the world. Our team is actively engaged in helping to create a better world and one way we can help is to share the stories and visions of like-minded individuals and organizations. You can view our calendar of upcoming conferences and we would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations about other learning opportunities.

The month of April brought us better weather and a wealth of information from conferences in England to ones in Durham, NC and Philadelphia.

Media relations and marketing were the focal point at the Create Good Conference. “Offering a creative space for nonprofit communications professionals to ‘get the tools to get to work,’” the conference hosted workshops ranging from grassroots organizing and marketing to Millennials to the future and effectiveness of nonprofit communications. Keynote speaker, Shanelle Matthews, Director of Communications for Black Lives Matter, reminded us that “Mass communications is changing. Gmail has a 4% open rate. Remember that next time you send an email.” We can all work to inspire each other and help better the communities that we want to live in.

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A Brand New Resource for Nonprofits: MissionBox.com

The nonprofit sector is a strong and vibrant community full of people willing to help each other out. And now more than ever, it’s important to come together and work as allies and mentors.

The value of being mentored seems pretty obvious: new skills, confidence, friendship, etc. And in fact, the research shows that people who are mentored get more job promotions and earn more than people who aren’t.

But mentoring is also great for mentors: networking opportunities, leadership development, and a stronger sense of community.

Jesse Bethke Gomez, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living, was mentored early in his career. And now he’s paying it forward by helping others overcome their fears and develop their strengths:

So yes, nonprofit professionals like Jesse shine when they connect, learn and share with each other. They get stuff done. And they make a bigger impact.

But do you really need a trusted ally?

Why you need a trustworthy nonprofit ally

Most nonprofit leaders are too stressed out or distracted to find that trusted friend or colleague who’s walked in their shoes.

But allies (mentors, peers, friends) are often essential for success. Here are a few examples:

  • A veteran grantwriter offers guidance to a novice grant writer that helps him achieve greater results.
  • A promising nonprofit start-up founder connects with an experienced leader who points out blind spots and encourages a drive toward success.
  • A newly hired Development Director is struggling to meet her capital campaign goals. She exceeds that goal with tips from a veteran fundraiser.

Find your nonprofit ally

Do you have experience or know-how to share with a nonprofit? Are you a nonprofit leader looking for guidance?

MissionBox.com is a newly launched free resource that helps connect nonprofit leaders with that perfect peer who is seeking guidance. And vice-versa.

The goal? Stop “reinventing the wheel”! Create a larger sense of community, and together, make a bigger impact.

Learn more about becoming a MissionBox ally by joining here for free.

You’ll find several articles of mine on the new MissionBox.com website!

2/15 Webinar: Grant Strategy for CEOs, Directors, and Board Members: What You Need to Know to Succeed

I’m returning to Nonprofit Webinars (sponsored by 4good.org) this February 15 to present my new webinar forCEOs, Directors, and Board members interested in empowering their grantseeking teams to be more successful.

Most nonprofits need to attract grants to help pursue their missions or carry out specific programs. But perhaps — like many other nonprofit executives — you have been less than thrilled with the results of your organization’s grantseeking efforts. How can you boost your team’s efficiency and effectiveness?

In this webinar you will learn some strategic tips to get the most out of your grantseeking dollars. We’ll cover:

  • How to ensure that your organization is ready to seek the grants you need
  • Strategic decisions you will need to make
  • How to rally the organizational capacity you will need
  • How to prepare for the informational needs of grantseekers
 (You can find a full article on this topic HERE).

 

The February 15 webinar is FREE. Just register HERE.

 

 

Ask Dalya: How can a nonprofit CEO, Director, or Board member facilitate successful grantseeking?

Q: How can a nonprofit CEO, Director, or Board member facilitate successful grantseeking?

A: Grantseeking is a team sport. As a nonprofit CEO, Director, or Board member you can help guide your team to victory — but you can’t do that if you hang back on the sidelines.

If your nonprofit is like the vast majority out there, you need (at least some) grant income to advance your mission in your community. Your role as a leader is to marshal the right strategy and resources so your grantseeking team can succeed.

Whether your team consists of staff, consultants, and/or volunteers, you need to help set (or at least know) the game plan so you can manage effectively. Without your vision and planning, your team will lack direction, priorities, and motivation.

Even if you are not personally involved in your organization’s day-to-day grantseeking activities, you need a solid grounding in how grantseeking happens. That is, you need to know what to expect from the process and how you can help it along. By preparing for success you will increase your likelihood of attaining it.

I’ve spoken with leaders of many new (and not-so-new) organizations who have not properly prepared for grantseeking. They simply want to see more money come through the door right away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way. They have often been disappointed.

In my experience, strategic leaders who are starting or upgrading their teams’ grantseeking efforts best position their organizations for success when they:

  • Frame grantseeking as a team effort that enjoys strong investment from the organization’s leaders: in the form of timely information, adequate human resources, and appropriate planning
  • Encourage an attitude of ongoing partnership between the organization (the entity that makes changes in the community) and funders (the entities that underwrite those changes)
  • Model a sense of openness and curiosity about what makes the most sense in the current funding climate, from a funder’s point of view
  • Routinely share specific plans for accomplishing their mission and evaluating their activities’ outcomes and impacts
  • Establish community collaborations that the grantseeking team can leverage
  • Prioritize funding needs for at least 6-12 months at a time
  • Meet with their grantseeking team on a regular basis to strategize and define responsibilities

Is grantseeking high on the agenda of a CEO, Director, or Board member? It should be. Without the support of nonprofit executives, even the strongest grantseeking teams must often watch opportunities pass them by.

To learn more, join me for my February 15 free webinar, Grant Strategy for CEOs, Directors, and Board Members: What You Need to Know to Succeed.

[By the way, you can find more “Ask Dalya” questions and answers HERE.