CATEGORY: Nonprofits and Social Enterprises

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  • Cloud Services Help Nonprofits with Accounting, Donor Management

    Posted February 15, 2016

    With the cloud, all your organization’s software applications and files reside somewhere else. All you need is a fast, reliable internet connection to work with software apps, databases, your files and other vital information. But that’s just the beginning. Cloud technology has spawned a sea change in the software industry that benefits everyone, especially nonprofits….

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  • Cloud Technologies: Key Advantages for Nonprofit Leaders

    Posted February 8, 2016

    For six decades, information technology has dramatically altered how we live and work. Now, cloud computing is reshaping how organizations perform a host of IT functions, with enormous potential for nonprofits. Simply put, with the cloud “computing” occurs not within your own IT infrastructure but somewhere else. The word “cloud” in the term is a…

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  • Disruptive Technologies Can Be a Force for Good for Nonprofits

    Posted February 1, 2016

    If you’ve found your car keys with a smartphone app or taken a ride with an Uber driver, you know how much technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives. And while new, disruptive technologies are reshaping entire business segments, they’re also giving nonprofit leaders unexpected paths to success. Just for starters, today’s social media…

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  • Nonprofit Leadership in the Age of Philanthrocapitalism

    Posted January 25, 2016

    Philanthrocapitalism has caught fire in the past 10 to 15 years as extremely wealthy people have established large, well-funded nonprofits that combat specific social ills. Philanthrocapitalists often take a hands-on role in the work of their nonprofits, which poses a host of challenges and opportunities for the nonprofit leaders who work with them. Microsoft founder…

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  • Nonprofit Leaders Should Embrace Social Return on Investment

    Posted January 18, 2016

    In today’s world, sophisticated metrics have been developed to help organizations measure the value of virtually everything — from office supplies to major investments. For nonprofit organizations, one of the most valuable metric tools that has come to the fore is social return on investment (SROI). SROI expands upon the financial principle of return on…

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  • ‘Big-Bet’ Trend Has Nonprofit Leaders Pushing for Dramatic Social Change

    Posted January 11, 2016

    An old adage says that to lead a truly fulfilling life, you’ve got to “dream big.” The same maxim is now being applied to philanthropy. While the vast majority of donors’ largesse goes to everyday nonprofits that serve the basic human needs — healthcare, arts programs, youth and recreation, to name a few — today,…

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  • How to Build Diversity into Your Nonprofit’s Leadership

    Posted January 4, 2016

    When your leadership and workforce come from similar backgrounds, your organization can resemble more of a club than an enterprise. Decision-making becomes an exercise in “groupthink” instead of a discussion of multiple viewpoints — and important facts and perspectives get filtered out. Conversely, more diversity among decision-makers leads to healthier debate — and, ultimately, to…

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  • When Leaders Leave: Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Succession Plan

    Posted December 28, 2015

    Your executive director has been in her post for 15 years, and your organization is humming. Donations have reached record levels, employees are happy, volunteers flock to your events and you have nonstop positive press. Then all of a sudden, Ms. Executive Director decides to leave your thriving organization to head a startup. If you’ve…

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  • Staying Out of Court: 6 Common Legal Issues for Nonprofit Leaders

    Posted December 21, 2015

    Our society has been described as ever-more litigious — and lofty missions aside, the nonprofit sector isn’t immune to that trend. The variety and nature of legal issues faced by nonprofits has risen in recent years, to the chagrin of everyone but the attorneys. Nonprofit leaders cannot ignore the risk of thorny legal snags that…

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  • How to Create Donor Personas that Work for Your Nonprofit

    Posted December 14, 2015

    As introduced in last week’s post, the donor persona is an important part of both audience segmentation and stakeholder outreach. Through donor personas, nonprofit leaders can better connect with their organization’s supporters — learning what’s on their minds, what motivates them to support particular causes, and what they want to accomplish. Most important, donor personas…

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  • Why Donor Personas are Essential to Nonprofit Fundraising

    Posted December 7, 2015

    Attentive customer service starts with listening to your customers. For nonprofit leaders, donors are the most valuable customer group because their giving habits are the group’s lifeblood. Their donations determine the future of the organization — whether it will thrive or fail. It all starts with knowing who your donors are. Plenty of organizations think…

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  • Email Fundraising — Getting the Best Return on Your Investment

    Posted November 30, 2015

    Email is one of the best tools for marketing and fundraising. Just for starters, emails are easy and inexpensive to produce and quick to disseminate. More critically, emails produce results. More crucially for the leaders of companies and nonprofits, email generates the greatest return on investment of any marketing channel, garnering roughly $38 in revenue…

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  • Nonprofit Transparency — the Value in Keeping the Public Informed

    Posted November 23, 2015

    “Sunlight,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in 1913, “is said to be the best disinfectant.” At the time, Justice Brandeis was calling for municipal reform and good government. Now, more than a century later, we’ve come to expect — indeed, demand — transparency in all public institutions, including businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations….

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  • Why Your Nonprofit Needs an Online Annual Report

    Posted November 16, 2015

    As recently as five years ago, a “digital annual report” usually meant a PDF version posted on an organization’s website. Now, growing numbers of nonprofits are developing interactive reports that are light years ahead of the static PDF, which essentially replicates a printed document. These forward-thinking organizations publish their reports online on interactive multimedia websites….

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  • Rebound Strategies for Struggling Nonprofits

    Posted November 9, 2015

    While thriving, successful nonprofits attract TV news segments and print magazine profiles, less attention goes to the many organizations struggling to make ends meet and stay in operation. A recent report by the Bank of America Charitable Fund found that that more than half (56 percent) of nonprofit groups had to curtail services because of…

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  • Prizes Encourage Nonprofits to Get Creative and Innovative

    Posted November 2, 2015

    Looking for a fun way to build buzz for your organization while creating the potential to significantly boost your group’s community impact? Give a prize. Prizes are as long-established as the one named for Alfred Nobel at the dawn of the 20th century to celebrate broad accomplishments in society, culture and science. In today’s world, nonprofits…

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  • What Your Social Enterprise Startup Must Get Right to Succeed

    Posted October 26, 2015

    Social enterprise has becoming one of the hottest sectors of the decade, with more than 30,000 such organizations in the U.S. and approximately $40 billion in revenues. In the U.K., where the phenomenon has been around longer, an estimated 65,000 such businesses identify as “social enterprises.” Along with socially conscious entrepreneurs, plenty of traditional nonprofits…

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  • Getting Bigger and Better: Growth Strategies for Nonprofits

    Posted October 19, 2015

    The adage that bigger is not always better applies to the nonprofit sector as much as it does anywhere else. But some nonprofits leaders find themselves dealing with growing demand for their services, which creates a thorny dilemma: get larger or turn away people they are supposed to be helping. It turns out, however, that…

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  • Action and Focus are Key to Keeping Your Nonprofit’s Strategy on Course

    Posted October 12, 2015

    Twenty-five years ago, the management pioneer Peter Drucker offered up nonprofit organizations as an example for all enterprises to follow. In particular, he praised nonprofits for hewing to a distinct mission and focusing all their efforts on achieving it. In other words, they were masters at strategic thinking. In the years since, new developments have…

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  • How to Make it a Cinch to Stick With Your Nonprofit’s Strategic Plan

    Posted October 5, 2015

    Strategy. The very word conjures up visions of bureaucrats performing torturous data analysis and creating lengthy documents that gather dust on a shelf. Even when folks do follow a clunky, unwieldy strategy, savvy execs find workarounds to achieve better, quicker results. One way they do that is by making strategy a working plan that can…

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