Zombie Philanthropy: What I Learned About Donor-Advised Funds as a Foundation Insider

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As #donoradvisedfunds continue to grow in popularity (and profitability) for the institutions that promote them, increasing attention is rightfully focused on legitimate critiques, particularly those spelled out in this article.

https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/2/4/zombie-philanthropy-what-i-learned-about-donor-advised-funds-as-a-foundation-insider

#WhatIAmReading

South Louisville Community Ministries Board Comes Together

Honored to facilitate the #Board retreat this past weekend for South Louisville Community Ministries.  These committed leaders came together for an important day of reflection, discussion, and planning. The mission of SLCM is to empower families in crisis in South Louisville to move toward stability and self-sufficiency.  

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Engaging Board Members at a Retreat

A #Board retreat is an opportunity to reconnect to the mission and vision, evaluate progress, and set priorities for Board engagement.

Spent an outstanding day yesterday facilitating the retreat for the talented Board #leaders of University Club Louisville.

If your Board would benefit from an engaging and interactive retreat, please reach out!

#nonprofit #impact #Retreat #VisionToReality

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Article: Questions I Wish I'd Asked

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Thought provoking opinion piece from Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

"I’ve learned that standard practices on the money-giving side of philanthropy often impede effectiveness, stemming from the foundation world’s aversion to risk and persisting because of power dynamics that make it difficult for grant makers and grant seekers to learn from each other."

What additional questions would you pose?

https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Questions-I-Wish-I-d-Asked/245437

5 Ways to Build Your Board into a Championship Fundraising Team

“A good Board is a victory, not a gift.”

– Cyril Houle, Governing Boards     

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Good boards, like victories, rarely come together by chance. Rather, they are the product of shared commitment to the mission (and to each other), thoughtful planning, and critical processes. Among their many responsibilities, board members are charged with ensuring the organization has the resources necessary to accomplish the mission. For many board members, fundraising is the broccoli in their entree of responsibilities — that part of the meal we know is good for us, but we would just as soon avoid (apologies to all the broccoli fans).  

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible for even the most reluctant boards to develop a team culture that embraces fundraising as an essential ingredient in mission success. Here are a few key steps to help transform your board into a championship fundraising team:

CLICK HERE to read the rest of my blog article published by Bloomerang.

Deeply Flawed ‘Pennies for Charity’ Report Can Hurt Good Nonprofits

Last week, the New York Attorney General’s office released its most recent "Pennies for Charity" report, which seeks to educate donors about "where your money goes" when you give to a particular nonprofit.

As a Consultant who works to help nonprofits and Boards transparently measure and communicate their impact and effectiveness, I feel passionately about this issue. There are a number of misconceptions and flawed assumptions that continue to be perpetuated with respect to nonprofit “overhead” and administrative costs. A vibrant nonprofit MUST invest in its infrastructure and talent in order to effectively carry out its mission.

For these reasons, I am thrilled to see a leadership response from Anne Wallestad, CEO of BoardSource.

The time has come for #nonprofit #leaders, #Board members, and supporters to unite behind and amplify this critically important message. I encourage you to read and reflect on the full article from Anne Wallestad: https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Deeply-Flawed-Pennies-for/245257

Strategic Planning --> Strategic Alignment

"Strategy and planning is about determining what’s most important for your organization to do and then figuring out how best to get those things done. This is why strategic thinking and planning can serve as a powerful moment to identify opportunities to strategically align or restructure with another organization."

https://www.thepowerofpossibility.org/starting_points/strategic-planning/?utm_content=80018531&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

GUEST BLOG: Below The Surface

This guest blog is written by Simone Olive, Development Consultant at Simone Olive Consulting. To learn more about Simone, visit: www.simoneoliveconsulting.com.

There is so much that we don’t know about the people we interact with each day. We don’t know why that person cut us off in traffic this morning, and we don’t know why our neighbor has decided to let their lawn go and let it turn into a weed jungle. We don’t know what we don’t know – but is that an excuse or is it an opportunity to simply ask “why?”

As a nonprofit professional – or as any kind of professional – it’s within your laundry list of responsibilities to dig deeper and cultivate your people – your donors, your volunteers, your staff, your partners, your people. Why? Because without time dedicated to building a genuine relationship with your people you’re missing out on the opportunity to establish sustainability – and who doesn’t want that!? In nonprofit development sustainability is your holy grail, your touchdown, your goal – and it’s not unobtainable but it does take dedicated time and patience.

So, here are three simple actions you can implement today to start cultivating your Top 3 People and building your foundation for sustainability:

Call Them

• This sounds simple, and it is. Block out an hour in your week – make it this week – for you to call the Top 3 People that embody your organization’s mission and are passionate about your work. Think outside of the box when deciding what three people you’ll call. They people can be volunteers, Board Members, clients, or even community partners.

• Ask if they are available to meet with you in an informal space, so you can learn more about their connection to your organization. Be prepared with three different days and times when scheduling.

• The goal of this meeting is to learn more about them and what part of your organization resonates with them. When it comes time to meet with them be ready to LISTEN to them – don’t get this twisted with just hearing them. Ask you questions and keep your I statements to a minimum.

Ask For Advice, It’s Ok

• Keep your relationship alive with your Top 3 by setting up a secondary date for coffee/wine so you can ask them for their advice.

• Be prepared to share at least two current roadblocks you’re experiencing – nothing is off limits here. You could be having trouble filling your event committee, or you could need help finding new Board Members. Whatever you decide to discuss, be prepared to answer hard questions and easy questions.

Don’t Skip The Holidays

• In between your meetings with your Top 3 don’t let your more than a month pass without connecting with them.

• A simple way to do this is by mailing holiday cards; Christmas cards, Thanksgiving cards, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day. All of these holidays are opportunities for you to interact with your people without asking them for something.

• Try to make it a personal as possible, your cards could be home made or could simply include a personal note.

• Consider sending cards to more than your Top 3, maybe your Top 10 or Top 20. You never know whom a simple card will touch.

Make time to see these three actions through and don’t skimp on them. Make them a recurring task in your calendar and take notes on your conversations. After about 6 months take time to evaluate – are these people still your Top 3? What new ways can you interact with your Top 3 that doesn’t involve asking them for money?

The key to cultivation is balancing engagement opportunities that ask for monetary support with opportunities that ask for someone’s time and expertise – aka, their most valuable means of support. These three cultivation actions will help you build that framework you’ll need to ensure your organization’s mission continues to make an impact.

So go forth, start with these three actions and be open to the opportunities that will unfold.

Simone Olive

Development Consultant

www.simoneoliveconsulting.com

simoneoliveconsulting@gmail.com

Louisville Bar Association: "LBA Speaks"

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Had a great time this morning speaking with Scott Furkin and the Louisville Bar Association about #nonprofit #Board #governance and tools to build a dynamic Board.

As an #attorney, I especially enjoy working with #nonprofits, #lawyers, #lawfirms, and associations on legal and fiduciary aspects of Board governance.

#continuinglegaleducation

Nonprofit Salaries and Wages Not Keeping Up with Inflation and Its Consequences

Nonprofit Salaries and Wages Not Keeping Up with Inflation and Its Consequences

"Despite the competitive hiring environment, nonprofit employees are worse off than they were two years ago, because salaries did not keep pace with inflation, and healthcare costs increased significantly through rising employee contributions, co-pays, and deductibles (costs borne mostly by the employees themselves)."

The troubling article linked above should concern all community leaders. #Nonprofits understand that addressing this requires:

  • Full coverage of real costs in government contracts

  • #Philanthropic willingness to support salaries, benefits, and professional development

  • Termination of the use of "overhead" as a measure of #nonprofit effectiveness

Other thoughts?