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The Nonprofit Strategist

Posts in Nonprofit Governance
So You Founded a Nonprofit. Here's a Quick Way to Assess Your Progress

“If tech founders had to do what nonprofit founders do to get startup funding, we wouldn’t HAVE a tech industry in this country.”

Nonprofit founders have it tough, no doubt about it. But as a founder, do you know where your organization stands on its path to sustainability? More to the point, do you know what you need to get there?  It’s about money, yes. But it’s surely more than that, right?

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Why the Nonprofit Sector Needs More Accelerator Programs

We frequently talk with founders of tech and nonprofit startups, and we see a lot of similarities. Both nonprofit and tech founders are entrepreneurial, passionate about their ideas and face countless challenges ranging from the strategic to the tactical and mundane--any of which can rise up to bite the founder in the behind.  Interestingly, the management literature* largely confirms our observations.

You might ask, what’s the biggest challenge facing nonprofit entrepreneurs?  Money, money, MONEY! That’s right, it’s a lack of access to capital. No surprise, but we’re here to say and the literature confirms it:

Nonprofit founders face more challenges in raising capital than their tech founder brethren.  

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2.6% Increase in Giving Masks Accelerating Small $ Donor Slide

The trade press headlines stemming from the most recent Fundraising Effectiveness Report are mixed at best. The good news is that giving has increased by 2.6% so far this year, driven primarily by wealthy donors.

The bad? So far, the number of US donors has declined by 4.3% through September 30th. The overall donor retention rate is down by 5.6%. In particular, new donor retention and lapsed donor recovery rates are down. These negative trends have now continued for several years, and in fact appear to have accelerated.

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Five Things I Don't Like About Lists, And What I Intend To Do About It

Tired of articles and blog posts listing a bunch of things you should do to improve on how you run your nonprofit? Or your life for that matter?

I am. Here’s why.

  1. They’re often irrelevant because they don’t have anything to do with you or your nonprofit.

  2. The folks writing up these lists don’t always have much to say. No offense, but they’re desperate to produce content, and sometimes they’re just scraping the bottom of the barrel…

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Make It Crystal Clear Your Zero-Tolerance Harassment Policy Applies to Donors, Too.

65% of harassment cases reported by fundraisers are donor-related, according to the new Chronicle of Philanthropy/Association of Professional Fundraisers poll conducted by Harris.

The vast majority of these incidents involved individual donors or prospects (as opposed to company or foundation employees), and more than 95% of the time involved men harassing women who were junior to them. In addition, 35% of those reporting said that a board member was involved in at least one incident.

The power dynamics are clear. Men with resources and power are harassing women fundraisers, who are at a serious disadvantage, especially if they are young.

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