It’s Thursday afternoon. You have a few binders, a few more manila file folders, and approximately 281 pieces of paper lying around your workspace. Your email inbox is starting to look a little scary, and you don’t remember the last time you saw it empty. Your coffee mug from this morning still has a few ounces of cold swill in the bottom because you were called into a meeting before you could finish even waking up. You considered ordering in lunch, but you forgot and now it’s 2:45. Also, your desk is covered in sticky notes and other scraps of paper from all the notes you left yourself last week.
Unless you’re in the (estimated) 0.12% of people that have never made a mess in their lives, I’m sure your own workspace popped into your head while reading that. A cluttered area makes us all more anxious, more stressed, and detracts from the great work we’re doing for the sake of our nonprofit missions. Here are some hard truths for your consideration in becoming a more organized, less stressed coworker:
You and your team have decided to move forward with applying for a certain grant opportunity. Most questions seem pretty typical: “Describe your project.” “Give us a brief overview of your organization as a whole.” and “Please supply us with your mission statement.”
You get down to the financial section and the required attachments that you are to upload before you can submit the final application. You see the request for your budget.
Before you simply upload your internal-use, hundred-line-item, not-even-our-program-managers-use-this budget, consider making this easier for your reviewer and for your use later on once you’re awarded the grant.
Grantors are as unique as the organization they seek to fund. They can be family foundations, community foundations, donor advised funds, corporations, or local businesses. Some grantors have been grantmaking for years while others are just entering the game.
No matter where the funding originates or how long the funder has been around, the following ideas could lend to a more streamlined grant process for all involved:
You’ve done the hardest part- you’ve gotten the grantor to agree to come visit you in your own space. Congratulations! Whether you’re in the middle of a grant application process or prospecting a new funder, it’s your job to keep the funder engaged and entranced with your programs and mission.
Here are a few points to consider when you’re planning and executing the visit:
Nonprofit organizations are always looking for ways to simplify their ask and make it easy for supporters to get involved and donate their time, talent, and treasure. Amazon has created a simple way for nonprofits to ask for specific in-kind donations through their wish lists. Organizations can compile products that they need to support their programming and services in one easy list. It is shareable, it is easy to add and delete products as needed, and it makes it possible for supporters anywhere in the world to get involved with your mission.
Here is a quick guide for getting your organization set up with a Wish List:
We hate to encourage you to think the sky is falling, but when it comes to events we find that it is always best to expect the best out of your event, but to plan for the worst as well. Having good plans in place can help make your event memorable, even if something does go awry. It is always best to have plans in place and not need them versus needing to jump into action with no plan whatsoever.
When a nonprofit organization spends funds, it infuses money back into the local community by providing valuable programs and services, paying local workers, and supporting local businesses.
Corporations are often willing to giving nonprofit discounts on products and services; however, we have noticed that nonprofits often overlook negotiating when it comes to special events – something corporations have been doing successfully for years.
This blog outlines a few areas when organizations can negotiate when it comes time for hosting special events.
Special events season is either something that fills staff and volunteers with glee or makes them want to flee for their lives. In many cases, events are fun and effective ways to raise money, but sometimes they're not really all they are cracked up to be.
In this blog series on events, we are asking the question – "Are events really worth it?" How do we make top dollar without spending a fortune? How do we set up for success? How do we define what a good return is on an event?
So no, this series isn’t giving you centerpiece ideas, thoughts on color schemes, or links to amazing Pinterest boards – it’s helping introduce some critical perspectives on nonprofit events.
Donor Stewardship doesn’t have to be expensive and time intensive. While you should invest time and energy in donor stewardship, we understand that small nonprofits may struggle to have the capacity to create and sustain a comprehensive donor stewardship strategy.
However, donor stewardship is so important and should not be dismissed or overlooked. It IS vital to your organization’s long term sustainability, and should be treated as such. Donor stewardship can take many forms, and there are lots of creative and inexpensive ways to engage and cultivate relationships with your donors, even for the smallest nonprofit.
In the nonprofit sector we are starting to speak more and more about capacity building. Although that popular buzzword is thrown around all over the place, there isn’t a lot of agreement on what that actually looks like at ground level.
Capacity building is, at it's most basic, “an investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of a nonprofit.” We believe that one of the best and most cost effective ways to make your organization sustainable is through a (and excuse our language) kickass donor stewardship strategy.