Leadership

Two New Nonprofit Studies

1. Thanks to the Mission Based Management Blog for making me aware of this! The Center for Civil Society at Johns Hopkins University just released a report by Lester M. Salamon titled, "Employment in America’s Charities: A Profile." The Center’s website also includes links to other great reports from their Nonprofit Employment Data Project.

2. The Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Arizona State University has a new Initial Self Assessment Tool for nonprofits which is part of their, "Principles of Effectiveness in Nonprofit Organizations program." The 10 core principles are focused on:

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

A Strategic Plan is a multi-year planning document which focuses on the entire organization and not just one specific program or component. Although there are many ways to write a strategic plan, I learned how to write a strategic plan including these key components:

STEP Analysis (An analysis of all the external factors that effect the organization.)

  • Socio-cultural factors
  • Technological factors
  • Economic Forces
  • Political/Legal Forces
<p class="MsoNormal">Porters Five Forces (Also describing the external forces that effect the organization).</p>

Nonprofit Research Rocks! ARNOVA Conference

I recently attended the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) conference in Chicago. (My alma mater--North Park University was one of the host colleges.) This conference was a great gathering of Nonprofit Professors, Researchers and Practitioners who presented relevant research findings and presentations about the Nonprofit Sector.

I especially enjoyed the session about Nonprofit Fraud which reported about some nonprofit fraud statistics as well as provided suggestions how to prevent it. Some of the suggestions included:

Board Meeting Preparation

I am in the process of preparing for Aspiration's December board meeting. One thing I am working on is the Board Binder. This binder contains helpful information about Aspiration for the board members to keep and bring to each board meeting.

Contents include:

  1. Articles of Incorporation
  2. Bylaws
  3. Board Member job description
  4. Board Roster
  5. Organizational Chart/Programmatic Chart
  6. Organizational Policies/Conflict of interest policy
  7. Organizational promotional materials
  8. Donation Form

The board will also be able to store board meeting minutes from past meetings and other helpful information in the binder.

What I'm learning about Fiscal Sponsorship for Nonprofits

I'm going to this workshop this afternoon at the Foundation Center about Fiscal Sponsorship. It seems like I have been spending the last couple of months thinking about Fiscal Sponsorship not only from the perspective of a nonprofit that provides Fiscal Sponsorship, but also looking at start-up nonprofits and what fiscal sponsorship means to them.  Here's what I've learned so far.

First, I learned that fiscal sponsorship is not something that nonprofits should just jump into quickly. When I came into Aspiration, we had a fiscal sponsorship agreement in place, however after working with my Attorney and reading the book, "Fiscal Sponsorship--6 Ways to Do It Right" by Gregory Colvin. I realized that we needed to have a stronger agreement with the new organizations we were sponsoring. We are what the book defines as Model C--"A Preapproved Grant Relationship" with the new organizations we sponsor. It took us a while to get all this figured out and we are still working to do this the right way.

Advanced Degrees for Nonprofit Professionals

Being a young nonprofit professional, I am very appreciative of the people and opportunities that have helped me to excel in my nonprofit career. One of those opportunities is earning my Masters of Management in Nonprofit Administration degree from North Park University in Chicago. This degree program taught me the skills needed to excel in my nonprofit operations jobs as well as opened the door to additional opportunities.

It is exciting to see how many recent college graduates are choosing to work in the nonprofit sector and also earn nonprofit management advanced degrees. 

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