CLASSIC ARTICLE - More and more grantmakers are demanding program evaluations as a condition of funding. Management consultant Carter McNamara lays out a framework for conducting these evaluations, and he charts the various methods available for gathering valuable data.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - As an alternative to grants, some foundations use a lending instrument known as the program-related investment (PRI).Here is some basic information about the kinds of activities that they support.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - For several decades, big business has used a management tool known as "benchmarking" to measure performance, motivate employees, and build profits. Now the nonprofit sector is adapting this technique to meet its own needs and to fit its own culture.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - What are the best capacity-building techniques for grassroots groups? To find out, the Environmental Support Center interviewed a number of technical-assistance providers as well as representatives of the organizations that use their services.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Unlike for-profit ventures, social enterprises need a business plan that addresses both financial goals and social goals. Sutia Kim Alter describes the process of creating such a plan.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Many groups spend inordinate amounts of time and money producing special events, only to discover that the benefits fall far short of the effort. The first step in planning a successful event is deciding whether it's right for the organization.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - If the members of an organization's board are geographically dispersed, they may have trouble working together cohesively. Technology consultant Corinne Waldenmayer shows how to solve this problem by using a variety of electronic tools and resources.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - The IRS recently revised the regulations regarding goods and services that a charity may offer in exchange for contributions. Attorney Pamela McAllister explains what the new rules mean for 501(c)(3) organizations and their donors.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Good publicity is a key to gaining support for your cause, bolstering membership, even raising more money. But too many nonprofits fail to make the most of their publicity opportunities--or fail to recognize an opportunity when it comes along.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Figuring out what to pay an organization's top executive is one of the biggest challenges facing any board of directors. The National Center for Nonprofit Boards offers some guidelines for carrying out the process.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - As the needs of nonprofits for technology increase, so do the numbers of grant proposals for tech-related projects and equipment. America Online's Michele Cavataio has pored over thousands of requests for tech funding.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Venture philanthropy is a hot topic in philanthropic circles. Is it the future of grantmaking or a passing fad? Is it born of genuine commitment to social change or the arrogance of wealthy young elites?
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Jed Letterman's Top Ten List of Famous Last Words of Failed Social Entrepreneurs.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - The federal government may not be as generous with construction funding as it once was, but many departments still award these grants for various purposes. Federal grants expert Henry Flood tells what's available and what to watch out for when applying.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Many nonprofits have an unfounded fear of borrowing money, but the ability to borrow can help deal with unpredictable income steams, growing service demands, or outdated equipment. Financial consultants Susan Kenny Stevens and Lisa M.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - For most organizations, the vast majority of contributions they receive will be small, but the majority of their income will come from a few big donations. That's why it's essential to have a clear understanding of how to get those big donations.
The process of “getting a grant” or “writing a grant proposal” can sound mysterious, like an old family recipe with secret ingredients. For 40 years The Grantsmanship Center has been helping people de-mystify this process and to understand that like a recipe, creating a compelling proposal simply requires common ingredients put together in a logical and understandable sequence using tried and true techniques.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - The legal treatment of charitable organizations in different countries presents a daunting challenge to international funders. Globalization and cross-national grantmaking will require changes in the laws of almost every nation.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Most managers hire people who make them feel comfortable. According to management expert Robert I. Sutton, that may be the wrong thing to do if you want your organization to become more innovative and productive.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Politicians and marketers use focus groups to structure campaigns. Nonprofits can use them too--to connect with the communities they serve. Judith Sharken Simon offers a 10-step guide to planning and conducting focus groups.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Salary surveys are a window on the job market. They show what other employers are paying their personnel, and indicate whether your own wage levels are competitive. Here's a nuts-and-bolts guide to designing a salary survey for your own agency.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Over the course of a fiscal year, many nonprofits find themselves tilting back and forth between cash deficits and cash surpluses. Accurate cash flow projection enables management to plan for either situation.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Every group has a mission, but how do you distill that mission down to a single, concise paragraph? Communications expert Janel M. Radtke has some answers. She also gives several illustrations of mission statements that work.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - The explosive growth of non-governmental organizations overseas has opened up vast new opportunities for grantmakers.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Why are RFPs, grant proposals, and other forms of communication among philanthropic organizations littered with jargon? Tony Proscio takes a wry look at our addiction to buzzwords, dissects a few trendy examples, and suggests some ways to kick the habit.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Balance sheets and income statements may be a mystery to the uninitiated, but board members have a duty to know what they mean. Steven Berger tells what to look for and how to make sense of the numbers.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Should a nonprofit corporation form a subsidiary when it starts a business venture? Not necessarily. Creating a subsidiary can protect the parent corporation from liability and might attract new revenue.
Everyone is elated! All the planning and research paid off and your organization has been awarded its first grant. Whether it’s a $500,000 grant from the US government or a $10,000 grant from a private foundation, now’s the time to lay essential groundwork to ensure grant funds will be spent and accounted for as required and that program obligations will be met. Welcome to the world of grants management.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Right-wing pundits routinely complain about the left-leaning bias of major foundations, but a new report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy argues that conservative funders have been much more effective than their progressive counterparts in
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Because of high prices and restrictive licenses, your organization may not be able to purchase all the software it requires. According to computer expert Howard Fosdick, open-source software— free of cost and readily accessible— may be the answer.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - When an Oregon-based agency's federal grant application was rejected solely because of a formatting glitch, the incident sparked raillery and outrage. Susan Compo reports on the Case of the Narrow Margins.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - In order to improve their finances, their services, or their pursuit of mission, nonprofits may be tempted to merge with other,, similar organizations. But the road to merger can be difficult-even dangerous.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Both volunteer board members and paid employees typically feel a strong emotional attachment to the nonprofits they serve, leading them to see merger as more of a threat than an opportunity. Management consultant Dan H.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - As a program officer with the Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Joel Orosz dispensed frank advice along with grants.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - One of the most effective ways to raise big money is with a capital campaign. But community-based groups often lack the resources and the know-how to undertake such an ambitious enterprise.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Starting an earned-income venture takes more than a good idea. It also takes careful planning. Rolfe Larson shows how to assess venture ideas and how to decide which ones are worth pursuing.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Board conflicts can present some of the most formidable challenges that a nonprofit manager must face. They generally come in two forms--conflict between members of the board and conflict between board and staff.
CLASSIC ARTICLES - Your agency submits a grant proposal to a longtime funder and the program officer responds with high praise. There's just one hitch-she also wants you to redefine your mission. What's a board to do? Three experts offer their own advice.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Many nonprofit groups assume that because their cause is noble, their employees should be willing to work for little money. But without the ability to attract and retain good workers, any enterprise is doomed to failure.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Fundraising software performs a multitude of functions. And there are dozens of software packages to choose from. How do you pick the right one for your organization? Technology consultant Corinne Waldenmayer offers a user's guide to software selection.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Reducing your agency's budget is never simple. If you have little in the way of unjustified spending to eliminate, there are no easy targets. And imposing a wage or hiring freeze can diminish morale and adversely impact services.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - With new technology, nonprofits are able to connect with their constituents much more effectively. But when a development office relies on poorly configured equipment and inconsistent databases, more money is spent and less money comes in.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - The principles of "social entrepreneurism" have had a transforming effect on New Economy philanthropists. For the social service agencies that embrace those principles, the effects may be even more profound.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Few concepts have captured the imagination of development officers more completely than "relationship fundraising." But Ken Burnett, who wrote the book on the subject, calls it "just a currently fashionable piece of jargon." In this wide-ranging forum, drawn fro
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Can small groups realistically expect to get big gifts? Grassroots fundraising expert Andy Robinson argues that contributions of $500 to $5,000 are well within reach- if you know how to ask for them. He lays out a three-step plan for getting the job done.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Every fundraising professional knows how to write a thank-you note, but even seasoned veterans botch letters of apology. Susan Sarver describes what works-and what doesn't-when it comes to saying you're sorry.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - More and more grantmakers are making it possible (and in some cases, mandatory) for proposals to be submitted electronically. Contributors to The Grantsmanship Center's Alumni Forum have some suggestions for handling the process more smoothly.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Donated labor often accounts for a significant portion of the in-kind match used to secure a grant. Here's how to calculate its dollar value.
Most staff members in nonprofit organizations define a grant proposal as a request for money. But that definition is only superficially correct. To achieve the best results for their constituents and move more surely toward their missions, nonprofits need to think of grants in a different way.
CLASSIC ARTICLE - Grant applications that focus on an organization's internal needs pose special challenges. Grantsmanship Center trainer Susan Chandler offers pointers for writing these proposals more effectively.