Friday, March 18, 2011

Press Release: GuideStar Acquire Two Social Impact Organizations

According to a GuideStar press release, the nonprofit data giant has announced plans to acquire two social impact organizations: Philanthropedia and Social Actions.  The release goes on to say that the acquisition of these two organizations will help improve GuideStar's "leading role in the nonprofit industry by adding to its growing knowledge base of tools, data and information designed to advance transparency within the nonprofit sector."  GuideStar President and CEO Bob Ottenhoff had this to say about the acquisition:

"The acquisition of Philanthropedia and Social Actions will further our ability to better serve both donors and nonprofits with tools, knowledge and data to inform best practices within the nonprofit sector and to encourage and inspire well-informed giving from donors."

GuideStar also announced plans to integrate Philanthropedia's Expert Review System into their existing data platforms.  However, the original Philanthropedia team will be retained, and the transition is expected to be smooth.

As for Social Actions, which is one of the leading companies for peer-to-peer giving, their mission will remain the same.  In fact, GuideStar launched a micro-site created with the same quality of open-source technolgy called TakeAction recently.  As such, there should be a seamless transition as Social Actions becomes a part of the GuideStar team.  Peter Deitz, co-founder of Social Actions, will work with GuideStar over the coming months to make sure that all of the organizations programs are intgrated into GuideStar's network.

GuideStar expects the acquisition of Social Actions to be completed by later this month.  Philanthropedia, on the other hand, will be acquired by mid-April.

City Year CEO and Co-Founder Talks Volunteerism

Note: This is a summary of a past story from NPTtv about how volunteerism can help solve problems.

Michael Brown wants Americans to know how important volunteering is, and he came to The Nonprofit Times TV to share his views on the subject.  The CEO and co-founder of the volunteer organization City Year talked about how being involved in "volunteerism" can help solve everyday problems. 

Brown thinks that volunteering is essential to the "spirit of America" especially, he says, in recent years.  He cites how the so-called "millennial generation" is growing up with service in their lives, and how all Americans these days are signing up to volunteer in droves.  Brown's own organization has actually seen three times the amount of young people volunteering.  He also cites President Barack Obama's call for Americans to serve more as a turning point for volunteerism.

Brown ends by saying that, despite all of this good news, more Americans are still needed to volunteer.  He says that if we all unite together to help our communities, we can make this country a better place.  And he's right, of course.  We all need to give back to our community and there are so many different ways that we can do this.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

University of Hawaii to Offer Certificate in Nonprofit Managment

Are you a budding nonprofit entrepreneur that lives in Hawaii?  If so, there is some good news: The University of Hawaii at Manoa's Public Administration Program will be offering a graduate certificate in nonprofit managment this coming Fall, according to the AP.  In a statement, the university said that the certificate will be designed for young professionals or students who are hoping to gain the skills they need to succeed not only in managment, but also grant writing and fundraising.

The courses needed to complete the certificate will give students the perspectives from public administration, business, social work, and public health.  Those interested in completing this program should send in their applciations to the University of Hawaii at Manoa by June 1st. 

AFP and PPP Discuss an Affiliate Agreement

Note: This is a summary of a past NPTtv story about two fundraising organizations, the AFP and PPP.

Two of the largest fundraising organizations, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP) are in discussions about an affiliate agreement.  While neither side would characterize the discussions as a merger or an acquisition, the two organizations released a joint statement saying that the two sides are working to reach a deal that will

"provide greater educational opportunities; increase distribution and use of best standards and ethical practices; and a stronger voice on issues related to public policy, fundraising practice, and donor service."
This potential partnership is not too much of a shock.  The two organizations boast some of the largest memberships in the country, and an AFP spokesperson said there is actually a 6% overlap in membership between the two organizations as it is.  As such, there shouldn't be too much of a bumpy transition should this partnership go through.

Sue Ellis Talks about Volunteering Trends

Note: This is a summary of an older story from NPTtv about Volunteering Trends.

In the latest installment of NPTtv's "Tip of the Week," Susan Ellis, President and CEO of Energize Inc, talks about the latest trends in volunteering.  One that she mentions is the continuing emphasis on single days of service, especially by corporations.  Ellis opines that we are also seeing the rise of less than a day of service, because of the rise of so-called "micro-volunteering" opportunities.  These are specific activities that people can do online or via their cellphone.  Because of this, she explains, we are seeing an "ever decreasing" amount of time devoted to service.

On the other hand, she is also seeing pro-bono and consulting volunteering being talked about more these days.  Unlike the single (or less than a single) day of service being pushed, these types of volunteering activities are much more long term and require a lot more attention from the individual pursuing them.  Ellis finds it interesting that these two very different kinds of volunteer trends are happening at the same time.  So on the one hand, it is somewhat discouraging that there is such a push for this decreased service time.  However, it is also very encouraging that more and more people are exploring these longer term service projects.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two Men Sentenced For Stealing from Indiana Nonprofit

Two men have been sent to jail after they plead guilty to stealing federal funding from nonprofit youth programs in Indiana, according to the Chicago Tribune.  The two men, Alvin Hannon of Harvey, Ill, and Vincent Green of Chicago, were sentenced to five and six months, respectively, in prison.  In addition, they will be made to pay $200,000 in restitution charges.

According to the report an employee of the company, known as Geminus Corparation, wrote unauthorized checks to fake companies the two perpitrators set up for kickbacks.  Th money they recieved was intended to be used for rug safety and youth leadership programs.  The employee, Sherice Murff, was scheduled to be sentenced May 12th. 

Employee Turnover at Nonprofits at 9%

Note: This is a summary of a past NPTtv story about Employee Turnover at Nonprofits.

With an economy that is lacking jobs, employees are staying at their organizations longer.  As a result, according to The NonProfit Times/BlueWater “2010 Nonprofit Organizations Salary & Benefits Report, employee turnover at NPOs came out at only 9%.  In addition, employees are staying at their organizations at an average of 6.2 years.  Other findings of the report include:

  • The average tenure of a nonprofit CEO is 9 years
  • 37% of operating budgets are spent on total cash compensation costs
  • The average annual salary for a nonprofit CEO/President is $111,838
  • Average cost of an employee including benefits and other costs is $85,296
You can see more results from the survey by visiting nptimes.com.

The Short Life of Mobile "Apps"

Note: This is a summary of an older story from NPTtv about the short life of Mobile Phone Apps.

Nonprofit executives who are dying to have an "app" created for their organizations should listen to the following statistic: Of all the mobile apps downloaded, only 2 percent are opened a second time.  This is according to B. Bonin Bough, Director of Digital and Social Media at Pepsico.  Mr. Bough cited this stat at a keynote session at the Direct Marketing Association's annual conference.  Now you may be wondering: why should we listen to this statistic?  Well, Mr. Bough knows a thing or two about social media and digtal content; he is working on Pepsi's "Refresh Everything" campaign, where customers can compete for funding for good works in their community, by posting videos/content about their project online.

Bough says that the key for customers returning to your app or social media campaign is content. 

"We can't digest long-form content," Bough says.  "We are being rewired as a society."  And he is right.  While America is a society that encourages participation, it is also one that will quickly discard what isn't interesting or exciting.  In a way, the internet has changed from the world of the "nerd" to that of the "Brady Bunch."  In other words, singular use has evolved to the world of personal networks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

News: Southwestern Connecticut Gets a Boost from the CEDF

According to the American Chronicle, the nonprofit organizaion known as the Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF) will offer $4 million loans to qualifying businesses in Connecticut. With many businesses still struggling through a slow recovering economy, CEDF wants to help businesses that have been unable to obtain traditional bank loans.

The $4 million that CEDF is offering comes in the form of two seperate loans of $2 million dollars: the first comes from the CEDF itself, while the second comes from matching funds from the state. Terms of the loan vary, but they are generally geared towards low to moderate income small business owners. CEDF will also not loan money to certain businesses, such as liquor stores or adult booksores. Also, the applicant's family income cannot exceed $84,500. In other words, this is certainly no bail out for big businesses.

Southwestern Connecticut, were the loans are being made available, is an area of the state that has been particuarly hit by the recent economic distress the country has endured. Because of this, the loans that the CEDF is making available should be a huge boon to the small businesses in the area.

Information About Emerging Philanthropy In The US

Note: This is a summary of an old story from NPTtv about Philanthropy in the US.

Most of the philanthropy occurring in the United States is based on European tradition. The African-American population has been present in America for some time now, and now has a significant proportion of affluent individuals who are contemplating their own legacies. This segment of the population is generally very connected to church movements, and women play a significant role in decision making in many families.
The Hispanic community in America is also focused on their new home and the role they play in it. They represent a generous segment of society who are increasingly growing and thriving as entrepreneurs. The Asian-American community represents the fastest growing immigrant group in the United States, and they arrive in this country with their own unique views relating to philanthropy. A growing amount of consumer, media and philanthropic research will be helpful in more effectively understanding the philanthropic role these communities play within the nonprofit sector.

A 150 to 1 Return On Nonprofit Investment

Note: This is a summary of an old NPTtv story about Nonpofit Investment.

Any gambler would be absolutely thrilled at the prospect of a 150 to 1 winning take. It just so happens that every dollar invested in advocacy of policies returned approximately $150 in related benefits and services within a four-state area of the Pacific Northwest. This is according to a study by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, or NCRP. The study placed its focus on homelessness and housing, predatory lending, immigrant rights, healthcare access and a variety of other in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Donors contributed $23.9 million to the 20 organizations studied over a 5 year period, representing 69% of all engagement donations to the associated groups. The purpose of the study was to determine the best ways for building capacity within communities and to demonstrate the value and importance of multi-year funding to charitable organizations. The NCRP was surprised to discover the strong movement building approach amongst the four states in question across issues and constituencies, and the desire to create a brighter future that went beyond a narrow focus on the next event or campaign.
An increased need for partnering in challenging times

Nonprofit organizations have expressed a desire and preference for flexible, multi-year funding, but there is an education curve which still needs to progress during which funders understand to a greater degree the need for these kinds of partnerships, and the value derived from them. In a context where more organizations are competing for a limited amount of funding, the need for collaboration and coalition development between nonprofit groups is becoming increasingly apparent among many organizations. The most effective coalitions are the ones that grow organically from the ground up, as opposed to those that are donor driven.

A Surprising $100 Million For New Jersey Education

Note: This is a summary of a past NPTtv story about the Mark Zuckerberg 100 Million Challenge Grant.

Students in Newark New Jersey using the social networking site Facebook during class time may need to be rewarded by teachers, instead of being punished. Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg has pledged $100 million towards to the struggling public school system. Zuckerberg has stated that every child deserves access to a good education and he has expressed concern that this is not taking place presently.
Kick starting a struggling education system

The amount in question, made available over a 5 year period, will be the first grant made from his new foundation, Startup Education. The foundation focuses on enhancing education in the United States. Zuckerberg appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show along with Newark mayor, Cory Booker, as well as New Jersey governor Chris Christie to discuss the donation. According to Mayor Booker, as much as 50% of high school student fail to graduate. The state took control of the school system from local officials in 1995. Governor Christie has said that the state will authorize Mayor Booker to develop a thorough education plan.
The school system's annual budget is approximately $800 million. School and state officials have started creating a strategy to put the $100 million grant to good use.

The Annual NPT Power and Influence Gala

Note: This is a summary of an older Nonprofit TV story about the NPT Power and Influence Gala.

The yearly NPT Power and Influence Top 50 Gala celebrates the nonprofit executives chosen by the Nonprofit Times as the most influential in the United States. Pundit Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post keynoted this event at the National Press Club in Washington DC. This is the 13th year that this event has been held, and it was the 6th time that it was held at the National Press Club.
Convio, Mitch-Stuart Inc, Sage Software and Social Solutions served as event sponsors. In order to view the full listing for the top 50 honorees, go to http://www.npttimes.com/.

Detroit Benefits From Nonprofit Intervention

Note: This is a summary from an older NPTtv story about how nonprofits are helping the Detroit auto industry.

For some time now Detroit has become conveniently representative of all that is problematic with the US economy, the country's inner cities and the idle American workforce. It has become a focal point for a variety of issues including obesity, home foreclosures and unemployment. Various nonprofit organizations are partnering with each other and with the city in an effort to bring about a positive turn around.
Charities aiming to revive a struggling city

It is estimated that hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars are being invested in efforts to effect healthy change in the city and its demographics, as well as in the adjacent South East Michigan area. The exact budgets involved are hard to determine with accuracy because no official records are being kept and there is no real collection of results among the various organizations that are working to redeem the city. According to the Michigan Nonprofit Association, around 60 community enhancement organizations are at work within the city. The Council of Michigan Foundations further reports that $107.7 million in grant funds has been paid out for the Metro-Detroit area over the last year.

The most recent strategies of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan have focused boosting the east side communities along the river-front. The intention is to create one of the longest developed river-fronts in the United States. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan along with the Kresge Foundation has contributed over $17 million in grants towards this development strategy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tracking Declines In Charitable Giving

Note: This is a summary of an older story from NPTtv about declines in charitable giving.

Overviews of charitable support for healthcare in Canada and the United States produce two very conflicting pictures. According to the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, or AHP, charitable support dropped $944 million in the United States in 2009 when compared with 2008 levels, versus an increase of $56 million in Canada. The report focuses on AHP members' direct response fundraising programs on behalf of more than 2000 nonprofit healthcare facilities.
During the course of the 2009 fiscal year the efforts of AHP members yielded $7.6 billion in the US and $1.1 billion in Canada, compared with $5 billion and just over $1 billion respectively the previous year. According to William C. McGinly, president and CEO of AHP, "Whether the recession ended in 2009 is for economists to debate, but its ripple effect certainly continued to curtail the ability of donors to give. It means fundraisers will have to work harder and smarter." In the United States, the largest declines in giving were experienced in the area of cash donations, down $818 million from 2008 and secured pledged which declined $7 million over the year.

Identifying The Most Charitable Nations On Earth

Note: This is a summary of a story that was previously featured on NPTtv about the most charitable nations on the planet.

A study conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation in the United Kingdom among 153 countries sheds light on the most generous countries in the world, as well as those that are unenthusiastic about charitable giving. According to the study, Australia and New Zealand are in a tie as the most generous nations in the world. The United States came in at number 6 according to the study. On the other hand, some of the fastest growing economies in the world, that of China and India, were identified as being among the least charitable.
The study focused on the percentage of each country's population that made charitable donations, those who became a volunteer in the month prior to the survey being conducted, and the percentage of people who provided assistance to a stranger in the past month. Australia and New Zealand both received average scores of 57, Ireland and Canada ranked at 56, with Switzerland and the US coming in at 55. India ranked at 134 and China at 147 on the list after the study results were finalized.

Establishing Rewarding Fundraising Partnerships

Note: This is a summary of an older NPTtv story about Fundraising Partnerships.

Corporate donors can be very beneficial when it comes to the financial health of nonprofit organizations, but they can represent a significant liability as well if the partnership between the nonprofit and the business is structured incorrectly. According to Adam Kerins, corporate and foundation relations director for the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside New Jersey, it is vital that a nonprofit organization do its prospect research and other associated homework to avoid striking up relationships with businesses that are counterproductive. This research is important as it relates to identifying and quantifying a gift in terms of the donor's capacity. This information that comes out of this research is also useful in knowing the appropriate stage of the partnership at which to establish an ask price-point.
What role does geography play?

According to Kerins, when it comes to corporate partnerships, business are more inclined to support charitable causes that are involved in positive work in the areas where there employees live and work. Businesses are often interested in that aspect when being approached by nonprofits with regard to a fundraising initiative. Corporations generally want to know that the charitable gift they are making with result in mutually rewarding benefits between themselves and the relevant nonprofit.
Kerins goes on to state that multi-year partnerships are typically more desirable as it means that the corporation or foundation has a greater period of time in which to develop an awareness of the nonprofit's needs, as well as to establish bonds of trust and communication that contribute towards a fulfilling and rewarding partnership arrangement. A nonprofit that has a good understanding of what the corporation wants out of the relationship is in a better position to benefit from repeated and enthusiastic funding. It's also good to identify an internal champion in the organization who is passionate about the charitable efforts that the nonprofit is engaged in.