Friday, May 6, 2011

The NonProfit TImes May 1st Issue Is Out

If you are already subscribed to The NonProfit Times, you would have known that the May 1st issue had come out.  Full of the latest news from the nonprofit sector, as well as insightful special reports and columns, it is a must have for any nonprofit organization.  Here's a sneak peek at some of the stories you can expect to see in this issue:

  • Special Report: Capitalizing on the Improving Economy
  • Oregon Bill Ties Exemption to Expense Ratios
  • Fiesta Bowl's Board Fumbled Oversight
  • Going National Helps LGBT
  • General Ramblings: Can't Stamp It Out
  • Data in the Sky: Cloud security in the era of really good hackers
If you want access to every article in the issue, however, you will need to subscribe.  Visit our subscription page for pricing information.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The NonProfit Times E-Newsletters

If you are already subscribed to The NonProfit Times, you are getting access to the top news in the nonprofit sector.  But while you are waiting for the latest subscription to arrive, did you know that you can receive weekly e-newsletters from us as well?  Here are the ones that we offer:

  • NPT Jobs-Sent on Tuesdays, this newsletter keeps you up-to-date on the latest nonprofit jobs from our job board.  It also features career advice and HR tips.  It is published 50 times a year.
  • NPT Instant Fundraising-Geared towards development officers and executive directors, Instant Fundraising gives readers the latest fundraising developments.  It is published 50 times a year on Wednesdays.
  • NPT Weekly-This newsletter addresses matters relating to all aspects of nonprofit management, including fundraising, financial management, direct marketing, technology, legal issues, and human resources.  NPT Weekly is sent out 50 times a year on Mondays.
  • NPT TechnoBuzz-TechnoBuzz is written for nonprofit employees responsible for the purchase and management of hardware and software at their organizations.  It is sent out 12 times a year on the second Tuesday of each month.
  • Exempt Magazine-This financial newsletter focuses on areas such as asset management, planned giving, donor advised funds, banking, risk management, investments, insurance, trusts, financial software and technology.  Exempt is sent out 12 times a year on the third Tuesday of each month.
If you are interested in signing up for these newsletters, visit NPTimes.com.  Also, you can check out the previous editions of these newsletters by going to our back-issues section.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Strike Three For Dodgers' Frank McCourt?

Frank McCourt, owner of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers, hasn't had it easy these days.  Involved in a nasty divorce case with his wife Jamie, he has seen his and his team's fortunes plummet.  Then he saw his team being taken control by MLB because of his financial problems.  Things can't get any worse for him, right?  Well as is usually the case with that kind of question, the answer is yes, they can.  The California Attorney General’s office has recently announced it will invesitgate The Dream Foundation, an organization run by the Dodgers.

Why, exactly?  Well it seems the Attorney General is curious to how and why $400,000 was paid to the Dodger’s Team VP through the charity. Although the team had already announced it had paid back the money to the foundation, it hasn't stopped the Attorney General from getting to the bottom of the matter.

SETI Shuts Down Its Satellites

Note: This is a summary/reaction to the latest story from The NonProfit Times TV.

It looks like ET is going to have to wait a little bit longer if he wants to call home. 

The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute has announced that it has, for the time being, shut down its Allen Telescope Array in Northern California, temporarily bringing the organization's search for alien life to a halt. SETI CEO Tom Pearson announced the decision in a recent letter to the group’s donors, citing budget concerns as the primary reason for the shut down.  Pearson said that until SETI could find new sources of funding, the satellites would have to be put into "hibernation."

According to Scientific American Magazine, these satellites, known as the Allen Telescope Array, are the only ones that are completely devoted to searching for signals from potential alien civilizations.  So for the time being, it looks like the search for extraterrestrial life will have to be put on hold.

Gold Rush: Texas Nonprofit Acquires Gold

Note: This is a summary/reaction to a story from the latest webcast of The NonProfit Times TV.

The gold rush might have ended years ago, but it seems like nobody told The University of Texas Investment Management Company.  The organization, which handles endowment funds for The University of Texas and Texas A&M University, has taken possession of over a staggering $1 billion in gold; and we're not talking actual gold bars here, not just in paper.  The company first began investing in gold ventures in September of 2009, and continued doing so for another 12 months (into October 2010). CEO Bruce Zimmerman said that his company’s purchases at the time reached $750 million dollars.  A hefty sum, no doubt, but it would appear their gamble paid off in the end.  Because of a change in gold's market value, their purchase is now worth close to $1 billion dollars.  Talk about a return on investment. 

So why did his organization purhcase so much gold anyway?  Well, according to Zimmerman, they it was to hedge against the possibility of a devaluation or debasement of currency.  Students shouldn't try looking around their campus for the gold, however.  It is currently being locked away at an HSBC bank in New York City.

New NPTtv Webcast Is Up!

The latest webcast from The NonProfit Times TV is up!  Here are the stories in this week's episode:

We will have a summary/reaction to each story up shortly.  In the mean time, watch the latest webcast!

New Weekly Discussion on Our Facebook Page

Just wanted to let everybody know about a new feature we have just launched on The NonProfit Times' Facebook Page: weekly discussion topics.  It works like this: every week we will post a new topic on our page, with the hopes that it will spark a lively, yet respectful, debate.  Here is our topic for this week: Is social media more useful for nonprofits when it comes to fundraising or advocacy?  If you have some time, be the first to participate in what should be a great debate!

Reminder: New NPTtv Webcast Today

Just wanted to remind everybody that a new episode of The NonProfit Times TV will be coming out later today.  As always, we will have a full summary/reaction of all of the stories in the webcast on here when the webcast goes live, so keep an eye out!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Facebook 'Causes' Launches New App to Help Fundraising

These days, it is almost impossible for a nonprofit (or any company, for that matter) to get away without a Facebook page.  The social networking site is not only an invaluable resource to update followers on the latest news, but it can also be a good fundraising tool as well.  And with the latest application from Facebook Causes, that just got a little easier for nonprofits.

Causes, an online advocacy/fundraising application in Facebook, recently launched a new update called "Give a Minute."  What is it, exactly?  Well according to a post on their official blog, it is a simple application a nonprofit can add to their Facebook page that allows users to complete short (around 30 seconds) activities that, when completed, will give a charitable donation to the organization.  This donation is usually in the range between 10 and 50 cents, but these can most certainly add up the more people complete them. 

To learn more about "Give a Minute" and Causes, visit their blog.

Monday, May 2, 2011

For Nonprofit Managers, Trust is Key

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Our distrust is very expensive." When it comes to nonprofit managers and CEOs, this couldn't be more true. Let's face it, for a nonprofit to be successful, its employees have to trust the head of the organization. Without this, performance can suffer and, as a result, so will the organization's mission.

John Hamm (not that one, in case you are wondering), talks about how important trust is for company leaders in his new book, Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required for the Practice of Great Leadership. As the title of the book implies, it gives leaders nine tips on how to get employees to trust them. Here are some of these tips that Hamm mentions in his book:

• Hamm stresses that you don't have to act like a "boy scout" to gain the trust of your employees. In fact, he writes that the best leaders are those who don't try to act like anybody other than themselves. In fact, it's very easy to see how a manager or other leader who acts too kind might seem suspicious to employees.

• Along the same lines, Hamm wrote that it's important for a leader to look for chances to show that they are human by proving that they have authentic fears, imperfections, and emotions. He gives the example of a CEO named "Carl" who grew up in humble surroundings. Carl always told stories of his hard upbringing while leading his employees, as he knew this would make them feel more comfortable around him; it made him more accessible and, in turn, more trustworthy. To me, this was the most surprising tip Hamm gave; it's something I never thought of before, as we are often taught to hide our emotions from those we work with.

• Another interesting point was Hamm's mention of the so-called "adulterer's guarantee." Essentially, this is when a leader tells an employee that they lied to someone else, but that they would never lie to you. Some think doing this would show an employee that their boss is behind them, but it really just exposes the leader as a dishonest person. If this leader would lie to someone else, why should an employee believe they are not lying to them? And is usually the case with these situations, the story of this incident will spread, hurting morale.

• Finally, Hamm wrote that a leader should never punish "good failures." These are failures that occur despite an organization doing everything right, and are usually associated with taking a calculated risk for a project. By punishing employees for these "failures," employees will be more averse to taking risks in their work. And since risk-taking is the key for any organization's success, this is most definitely a bad thing. Instead, leaders should strive to create a culture where innovation is promoted, so that all these good failures can eventually lead to something successful.

If you are interested in learning more about Unusually Excellent, visit the book's website.

9/11 Charities Stay on Mission Even With Bin Laden's Death

When the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader and mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, one couldn't help but remember that tragic morning on September 11th, 2001.  Would the families of the victims feel any closure knowing that the man who was responsible for their loved one's deaths had been bought to justice? 

While we can't know exactly what these families are feeling right now, we do know one thing for sure: the 9/11 charities that were set up to help victims of the attacks are committed to the mission they were founded for.  Today, we posted a story on our website that focused on this very issue.  According to this story, while these charities are celebrating the death of Bin Laden, they remain focused on their missions.  Terry Sears, Executive Director of the Manhasset, NY based Tuesday's Children, says she doesn't anticipate any changes to their fundraising efforts.  She also adds that their 10th anniversary commemoration of the 9/11 attacks will continue as planned.

As a matter of fact, there are some who think that the death of Bin Laden might spur even greater giving to 9/11 charities.  Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of GuideStar, a charity evaluation service, says that the news might remind people how the nation came together after that fateful day, and the impact these charities had in bringing about that unity.  He added that he hopes the news of Bin Laden's death will be a sort of "reawakening event" that will bring us together again, and also help put more focus on the nonprofit sector.

To read the full article, visit The NonProfit Times' website.