Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving!  Since we will all be busy stuffing our faces with turkey and other great food, there will be no new blog posts until Monday of next week.  Enjoy the holiday!

Black Friday Activity Attracts Charities

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year because of the huge sales available.  People all over the country wake up early so they can be the first to get in stores.  And now, as detailed in a story we just posted on The NonProfit Times website, charities are getting in on the action.

Many of the organizations getting involved this year are taking a technology-based route to their Black Friday activities.  For example, for every user that "checks in" using foursquare, a location-based social network for mobile devices, JC Penney will pledge $25 to The Salvation Army, up to $100,000.  The Alexandria, Va.-based organization will also allow donors to give money to their annual Red Kettle Campaign, which kicks off during halftime of tomorrow's Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game, via on-site smart phones in select cities.

JC Penney will also pledge $50 to The Salvation Army for every angel "adopted" via the Angel Giving Tree Online, where donors can be matched with items needed by those less fortunate.  The store, now in its third year, already has had 100,000 angels adopted.

The USO is taking a slightly different approach to Black Friday.  "The USO Wishbook," launched in conjunction with the holiday season, sells items for soldiers and their families on their website.  According to Kelli Seely, the organization's chief development officer, it's their first attempt at an alternative giving catalog.  The gifts available on the website range from the simple to the remarkable.  You can make a $25 phone call from a soldier or purchase $5,000 total entertainment system.  The USO plans to keep the Wishbook online throughout the year, adapting it for other holidays.

Given the popularity of Black Friday, it seems likely these programs will be met with a lot of success.  But we'll have to wait a couple of days to see their real impact.  Make sure to read the full story on this topic over on our website.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nonprofit Jobs By State

Cross-Posted From NPT Jobs Blog

There are so many factors that go into finding great nonprofit jobs. Aside from the starting salary and relevance to your career skills, one of the most important of those factors is proximity to your current residence. Most job seekers would have a lot of hesitation working for an organization that requires them to travel long distances; even if it's the job of their dreams. Using The Nonprofit Jobseeker's Jobs By State Page, users can see the latest jobs in their area with only a click of their mouse.

Let's say you want to find a New York nonprofit job. All you have to do is go to our dedicated NY nonprofit job page and you will see all of the most recent positions posted in that state. The page is automatically updated with the latest jobs, so you can be sure you will be seeing a new job the second it is posted.

If our jobs by state page doesn't offer enough customization for you, the Nonprofit Jobseeker also allows users to filter search results by state. This will show you all jobs in that area, including ones that might not be as recent. Job hunters can also enter their zip code to make their search more specific.

We hope that you will enjoy using these features. Feel free to leave any feedback.

Free Webinar: Performing Risk Assessment And Designing Internal Controls

The NonProfit Times and Zurich are putting on another free webinar on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 01:00 PM.  The topic will be performing risk assessment and designing internal controls.  Being prepared with written policies and procedures to minimize risk is a vital part of a non-profit organization. Budget constraints may mean that an organization may not retain the highly experienced human and legal resources needed to manage their risk and compete with the ever-changing risk landscape.

This webinar will help you learn to recognize and identify risks your company may or could potentially be facing. We'll examine internal controls you can implement to mitigate risk and build solutions to manage them effectively.

Speakers include:

Peg Jackson is an author, consultant and nationally-recognized lecturer in risk management, business continuity planning and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. She earned a doctorate in public administration (DPA) from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and holds the professional designation of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). She is also a Principal with Adjunct LLC in San Francisco, Calif.

Susan J. Ellis is President of Energize, Inc., a training, consulting, and publishing firm that specializes in volunteer management. She founded the Philadelphia-based company in 1977 and since that time has assisted clients throughout North America (48 states and 6 provinces), Europe (10 countries), Asia (4 countries), Latin America (2 countries), Australasia (2 countries), and Israel to create or strengthen their volunteer corps.

Tom McLaughlin joined CCR in 2011 after 19 years as a nonprofit consulting specialist with two national accounting and consulting firms. Tom has more than 35 years of nonprofit experience as a nonprofit manager, trade association executive, and management consultant. Among his previous positions, Tom served as an executive with two major Massachusetts social service agencies and as Associate Director of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.

Register today!

Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope Resigns

Michael Brune has spent his career organizing small activist groups.  He now has a bigger challenge ahead of him: Reversing membership declines and changing the entire philosophy of San Francisco, Calif.-based Sierra Club.

Carl Pope, Sierra Club chairman, resigned over growing discontent with the direction of the organization according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.  He was replaced by Brune, who has pledged to focus on grass-roots recruiting of new members.  Pope, 66, had been a member of the organization for over 40 years before becoming chairman in 2010.  He had previously served as executive director for 17 years.

Although he played a huge role in the environmental nonprofit, Pope made decisions that angered some in the organization.  His multi-million dollar deal in 2008 to put the Sierra Club logo on Clorox's brand of "green" products comes to mind.  Pope described himself as a "big-tent guy" to The Times, saying that the Club wouldn't be able to accomplish its goals if it only worked with those who agreed with them.  He insists that Sierra Club board agreed that it was worth losing some flexibility to gain a major increase in clout.

There were also some in the organization who thought Pope had reduced the role of chapter experts in favor of paid staffers and attorneys.  They were also turned off by his work not only with corporations, but big labor and manufacturers.

Yet for all the controversy, Pope leaves behind some major accomplishments.  He led the Club's efforts to protect 10 million acres of wildlife, such as the Giant Sequoia National Monument in California.  He bought the organization closer to large donors, leading to major donations from powerful groups.  For example, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's charitable organization donated $50 million over four years to the club's campaign to shut down coal-fired power plants.  This was part of Pope's larger philosophy of shifting the Club's focus towards fighting climate change, and away from smaller campaigns to protect the wild.

It was the growing push to refocus on grass-roots campaigns that caused Pope to step down.  Under the new leadership of Michael Brune, the nonprofit plans to cut ties with Clorox and other corporations, and refocus its efforts on adding an "army" of new volunteers.  This will be music to the ears of those who were discontent with Pope's leadership.  These individuals believed he was abandoning them, though Pope  insists it is the Sierra Club is straying from the core principles of its founder, evangelist John Muir

It remains to be seen how the end of the Pope era will affect the future of the Sierra Club.  One thing's for sure, though: Brune has some big shoes to fill.

You can read more about this story over at The Los Angeles TimesIn addition, you can read more about issues of governance on The NonProfit Times.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Using Celebrities For Breast Cancer Awareness

It's not uncommon to see nonprofit organizations enlist the help of celebrities to generate buzz.  When they a cause is paired together with big names, it is often a recipe for success.  That has certainly been the case with the Los Angeles, Calif.-based Noreen Fraser Foundation's campaign for breast cancer awareness.

An article in last week's edition of The Times of Northwest Indiana highlighted how the organization has used celebrities in their recent Men For Women Now (M4WN) campaign, which provides a forum for men to support each other while helping their loved ones fight breast cancer.  The campaign has already garnered some big names in show-biz, like Russel Brand, Neil Patrick Harris, Zach Galifianakis, and Jack Black.

The campaign is notable for bringing some comic relief to a painful subject.  For example, Black appeared in an ad for M4WN to encourage women to get mammograms:

"All of us guys, dudes, and bro–imgos are getting off our lazy butts and making appointments for our beloved ladies to meet with this bad boy."
The campaign also partnered with Chicago, Ill.-based Threadless to create a t-shirt creation contest.  Artists were encouraged to submit their designs for a shirt that would raise awareness towards breast cancer using humor.  25 percent of the proceeds from the shirt, which will be sold by Threadless, would go to the Noreen Fraser Foundation in an effort to conduct more research on breast cancer.  The creator of the winning design is set to receive $750 in cash, a $250 Threadless gift card, and an iPad 2 prize pack.  Not a bad haul for a little bit of creativity.

Make sure to read the full article on M4WN on NWI.com.

NPT Jobs: Improving Fundraiser Retention

Cross-Posted From The Nonprofit Jobseeker

It's increasingly rare these days to find people who are not only successful at fundraising, but also have enthusiasm for it. That's why, if you hired someone with those traits, it's so important to do everything in your power to keep them. How do you go about improving fundraiser retention? It's a difficult task, no doubt, but it can be done.

The NonProfit Times attended this year's AFP International Conference on Fundraising. Speaking at that conference was Penelope Burke, president of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. She had some ideas on how you can best go about keeping your most valuable fundraisers:
  • Be flexible on your salary and benefits. If they are that good at what they do, they deserve to be rewarded. Doing this also means you can be even more insistent on bottom-line results.
  • Allow your fundraisers to work independently. You should check in on them from time to time get updates on their progress, but make sure you are not breathing down their necks.
  • Value their input. Taking a suggestion to heart is one of the best things a nonprofit manager can do to show your employees that they are being listened to. It's also a great way to make them want to continue to work for you.
  • On a related note, make sure to publicly credit staff when they come up with a good idea.
  • Looking for a new senior fundraiser? Consider promoting from within rather than hiring a brand new employee. This will improve employee morale and eliminates the need for extensive orientation periods.