The Wayback Machine: The Nonprofit Clinic—Summer ’08 Edition

February 25, 2009

Successful Fundraising in Difficult Economic Times

by Buzz Harris, Executive Director, The Development Resource Center

~ Note: This article pre-dates our blog. We decided to share it here as it is still timely. ~

Fundraising during a recession is always challenging. Here is a multi-part strategy to ensure that your organization’s journey through recession is a smoother, more prosperous one. Bring your board and staff together separately to review and recommit themselves to the organization’s mission. Inform both groups, candidly and transparently, about your income and expenses and the reasonable expectations for fundraising. Faced with this challenge they may have valuable input and suggestions. Solicit their thoughts and support.

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Featured Funder: RESIST

February 24, 2009

RESIST is a progressive foundation that supports grassroots organizing for peace, economic, social and environmental justice, and provides political education for social change activism. RESIST funds organizations that are actively part of a movement for social change and demonstrate an understanding of the connections among oppressions.

As part of the application process, grant applicants must provide specific information concerning their position, programs and coalition work on a range of political issues, including race, class, gender, reproductive rights, lesbian and gay rights, age, and disability. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask the Editors: Fiscal Sponsorship

February 23, 2009

“My group wants to become a nonprofit. I’ve heard that we can ‘borrow’ another group’s nonprofit status. Is that true? How do we do it?” – Bob K., Minneapolis, Minnesota

The basic answer to your first question is “yes.” Existing nonprofit groups can take another group under their 501(c)(3) umbrella, if they wish, by acting as a Fiscal Sponsor. Under a Fiscal Sponsorship arrangement a group that is not currently a nonprofit signs a letter of agreement with an existing organization that is already recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The letter, in effect, makes the new group a ‘project’ of the host organization. The advantages for the sponsoree are many. Read the rest of this entry »

Teaching fundraising to East African NGO’s?

February 22, 2009

Earlier this week we were contacted by the PAMOJA Trust, a Tanzanian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), with a request that we make our nonprofit fundraising and governance classes available to them and their network in East Africa.  We’re very interested, Read the rest of this entry »

The Nonprofit Clinic—February Edition

February 21, 2009

Forging the Board of Your Dreams

by Buzz Harris, Executive Director, Development Resource Center

Hang around nonprofit staff and you will hear complaints about their boards. “Our board? They’re hibernating,” or perhaps “Help! Get them away!” A high-functioning board of directors is crucial to the success of any nonprofit organization. Members of the board are, legally, the most powerful stakeholders in an organization, yet they often receive little instruction about their role.

Board members are not born; they are taught. Unfortunately there is often very little effort to educate new trustees. Every board has the same prime directive—to ensure that their organization’s mission is carried out. Under this directive there are five key responsibilities: Oversight, Hiring and managing the chief staff person, Fundraising, Strategic planning, and Acting as organizational ambassadors. Read the rest of this entry »

Online Social Media Class Coming!

February 20, 2009

The DRC is developing a new course in nonprofit marketing and fundraising using online social media (Web 2.0).  It should be added to the course schedule in the spring, and it will cover Read the rest of this entry »