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Nonprofit Leadership

Below you will find all of our past articles to help you with nonprofit leadership. It is a long list of articles so don't hesitate to bookmark this page and come back often. If you would like more great fundraising information in the future then please sign up for an email notification whenever we publish a new article.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Fundraisers by the AFRDS

We asked a number of fund-raising professionals and experienced volunteers what they thought were the most important traits an individual/group should possess to be successful at fund-raising. Here's their list, which we found coincides nicely with Stephen Covey' well known theories detailed in his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

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Fraud? Say It Isn't So! by the AFRDS

Did you know that the average fraud scheme goes undetected for 18 months? Or, that 93 percent of frauds are by first-time perpetrators? How about this? Dozens of parent organizations were victims of embezzlement by dishonest volunteers last year.

It's hard to swallow. But sometimes volunteers - people whom you may have known for years, people you trust - do not always have the best of intentions when it comes to safeguarding your non-profit group's assets.

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The Truth About Board Members by Julia Erickson

In the field of non-profit Board development, the hoariest of old saws is that Board members must possess three W's - Wealth, Wisdom, and Wit. I've also heard and said that non-profit Board members need to bring one or more of these things: money, contacts, clout, and expertise - and in that order. Here's my unofficial ranking of Board members, based on my many years working with Boards and many conversations with colleagues.

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Position Your Nonprofit Leader as an Expert by Sandra Beckwith

Positioning your nonprofit's executive director as the local expert on your key issue helps build valuable credibility for your organization among stakeholders.

Start that process by making sure that if your leader isn't already an expert, he or she is taking steps to become one. This is one of those situations where you don't want to use smoke and mirrors.

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What to Look for In a Fundraising Agreement by the AFRDS

Ancient Romans called it a "pact." Webster's says it's "a binding agreement." Roget's Thesaurus offers a dozen alternatives - "deal", "arrangement", "understanding", "covenant", or "promise" to name a few. But to Shiree Lynch, Georgia State PTA President, it means only one thing: "A contract is a contract." And, when it comes to fundraising, she says parent groups should not do business without one. "Written agreements between fundraising companies and parent groups are absolutely vital," Lynch says. "They spell out for everyone exactly what the expectations are of the other."

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Killer Communications by Doug Nash

All organisations, no matter what their nature, succeed or fail mainly due to their ability to communicate. If they fail to let you know that they exist, why they exist and how you will benefit from their existence then their future may not be a rosy one nor very profitable. There are certain fundamental laws on what makes a successful organisation and this is one of them.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Winners and Killers by Doug Nash

While fundraising should be kept simple it does not mean that fundraising is a simple matter. There some fundamental factors that fundraisers should keep in mind when going about their business. These factors have been proven over time in many different ways from personal lives to professional success. Keep them in mind and you will reap the benefits and probably enjoy the fundraising experience more and enjoy the more long lasting success. Like when setting out to learn any new skill you should do your research and be patient - Rome was not built in a day.

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Common Fundraising Mistakes Part 1 by Kimberly Reynolds

Fundraising is both an art and a science. If your fundraising revenues are static or declining, your organization is probably making one or more of these common mistakes:

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Common Fundraising Mistakes Part 2 by Kimberly Reynolds

Another common mistake is doing too many fundraisers. The result is burnout of your volunteers, your participants, and their customers. You know your group is in trouble if you belong to the "Fundraiser of the Month" club.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Goodwill by Doug Nash

Most non-profits run more than one fundraiser per year, probably they each would run several in a calendar year. One mistake that groups can make is to think that each individual fundraiser is isolated from all the other fundraisers that the organisation is involved in. In business terms we are talking about goodwill. Do the public and your workers see you in a favourable light? Will they give you the benefit of doubt - are you an organisation or people worth supporting?

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Raising Funds? What to Know About Hiring a Professional From the Federal Trade Commission

If your nonprofit organization is planning a fund-raising campaign, you may be thinking about hiring a professional to do the work. Professional fund-raisers conduct the campaign for a fee; often it's a percentage of the money they collect.

Because the fund-raiser will be representing your organization to the public, it's important that you investigate every firm you're considering hiring. Inappropriate behavior can result in negative publicity, fewer or smaller donations, and possible legal action involving you and the firm if the law is violated.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Parallel Aims by Doug Nash

A basic aim of all fundraisers is to match their fundraisers to the needs of their members and clientele. By this I mean have a look at what these groups are doing and see if there is a fundraiser there that you can make the most of. Do it properly and not only will you have a successful fundraiser you will be thanked for be so thoughtful.

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Ask A Pro: Finding a Reputable Fundraising Company by the AFRDS

Every year there seems to be more and more fundraising companies, programs and products to choose from. It's time now to make a decision and you're looking for some telltale signs that a firm will be fair and responsive to your needs. We asked a couple of professional fundraising companies for advice on how to look beyond the sales pitch.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Planning - Your Best Tool by Doug Nash

What is the best way a non-profit group can spend it's time and effort at any time of the year? Whether or not you have one last fundraiser to go or you are enjoying spending the funds you have worked so hard to raise - one of the most valuable activities you can now invest your energies in - planning for next year.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Sell the Benefits by Doug Nash

Sell the benefits - enjoy the success!

If you deliberately set out to sell the benefits of what you do, why you do it, what you are offering to raise money and the benefits of assisting groups like yours you will be pleasantly surprised at your success.

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Product Sales by Schools & Non-profits by the AFRDS

Fundraising programs involving product sales raised an estimated $1.9 billion net profit last year for non-profit organizations. Schools and school groups account for $1.52 billion of those profits. The fundraising estimate is based on a new survey conducted by the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers (AFRDS).

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Transparency by Doug Nash

We live in a world far less trusting and much more cynical than that of our forebears. This is a fact that must be dealt with and an excellent way to do this is to be transparent.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Parental Support by Doug Nash

The success of any school fundraiser is based on parental support; the more parents you get involved the more successful you will be. Here are a few points for you to consider getting and maintaining this crucial support.

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7 Key Steps to Deal With Conflicts of Interests for Non Profits by Peter Scolari

Many people give up their time for non-profit organisations by sitting on Boards. Too often, it is easy to forget or recognize conflict of interest situations. Remember, even though you are giving up your time (most positions are voluntary) for the community or charity, you should always be acting in the best interests of the organisation and not putting your own interests first.

Being on a board involves the power to make decisions. It could be that your son is going for captain on the sports team or your brother's business can perform some contracting work for the organisation at a "good rate". All of these things are fine but there is a process for handling such decisions and you need to be able to identify immediately when there is a conflict of interest so that you can act appropriately and within the law and your constitution.

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The Steps to Fantastic Networking by Susan J. Ellis of Energize, Inc.

Tired of hearing the word “networking”? Wonder if it’s just another way of describing making friends in a professional context? That is one way to look at it. But networking is much more intentional. You need to prepare, execute, and follow up, consciously and enthusiastically. In order to prove the adage “it’s all in whom you know,” you have to actually know people before you need to tap into their resources! So here are the basic steps.

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Security by Doug Nash

One of the major responsibilities of those organising a fundraiser is to ensure as best they can that the workers, usually volunteers are not put in possibly compromising situations. The most common in this regard are contact with and handling of stock and cash. For this reason, you, as an organiser should employ strict control over both these areas. There should be clarity, transparency and accountability.

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Succession Planning Starts Now by the AFRDS

If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to take the helm of a group or its fundraiser with no preparation, no records, and no help, you know how important smooth leadership transitions are. “I go into a lot of schools where the volunteers have no idea which company they used for fundraising last year,” says Steve Kirk, a fundraising professional in Phoenix, AZ. “They’re almost blind.”

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Are You Ready for Your Media Interview? by Paul Lima

Are you seeking media attention? Have you sent out media releases to promote your company, product, service or event? Are you attempting to use the media to reach potential customers, shareholders, sponsors, donors or other stakeholders? If so, you need to be prepared for interviews.

Even if you are not actively seeking media attention, you never know when a reporter might call. That’s why every business owner, executive and spokesperson should be able to answer questions pertaining to positive or negative news.

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Board Fundraising Agreements by Andy Robinson

A big barrier to successful board fundraising is the tendency to require all trustees to participate in the same activities and meet the same benchmarks: identify 20 prospects, sell 20 raffle tickets, apologize 20 times when asking for money, and so forth. Since we all begin with varied interests, abilities, and levels of commitment, a regimented approach like this is bound to fail.

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What You Should Know About Soothing a Disgruntled Donor by Kay Sprinkel Grace

It happens to all of us, no matter how hard we try. We upset a donor. Wrong name on the envelope. Continuing to write “Mr. and Mrs.” long after a death or divorce. Acknowledging the wrong amount for a gift. Misspelling a donor’s name in the annual report.

While any of these mistakes may be harmful, they don't necessarily sully your the relationship for the long term.

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Handling Money by Doug Nash

Considering how hard it can be to raise funds it is a little unsettling to witness or hear about how some groups handle the green stuff once they have it. Handling money is not a natural skill. How many stories do the rounds about people winding up bankrupt after winning a huge Lotto win or after benefiting from a large financial windfall? We have all heard them, however do we ever stop to think their may be some wisdom to be gained from looking a little closer at these horror stories.

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Know Your Organization by Tony Poderis

You start the process of becoming a fund-raiser for an organization when you first become involved with the organization. That's when you begin to acquire knowledge about an organization, and acquisition of knowledge is the first step in preparing to raise money. To sell any product, it is important to know just what the product is and what it does. It makes no difference whether you are a waitress explaining the intricacies of the specials of the day, a computer salesperson pitching the new improved model, or a solicitor in a fund-raising campaign.

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Get One Board Member Who Will Champion Your Cause from The Major Gifts Report newsletter

If your nonprofit has little history of securing major gifts, one the most important steps you can take is to enlist a financially capable board member who knows and is respected by others of means. If that person does nothing more than to help identify and attract other board members, he/she will have made a significant contribution to your cause.

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Writing a Nonprofit Annual Report Seven Quick Tips by Kivi Leroux Miller

If you've been asked to write an annual report for a nonprofit organization, here are seven tips to get you on your way.

  1. Focus on accomplishments, not activities. We want to know what you did, but more importantly, we want to know why you did it. What were the results? Why did you spend your time the way you did? What difference did it make?

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Evaluation by Doug Nash

Who benefits from evaluating? YOU DO!

Planning your event helps to avoid or minimize mistakes and so do the best you can, evaluation can help you avoid making the same mistakes and improve the return on your next effort both in the financial and fun departments. Companies and professional organisations use the tool of evaluation constantly to improve their performances in nearly everything that they do. As said elsewhere in this book, if it works for them then it will work for you and your organisation.

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Non-Profit Fund-Raising Demystified by Tony Poderis

When it comes to fund-raising, there are truths and myths. The truths illuminate the path to success. The myths speak with the dark voice of "conventional wisdom" of what can't be done and won't work. Throughout my career I have had to overcome three myths of fund-raising that would have me give up before I start. My tools have been The Nine Basic Truths of Fund-Raising.

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Committee Manual by Doug Nash

Survival and a smooth continuity are two of the biggest problems facing a charitable organisation. Raising funds to do charitable work is hard enough and to continue on an annual basis can be even harder. A committee manual is one step you can take to help ease this problem and in the process help future members not only to continue the work but help increase the returns for their efforts. It is an essential help and guide to new members who have had no previous experience on boards or committees.

This helps the momentum of the organisation to flow over election periods or when individuals retire and are replaced. It also helpful when recruiting new members, applying for grants or others financial income and organising new or annual events.

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Members Resource List by Doug Nash

Not all members can contribute financially or donate their time regularly. Be aware that while you may not know how best your members can help, your members may not know how best they can help either. A great way to cross this lack of knowledge is to have a Members Resource List.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Brainstorming by Doug Nash

To fully utilize the collective intelligence and experience of your organisation and thus produce options that make the most of your group's capabilities.

Brainstorming is a tool deliberately used in commercial organisations to improve either the organisation, their market performance or their product. Rarely though is this valuable and versatile tool deliberately nor effectively used in non-profit organisations.

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Leadership Tips for Fundraisers by the Booster Clubs of America


As a member of your organizations board of directors you have been chosen by your peers as a leader in the club. Possibly you have just been elected or you may be an "old hand." In either case your job is an important one with much responsibility.

The function of the board of directors is to establish and review major policy and plans of the group. Board members have specific legal and fiscal responsibilities to the members of the club, depending upon the degree and level of your club's organization.

Your job as a board member will involve working cooperatively with your president, your fellow board members, and club members.

This brochure is designed to help you achieve goals as a booster board member.

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And the Band Played On - But not without a serious commitment to fundraising by the AFRDS

On January 1, 2001, 350 million viewers took in the pageantry of the 112th Annual Tournament of Roses Rose Parade. Among the floats, the pretty girls in pretty cars, the high-stepping horses and gobs of rose petals, were 4,000 excited teenagers from sixteen high school bands participating in what was, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to march before the world. Hours of practice, preceded by hours of behind-the-scenes coordination by bandleaders, students and their parents are impressive enough. Add the fact that almost every one of these bands had to first raise the money before they could make the trip. Now, that's a story to tell.

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So You're on a Fund Raising Committee Part 1 by the Booster Clubs of America


Whether you are a booster committee chairman or committee member, you will play an important part in your booster club. How much you contribute during your term can have considerable bearing on the success of the club and its members.

The purpose of this booklet is to provide some guidelines that may help make your role as a booster committee chairman or member easier and more significant.

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So You're on a Fund Raising Committee Part 2 by the Booster Clubs of America


You can't have a successful meeting without proper individuals on your committees. As chairman you will probably be requested to select your committee members. Your booster president can help you tremendously with this task by pointing out individuals who will fit into your particular committee and have some knowledge of the subject you are to consider. By all means, seek his or her help and put the people on your committee who have sufficient experience and working knowledge to aid you in performing the task assigned your committee. If your committee is composed entirely of individuals unfamiliar with the subject, the entire burden of directing and leading your group will fall directly on your shoulders.

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So You're on a Fund Raising Committee Part 3 by the Booster Clubs of America


During your term as chairman of a committee, the most constant help will come from your booster president, and the board of directors. Many of your plans can and should be made in conjunction with them. To a great extent your ability to work with them will largely govern your success as a committee chairman and leader in your booster club.

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So You're on a Fund Raising Committee Part 4 by the Booster Clubs of America


Your committee chairman is faced with a demanding job and has the responsibility of presiding at your meetings and guiding them in such a way that a definite decision is reached and positive action is taken that is beneficial to the booster club.

As a member of a committee your job is important and you can assist in making the meeting as successful as possible by observing the following suggestions:

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So You're on a Fund Raising Committee Part 5 by the Booster Clubs of America


However, not all committees are successful. The following checklist provides guidelines to insure success of your committee.

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Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now by the AFRDS

Ever felt like that before? Ask any former fundraising chair that question and you'll get an unequivocal, "YES!" Then they'll tell you how their predecessor could have made their job easier.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You by Doug Nash

Any time spent improving your knowledge and position in regards to the legalities associated with different types of fundraising in your part of the world is time and effort well spent. Please believe that what you don't know may not just hurt you - it can turn your life and those around you into a complete misery!!! Due to the nature of the audience and the myriad of traps for fundraisers, this article can't cover all aspects. However I will try to impress upon you the basic message by covering some of the larger dangers and to encourage you to adopt a better outlook to help be less likely to be taken unawares.

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How Does your Fundraising Committee Rate? by Lauralee Oenick

It's difficult to improve fundraising efforts, if you dont know how your committee is doing! Has your fundraising committee ever thought about keeping score? Scorecards are a familiar item to most people - they contain important information that helps to identify strengths and weaknesses and improve over-all performance. Applying this concept to fundraising how would your sellers and their families rate your committee, if given the chance?

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Elementary School Principals View of Fundraising: Do or Do Without by the AFRDS

If This Were a Perfect World

Teachers would earn as much as professional athletes. All students would find themselves in state-of-the-art classrooms. Parents would rest in the knowledge that their child's every educational need is being met. And principals, well, principals would not know the meaning of "fundraising," let alone actually have to do it.

But it is not a perfect world and schools do need extra funding.

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Parliamentary Procedure by Bettye Wadsworth

Parliamentary rule enables an organization to do the things it was organized to do. It is a means by which a group of people make a decision and a plan of work in an efficient manner without confusion. The use of parliamentary procedure assures order and a hastening of business. The application of parliamentary law assures that the will of the majority is carried out and the rights and privileges of the minority are protected.

Without some knowledge of proper rules and procedure, members of an organization cannot conduct its business effectively. Each member of an organization, as well as the officers, should have a working knowledge of parliamentary rules. These rules allow for members to safeguard individual interests.

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Insider's Guide to the Relationship Between Executive Directors and Boards of Directors by Julia Erickson

Recently, I've talked with someone seeking to become an Executive Director of a non-profit organization. He's terrifically qualified and I'm sure would be great leader for a mid- to large-size organization. The only area in which he lacks experience is working with a Board of Directors. And, while not insurmountable, that is a significant gap.

While nothing beats personal experience, I've shared with him my own learning about how Boards operate to give him a leg up on other candidates. Here are some key takeaways from my 20+ years working with Boards:

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The Principal's Fundraising Hat by the AFRDS

Big or small, it's in every administrator's wardrobe.

I once slept on top of the roof for eight days and then gave myself a mohawk," recalls former principal Dr. Donald Lemon. It's not a fraternity hazing the North Dakota professor remembers, but rather a voluntary escapade to reward his elementary school students and parents for raising $10,000.

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Working with the Power Constituents in Communities by Donald B. Erickson

The term "power" has several definitions. One that relates to people is: The ability or official capacity to make decisions and exercise control over others. People who have power to make decisions are knowledgeable about what will and will not work. In this publication, these people will be referred to as decision makers. Community decision makers earn and maintain their position by knowing and communicating what needs to be done and who should do it. These people may be visible, but more often than not they work quietly behind the scenes. The decision makers are composed of individuals having political, social, and economic knowledge of the community.

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I Went to a Garden Party by the AFRDS

A Case Study on How to Say "Thank You"

It's a small school — only 320 students — in the modest community of Grass Valley, California, a few miles East of Sacramento. Yet, last year Pleasant Ridge Elementary successfully recruited 147 volunteers, including 21 grandparents, to participate in a fundraising campaign to build an outdoor learning lab. That's a student-to-volunteer ratio of 2:1.

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Emergency Executive Director Succession

Given the importance of continuity of operations to clients and staff of the organization, the Executive Director will develop and implement a plan, to be approved by the board, to insure that the organization can effectively operate in the event that an emergency, such as illness, injury or death, makes it impossible for her to effectively provide executive leadership.

Such a plan will include:

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Cliff Notes for the Newly Inducted Fundraising Chair by the AFRDS

"Congratulations Ms. Cantsayno, you've been appointed fundraising chairperson. Your mission, should you decide to accept (and you will because we know that's the kind of person you are) is to oversee our school's fundraising activities. Good luck."

Do not panic. Fundraising is not for wimps. You'll never hear Tom Cruise whine, "But... but... I've never done this before." Now is the time for action. The following attack plan was developed with the fundraising rookie in mind in consultation with several experienced fundraisers.

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Making a Crisis Worse: The Biggest Mistakes in Crisis Communications by Jonathan Bernstein

All businesses are vulnerable to crises. You can't serve any population without being subjected to situations involving lawsuits, accusations of impropriety, sudden changes in company ownership or management, and other volatile situations on which your audiences -- and the media which serves them -- often focus.

The cheapest way to turn experience into future profits is to learn from others' mistakes. With that in mind, I hope that the following examples of inappropriate crisis communications policies, culled from real-life situations, will provide a tongue-in-cheek guide about what NOT to do when your organization is faced with a crisis.

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Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations by Sam Frank

Despite the all-too-common experience of tedious, interminable and ineffective strategic planning exercises, nonprofit organizations have a real need for self-examination, strategic assessment and thoughtful planning.

While the fundamental nature of the basic human needs addressed by non-profits remains quite constant, changes in external conditions, expectations, funding, and competition can profoundly affect the viability of an individual organization. Everyday operational necessities can obscure important issues and changed situations in a fog of urgent demands.

The critical role of a well-designed planning process is to blast through that vision-limiting fog and find a shared sense of clarity, focus and direction.

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Fundraising "Essential" by the AFRDS

In closely examining non-government sponsored schools, you soon discover that fundraising is essential for their survival. The typical Catholic elementary school raises about ten percent of its operating budget from different fundraising activities. If you were to do the math, for the over five million children in independent schools of all types, you would discover that fundraising for these schools is a $1 billion business each year.

While administrators, teachers and parents readily admit that fundraising is an onerous task, it does have several significant advantages:

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Common Sense Nonprofit Marketing in Tough Times by Joan Marcus

In today's tough economy, you need to make your marketing dollars work harder and smarter to keep your nonprofit thriving and growing.

Challenging? Yes. Possible? Absolutely.

Here are five common sense marketing techniques that will help you use your marketing dollars wisely:

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Criminal History Check Form

To protect your privacy, this form will be seen only by (name of organization) staff.

Please return the completed form in the attached confidential envelope.

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Cause Awareness Gone Wild? by Deane Brengle

Has cause awareness gone too far?

Do you find some nonprofit PSAs are pushing the limits of decency and good taste?

Are they offensive or original? Tasteless or Provocative? Shocking or Thoughtful?

Take a look at some questionable Public Service Announcements (PSA) and cast your vote.

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Mail Reference Form for Volunteers

(volunteers name) is applying as a volunteer for our nonprofit, (your organization here), to (short job description here). He/she has given your name as a reference, with approval for you to release information about him/her.

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Successfully Navigating Your Cash Flow by the AFRDS

According to a survey by the Association of Fund Raisers and Direct Sellers, product fundraising programs raise nearly $2 billion net profit each year for schools, school groups and other non-profit organizations. Schools and school groups account for 88 percent of those profits. The money pays for computers, field trips, athletic, music and art programs no longer covered by shrinking school budgets. Clearly, the practice of fundraising is serving an increasingly significant role in providing resources for thousands of school and youth programs.

"Fundraising is simply a means to an end," according to Carol Talbot, a parent in Columbus, GA, and current treasurer for the Georgia State PTA. The typical school fundraising drive lasts only the few weeks it takes to reach an immediate goal. But despite its short-term nature, Talbot believes fundraising activities should be approached in a professional manner and run like a business. "Most of running a fundraising program is common sense," says Talbot.

But, she cautions that a well-meaning and overly trusting volunteer is vulnerable to careless mistakes — sometimes with devastating results.

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Successfully Navigating Your Cash Flow by the AFRDS

According to a survey by the Association of Fund Raisers and Direct Sellers, product fundraising programs raise nearly $2 billion net profit each year for schools, school groups and other non-profit organizations. Schools and school groups account for 88 percent of those profits. The money pays for computers, field trips, athletic, music and art programs no longer covered by shrinking school budgets. Clearly, the practice of fundraising is serving an increasingly significant role in providing resources for thousands of school and youth programs.

"Fundraising is simply a means to an end," according to Carol Talbot, a parent in Columbus, GA, and current treasurer for the Georgia State PTA. The typical school fundraising drive lasts only the few weeks it takes to reach an immediate goal. But despite its short-term nature, Talbot believes fundraising activities should be approached in a professional manner and run like a business. "Most of running a fundraising program is common sense," says Talbot.

But, she cautions that a well-meaning and overly trusting volunteer is vulnerable to careless mistakes — sometimes with devastating results.

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Mail Reference Form for Volunteers

(volunteers name) is applying as a volunteer for our nonprofit, (your organization here), to (short job description here). He/she has given your name as a reference, with approval for you to release information about him/her.

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It's Not Just Fundraising Anymore: Non-Profits Must Practice "Fundkeeping" to Protect Assets by Scott N. Wright

Any time an organization has a campaign to raise money, it attracts attention. After all, that's the point, isn't it? But you must always remember, where there are large sums of money or valuables, thieves and even opportunists will take note.

It's easy to understand how your fundraising organization can start to assume that the population, in general, has a good heart. But year after year, we hear of heart-wrenching stories of how some grinch made off with large quantities of donated cash or gifts. Now, more than ever, when it is so easy for criminals to find out about the latest fundraising campaigns through online searches and website news releases, non-profit organizations must take explicit and comprehensive precautions to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

The following 7 important elements should be a part of any non-profit organization's operational plans for implementing a "Fundkeeping" approach to protecting assets:

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"Defusing " Public Decision: A Way to Minimize Controversy While Facilitating Public Decision Making by Robert J. Bevins

There are at least two sides to most issues. Sometimes when public decisions are involved, things that begin as a search for a better understanding degenerate into heated controversy. There is a way to minimize this possibility. It calls for the use of what many public affairs educators have come to call the policy method. To describe this method and explain its relevance to community decision making is the purpose of this leaflet.

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Overly Demanding Donors - Some Sage Advice by Lorri Greif

It's a thin line that development professionals walk when establishing comfortable limits in interactions with donors and prospects - even as we try to get them to tell us everything and anything about themselves. We know that learning more about donors and prospects adds to our ability as development professionals - the more we know, the easier it is to help donors make gifts that work for them as well as our charity. But be sure you are comfortable as a relationship progresses.

Naturally, as part of the cultivation and stewardship process, we try to be informative, considerate, patient, friendly and helpful. After all, our donors are also our ambassadors and making them happy about our charity and staff is all part of the development process.

Generally speaking, this does not include:

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How to Conduct a Strategic Planning Facilitation on a Budget by Erica Olsen

Fall is generally recognized as the season when organizations kick start their strategic planning efforts, and this year happens just as the world markets appear to be recovering from the recent upheavals. Even amid much remaining uncertainty, the time is ripe for strategic planning as many businesses and organizations around the globe are struggling over how to plan for the future and justify the added expense of a facilitated strategic planning session.

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How Fundraising Flows from Strategic Planning by Beverly R. Hoffmann

"We need to raise money for these three programs and for general operations! How do we do it?" That question is the typical beginning of an odyssey that usually must go backward before it can go forward.

Fundraising does not begin with recognizing a need for money. It starts much earlier with the actual structuring of a charitable nonprofit organization:

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Make Safety Messages Loud and Clear by the AFRDS

Schools, non-profit groups and companies have worked together for decades to make the safety of children involved in fundraising a number one priority. Here are some methods they use to get safety points across.

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So You're the New Fundraising Chairperson are You? by Robert Palmiter

How did this happen? All you did was take an interest in the running of your organization. You showed up for a couple board meeting and when you opened your big mouth the board somehow misinterpreted your comments as a show of leadership and unanimously elected you Fundraising Chairperson.

Now what are you going to do? You are charged with the sole responsibility of raising the entire working capital requirements of the organization, with or with out the support of the membership. The bad news is that, if you succeed, you'll probably be stuck with the position forever!

There are many different ways to raise funds but chances are that you'll probably be doing some type of a product sales fundraiser. Well here's a little advise from someone who's been there and spends a great deal of time helping others in your position.

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Does Your Organization Have What it Takes? by James Gelatt

One of the enduring questions we all address in our work with nonprofits is: What makes for success?

If your first reaction to that question is: Been there, done that – I’m with you. At first blush, one might think this is hardly new territory. Au contraire. There is actually some work done recently that is not only new, but even groundbreaking – and well worth learning about.

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Leadership Series: President of an Organization by the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service

Members of your organization showed their respect for you when they elected you president of your club. They knew that much of the organization's success depends on a capable, well-organized president, and they trusted you with this important job. This publication should help you live up to that trust. It will help you with each of your responsibilities as president--planning and conducting club meetings, building club membership, and increasing club outreach.

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Eight Traits of Effective Youth Fundraising Programs by Jim & Connie Walters

The key leader has a heart and a vision for the work.

Fund-raising is vital to the success of any endeavor, and requires as much creativity, innovation and leadership as any aspect of the work. To have success here, you must have a leader who brings the right qualities and skills to the task.

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Eight Traits of Effective Youth Fundraising Programs: Shared Ownership by Jim & Connie Walters

Shared ownership of the project comes when many people help make the plans.

The first point in this series (a leader with a heart and vision for the work) discussed "vision" and "organizational skills" as key capacities for fund-raising leaders. The criteria for true visionaries in non-profit fund-raising is not so much the ability to formulate a vision as it is the ability to cast that vision over the entire group (i.e.: to help them buy into the vision as their own).

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Leadership Series: Vice President of an Organization by the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service

As vice president of an organization, you are a program builder. If you do a good job building programs, you also will help the organization build success. Your influence on the program can mean the difference between a "do-nothing" and a "do-much" organization. This sounds like a big responsibility, and it is. This information sheet should help you understand your basic responsibilities and give you specific tips for handling your job.

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Eight Traits of Effective Youth Fundraising Programs: Publicity by Jim & Connie Walters

When promoting fund-raising events, booster clubs and youth groups tend to fall into a rut of doing it exactly the same way they have always done it. The problem with this is that over the years the same promotions, that were once fresh and exciting, become dull and stale. Mass communication people say that anytime a familiar announcement can be broadcast in an unfamiliar (or unexpected) way, that announcement becomes more effective.

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Leadership Series: Committees by the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service

A committee is a small group of people representative of a larger group, assigned a particular task. Committee members are appointed, elected, or they may volunteer. An ideal size committee for most tasks is 3 to 5 persons since they, in turn, can delegate work to others. If the task is large enough, they may delegate work to the total membership of the entire group.

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Leadership Series - Congratulations, You are Elected: Part 1

Welcome to your new leadership role; you are not alone. Every year thousands of people are thrust into leadership positions, most of them with little experience and a minimum of training. The majority of these volunteers do a good job, but only a few do as well as they can.

This publication is designed to provide tools and insights that will help you carry out your leadership responsibilities more successfully. It will help you develop skills as an organizational leader. Whether you are the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, committee chair, or other organizational leader, you will benefit from following some of these ideas and suggestions.

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Eight Traits of Effective Youth Fundraising Programs: Maintain Integrity by Jim & Connie Walters

The organization is careful to maintain integrity in the community.

Once your fund-raising begins to touch the public, and once you have been able to take advantage of corporate contributions, your reputation demands constant vigilance before, during, and after events.

Be sure to keep any promises you make. Open the event on time, charge exactly what was advertised and deliver everything (and maybe a little more) that you promised. Stay open until the advertised closing time.

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Leadership Series: Congratulations, You are Elected: Part 2 by the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service


Helpful aids

Know the objectives or purposes of your organization and keep them in mind as you plan and direct the programs.
Duties experienced leaders recommend
Plan year's program and work the plan.
How you might do the job
Study situation and needs of your community.

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Leadership Series: Making the Most of Meetings by the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service

Your members want to be active. They want to learn. As a teacher, you can help make meetings both enjoyable and educational. Each session should include activities that members feel are important to them. Involving the group in planning meetings is one way to stimulate continuing interest.

A meeting is one method of carrying out a phase of the planned club program. In addition to providing fun, it also helps members do the following:

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Leadership Series: Looking at Leadership by the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service

Some of the most important people in America are those called volunteer leaders. They are the persons mainly responsible for many of the activities that keep America a great nation. Volunteers devote countless hours to a vast number of programs and projects that help improve the country's social, cultural, and natural environments. The contributions of volunteers toward maintaining democracy and improving community life cannot be adequately measured.

Many volunteers, however, realize they could be more effective leaders if they could take part in training sessions and if they had more guidelines on being leaders. This publication has information and guidelines that might prove useful to volunteers as they fulfill their commitments.

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What Makes Your Nonprofit Unique? A 7-Step Process to Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition by Gary Dillard

Perhaps more to the point, what makes the public care? What makes them want to send money? What about you makes them want to volunteer?

A generation ago, business schools were promoting "competitive advantage," or "comparative advantage." An example was the ...

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How to build Coalitions: Turf Issues by the Iowa State University Extension Service

Organizations join collaborative efforts or coalitions because they see the benefit of combining resources to work toward a common goal. Dealings between organizations usually are harmonious. But on occasion, controversy develops between group members. Sometimes the controversy involves competition; occasionally it escalates into conflict. When left unresolved, this tension can seriously damage the efforts of partners to reach their goal.
This fact sheet examines "turf issues" as one source of organizational tension. It will discuss what they are, how they happen, and what to do about them. The sheet will help members avoid "turf issues" and manage those already existing.

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Running an Effective Meeting by the Booster Clubs of America

A well-planned, well-organized and well-run meeting will bring your members back and attract new members. A bad meeting will drive them away! Here's how to plan and hold a successful meeting:

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Online Fundraising: A Unified Approach by John F. Maeder

How can 'peer-to-peer', or 'friend-to-friend' fundraising benefit your organization? With so many options now available, which one do you choose? Do you simply put your cause on Facebook, or set up a webpage stating your cause and goals then email everybody and hope for donations to roll in? What do you do a week later if you haven't gotten any response? How do you get potential donors interested and keep them involved?

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7 Essential Steps to Raising Money by Mail
Learn with practical examples, detailed checklists, writing helps and other tools. Sample letters for different types of solicitations and for different nonprofit groups. A step by step guide to writing fundraising letters.

Silent Auction Guide & Toolkit
Learn how to create a successful silent auction fundraiser. Silent auction strategies, timelines, auction items and how to organize and display them, how to close an auction and take payments, and other add on fundraisers to boost the bottom line of your silent auction.

Let's Raise Money
The inside scoop about small group fundraising. Learn from the founder of a national fundraising company as he reveals secrets observed over nearly two decades of fundraising.
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The Ultimate Guide to Planning a 5K Run or Walk Fundraiser
Plan a successful race from scratch. Proven marketing strategies, find and manage volunteers, maximize revenues, recruit and motivate teams. Checklists, forms, speadsheets, worksheets all included.

Secrets of the Charity Auction Experts
Learn from the experts! Discover the best selling auction items. How to get auction items donated. How to boost attendance. How to get more bids and higher selling prices. How to coordinating volunteers, staff and auction consultants.

Grant Writing for Beginners
Learn how to quickly and easily establish relationships with regional foundations and build a strong base of grant support for your nonprofit.
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