I am not sure about you, but sometimes I find myself in a rut and need to do something new to keep engaged with my work and also keep what I do fresh.
With that in mind, I offer up a “Creativity Checklist” to help stimulate those creative juices. And if getting creative is not your strong suit then create a Creativity “Slice team” in your organization. We use Slice Teams for any project that has a beginning and an end and does not have to be an ongoing committee. Ask for volunteers and add a few of your own choices. Charge them with thinking outside the box and to come up with as many new and creative ideas as they can.
Once they have a list they will need to narrow it down to the vital few that they think would work. It should take no more than 2-3 one hour meetings then they are done.
Using the attached “Employee Suggestion Form” they can actually get very specific with each idea and measure the potential effect on the organization as well as the financial impacts and outcomes.
Make it fun and award some prizes for the best ideas and another prize for the ones you actually implement.
Send me an email or leave a comment below for more information about our Slice team process.
In these stringent economic times local nonprofit organizations need to learn to change their fundraising strategies as they face a lack of donors with deep pockets and an uncertain economy in which thousands are jobless. Charity giving has remained a relatively fixed percentage dependent on GDP, estimated to be around two percent of average household disposable (after tax) income (Giving USA Foundation 2011). In this report Growing Philanthropy in the United States by Adrian Sarageant and Jen Shang, important and valuable information is offered to guide your nonprofit organization in the fight to promote and develop philanthropy.
In the report they touch on four major themes containing various steps:
Theme 1: Enhancing the Quality of Donor Relationships- This is done by redefining relationships from donor relationships to individual relationships. Re-orienting toward longer term measures of fundraising performance. Enhancing focus on retention and building supporter loyalty. Develop a more integrated approach to fundraising. Break down organizational silos and encourage greater collaboration between teams. Give supporters greater control over the relationship. Promote the development of shared back office facilities. Tackle high turnover rates in the fundraising profession. Educate all stakeholders about the necessity of a longer term and integrated approach.
Theme 2: Developing Public Trust and Confidence in the Sector- Achieve by empowering the regulators to enforce 100 percent filing of Forms 990 and increase their utility. Blow the whistle on organizations claiming to have zero costs of fundraising.Fund the development of a website in the United States to educate the public, boards, and other stakeholders. Encourage nonprofits to develop complaints schemes.Fund the development of a "Philanthropedia" to facilitate peer-to-peer evaluations of nonprofits. Develop new and more appropriate measures of performance. Develop the self-regulation of fundraising.
Theme 3: Identifying audiences, channels, and forms of giving, with a strong potential for growth- Encourage the adoption of monthly giving. Improve the sector’s engagement with young people. Encourage and promote best practices in social media. Encourage asset-based giving. Develop expertise in broadening participation in giving. Improve the quality of bequest fundraising practice. Challenge the wealthy to plan their own philanthropy. Create a nonprofit mutual fund. Leveraging companies to promote philanthropy.
Theme 4: Enhancing the quality of fundraising training and development- Invest in the development of fundraising research. Create a fundraising research institute. Redesign the system of professional development and certification for fundraisers. Encourage the development of academic qualifications in fundraising. Appoint a “sales force” for the fundraising body of knowledge. Call out institutions offering certificates purporting to be qualifications. Educate board members about the intricacies of fundraising.
Key themes for growing philanthropy from blackbaud.com complements of a study form Blackbaud, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and Hartsook Companies, Inc.
Starting a nonprofit organization from new is neither for the faint hearted nor weak spirited. Whether you are starting a nonprofit organization or joining one that is already in operation, you'll need to find creative ways to fund it to accomplish the work that supports its mission. How one goes about getting those funds will usually look into getting either a grant or a loan. Grants and loans generally come from foundations, the government, and corporations. As a new nonprofit it will have little to no financial history so large grants and loans will be very hard if not impossible to attain.
Here are the 5 bullet points Nonprofits Assistance Fund, they directly addresses new nonprofits and provide insight on how to begin bringing in money and other resources for your organization.
Start with a budget. Your budget communicates your plans and tells prospective donors and funders how realistic you are in your work. A start-up budget is likely to be very modest with minimal staff and facilities. This checklist can help you begin, but keep in mind your first year expenses may need to be very limited to show you understand how to start from the beginning and not take short-cuts. If you have a reasonable plan, supporters are more likely to bring dollars to the table than if you only have good intentions without a roadmap.
Your founding donors probably know you. Covering the first few expenses (even filing the IRS form costs money) has to come from somewhere. People who already know and trust you will be your strongest supporters. Have a party to explain your mission to friends and family, and ask them to help cover the initial costs. Nonprofit founders often stand alone for too long, and paying all the expenses out-of- pocket can cause a lot of stress early on.
Think small. Many nonprofits want to request a large grant right away. The big request is much more likely to be successful if you can show a track record at little achievements. There are many local businesses, houses of worship, and community groups which could afford $100-$500 donations if they see a budget and some initial investment from a start-up organization (see 1 and 2 above).
Be wary of debt. A loan or a credit card advance can seem like a good way to get the ball rolling, but often this start-up debt can hobble an organization for years to come. The money you get in earnings and donations in years 2 and 3 are going to be needed respectively. Spending income to pay off debt from the first year can significantly impact an organization’s financial situation down the road.
Plan long-term. That big foundation request mentioned in number 3? Don’t forget about it completely. Be ready to show how it becomes viable in year 2 or 3 for your new organization. Start looking at funding cycles, time-lines, and begin meeting with philanthropic staff. This, along with proven results, will help you get that first application in on time and ready for approval.
Click screenshot to read whole article from Nonprofits Assistance Fund