The Good Counsel Blog


Feb

13

2012

A New Beginning?

 A post by James V. Toscano Memorial and honor gifts, the subject of a recent post, are kissing cousins to those hot responder gifts that arrive moments after catastrophe occurs. Now we hear that the Red Cross, with a pool of about 500,000 such donors, will join analysts at the Wharton School  to discover messaging and tools to increase response rates from this group, typically only 10% the next year. Such donors are “the single biggest channel through which we can acquire new donors is in response to a disaster,” according to their senior director of market intelligence , although…

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Jan

30

2012

Memorial and Honor Gifts

 A post by James V. Toscano TRADITIONS. Couples getting married usually are “registered” at places ranging from Tiffany to Target. Now along comes a story in the Wall Street Journal about couples who “have everything” registering on such sites as the Heiffer Project and Oxfam. The Journal tells us of a prospective bride who forgoes a bachelorette party for one of decorating cupcakes for the homeless. Lucette Lagnado, the reporter, observes on extending the traditional formula to “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue,’ by adding ‘something to give to charity.” However, the latest daughter  in the Post…

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Jan

19

2012
Guest Post – The Best Advice to Achieve Success

Guest Post – The Best Advice to Achieve Success

 Post by Gary Gilson When I headed the Minnesota News Council I heard what I consider the best advice for a nonprofit on how to achieve success. I was in Denver to conduct an ethics workshop for managers of public radio stations in the far west, and I heard a Washington, D.C.-based consultant tell them the two most important things they could do: 1) convince their audience that the station belonged to the listeners, not to the management, and 2) take risks to grow, even if risks meant incurring debt. In other words, a nonprofit had to be entrepreneurial to…

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Jan

14

2012

Ten Thoughts on Retirement/Leadership Transition

 Post by James V. Toscano With one-third of all Executive Directors reporting they will be leaving their positions in the next few years, I advance the following thoughts on retirement, now having retired this month for the third time. 1.    Ensure that the Board of Directors has agreed to a succession policy and plan for top executive leadership well in advance of any announced departure. The Executive Director will probably need to initiate this policy, while board leadership needs then to jump in early and take responsibility. 2.    Always nurture and work hard to develop all internal talent…

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Jan

03

2012
Guest Post – Three Keys to a Successful Capital Campaign

Guest Post – Three Keys to a Successful Capital Campaign

 Post by Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE 1.    Recruit the best volunteer leadership for your campaign. The campaigns that have the best volunteer leaders are the most successful ones. Don’t just choose a leader because they love your organization or because they are a “big name in town.”  I’ve seen both of these cases and they are always disastrous. On the other hand, one of my clients ran a very successful capital campaign, having never done annual fundraising, with no staff and a committed but not influential board. The secret? They recruited an “honorary” campaign chair that was influential enough to…

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Dec

21

2011

Ten Predictions for the Nonprofit Sector in 2012

 Post by James V. Toscano • Our total number of nonprofit organizations will increase. The number of 501 C(3)s going inactive or out of business will also increase. This is normal in this dynamic sector. What will be telling is that the numbers in both areas will increase dramatically. With more people marginalized, boomers who want to start new and novel nonprofit organizations beginning to retire, and the supply of idealistic young people interested in work in the sector increasing, a boom in new nonprofits is underway. At the same time, an increasing number of nonprofits will not have sufficient…

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Dec

13

2011

The Ten “Must” Agreements between Board and Executive Director

 Post by James V. Toscano There must be agreement: 1. On  Vision. Do all agree on the overall Vision, how it is articulated and explicated into program, or are there major differences? Do  all agree that this Vision is still relevant and essential to social benefit? 2. On Mission. Is there agreement that the organization’s mission is still the critical pathway to achieve strategic goals? Is there consensus on the processes and/or programs that will achieve Vision? Do all participate in and agree on strategic plan or strategic priorities? Is there agreement that the organization is still viable should it…

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Nov

26

2011

Being Thankful

 Post by Dania Toscano Miwa I apologize that the post for last week is a bit late.  I’ve been trying to put in to words what it is I’m most thankful for. It’s been hard for me to find words that encompass a mission driven sector. Many who’s staff and volunteers spend most of their waking hours not thinking about how to make money, but how to stretch every last dollar the farthest it can go to make the biggest impact.



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