Category Archives: Nonprofit Management


May

22

2013
Guest Post – To CGA or Not CGA, That is the Question

Guest Post – To CGA or Not CGA, That is the Question

A posting by Bob Cohen, Tamar Fink Agency In the current and projected environment of rapidly improving healthcare, many nonprofits are viewing certain Charitable Gift Annuities as a liability rather than as an opportunity. The legal and contractual obligation pay a fixed rate / sum of money to a donor over his / her / their lifetime, has understandably made many organizations (and their boards), extremely nervous. In many cases, the very gifting technique that has been around for decades and has helped build many nonprofit organizations, is now threatening those same organizations based on a commitment made prior to…

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May

15

2013

The Effective Development Program; Ten Essentials for Success

 A Post from James V. Toscano There are many factors spelling success for development programs at nonprofits. Development here means the larger, always increasing building of constituency, reinforcing brand, motivating volunteers,  inspiring donors and increasing fundraising totals. Ten of these factors appear essential, are measurable and, thus, may be continuously improved. Here are the ten: 1.  The essential agreement among Board members, executive directors and development directors on their respective roles in the development process. While this may vary from organization to organization, the elements of Board participation, executive director leadership and development director management of the process must all…

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Apr

29

2013

Ten Requisites to Retain Development Directors

 A Post from James V. Toscano Since the release of the Underdeveloped Study, much has been written here and elsewhere about the state of development and fundraising offices and people in nonprofit organizations. We have been somewhat shocked by what we read in the report on short tenures, distrust, misunderstanding, and intentions to terminate and to leave. All in all, the report gives a picture of a disaster happening before our eyes. We know there are many places where this is not happening, yet we also know a number of nonprofits where elements of this picture are present, some in…

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Apr

16

2013

The Ten Requisites for Conducting a Capital Campaign

 A Posting by James V. Toscano Capital Campaigns, which, for purposes here, include endowment as well, used to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. One could expect one’s religious institution, alma mater, cultural center and favorite charity to solicit a capital donation once. Now, there’s a certain circularity cycling capital campaigns every x years. An institution of higher education near to my home has just gone over its $500M goal and is celebrating. It is simultaneously planning its next campaign, perhaps in five to seven years.


Mar

19

2013

Ten Questions to Ask a Director of Development Candidate

 A posting by Dania Toscano Miwa and James V. Toscano We read in the recent report, UnderDeveloped, of significant problems in recruiting and retaining good development people and that average tenure now is often at two years or less. Moreover, all is not well in many relationships between Executive Directors (ED) and Development Directors (DD). In an effort to promote transparency and clear up what is thought of as the “profound misunderstanding” about roles between and among the Board, ED and DD in an institution’s development program, we submit the following initial questions to recruitment and screening committees of nonprofits interviewing…

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Mar

11

2013

The Two Nonprofit Sectors

 A post from James V. Toscano In his post, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits’ Jon Pratt discussed “A Virtuous Cycle” referring to the recent UnderDeveloped study. He reported difficulties of smaller nonprofits in affording needed development and related infrastructure costs. The idea of a virtuous cycle for nonprofit organizations able to afford infrastructure and transaction costs provokes discussion on the haves and have-nots among us. A recent study helps. In the March 2012 Stanford Social Innovation Review article, “ Why More Nonprofits Are Getting Bigger,” authors Peter Kim and Jeffrey Bradach reported on the emergence of a new wave of large…

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Mar

05

2013

Guest Post – A Virtuous Cycle

A post by Jon Pratt To paraphrase St. Paul, Minnesota native F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Let me tell you about rich nonprofits. They are different from you and me.” Underdeveloped — A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising identifies several ongoing, and challenging facts of life for the development staffing of the nonprofit sector, particularly for small organizations. Clearly these factors makes it more difficult for organizations to gather consistent or adequate resources – what we don’t know is what improvements or declines have occurred over the last 15 years, but I suspect that little is different.


Feb

26

2013
Guest Post – Functionality Plus Fit Equals Better Fund Raising

Guest Post – Functionality Plus Fit Equals Better Fund Raising

 A Post by Dawn M. Fish, M.A., CFRE Reading the recently released report, Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising by Jeanne Bell and Maria Cornelius, I reflected upon my 25 years as an executive, development director and gift officer raising funds in social service, health care and higher education institutions. The report contains no surprises, but did fail to address two major issues related to nonprofit fund-raising failures: the traits and skills necessary in an effective director of development (DOD) and the relationship between the executive director (ED) and the DOD. DOD traits and skills An effective…

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Feb

21

2013

10 Questions A Development Director Candidate Should Ask Once Offered But Before Accepting the Position

A posting by Dania Toscano Miwa and James V. Toscano 1. How many different individuals have held this position in the last 5 years?  If one, proceed to the next question. If 2, ask why each left. If 3 or more, run in the other direction. 2. How is the development goal determined? Has it been met in the last three years?  If the goal is set by the difference between expected expenses and anticipated revenue, and if it hasn’t been met in 2 or 3 of the last three years, ask for a change in the way it is…

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Feb

18

2013

Sector Agnosticism

 A post by James V. Toscano Saturday’s HBR e-newsletter has a nifty article, “How to Woo Talent From the For-Profit World.” by Jenny Davis-Peccoud, who heads Bain’s global social impact practice. She leads off with “ Social enterprises and nonprofits increasingly recognize the need to adopt management disciplines used successfully in the for-profit world.” Davis-Peccoud states that the major reason for those with this business training and skill who do change “career lanes” and go into some type of nonprofit work is to follow a passion for social impact. She cites a number of nonprofits that have benefitted from such…

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