Post By James V. Toscano 1. I will always remember that it’s the donor’s money. 2. I will always remember that fundraising is about the donor, not me. 3. I will always remember that donors need to be thanked and feel wanted as a vital element in the organization. 4. I will learn to cherish volunteers.
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…
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…
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.
Post by Dania Toscano Miwa There are many more than 12 but this is just a start. The first 3 are Minnesota based, if you are out of MN, skip to number 4. 1. The Principals and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence – This document is available courtesy of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, which is also an excellent resource for Minnesota Nonprofits. 2. MAP for Nonprofits– Also Minnesota specific, but many of the services they offer, like their board boot camp can be adapted for any board. There are also templates such as an Executive Director evaluation template, local board position openings and a…
Post by James V. Toscano We often hear of Creation Myths. Genesis has two; most southwestern tribes’ creation involves turtles; and Asians attribute their origins to complex deities. In the U. S., we have creation and creator stories, such as presidents who can’t tell a lie, clearly ancient history. Mythologies of the American Dream, streets paved with gold, two chickens in every pot, and, more recently, high tides raising all boats motivate us to specific actions. Idealistically, we could frame “Destination Myths” about where we would like to go as a society. What does the future hold for us and…
Post by James V. Toscano Leadership in organizations has traditionally been thought of as the ability to inspire, influence, motivate, persuade and/or compel behaviors and actions in others through decisions made by individuals at the top of the organization. Traditional leadership in nonprofits has been exercised in this model of power from the top down for many years. Yet, in today’s organization, where communication travels at the speed of light and all employees and those beyond are plugged in, everyone needs to be a leader on a scale appropriate for the best decisions to be made. Reams have been written about formal and informal leadership….
Post by Dania Toscano Miwa I do a lot of board recruiting. A LOT. One of the most common questions I get from those already on the board in question is “Why do I want a college student or young professional on the board? What value does he/she bring?” While it’s true that most young professionals cannot write a 5 digit check to an organization, is money really the only thing of value we gain from our Board of Directors? Assuming a nonprofit organization has the right young individual for board service, it can be a mutually beneficial experience. The…
A post by James V. Toscano The director of a start-up nonprofit was livid, “We worked our —— off trying to do something real for AIDS victims, and all the donations still go elsewhere…to the big boys.” What’s going on here? Certainly we’ve all heard it before, but why do, indeed, most of the major gifts go to the brand names? History, tradition, elite boards…sure. Above all is predictability of results, and, even more to the point, the results themselves. Major donors don’t fund need, they fund results, or, sometimes, the strong promise of results. Certainly there must be legitimate societal need. There must also be…
This blog is meant to be a resource for people working in the Nonprofit sector, with an emphasis on those working in resource development. James V. Toscano and Dania Toscano Miwa, Principals of Toscano Advisors, are the two main authors of this blog. In addition, there will be a number of guest posts from other experienced nonprofit fundraisers and opinion leaders in the sector. Comments always welcome and encouraged.