Starting a Nonprofit? Practice Patience!


Thinking about starting a nonprofit? Be patient with the process, counsels Julia Satti Cosentino, a partner in the law firm of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP and co-chair of the firm’s Nonprofit and Social Impact practice group. Although nonprofit startups face mountains of paperwork and dozens of regulatory hoops to jump through, Cosentino points out that complying with all those regulations will help your organization run more smoothly—and make it more attractive to potential donors.
[This video is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances.]
For a complete listing of the nonprofit management courses available through Skye Learning, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

For Nonprofit Startups, Fundraising Is Key


Getting a new nonprofit organization off the ground is no easy task—and fundraising is arguably the hardest part of the process. Justin Kang, vice president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the founder and executive director of City Awake, a Boston-based nonprofit, offers a few fundraising best practices. Rule number one: if you can’t convince your family or friends to donate to your organization, you may have a real problem.
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s nonprofit management courses, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

Advice to Nonprofit Marketers: Don’t Forget the Human Touch


In the nonprofit universe, there’s two kinds of marketing: reaching out to potential clients, and establishing relationships with potential donors. Julia Campbell, founder and principal of J Campbell Social Marketing, reminds us that in either case, there’s no substitute for the human touch. Most important of all: Don’t ever forget to say, "Thank you!"
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s nonprofit management courses, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

Nonprofits Need to Keep an Eye on Their Budgets, Too


They’re not trying to rack up big surpluses, but nonprofit organizations are still businesses—and that means they’ve got to pay strict attention to their budgets. Perhaps most important is the cash budget, says Corrine Hasbany, an accounting and finance instructor who has served as a corporate controller and a nonprofit treasurer. Why is that? Because even for nonprofits, “cash is king.”
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s nonprofit management courses, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

What to Look for in the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders

Changing times require different skill sets

By Frank Connolly
Senior editor, MindEdge Learning
The storm has been building for years. Now it’s hitting with full force.
The storm currently battering the nonprofit sector is a generational one. Leaders of the nation’s 1.6 million nonprofits are old (the median age for mid- and upper-level nonprofit manager is 52, according to a 2018 nonprofit leadership survey), and getting older. And like a lot of Baby Boomers and older Gen-Xers, they’re ready to retire.
A 2011 study found that 67 percent of nonprofit managers and leaders were planning to retire within the next several years—in other words, right about now. And the Bridgestone Group estimates that this generational storm is forcing the nonprofit sector to replace almost 80,000 new senior level managers and leaders every year.
And where will we find all those replacements? Step right up, millennials!
Image with the text now hiring overlayed.
As the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, millennials already have outsize influence on the American economy. But they, as a group, seem to be an especially good fit for the nonprofit sector. As the National Council of Nonprofits’ Tiffany Gourley points out, millennials share four traits that align well with the nonprofit world view:

  • A desire to give back and make a difference to society
  • A preference for flexible working arrangements
  • An interest in career stability
  • An aversion to political labels and partisanship

If, as Gourley argues, millennials and nonprofits are a match made in heaven, then it’s tempting to assume that millennials will move effortlessly into the many nonprofit leadership positions that opening up these days. But that assumption doesn’t quite match the reality.
Running a nonprofit is hard work, and it’s getting harder. A generation ago, many nonprofit leaders could rely on fundraising skill and good connections to get the job done. But in today’s rapidly changing digital economy, that’s not nearly good enough. Today’s nonprofit leaders need a deep and diverse skill set that incorporates both hard and soft skills— a blend of technical, measurable aptitude with less tangible, interpersonal abilities.
MindEdge’s Nonprofit Management Council has identified seven areas that should be found in every nonprofit leader’s tool kit:

  • Traditional management and business skills, to help keep the lights on while successfully hiring and retaining staff
  • Relationship-building and communication, to forge strong relationships with donors, foundations, government officials, and other nonprofits
  • Collegiality, to instill trust among peers and develop open and honest work relationships with staff
  • The ability to multitask, which is especially important at smaller nonprofits, where the ability to be a jack-of-all-trades is essential to success

  • Fundraising basics, including traditional, direct mail, social media, and Web-based fundraising, as well as grant writing
  • Technological savvy, especially with regard to fundraising, donor communications, marketing, and branding
  • Strategic thinking, to help leaders see the forest for the trees, and navigate safely through times of change

Not that many people can bring every one of these critical leadership skills to the table. But there are ways for younger professionals to augment their skill sets: classroom-based education and training, online learning programs geared towards working professionals, and continuing education courses can all help millennials (and even their older colleagues) keep up with the most in-demand skills.
In the long run, the best leaders will be those with the most diverse and balanced skill sets. They are the ones who will help the nonprofit sector weather today’s generational storm, and set a true course for the next 20 years.
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s course offerings on Nonprofit Management, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

When Chasing Grant Money, Choose Your Targets Carefully


In the world of nonprofit fundraising, foundations are major players and grant money is always highly sought-after. But not every foundation is a good fit for your nonprofit. Jim Klocke, CEO of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, offers sage advice about which foundations are worth pursuing—and which ones don’t align with your mission.
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s nonprofit management courses, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

What Makes Nonprofit Leaders Different?


Leadership in the nonprofit sector is fundamentally different from leadership in the for-profit world, says Tiziana Dearing, professor at the Boston College School of Social Work and co-director of the Center for Social Innovation. While there’s little difference between the two spheres when it comes to operational leadership, Dearing argues that the essential nature of nonprofits — mission-driven and committed to social justice — requires leaders who can see past the bottom line.
For a complete listing of MindEdge’s nonprofit management courses, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.

The Nonprofit Budget Process: It’s a Matter of Size

Nonprofit organizations, like for-profit companies, need clear and detailed budgets to help them monitor their performance and plan for the future. But for nonprofits, the details of the budget process can vary according to the size of the organization. Corrine Hasbany, an accounting and finance instructor who has served as a corporate controller and a nonprofit treasurer, explains some of the differences.

For a complete listing of MindEdge’s nonprofit management courses, click here.


Copyright © 2018 MindEdge, Inc.