Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Charity gets personal amid economic hardship recently featured an article about how their readers are responding amid the current economic hardship, especially with acts of generosity. The article sites some recent statistics on giving, and how people are coming up with creative ways of giving in ways other than financial contributions. Are other nonprofits seeing different types of contributions to your organization? How are people supporting your organization? Are you looking a different ways of securing support for your nonprofit? Share your ideas here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Share Your Ideas for Change in America and MySpace have joined together to launch the Ideas for Change in America project to find the most exciting new policy ideas for the Obama Administration. Do you or your nonprofit colleagues have an idea to create social change in America? Visit the site and submit your idea online. The top 10 ideas will be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Center for Nonprofit Advancement Economic Survey

The Center for Nonprofit Advancement surveyed its member nonprofits throughout greater Washington to assess the impact of current economic conditions on the region’s nonprofit sector. Read more about the survey results here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Charitable Giving Blog

Charitable Giving is part of Business Exchange and offers updated news, blogs, and resources about Charitable Giving. Find user-submitted articles and comments on Charitable Giving from like-minded professionals. Overall, this resource offers a great collection of news and info that would be of value to any executive director. Visit this resource.

Chronicle of Philanthropy Podcast Series

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has launched a monthly free audio series called Social Good. Offered by Allison Fine, a communications expert and former nonprofit leader, these podcasts offer lessons on how charities and foundations can use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giving in the News

The Washington Post and New York Times recently offered special sections about philanthropy and nonprofits. Read more about it here:

Nonprofit Article Roundup

The Minnesota Council on Foundations blog offers this roundup of stories about nonprofits and philanthropy.

Small Grants Lift Charities in Lean Times
Christian Science Monitor: With money tight, more Americans draw from donor-advised funds built in past years.

Foundation Assets May Have Dropped 30%
Chronicle of Philanthropy: And that loss has come as the organizations these foundations support are facing a huge upswing in demand, said Steve Gunderson, president of the Council on Foundations.

Foundations Tear Up the Rule Book
Financial Times: The market collapse is prompting institutional investors to rethink the way they build their portfolios.

Big Players Scale Back Charitable Donations
Wall Street Journal: The pipeline from corporate America to the nation’s charities is starting to dry up, as losses in the stock market mount and the U.S. recession deepens. With many large organizations depending on corporate largesse, their futures are suddenly uncertain.

Colleges Are Not Going Hungry, But Are In Need
New York Times: In a more normal year, the alumni fund-raising plea that turns up in the mail right about now seems perfectly in tune as the day for thanks gives way to a month of giving. But this year is different. It’s about competing demands, the rising need to pay for basic human services in our communities versus the emotional pull from the educational institutions that helped shape us.

Charities Can’t Keep Up with Deepening Poverty
Los Angeles Times: Charities across the country are facing stress this year as their busiest season approaches. Aid organizations are hobbled by dwindling resources and soaring demands for food, clothing, money and other necessities.

Bequests, Celebrities, Foundations, and the Economy: a Conference Notebook From National Research Meeting
Chronicle of Philanthropy: Too many nonprofit scholars are boosters — ignoring the serious problems that mar the nonprofit world, and the organizations that are involved in activities that harm society, says a prominent philanthropy researcher.

Bill Clinton to Reveal the Names of Donors
Washington Post: The former president has agreed to make public 200,000 donors to his presidential library and foundation as part of an agreement with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team designed to allow his wife — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — to be named secretary of state.

Foundations Urged to Consider Environmental Issues in Investing Decisions
Chronicle of Philanthropy: Foundations need to think about environmental concerns as they invest their endowment assets — not just because it’s the right thing to do, but to protect the longterm health of their portfolios, said former vice president Al Gore.

Mileage Deduction for Volunteers Won’t Change in 2009
Chronicle of Philanthropy: People who drive their own vehicles as part of their volunteer work for charities will not be getting any extra tax incentives for their efforts in 2009.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Charity Leaders Give Tips for Tough Times

Excerpt from CNN feature Charity leaders offer tips for tough economy, holiday season. For the full article, click here.

If people are short on cash this holiday season, what are some alternatives to monetary donations?

DOSOMETHING.ORG: You might not have money to spend this holiday, but you definitely have time and energy. Use it well. Search our action matrix for something to do with your family or at your church or with your basketball team. Make a difference ... and have fun doing it with people you love.

GOODWILL: This holiday season, people should think of Goodwill when cleaning out their closets. Goodwill accepts an array of gently used products including clothing, household goods, kitchenwares and furniture. Some Goodwill agencies even accept vehicles. Donors should check the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site before donating to make sure they don't have any unsafe or recalled items.

UNITED WAY: Consider volunteering as a family. Community service is an effective way to teach children about social issues, to show them a different perspective of the world, to advance the common good and to understand that the world is a better place when we care for one another. While enjoying quality family time, you're also teaching positive values, creating a new generation of volunteers and increasing your family's commitment to community.

LIONS CLUB: Give your time. If you can't afford to buy a gift for a loved one, make a point to do something special for that person or persons in your life that doesn't involve spending money. If possible, encourage your children to spend an hour doing something special for their grandparents. Give your spouse an hour of your undivided attention. You can even print up your own "gift certificates" redeemable for one hour of your time. Be creative. Nothing dictates that a gift has to be of a material nature. It's important to remember that simple acts of kindness are heroic.

CARE: Instead of buying gifts, people can make a contribution to a charitable organization in a loved one's name. They can also volunteer -- alone or with family and friends -- with organizations that provide direct services. And they can host gatherings to share information with others through film and printed materials about the impact of poverty on half the world's population: people who live on less than $2 a day. Even small contributions can make a huge difference.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: There are many possibilities. A family or group of friends could help build a Habitat house in their community or join their local Habitat affiliate to host a fundraiser I read of where a family sold their house, downsized into a smaller home and donated some of the proceeds to support Habitat's work in Ghana. Of course, many individual supporters give smaller gestures of support, but the spirit is the same. People can always reach out respectfully and compassionately to those near and far who need a hand up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nonprofit Articles Round Up

From the Minnesota Council on Foundations:

Signs That, Amid Tough Times, Americans Will Keep GivingChristian Science Monitor: Most donors plan to give to charity in coming months, an online survey finds. History bears that out.

The Quickest, Most Helpful Thing Foundations Can DoNational Committee for Responsive Philanthropy blog: One suggestion I haven’t seen is a call to release restrictions on grants, and proactively contact grantees and invite them to reprogram the use of restricted grant funds. This might be the quickest, most powerful way for foundations to help their grantees.

The Philanthropy 400Chronicle of Philanthropy: Donations to nonprofit groups on The Chronicle’s Philanthropy 400 list (the 400 charities that raise the most from private sources) grew 4.5 percent last year, but many of the most-successful charities say they are already feeling the pinch of the economic slowdown.

Club GenerosityForbes: Great wealth often inspires good works. Here’s a look at the philanthropy-adjusted fortunes of some of the more generous — and miserly — members of The Forbes 400.

Accountability Should Be a Two-Way StreetPhilanthropy Journal: The problems are twofold: We don’t know much about what we are talking about, and we don’t force any of this kind of thinking on ourselves. (Written by an anonymous veteran foundation officer.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nonprofit Policy Priorities from Listening Post Project

Excerpt from The Johns Hopkins Listening Post Project, Communiqué #11: Nonprofit Policy Priorities, linked here:
A just-completed poll finds the vast majority of nonprofit executives reporting little improvement in government policy toward their organizations over the recent past, and pinning high hopes on a new national administration to establish a more supportive policy environment for their work at this crucial juncture of our national life. Heading the list of priority measures identified by these executives were four specific measures:
• Restoration and/or growth of funds for their field in the federal budget
• Reinstatement and expansion of tax incentives for individual charitable giving
• Federal grant support for nonprofit training and capacitybuilding
• Reform of reimbursements under Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs

These results emerge from a new survey of over 1,000 U.S. nonprofit organizations conducted by the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project. This survey sought the opinions of America’s crucially important nonprofit executives about what a new national administration could usefully do to equip nonprofits to help Americans cope with the economic crisis the country is facing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's a hard time to be a charity

Recent USA Today article by Kevin McCoy and Oren Dorell discusses some the issues confronting nonprofits as a result of the economic downturn. Below are some facts that the article relates that provide some picture of the issue:

• Catholic Charities USA reports that January-to October contributions fell to $7.6 million, down 4% or $300,000 from the same period last year.
• The Meals on Wheels Association of America says roughly two-thirds of its members surveyed recently reported drops in both corporate and individual donations. Programs in Texas, Minnesota and California were forced to close this year.
• The Salvation Army reports its western territory suffered a 9% drop in overall fundraising since August alone. Data for the organization's other territories weren't available.
• Goodwill Industries International says public support from cash donations, bequests and special events fell 2.3% for the first eight months of 2008 in comparison with the same period last year.

As nonprofits are presented with hard times, organizations will respond with passion and creativity. Can you share examples of how your nonprofit is trying something new during these hard times in the Mid-Hudson Valley?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The new face of giving

A recent article in USA TODAY highlights the growth in donations in the US, and the unique and new ways that Millennials and Generation Xers (20- and 30-somethings) are helping charities raise money. Can anyone say web 2.0? That's right, YouTube and Facebook.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

“I’m Not Rockefeller”: 33 High Net Worth Philanthropists Discuss Their Approach to Giving

A recent report from University of Pennsylvania's The Center for High Impact Philanthropy offers an interesting perspective from a group of "high net worth individual philanthropists (defined by the Center as having the capacity to give $1 million per year)" that were interviewed about their approach to giving.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Recruiting The Next Generation of Nonprofit Professionals

The Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University recently collaborated with the Alliance for Nonprofit Management and the National Council of Nonprofit Associations to create a report on recruitment, focused specifically on the hiring of "Millennials," the generation now entering the workforce. Professionals in the nonprofit community are familiar with the difficulties of recruiting and retaining staff, so instead of discussing these problems, the report highlights positive strategies for overcoming them.

Some key strategies for recruiting qualified young people include establishing internships (allowing you to provide potential employees with the skills that your organization needs), using online job postings and participating in job fairs. "Re-thinking positions" might also be an option. For example, if your organization is having trouble hiring for an upper-level position, it may be possible to hire a younger person for a lower position and then train them for the higher position over time. Check out the report for more information and ideas.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Update from April 18th Meeting

In April, the MHV Executive Directors Group discussed and revised our Mission Statement and Non-Profit Ad. The Ad is planned for publishing in relevant local media in the early Fall of 2008, and is aimed at improving community awareness of the impact non-profits have on the quality of life of residents in the area. The group welcomes involvement and input from local agencies interested in this activity. Our next meeting will be held on May 16th, Join Us!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mid-Hudson Valley Executive Director Group May Meeting

Mid-Hudson Valley Executive Director Group CCSNYS would like to invite you our next meeting. This invitation is extended to all Mid-Hudson Valley non-profit Executives interested in strenghtening the sector in their community. Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 16th at 9:00 am at the Council´s Mid-Hudson Valley Office, 85 Cannon Street, Poughkeepsie. We will continue discussions relative to marketing and media relations for non-profits. To inquire please call Jennifer Lockwood, CCSNYS Mid-Hudson Valley Regional Coordinator, 845-454-5062 x. 102.