by Carrie Roberts, CEO
I started this day off running to throw up in a trash can close to one of the classrooms and ended the day walking through the park next to the hotel, looking at pictures of giant roosters stuck on cars , listening to blues music in the park, and watching nature’s own lightning show. In between these bookends I learned a lot of valuable stuff.
Today we focused less on social change and more on the internal processes that make change happen. Specifically writing, writing, and more writing. I picked up some great tips and in the near future I will put together a new webinar with tips and techniques to maximize your grant writing efforts.
You probably don’t want to know about the 2-and-a-half-hour session I spent learning about APA models and how to cite sources properly. I did glean a couple of useful tips that I’ll share in that super duper new writing webinar.
Tomorrow’s plenary will be with a leader of a new and vibrant nonprofit organization. I’ll share what I learned during that session. For now, I’ll leave you and go listen to the thunder and rain, I’ll and watch the lightning storm from my hotel window.
by Carrie Roberts, CEO
How does social change happen in the world? I spent the day talking to other students, scholar practitioners who were are all here to solve problems confronting us in today’s world. The problems overwhelmed me. The amount of suffering, the level of need, and how far we need to go can make me want to run and hide under a rock.
But there was so much hope in my classroom. Hope that the research that we are doing can make a difference; that concerned individuals can make an impact in our world. This is the stance of the nonprofit and NGO sector, that step by step, together, scholars and practitioners, we can carve away at social problems and change the world.
I’m learning what it means to be a scholar practitioner. My hope is that everything I learn can be transmitted to the nonprofit sector in a very practical and meaningful manner. Here is my main take away from day two: When working on a doctoral degree, it really isn’t about smarts and intelligence. It is about persistence and staying the path; never ever giving up. You CANNOT GIVE UP! None of us can give up.
by Carrie Roberts, CEO
Many of you probably don’t know that I am working on a PhD in Public Policy with an emphasis on Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Today I started a five day residency in Houston, Texas, focusing on what it means to be a doctoral scholar—practioner. I figured most of this week would be very academic in nature, but I really wanted to blog about my experience, because one of the reasons I’m doing this PhD is to bring my passion for nonprofits together with my love of academic learning. I’m hoping that this collision results in good results for those working in the nonprofit sector. My classes are at Walden University, www.waldenu.edu and right away today, in the opening session, I received confirmation that I am in the right place, doing the right thing.
Walden wants to train scholar-practioners who are interested in social change. My whole career has been about social change, as that is what typifies the nonprofit sector. During the opening session we watched a video of a woman who earned her PhD in public health policy and used her training to go to the remote Watu tribe in Tanzaniza, Africa. She provided dental and health programs for the local peoples. I was touched beyond belief.
Yes, I’ll be learning about correct APA citations, accessing appropriate databases, using correct statistical formulas and tests – but to what end? That is the important question. I’m not completing my PhD for the sake of knowledge, but to bring about social change. For me, it’s about…
- …helping to strengthen the nonprofit sector
- …helping the sector access needed capacity-building funds
- …finding corporate funding partners that align with the work of the nonprofit sector
This is my mission. This is the mission of For the Charitable Community, Inc.
Stay tuned. The next few days will be interesting. We all might learn a lot. I know I will.
We apologize. Our error has frustrated people who have tried to attend our weekly free webinars. People have clicked the “Attend” buttons on our website, found our Webex page, but then have not been able to join the webinars. Please forgive us. Here’s the short story:
Tweaking to Provide Better Nonprofit Resources
We used Webex when we started our free webinar series and we put in a lot of time and energy trying to use it in ways that it was never intended. Once we got a webinar underway, things generally went smoothly. But the things Webex can’t do finally convinced us we needed to use a different service.
We tried MeetingBurner and it works fine. Plus, it offers features that you can get in Webex only if you hire a programmer or rent additional services from other companies. We decided to switch and we set up our webinars in MeetingBurner. Unfortunately, we had already scheduled several of those webinars in Webex and pointed our Attend buttons to them. It never occurred to us to point the buttons at MeetingBurner after we switched! The webinars took place, but our buttons sent people to the wrong service.
Only after this week’s webinar did we realize the error. Coincidentally, we were adding new webinars to take us into May. Oh, and we agreed to call our free webinar series, Nonprofit Tune-ups.
We’ve Scheduled More Nonprofit Tune-ups
Please have a look at upcoming webinars. You’ll find new titles and, when you decide to attend, clicking an Attend button will take you to our registration page in Eventbrite. Once you register, we’ll send an email explaining how to log in when the webinar begins.
Again: we apologize for the aggravation and we hope you’ll join us at upcoming Nonprofit Tune-ups. Also, please visit the Past Webinars page in our Resources section to find the webinars you missed. You should be able to stream them from our website or download them to review even when you’re offline.
by Carrie Roberts
People engaged in their own nonprofit development ask me all the time: What is the most important thing to do when putting a nonprofit together? There are many things to consider, but choosing a board of directors is, perhaps, one of the most important. The board of directors has fiduciary and legal responsibility for the well being of the nonprofit, so chose individuals that are competent and business savvy!
Conflict of interest becomes an important concern for nonprofits especially when dealing with their board of directors. Simply put, you cannot compensate your board members in any manner for their service on the board of directors. It is best practice for a nonprofit not to award contracts for service to board members; accept only donated services and products from board members. If there is any exchange of money between your nonprofit and its board member, you are likely to have problems.
Development of Your Nonprofit’s Board
When recruiting board members, look for folks with varied talents. I recommend that every board have at least one attorney and one CPA/accountant sitting on it to provide legal and fiscal guidance. Look for individuals in your community who have interest in your cause and time to dedicate to it. It is important that you have a working board, and not just names on a piece of paper.
A couple of other tidbits to note: it is best to have seven or nine members on your board; you want to have an uneven number to ensure that you can break a tie vote. Also, no more than 2/3rds of your members should be related. However, I think it is best if no one on your board is related to anyone else on it; this way, the board appears better to represent the community.
Take your time choosing your board of directors as this can make or break your nonprofit. Ask everyone you know for recommendations, and choose wisely!
by Carrie Roberts
Today I had to write about Financially Empowered Nonprofits for a nonprofit management class as part of my PhD work at Walden University (www.waldenu.edu). This assignment made me stop and really think about how many nonprofits I encounter each day, and whether the nonprofits I work with are financially empowered.
First, you may ask, what does it mean to be a financially empowered nonprofit? According to Brinckerhoff (2009) a financially empowered nonprofit is one that has the money available to pay for its mission. That is a powerful statement! Does your organization have the money available to pay for your mission? A lot of nonprofits quite frankly don’t.
It isn’t that a nonprofit should be controlled by money, but if your nonprofit doesn’t have a plan to obtain funds, it gets stuck in a game of survival. A nonprofit necessarily uses money to provide programs for its constituents. Brinckerhoff goes on to state an obvious but really compelling edict for nonprofits: “If you want to be around doing good service in ten years, you had better work toward financially empowering your organization, starting today.” (pg. 196)
Nonprofit Development Requires Financial Empowerment
In my estimation many organizations don’t take the time and energy to focus enough on proper financial empowerment. They continue to struggle fiscally, and never really actualize their services at optimum levels.
Becoming financially empowered as a nonprofit is not easy, and it takes the commitment of all involved. It’s unfortunate that so many nonprofits are unable to see the value in being fiscally empowered and how that helps them create better programs. With myopic focus on program delivery, a nonprofit overlooks its own fiscal health. It’s a shame because doing this well – empowering itself financially – is so critical to the long term success of the nonprofit.
Brinckerhoff, P. (2009) Mission based management: leading your not-for-profit in the 21st century. 3rd ed. New York: Wiley.
Jerry Doyle interview recording (Listen to what Jerry Doyle said about us!)
Forthecharitablecommunity.com’s Fearless Fundraising was featured Monday on the nationally syndicated Jerry Doyle radio show in Las Vegas. Jerry called the upcoming Fearless Fundraising teleseminar and diligent efforts of our CEO Carrie Roberts, a refreshing inspiration. He commended Carrie for her wisdom, insight, and valiant efforts in raising over $80 million dollars for the nonprofit sector during her 20 year tenure as a nonprofit consultant. He underscored the extreme value Carrie has brought to nonprofits nationwide with her fund-raising training. He praised our Fearless Fundraising teleseminar as an empowering event that could be of potential benefit to millions of people.
One of Our Fearless Fundraising Focus Groups
We want to thank Jerry Doyle and his producers for featuring us on his show. It was an honor to speak with him. Check out the compelling interview with our CEO Carrie Roberts: Jerry Doyle interviews Carrie Roberts.
Follow our Fearless Fundraising link to learn more about the upcoming webinar.
On Monday, The Jerry Doyle Show, a nationally syndicated radio program out of Las Vegas, featured Forthecharitablecommunity.com‘s CEO Carrie Roberts. Doyle asked Roberts about Fearless Fundraising our upcoming teleseminar designed to help with listeners’ nonprofit development efforts.
The interview also delved into Carrie Roberts’ inspiration for working in the nonprofit sector and for launching For The Charitable Community. An upcoming post will provide further details.
We are thrilled to have been featured on The Jerry Doyle Show, and to have had the opportunity to spread the word about Fearless Fundraising. We hope you’ll check it out.
The Fearless Fundraising teleseminar runs on May first and second and features nationally-recognized experts in nonprofit fund-raising and motivational therapy.
Fearless Fundraising for Nonprofit Development
Follow this link to learn more about the teleseminar or click the button below to register.
For the Charitable Community, Inc.
269 South Beverly Drive
Suite 550 Beverly Hills, CA 90212
email: Carrie Roberts
by Carrie Roberts
Growing a nonprofit is the title for a podcast series we will produce in coming months. There is a real need for nuts and bolts information for people starting out in the sector; most nonprofit startups need help with management and development. According to a Stanford study, over 50,000 nonprofits start up every year http://www.stanford.edu/~sdsachs/AnythingGoesPACS1109.pdf. That is a whole lot of folks, many in pursuit of causes without knowing much at all about starting companies.
Some people don’t realize that a nonprofit organization is actually a corporation; it is a corporation that doesn’t make a profit. A nonprofit is indeed a business that must conform to rules specific to the state in which you do business. You need to complete the following paperwork to start a nonprofit legally:
Articles of Incorporation
Board of Directors Roster
IRS Exemption Application (Form 1023)
State Exemption Forms
We will discuss each of these in-depth in future blog posts and podcasts. We’ll explain the importance of each form and how to complete it. If, in the meantime, you have questions or concerns regarding startup of a nonprofit, please contact us.
Keep up the good work…what you do really does matter!
Celebrate Leap Year with us! Don’t forget to listen to our CEO Carrie Roberts, February 29th at 9:25 P.M. EST as she is interviewed on Today’s Entrepreneurs on BBS Radio.com. Today’s Entrepreneurs is a two-hour broadcast hosted by Jason Williams and Michael Calloway on BBS Radio.com. The show features entrepreneurial spirits and inspirational guests who are motivated business owners. Carrie will discuss nonprofit marketing, our upcoming nonprofit training events and other exciting and helpful insights for the nonprofit sector.
Don’t miss it! Tune in February 29th to Today’s Entrepreneurs at 9:25 P.M. EST at http://www.bbsradio.com/bbs_talk_radio_station2.php.
About Jason and Michael of Today’s Entrepreneurs
Jason Williams is the owner of Virgo Management, a real estate management company. Jason has 15 years of experience in management, marketing, entertainment and entrepreneurial ventures. He received his education and degree from Johnson andWalesUniversity. His passion for marketing and business management allowed him to showcase his skills within a variety of business ventures. Jason’s business savvy and love for music propelled him into the next phase of his stellar career as owner of Aggravated Entertainment and Recording Studios.
Michael Calloway is the founder and CEO of Mailcallonline LLC. He has a 10 year background in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurial ventures. He is founder of M.O.E.E.R. Entertainment, Finishing Touch LLC, and most currently Mailcallonline.com. In today’s global community, Michael is passionate about keeping friends and family connected across the world, which was the impetus for developing Mailcallonline.com.