nonprofit resource

Your Nonprofit Resource on the Fritz

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.

Carrie Roberts’ Interview on The Jerry Doyle Show

Jerry Doyle interview recording (Listen to what Jerry Doyle said about us!)’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.

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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.

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carrieavatar CEO on BBS Radio!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 Today’s Entrepreneurs is a two-hour broadcast hosted by Jason Williams and Michael Calloway on BBS 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

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 In today’s global community, Michael is passionate about keeping friends and family connected across the world, which was the impetus for developing

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Bad PR is More Than Anecdotal… It’s a Nonprofit’s Nightmare

shelleyavatar Bad PR is More Than Anecdotal... It’s a Nonprofit’s Nightmare

By Shelley M. Johnson

When unplanned publicity or rumor leaches into the public domain as negative commentary, it becomes fodder for a media frenzy. It is exactly that kind of firestorm we recently saw as reporters foraged for every morsel they could find surrounding the Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle. With determined resolve, journalists searched and goaded to gain information from Komen staffers. And got it they did! Much of the emerging rhetoric seemed to lack the customary media protocol and safeguards by the nonprofit in question. A lot of the information was contradictory and reactionary at best.

Media Message Mis-Steps?

What fueled the media blitz and public reaction? Why did Komen media responses seem defensive, haphazard and unprepared? Is it because they didn’t release a formal statement before the story broke? Did the lack of oversight with media inquiries cause some of the angry backlash that eventually pushed Komen to reverse their funding pullback? Inconsistencies prevailed as statements streamed from Komen spokespeople and staffers. All this occurred, while Planned Parenthood was conspicuously quiet. That was an offensive media strategy that actually protected them from the media fray.

Reporters insert1 Bad PR is More Than Anecdotal... It’s a Nonprofit’s Nightmare

One Misstatement Can Fuel a Firestorm of Bad Press

Nonprofits Should Have A Solid Media Plan

All businesses and nonprofits must be keenly aware of the fact that random comments and statements made in the social media landscape can come back to roost. Copious attention must be paid to what is said inside and outside the organization. Formal statements are the rule of thumb. A media strategy must be firmly in place to deal with media inquiries and interviews. Organization officials should be briefed before they accept an interview. To do otherwise can lead to dubious results.

If there is anything we have learned from the Komen foundation media response, it was an example of what not to do. Organizations must be mindful that anything they say is subject to public scrutiny. Statements must be reviewed before being released. Failure to do so can be disastrous. Arbitrary comments should be avoided. Case in point, a spurious comment allegedly made by Komen Vice President Karen Handel in a re-tweet to a Planned Parenthood advocate after the initial story broke, actually intensified the Komen opposition, hastening a lot of negative fallout.

Good Media Policies Mitigate Bad Press

It is just common sense to have a policy in place on handling media queries, especially during a crisis. A guideline should exist that explains: what statements are allowed; what statements are appropriate and what statements best reflect the mission of the organization. All statements must reinforce and protect the integrity of the organization. This is especially true, if there is ever an incidence of bad publicity.

Everyone should know who is authorized speak for the organization. There should be a review process to vet the statements ahead of time. There should be an official spokesperson from the organization who speaks to the media. Random comments from other staffers should be highly discouraged, if not prohibited. That only convolutes the information a nonprofit is trying to convey. If a representative from the nonprofit is interviewed by the media, he/she should be prepared for the line of questioning that will be encountered and be coached so as not to appear unprepared or uneducated in the public limelight.

Nonprofits Are Not an Island

When a tale is told about a nonprofit that it is not fully vetted and verified, it can spread like wildfire with few ways to stop it. The most dangerous publicity is public comment of a dubious nature that questions the very intent of a nonprofit’s mission Remember. We don’t live in a vacuum. What we say on the Web or anywhere else can be tracked down and verified by the media. It can be mis-interpreted and taken out of context. It can also turn a simple sentence into a lifetime of prose for a savvy journalist.


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Nonprofit Guru Carrie Roberts Shares on BlogTalkRadio

Carrie Roberts, CEO of For The Charitable Community visited recently with author and talk show host Bernadine Feagins on BlogTalkRadio. On Feagins’s program, Social Networking for Women, Roberts explained what inspired and talked about the needs of today’s nonprofits. Roberts highlighted For The Charitable Community’s upcoming webinars, Fearless Fund-raising, Nonprofit TuneUp, and an as-yet unnamed event on damage control and counteracting bad publicity.

Listen to the recording of Carrie’s and Bernadine’s conversation on’s Social Networking for Women

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CEO Carrie Roberts Speaks on

Get Acquainted With Nonprofit Guru Carrie Roberts!

For The Charitable Community’s CEO Carrie Roberts will be interviewed on BlogTalkRadio on February 13th at 1 p.m. PST.  She is the featured guest on Social Networking for Women, with author and talk show host Bernadine Feagins. Carrie will talk about what inspired and provide helpful tips for the nonprofit sector. She will also highlight our exciting upcoming webinars that include Fearless Fund-raising, Nonprofit TuneUp and a media webinar on Damage Control: Counteracting Bad Publicity. Don’t miss it!

Be sure to tune in on Monday, February 13th to listen to Carrie and Bernadine on Social Networking for Women on!

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Nonprofit Sticker Shock

by Carrie Roberts

I learned something new today from a good friend of mine in the business world, and I thought it might be useful for us in the nonprofit sector.  My friend works for a big high tech company, and when his company puts out a bid for services, they purposely inflate their prices to cause sticker shock.  “Why do they do that?” you might ask, as I did.  They do it to show value.

Once the company establishes their high value, they negotiate with the client and come up with a mutually agreeable price—sometimes lower than the original quote. Inflate price to show value…. that is such a different paradigm from what 99% of us in the nonprofit sector do.

Could Sticker Shock Win Resources for your Nonprofit?

After my head stopped spinning, I gave the practice some good thought.  Many times—in fact most of the time—I tell nonprofits that they UNDERVALUE their services and their work.  Why are we so quick to request LESS than we need; to be modest about our ask? Do we prove our worthiness to funders by trying to do more for less?

I understand there are limited funds available to nonprofit organizations; I get that.  I also understand that it is a competition, and that fundraising is really sales.  However, maybe it’s time for the nonprofit sector to take a look, for even just a second, at how the corporate sector works.  We might find some valuable lessons and tools.

Ask for the Resources your Nonprofit Needs

I’m still pondering how we weave sticker shock into our asks, but I’m sure that funders want us to ask for what we truly need. Overvaluing our work may not be to our benefit, but undervaluing makes us resentful and bitter of those who don’t support us at the level we need. From that equation comes the answer: we MUST ask for what we really need to do the work.  It may be a difficult and uncomfortable proposition, but it’s what we need to do to bring the appropriate resources and value to the table.
signaturecarrie Nonprofit Sticker Shock

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Never Underestimate Your Value as a Nonprofit

By Shelley M. Johnson

As you go through your day-to-day activities, facing the growing challenges of today’s economy, financial hurdles may seem untenable. Volunteers and staff can become disillusioned or discouraged. Before you fall into that self-defeating abyss, stop for a moment and think about what your community would lose if you were not around.

The value of nonprofits today is more important than ever. They provide a safety net to battered women, shelter for homeless people, food pantries and clothing for the hungry, walking trails and parks that everyone enjoys, toys for children at Christmas time, local symphonies, libraries, and educational opportunities. The list goes on and on. The general public often takes these things for granted, but they shouldn’t. If nonprofits did not exist, society would not exist as we now know it.

Nonprofit Growth Has Been Phenomenal

According to, the growth in nonprofit annual revenue, employment, and property holdings has exceeded that of both the business and public sectors in recent years. One nonprofit sector mentioned by AmericaMagazine, helps over 250,000 people annually by managing homeless shelters, soup kitchens, foster care programs, after-school programs, senior centers, and schools for disabled children. And they do it on a budget that would make most businesses cringe.

Nonprofits Provide a Better ROI with Less Investment

To quote Dr. Judith Smith, president and CEO of Hands-On Jacksonville, “Entirely too few people have a good understanding of our nonprofit community, the good that it does, and the miniscule budgets with which this good is generally accomplished.  I would challenge any government administration to accomplish as much with as little as most nonprofit organizations manage to do.”

The tremendous reach of nonprofits touches at least one in seven people. It is a high probability you know at least someone in your neighborhood who has directly benefitted from a nonprofit’s efforts… maybe even your neighbor.

Stay Firm and Focused

After you ponder all of the ways nonprofits enrich the lives of our community—providing basic survival and sustenance—you should never question the value of what you are doing. If your organization failed, part of your community simply would not survive.

So, as you start your day, thank everyone in your organization for their diligence and dedication. Thank yourself for your devotion and steadfast determination. Remember your value and how important you truly are. It will be easier to achieve your funding initiatives and carry out your organization’s mission.

This realization will bring your organization’s value fully into focus, making your mission that much easier to accomplish. Our world is a better place because of nonprofits like yours. You put a face on the concept of caring. Without you, we would lose a national treasure. You are a monument to the strength of the human spirit.

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Unprecedented Reach for Nonprofit Resources

by Daniel Gasteiger

The Internet provides unprecedented access to resources for nonprofits wherever they may be. Consider this scenario: You’re surfing the Internet and you happen upon a website that tugs on your heartstrings. Perhaps you watch a video that Youtube recommends and it shows a bunch of adorable puppies. You notice that the video comes from a no-kill dog shelter, and other videos from that shelter feature equally adorable puppies.

When you click a link in one of the videos’ descriptions, you land on a website that has photos of sad-looking dogs waiting for adoption. You read a few paragraphs about food shortages and funding needs, then, right in the margin of the page, you see a Donate Now button.

With a click, another click, a login to your paypal account, and one more click, you donate a modest $5 to the no-kill dog shelter.

Question: Where is the dog shelter? Chances are, you don’t know… and you don’t care! Amazingly, this scenario plays out again and again every day. People all over the world donate to geographically limited and distant nonprofits, overlooking similar concerns in their own towns!

Your Nonprofit Can Win on the Web

Nonprofits that build visibility on the web win. They attract donations and volunteers, and they increase their chances of garnering attention from the media and commercial funding sources.

Building a web presence isn’t a hit-and-miss activity. The disciplines of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing are well-established; there are specific techniques that consistently work to build a vital web presence. Most are easy to learn, and can start helping your cause instantly.

What are you already doing to get noticed online? Do you have a plan to develop your online presentation in 2012? If you aren’t yet looking at the Internet as a potentially lucrative source for fundraising, make this the year that you start.

SEO and Social Marketing for Your Nonprofit

For The Charitable Community, Inc. can help you develop your web presence. Contact us for guidance as you begin building a social network or optimizing your websites to get traffic from search engines. Our Social Media Evangelist, motivates companies to embrace the Internet, and provides training on responsible and effective Internet Marketing techniques. Contact us to schedule a seminar or a consultation.

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Nonprofits must be Creative for Last Minute Appeals

Depending on where your organization exists, end-of-year tax deductions may not be the best way to motivate your donors. You may have to think out of the box to get what you need. Here’s why:

Tax Code Changes Could Harm Nonprofits

Charitable contributions are taking a hard hit in many states today as beleaguered treasuries struggle to overcome budget deficits. This means the traditional tax deduction for charitable contributions may be a thing of the past. One of the latest to join this trend is Michigan, where charitable deductions expire in 2012. This reverses almost 45 years of allowable write-offs of 50 cents for every dollar taxpayers have made to their favorite charities.

Proposed changes at the federal level could also affect the nonprofit sector by imposing a $1 billion tax increase on philanthropic giving. The Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University warns that Congressional attempts to limit allowable write-offs by the wealthy could “place the nonprofit sector under further fiscal strain.”

What Does All This Mean to Your Nonprofit?

Take aim and regroup! Don’t get discouraged. You can achieve success.

  • Don’t rest on your laurels. Be innovative in your ask. Be creative and compelling. Keep it simple and straight-forward.
  • Know your donor base and their hot buttons. Create urgency when you request money.
  • Don’t be obnoxious, but state the facts. Let donors know the imperative that exists if continued funding dries up. Give a worst case scenario that paints a vivid picture.
  • Encourage perpetual giving.
  • Put a face on your organization. Nothing motivates more than the heart strings. Let potential donors see the people you are helping. Write success stories with heart-warming photos. Put them on your website, in your publicity materials, in your videos, your email eBlasts and brochures.
  • Tell donors how many people are served by your organization. Show how your organization has grown because of their help.
  • Thank donors for their support and let them know their value. Do that with a phone call. It’s a personal touch that makes donors listen.
  • Use a value-added incentive like coupons, travel vouchers, tickets, or invitations to your organization’s activities to spur bigger contributions.
  • Use a wide-reaching community appeal.
  • Let donors know that giving extends far beyond the holiday season. (Example: Food pantries have to be stocked year-round.)
  • Use dramatic numbers to motivate your contributors.
  • Don’t sugar-coat the obvious. Let donors know who will suffer if money disappears.

Make Giving User-Friendly

Many donations are last minute decisions motivated by your hard work. Make giving convenient for your donors. They should be able to contribute by standard mail, by credit card, via Paypal or fax, on the Internet, by mobile phone, and through secure nonprofit contribution pathways such as Network for Good. Accommodate the latest technologies to increase your reach and your demographics. Always provide your donors with detailed documentation of their charitable contributions on the appropriate forms.

Now Look Forward to a Great New Year!

Above all, be kind to yourselves. Thank your staff and your volunteers. Thank your donors. Get ready for a bright new year full of possibilities. Make sure to check back with us on survival techniques and information on the latest changes that will affect how you do business.

And remember…

“A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose – a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve.” John Maxwell

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For the Charitable Community

Beverly Molander of Unity Online Radio interviewed Carrie Roberts on the air. Carrie talked about the financial challenges that nonprofits face and she explained important issues for nonprofit start-ups. Carrie and Beverly discussed the mission of For The Charitable Community, and Carrie explained what makes the upcoming Fearless Fundraising webinar unique. Listen here: Unity Online Radio Interview.

For The Charitable Community in the news: Our own Carrie Roberts was a guest on The Jerry Doyle Show. Listen here: Jerry Doyle interviews Carrie Roberts.

Carrie Roberts interviewed on Blog Talk Radio: Social Networking for Women. Learn more about our mission.

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