Four keys to captivating grant proposals

Certainly, there are potholes to avoid on the road to higher-scoring grant applications. On the flip side, my experience as a reviewer has shown there are key components of a successful grant proposal narrative. A few proactive community foundations around the State see the benefits of helping organizations within their communities become stronger and more sustainable. In partnering with them on capacity-building workshops, I’ve shared the following “four captivators."... Read More

Looking for new donors or customers?

Organizations often ask about how they can attract new customers or donors and ensure success in their sales or development programs. While trying to assess their opportunities, my first questions will normally surround their donor or customer retention rate, database management, and recognition or acknowledgment program. ... Read More

Will AI mean ‘all in’ for nonprofits?

Many nonprofit organizations and small businesses are standing on the threshold in an Artificial Intellegince (AI) doorway that will provide challenge, concern, and a sense of uncertainty looming. Given other sector issues, one would think we have enough to keep busy. ... Read More

Four steps to ensure future members

Remember WIFM? It’s the acronym for, "What’s in it for me." It seems that some membership organizations are staking their futures on the fact that WIFM doesn’t matter to their members or prospective members. Unfortunately, it does, and as nonprofits, they need to be acting now to adapt their business models and ensure that they are well-positioned to ride the waves of the future.... Read More

Your organization’s actions speak volumes

We’ve all heard the old proverb, “Actions speak louder than words.” In today’s high-tech society, the phrase takes on new meanings, including actions on social media, chats, marketing, and other communications. ... Read More

Nonprofit competition impacts new and existing nonprofits

After decades of working with and for nonprofits, there’s one major takeaway regarding nonprofit competition.  It’s not to be taken lightly.  As I shared in a recent article, there are nearly 1.85 million existing nonprofits in the United States today.  More concerning is there are 50% more charitable nonprofits today than there were just 12 years ago. As I frequently mention to potential clients, the competition keeps growing, so it should be a major consideration.... Read More

Who will step up to advance small nonprofit capacity?

Lilly Endowment Inc. probably hasn’t received the societal praise it deserves when considering its history of capacity building among nonprofits. Their foresight and leadership have been a welcome catalyst to growth and change. I think it’s time for leaders in many smaller organizations to aspire to a similar type of transformation. Will a funder out there be willing to be the catalyst for their next steps?... Read More

Nonprofit Leader? How Much You’ll GRASP is TBD.

Nonprofit organizations are not unlike individuals, they are constantly looking to the future and often stressed about how their “lives” are going. What could they do differently to improve? A great deal is externally focused when the answers they need may be internal. In fact, the answers are already there, but how much you will GRASP is TBD.... Read More

What happened to our purpose? Ten questions to ponder.

Purpose is foundational; it doesn’t matter if you are a business, nonprofit, or individual. I recognize that my life has been driven by purpose at varying levels.  I’ve lost it, had it shaken, and found a new purpose a few times. I’ve talked about it, wrote a book about it, and now you’re reading about it. On a larger scale, our individual inability to deal with many of today’s societal issues can be rooted in the lack of such purpose. So, what can we do about it?... Read More

Do NOT Read Until 2055

So maybe you didn’t read the headline, or it piqued your curiosity.  Granted, it’s a bit like some of the “clickbait” stories we see pop up in our news feeds.  However, in this instance, the headlined instructions are appropriate since one of its intended audiences is a younger generation... Read More