Nonprofit Management

November 4, 2017

Stories from my dorm room

Ah Cohort 27 (and your two Cohort 26 colleagues)….. You’ve been so fantastic in Emerging Issues for SMUMN’s Philanthropy and Development Program.

Hey out there in the world…What kind of emerging issues have you been observing, do you anticipate might become trends… (And absolutely do NOT NOT NOT say anything about Millennials or social media. I mean really…. Emerging? Not hardly!! Emerged. Past emerged. Life.)

So what were those 12 marvelous colleagues in PHDE 657 Emerging Issues writing about?

Things like:

  • Can we really afford to close our borders?
  • Building a new era of trust
  • Girls in the Boy Scouts
  • Trauma informed and feedback movement in the social sector
  • Change coming in our diocese – or can we be agents of change?
  • Apocalypse Soon: The need for standards
  • Valuable recruits are following emerging issues
  • Fundraising for the New NCAA (No one Can Abuse Athletes)
  • Emerging into my new
  • Instability and uncertainty in the development director role
  • Throwing away the rubber stamp: a board self-assessment to drive growth

And how about that NCAA thing? That’s collegiate sports for those of you not into sports (like me)!!! And how about taking the knee in NFL games? So we had all this great wonderful back and forth in the online classroom, talking about race and racism and athletes. So very very cool!!

And the author of the final project for the “new NCAA” emailed me with the new Sports Illustrated cover.  His email to me said, “This month’s cover of Sports Illustrated… The NCAA is Broken (but you knew that). Interesting stuff and sad the exploitation of young African American athletes.”

 

 

October 11, 2017

I keep learning from novels.

Yes yes yes learning from novels.

I’ve told you that before. Romance novels. Spies. Sci fi fantasy. WHATEVER!

I just fell in love with a new series of novels by Martin Walker… Mysteries of the French Countryside. St. Denis in the Périgord. Bruno is the chief of police. I’ve read 4 so far. I have the 5th next to my bed. And there are at least 2 more!!!!

Mystery. Action. Love. Family. Community. French cooking. Wine.

And now these quotations:

“There was something mind-numbing about official prose that could turn a profound human drama into lifeless bureaucratic verbiage…perhaps that was the point.” (I read this to Tom Ahern and he snickered – or was it a snort?)

“They tended to discount claims of rape between lovers…thinking that once the woman had already been to bed with the man, what difference would another sexual incident make?” (WTF are they thinking?)

“Napoléon said no plan ever survives contact with the enemy.” (Hmmmm…. Does this mean we shouldn’t plan? Maybe a portion of the plan would work… Maybe good planning – which means deep conversation and challenging assumptions and gathering information and evidence and and and … Maybe the exercise is good enough? And good planning includes foreseeing the unforeseen and so much more.)

August 7, 2017

What do you measure?

Ah measures. Or metrics.

How did you decide to measure what you measure? Do you measure the right stuff? Who decides what the right stuff is?

How about a REALLY GOOD CONVERSATION about what an organization should measure? Would these questions help you decide?

How many of these fundraising measures does your organization use?

Have you read Jim Collins’ little monograph called Good to Great and the Social Sectors? I love the way he talks about metrics in nonprofits. Use that with your boss and board!

 

June 5, 2017

Cultures of….

Guru Peter Drucker commented that “organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast.” (Or it might have been lunch!)

Organizational culture is about the personality of the organization. The way things work. The unwritten rules and and … Check it out at Wikipedia. Read articles at www.hbr.org.

Within a good organizational culture, we want a culture of philanthropy. So what’s that? Visit the article on my website. Check out Advancing Philanthropy‘s entire issue devoted to philanthropic culture.

Okay. But what about other cultures? Culture of resiliency. Culture of performance. Culture of inclusion. Have you found any articles or resources about these elements of organizational culture? Please let me know. I’m going to do some writing, I think.

May 3, 2017

Times they are a changing? Or not really. Just back and forth.

Tom, Doris and I are subscribers to the Gamm Theatre. Saw “The Nether” by Jennifer Haley… Science fiction — but maybe not so much; just too damn real.  So very very very linked to Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together. Robots and the dark side of social media and the web and….

The Agitator alerted us all to “Your new fundraising word for the day,” ACTIGIVER. From Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud VP of Data and Analytics…”Giving in the age of outrage.”

The world is really fast these days. From slacktivist to activist to actigivers. But the fundamental human-ness isn’t different.

I am human, not an avatar. Engage my heart in whatever way I want to engage. I’m human. Behave accordingly.

Your NGO must be – at its core and in its activities – human. Watch out. The backlash has already started. Do you and your staff and your NGO recognize, acknowledge, understand, and do accordingly?

March 13, 2017

What kind of consultant do you want to hire?

What kind of consultant do you want to hire? Think about this!

What is a consultant?

What’s the role of a consultant?

Here’s what I think a consultant is (and does):

Change agent. Teacher. Personal counselor. Trusted advisor. Truth teller.

Brutal truth teller telling brutal truths. (Michael Campbell used the phrase “brutal truths”. I like it!)

Hey consultants, read this great book: The Trusted Advisor

Hey nonprofits, read this 2-part article about choosing a consultant: “Should you hire a fundraising consultant…” And check this out, too: “Tips for using fund development consultants.”

Are we consultants willing and able to take the risks to be this kind of consultant? Do we even want to be this kind of consultant?

February 1, 2017

Do you read 101fundraising?

You should. International crowdblog on fundraising.

Check out Matthew Sherrington’s “12 insights from the crystal ball: Get your fundraising ready for the future.” 

Share with your boss and your board.

I responded by saying that I particularly #6, #9, and #11. That was my feeling yesterday when I read the blog. Of course, I actually like them all.

But #6, #9, and #11 are particularly special to me. Because fundraising is not that icky thing shoved off into a corner… Fundraising is not a means to our organization’s so very important end. Fundraising – and the philanthropy it generates – is meaningful and special and essential in its own right. Fundraising – the resulting philanthropy – represent the donor’s aspirations. Your NGO is a means to fulfill that donor’s aspirations.

So read. Share. Think. And fix your organization!!

By the way, check out Monsieur Sherrington’s twitter feed… Sharing cool historical facts.

December 5, 2016

Building the best organizations

What don’t we know?

How do we recognize that there’s stuff we don’t know — and we don’t know that we don’t know?

How do we confront that we don’t even know that we don’t know stuff?

How do we build into an NGO the concept of regularly exploring / discovering what we don’t know?

And this can happen in every or any part of our work anywhere.

[A conversation I had with Michael Campbell at HFPG‘s consultant workshop that I delivered in early December.]

November 21, 2016

More ethics in fundraising

Visit the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy.

Read about Ian MacQuillin‘s  “foundational theory of normative ethics” for fundraising and fundraisers.

Visit Rogare, the think tank at the Centre, to learn more about the ethical theory to support the fundraising profession.

And read the Critical Thinking blog, too.

November 14, 2016

Yes. There are ethics in fundraising.

If you’re a board member, ask if your organization subscribes to a code of ethics in fundraising. Your board should talk about the ethical code and be familiar with the general content and areas of compliance. All your staff should know, too, that your organization follows such codes.

Your fundraising staff and board fund development committee could present an annual report on your organization’s compliance with the code. (And, of course, your board should adopt the fundraising code of ethics as a policy – just like your board should adopt the Donor Bill of Rights as a policy.)

Review this Code of Ethical Standards. The code includes things like: Public trust, transparent and conflicts of interest. Solicitation and stewardship. Treatment of confidential and proprietary information. Compensation, bonuses, and finders fees.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the AFP Code of Ethical Standards for Fundraising:

#14: Ensure that contributions are used in accordance with donors’ intentions.

#16: Obtain explicit consent by donors before altering the conditions of financial transactions.

#21: Not accept compensation or enter into a contract that is based on a percentage of contributions; nor…accept finder’s fees or contingent fees.

#22: Be permitted to accept performance-based compensation, such as bonuses, only if such bonuses are in accord with prevailing practices within the..organization and are not based on a percentage of contributions.

Unethical performance harms all other NGOs and harms the nonprofit sector. Beware! Hold your own organization and its people accountable. And demand that other NGOs do the same. Call them out if need be.

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

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