Posts Tagged ‘financial health’

People meeting together


The top ten list below came from the Boardsource’s website, which is a great resource for any and all nonprofit organizations.

Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

  1. Determine mission and purpose. It is the board’s responsibility to create and review a statement of mission and purpose that articulates the organization’s goals, means, and primary constituents served.
  2. Select the chief executive. Boards must reach consensus on the chief executive’s responsibilities and undertake a careful search to find the most qualified individual for the position.
  3. Support and evaluate the chief executive. The board should ensure that the chief executive has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the organization.
  4. Ensure effective planning. Boards must actively participate in an overall planning process and assist in implementing and monitoring the plan’s goals. (more…)

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Yesterday, I talked about how technology can bridge the accountability gap that separates donors from beneficiaries, and in the post I shared that I would write 3 blogs showing how such examples can be used. This is the first of three posts.

Have you ever experienced listening to a member of  a church, or nonprofit organization, who can’t clearly articulate the mission or the impact of the organization?

Maybe the experience came as a friend asked you to donate money to support a charity. Or maybe, it happened when someone invited you to church, or as a friend described why they volunteers their time.

In many cases, these experiences are awkward attempts to tell the story of an organization. However, because most of these stories are told by volunteers or members, they often miss the true power of sharing the core mission and impact of an organization.

Given this experience, many organizations are now turning to technology to help them to:

  1. Tell the Story- Using their own words and images (pictures, blogs, videos, etc) (more…)

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I am just returning back to work after a week of vacation, and while I was away, I read an article that discussed how, “There is a lack of accountability within philanthropy because the people who provide the resources aren’t sufficiently well-connected to the beneficiaries they are supposed to be funding. ”

In short, the article said that technology can:

  1. Help bridge the gap between donors who provide the money to sustain a mission and those who receive the service as a benefit. (more…)

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Pie Chart


According to GuideStar, giving to nonprofits has remained fairly consistent with giving patterns in 2010.  There seems to be a slight increase, but many donors are still concerned about their personal income and the economy.

The pie chart to the right shows that 44% of nonprofits surveyed have shown an increase in giving, over the first 6 months, compared to 2010. While 25% have see no change, and 30% have seen a decrease.

In its report, GuideStar also noted that the larger the nonprofit organization, the more likely they were to see growth in income (the 44% listed above).  For example, 57% of organizations that spent more than $3 Million showed an increase in giving for 2011 over 2010. While only 34% of organizations that spent less than $250,000, showed an increase.

This information can be helpful to plot where your organization is in its fundraising, operating, and donation cycle, and I would encourage you to read the full report at www.guidestar.org

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balance beam of resources

Balancing Resources

Every organization has two types of resources- Financial and Human Capital.

Now most of us could define that financial capital refers to money and other tangible assets (buildings, furniture, or automobiles), and that human capital refers to people. However, as simple as these two definitions are, most nonprofit organizations and churches suffer from not balancing both of these resources.

In most cases, this diagram would be tilted up or down, meaning that an organization would be overusing (or underusing) one of these two sources.

For example, and organization that lives in fear of having enough money to cover its expenses, most likely is overusing its financial capital to measure its ability to perform a task.  Forgetting that there may be multiple resources that it could draw upon from it human capital to provide that same service or task.

Similarly, an organization that focuses purely on analyzing it volunteer or stakeholder base, often will forget to really evaluate how to best leverage its financial resources to support its human capital.

In order to strike a balance, organizations need to take time to analyze the full potential of all of its resources by taking the following steps: (more…)

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If the economic recession has taught nonprofits anything, it is the need to have multiple income streams to help stabilize income and operations.

Prior to 2008, many congregations and small nonprofits lived on the receipts of their donors.  In strong economic years, this is not a problem- income is up and thus donations were up.  However, the same cycle is disastrous  when the nation’s economy falls- income goes down and thus donations fall.

Given this boom- bust cycle, it is smart to look at how nonprofit and church organizations can stabilize their income. Every context is different, but the diagram below provides a general outline of how to create multiple income streams:

Diagram showing annual fund income sources

Multiple Income Streams

The above model presents the type of incomes that many small nonprofits already receive:

  • Donations to the  annual fund are usually the largest of these sources (typically over 50%) (more…)

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It is always important to tell your donors thank you, whether it is during a capital or annual stewardship campaign. It should be a part of every campaign and a regular part of you church’s operations.

Often organizations will say thank you, or maybe even send a hand written card, but Chris Bernard and Andrea Berry,  of Idealware, suggest that there are ways to bolster these traditional methods with a little technology.

“Why,” you may ask?  Well, the more touches you have with donors… the better.

Here are there suggestions:

  1. Personalized emails- even when they are automatically created.
  2. E-Newsletters and electronic donor recognition letters
  3. Online profiles- highlighting donors on websites or facebook to say thank you.
  4. Online gifts- webinars or online Q&A with a organizational leaders or celebrities, for example.
  5. Social media shout-outs- think facebook and twitter. (more…)

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