Thursday, July 21, 2011

Myra Kraft Passes Away At 68

Note: This is a summary of a story from an outside news organization.  To read the full article, follow the links in this post.

Myra Kraft, a powerful figure in the world of philanthropy, passed away yesterday at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer.  Although she may be best known as the wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Myra used the fame that came with her last name to create a lasting legacy of philanthropy. 

In an obituary in today's Boston Globe, that legacy was recounted in great detail.  The piece recounted how Kraft manned phone-banks for fundraising drives for countless charities, rather than just staying in the background as a benefactor.  She was also chair of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and of the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.  Her hands on approach to philanthropy was so effective that the Boys & Girls Club waived its normal term limits to keep her on board.

According to the Globe article, Myra was concerned that, when her husband bought the Patriots in 1994, the large amount of money spent and borrowed on behalf of the team would hurt their giving.   This did not happen.  On the contrary, the couple's philanthropy increased.  Their last major gift as a couple was a $20 million donation to Partners HealthCare this year.  This donation was used to pay off the student loans of doctors in exchange for them working at community health centers for the needy.

Myra was a powerful force in the philanthropic sector.  By the time she reached adulthood, she had already donated more than $100 million to various different causes.  Her work will surely be missed, not only by those who knew her personally, but by those who benefited from her generosity.  To read the full obituary of Myra Kraft, visit the Boston Globe online.

The NonProfit Times at The Bridge Conference

The NonProfit Times is attending The Bridge Conference in DC this week.  The conference, which started yesterday, runs through July 22nd and covers topics on fundraising and integrated marketing.  We will be located at booth 339, next to the Internet Station.  If you are attending this conference, come visit us!  Our writers and editors will be there, and we'd love to talk to you.  You can also find out more details on how you can sign up for a subscription.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nonprofit Hiring Tips

Cross posted from The Nonprofit Jobseeker

Although jobs may be scarce in this economy, this doesn't mean that job candidates are going to take the first position that is offered to them. This economy could make people more picky than normal. Because times are tough, they are going to not only want a position that pays well, but also one in which they feel comfortable. If you are going to attract the best candidates for your nonprofit job, you would do well to follow these five hiring tips:

  • Make sure the description in your job listing is informative yet concise. This is a hard balance to strike, but it can be done. The key to reaching this balance is to use specifics. The more the applicant knows about the position, the less chance you will get resumes from unqualified candidates.

  • When you conduct an interview, make sure you allow time for the person to say what they want out of the position. It's all well and good to explain what you are looking for in an ideal employee, but you should make sure that the candidate can express their expectations as well. This is helpful because it establishes that this will be a job where the employee's views are important. And that is an important factor when people decide where they want to work.

  • Just because someone performs well in an interview doesn't mean they will be the right fit for your organization. Test your applicant's skills to see if they are up to the task. How you do this depends on the type of job you are looking to fill. If you are looking to hire a web content editor, for example, you can have them take a writing test after the interview. If you mention that you will be performing writing tests in your application, this has the added benefit of weeding out less serious candidates.

  • Your office should be tidy at all times, but make sure it is especially presentable during the interview. And I'm not just referring to your desk; the entire office should look as impressive as possible. A relaxing workplace makes for a better working environment, and that will be on the top of the list of things top candidates will be looking for.

  • Interviews can be very tiresome, especially if you have already been through many that day. Still, you are going to have to find some way to remain engaging to your prospective employee. There is no bigger turn off than an interviewer who seems uninterested. So even if you have to take an extra shot of coffee, make sure you are friendly and lively when you interview a job candidate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nonprofit Management Tip of The Week

We're going to start a new feature here on The NonProfit Times blog.  Each week, we will post a management tip directly from our site here to the blog.  The goal here is to not only get people more aware of this section of our site, but also to encourage discussion.  It is our hope that our readers will give their insight into the tip, and whether they have had any success with it.

With the latest news about New Jersey considering mandatory disclosure requirements, I thought it would be appropriate to have this week's management tip be about donors.  Specifically, this tip is about recent individual giving trends:

Despite the need for major gifts and foundation support, nonprofits still depend on the contributions they receive from individual donors, from that $5 check on up.

Speaking at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Fund Raising Day in New York 2011, Margaret Holman of Holman Consulting Inc. discussed trends that are holding in individual giving through the nonprofit sector. For example:

• Major donors continue to give, but they are narrowing their focus to fewer charities where they can make a bigger impact.

• People give when they have a sense of security and optimism about the future. The economic crash and rising health care costs have left few Americans with any sense of financial security.

• Lower-income people tend to be more generous than higher-income individuals.

• The most generous donors are more likely to give by mail and less likely than average to give online.

• More generous donors are more intentional about planning their support.

• Giving still happens because donors are involved with their organizations.

• Demographics still matter.

• People check out charities in the following ways: talking to someone who supports the charity, visiting a Website or searching the Internet, checking a watchdog organization or visiting the organization in person.

• Best practices are stay donor focused, keep it simple, develop relationships (don’t think of donors as wallets) and triage your donors quarterly for contact.

What are your thoughts on this?  Have you noticed these trends as well recently?  We'd love to hear your stories.  If you are interested in reading more donor-related management tips, head on over to the NPT website.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The New NonProfit Times

The NonProfit Times, the leading business publication for nonprofit management, unveiled an innovative content driven platform designed to engage readers through category/content driven searches.  The website is designed to give visitors the ability to find the exact subject information that is relevant to their needs.  Whether it is an article or a management tip from The NonProfit Times, a white paper, or a directory listing, readers will know that they can easily find the subject that matters the most to them.
The reason for the website redesign was simple: To increase interaction between the reader and The NonProfit Times.  The new site takes a holistic approach to social sharing and reader interaction, with the goal of delivering intelligent and informative content to fulfill the reader’s needs.
 The website is divided into 4 main areas: News and Articles, Management Tips, Resource Marketplace and the Library.
News & Articles gives the readers daily updates on the happenings of the nonprofit sector, keeping them up-to-date on the happenings of the day.  Whether it is a quick update on a breaking story or a opinion-driven column, there will always be new stories available to readers.   
Management Tips offers “how tos” on a wide range of management topics that are geared towards nonprofit organizations.  Nonprofit managers will be able to find the answer to virtually any issue they have by browsing the 26 different categories of tips. 
The Resource Marketplace is where a nonprofit turns to when it is need of a product or a service to help the organization reach their goal.  Within each category is a list of services, along with their contact information and a short description of what they do. 
The Library is an advertiser driven area, in which white pages, videos, webinars are uploaded and are searchable by subject and category.