Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 10th Anniversary Thoughts

It's hard to believe that Sunday will be the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  It doesn't feel like it's been that long.  We can still vividly remember where we were on that fateful day as though it happened just yesterday.  We've been commemorating the thousands of lives lost that day ever since, but there's something about the number 10 that makes it more meaningful.   

Perhaps it's because the World Trade Center Memorial will finally be opened.  As was reported in the most recent issue of The NonProfit Times, fundraising for the memorial was up by almost one-third last year, which certainly helped in its completion.  The opening ceremony at Ground Zero is sure to be a moving event, though it remains shameful that the first responders were not invited.  If we are to properly honor the past, shouldn't they be there?

The day should still be memorable despite this disservice.  Whether you plan to watch the Ground Zero ceremony, watch the Jets play their home opener, or something else entirely, make sure you take a moment to remember those who lost their lives 10 years ago.  It's the least we can do.

Tips For Nonprofit Job Seekers

Cross-Posted From Nonprofit Jobs

Inquiring minds want to know: What do you have to do to get a nonprofit job? I've already gone over the kind of things you should be putting in a nonprofit resume. There are other tips that job seekers should know if they want to land one of these highly sought after positions.

A common mistake that nonprofit job seekers make is believing they have to start over to get a job in the sector. The thought goes that any for-profit experience you have is completely useless in the nonprofit sector. That couldn't be further from the truth. Nonprofits are run like businesses, meaning that your previous management experience is very valuable. The worst thing you can do is approach a nonprofit career believing you need to start all over again.

This doesn't mean there aren't new skills you should learn. Most colleges have courses you can take to earn an MA in nonprofit management, though this isn't entirely necessary, unless you want a high level nonprofit position. If you don't have enough time for a Masters Degree, taking a few courses over the summer will help your chances. Any additional training you can get on topics such as philanthropy and fundraising will give you a huge leg up on the competition.

Think I missed any points? Feel free to add your tips below on how to get a nonprofit job.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Site Spotlight: Nonprofit Jobs

The NonProfit Times has been serving our readers for years, but news is not the only thing we are interested in providing.  That's why we set up a career center dedicated to giving the public a way to find quality nonprofit jobs.  The site is called The Nonprofit Jobseeker, and it's completely free for job seekers to use.  All you have to do is create an account and you can begin browsing jobs.  It also has a section that contains career advice articles.

Is your nonprofit organization hiring?  For a price determined by the length of time you want your job posted, you can put your open positions on the Nonprofit Jobseeker.  We also have hiring tips that will help you make good decisions when it comes to interviewing new employees, retention, and other human resources topics.

Whether you are a job seeker or an employer, the Nonprofit Jobseeker has a lot to offer.  Check it out today!

Georgia Nonprofit Stops Food Distribution

Chalk up another nonprofit that has fallen victim to the down economy.  According to, the Georgia nonprofit Angel Food Ministries will be laying off its full-time staff, forcing it to halt its food distribution services for the month of September.  The move will not only impact the lives of the staff let go, but also the thousands of Atlanta residents who rely on their services everyday.  This is the first time in 17 years the organization had to do halt its services.  Here is part of the statement they posted on their website:

Like the thousands of businesses in America that have endured one of the worst recessions in the past 100 years, we too have faced operational and financial challenges. We have every intention to continue offering great food at great prices in the coming months and are considering ways to reorganize or restructure our Ministry.
It appears that food distribution services will continue in the months ahead but for now, people who relied on their services are going to have to look for other sources.  The article states that the Elizabeth Baptist Church, which distributes the food boxes from Angel Food Ministries, is going to try and pay for them on its own through donations.  If this is successful, it will provide relief until the regular food service is restored. 

Want to read the full article on this story?  Head on over to WSBTV.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Retro Article Of The Week: Agencies Aim For Back Office Savings

This week's retro article goes back to November 1st, 2008.  It was just three days before the 2008 presidential election.  This article makes no mention of politics, however.  It takes a look at how nonprofits were looking to save money by making changes to their offices.  Keep in mind that the United States was enduring the worst parts of the Great Recession, so saving money was a huge priority.  The article starts by showing how the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago saved some cash:

Stephen Cole saw a way for eight Chicago-based nonprofits to save $6 million in the first full year after a few changes. "It's just intuitive," he said. "I did it before as CEO of the Cash Station Inc."

Cole now serves as president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. "The genesis of helping the eight agencies came from what I did for banks," he said. Instead of each bank putting out 6,000 ATMs, Cole linked them all together so everyone could use them. "I've saved the industry a lot of money," he said.

"We have $300 million in purchasing power," he said. The YMCA alone maintains an $80 million operating budget with around 3,000 employees that help an estimated 120,000 people a year. "The big challenge was convincing every other agency that hadn't done this (sharing services) before that there was a business issue," he said.

The eight organizations putting this concept in play include the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Metropolitan Family Services, Casa Central, ChildServe, Chicago Commons, Kids Hope United, and Youth Guidance.

I thought this was an incredibly unique way to have an organization save money, especially considering the cost of making so many ATM machines.  What ways have your nonprofits saved money now or in the past?

Please read the rest of this article over on our website.

Site Spotlight: The Library

With The Library section of The NonProfit Times website, nonprofits will be able to fulfill all of their white paper needs.  The Library is an advertiser driven page in which white pages, videos, webinars are uploaded and are searchable by subject and category. Right now we have three white paper pdfs that tackle various subjects like donor prospecting and financial software. We hope to add plenty more white papers in the months ahead.

When you get a chance, check out our Library page and see how it can help your nonprofit organization!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Boston Mayor Proposes Incentives For Nonprofit Hiring

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that jobs are hard to find in this market.  That's why federal and local governments are trying to come up with ways to boost hiring.  One example of this is developing in Boston, MA, as The Boston Globe reports that Mayor Tom Menino is proposing financial incentives to boost nonprofit hiring as part of a 10-point jobs proposal.

According to the report, hospitals and other nonprofit jobs that hire unemployed Bostonians would receive a $1,000 credit that would be deducted from the amount they would pay each year in lieu of taxes.  This credit would be increased to $1,500 if the individual had been unemployed for six months or more.

Whether these incentives will be enough to encourage nonprofits to hire remains to be seen.  The article quotes some experts, such as the president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, who believe the credits are too modest to have a big impact, especially in lieu of federal budget cuts and Boston's recent insistence that nonprofits pay more to the city.  To read the rest of the article, head on over to The Boston Globe.

Nonprofit Management Tip: 5 Ideas For Handling Evaluations

Nonprofit organizations rely a lot on the help of volunteers.  Whether it's assisting with an important fundraising campaign or helping out at a special event, their work can really help out.  That's why nonprofits need to know the finer points of volunteer management.  In this week's nonprofit management tip, we examine how organizations can evaluate their volunteers:

Volunteer management is so important that training sessions and orientation programs for volunteer managers can pay big dividends. Instituting such programs might not be easy, however.

Susan J. Ellis, a Philadelphia, Pa.-based consultant who specializes in volunteers, believes that volunteer leaders often need to be acquainted with the approaches that will help them to help other volunteers, as well as working to the benefit of such initiatives.

For example, it could be helpful to tell them that:

• It is worse to talk negatively about someone with others than to confront the person directly about poor performance;

• It is more flattering to suggest that a volunteer could do better at something than to act as if you think they’ve already done their best;

• If you want to recognize good volunteers, then deal with volunteers who are not doing the right things. Otherwise, you send the message to the others that it doesn’t matter whether they do something well;

• It could be a relief to the volunteer that you are offering options for improving a situation that the person also believes is not working well; and,

• Stress self-fulfilling prophecy. Set high standards and don’t settle for “Well, we’ve got to accept whatever volunteers do.” Expect the best and that’s what you’ll get. But don’t assume that everyone automatically comes with positive expectations, even volunteers.

Evaluating your volunteers can be a challenging task, so hopefully these tips were helpful to you.  Feel free to share your volunteer management stories with us by posting in the comments section below.

MDA Telethon Survives Without Jerry

Labor Day weekend 2011 bought all the familiar events: Family bbqs, relaxing days at the beach, and the annual MDA Telethon.  Except this time, the telethon wasn't hosted by Jerry Lewis.  For the first time in nearly half a century, the popular telethon did not include the legendary comedian.  Would this year's event prove as successful without its long standing host?  The answer is a resounding "yes."

The telethon raised $61,491,393, up from the $58,919,838 it bought in the previous year, about $4 million short of the record $65 million raised in 2008.  That was when it was still a 21 1/2 hour event: This year's telethon was trimmed to six hours.  Although Lewis was not at the show in person, he was very much there in spirit.  The show opened with a tribute to him, and he was mentioned at various times throughout the broadcast.  Still, the script made it clear that there was no going back.

With Lewis out of the picture, MDA turned to multiple hosts: Nigel Lythgoe of "American Idol" fame, Nancy O'Dell of "Entertainment Tonight," Alison Sweeney of "The Biggest Loser," Jann Carl, an Emmy-winning journalist, and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Ace Young (who replaced the long-time NY area host, Tony Orlando). 

It is still not clear what changed between May, when it was announced Lewis would make one last appearance as host, and August, when it was announced he would not be returning as host or chairman.  If any news breaks on that subject, we will be sure to bring it to you.