Friday, March 15, 2013

The March 15 Issue Of The NonProfit Times

March 15 is known as the Ides of March, something we are told to "beware." There's no danger here at The NonProfit Times, though, as we have just released our March 15 issue.

The new edition covers a variety of stories, from continued turnover at Komen to a so-called "donorbomb" at a university. Let's take a closer look at some of the new content:

  • CEO Turnover Continue At Some Komen Chapters: Nearly a year after Susan G. Komen for the Cure's much maligned decision (and then reversal) to stop funding Planned Parenthood, the organization is still dealing with fallout in the form of continued CEO turnover.
  • Chefs Chop Away At Hunger: One of the more popular shows on the Food Network is "Chopped," which has four chefs battle to create a perfect three-course meal. On a special episode aired on election day, four chefs working the kitchens of nonprofits gave the panel of judges quite a show.
  • University's Postcard 'Bombing' Actually A Good ThingSaint Peter’s, in celebration of its 140th anniversary this past May, sought to gain 140 new donors in one day. The initiative was officially called “Let’s Get It Done June 1,” but it was known internally as “Donorbomb.”
  • Getting CooperationThe Nature Conservancy has been working to get back to where it was financially before the Great Recession, making a push to expand its audience. To that end, it has been getting more deeply involved in cooperative databases, operations by which organizations can share their lists rather than selling or simply exchanging them.
  • Risky BusinessTo meet its 2010 strategic plan of growing members and supporters, the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign needed to expand its reach and engage more broadly in areas that it previously had not, according to Ann Crowley, director of membership and online strategy. And so, HRC in August 2011 launched “On The Road to Equality,” a bus tour visiting 19 cities.
These are just a sampling of the articles you can expect to find in the March 15 issue of The NonProfit Times. To see all of the content, head to our online store to purchase either a digital or print subscription of NPT.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

6 Steps To A Grant Proposal

Are you ready to apply for one of the funding opportunities on The NonProfit Times's Grant Page? Great; your next step will be to put together a competitive proposal that will give your organization the best chance to be selected for funding.

According to Barbara Floersch, director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif., not any old grant proposal will be enough to perk the interest of the funder. “The quality of the process you use to put the proposal together directly affects competiveness,” she explained.

Floersch said that the first step to having a quality grant proposal process is to mobilize a team of people invested in the project, assign a leader, lay out a timeline, and assign tasks. The demands of the proposal will dictate some tasks, but here are six that should always be included:
  • Gather Letters of Commitment: Get a letter from each substantive collaborator documenting the role they’ll play;
  • Assemble Attachments: Be sure documents are updated, and get them into the required format, usually electronic;
  • Finish the Research: Find information to fill remaining blanks. You might need a few more statistics, a couple of quotes, or even a literature review of the project’s approach;
  • Develop the Budget: The narrative and budget must be perfectly synced. Be sure the financial person and writer work hand-in-hand;
  • Draft the Narrative: When several people contribute sections, you’ll need one writer to pull it together to ensure cohesiveness and give it one voice;
  • Have Others Review the Entire Proposal Package: Accept that you’re too enmeshed in the work to review it objectively. Have a couple of people critique the package. Does it respond exactly to application guidelines? Are all elements clear and convincing? Does each element support the others? Allow time for corrections.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

China To Lift Nonprofit Restrictions

The Chinese government announced Wednesday that it will lift some of its long-standing restrictions for outside nonprofit organizations, potentially opening the door to a greater partnership with these groups.

According to a report on ABC News' website, Civil Affairs Minister Li Liguo said in a news conference that as part of the Cabinet's recently announced restructuring, the government will begin to expand the functions that external nonprofits, which they call social organizations, are allowed to perform.

"Overall, from now on, the role that our country's social organizations will play in economic and social development will be expanded and strengthened," Li said at the Beijing news conference.

In the past organizations would have to find government sponsors in order to obtain official registration that would grant them nonprofit status in the eyes of the Chinese government, allowing them to operate legally, raise funds domestically, and be eligible for some tax deductions. That process will no longer be necessary, Li announced, as groups will be able to register themselves directly through the Civil Affairs Ministry. While Li did not explain how applications would be assessed, he said the Ministry would set up a mechanism to process registrations and supervise and regulate independent groups.

The new changes would apply to nonprofits, charities, community service groups, industry associations, and organizations that work in science and technology. This would seem to exclude organizations that are working to expose environmental pollution or expand the rule of law. It is also unclear whether nonprofits that operate in other "sensitive" areas, such as AIDS prevention, would be treated differently. Such nonprofits are frequently reported as being harassed by local police and tax authorities.

Lu Jun, organizer of the anti-discrimination group Yirenping, acknowledged to The Associated Press that the new changes indicate that the Chinese government doesn't view all nonprofits as a threat now. Still, he said that by seemingly excluding these more sensitive groups, China still has a long way to go.

"Not opening up to these kinds of organizations is a huge flaw," he reportedly told the AP.

You can read the full story on ABC News' website.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ex-Nonprofit Director Sues Indiana Mayor

The former head of a nonprofit in Hammond, Ind., has filed a suit against the city's mayor and the organization over allegations that she was wrongfully fired.

According to a report in the NWI Times, Carlotta Blake-King alleged that the defendants -- including Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., City Councilman Anthony Higgs, and United Neighborhoods, Inc. (UNI) -- conspired to remove her from her position as director at UNI in retaliation for her candidacy for City Council.

Blake-King ran an unsuccessful campaign against Councilman Higgs in 2011, whom Mayor McDermott supported.

For his part, McDermott said in a statement Monday that Blake-King's allegations are "completely untrue," and that her firing was due to her "unsatisfactory" performance as director of the nonprofit agency, which is partially funded by the city's Department of Planning and Development.

According to the complaint filed by Blake-King, she was fired after an alleged "special meeting" of UNI's Board of Directors, where she was allegedly "berated" by Phil Taillon, executive director of the Department of Planning and Development, over her character and performance. The complaint also alleges that Nicole Bennet, an attorney, stated during that same meeting that Blake-King's candidacy for office while holding the position of director violated a federal act that bars certain employees from taking part in partisan politics.

Blake-King, through her lawsuit, is seeking the wages and benefits she would have earned had she not been fired from UNI.

You can read the full story in the NWI Times.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The NonProfit Times Goes Mobile

Smartphones are all the rage these days. Whether it's an app for this or a mobile website for that, businesses and nonprofits are taking advantage of this new technology to expand their reach. With the launch of our new website, The NonProfit Times has officially joined the mobile world.

We've always wanted to give our readers the ability to easily browse the latest nonprofit news on their smartphones, and our new website does just that. While you could always access NPT on the go with our previous site, it was hard to read without zooming in. Now that it is mobile optimized, readers can easily check the latest happenings in the nonprofit sector no matter where they are.

A look at how NPT looks on your mobile phone
It's not just the news articles you can access via your mobile phone; you can also view our jobs page, the resource market place, and our online store.

How do you like the mobile optimized site? Let us know in the comments section below.