Category Archives: Managing
August 21, 2012, 10:27 am
Now that Nancy Brinker is stepping down as chief executive of the charity she founded, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, her critics are agitating for her to quit the charity’s board.
She doesn’t want to go, and the charity’s policy of letting some people serve as lifetime board members means she is not required to. That could pose a big challenge in the next few months as Komen conducts its highest-profile fundraising races.
But is it a good idea for any charity to offer lifetime membership to people on its board?
Many governance experts don’t think so. About 70 percent of groups have term limits, says BoardSource, a nonprofit that works to strengthen charity governance.
And in nine states, charities are required to have such limits, BoardSource says. Those states follow the Model Nonprofit Corporation Act, a measure that the American Bar Association has recommended be adopted …
July 11, 2012, 9:52 am
Claudia Looney, senior vice president for development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, has managed a successful $1-billion capital campaign and was named the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2012 Outstanding Fundraising Professional.
What’s the secret to her success?
Learning to take risks and accept failure, she told The Chronicle in an interview seeking her advice for new fundraisers.
“You learn from each experience,” she says. ”You just try not to fail more than once at the same thing. That really is where you grow and you become better at what you’re doing, because you’re sort of stepping out of your comfort zone.”
Ms. Looney says fundraisers setting out on their first big campaign need to have five elements in place: an inspirational cause, a pool of donors with enough money to get the campaign started, strong leadership, enough resources for…
April 4, 2012, 1:53 pm
Each year, billions of dollars are stolen from charities by people working for them. One simple way to keep that from happening, a former state regulator told attendees of the Association of Fundraising Professionals meeting in Vancouver, is for chief executives of nonprofits to sit down with staff members and ask bluntly: How would you steal from me?
Michael DeLucia, former director of charitable trusts in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, said that direct approach was not his idea, but he learned it from an ex-FBI agent.
The first time chief executives pose the question, no one may speak up, he said, but the second time, workers will be talking about the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the charity’s systems and suggesting improvements.
“Leaders need to send a clear message from the top,” Mr. DeLucia said.
Send an e-mail to Raymund Flandez.
April 3, 2012, 9:37 pm
Nonprofit managers could take a lesson from archery, says Richard Dietz, founder of Nonprofit R+D, a training and technology consulting company. An archer will shoot an arrow, see the results, string his bow again, adjust based on his last shot, and fire a truer shot.
Adapting a similar approach can improve fundraising and technology projects, said a panel at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ annual conference, in Vancouver. By embracing mistakes and adjusting strategies, nonprofits can learn to “fail more informatively.”
“The secret is learning what didn’t work and correct the mistakes so you can go forth with a better plan. Few of our failures are fatal, so keep that perspective,” said Erin Shy, senior director of product management at Sage Nonprofit.
Lee Berkeley Shaw, director of development at Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, in Maryland, has learned that…
April 2, 2012, 5:11 pm
The high turnover rate of fundraisers is costing charities money. Lots of money.
The average amount of time a fundraiser stays at his or her job: 16 months. The direct and indirect costs of finding a replacement: $127,650.
Those figures come from new research by Penelope Burk, president of Cygnus Applied Research.
In her presentation at the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference in Vancouver, she said findings from a survey she has conducted of 1,700 fundraisers and 8,000 nonprofit chief executives, suggest that it would cost just $46,650 to keep a good fundraiser happy by providing better salaries and other benefits, such as additional vacation time.
The study is expected to be released this fall.
Demand for good fundraisers is so high that it is vastly outstripping the supply, Ms. Burk said. Most good fundraisers are on the job just three to six months be…
August 10, 2011, 4:39 pm
As economic experts begin to raise the possibility that America will face a double-dip recession, fund raisers are looking to the past to learn what might be ahead.
No recession in recent history has been as bad as the one that just wrapped up. Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy, which produces “Giving USA,” noted in June that giving dropped by 7 percent in 2008 and 6.2 percent in 2009, declines that were larger than anything since the study was first conducted in 1956.
Patrick Rooney, the center’s director, says that “if we had a double-dip recession, it would be disastrous for philanthropy and charities.” But he encourages charities to resist the urge to let the worries about the downturn get in the way of fund raising. “If I were running a charity, ” he says, “I would continue to invest in fund raising and steward gifts well. Giving may go down overall, but if you…
May 16, 2011, 10:51 am
The Chronicle recently asked members of its LinkedIn group how they got started in fund raising after hearing the stories of several fund raisers we met at the Association of Fundraising Professionals annual meeting in Chicago.
We heard from people who had originally planned to be pilots, journalists, criminal lawyers, and paleontologists as well as a surprising number of people with degrees in music who fell into the career. But a few people said they had planned be fund raisers all along.
Here are excerpts of a few of the stories our followers shared:
Scott Shirai, chief development officer at the Nurse-Family Partnership: “I majored in music and was trained to be an opera singer. For most of my life, I lived and worked in Hawaii, where it was next to impossible to afford to work in the nonprofit sector, but I volunteered a lot and served on several boards. Since moving to…
May 10, 2011, 6:51 pm
Tara Turner, communications officer at BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, in Vancouver, says that when she feels burned out or disconnected from the hospital’s work, she makes a point of spending time with sick kids and their families.
What do you do to stay focused on your mission?
April 27, 2011, 10:33 am
What does it take to be a successful fund raiser?
Passion for the cause you represent is essential, say fund raisers for a wide array of charities The Chronicle interviewed in recent days.
What advice would you offer to those who are looking to pursue a career in fund raising? Post a comment to share your thoughts.
March 24, 2011, 9:24 pm
Fund raisers seeking to climb the career ladder are welcoming the improving job market, but that isn’t causing the same kind of salary frenzy that marked the days before the economy soured.
Many of the fund raisers interviewed at this week’s conference of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals in Chicago say their pay has been stagnant. All of the fund raisers said the topic was so sensitive they didn’t want their names or the names of their institutions used in this post.
Two fund raisers from a Kentucky community college, for example, said it’s been four years since they have had a salary increase.
The only reason the college could afford the travel and registration costs for the conference, they said, is that it earned extra money by charging people to park on its premises during a local festival. The college decided the proceeds could go toward the fund raisers’…