7 Strategies Every Nonprofit Should Master in 2017
January 18, 2017 at 9:24 am

Last year, I gave you five priorities for success in 2016. I called them “Dive the Five.” This year, I’ve expanded my thinking a bit. I give you “Seven is Heaven.” I promise if you focus on these fundamental areas, you will hear the angels begin to sing and your mission will take wing. Some of these areas will seem familiar, but the way you employ them may need to be tweaked in order for you to survive and thrive...

Why We Do What We Do: Willing to Be Taken, In Order to Give
December 28, 2016 at 9:55 am

I will do damn near anything to avoid hurtful political conversations with my family. This year, with so much potential for such conversations, I volunteered to help house homeless women in our church from Dec. 23 to Dec. 31. That pretty much cleared the social calendar of any kind of gathering that could cause ill…

Ice Cream for Breakfast: On Nonprofits and Happiness
August 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

Give Kids the World Village, (GKWV) is a nonprofit situated on a "79-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families." Since 1986, more than 146,000 children and their families have come to the resort to visit Central Florida and its collection of theme parks and other attractions. But until a couple of months ago, I had never heard of it...

When Disaster Hits Home: Relief Efforts at Work
July 1, 2016 at 9:33 am

Last week, I went home to West Virginia, but I did not expect to drive right into a 1,000-year flood. Disaster hit my home state in a big way. That said, what impressed me the most when seeing the flooded areas was how West Virginians are working very hard to survive in any way possible...

Steal This Sector: Payday Loans
March 25, 2016 at 11:02 am

The payday loan industry generates $11 billion in revenue. It is also a hated, predatory sector that uses its size to influence legislation in order to keep it alive and growing. It goes where banks are afraid to tread and preys on the "unbanked"—nearly one-third of the U.S. population is "unbanked" or "underbanked." That’s a lot of people in need of affordable financial services. Much of this population is also the population that the nonprofit sector serves...

Do You Have a Youth Philanthropy Initiative?
March 18, 2016 at 9:29 am

When I talk to others about time, talent and treasure, I ask them how they were affected by philanthropy. Most of the time they will mention a story about when they were young and the philanthropic seed was planted. We all know if you start early in life, roots may grow strong. Philanthropy training must begin with our youth...

The Unfortunate Separation of Mission and Fundraising
February 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

Separating mission work from fundraising work is a deeply rooted practice in nonprofit. I challenge that. I challenge the idea that there is any scenario where a complete separation is necessary or more productive than collaboration. Here is a good illustration of what could be....

A Modern-Day Santa: The Salvation Army's Angel Tree
December 24, 2015 at 9:00 am

Along with the familiar red kettles, the Angel Tree program has become one of The Salvation Army’s highest profile Christmas efforts. In my position at The Salvation Army’s Divisional Headquarters in Indianapolis, I was able to witness this miraculous program firsthand when it came to central Indiana for the first time this fall....

Exploring the Connection Between Faith and Giving
October 23, 2015 at 8:45 am

I have a unique role, attempting to educate, inform, stimulate and encourage ministers to direct fundraising programs with a long-term emphasis on major and planned gifts. The act and process of giving is all about how you perceive it. Whether the giver is religious or not, the proper way of engaging a prospect is to consider the giving process a form of ministry for you and those you work with on a daily basis...

The Impact of 9/11 on Philanthropy
September 11, 2015 at 9:08 am

According to a Sept. 2, 2011 CNNMoney report, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 inspired Americans to help their neighbors in need like never before by donating billions of dollars to families that lost family members during the 9/11 attacks. Many Americans gave willingly to assist those in need after 9/11. That said, however, many 9/11 charities were under scrutiny for failing to raise money for victims...