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Three key benefits to in-house professional development

Posted By Shari Jennings, Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Nonprofit organizations seek out the most cost effective way to provide professional development to staff.  Fortunately, Nonprofits First offers a variety of workshops at little or no cost to members and nonmembers to meet that need.  The reality is that every organization has the opportunity to develop staff by encouraging them to develop presentations and present at meetings within the organization.

Three key benefits to in-house professional development include:

  • Self-awareness:  Staff become more aware of their strengths and can further develop in areas that are more of a challenge.
  • Leadership skills:  Staff take ownership of their ideas and become experts in a specific area.  They are also able to own their role as the presenter.
  • Staff buy-in: When staff are trusted to take on leadership roles, agencies win because staff are motivated to carry out the mission of the organization.

The next time you or a staff member is looking for professional development, look no further than your next staff meeting, department meeting, or even your next board meeting.

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Nonprofit to build 36 affordable apartments in Palm Beach County

Posted By Adriene Tynes, Monday, October 24, 2016

Neighborhood Renaissance in April paid $1.2 million for an eight-acre site on Florida Mango Road in an unincorporated area north of Forest Hill Boulevard.

Seeking to make a small dent in Palm Beach County’s affordable housing squeeze, a nonprofit landlord plans to build 36 apartments for working-class tenants.

Neighborhood Renaissance of West Palm Beach said the two-bedroom units will rent for about $1,200 a month, a price that’s $150 less than the going rate for two-bedroom units. The developer plans to break ground next year.

The Mango Cove apartment complex won’t have a pool, but it will have a playground and picnic area. Each unit will boast a washer and dryer — an amenity that’s rare in that price range, Neighborhood Renaissance officials said.

“We’re going to be offering a nice product at a reasonable price,” said Michael Pecar, real estate development director at Neighborhood Renaissance. “Hopefully, some of the other landlords will see a need to improve their properties.”

To move in, tenants must meet income limits. A two-person household could make no more than $64,560, while a three-person household would be limited to a maximum income of $72,600.

To raise money for construction, Pecar said, “We had to get creative.”

The nonprofit’s brainstorm? It aims to sell 20 single-family homes it owns throughout the county and rents to tenants who meet its income limits.

The homes are listed at less than $270,000 — a price range with limited supply in Palm Beach County — and can be sold only to moderate-income buyers for 30 years.

Neighborhood Renaissance also received a $100,000 donation from Wells Fargo.

In addition to the rentals on Florida Mango Road, Neighborhood Renaissance is developing affordable townhouses in downtown Lake Worth. Those units are for sale at prices starting at $230,000.

Original post can be found here.

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How to Pick a Proper Password

Posted By Robert Montanez, Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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Seven Golden Prospecting Strategies that Lead to Major Donors

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Thursday, October 13, 2016
Updated: Monday, October 24, 2016

Surprise! You actually have plenty of major gift prospects.

Where are they?

They are hiding. Just look inside your donor files and your donor data base.

Your future major donors are right there: lurking, unidentified.

They are unnoticed because they are giving smaller gifts.

There they are, wealthy, caring donors to your cause. And you don’t even know how much potential they really have.

Here’s the good news: they are already in your bandwagon.

They are already investing in your cause.  They are accessible! Hurray!

Your most likely donor is someone who has already given in the past.

Go to them first.

For-profit businesses have found that it costs about 10 times more money to secure a new customer, than it does to get more business from a current customer.

And I bet it’s the same for nonprofits, too.

It probably costs you 10 times more to find and secure a brand new donor.

So save your time and energy – go farming where the soil is most fertile. Right at home.

Work for deeper relationships with existing donors.

Look for repeat, committed donors.

Here’s the true pathway to major gifts: Find your committed donors and move them into larger gifts.

You have to pay attention to the repeat doors:

  • See if you can get in front of them.
  • Send them special communications. (How about an Insider newsletter?)
  • Invite them to special events.

Since they are already giving consistently, you should look for indicators that they can make larger gifts.

Never make a cold call.

What are the chances of success?

If you are looking at a fast-track way to become demoralized, then make cold calls.

Yuck.

I always try to maximize my chance for success by having someone open the door for me – and help me meet the prospect.

That’s a much easier and more successful path to get in the door.

Look for the few mega-donors.

95% of the money comes from 2-3% of your donors.

Always narrow down your focus to a few prospects with deep pockets.

Then work hard on relationships with them.

Don’t spread yourself too thin by chasing every opportunity that comes along, because you can’t manage the follow-up.

Look especially for former major donors who are not currently giving. They may be businesses, foundations, individuals, organizations, even government agencies.

See if you can pull them BACK into the fold. It’s certainly worth the effort!

Ruthlessly set priorities.

Look at your prospective donor pool.

  • Who are the most ready to say yes to a gift?
  • Who have the most capability to give?

Identify the critical few – those with the greatest capacity to give, and choose the most important ones to focus on.

You MUST narrow down your focus to only those critical few people, and stick to your strategy.

Set a goal to go see them and don’t let anything or anyone stop you!

Don’t forget the ladies.

Studies show that women are more charitable than men. (Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University):

  • In every income category except one (the lowest income), women gave more than men (almost twice as much)
  • Sixty-three percent of our nation’s capital is held by women.

Women often drive the gift. Be sure to include women in your prospect searches!

Be ready to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.

It takes lots of work, time and energy to get to know your donors well enough to find the princes in the crowd.

But it’s interesting work.

It can be fun.

And it can be frustrating too.

But remember what’s at stake. Those frog princes and princesses are just sitting there in the pond waiting to be identified.

And lord knows, your organization’s work needs the support.

So what are you waiting for?

Time to jump in the pond and start kissing those frogs! : )

Original post can be found here.

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Top Three Tips to Master Donor Persuasion

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Thursday, September 29, 2016

Persuasion gets a bad rap, and it’s time to change that. Think about it – what sorts of imagery come to mind when you think of somebody who possesses a persuasive quality?

Different people think of different things. For me, when somebody says persuasion I see a car salesperson doing anything they can to “get you in this car today.”

At its core, persuasion simply means getting somebody to understand where you’re coming from so well that they decide they want to believe it too. We need more of that in the nonprofit sector, especially when asking for donations.

There are various instances where you’ll need to possess a persuasive quality. Basically, persuasion happens any time you’re trying to sell somebody on your organization. For example:

  • Chatting with somebody at a fundraising event who is on the fence about your organization.
  • Explaining to random strangers when they ask you, “So, what do you do?”
  • Any time you’re working to cultivate a returning or potential donor.
  • When you’re trying to sway someone to join your board.


Those are just a few examples of where persuasion comes in handy in the nonprofit sector. Now let’s talk about how to do it. Check out these three things to remember next time you’re in a position where you need to persuade someone to love your organization just as much as you do.

1. Remember why you started.

“Fake it ‘til you make it” is a good tactic for some things in life, but this isn’t one of them. The one thing you can’t fake in this industry is your genuine love for the cause. It’s easy to tell if your heart just isn’t in something.

That’s why the first aspect to persuasion is genuine conviction. If you have an infectious love for your organization, others will see that and it’ll help ignite their sparks.

2. Remember the 3 Cs.

When in doubt, there are three Cs that you can memorize to ensure your conversation heads in the right direction.

Be Clear. Branding consistency is key. If a constituent or potential donor were to hear inconsistencies with your message, it would cause trust issues. Convey the right message in a clear manner for the best results.

Be Concise. Similar to an elevator pitch, you only have so much time to capture someone’s attention. Avoid redundancies and cut out information that isn’t pertinent to proving your point.

Be Calm. When you’re nervous, the donor will be nervous whether they admit it or not. People will either consciously or subconsciously take notice of a quivering voice or shaky hands. If subconsciously, they’ll most likely feel uneasy which will ultimately hurt your chances of successful persuasion.

How can you avoid it if you genuinely have stage fright? There are steps you can take, many of which include practicing so that the message is second nature.

3. Remember, it’s bigger than a donation.

When a business makes an elevator pitch to a potential investor, they might most likely be pitching for a major investment and then going on their merry way. Nonprofits don’t pitch for one sum of cash. Nonprofits cultivate.

If you’re trying to persuade a potential donor simply to give, you’re making a big mistake. Instead, you should be trying to persuade donors to love your organization. Sure, there’s an element of genuine love that has to be there in order to show somebody the light regarding your organization, but remember that you have the power to take that light and turn it into a sun.

Original post can be found here.

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