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What Nonprofits Should Start Doing in 2014

January 10, 2014

skyThe Chronicle of Philanthropy recent published “What Nonprofits Should Start Doing in 2014: Advice from the Experts,” an article by Nicole Wallace citing various giants in nonprofit leadership who have great advice to share regarding habits we should cultivate in the coming year.

Below is a summary of four of the six suggestions shared in the piece, along with a few editorial thoughts:

  1. To improve performance, regularly review data.
    Amy Sample Ward, CEO, Nonprofit Technology Network We couldn’t agree more, but the value of regularly reviewing data surpasses performance improvement alone. It’s wonderful when development staff and program staff talk to each other frequently so that success stories and data points are on the tips of their tongues as they interact with donors and funders. Do board members have an opportunity to observe your programs too? When they are closer to the impact you are making and see data and stories in action, they can be perfect ambassadors for your organization.

  2. Concentrate on receiving a second gift instead of investing so much energy in winning new donors.
    Farra Trompeter, VP, Big Duck

    Yes! By the way, where are those Giving Challenge donors from last year? Have you infused them with love throughout the year after they chose to support your nonprofit out of nearly 300 other participating organizations last March?  Updating donors on your progress, providing social opportunities with other supporters and your staff, and sharing success stories are important ways to cultivate trust and positive relationships before you ask for more support at year-end or during the next Challenge.

  3. Experiment with crowd funding.
    Alia McKee, Principal, Sea Change Strategies
    Check! We’re ahead of the curve on this one in our community, yes? With two wildly successful Giving Challenge events under our belt in Southwest Florida, local organizations have really learned a lot about how this can work well. This year, consider a specific project or need you will spotlight in center stage for the Challenge, using the power of the crowd to make it a reality for those you serve.

  4. Consider how you will show impact.
    Theresa Pesch, President, Children’s Foundation, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
    The program section of your Giving Partner profile is all about impact—short-term successes, long-term successes, examples of success, how success is measured. Remember, if we want donors to stop obsessing about our expense allocations and start focusing on whether or not our work is making a real difference, we have to consistently place an emphasis on our impact.

What’s next? We want to know what you think nonprofits should start doing in 2014. And how about foundations? Any thoughts for what we should start this year?  We’re open for comments!

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County

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