Founder’s syndrome is when the founding member(s) of a for-profit or nonprofit organization maintain authoritarian power and control within the organization. Also called, founderitis, the controlling member does not feel the need to collaborate on executive decisions or any decision for that matter. Board members in a founderitis afflicted organization have no real decision-making ability or independence. They often find that if they are consulted on a decision, the founder overrules their choices.
Yesterday I led an all-day kickoff meeting for a new website at my organization which we plan to launch in early 2015. As the Project Manager, my role was to set expectations for our internal team, most who have not been through a website development process (which can be a bit ‘challenging’ at times). On the same day as our meeting, I also learned of a newly released workbook by Idealware, Do You Need a New Website, which I would recommend as required reading before you decide to embark on this journey. Also, consider these tips, which we discussed during our kickoff meeting:
Your members want to matter. They want to be respected. Many of them also joined with the intention of belonging to a community. The first impression your members have of your association will stay with them for the lifetime of their membership. For all of these reasons and more developing a strategy to whole-heartedly welcome your members can significantly improve the value you deliver to them. Great first experiences with your association put members on a path to learning, openness, collaboration and sharing. Welcoming members is another great way to provide a great first experience.
Sick of me telling you to get rid of your long printed annual reports? Well, I’ll stop when you stop Here’s what Rod Ruff, Program and Engagement Manager of Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, told us about switching from a print annual report to an online version: For the first few months of this year I had been working on re-launching our website with a new platform and design. As such, I wanted to incorporate a digital version of our annual report that aligned visually with the new website. We wanted to officially launch our website at our Annual General Meeting, which is also when we typically release our annual report. The launch of both products at the same time was seamless and allowed us to really immerse our audience in our new look and content.
Donor retention has continued to plummet every year for the past seven years. It’s really, truly an awful problem. For some unknown reason, all that hard work you put into acquiring new donors is, seemingly, being wasted. Why? I recently asked folks what ONE word they would use to sum up what is needed to transform donor loyalty. I received some interesting answers and thought I’d share them with you, along with my comments, here. First, let me remind you of my own Big Secret — the one principle I’ve found that makes the greatest difference to long-term, sustainable fundraising success:
With the evolving communications landscape delivering more messages and advertisements to your members than ever before, it’s getting harder to rise above the static to get your messages heard. That’s why Association Adviser and Naylor teamed up with members of the Association Society Alliance from 11 states to conduct our third annual benchmarking study. Aimed at providing association professionals with the best practices for member communications, the 2014 edition of our Association Communication Benchmarking Report helps to establish a point of reference for comparing your own communication strategies against an aggregate of other North American associations. It also includes recommendations and tactics that may help your association cut through the clutter so that more of your messages reach your members.
Planning to Win is an online guide for nonprofits that are looking to win support for an issue, impact policy, or get a corporation or government body to change its policies. Spitfire developed this upgraded version of its first campaign planning tool because of the many new factors affecting what it takes to design and run winning campaigns in today’s rapidly changing world. The site and toolkit was created through a partnership and support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and input from campaign experts.
Pouring ice water on your head isn't the only way to raise money with Facebook. Here are eight more ways! The Ice Bucket Challenge proved that social awareness and fundraising need one social network to succeed: Facebook. As the challenge grew, millions of people rushed to Facebook to share their videos and to challenge others to post their videos. While not one dollar was raised for ALS on Facebook, tens of millions of dollars were raised because of Facebook. I've asked my friends at CafeGive, a company that specializes in social media apps that help businesses, nonprofits and marketing agencies get more from social media, to show my readers other ways they can use Facebook to build awareness and raise money for good causes.
In an era when interactions are driven predominantly by online platforms, not by 20th century institutions, keynote speaker Jeff De Cagna said associations have to rethink their value in a way that may lead away from traditional membership models.
Calculating overhead rates and managing overhead expense are important staff roles. Board members are not required to know how do staff accounting work, but we do need to bring an informed perspective to our oversight: ...Amid the crosstalk about nonprofit overhead, board members and staff do need to understand what the conversation is really about, and how to interpret "what is overhead" for our own organizations. Here are eight key ideas to know about overhead:
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