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Hiring the Right Graphic Designer for the Job

By Daniella van Gennep

As a nonprofit professional, you may come across the need to hire a graphic designer. Here are a few tips to make sure you work with the right person and achieve the right product in your next design project. (more…)

Becoming a Nonprofit Risk Leader: Four Ways to Build Your Organization’s Proactive Muscle

By Wendy Seligson

The Nonprofit Quarterly’s summer 2017 issue, Nonprofit Graduation: Evolving from Risk Management to Risk Leadership offers a fresh look at risk and uncertainty, making the case that nonprofits need to be proactive in order to thrive. With thoughtful/provocative graphics of risk monsters in all shapes and sizes, the issue encourages nonprofit leaders to explore where risk monsters lurk and choose which actions to take, as well as what to avoid. The discussion examines risk, opportunity and uncertainty from many angles, including collective action, social entrepreneurship, values, operations and governance.


Do You Consider Your Communications and Marketing Costs as an Investment or an Expense?

by Janet Falk

At a certain nonprofit, new donors are asked How did you hear about us?

This is an organization that considers its Public Relations, Marketing and Communications dollars an investment and not an expense. (In this discussion, we address the mind-set of investment, not the accounting classification.)

Because it tracks the HOW question over time, the group fine tunes its activity in SEO, media outreach, Twitter and other platforms.


An Introduction to Nonprofit Audits

by Tonia Papke

The good news is that your organization is growing.  The bad news is that with gross revenue over $ 750,000, your organization is now subject to an independent audit.

Now what?


New York State’s Non-Profit Revitalization Act 2013: Four Years Later

by Sallie Mullins Thompson, CPA PLLC



Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Non-Profit Revitalization Act (NPRA) into law on December 18, 2013, with an effective date of July 1, 2014. The Act was created to:

  • Modernize New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law;
  • Provide flexibility to boards around their operational procedures;
  • Raise board member expectations in financial, operational, and governance matters;
  • Require board supervision of the annual audit; and
  • Increase monitoring in conflict of interest practices and disclosures.


Making the Most of a Leadership Transition: Building Capacity in the Interim

By Julie Micou Cerf and Roxanne Greenstein

The departure of an Executive Director or Development Director need not be traumatic for the nonprofit organization and its board, staff and donors. For many nonprofit boards, an interim executive offers an approach to building capacity during this leadership transition. The board hires a seasoned professional on an interim basis, allowing the time necessary to conduct a thorough search for the next permanent leader, instead of rushing to hire a permanent employee. Because interim executives are not candidates for any permanent positions, they are at liberty to express objective or controversial perspectives that may improve performance and build organizational capacity. Usually interim executive or development director assignments last between six months and one year.


It’s the End of the Year. What’s a Donor to Do?

(How do donors decide among all the charities?)

The Giving Season as it is known among nonprofit organizations starts on Thanksgiving and runs through December 31st of each year. Many individuals seek to share their good fortune with others, especially at this time of year. Pragmatically, many people are making last-minute giving decisions to increase their tax-deductible donations. Accordingly, it is completely predictable that mailboxes and email in-boxes are filled with more solicitations from nonprofits than at any other time of year.

It seems that every appeal makes a compelling argument for why donors should give their hard earned dollars to a worthwhile cause. But it is not possible to support them all and it can be a daunting task to select organizations that both align with personal philanthropic interests and are well managed. This is where the so-called charity watchdog organizations can provide some help.


Succession Planning for Leadership Transitions – It’s Not Just About the Executive Director

by Frank Abdale

There are many approaches to succession planning. Perhaps the most common — and potentially the most dangerous — is the ostrich approach: if we ignore it, it will never happen. It is similar to people who never write a will, because they are never going to die. We all know how well that works out.

Very often, there is some kind of emergency succession plan. This is basically an inventory of all the important file locations, passwords, contacts, contracts, policy numbers and other critical data we don’t need on a day-to-day basis, but when we do need it, we need it urgently. It includes who will step in, or up, in the case of a sudden, unplanned loss of leadership.


Forget Delegating, Try This Instead

By David Shriner-Cahn

It’s no secret that managers of non-profits want more time to devote to tasks that require a manager’s attention. They fight this fire every day, most often by delegating responsibilities to other members of their staff.

Sometimes the solution works. Sometimes it doesn’t.


Build Networking Success by Marketing Yourself Beforehand

By Janet Falk

You know the networking drill. You register for an event and then dread going to meet a roomful of industry insiders who know each other, and where you know hardly a soul. If walking into a networking event gives you pause, follow this campaign to connect with the movers and shakers of the organization and maximize your networking success. (more…)