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Creating a Culture of Collaboration, Nonprofits Can Learn from Pixar

Despite the recognized benefits of collaboration, being aligned internally and putting collaboration into practice is often easier said than done. Developing a collaborative culture involves behavior change and relationship building. The creative process that produced the hit movies Toy StoryFinding Nemo, and Inside Out offers lessons that can help nonprofits seeking to create collaborative relationships. Here are some of the components to building successful Pixar movies that are relevant to the nonprofit sector:

  • Establish a safe environment for exchange of ideas so that fear of failure or rejection is not an issue.
  • Don’t take the opinions of others as a personal attack. And conversely, don’t make sharing an opinion a personal attack.
  • Be willing to give up control. Collaboration participants must accept input from others and be willing to let go of practices that don’t work.
  • Don’t succumb to feelings of winning and losing. Give-and-take interaction should produce balanced solutions.
  • Be ready to listen, and prepared to hear the truth and viewpoints that challenge the status quo.
  • Know the difference between criticism and constructive criticism. One tears apart and the other builds.
  • Welcome disagreement as an opportunity to test ideas so the best concepts survive.
  • Schedule progress reports for review and frank evaluation.

For more information and to read the full article, click here.

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Last Day to Register for Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.’s Burk Donor Survey 2017

Don’t miss this opportunity! Today is the last day to register.

If you knew what your donors were thinking, you’d be making much more money.

Donors are managing their philanthropy more strategically, but fundraisers can still inspire them to stay loyal and give generously –if they take donors’ changing needs and preferences into account.  

Join the Burk Donor Survey Partner Group and find out what will unleash philanthropy at a new level in 2017. Learn from thousands of active American donors: 

  • what will inspire them to adopt new causes at a time when they appear to be consolidating their philanthropy among fewer nonprofits;
  • what is motivating the migration to Donor-Advised Funds and how can not-for-profits position themselves for substantial grants;
  • how to grow your Sustaining Gifts program
  • what to expect from donors this year as they shift giving priorities in order to address political and global concerns.

The Burk Donor Survey is made possible by the kind assistance of over one hundred nonprofits who ask their donors to complete an anonymous online survey. Partners never have to share any information about their donors, including email addresses. In return, our partners receive:

  • FREE: the full Burk Donor Survey report, containing all statistical findings and practical recommendations for raising more money immediately.
  • FREE: an exclusive interactive webinar for partners to discuss the findings directly with me.

Partner registration is open until Wednesday, February 15, 2017. For more information about our research themes for the 2017 edition of The Burk Donor Survey and how you can become a partner, please visit or contact the Director of Customer Relations, Theresa Horak, at: or tel: 905-546-5335.

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Marketing for Good: 7 Ways to Tell Empowering Stories

Need some inspiration for story telling? Read’s “Marketing for Good: 7 Ways to Tell Empowering Stories”

As nonprofit marketing and communications professionals, we tell stories that matter and strive to create positive change. We also know that high-impact stories carry much more weight when they are told from the perspective of clients or beneficiaries. Telling empowering stories helps build strong emotional appeals and can result in increased giving.  – Kailey Morin

For the full post on nonprofit storytelling tips, click here.


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The Power of Possibility: Exploring Greater Impact through Strategic Partnerships Campaign

Acknowledging the critical role that board members play in leading their organizations and guiding long-term planning and strategy, BoardSource is pleased to announce a new initiative focused on supporting boards as they explore the possibility of strategic alliances and restructuring. The Power of Possibility campaign encourages nonprofit leaders to think about going beyond organizational boundaries to do together what you may not be able to do alone, and to consider how your efforts could be accelerated and amplified by working together. Click here to learn more. 

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Deadline Extended to February 21st for Brand Grant

Causality is offering full and matching service grants to help nonprofits access branding, marketing and interactive services at no or low cost. The Causality Brand Grant is a services grant that encompasses the full range of brand marketing and creative services that we provide on a regular basis. Apply online at  The application deadline is extended to February 21, 2017.

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Nominations Open For The 34th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards

OneStar Foundation has opened nominations for the annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards. These awards honor the exemplary service of individuals, groups and organizations that have made a significant and measurable contribution to their communities through service and volunteering. Nominations are open through Friday, March 31, 2017 in the following categories:

  • Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award
  • First Lady’s Rising Star Award
  • Partners in Education Award
  • Service to Veterans Award
  • Higher Education Community Impact Award
  • Corporate Community Impact Award
  • Community Leadership Award
  • National Service “Make a Difference” Award

For more information and to submit a nomination, visit the foundation’s website.

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Dangerous W-2 Phishing Scam Evolving; Targeting Schools, Restaurants, Hospitals, Tribal Groups and Others

The IRS issued an urgent alert to all employers that the Form W-2 email phishing scam has evolved beyond the corporate world and is spreading to other sectors, including school districts, tribal organizations and nonprofits. In a related development, the W-2 scammers are coupling their efforts to steal employee W-2 information with an older scheme on wire transfers that is victimizing some organizations twice.

Here’s how the scam works: Cybercriminals use various spoofing techniques to disguise an email to make it appear as if it is from an organization executive. The email is sent to an employee in the payroll or human resources departments, requesting a list of all employees and their Forms W-2.  This scam is sometimes referred to as business email compromise (BEC) or business email spoofing (BES).

For more information on W-2 email scams, click here.

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IRS releases updated Form 990-EZ with new options to help taxpayers file a more accurate return

The IRS has released an updated Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, that will help tax-exempt organizations avoid common mistakes when filing their annual return. The updated Form 990-EZ includes 29 “help” icons describing key information to help small and mid-size exempt organizations avoid common mistakes when filling out the form and filing their return. Click here for more information.

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Be More Attentive: Take a Break form Technology

Technology is supposed to be a boon to collaboration, creativity, and productivity. Yet when we mindlessly allow it to distract or even direct us, technology does real harm.

Here are a few tips from Idealware on how to be more attentive:

  • Close all browser windows while on the phone, in a video conference, or on a webinar.
  • Check email only twice a day. To block out email’s siren call, minimize or even close the inbox window outside of designated times. There are also various plug-ins or settings that let you control when your email application fetches new messages.
  • Stand up whenever you’re on the phone.
  • Keep your cell phone in another room, not in your office.
  • Work offline for 90-minute blocks when you need to concentrate on reading or writing.
  • Take five minutes at the end of every day to reflect on how attentive you were and what you gained or lost from that.

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