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nonprofit news and events

Fail Early, Fail Cheaply: 4 Steps to Vetting New Opportunities for Your Organization

Taking on too many opportunities comes in the form of mission straying, donor confusion or staff burnout. With any social enterprise there is risk, but understanding what opportunities to take on and planning strategically can help prevent failure. Making opportunity assessments can determine the viability of a potential program or endeavor.

Social Impact Architects has a four-step process for assessing an opportunity:

  • Select Opportunity
  • Establish decision criteria
  • Assess internal capabilities
  • Analyze and rate criteria

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

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Building High Performing Boards

Cooper Foundation and Waco Foundation are hosting a
Board Governance training on April 28, 2017.

This training is intended for new board members, current board members, or community members who are considering joining a nonprofit governance board and will include the following:
·      Legal Duties & Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Board Members
·      Questions to Ask Before You Join a Nonprofit Board
·      How to Build a Competent Board
·      How to Be a Great Board Member
Doors will open at 8:15am for a light breakfast and networking.  The program will begin at 8:30am.
For more details, please read the flyer for this event.

This training complements the board governance training (offered by the Waco Foundation) with Chuck Loring, which will be offered on November 2, 2017.

Seating is limited, so register soon if you would like to attend! Click here to register.

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National Council of Nonprofits Launches Coalition Campaign to Oppose Repeal of Johnson Amendment

The Johnson Amendment, which established the principle of nonpartisanship for charitable nonprofits, may soon face repeal. the National Council of Nonprofits launched a campaign to get nonprofits to sign a Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship to be sent to senators and Congressional representatives.

The statement from NCN reads, “Charitable nonprofits, private foundations, religious groups, and their vast numbers of supporters can send a clear signal to Congress and the Administration that partisan politics has no place in the 501(c)(3) community. […] Join others from across the country to show that we intend to resist any and all efforts to weaken or repeal this longstanding protection in federal tax law that keeps 501(c)(3) organizations away from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates.”

To read the full article on Nonprofit Quarterly, click here.

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Building and Maintaining an Enthusiastic Board Webinar

BoardSource is offering a webinar on February 28, 2017 from 2:00 pm to 3:oo pm about applying rules of sustainability to the topic of board development. This webinar guides participants through a process that focuses on the different steps needed to build an effective board that is sustainable over the long term. Understanding these steps can help boards avoid the common ups and downs of building and maintaining and enthusiastic board. The webinar is free for BoardSource memebers and $75 for nonmembers. For more information and to register for this webinar, click here.

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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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