Editor's Note

By Arin Black

What will you do to begin again this fall?

For me, autumn always meant starting over with big ideas and new projects. I used the change in weather and the back-to-school sensibilities to redefine priorities and goals. For those who work in this sector, fall can be a good time to take stock. Maybe that means planning a board retreat to hash out the year's plans or perhaps it's finally scheduling those meetings for that new project.

One good way to make the most of the year, is to make sure your organization approaches its governance holistically. Doing so can assist you in finding spots that might need more focus. For example, is your board operating as effectively as it could? Are your programs still fresh? Have you paid enough attention to strategic goals? What about the day-to-day? How might you grow your audience or be a better partner?


Promoting a worthy cause? Don't miss these six ideas for getting exposure for your nonprofit

By Richard Schwartz

Do you work in marketing and communications at a nonprofit organization? Are you in charge of promoting your nonprofit? Do you need new, effective ideas that will bring more attention to your worthy cause?

If you are ready to boost exposure for your work, then read on to learn six pro ideas for getting exposure for your NGO. Sometimes, all it takes is a little re-strategizing to get noticed.

Here's how:


Connection is key: How knowledge sharing helps organizations grow and prevents isolation

By Radha Seshagiri and Candy Mirrer

"Change does not happen in silos, and we don't want our nonprofit partners to spend time reinventing the wheel." Linda Baker, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, 2016

  • Does your organization send out a newsletter of key activities or good practices to share internally or externally?
  • Does your organization sometimes have speakers or lunchtime seminars?
  • Does your organization have informal or extracurricular activities for staff to have conversations?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then your organization is already participating in knowledge sharing and is on the right track for better overall outcomes.


Two free webinars help take your organization to the next level

By Blue Avocado Editor

What will you do to begin again this fall?

Of course it would be great to be one of those organizations that has tons of resources to attend conferences throughout the year and plan long, leisurely retreats to learn the latest best practices. But we live in the real world - one where we're often picking cheese puffs off the floor of our car as we drive from one obligation to the next. Using money for best practices means fewer dollars for other things (like paying the staff or paper for the printer, for example).

That's why the free webinars we're offering are so valuable. Not only can you enjoy them from the comfort of your office, but the price means you'll be able to sign up board members and key staff members as well! Back by popular demand, Your Part Time Controller will share review the FASB Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14, which marks the largest change to nonprofit accounting guidelines in over 20 years.

Second up this month will be our third in our fundraising series. Darian Rodriguez Heyman will teach you how to build a fundraising board.

Sign up for these two terrific events happening in October.


Lide Haiti: Helping women and girls help Haiti

By Laura Lane Miller

"I would like to see the girls become the leaders of their communities. This is what will bring real change to Haiti, and this will be the fulfillment of my dream." - Soeurette Rigodon, Deputy Director

Founded five years ago by actor Rainn Wilson, fiction writer Holiday Reinhorn, and executive director Dr. Kathryn Adams, The Lide Foundation provides instruction in the arts and literacy to over 550 adolescent girls at a dozen locations in rural Haiti. This mid-sized nonprofit helps high-risk girls build their confidence and develop life skills.


Branching out: Raising more dollars by understanding donors differences

By Jim Alvarez

With so many worthy non-profit causes nationwide all competing for donations, how can your organization reach and engage philanthropists?

The answer is twofold: broaden your fundraising tactics to be more inclusive of multigenerational giving while employing technology to the fullest to save on organizational time and resources.


Process, Process, Process: The evaluation model you should not ignore

By Melissa Martin

In a nonprofit's toolkit, evaluation is key for making meaningful adjustments that cultivate success.

As nonprofits, we are expected to be accountable to our boards, our staff, our funders, our partners, and most importantly, our clients or constituents. Among the many ways that we can demonstrate accountability is through evaluation of our programs, interventions, and services. But for those with limited resources, taking time out for thorough evaluation can feel like too much for too little reward. Too often, the results of evaluation can end with everyone asking, "So what?" or "Now what?"



Resources of many kinds: What is American Nonprofits and what can it do for you?

By Marc Rand

Here at Blue Avocado, we work hard to bring you the most relevant and practical information for small to medium-sized nonprofits. But we couldn't do this work without our parent organization and publisher, American Nonprofits (AN). Working together to support community nonprofits, AN has created several new and exciting initiatives.

Short-term resources for long-term gain

Let's be honest, it's tough to make ends meet. And when you're waiting for a grant to materialize, or your reimbursement check to come through, you still have to keep the lights on. To complicate this matter more, most banks and even many community development financial institutions (CDFIs) don't lend to nonprofits for small, short-term loans. The reasons vary from lack of collateral to bank regulations, and either way, most nonprofits cannot access short-term, unsecured operating capital. Lenders have not found a way to do this effectively.


Notes from the Chairman

Drew Hastings, Volunteer Chairman, American Nonprofits
Drew Hastings
Volunteer Chairman
American Nonprofits

I’m pleased to write with news of significant developments at American Nonprofits. As many of you know, our organization was established in 2012 with the broad mission to develop programs for supporting the rapidly evolving finance and capitalization needs of the nonprofit sector.

Concurrent with the...

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American Nonprofits was formed by a group of nonprofit sector leaders to serve as a platform to address issues of finance, credit, strategy and accountability. As a membership organization that welcomes both nonprofit organizations and individuals, we occupy the intersection of finance and strategy. We are a platform through which members can convene local and national discussions, initiate solutions, and collectively improve nonprofit finance.
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The work to found American Nonprofits as well as assist with the research into the credit union is possible thanks to a $100,000 grant from Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group, and an initial $25,000 grant from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation also made a $50,000 grant to forward this work.


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