Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Turnover Increase?

I have been hearing for a while that once the economy gets better, people will be moving from employers where they've felt trapped, overworked, unappreciated, and underpaid.  Well, maybe the economy is improving faster than most have thought because I'm noticing an upsurge in people leaving for greener pastures.

The best, of course, are moving first.  If you're a manager who has been blaming your lousy treatment of employees on the poor economy, look out.  They're finding that there are really managers and nonprofit organizations out there that care about their employees, provide job security, reward them financially as soon as possible, and possibly most of all - fulfil their missions.  If you're a good manager or organization, don't worry - the anecdotal evidence shows that your ethical and fair treatment of your employees will be paying off.  And the faster the economy improves, the more the rewards to you and your clientele will accelerate.

Ed Thomas

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some Guidance to Managers on Fundraising

With government support of nonprofits shrinking, and likely to shrink more, the emphasis on fundraising via donations will increase.  Online giving is an important development in this area. has an article from that provides some guidance on the topic.
In addition, we managers need a way to measure how well our fundraising folks are doing - something beyond the total of funds raised.
Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog at Nonprofit Marketing has posted some information on this, and a helpful link was found there:  The Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index Study.  What efforts matter most?  How do we know if our people are keeping up with the state of the art?  How are we doing, and why?
These are all questions that are more easily answered if we have the right metrics.  I found the discussion in the Convio report quite helpful in this regard.  You have to provide some basic information to get to the Convio report, but otherwise it's free.  Hope you find it helpful too.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tax breaks

Here in the heart of US tax time I again find myself wondering why more nonprofits are not taking their businesses into the for-profit arena.  With politicians climbing over each other to give tax breaks (at least in the House) and spending being slashed, I would think more nonprofits would want to take advantage of the environment by spinning off a for-profit entity.  Much like there's nothing stopping a non-profit from making money, there's also nothing forcing a for-profit to be too greedy - as long as they don't go with an IPO and bring in outside shareholders.

Besides, with many nonprofits being required to make "payments in lieu of taxes" (a cute workaround for the word "taxes"), I would venture to say that there are for-profits competing with non-profits that pay less in taxes than non-profits.

Just sayin...

Would be great if an accountant weighed in on this.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What law applies?

OK, 83% of those who responded to our survey said demand for the services/products provided by their non-profits increased during the past year.  So if the law of supply and demand applies, prices should have gone up, right?  But 83% of our respondents said their revenue was flat or decreased.  So what economic law addresses this? (By the way, the fact both came in at 83% is a coincidence. Not everyone who reported an increase in demand reported flat or decreased revenue.).  So what economic law addresses this non-profit trait?  While the old saying about the poor getting poorer would seem to apply, it is hardly a scientifically generated economic principle.  One thing is for sure, the supposition that the wealthy will donate enough to make up for the loss of governmental support if given tax breaks during tough times is not supported by our data.

Anybody have an economic formula for this property of non-profits?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Article about teams in nonprofits published on the site today

An article describing key elements of teams and teamwork in nonprofits was published on Management in the Not-for-Profit Organization today. 

Also, a link to this blog was placed onto the site for the first time today.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Next article to be posted is about teams/teamwork

The next new article to be delivered on is about teams in the nonprofit setting.  It will appear there on Saturday March 12th.  Do nonprofit teams have an advantage over for-profit teams?  The author of that article thinks they do, but many of us have been sacrificing it in the face of more immediate needs.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Recent survey...

The survey we were conducting is now closed.  The report on the survey results is being composed.  In the meantime, here are few pieces of data:
  • The two largest groups represented in the survey were "An employee (executive leadership)" comprising 29% of the sample and "A board member (board of directors)" at 21%.
  • The Social Welfare sector was most strongly represented (42% of respondents) with Education in second place (29%).
  • 83% of all respondents reported that demand for their nonprofits' services had increased.
  • Interestingly, the same percentage (83%) of all respondents reported that their funding was flat or had decreased.
  • There was a direct relationship between respondents' perceptions of their organizations' financial health, and how good of a leader they considered their top executive to be.