DMI Free Tips

A—Assess your organization’s situation.  Most nonprofits do not take the time to step back and assess where they are relative to the philanthropic marketplace.  They are so busy getting things done so they loose sight of getting ‘strategic’ things done.  You can assess your own situation or you can enlist the aid of an outside consultant or firm.  Assessments can be comprehensive in scope or address a particular issue, such as how you fund raise.  Assessments begin with the board, their own self-assessment of their effectiveness as board members individually and collectively.

B—Brand your organization for what it is.  Yes, easier said than done.  A good brand resonates with your constituency.  A brand not only tells who you are but really ‘claims’ your constituency.  In other words branding is not about you (your organization) it’s about them – your constituents, those who make your programs and services possible — clients, donors, vendors and volunteers.  A good nonprofit brand has a unique position in the market place, a clear name identity and differentiates your organization from similar nonprofits.  Compare your brand to others before re-branding. Begin by researching the worldwide web.

C—Cultivate volunteer leadership all year long don’t wait until the next nominating committee meeting.  The key to meeting the mission of a nonprofit organization and especially fund raising is leadership. Period!  When asked of us why one nonprofit agency does better than a like agency across town, the difference is always the quality of their leadership. Look for individuals who already serve on nonprofit boards and have been effective in their role.  Don’t put someone on your board that is a first timer, unless you plan on sending them off for training on how to be an effective board member.  When cultivating board members look for persons who have these skills:  good communicator; strategic thinker, willingness to ask tough questions (especially about budget and stewardship issues), willing to give and ask for gifts, places ethical conduct before any other consideration. For more help check out:   http://www.ncnb.org/