1/22/2018 0 Comments
This piece originally appeared on The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Good ideas come from people of all backgrounds, but the evidence suggests that the distribution of money to help nonprofits and social enterprises get going is very narrow.
Male-led social organizations raise twice as much as female-led groups in the crucial early growth stage, and the same is true for nonprofits led by white founders versus people of color. This is despite the fact that it is often people of color who have experienced the hardships that the organizations they’ve founded seek to address — and are arguably in a better position than others to tackle those problems.
These funding biases are reinforcing the very inequality that philanthropy is seeking to eliminate, and they are leaving a great deal of potential on the table. Organizations that don’t receive adequate startup money are much less likely to get off the ground.
A brief look at the makeup of foundations may explain the problem of bias.
Three-quarters of foundations’ full-time staffs are white. About 85 percent of foundation board members are white, according to a Council on Foundations study, while just 7 percent are African-American and 4 percent are Hispanic. This puts leaders of color at a strong disadvantage when powerful forces lead donors to naturally gravitate toward (and fund) people who are similar to them.
Funding is also skewed toward “sexier” nonprofits that describe themselves as in the business of “social entrepreneurship,” with leaders who are disproportionately Ivy League graduates who’ve learned to talk in trendy language about their “innovative,” “metrics-driven” work. These subtle language disparities present a bias against community-based leaders, often people of color, who may frame their work in terms of “activism” or “social justice.”
As Raj Jayadev, co-founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug — a community-organizing, advocacy, and multimedia storytelling nonprofit based in San Jose, Calif., — says, he didn’t even know what social entrepreneurship was when he started the organization in 2001. His funding mostly came from the community and a handful of foundations until he won the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship. By framing his work in terms of an “innovation approach,” all of the sudden the organization had access to a whole new network of funders, even though very little had changed about their approach to the work.
Ivy League degrees not only give an advantage to people who package their pitches in certain terms, it also gives them access to networks of grant makers. That puts people without those credentials and networks at a double disadvantage in a system in which foundations require a personal connection or a special introduction to get a preliminary meeting.
These significant barriers can also feed on internal insecurities for those who may lack fundraising expertise and have discomfort about networking.
For example, Gemma Bulos, who founded the Global Women’s Water Initiative to train women in East Africa to provide clean water for their communities, told me that when she got started, as the daughter of immigrants, she often didn’t feel comfortable in rooms with wealthy, mostly white donors and instead focused on chasing $5,000 donations, which took much too much of her time and didn’t yield the funds she needed.
As a result, it took her much longer to gain confidence in her fundraising, and thus despite clear evidence of impact on the communities she was serving, it was years until she got the capital she needed to grow.
Fortunately, several foundations have pioneered ways of leveling the funding playing field. These include:
Diversifying the pool of advisers recommending worthy organizations. The Rosenberg Foundation focuses on funding emerging leaders of color through its Leading Edge Fund, and it solicits nominations by a highly diverse group of people, most of whom work at organizations that serve people of color. By tapping into dozens of community-based leaders and explicitly seeking to support young people of color, it has been able to identify and fund nonprofits that are not getting noticed by more traditional foundations.
Building the pipeline of leaders. We will not see a diverse corps of nonprofit leaders unless foundations take deliberate steps to cultivate the next generation of nonprofit leaders of color with mentoring, leadership training, and funding. Tipping Point Community, a grant maker that fights poverty in San Francisco, recently created an Emerging Leaders Fellowship, which is a nine-month program to support the training of emerging nonprofit leaders of color.
Rosenberg’s Leading Edge Fellowship also builds up new leaders of color who are tackling inequality in low-income communities by giving these executives an unrestricted grant of $225,000 over three years to support their work. More programs like this should exist.
Accept more meetings with women and people of color. Foundations can increase their potential to fund great ideas from leaders of color if they take the time to meet with them. Shannon Farley, co-founder of Fast Forward, an accelerator for tech nonprofits, suggested setting aside a certain amount of time every week to sit down with people you don’t hear about through your typical networks.
Take steps to avoid implicit bias. Subconsciously held stereotypes often taint decision making. Echoing Green, the largest provider of startup money to social entrepreneurs globally, counters this by conducting “blind” readings of the first round of its application process, with name, gender, education, and other markers concealed from the reviewers. It also provides training on how to avoid implicit bias to the people involved in the judging portion of its business-plan competition.
Provide applicants with expertise. Echoing Green also pairs applicants with past fellows to prepare them for the final round of selection. This allows candidates without strong networks to gain confidence and presentation skills.
Finance management training. Grant makers have many ways to build the capacity of organizations led by women and people of color. Accelerators are one. Camelback Ventures, New Profit, and Fast Forward all offer intensive boot-camp-style programs that not only provide skills training to entrepreneurs who are women or people of color but also open up access to funding networks. Foundations can also offer capacity-building internally. Emerson Collective, a social-enterprise founded by Laurene Powell Jobs to help remove barriers to opportunity and strengthen social-justice groups, builds leadership and management skills at the nonprofits it supports by offering fundraising and governance training in addition to hiring leadership coaches for many of its grantees.
The onus is on philanthropic leaders to do a better job of combating bias among grant makers and wealthy donors. The clock is ticking on pressing social problems like climate change and widespread poverty, and we need to be better at tapping the talents of leaders from all backgrounds to more effectively tackle these challenges.
1/9/2018 0 Comments
This piece originally appeared on Bright Magazine.
Nonprofit leaders everywhere struggle daily to search for the money they need to sustain their organizations, which are solving massive social problems like climate change and global poverty. In fact, an overwhelming 81% of nonprofit leaders identify access to capital as their most pressing problem. What most nonprofit leaders don’t realize is that fundraising doesn’t have to be a one-man-show. The most successful leaders get others raising money on their behalf, tapping into a broader audience and increasing organizations’ pie of donations.
Take the case of John Wood, the founder of Room to Read – an organization that supports literacy and girls education globally, who developed a model where other people would actually become actively involved in fundraising for the organization. Wood’s success in breaking the mold of nonprofit fundraising is perhaps attributable to his roots in the corporate world, as a former executive at Microsoft. When he first described his idea, many people told him his model would never work, that it wasn’t sustainable to try to raise money from individuals for libraries. He insisted that he was selling something donors wanted, and that if he packaged it in the right way, to create a one-to-one connection between the donors and the individuals they were supporting, they would eagerly respond.
According to Room to Read’s cofounder Erin Ganju, that packaging was really important to the organization’s success with individuals. “We started a model where you could support a school, you could support a library, you could support a local-language book being published in Nepal or Vietnam, and you knew exactly where that $5,000 or $10,000 check was going, and even got a couple of reports back throughout the year with photos of the school library being set up in that school or children reading those books.” This approach made donors feel strongly connected to the mission and the results.
Room to Read’s supporters felt so connected, in fact, that they wanted to do more. The organization started setting up chapters across the country and around the world to engage their supporters in raising even more money for the organization. These volunteer fundraisers commit to participating in geographic chapters based in cities around the world. Each chapter has a couple of leaders that go to San Francisco every year, at their own expense, for a leadership conference where Room to Read helps them develop their annual plan for their individual market. For example, they decide how many events they want to do, who their target audience is and how much money they plan to raise from them.
In addition, Room to Read uses the gathering as an opportunity to energize these champions, much like a corporate annual sales conference, sharing motivating stories about the organization’s impact they can take back to their chapters, and revealing the organization’s key objectives for the year. The chapter model has been so successful for Room to Read that they now have chapters in over sixteen countries in over forty cities, which in close collaboration with their staff help raise about 25 percent of the organization’s $50 million annual budget.
This sounds amazing, you might be thinking, but how do you sort through the noise in everyone’s lives to get others to help you with your fundraising? Here are a few tips on how you can develop a “champions program” to help others help you raise money:
Kathleen Kelly Janus is a social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at the Stanford Program on Social Entrepreneurship. Her new book, Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference, shares all this and more.
12/21/2017 0 Comments
This piece originally appeared on AshokaU.
Tell me, what grabs your attention more: a list of statistics spelling out the down and dirty facts, or a story – a narrative that really draws you in with a common mission? Recent research suggests you’d choose the latter, proving that our brains are far more engaged by storytelling than the cold, hard facts. This is true for nonprofits, just as much as it’s true for any university campus changemaker initiative.
We are now in a new age of marketing. Stories powerfully connect us to our listeners. It gives your audience a chance to feel like they’re one with an authentic cause and person – the human behind the brand. Great leaders recognize that human connection comes far before concepts and strategies, because after all, what’s a strategy without a story to drive it?
Changemaker initiatives on campus compete for student attention with so many other campus departments and programs. Embracing the wisdom of a good story is one way to break through the noise, all while tapping into digital platforms to spread that story near and far. From Facebook Livestream to harnessing the immersive storytelling power of virtual reality, there have never been more ways to engage and inspire your audience, and that all starts with crafting a compelling narrative.
While it may seem that some people are just born storytellers – take Tom’s Shoes founder Blake Mycoski or Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp – what I’ve found from interviewing countless organization leaders is that it’s more the product of a whole lot of preparation and practice than that of innate talent. As we head into a new semester and a new year, use these tips to create your own narrative for your changemaker initiative.
Get to Know Your Audience
Whether you’re preparing a presentation or designing an event, you must know your audience. I suggest sitting down with your team to create your target audience’s persona, so that you can ensure you’re speaking to them directly. Ask yourself these questions:
Connect the Story to a Popular Narrative
One of the most powerful ways to create a sense of urgency is by connecting your message to a current issue in the news, or crafting a “news hook.” Constantly be alert to what’s happening in the news, and be ready to pounce on as soon as it hits. This gives you the chance to author an opinion piece that links back to your changemaker initiative, or use relevant happenings during a presentation. Use the stories to help promote your message, and remember, the more topical you can make a presentation, facebook post, or background story, the more convincing your call to action will be.
How to Craft Your Story
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to jump in to craft your own narrative. As you get started, ask yourself these questions:
Kathleen Kelly Janus is a social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at the Stanford Program on Social Entrepreneurship. Her new book, Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference, shares all this and more. Whether you’re ready to launch a new centre on campus, a new nonprofit, or teach students how to do so, you’ll find all the tools and tricks you need to make a difference.
This piece originally appeared on Stanford PACS
Innovation in social entrepreneurship is critical to solving the world’s most pressing social problems, such as rising inequality and persistent poverty. The good news is that in recent years, the sector has seen an explosion of innovation, with rigorous methods like human-centered design leading to more testing of pilot projects, the development of solutions that are more responsive to the needs of beneficiaries, and the implementation of better methods of measuring actual impact. Yet as Johanna Mair and Christian Seelos point out in a comprehensive review of non-profit innovation practices, many mistakes are being made. Too many organizations are devoting too much of their scarce time and money to flawed ideas, aren’t abandoning approaches quickly enough that fail to produce results, or, on the flip side, aren’t allowing enough time to test for results and then modify programs to improve them.
Philanthropists can play a critical role in fostering more effective innovation. But many donors are reluctant to play an active part in funding innovation, in part because they consider themselves ill-equipped to evaluate the risks involved and whether they are worth taking. They also aren’t confident that they can identify which organizations are best prepared to manage the process successfully. Additionally, many funders categorize innovation as an overhead expense rather than a program expense, and their policy is not to fund overhead. As a result, donors often default to funding programs that have already proven their impact, leaving minimal financial support for critical research and development.
So how can philanthropists do more to support innovation? Here are some key lessons I have uncovered in my conversations with leading experts in the field:
This piece originally appeared on SSIR.
Great ideas for social impact are dying on the vine because organizations lack the tools they need to grow. With the right strategies in place, any nonprofit can lay the foundation for success.
I have had a front-row view of the boom under way in social entrepreneurship. As a social entrepreneur myself and a lecturer in the Program on Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University, I have watched the launch of so many exciting innovations for good. And yet, while for many nonprofits this has been an invigorating and transformative time, so many other nonprofits, have struggled on the sidelines. Despite doing important work, many operate in constant survival mode, scrambling for the money to make payroll every month. In 2014, almost two-thirds of reporting public charities in the United .States. had an annual budget of less than $500,000.
For the past five years, I have been traveling around the country, visiting the founders, leadership teams, and funders of dozens of what I call breakthrough social startups. I’ve interviewed over a hundred social entrepreneurs, academics, and philanthropists, both newcomers and veterans in the field, including the leaders of Teach for America, City Year, DonorsChoose, and charity: water, and started our conversations with a simple question: “What is the key to nonprofit success?” Social Startup Success highlights the findings of my study in the form of a playbook for any organization that wants to grow increase its impact.
In these uncertain times, when so many social problems are not only persisting, but in many cases, worsening, we need every bit of creativity and determination to find better solutions. My hope is that the stories you read in this book and the tools it recommends will help you to make your own organization, or those you are supporting, thrive. We need to spend less energy keeping organizations alive, so that we can devote more energy to spreading positive impact. This book is a guide for how to achieve do that.
Attracting funding is by far the biggest barrier to scale. In fact, 81 percent of the social entrepreneurs I surveyed identified access to capital as their most pressing problem. Nonprofits at all levels struggle to get noticed by new funders. What separates the best organizations is a culture of testing a variety of funding streams to figure out what works. By purposefully experimenting with revenue, they discover a funding model both authentic to their mission and effective at raising money.
Earned income such as selling products or services is fertile ground for experimentation. My survey revealed that successfully developing an earned-income strategy was one of the ways organizations broke through the $2 million annual revenue barrier. The responses showed that while organizations typically start out with mostly philanthropic support, with just 8 percent of their budget coming from earned income, as they grow past $2 million in revenue, they are more likely to report that a higher percentage of their budget is covered by earnings; on average about 30 percent. These findings indicate that testing earned-income strategies should be a key ingredient of efforts to scale. But my research into how nonprofits generated earned income also highlighted that the process is fraught with challenges, and is more viable in some subsectors, such as education and health care, than others.
The vast majority of organizations under $3 million in annual revenue will rely on a combination of funding sources to come up with a model that fits their unique mission and values. In one of the most widely read Stanford Social Innovation Review articles, titled “Ten Nonprofit Funding Models,” William Foster and his Bridgespan colleagues reveal that of the 144 nonprofit organizations created since 1970 that have grown to $50 million a year or more in size, each grew by more narrowly pursuing sources of funding, typically concentrating on one particular source: what they call the “natural match.” For example, the Sierra Club relies on membership fees.
A key point to highlight, however, is that their research also shows that organizations typically do not begin to transition to dominant funding sources until around $3 million in annual revenue. This underscores the point that while organizations that want to scale substantially should be driving toward finding one or two primary sources of reliable ongoing revenue, they should get there by testing a good diversity of approaches as they’re growing.
Many of the organizational leaders I interviewed remember the great recession of 2008 like it was yesterday. Virtually overnight, foundations that had promised multiyear grants reneged on their funding because their endowments had tanked along with the Dow Jones. Earned income was critical to many of them in order to stay afloat. Beyond providing a financial cushion, earned income helps bridge the gap lying before so many organizations: the funding they’re able to raise versus the amount they need in order to invest adequately in growth. Another benefit is that demonstrating your capacity to generate reliable income appeals to funders, many of whom have come to see earned revenue as a vital part of the “path to sustainability.” But before an organization begins playing with potential earned-income streams, it must establish the right expectations.
Take the case of successful Hot Bread Kitchen, a training facility for low-income women who want careers in the food industry, founded by Jessamyn Rodriguez. She smartly played to her strengths in conceiving the organization, after having worked for a decade in international development before she came up with the concept. A passionate foodie, she landed an internship in renowned chef Daniel Boulud’s kitchen. That happened by serendipity. She was interviewing for a job at a microfinance organization called Women’s World Banking, when a friend misheard her as saying Women’s World Baking. The idea of an international women’s baking collective struck her, and it is now located in the heart of Harlem in La Marqueta, a historic produce market dating back to 1936, which had fallen into decline until the organization redeveloped it. The space is divided into three separate areas of operation: a kitchen that hosts a six-month job-training program for low-income women, an area where they bake bread products for sale and an incubator where small-business owners in the food industry can rent space to make products they sell throughout the city, from grocery stores to markets.
Rodriguez told me the key reason the business has been successful is that they don’t sacrifice quality despite the fact they are mission driven, and after tasting their multigrain pepita bread I can attest to that. In fact, the organization sells its bread to a number of major retail outlets, such as Whole Foods and JetBlue, as well as some of the top restaurants in New York City. But even with a top-quality product and a strong personal network for building the market, she initially overestimated the extent to which profits from bread sales would support the organization. While at first she envisioned a model where her bread sales and cafe operations would cover close to 100 percent of her operating expenses, she realized quickly that goal would be hard to accomplish. She had underestimated the costs of the training, and overestimated the profit margins on selling bread. She was forced to reset her expectations, and had to go back to her donors with a new model that would continue to rely on philanthropic donations to support 35 percent of the program budget. Rodriguez told me that “in talking with our donors, I realized that people were attached to our strong outcomes and that was most important, not being 100 percent sustainable. Over time, my understanding of the economics of the business have changed a lot,” she told me, “and I realized that there is actually a huge benefit that comes from philanthropic funding that allows us to do more for the women we serve, such as providing child care during the classes.”
Foundations and donors, and organizational leaders themselves, must not put organizations under unrealistic pressure to fund more and more of their operations by selling products and services. Recall that in my survey, most of the organizations that had scaled to over $2 million in annual revenue reported that earned income accounted for 30 percent, which therefore is a reasonable target for many organizations to shoot for during the initial phase of growth. The bottom line: plan on grants and donations to almost entirely sustain your efforts for at least the first couple of years, as you experiment with building your revenue stream.
If you decide you want to experiment with earned income, you should undertake a rigorous strategic analysis and a pilot program. Here is a five-step process for developing a viable earned-income strategy I highly recommend:
Step 1. Reaffirm your organization’s mission. Earned-income strategies work best for nonprofits when they are highly aligned with their mission. To assure that ideas are serving the mission well, you should perform an assessment of how clear your mission is by asking five or so people (a mix of staff and other stakeholders such as a board member and a funder) to describe the mission, without referring to your website or materials describing it. You could do this with a simple email request or perhaps by calling them. The responses will tell you whether or not you should spend some time aligning everyone on the objectives of the organization. Going through a theory of change is another way to ensure you have clearly articulated your organization’s goals.
Step 2. Brainstorm your options. Bring together your full team (staff, board and even external stakeholders) to brainstorm a variety of potential sources of income, and whittle them down to just a few to evaluate further. Think about the various categories of revenue. Can you charge your beneficiaries for services you already provide? Is there an invested third party such as a company or a government entity that might be willing to pay for those services? Does it make sense to launch a new business venture? What other types of revenue relationships can you form in your network?
Step 3. Assess total mission impact. Evaluate whether the proposed activities are likely to enhance or detract from the pursuit of your goals, and assess the potential net financial gain (or loss) of each idea.
Step 4. Evaluate feasibility. Analyze the internal capacity of your organization to conduct the required activities, considering whether you have the human resources and necessary experience, the financial stability and the appetite for the risk involved, as well as the likely demand for your products or services. Then assess likely funder support, which might involve making some calls to trusted funder advisors.
Step 5. Develop an action plan. Develop a design for a pilot program, following the steps for testing outlined in human-centered design. Solicit feedback about the design from professionals with experience in nonprofit earned-income programs as part of your testing process, perhaps by working with a paid or pro bono consultant, and also be sure to seek the advice of an attorney to assure you fully understand the tax implications.
12/19/2017 0 Comments
This piece originally appeared on Linkedin.
As we near the end of the giving season, are you overwhelmed by the number of nonprofits doing amazing work out there? Not sure which ones are having the most impact or which ones to support? After having the pleasure of interviewing over one hundred phenomenal nonprofits for my forthcoming book, Social Startup Success, I can relate to the fact that these decisions are not easy.
To help you sort through the noise, I’ve compiled a list of some of my own personal favorites, whose stories I feature in the book, and which you might consider supporting through your end of year giving in 2017:
No matter who you choose to support, remember that we all have the capacity to make an impact in this world, no matter how big or small. Nonprofit leaders everywhere rely on your donations to do their important work to alleviate suffering in this world, so thank YOU for fueling the fire of generosity to support them!
This piece originally appeared on SF Chronicle
In a time that can feel so politically divisive, where we are often cast as red or blue, urban or rural, have or have not, it can feel like there’s more that divides us in this country than unites us. But in the aftermath of the most devastating fires in California’s history, having seen the awe-inspiring outpouring of support for people who are complete strangers, I am reignited with hope that our humanity burns stronger than any disaster or political affiliation.
The night of Oct. 8, like so many others, I awoke in my home in San Francisco to an overwhelming stench of smoke, convinced that our house was on fire. After going room to room to check on each of my children, I noticed that my phone was lighting up with texts from my family. I soon learned that the fire was actually more than 50 miles away in my childhood neighborhood in Napa, which had burned to the ground just minutes earlier.
In the week that followed, with the fires burning out of control, I was consumed with stories of my family and close friends, as well as the stories of so many people I did not know: the man who held his elderly wife in a swimming pool while she died, a nurse who evacuated patients from the Santa Rosa Hospital while her own home burned to the ground just a mile away, countless hourly wage workers whose jobs were put on hold for weeks, and immigrants who lost their legal papers in the fires.
The need was overwhelming, but so was the call to do something about it.
I’ve spent my entire career raising money for those who are most vulnerable; it’s not easy. But when the Wine Country fires occurred, people didn’t hesitate. I didn’t have to send out multiple emails, remind people or give a second plea for help. Everyone said yes, and many took it upon themselves to ask others to join the effort.
The flood of support from communities around the Bay Area and around the country has been remarkable. The Petaluma Mothers’ Club put out a call on Facebook that it was raising funds for $25 gift cards to distribute at local shelters, and money poured in from mothers around the country. The group has raised nearly $40,000 for families that lost everything.
San Francisco chefs from top restaurants and food purveyors like Delfina, Jardiniere, Liholiho Yacht Club, State Bird Provisions and Bi-Rite Market rallied together to provide 35,500 fresh and delicious meals in the North Bay in less than two weeks, also raising more than $50,000 for relief efforts.
Tipping Point Community, an organization that fights poverty in the region, held a benefit concert in partnership with big tech companies like Salesforce and Twilio that raised $17 million to support organizations that are serving low-income communities hardest hit by the fires.
But it wasn’t just the fundraising that inspired people to give, it was the unrivaled heroism and outpouring of compassion across the community.
On the Move, a North Bay nonprofit that helps support vulnerable young people, many of whom have been through the foster care system, worked tirelessly to locate all 800 program participants within 24 hours. A man used his own bulldozer to build fire lanes to save his neighborhood. A woman donated tools to help an ironworker who’d lost everything get back to work.
What these tragic fires have taught me is that in moments of disaster, we don’t see the lines that divide us. We see the humanity that brings us together.
Fire doesn’t discriminate between rich or poor, left or right, black or white. And just as inspiring as the universal need of those impacted by these fires were the unconditional acts of kindness and courage offered by so many people from every profession, faith and persuasion.
As the cleanup from the Wine Country fires continues and the Southern California fires burn, Gov. Jerry Brown has urged us to accept wildfire as the “new normal” in California.
What if we chose generosity as the “new normal” instead?
What if we could surrender our dividing lines and come together to begin putting out the fires of homelessness, hunger and injustice we witness on a daily basis in the Bay Area and across this country?
The problems that lie before us require all hands on deck. If we can fuel the fire of generosity — that’s something I’m committed to fighting for.
Kathleen Kelly Janus is a social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford University. She is the author of “Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference” (Da Capo Press, 2018). To comment, submit your letter to the editor at SFChronicle.com/letters.
This piece originally appeared on GoodReads.
In these uncertain times, when so many social problems are not only persisting, but in many cases, worsening, we need every bit of creativity and determination to find better solutions. The good news is that we can all play a part to make the world a better place. These books both inspire us as well as provide practical tools that we can all use to give back to our local and global community.
1. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, by Adam Braun
In this gripping story, Braun recounts how one interaction on a study abroad trip completely transformed his life. This book is an inspiring guide for how to transform serendipity into action.
2. The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity, by Nadine Burke Harris
A remarkable account of Dr. Burke Harris’s journey to find a cure for toxic stress in children, and a compelling case for how we can all be advocates for the rights of children.
3. I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education And Was Shot By The Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai
A extraordinary story about a girl who took a stand for what was right, and inspired a generation of women and girls globally by her actions.
4. The Life You Can Save, By Peter Singer
Peter Singer reminds us that eradicating world poverty is within our reach, and makes a strong case for why we should all be doing more for those who are suffering most in our world.
5. Giving 2.0, by Laura Arrillaga Andreessen
By showing us the full gamut of the ways that we can give back with lively stories and practical advice, Laura Arrillaga Andreessen reminds us that giving starts with all of us, right now.
About the Author
Kathleen Kelly Janus is a social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford University. She is the co-founder of Spark, the largest network of millennial donors in the world. Based in the heart of the Silicon Valley, her forthcoming book, Social Startup Success, features best practices for early stage nonprofit organizations based on a five-year research project interviewing hundreds of top-performing social entrepreneurs.
This piece originally appeared on LinkedIn.
Feeling bogged down by holiday stress? I’ve got the perfect solution for you: walking meetings. When I recently reached out to Beth Kanter, the guru of social change in the digital age, she immediately wrote back and suggested we meet at “The Dish” – a radio telescope in the Stanford Hills where soccer moms, academics, and marathon runners alike meet to walk rolling hills with stunning views of the Silicon Valley. As it turns out, walking meetings are Beth Kanter’s thing, and they are my thing now, too.
Kanter’s latest book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit, with co-author Aliza Sherman, reveals a wealth of strategies just like the walking meeting, all for making an impact while avoiding burnout – a notorious feat for passion-driven nonprofit leaders. In their book, Kanter and Sherman describe how scarce funding in the nonprofit sector has led to a culture where nonprofit leaders work themselves into the ground for the causes that they care about so deeply. According to The Foundation Center, only 0.03 percent of the sector’s $1.5 trillion in annual spending goes to leadership development, leaving hardly any emphasis on self-care!
The Healthy Happy Nonprofit is a lively, practical, feel-good guide, the perfect antidote to the burnout problem. As a working mom of three, I admit to often burning both ends of the candle to get everything done, so I’m always looking for ways to take better care of myself. On a recent getaway, I devoured the book in a single sitting, and I’m confident that anyone who reads this book will come away with several nuggets for how to improve their quality of life, and make a better leader for their team. After soaking up so many great ideas from The Healthy Happy Nonprofit, here are some of the ways I’ll be practicing better self-care, starting now:
This piece originally appeared on LinkedIn.
Mark your calendars: November 28 is #GivingTuesday, a nationwide online campaign the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, when nonprofits solicit donations to kick off the holiday charitable giving season. Many nonprofits are wondering how they can get their boards of directors off the sidelines and involved in the fundraising process.
The best organizations know how to get their boards to raise money for them. This is an important morale booster for leaders, who feel more supported by their boards, as well as a major source of financial support for their organizations. But data shows that getting boards involved in fundraising is hard. In my survey of over 250 nonprofit social entrepreneurs around the country, only 15 percent reported their boards were involved in fundraising, with 66 percent saying they wished their board would help more on fundraising. This is a huge disconnect.
The #GivingTuesday campaign is a great way to kickstart your board’s participation in fundraising by giving them some easy and tangible ways to support your efforts. Here are five ideas for how to get your board to step up on #GivingTuesday:
1.Set a #GivingTuesday goal with your board. If you want your board to help raise money on #GivingTuesday, you have to be clear about your expectations. Engaging your board in the goal-setting process gets their buy-in early and sets realistic expectations about what you expect from each board member. The goal may be monetary, it could new donors, or it could simply be 100% board participation. What’s key is that your goal is specific and in writing.
2.Ask your board to match #GivingTuesday gifts for new donors. One easy way to get your board members involved is to ask them to match any new donations that come in on #GivingTuesday. This not only incentivizes new donors to support to your cause, it also increases the amount you raise, a win-win. Create buzz about the matching gift by announcing it a week before the campaign and get your board members involved in spreading the word.
3.Give board members fundraising tools. Even if board members know what the expectation is, they may not have the tools they need to meet that goal. It’s important to support your board throughout the #GivingTuesday campaign, such as by providing sample tweets, a template email ask that they can personalize and send to their networks, as well as some prompts for in-person conversations.
4.Get creative on social media. Think about ways that you can make things fun to get the most out of the campaign. For example, have each of your board members share a photo of themselves with a placard saying “I give because…” with the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Or have them make a quick video on their phones about why they got involved with your cause. These can be tools not only for your board members to share with their own online communities, but as an organization it can also be a great way to show your audience that your board is supportive.
5.Keep a Progress Meter. It’s important that you keep tabs on your board members leading up to #GivingTuesday as well as on the day of so that you can make sure they are on track to meet their goal. Creating a Thunderclap or a Fundly campaign is an easy way to allow everyone to track progress online, or you can just update them manually by email. You can even spice things up by creating a little competition amongst board members to see who is ahead, and call out big wins such as major gifts that come in throughout the campaign.
Helping your board to participate in #GivingTuesday isn’t just about increasing board participation in your holiday fundraising efforts, although that is an important byproduct. It’s about providing a vehicle that will help engage the board in an easy way, which will fuel a culture of fundraising on the board to support the organization for years to come. So make sure that your board doesn’t sit on the sidelines on November 28th. Help them help you reach your #GivingTuesday goals!