The need to maintain a well-respected brand is an accepted truth in the nonprofit sector, but a huge gulf exists between saying and doing. During the 2014 Cause Marketing Forum, Erica Chan, Thomas Goerner and Dominik Prinz of Interbrand said that establishing a standout brand faces strong challenges. Those challenges are:
“Telling grantmakers that your organization provides comprehensive and effective services won’t leave much of an impression. Vague, self-aggrandizing statements consume space without delivering value,” said Barbara Floersch, executive director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
Developing a competitive federal grant proposal is not simple. Typical corporate and foundation requests range from two to ten pages and provide a birds-eye view of the program. By contrast, federal proposals range from 25 to 100 pages or more, and require meticulous descriptions of the program’s research base, plans, and management structure.
No two insurance policies are created alike. Competing offerings might purport to cover the same risks but, as the adage goes, “the devil’s in the details” — that is, in the fine print of each contract’s declarations, insuring agreement, conditions, and exclusions.
If a board meeting is concluded without any of the members throwing chairs at one another, the night is often seen as a success. That’s one way of looking at board meetings, but many people in the nonprofit sector think that boards should aspire to more. Much of the responsibility rests with the chair, and that goes beyond riding herd around the meeting table.
Nonprofits traditionally rely heavily on volunteers. But, recent court cases involving interns and paid and unpaid positions in a variety of settings make the use of non-employee help a tricky one.
As Tom Mix and the cowpokes knew, a good brand means more than the burn on the cowhide.
Volunteer board members are not required to be involved in fundraising but it sure can help. In fact, Gayle Gifford, ACFRE, president of Providence, R.I-.based fundraising firm Cause & Effect, wrote in “The Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofits,” a fundraisers’ checklist for working with board members:
Grant proposal writing requires thoughtfulness and precision. “Your grant proposal is a reflection not only of your organization’s ideas, approaches, and effectiveness, but also of its professionalism,” said Holly Thompson, contributing editor for The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
Although Twitter is by now an established form of communication, in many ways it is still undergoing a period of trial and error. Many people tweet, but often they are still stumbling about in their efforts to get the best results from their tweetings.