Posts tagged "fundraising"

The Myth of Nonprofit Sustainability

The Myth of Nonprofit Sustainability
The myth of nonprofit sustainability dogs every charity in the sector. Not only must we have world-changing ideas and sound plans for how to execute them, we must know how to continue executing them indefinitely—even before we’ve started. So a 21-gun salute to this guy, who has finally said aloud what we’ve all been thinking.... Read more »

If you're as confused about social media as the Nonprofiteer . . .

you may want to investigate Social Media for Nonprofits.  SM4NP describes itself as “the premier conference series devoted to social media for social good.” They’ll be in Chicago on October 29 offering a seminar on social-media fundraising.  Details here.  The group has a scholarship fund for small nonprofits; details on that here.

Grants to nonprofits: lawyers doing good

Surprise grants to nonprofits? Nonprofit executives spend most of the time begging for money, so the Nonprofiteer will understand if they find it difficult to imagine that there’s a pool of dollars somewhere just awaiting their requests. But there is such a pool: cy pres awards, from the unclaimed proceeds of class action settlements. After... Read more »

Stupid Human Tricks: How not to recruit a nonprofit Board

The Nonprofiteer thanks a faithful reader for offering this example of how not to recruit a nonprofit Board. Faithful Reader received the following e-mail, though–as she notes–”I am not even a supporter. I may have given them money once but I have no memory of doing so.” Dear Members and Friends, Some years are better... Read more »

The Platonic Ideal Statement of Nonprofit Board Member Responsibilities

Though written originally for an arts organization, this statement of nonprofit Board member responsibilities will work for every nonprofit group.  Responsibilities of Board Members 1. Attend monthly board meetings to review operations of the company. • Board meetings are an opportunity for the Executive Director to report on the company’s current programs and plans.... Read more »

Giving Tuesday Should Come Before Thanksgiving

Giving Tuesday Should Come Before Thanksgiving
The Nonprofiteer has been ambivalent about Giving Tuesday, the phenomenon which designates today as the day for charitable giving. The press releases she’s received on the subject are overwhelmingly of the “If you buy X on Tuesday it will benefit Y” variety, and thus one more example of commerce’s highjacking charity. The Nonprofiteer isn’t all... Read more »

New York City Opera Failure: It's the Board's Fault

The Nonprofiteer has been waiting for somebody to say this: that the New York City Opera failure is, first and foremost, a failure of its Board of Directors.   Hiring a new General Manager at the eleventh hour and expecting him to somehow pull a multi-million dollar rabbit out of his hat [or ass] ranks right... Read more »

Volunteers With Special Skills, Round 2: How to Use Them

Usually when people around nonprofits talk about how important it is to recognize contributions of time, the Nonprofiteer smells a rat. “But I give my time!” is often the excuse made by nonprofit Board members for their failure to give or raise money, to which her response is, “You can’t pay the light bill with... Read more »

Nonprofit Follies: Field Museum Cassandras Ignored

Cassandra, the always-ignored prophetess of doom, shows up frequently on nonprofit Boards, and apparently took her turn recently at the Field Museum. This fine article by Heather Gillers reveals that trustees squeezed off the Board sounded the alarm about the Field’s pattern of spending without sufficient fundraising and of selling off pieces of the collection... Read more »
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    The Nonprofiteer is Kelly Kleiman, principal of NFP Consulting, which provides Board development, strategic planning and fund-raising services to charities and philanthropies. Through her consulting practice and in her guise as The Nonprofiteer, Kelly has spent the past 25-plus years helping small and mid-sized nonprofits organize themselves better and raise more money. These days she focuses especially on helping them use high-skill volunteers. Kelly is also a lawyer and freelance journalist whose reportage and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other dailies; in magazines including In These Times and Chicago Philanthropy; in the alternative press; on websites including the Huffington Post; and on the radio, including the BBC and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She and her fellow "Dueling Critic" Jonathan Abarbanel present a weekly podcast of their reviews of Chicago theater at Earlier in her career she was dean of admissions of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and Executive Director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, and practiced real estate and zoning law with the firm of Rudnick & Wolfe. Kelly holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago. She was a founding Board member of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits and also served for 5 years on the Board of the Association for Women Journalists–Chicago. She can be reached ("Dear Nonprofiteer . . .") at

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    • In reply to Richard Davis:
      I'm fully in favor of using taxes to support transfers--I don't insist that my neighbor "give what [s/he] might not ...
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    • It would certainly be a chance to remove the corruption that government cash transfers have caused over the last 70 ...
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    • In reply to Unree Polnetz:
      True; but the Nonprofiteer is increasingly concerned about class distinctions and the Jackson sentence is a perfect example of those.
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      To be fair, Andrew and Lea Fastow of Enron fame enjoyed the same deal. Once a white couple gets ...
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    • I thought the same thing. Everyday children are separated from their parents while they do prison, rehab, whatever. Often that ...
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