CharityChannel - Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

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Learnfrom your peers

CharityChannel is first and foremost a professional community. We invite you to browse or search the trove of articles and books written by your in-the-trenches peers who call CharityChannel their professional home.

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The mark of a true nonprofit-sector professional is a commitment to giving back by helping others learn from your hard-earned expertise and experience. You can do that by contributing original articles or writing a book.

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Develop Your Case to Inform and Shape all Your Fundraising Activities

By Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE

Sometimes development professionals only think about the importance of having a case for support when they are preparing to launch a capital campaign. However, you need a case for support for all your fundraising activities. The reason for having the case in place before creating any materials—brochure, website, grant proposals, speeches, PowerPoints, DVDs, and more—is…

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HALT – So Your Board Members Can be Their Best Selves

By Amy Wishnick

During his freshman orientation, my younger son was introduced to HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired – a stress management technique. For entering college students, it was supposed to help them increase self-awareness and understand what was going on with themselves and how this affected their interactions with roommates and others. It was geared to help them from becoming less pleasant versions of their normal selves. HALT resonates with me. Especially regarding nonprofit boards and board meetings.

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Orienting New Nonprofit Board Members – Don’t Make it Sink or Swim

By Amy Wishnick

Does your nonprofit bring on new board members annually as a class, rather than randomly throughout the year? If they start out together, I commend you for choosing this wise approach. If not, I hope you will consider making a change after reading this.

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Valuation of Gifts in Kind: Other Considerations - Part 3

By Darin Martin

There are many variables to consider when assessing the fair market value of a donated item. As with so many things in life, a task that should be simple and straightforward too often is not. Two of the most commonly misunderstood variables in assessing fair market value are donor restrictions and international customs values.

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Valuation of Gifts in Kind: Pharmaceuticals - Part 2

By Darin Martin

Fair market valuation for most products is pretty straight forward. Where nonprofits tend to experience vertigo is with donated pharmaceuticals. Why are they more complicated?

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Valuation of Gifts in Kind Explained: Part 1

By Darin Martin

Very few organizations with an aid distribution program feel confident in how they approach the valuation of gifts in kind. In this article I focus on what is known, understood, and foundational to fair market value so that nonprofits can gain confidence in their approach to valuing their donated goods.

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Why Aren’t They Talking to Each Other at Board Meetings?

By Amy Wishnick

When I read a story or hear about a nonprofit in extremis, I wonder if the leadership has been asleep at the wheel. Did no one see the signs? Why did they not point these things out to each other? What were they (or were they not) talking about at board meetings?

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You Can Get Through This: Crisis Management Strategies

By Tom Butero, LICSW

Despite our best efforts, crises will occur. Some may be small and manageable and call for a minimum amount of attention. Others may be more serious and threatening to the organization, its management, or employees or the population served by that organization. No matter what the range and scope of the crisis, the most important issue is how that crisis is managed. How do you do that?

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Podcast: Darin Martin is interviewed by CharityChannel's Stephen Nill

By Stephen Nill

Darin Martin first came to my attention in April, 2017 when he contributed an excellent blog post, Aid Distribution Programs: Good for Nonprofits, Donors, and the Poor and then, in May, 2017, his follow-on post, How Nonprofits Can Avoid Reinventing the Square Wheel. Both posts show how nonprofits that distribute aid can leverage their effectiveness several times over…

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How Nonprofits Can Avoid Reinventing the Square Wheel

By Darin Martin

When it comes to helping those in need, charities should strive for efficiency and effectiveness, which is why many charities have an Aid Distribution Program.

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Aid Distribution Programs: Good for Nonprofits, Donors, and the Poor

By Darin Martin

What if a charity could put money to use in a way where every $1 spent produced $100 worth of impact? Enter: Aid Distribution Programs.

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How to Increase Survey Responses

By Bernadette Wright

When nonprofits want to show the effects of their activities, they often use surveys. With online survey tools, creating surveys has become faster and less expensive. The challenge is persuading people to complete your survey.

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I'm writing an article and could use your help

By Stephen Nill

I’m researching an article for CharityChannel on how public-speaking skills impact nonprofits and the careers of nonprofit professionals. I hope to have the article completed in the next few weeks, but am at a fork in the road and could use your help.

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Are You Ready to Manage Staff Transitions?

By Amy Wishnick

If handled well, a staff transition can boost an organization’s well-being and capacity, but if handled poorly, morale and service continuity can suffer.

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Goodbye, Becki Shawver

By Stephen Nill

I am saddened to report the passing yesterday of Rebecca Vermillion Shawver, editor of CharityChannel’s Grants and Foundations Review and contributor of a trove of tell-it-like-it-is articles on grantsmanship. Becki had been bravely battling brain cancer.

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That thunderclap you just heard was The Donor Lifecycle Map being released

By Stephen Nill

That thunderclap you just heard is Deborah Kaplan Polivy’s just-released book, The Donor Lifecycle Map: A Model for Success (CharityChannel Press, 2017).

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Charity Auctions: Pros and Cons

By Abra Annes

I’ve been invited to talk honestly about the pros and cons of charity auctions. As a professional charity auctioneer for six years, how could I resist such an invitation? In my view, when they’re done right, there’s no better way to engage donors in just one night than a fundraising auction.

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New Series from CharityChannel Press: Nonprofit Management Simplified

By Stephen Nill

When I read a proposal from Marilyn L. Donnellan for a series of nonprofit management guides, I was so impressed that, after consulting with my team, we created a new series: Nonprofit Management Simplified™.

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Hiring a Nonprofit Executive: Cautionary Tale – Epilogue

By Amy Wishnick

After more than a century, a nonprofit organization just closed its doors. I can’t help but wonder whether the situation would have been different if, years ago, the board of directors had not “settled” when selecting a new executive director.

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Professional Development: This Toolkit Helps You Make Your Case!

By A.J. Steinberg

Your professional development is critical to your organization's success. To help you make the case to your organization to pay for your professional development, I've developed this toolkit.

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Hiring a Nonprofit Executive: Cautionary Tale - Don't Settle for Less!

By Amy Wishnick

This by Amy Wishnick article is the first of two that discuss what can go wrong when hiring a nonprofit executive. She cautions against settling for less.

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The Top Ten Things Nonprofit Managers and Supervisors Should Always Try to Say

By Tom Butero, LICSW

A few months ago, with apologies to David Letterman, I wrote, "Top Ten Things Nonprofit Managers and Supervisors Should Not Say." Now comes part two. In reverse order, we bring you: The top ten things nonprofit managers and supervisors should always try to say.

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Six Steps to Effective Program Evaluation: Step 6 – Communicate Your Results

By Bernadette Wright

The end of your evaluation doesn’t mean that your evaluation stops being valuable. Sharing your results raises awareness of your project and your organization.

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Six Steps to Effective Program Evaluation: Step 5 – Plan Your Methods

By Bernadette Wright

It may sound obvious, but many evaluations are not as useful as they could be because their methods don’t fit their purpose. Let's look at a list of strengths of six frequently used evaluation methods, to help you determine which methods might be right for you.

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Capacity Building Readiness Assessments – A Meaningful Diagnostic

By Amy Wishnick

Over the years, I have conducted many assessments for nonprofit organizations. In every instance, the findings have been, in one way or another, revealing. This post discusses the value of capacity building readiness assessments.

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