Book Review: New Voices at the Table: Welcoming the Next Generation of Board Leaders

417_NewVoicesa-theTableNew Voices at the Table:  Welcoming the Next Generation of Board Leaders was recently purchased and made available at the Estes Valley Library.  Rather than a book, it is a 51 page “toolkit” that informs nonprofit boards about recruiting the next generation of leaders.  Potential board members, ages 18 to 40, actually are a key component in solving pressing issues for the nonprofits. Information answers questions related to who the new board members might be, how they will function, where they will be found, how they will affect the board, and what orientation they will need.  As your nonprofit board goes through the process of recruiting the next generation of board members, consider using the guidance from this toolkit.  The information is divided into three major sections.

Part 1 is “Motivation and Values,” which highlights the challenges of facing the nonprofits and the skills the new board members can bring.  The tools in this first section include generational trends and their potential  contribution to your organization, the impact of building a generationally reverse board, benefits that the new board members can offer your board, and the leadership of the next generation.

Part 2 focuses on “Recruitment Channels and Challenges” by expanding your recruitment channels in several ways.  The tools in this second section include identifying the skills for your board, developing a board matrix and a worksheet, the use of technology, and strategies for engaging new generation leaders.

Finally, Part 3 expresses “Culture and Orientation” through a list of skills for new board members, a guide to mentoring relationships, and case studies for potential pitfalls.  The tools in this third portion specify the skills for outreach for younger board members, mentorship, as well as “youth movement” and “out of tune” case studies.    The end of the toolkit actually lists several book titles and resources to assist in your future nonprofit advances.

Although this book is brief and focused, it does provide an emphasis on the next generation of nonprofit board leaders that can continue to assist your goals.  Head to the Estes Valley Library and you will find the book in the Nonprofit book area listed at Nonfiction 658.4 NEW.

Image Credit: BoardSource

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5 Ways to Boost Engagement on Facebook

Facebook has an entire guide designed to help nonprofits make the most of Facebook pages to tell cause-related stories and build deep, lasting connections with supporters. Here are their tips for boosting engagement:

  1. Post succinct content
  2. Post photos and videos
  3. Post regularly
  4. Try a “fill in the blank” or “caption this photo” post
  5. Be timely

Download the entire guide.

Interested in getting even more up-to-date expert advice on using Facebook for your nonprofit? Attend next week’s workshop:

Who “Likes” You: Telling Your Story Through Facebook

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Short Form Video – High Impact at a Low Cost?

Have you thought video would be too expensive for your nonprofit to use?

Beth Kanter shares a quick tip with See3 Communications about how you can produce a short form video with your smart phone.

short form video can have a large impact with your audience

You can find more advice in How to Make a Video for Non-Profits from What Took You So Long. Although it is tailored to bigger productions produced in international locations, there are a few points that easily apply to our small local nonprofits:

  • Capture honest moments
  • Share positive stories
  • Keep the message simple

Have you given video a try? Share a link to your work below or send it to  We’d love to feature it on our site and social media!


Photo Credit: still from “shorter is better – Beth Kanter” video by See3 Communications


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Does Your Board Have Fun with Fundraising?

Are your board members eager to help with fundraising? If not, maybe they don’t understand that Fundraising is not just asking for money.

In this week’s video from Movie Mondays for Fundraising Professionals, Janet Boguch from Non-Profit Works shares how she’s able to get board members to be engaged and have fun in the fundraising process.

The mind-shift for boards starts with explaining that fundraising is built on a whole set of strategies and activities (listed below) that are carried out continually to bring resources to the organization. There is a lot more for board members to get involved with than just “the ask.”

The 6 Rs of Relationship Building

  1. Research
  2. Romance
  3. Request
  4. Recognize
  5. Retain
  6. Renew (or upgrade)

Find out more details about the 6 R relationship cycle in the video Getting Board Members to Have Fun with Fundraising.

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Connecting Donors to Your Mission Can Pay-off

Helping other undertake consequential acts of kindness and generosity

A couple things in this episode of Movie Mondays for Fundraising Professionals reminded me of the great roundtable session we had back in November about donor relations:

  • It starts off with an inspiring Jerry Panas quote (one of the authors that our roundtable facilitator, Jill Anderson, recommended); and
  • It includes the idea of hosting a “VIP volunteer opportunity” to meaningfully connect a donor (or board member) to your mission.

Have you ever put together an event that put your donor(s) right in the midst of your organization’s mission?

An example that Jill provided was from her days at Red Cross. She invited a board member to go on-call and accompanied them to the scene of an apartment complex fire, where they assisted crew members with comforting victims and finding temporary housing.

It was a monumental moment for that board member to experience why the organization’s work is so important. It provided them with a strong emotional tie and a personal story that made asking for funding easy.

If you haven’t yet, give this idea a try!

A two-part series on Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog provide five questions to get you started on creating a donor cultivation event and some additional examples of meaningful ways to connect donors to your mission.

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Thank Yous Your Donors Will Love

thank you

Big Duck offers this guidance on making your thank you’s stand out:

  • Be sincere
  • Share the big picture
  • Be creative AND relevant
  • Don’t treat this as JUST an excuse to ask for more
  • Showcase the ones you serve

How do your thank yous measure up?

Here are a few examples of thank you videos that may spark ideas.

Photo Credit: “thank you card” by Jon Ashcroft via Flicker cc

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Are Giving Days Part of Your Fundraising Plan?

CGD 2013_MasterFinal accounting is now in for this year’s Colorado Gives Day – is your nonprofit getting a cut of the more than $20 million raised through Community First Foundation’s platform?

Giving TuesdayAnd how about Giving Tuesday? Did you see results like Blackbaud clients who reported receiving 90% more in donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving this year compared to 2012?

Whether you did or didn’t, now is the time to think a little bit about how one of these days can be worked into your 2014 fundraising campaign calendar.

Colorado Gives Day

Participating in Colorado Gives Day requires registering and setting up a profile page on Donations are collected through the site (with no processing fees for donations made on the Day) and the Community First Foundation distributes the funds. To register, your organization must be:

  • A 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization
  • Headquartered or providing services in Colorado
  • Reporting at least $50,000 in annual revenue or $25,000 in net assets
  • Registered with the Secretary of State with a valid Certificate of Registration and be in good standing

(In addition, private foundations, supporting organizations, places of worship and public safety organizations are not eligible to participate.)

To participate next year, put a tickler on your calendar to visit in March. Informational webinars and a communications tool kit are provided to help you plan and implement activities. You may also want to check out the feedback from Front Range Source with ways to improve Colorado Gives Day emails.

Giving Tuesday

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been designated Giving Tuesday much like Black Friday and Cyber Monday for retailers. This celebration of charitable activities doesn’t require the use of a particular fundraising platform and you don’t necessarily have to register (although you can at Even though it is a more loosely facilitated program, resources, ideas and a tool kit are offered.

It’s suggested that you start planning your 2014 activities and reaching out to partners in May. Beth Kanter offers some insight on why this movement can be a capacity builder for your organization.

Have you found other resources to make the most of these giving days? Do you have some lessons learned to share?

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Do Your Donors Feel Like Strangers?

The way you handle acknowledgement of donations and other donor communications may be pushing people away who really care about your cause. Here are five questions posed by the article How to Turn a Donor Into a Stranger:

  1. Do you know their names, and is that reality reflected in your communication with them?
  2. Do you know what their interests and passions are?
  3. Do you know their communication preferences?
  4. Are they thanked within 24 hours of receiving their gifts?
  5. Are you sincerely interested in and nurturing what they want to do with their money vs. what you want to do with it?

If you answered “no,” you may be turning donors off by making them feel less a “partner in a cause” vs. a “source of cash.”

For more ideas on how to improve donor relationships, join us at the Donor Relations Roundtable on Nov. 22. You can also find some Creative and Low-Cost Ways to Thank Donors in this podcast episode of Fundraising Fundamentals.

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Emergency Funding Sources for Nonprofits

Although the article 20 Emergency Funding Sources for Nonprofits from the consulting staff at Fieldstone Alliance is several years old, it provides some ideas that your nonprofit may be able to use during disaster recovery.

by taxcreditThe 20 ideas fall into the following categories:

  • Cash Flow Management
  • Contributed Income
  • Earned Income
  • Debt Financing
  • Existing Assets

Review the chart of ideas. Let us know if you have other ideas!

Photo Credit: “emergency” by Tax Credits via Flicker cc

Posted in Flood Recovery, Fundraising, Grants | Leave a comment

Estes Nonprofits Impaired by Flood; EPNRC Searches for Solutions

During a disaster like we’ve just experienced, it is easy to see the needs of nonprofit relief agencies. And those needs are huge. However, regardless of their association to disaster relief, all of the nonprofit organizations in the Estes Valley are feeling the effects of the 2013 flood.

Many nonprofits are small businesses and have been affected just like the for-profit organizations in our town. Some had direct damage from the water and most, if not all, are seeing indirect financial implications. They have had to cancel fundraising events or prematurely end campaigns, close facilities/shops for the season earlier than normal and have experienced a loss of tourist generated revenue. Some are receiving more requests for unfunded services and others are experiencing an increase in costs due to extended travel. Boards and staff are also anxious about the future of their fundraising efforts. With more immediate disaster relief needs competing for dollars and longstanding individual and business donors dealing with their own flood recovery, it is easy to see that new and alternate funding sources will need to be found.

The Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center (EPNRC) is here to support the nonprofits in our community during this time of recovery. Research is being conducted on available resources and approaches taken in other communities that have dealt with major natural disasters. Two October programs will be dedicated to providing information on nonprofit recovery: Oct. 18 – Nonprofit Finances Roundtable and Oct. 24 – Nonprofit Recovery Resources. Information will also be available on the EPNRC website ( and Facebook page (

Current Resources for Nonprofit Organizations:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Grant Program – If you were unable to attend the Monday, Sept. 30, informational meeting, you are encouraged to visit or go to the Disaster Assistance Center located in the Estes Valley Library.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) – The SBA can provide private nonprofits with physical and economic injury disaster loans. The application deadline for physical disaster loans is Nov. 14, 2013 and economic injury disaster loans is June 16, 2014.
  • Community Foundation of Northern Colorado – Three flood relief funds have been established to support the intermediate and long-term needs of local nonprofit agencies and governmental entities. Individual donations are currently being matched by the Bohemian Foundation. Information about applying for assistance will be shared when available.
  • Volunteer Clearinghouse – Call 970-577-3975 or email to request assistance. We will match volunteers to your needs.

If your nonprofit has specific needs or information to pass-on, please send an email to As always, we encourage you to support your favorite local nonprofits in any way you can!

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