Nonprofit Fraud – from DWD Mission Minded Blog

Carrie Minnich earlier this month published a blog post about fraud in nonprofits. She points out that organizations can be targets of fraud due to limited staff and tight budgets. We often believe that it won’t happen to us; however, there have been 2,410 cases (foreign and domestic) in a 22 month period according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Carrie sites the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners report which noted that on average a nonprofit loses 5% revenue in any given year from fraud. One key step to reduce fraud risks is to have strong internal financial controls, said Carrie.

To read Carrie’s posts on fraud, click here.

 

 

4 Apps To Help Your Nonprofit

LinkedIn

“Expand your network”

LinkedIn only takes 20 minutes to learn and allows you to connect with nonprofit professionals in the area. There are almost 400 million users and it is one of the largest online business networks. You can “search, refer, request, and research a potential client, customer, or employee” with ease. Once you create a profile for you organization, it increases your visibility and ensures that more people begin thinking about what you do in the community and how they want to become involved.

Evernote

“Be more organized”

Keeping detailed notes and sharing them with your staff is important for making sure everyone is on the same page and that no tasks are forgotten. Evernote lets you take digital notes, share those notes with others, and even transfer those notes between your different devices. Evernote also includes a feature called Scannable which is the next app you should be using.

The basic app download is free. There may be some in-app purchases.

Scannable

“Act with a stronger sense of urgency with prospects”

Scannable scans a business card for you. Sounds simple enough but once it finishes scanning it saves the information on the card in your phone as a contact and then it sends an impressive email to that contact to immediately form a relationship. When connected with LinkedIn it makes the process even easier by automatically sending a request on that platform as well.

The basic app download is free. There may be some in-app purchases.

Skype

“Communicate with stakeholders”

It is not uncommon for millennials to do interviews over Skype instead of meeting in person. Now organizations are holding meetings without needing to be in the same room. Skype allows you to have more flexibility when setting up a conversation with a new client, new employee, or new donor. The hassle of putting off an important meeting because of scheduling conflicts is over because finding time to Skype is easy and still allows you to see the other person’s body language unlike a traditional phone call.

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Dan Streeter & Tim Brown. “The Top Five Digital Tools You Should Be Using Right Now”. Nonprofit World.

Governance Out Of The Box – April 20th, 2017

governance-out-of-the-box-april-12-2016Governance Out Of The Box

When: Thursday April 20, 2017 from 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Location: St. Francis Historic Women’s Club

What: Are you a board member with 3 years or less or seeking board service? Join us for a free dinner and networking event with other nonprofit professionals in a beautiful local space downtown. Conversations on governance topics will be facilitated throughout the catered meal. Stay for the after dinner presentation of an interactive mock board meeting with a focus on Robert’s Rules of Order starring Indiana actors and featuring an original and entertaining script. A success last year, this event is a mix of education, comedy, and socializing. We want you to learn, laugh, and engage!

How: Register HERE

Cost: FREE to you

*Get on Board is a project of the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center with grant support provided by Foellinger Foundation.

 

Keep at it – A Fundraiser’s Journey

A Fundraiser’s JourneyKelly pic

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

Two separate instances have converged in my head. Ouch!

The first is from a meeting with Dan Swartz, he of Wunderkammer Company. Dan is planning his second annual Design Week, for which he has obtained a sizeable grant to pay for speakers and marketing. This has given him the freedom to obtain great speakers to participate. People who are significant to their field in a national and even world-class way. Some have local ties to this region.

Dan says he just asks. He figures out how to contact the person, by email or through an assistant, and he asks. He says the person will usually reply and is gracious. Sometimes the person says yes, which means Design Week will again have some phenomenal speakers.

The second is from the My City Summit organized by Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI). This year’s theme was diversity. At this event, too, the speakers were local and national, all terrific.

I left this event thinking about our roles in these changing times. We are cranky, according to the keynote speaker, Rich Benjamin. Another speaker, Fort Wayne’s own Courtney Tritch, pointed out that diversity is a needed economic driver. People move to areas where there is freedom and respect for all. Each speaker asked us what we were doing about it.

On the surface these two meetings were very different. But they both ended up in the same place in my mind:

It does not matter where you are politically, uppercase R or D. What matters is that we work every day to make a difference. Our organizations in particular directly impact others.

What are we going to do to help others continue through these times?

We ask and then we ask again. Simply, purely, clearly. As fundraisers. As advocates. As caregivers. As artists. As one human being to another.

Ask. Don’t stop asking.

 

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

Are You Ready for One-Day Group Volunteer Projects?

Our agency continues to receive requests for group volunteer projects. They can be youth groups, school groups, church groups, corporate groups, and all assortment of combinations in-between.

Here is what the volunteers want from their volunteer project:

  • They want their group volunteering activity to take from 2 to 4 hours.
  • They want to be all together as much as possible, to socialize throughout the experience – they don’t want to be isolated from each other individually.
  • They usually don’t want to have any obligation beyond that one-time volunteering experience.
  • They want the experience to feel like they have fun, they make a difference, and then they leave.

Group size: The larger the group – the harder it is to find opportunities. Unfortunately, volunteering opportunities for large groups are very hard to find. Finding a group volunteering opportunity for 6 people is much easier than finding a one-day opportunity for 150 people. And, it’s okay to say NO if the needs of the group does not match your agency, the time-line is too short, the liability is too great, or you do not have enough staff to support the project.

volunteer

Here are some suggestions for working with a group:

  • Designate a group leader
  • Walk through the project with the group leader at least a month to 2 weeks prior
  • Make a list of supplies needed for project (rakes, shovels, gloves, paint, aprons, etc.)
  • Agree (in writing) who will pay for any needed supply items
  • Have all volunteers pre-register (it’s OK to not accept walk-in’s). Consider creating a free online volunteer registration form in a site like Sign-Up Genius.
  • On the day of event have all volunteers sign a liability waiver
  • Give written job descriptions for each assignment
  • Have a short group presentation to explain what they are doing and the difference it will make
  • Have refreshment (even if it’s bottled water)
  • At the end of the project, include a short time for reflection with the group and talk about their volunteer experience
  • Have a short post-event meeting with the group leader
  • Thank everyone as they leave
  • Send a thank-you note to each volunteer and tell them what a difference that their service has made to your agency.

Think ahead: Your agency may have a number of un-met needs that would be perfect for a group:

  • Set up tables and chairs for an event
  • Clean up after an event
  • Cleaning the landscape in spring and fall
  • Sorting boxes of records and items in your storage area

Here are some classic group activity stories from our agency:

  • Last year we had a corporate group that requested a project for 70 people. The time line was 1 – 4 PM on Saturday, October 7th. (With two weeks’ notice) Outcome: we found 3 parks that needed clean up.
  • Another group was doing a Youth Church Conference and they wanted a 2 hour project for 300 youth ages 14-16. The time line was a Sunday from 1-3 PM. Outcome: We declined.
  • A group of (well-meaning) ladies wanted to rock new-born babies in a hospital nursery for two hours one Thursday a month. Outcome: Would not consider even asking a hospital!
  • One dear lady and her friends wanted to bake birthday cakes, and deliver them, to children of prisoners housed in the local jail. Outcome: The jail Chaplains nixed the project.
  • One talented gentleman wanted to build small houses (like on the TV shows) for homeless individuals. He wanted us to set up the classes and he would teach the volunteers. Outcome: We declined.
  • A group of Air Force recruits wanted a 3 hour project that would require strength and hard work. They had just enlisted and thought that this would be something that they could do for the community before starting their service the next morning. Outcome: They lifted heavy tree branches and spread playground mulch at a city park.

My guess is that you have some great stories to tell too! Volunteer groups can be a blessing but they require patience and planning.

 

jeanWritten by Jean Joley,
Executive Director of Volunteer Center
for PCNRC.

Grantmakers and Grantseekers

babyRecently the author, Ve Le of “Nonprofit with Balls” blog posted two pieces about the irritating and aggravating things that grantseekers and grantmakers do. The posts are humorous and relatable. Ve complied and created two lists of items that trouble grantmakers and frustrate grantseekers. He collected the lists based on comments from the Nonprofit with Balls Facebook page. Funding Logistics Aggravation, Incomprehensibility, and Laughability (FLAIL) Scale is the title for the items that bother grantseekers and Grant Response Amateurism, Vexation, and Exasperation (GRAVE) Gauge as the title for the items that bug grantmakers. As you can tell already, its comical.

You can look at Ve’s lists and perhaps complete the exercise by finding out your own FLAIL Scale score or GRAVE Gage score below.

GRAVE Gage

FLAIL Scale

Here’s Ve’s original post on the FLAIL Scale and the GRAVE Gage.

 

Job Opportunity – Science Central Positions

POSITION: Development & Marketing DirectorScience Central Logo

DESCRIPTION: Science Central, a hands-on science center (physical, natural and applied sciences), is currently hiring a self-motivated, creative, outgoing, highly-skilled and organized individual to direct its development, grant writing, fundraising events, advertising, and public relations. This position is a professional, senior-level job reporting to the executive director and requires significant experience in those work areas, high-level writing skills, the ability to multi-task, and extensive knowledge of community/regional funding sources. This is a “hands-on” position and the employee will spend much of their time doing as well as directing. Duties will include – research, write, review and monitor grants; write interim and final grant reports; develop and update the grant/development databases and due dates; establish and cultivate sponsorships with businesses and corporations; fully manage fundraising events such as the annual gala and golf outing; both attend and plan staff and committee meetings; develop banners and tv/radio ads; coordinate and maintain the calendar for, and write and design newsletters, brochures, press releases; direct graphic design activities; develop and coordinate partnerships with media, community organizations and foundations; maintain web site and social media outlets; organize and maintain all electronic and hard copy marketing and funding files and records; cultivate members as a donor base; supervise full- and part-time staff; manage Strategic Plan components such as marketing plans, annual fund, fundraising plans, etc. Continue reading