Standing Beside Alaska's Non-Profits

The Foraker Group Blog

Foraker has a team of more than 20 consultants ready to help you strengthen your organization. Meet a few of the most recent additions to our team:

Sammye Pokryfki has joined our consulting team and is available for board facilitation and executive consultation. Sammye has worked in the nonprofit sector as a staff, board member, volunteer, and mentor for 35 years. Before joining Foraker as a consultant, she experienced a yearlong sabbatical that included outdoor adventures in some of the most beautiful places on earth (including Alaska). Sammye’s most recent professional position was at Rasmuson Foundation where she worked from 2005-2017. Sammye is a proud UAA Alumnus with bachelor’s degrees in English and Social Work, and a master’s degree in Social Work. She received UAA’s Alumni of Distinction Humanitarian Award in 2016 and is currently adjunct faculty in the UAA Honors College.

Rachel Morse has joined our team as both an interim executive director and a fundraising consultant. Rachel has worked in Alaska’s nonprofit sector for 18 years. She has been the executive director of a small nonprofit, the development director of a large statewide nonprofit, and most recently an assistant vice chancellor in alumni relations for UAA. She was recently elected to the Chugach Electric Board of Directors where she is the treasurer and chairs the audit and finance committee. She is also a board member and treasurer of the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, a 13 western states regional economic development organization. Rachel has an MBA from UAA and Masters of Science in Natural Resource Management from Purdue University.

Amalie Couvillion has joined our team as a fundraising consultant and a firm believer in donor-centered development. Before joining Foraker, Amalie enjoyed a 17-year career at The Nature Conservancy where she moved through several roles, starting as a scientist and (happily) ending up as a fund development professional focused on major giving. Amalie believes her professional evolution points to her conviction that connecting people to mission is one of the most rewarding roles in a nonprofit. She earned a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in Geography from UCLA.

So many choices. So many great ideas. So much wishful thinking. We all have been in these meetings. It’s a real struggle to sort through all you are hearing and doing to get to the things that matter the most. Add the need to generate revenue, and the pressure can be overwhelming on a good day.

So how do you choose which activity to run with? How can you be sure that whatever you choose will get you closer to not just more money, but more mission?

Having a clear sense of your business model is certainly an essential step. But once you know if your mission is going to be primarily powered by earned income or charitable income only gets you off the starting line. Now you have to choose among the various opportunities that will fit this model, all while staying true to mission. Enter the money-mission matrix tool.  

No, this tool will not raise all the money you need. However, its gifts are big – primarily the ability to have meaningful dialog. I have an enduring appreciation for this simple diagram because it is a path to truth-telling about how we spend our time as a team.

While there are a number of versions of this tool, including The Matrix Map created by Jeanne Bell (a featured speaker at our 2017 Leadership Summit) and Steve Zimmerman, at Foraker we have been using one for over a decade and have adapted it to work into our sustainability framework. For some of you, this tool may be a timeless treasure and for others a tool on a shelf – or maybe for some an unexpected find. Since there are many versions and some of you are new to the tool, let’s cover its basics.

What is it?

The money-mission matrix is comprised of four quadrants. As the diagram we use shows, (insert picture) it is a simple layout that articulates plusses and minuses next to the words mission and money. Mission in this case can stand literally for the words in your mission statement or can be even more focused by using your core purpose and core values. You can also expand the idea to encapsulate your current strategic goals or theory of change to ensure alignment.

The “money” reference can be tricky. I find it most helpful to talk about unrestricted operating cash and preferably to focus on the profit-making potential or reality of the activity you place in the matrix. Note that this requires a lot of truth-telling and likely some well-articulated financial statements that capture the true costs and the true income. This is no small feat for many organizations where passion and excitement and/or any emotional response, rather than facts, drive a lot of decisions. (Up the ante even more on this last comment when we are talking about deciding to do or not to do another special event).

So those are the basics of what it is. Now let’s talk about how to use it.

As we just covered, defining the words sets the stage for taking a seemingly simple visual and giving it some necessary nuance. Additionally, to keep the tool accessible and useful, I suggest setting some ground rules to make sure you are getting the conversations and decisions you need from using this diagram. Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Set the definitions of mission and money.
  2. Get the data in advance – financials, plans, results, etc.
  3. Gather the right team – big or small, the right team are those who can look at all sides and make a decision that will stick.
  4. Tell the truth (even if you don’t like the answer).
  5. Work at being wrong rather than only focusing on the data that proves you are right. Stay open by listening and learning.
  6. Commit to taking action with the results.

Once you have laid out your matrix and set your ground rules, there is just a little bit more to know about the quadrants in order to generate rich dialog.

  • The “plus mission plus money” quadrant is nonprofit nirvana. You want to go there as often as possible in the best way possible. Likely few of your activities will end up in this category, so the ones that do make it need to be exemplary in their mission alignment and their ability to generate profit. I often draw a heart around this quadrant to remind groups that in nonprofit nirvana our heads and our hearts align.
  • More than likely you and your team will find an overwhelming number of examples in the “plus mission minus money” We do so much in our sector because “it is the right thing to do” and the reality that it costs us money – sometimes a lot of money—is a fact of life that we easily embrace. I like to draw a circle around this quadrant to remind us that we should limit ourselves to what we can fit in our circle and not overextend ourselves in time, money, or energy.
  • The bottom two quadrants can be a bit less fun to tackle, but so very necessary. The bottom left box “minus mission plus money” is the very definition of mission drift – where we follow the money instead of following our mission. I often say that I wish mission drift was more obvious, like the decision to start a circus when you’re really about saving a rainforest – but it isn’t. So, it might help to consider a few things about the activities that belong in this box. 1) Think about whether the idea came from inside your team or from an outside financial influence. The outside influence can be a powerful force and is a common driver of mission drift. 2. If it came from inside, think about whether the source was a single person’s idea or if it generated group excitement. One person’s idea can show up in the long term as a drain on the enthusiasm, energy, and overall interest of the team signaling that mission life is askew. 3. The pull of this box can happen when there is a short-term reasoning like “people need to know who we are” at the expense of long-term gain where people really get to know mission as who you are. For all of these reasons and a few more, I draw a triangle around this box to remind us to proceed with great caution in pursing anything in this quadrant. The long-term perils of mission drift are very difficult to recover from.
  • The last box “minus mission, minus money” deserves a big X as its symbol. But if your group is like so many others, there will still be activities living in this box. We likely got to the place where we have activities to list in this quadrant because they started in the “no mission, plus money” box, but reality set in and truth-telling occurred and the answer really was that they belonged in this space. I have seen so many special events live in this box that started with the “I have a great idea” conversation. Before anyone could stop it, it happened, and then it happened again, and suddenly it was a habit. Just say “no thank you” to this box and move back to the top of the matrix.

Filling in the boxes is a lesson in facilitation. There are so many ways to go about doing it, and so much depends on where you want the conversation to flow from and to. For singular projects, events, or activities I would encourage a big group conversation where the topic is presented and the debate and discussion ensue to place it in the right quadrant. The gift is the dialog. The goal is consensus about where it goes, and most importantly why it goes there. Then there are the choices about what to do next that come after it is categorized and that build from the conversation. For example, if the group is debating a fundraising special event, the likelihood that it lives in the top row is low – yes, there are exceptions, but they are few. Go ahead and pushback.

It is not important you agree with me. However, it is critical that as a team you follow the ground rules. Listen to each other, examine the facts including the science of fundraising, and together decide what to do no matter where it lives in the matrix. If you find it lives in “plus mission, minus money,” then discuss what you could do to shift the money piece, like seeing it as step in the donor cycle with a more significant financial ask to the donor outside the event. If it lives in “plus money, minus mission,” then consider what you can do at the event to connect donors to a mission experience, or make an emotional connection through stories etc. See the next step as an opportunity to move activities one box closer to “plus mission, plus money” nirvana.

You can also use the matrix to focus on more than one effort at a time. To do this, consider all the major organizational activities, or only those of the board, or only those that are attached to the revenue line in the budget, which could mean talking about both earned revenue and charitable revenue. In these more global discussions, I suggest starting with smaller group discussions about the right category, then enlarge to a big group to compare and contrast. Finding smaller group consensus will help more voices be heard and allow for a deeper dive into the ideas. This likely means more clarity by the time the conversation comes back to the larger group.

Whichever path you choose to fill in the matrix, know that the gift is the conversation itself. Therein lies the place where assumptions are clarified, myths are revealed, and decisions are made. Ultimately this tool is about gaining understanding and honest dialog. It is as Jim Collins advises, an opportunity to “confront the brutal facts” in order to move forward in talking about how we spend our time, and where we find both joy and results in the work. Ultimately, I hope those results bring each of our organizations one step closer to more money for more mission.

*There are many versions of the Mission-Money Matrix but little credit to who originated the idea. A quick Google search yields the variations and some classes on YouTube but not even Wikipedia knows the source. Whoever you are, thank you for the original idea that we have adapted.

 

Join us for a thought-provoking session with Building Movement Project Co-Director, Sean Thomas-Breitfeld,as he leads us through the Race to Lead findings, which challenge the way the nonprofit sector has been approaching the racial leadership gap. 

Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018

Time: 8:30am – 11:30am

Where: Campfire Conference Room @ the Mountain View Services Center – Anchorage, AK

Event Background: The Building Movement Project has surveyed more than 4,000 respondents nationwide about their current nonprofit job, interest in leading a nonprofit, training/supports, views of leadership, and personal background.

The findings from the survey, found in the report, Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap, challenge the way the nonprofit sector has been approaching the racial leadership gap. They show more similarities than differences in the background and preparation between white respondents and people of color,and point to the need to transfer the responsibility for the racial leadership gap from those who are targeted by it (aspiring leaders of color), to those setting the norms and standards for nonprofit organizations and the sector.

Studies show that nonprofit board diversity is declining and that people of color in the executive director/ CEO role has remained under 20% for the last 15 years, even as the country becomes more diverse.  We know that in order to change this trajectory, we need to better understand the environment that currently exists.  Join us to learn how nonprofit leaders can embrace changes that will align their organizations with the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Note: this is not a diversity training, but a deep dive into the research on the racial leadership gap and how we can act to make real change.

Want to know more about Race to Lead? See http://racetolead.org

Mark your calendars and tell your board! Registration will open in August.

We are pleased to announce that Wendy Lindskoog has joined the Foraker Governance Board. Wendy is the Vice President of Communications and External Affairs at BP Alaska. She is an accomplished executive with 30 years of community and government affairs experience and extensive legislative, agency, and policy expertise. Wendy is no stranger to the nonprofit sector – she is a dedicated community member and serves on the boards of the Resource Development Council and the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Wendy’s participation on the Governance Board marks another example of the generous support from BP and its employees for Foraker’s mission to strengthen Alaska nonprofits. We have been honored to have six BP employees serve on either the Governance or Operations Boards. And we greatly appreciate BP’s support both as a long-time Vision Partner and as a sponsor of the Catalyst in Nonprofit Excellence program. We look forward to our continuing partnership.

Welcome, Wendy!

In our May newsletter we let you know about changes that are occurring in the Pre-Development Program, or what has become known at Pre-D. Pre-D was launched in 2006 with the goal of helping to plan sustainable capital projects – or those that contribute to the long-term viability of the organization and the community it serves.

Pre-D has been supported by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Denali Commission, Mat-Su Health Foundation, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, and Rasmuson Foundation.

We want to remind you that even though Pre-D is not accepting new projects, a wealth of information has been gathered over the 12 years of the program and much of it is available on our website. Included on this page is a handbook we developed – Preparing to Fund Your Capital Project in Alaska and Beyond – which is available at no charge.

If you are considering a capital project, please feel free to call us if you have questions about it. We’ll be happy to refer you to people who can help you.

We thank our funding partners and all the organizations that have worked with us for more than a decade to make Pre-D a successful program

Seventeen-percent – that number represents the average of Alaska’s workforce that works for nonprofits. In rural and remote rural Alaska, it can be as high as 40%. Rarely is the sector talked about as an industry, but if we were, we would be the second largest Alaska industry based on employment – right behind oil and gas. The data is compelling for many reasons. One is the opportunity to look closely at what we are doing in the sector to both attract and retain this workforce.

In 2006, Tom Tierney published an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review called The Leadership Deficit in which he articulated his view of our future as a sector. A key element of that future was a high turnover of Baby Boomers and a serious gap in both the number of Generation X and Millennials and their interest in the work as it was or is currently framed. He warned this was coming in the next decade. Well it’s a little late – perhaps because of the national economic recession – but we are here now.

As complex challenges go, this is a big one and we have been preparing for it on many levels at Foraker. We have focused on retention strategies to support current nonprofit employees to stay in their jobs. At the same time, we have created opportunities for people to explore new skills and the emotional IQ sides of leadership so they could advance in their careers. All of this work can be framed under “Leadership Development,” but for us we know it also has the added bonus of organizational effectiveness, and even greater impact to our communities overall.

In complexity there are also mistakes. For example, we learned the hard way that few like to think of themselves as “emerging leaders” because it diminishes the contributions they are already making. We also continue to clarify the leadership gaps that exist related to executives and board members from diverse cultures and ethnicities. We are diving into these aspects of leadership and look forward to sharing more in the future about ways we can grow together in these areas. In the meantime, we are dedicated to looking at leadership as more than a title, and certainly not something you achieve solely with age.

So, as the “silver tsunami” breaks across our sector as the Baby Boom generation retires, we can evolve to meet the next generations in the workplace. This evolution can mean we find ourselves with far more leaders than job titles or organizational charts convey. The questions then become: How can we support leadership development no matter which chair is occupied? And how do we grow when there is nowhere to go?

How will you answer these questions? What will you do in your role today?

I ask, because a recent article in the online publication Quartz at Work suggests that together we are not doing enough. The writer cites persistent national statistics and studies on the revolving door of leadership. I know budgets are tight but a well-executed retention program and a focus on developing leaders are worth the time and expense. We simply can’t afford not to do it, so let’s do more of it together.

If you are not sure where to start or you simply want to do more, here are my top 10 recommendations to put into practice in 2018 and beyond.

  1. Be loud and clear. If you are the CEO/Executive Director, lead by example to let your team know that their development as a leader is important regardless of their title or seniority. Talk about it in staff meetings and in one-on-one time with employees. Do one of the other nine ideas or all of them. Do it yourself by getting a coach or a mentor. If nothing else, make space for the conversation. Invite the opportunities. Explore the possibilities.
  2. Offer opportunities outside the box. If you are a senior leader, look at your day, week, or month and consider inviting other staff into new rooms and experiences that they likely will not get invited to on their own. Exposure to new ideas and people is important, but so is sharing the larger ideas and the bigger scope of issues and concerns at a meta level rather than the tactical level that they might be exposed to on a daily basis.
  3. Know which room to be in might be the opposite of suggestion number 2 but not mutually exclusive. Sure, you can go to every meeting and be at every podium as a leader but what if you didn’t? Consider how not being in the room allows others on your team to grow, to speak, to learn, and to own their own experience.
  4. Include “heart” questions in your employee evaluation tools. Evaluation should not be a punitive exercise nor should it be focused on deficits (If you are there with an employee, you need an improvement plan, not an evaluation). Consider including at least one goal that is employee driven about how they would like to build on their strengths as a leader – not just in the workplace but in their daily lives. Consider a question and goal that gets to motivation, resilience, or growth. Agree on ways to meet this goal together or by engaging other team members who would see it as a benefit.
  5. Join an affinity group. This is more than networking – leadership is about a supportive framework to listen, learn, and share. It is about a safe space to test ideas and gain new insights, not just exchange business cards.
  6. Stretch to strengthen. Sure, sometimes it is easier to do a project yourself than take the time to engage someone else on the team to have a go at it. But learning by doing and especially learning where real mistakes can happen is golden. There is much wisdom around how mistakes are both information for the organization, for the team, and for the person who made them if the organizational culture truly allows for learning to happen. So go ahead, give away a key project that stretches someone in a new direction. Build on existing strengths, trust the process and the person, and step back to let the process go.
  7. Celebrate the wins. Of all the things on this list, I think nonprofits struggle with this aspect of leadership development the most. We are doing so much with so much pressure to do good in the world that when we get to a milestone or win or cross a finish line we just put our heads down and keep going. Yikes! The next generation on our team has reminded me this is not okay and they are 100% right. Stop. Celebrate. Breathe. Reflect. Recognize the strengths of the team or a personal milestone of one person. Talk about how it makes a difference to the mission you serve. Yea! Okay, now you can go to the next thing.
  8. Allocate annual funding. A lot or a little money is only one consideration to ensuring a leadership development result. Make sure to engage each staff person in picking the right opportunity – one that they are excited about, that builds skills, and that is applicable in many ways to their life and their work.
  9. Create a safe space to connect the dots, brainstorm, test ideas, and critically reflect. Most leaders will tell you that it is lonely at the top and that that there are few safe spaces to think out loud. Journaling might be just the spot to work through your next big idea or greatest challenge.  Want to know more? Check out this article by Dan Ciampa in the Harvard Business Review.
  10. You choose. Not the CEO/Executive Director? What do you need to succeed? Pick one of these and ask for what you want. You might not get it all, but you won’t get any of it unless you ask and fully participate in making it happen.

We may be experiencing a leadership deficit in sheer numbers, but we can all do more to encourage, engage, and expand the leadership potential right in front of us. Nonprofit leaders – we see you. We need you. Let’s take the next step together.

We have two new series for you to take this summer:

Managing Your Nonprofit – The Essential Toolkit
A  webinar series featuring courses on sustainability, human resources, board development, finance, and fundraising.

Are you new to a management position or to the nonprofit sector? Are you looking to apply nonprofit best practices to your workplace? In this series we’ll explore the core framework for running a nonprofit and the elements that will help you to make sound management decisions. The series will include five courses – each two hours in length – to enhance your nonprofit management skills. The fee is $200 for the series; $125 for Foraker Partners.

Learn more here. 

Your Guide to Media Relations: The Strategies & Techniques for Effective Communication
Join us for a webinar series taught by media expert John Tracy. Sign up for all three courses or choose the ones that are right for you. This series will be held on Wednesdays from 1:00 – 3:00 starting on July 18. The fee for each class is $40; or $25 for Foraker Partners.

The Alaska Division of Insurance is working to stabilize and reduce health care coverage costs in the small group market – those employers with 50 or fewer employees, which includes many nonprofits. To develop a clear path forward, the division is surveying small businesses and nonprofit organizations to identify issues and barriers to affordable health care coverage. Foraker supports the state’s efforts, and we encourage you to participate in this survey to help them develop realistic, effective options for improving affordability in Alaska’s small group health insurance market. The deadline to participate is June 30.

Happy Summer, everyone. I bet you were thinking: “there is no better topic to celebrate summer than tax reform.” Right? Well, lucky for all of us, this isn’t as much about the policy of tax reform as about what we need to do to follow the new rules and position ourselves differently for philanthropic success. So pour yourself a glass of iced tea, open the window, and let’s talk.

When nonprofit leaders are asked about what their organization is doing as a result of tax reform, the common response over the last six months has been “nothing.” I understand how that can sound like the right answer, especially if you don’t have staff. However, you really can do things right now to adjust to the new rules.

If you do have staff and you are following the new rules from the IRS – everyone should be nodding “yes” at this moment, but if you aren’t sure click here – you might want to find appropriate ways to check in with your staff on the impact they see in their paychecks. From what we’ve been able to learn, most employees saw an increase in their paychecks when changes took effect in February. However, in some limited cases, paychecks were reduced. If this happened to any of your staff, perhaps you can draw from other options to support them if they are struggling. Often the place our sector shines is in flexibility and support even when that doesn’t look like cash.

Undoubtedly Congress continues to hear from groups on every part of the political spectrum about undoing or shifting or creating new pieces of tax reform. If you are curious about the top 15 or so ways that nonprofits were directly affected, the National Council of Nonprofits has a helpful summary sheet. If you are a small nonprofit, many of the benefits that went away likely never applied to your organization. Still, it is good to keep current and just double-check. Important in all of this, don’t ever give tax advice to your employees, donors, volunteers etc. unless you are a credentialed expert. We all have enough work to do without taking on the role of tax advisor.

Two areas that still have our close attention are the potential to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which protects nonprofit nonpartisanship, and changes that will impact philanthropy. On Johnson, yes I thought we were done, too, but guess what? True, it didn’t pass as part of tax reform legislation – yea! But it is still a current topic. If you want to learn more about why the Johnson Amendment matters to you (even if you have never heard of it) click here, and here. While we will also keep you up-to-date on any new threats to the ability of all charitable nonprofits to stay nonpartisan, I hope you are also remaining alert and ready to call our delegation with your concerns. The National Council of Nonprofits is also tracking this issue so there is one more way to stay engaged.

The other issue we all need to pay close attention to is the impact (both positive and challenging) in philanthropy. Last month we celebrated the fun in philanthropy, this month we need to make sure we are doing all we can to be positioned for success. Before we jump into things you can be doing in your organizations, I want to highlight a new bipartisan bill to expand charitable giving incentives in the House of Representatives. H.R. 5771 would enable all taxpayers to deduct charitable donations from their taxes, regardless of whether they itemize. Unlike the former effort on a universal deduction, this bill does not cap the amount.

In describing the bill, Representative Smith (R-NJ) said “Americans have been generous patrons of charitable causes, and we want to ensure that everyone has the support they need to continue their generosity to charitable and philanthropic causes.” Representative Cuellar (D-TX) added, “This bipartisan bill not only encourages us to help our fellow neighbors, but it also makes sure that taxpayers can receive their due deduction for charitable giving if they choose not to itemize.”

Keep an eye on this bill, and we will too. It has the potential to support Alaskans who want the added benefit of tax relief on top of feeling wonderful about the investments they are making in our communities.

What else can you be doing with or without new legislation? Our message is the same as it was in December: stay focused on your donors. Remember that philanthropy means love of humankind and focusing on the people will bring money, but focusing on the money rarely brings people.

However, being donor focused in the age of tax reform means that we have to do things a little differently for our mid-range and large investment donors. Our mid-range donors likely used to at least consider itemizing as part of their tax strategies. To generalize for them, the use of a tax deduction was likely not a motivator for giving, but simply icing on the cake. While this isn’t about whether you can or can’t itemize, it is about whether there is enough incentive to do it with the new reforms. The best national estimates are that only 5% of Americans are likely to itemize. By comparison, about 22% of Alaskans itemized before tax reform. Mid-range donors who still want to take advantage of itemizing may decide to bundle their charitable giving – meaning that they will give two years’ worth of gifts in a single year. High range investors might do the same. This is a creative strategy that we have already seen play out at the end of 2017 and only expect to see more frequently in the future.

What that means for all of us is that if we have not fine-tuned our recognition strategy, then today is the day. Most of us are used to saying “thank you” and engaging in stewardship after a gift is received. But if your 2018 gifts already were given in 2017, then your methods of engaging donors need to keep up. Consider ways to celebrate and recognize donors who are bundling their gifts.

Options could include:

  • Creating special giving levels or giving circles with mission connected activities to ensure your donors are hearing about the causes and programs they care about even in the years that no gift is given
  • Updating your database to reflect the donor’s choice to give this way
  • Actively engaging in one-on-one conversation with donors about this option – again, not as a tax advisor but as an interested partner in their philanthropic engagement

Ann Hale, local Alaskan and current national board chair of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, created a great tip sheet for all of us with more useful ideas.

For those of you with pledge programs, shifting your recognition strategies won’t be as much a stretch but will still take some creativity. But for the rest of us, we have work to do. Another option that our higher level investors will likely use is the donor advised fund. This is a vehicle to make one large investment that gets carried out over time (often measured in years). Many investment firms and community foundations hold these funds which means that depending on how they get dispersed the gift can look like it is either coming directly from the donor or from another source. Again, good relationships and open communication with your donors will mitigate any potential confusion in how to say thank you and to whom, so just stay alert and have a plan. As a side note to all of these predicted changes in individual philanthropy, be aware that all of the national data is based on itemized tax returns and nonprofit 990s. If it turns out that far fewer of us itemize, our understanding of giving in this country and in our state will only get worse.. This means, now more than ever, you must have a good donor database to know your own trends and see your future. Too many Alaska organizations are trying to do individual donor engagement without a database. Today is your day – for so many reasons including this one – to get started on your database. (Need help knowing what questions to ask when selecting a good donor database – click here.)

Tax reform also had the potential to change the giving of corporations and foundations. While I have no news to report on any significant shift in positive investments for Alaska, I do believe this is a possibility. Again, all the rules still apply in terms of approaching a funder with the question “what can we do better together for our community than either of us can do ourselves?” This is a far more successful strategy than thinking of them as ATM machines who have more money to disperse (trust me – this thinking still exists, although thankfully in less obvious forms). Consider projects or programs that the funder is clearly interested in seeing happen in your community and begin the conversation. It won’t be fast but it could yield a win-win-win for mission, the funder, and the community you serve.

There are so many ways to be great advocates and ambassadors to your staff and your donors as a result of tax reform. This conversation is just one of many. Remember that we are all adjusting together. As we learn new ways of working we will share them widely. We hope you will share your strategies, too.

Happy June, everyone. Tax reform will wait for you to go outside, breathe the fresh Alaska air, and drink another glass of iced tea. When you return, if you need some help, give us a call. We will be ready.

Are you an Alaska nonprofit or tribal leader? Do you want to enhance your management skills and explore new techniques to effectively lead your organization? The Foraker Certificate in Nonprofit Management program features courses developed to apply classroom teachings to your workplace, case studies directly related to issues facing Alaska nonprofits, and a network of fellow professionals to last a lifetime.

Learn the essentials in each of the key areas of nonprofit management:

  • Strategic Planning & Direction
  • Organizational Development
  • Board Development
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Fundraising
  • Public Policy
  • Human Resources
  • Volunteer Engagement
  • Budget & Finance
  • Business Planning
  • Evaluation

Apply today – the deadline to submit an application is June 1, 2018! 

bottom