.NGO | .ONG Domain Names Available This Summer

The new .NGO and .ONG domains will be released late Summer 2014. Unlike .ORG, the new domains will only be available to NGOs, charities, and nonprofits, which will form a nice international index of verified NGOs. The new domains will be released on a first come, first serve basis, so fill out an expression of interest form today to help you get your first choice. 

Read more about the what and the how.

Thanks to Annie Hernandez for the tip!

Tips for “Networking” at a Conference

Any of you who read my blog (loyal in my extended blogging absence!) know that the word “networking” is a little dirty to me because the intentions aren’t always as pure as “connecting”. However, I’m asked all the time how I approach networking at conferences. Here are some pointers I share:

  • Do your research beforehand. If attendee lists (either specific names or organizations) are available, make sure you know background for ‘important’ people in the room, and ask colleagues/netsuite about existing relationships.
  • Dont spew information. Instead, ask people questions about themselves and their work.
  • Don’t make people feel like you’re trying to sell them something. Instead, listen to what’s on their mind and respond to that.
  • The best conversations are those that aren’t about work at all. Get to know people to really build a relationship. That often means showing a little of your personality; you can maintain privacy, but think about a few topics you could be comfortable talking about outside of work and don’t be afraid to do that.
  • Be careful what you say about other people – you never know who knows who.
  • The best networking often happens during meals and evening activities, so pace your energy levels to make those times count.
  • Write something to jog your memory on the back of people’s business cards as is helpful.
  • Make note of what article or website(s) would be helpful to send to someone in followup to your conversation, and then follow up! Within a week is usually a good call, but up to two is fine.

And, in doing all of this, focus still on connecting and not having a transactional interaction!

Philanthropy Fashions: What’s here to stay, and what’s just a trend?

Read my guest post from the Communications Network blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Just as wearing animal prints is not right for everyone (and certainly not for me!), not every industry trend fits every organization. Big Data is certainly out there, but foundations would be prudent to think about how to “make it their own” before jumping on the bandwagon. I would argue, however, that going a little outside of your comfort zone, be it with a loud print or a deep dive into an opportunity data set, is good. Data sets like these offer a way to assess and contextualize your current funding priorities, and can even provide a new angle through which you can share your grantees’ impact in local communities. In a time when data and communications are simply inseparable, the potential for surprising and positive results is huge. And, just think of what you’ll learn along the way.

(Un)Related note: anyone want to go into a side business of making kitchy tshirts for the nonprofit sector? I’m feeling good about it.

Philanthropy Fashions: What’s here to stay, and what’s just a trend?

Announcing… my new job!

I am very excited to begin work for the Foundation Center as the Director of GrantCraft in May! Here’s the press release, and I’ll share more about the position and my work after I officially start.

I am so humbled by the incredible experiences I’ve had at the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. I’ve met amazing, passionate people who work tirelessly to create lasting impact in their communities, and have delved into issues of access and opportunity with respect to healthy food, the arts, civic engagement, and education. I feel inspired on a daily basis by the thoughtful approaches nonprofits are taking and the strategic generosity of those in a position to support their efforts. I have learned more than I can express and discovered a real passion for philanthropy. Our small team did film screenings, art openings, gatherings of leaders, site visits, overhauls of both our grants management system and our website, and more. The last 27 months have truly been an amazing whirlwind; I’m so grateful to have been along for the ride.

State of the Nonprofit Sector 2013: Survey Results

For the nonprofit data nerd in all of us, there are many productive ways to slice and dice the data from this year’s survey. The Nonprofit Finance Fund and Bank of America surveyed more than 6000 nonprofits and derived a few key learnings. One that stood out to me:

Under these challenging [financial] conditions, many nonprofits are unable to meet growing need in their communities: 

  • For the first time in the five years of the survey, more than half (52%) of respondents were unable to meet demand over the last year; 54% say they won’t be able to meet demand this year.
  • This represents a worrying trend; in 2009, 44% of nonprofits said they were unable to meet demand.
  • Jobs (59%) and housing (51%) continue to be top concerns for those in low-income communities.
  • 90% of respondents say financial conditions are as hard or harder than last year for their clients; this is actually a slight improvement from prior years’ outlook.

For me, the survey re-highlighted to (the cynic in) me how struggling nonprofits need to humble/smart enough to fold or merge. While I certainly don’t want to see their constituencies’ needs completely unaddressed, I do want to see more collaborative and stable approaches to tackling concerns like jobs and housing. Right now, segmentation is huge, creating a greater-than-necessary competition for resources, which means nobody can do their job and address needs quite as well.

Let’s discuss.

State of the Nonprofit Sector 2013: Survey Results

Keynote Speaker: Youth Philanthropy Connect Conference

I’m very excited to announce that I will be the keynote speaker at the Youth Philanthropy Connect conference in Disneyland this June! I enjoy sharing my passions and embrace the challenge of communicating new topics to enthusiastic people, so this should be a ton of fun. I’ll also be leading a few workshops while I’m there that I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from, too. The participating demographic is just starting to form ideas of what giving means and to discover their personal values, and they will be empowered to leverage these thought processes into meaningful action! And, I commend the conference organizers for providing a platform for these important conversations; I’m very honored to be a part of it.

As I often do, time to crowd-source my remarks! Step back into your 8-21 year old selves (probably a few different versions, I know!). What might resonate well with you on topics of VALUES, RECOGNIZING NEED, GIVING, and UNLEASHING YOUR POTENTIAL? Don’t be shy; I want to hear from you!

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, mindsets, and ideas!

The Permanent Disruption of Social Media

Social media has chipped away at the foundation of traditional donor-engagement models. A new study highlights the realities of donor behavior and how organizations can redesign their outreach strategies to be more effective.

Fantastic article. Nonprofits and those involved with fundraising, please take the time to read and reflect on how you can reshape strategies for helping your cause.

An excerpt that I really like is the below graphic and accompanying explanation. Organizations on whole need to move towards a vortex model to maximize internal resources and outward impact, but they can’t forget the pyramid model, either.

The Permanent Disruption of Social Media