Avoid these traps in your fall fundraising

by Linda M. Czipo

September is here, and for many nonprofits, that can only mean one thing two things: the return of everything pumpkin spice, and the high-gear kickoff of fall and year-end fundraising campaigns. It’s also a great time to make sure that your fundraising strategies and appeals are in compliance with state, federal, and local laws and regulations.

Noncompliance can result in delays, lost funding, or even fines or criminal penalties. With a reminder to always consult knowledgeable legal counsel, here are a few common fundraising traps you’ll want to avoid.

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Today’s Strategies to Boost Employee Retention

by Jill Krumholz

Employee turnover is disruptive and expensive for organizations, in terms of both the dollars spent to recruit and train new hires and the institutional knowledge lost when a trusted employee leaves.

Even further, recent data suggests that there is an employee shortage in the nonprofit workforce overall nationwide — with over 40% of survey respondents reporting vacancies of over 20% of the total number of roles in their organizations— so filling vacated roles could present a challenge.

Jill Krumhoz, RealHR Solutions
Jill Krumholz

These statements suggest that a concentrated focus on retaining your current employees is a worthwhile investment of time and resources. This investment will involve examining and refining core values, identifying the culture you want to create, and building internal employee practices that will positively impact employee retention.

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Is your board ready to intentionally embrace DEI?

by Yvette R. Murry, MSW, LCSW

Yvette R. Murry
Yvette R. Murry

Conversations regarding diversity, equity and inclusion abound these days.  A few colleagues and I were bandying about what is essential to ensure not just diversity and equity, but actually an understanding of the big “I”: interconnectedness and interdependence.

During the conversation, I shared with my colleagues from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds one of my experiences of intention.  I had been a university administrator and faculty member for many years and actively engaged in university-community partnerships.  I served on a number of local and statewide boards that addressed and supported these partnerships.  

One day, I was approached by a close respected colleague from across the country to join the prestigious national board that set policy for university-community engagements.  I was thrilled!  I knew that I was likely to be one of the only faces of color in the room, but that is what was often the case in many of the rooms I inhabited.

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Shared Space and the Future of the Non-Profit Office

By Sean Jackson and Jacquelin Giacobbe

As New Jersey enters Phase II of our COVID-19 re-opening plan, non-profit leaders are beginning to plan for what their “new normal” will look like, both in the short-term COVID environment and beyond. What can the past three months tell us about the future of non-profit work?

In many ways, the COVID pandemic has showcased the resilience of non-profits. We prepared for remote work with a few days’ notice, adapting to use google docs, virtual meetings, and new online systems with relative ease. Even our self-proclaimed “tech illiterate” staff learned how to use video conferencing software and set up new processes for (frankly, outdated) paper requisitions, timesheets, and other systems. If you had asked non-profit leaders on February 1st how quickly we could jump into the 21st century, this would have been unimaginable for most.

For Most, the Hybrid Office is Here to Stay

For advocates of “untethering” yourself to an office from 9-5, the shift to remote work and flexibility has been a welcome change. Some organizations may look at the experiment of the past three months and decide that their office can stay remote permanently. We’ve seen that trend with internet companies, such as Square and Twitter. In addition, remote work has been correlated with increased productivity and improved job satisfaction.

However, for most non-profits, a fully remote office is impractical, if not impossible. We meet with service recipients in person, provide after school services to at-risk youth, offer case management and life skills, plant gardens together, provide emergency housing and more. Online services may work for some programs, but there are certain elements of human interaction that can’t be captured through a screen.  And much of the “magic” of collaboration between colleagues and departments happen informally – a chat in the breakroom, an impromptu meeting.

A hybrid office will be the solution for most non-profits.  We’ll want to balance short-term social distancing and safety needs and the benefits of working remotely with mission critical work and a culture of connectedness. For your office, that may mean some departments stay home permanently, a rotating schedule of employees in the office, or something in the middle. 

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Condemning Racism: A Statement from the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and the Center for Non-Profits

Logos of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and the Center for Non-Profits

by the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and the Center for Non-Profits

As the leaders of the major philanthropic and non-profit membership organizations in New Jersey, representing both the wide range of non-profit groups and the multi-faceted funders of those groups, we feel compelled to speak out against the hateful responses we and our members have witnessed in reaction to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Our country has seen countless examples of selfless sacrifice and good works over the past month, both on individual and institutional levels. We are proud that our members have been leaders in responding to the needs of our community.

But, to our distress, some individuals have used the pandemic to put forward their bias and hatred toward their fellow human beings. 

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Coronavirus, Non-Profits, and General Health

Last reviewed/updated 4/24/2020

For the latest Coronavirus information from the State of New Jersey, visit covid19.nj.gov.

For more information and resources for non-profits, visit the Center’s COVID-19 resource page.

Our deep thanks to all who responded to our surveys with the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers about how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is affecting your organization.
March survey results April survey results
Our message to Governor Murphy, legislative leaders:
Include non-profits in your
COVID-19 relief
Read our statement

NJ Non-Profit Community Letter to Congress:
non-profit relief in the next CARES Act
Read the letter
March 25: Governor Murphy has issued an executive order directing all child care centers that are not serving essential workers to close down by April 1, 2020.
March 21: Governor Murphy has ordered the physical closure of all non-essential retail businesses, and has directed all New Jerseyans to stay at home wherever possible. The order further directs that employers, including non-profits, must, wherever practicable, accommodate tele-work or work from home arrangements. “To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.” Read more here: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/general-public/governor-murphy-announces-statewide-stay-at-home-order-closure-of-all-non-essential-retail-businesses

With the news changing rapidly and the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in New Jersey growing, non-profits may have questions about the potential impact and what actions can be taken.

Photograph of hand washing. Hands are covered with soapy lather.
Frequent, thorough handwashing is still one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of contagious disease.

The virus is being watched closely around the globe, but depending on how the outbreak spreads, non-profits may potentially face a wide range of impacts, such as:

  • increased and sustained staff and volunteer absences,
  • disruption of services to your clients and communities,
  • disruption of supplies or services provided by your partners,
  • cancellation of programs or events (and corresponding reduced revenue),
  • increased demand for services/support from your clients and communities,
  • budgetary implications related to strains on the economy or possible changes in funders’ priorities or financial portfolios.

As is the case with so many situations, accurate information, preparedness, good planning, prevention, and communications are paramount.  Bearing in mind that we are not health professionals and that information can change rapidly, following are general suggestions for your consideration.

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Conferences: Nonprofit Professional Development Pillars

Paulina Alvarado-Goldman

by Paulina Alvarado-Goldman

Nonprofit Professional Development Pillars
“In order for nonprofit professional development opportunities to be strategically optimized, they have to link skill-building with actionable steps that transform practices.”

Nonprofit professional development opportunities for staff members are often unaffordable for some nonprofits. Attending strategically aligned conferences is one cost-effective way to enhance the skill sets of employees and raise awareness about current trends in the nonprofit field.

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Why Everyone Must Count in 2020

by Peter Chen

Although April 2020 seems far away, communities need to start planning now for the 2020 Census. Communities that are not fully counted in 2020 will miss out for the next ten years. This is the time to get involved.

United States Census 2020 logo, 2020census.gov

New Jersey stands to lose billions in federal funding, including support for critical programs such as children’s health insurance, school funding, school lunch and breakfast programs, Head Start, highway funding, college scholarships, and housing programs. For a list of programs affected by Census counts, see here

As one of the nation’s most diverse states, New Jersey is at particular risk for an undercount. Residents who are part of a racial or ethnic minority, who rent their home, who are immigrants, or who are children under 5 are at high risk of being missed.

How can you help?

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