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Delaware Nonprofits: Endless Discoveries
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DANA's new President and CEO Sheila Bravo reflects on her discovery of DANA and the nonprofit sector in Delaware.

 

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Top tags: nonprofits  Delaware  Board of Directors  Board Member  collaboration  budget  government  Calendar  CEO  DANA  funding  grantmakers  leaders  Nonprofit  Nonprofit Finance Fund  partnerships  strategy  Adaptive capacity  Association of Fundraising Professionals  Community  David Grant  DEFAC  Delaware Community Foundation  DuPont  economy  employees  Endless Discoveries  giving Tuesday  Good to Great  grants 

Reflections

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Thursday, October 6, 2016
Updated: Saturday, November 26, 2016

It is hard to believe that a year ago I started this journey as CEO of DANA.   During this first year, I have had the immense pleasure of meeting so many dedicated people working to better our state through philanthropy, governing, and nonprofit service.  In the course of those conversations several themes emerged:  1) all agree that the agencies who serve Delaware make a difference in the community.  2) all agree that the funding landscape to support those services is shifting and shrinking, while it seems service demand increases, 3) that it is hard to know who is doing what in the State and how well, thus making it challenging to leverage and allocate resources and 4) all agree that this environment is not going to change unless we make it happen.

 

There are several initiatives in play that are helping us move forward towards solutions.  The first is a project that DANA and the Delaware Grantmaker’s Association (DGA) are working on to create a database that showcases nonprofits in the state, where they serve, and what they do.  This will help nonprofit leaders better understand who they can partner with to leverage resources, and will better inform grantmakers on who does what as they allocate resources.  The second is the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition’s work to unify the philanthropy and nonprofit communities around State revenue growth to resource the services that make Delaware a great place to live. Third, DANA, the Delaware Community Foundation and the United Way of DE have partnered with the DE Business Times to promote philanthropy and have invited nonprofits to participate in the upcoming Giving Guide,   scheduled to be released before “Giving Tuesday”. 

 

And finally, with the common interest by government, grantmakers and nonprofit leaders to agree on what outcomes matter, DANA and DGA are partnering together to host an event on November 29th  to bring grantmaking and nonprofit leaders together to hear from David Grant, author of The Social Profit Handbook,  on methods to qualitatively assess program effectiveness.

 

At the end of the day, though – communicating success is just as important as making it happen.  I know there are many organizations making incredible headway on their mission every day.  But not everyone knows that.   So, I’m inviting DANA member nonprofits to share their impact stories through this blog.   I’m closing the chapter on my “Endless Journey” blog – and opening a new one:  Celebrating our Impact.   Please send me your story to sbravo@delawarenonprofit.org, with a picture and brief paragraph on what you do and how it transforms lives or the community.  This will be the basis for my blogs going forward.  Collectively, our stories can help to inform the community on the great and impactful work nonprofits do across Delaware.

Tags:  David Grant  Delaware  giving Tuesday  grantmakers  nonprofit  philanthropy 

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What An Excellent Board Makes Possible

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Thursday, July 21, 2016

This past week I had the opportunity to facilitate discussions on board excellence across the state.  25 Board leaders participated in learning more about the six areas on which boards of directors can focus for improved board performance.  As the session got underway, I posed this question:  What does an excellent board make possible?


At first the answers were focused on the organizational level:  growth for the organization, donor and volunteer confidence, sustainability, staff support and reassurance, and more partnerships.

Then we took it to a higher level and looked at what an excellent board makes possible for the community: greater community involvement, more people receiving benefits, a healthier community, a greater economic development, improved community pride, and a greater quality of life.

When a nonprofit is formed, the board is typically focused on the community improvement aspects of their work - that is why they came together in the first place.  Enthusiasm builds based on the possibilities of all that they can accomplish for their community.   But over time, the need to raise funds, hire staff, meet legal and financial oversight requirements, etc., can make the work of the board seem administrative and less exciting.

Yet, it is in the excellence of leadership, planning, great governance, financial leadership, and resource provision that the board makes it possible for the organization and its staff to thrive.  Through their work, the community is transformed; and it is all because they are operating based on a sound plan, have a strong balance sheet, and possess the confidence that they will be able to follow through with the promise of their mission.

So at times when board work may not seem very interesting, stop and ask yourself and your board - what does (insert non-interesting work activity here) make possible for our mission?  How will it help board members have a greater understanding and confidence in our nonprofit's financial position?   How will it instill confidence in donors?  And with donors feeling confident in our good stewardship - how will the gifts they give make a difference to the community we desire to be better? Reminding board members how their planning, oversight, governance and policy work will make many things possible can be the catalyst to stimulate the decision leadership needed to move the organization forward.

The possibilities for better communities begin when nonprofit boards operate with excellence. DANA's Board Excellence workshops and retreats can help nonprofit Directors better realize their board and organization's potential.  To learn more visit our website at delawarenonprofit.org. 

Tags:  Board Member  Community  Delaware  Leadership  Nonprofit  Organization 

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A Bright Future when the Board Chair and CEO are a strong team

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Monday, June 20, 2016

Imagine being a board chair and feeling like you made a difference today, if for no one else, at least the person that makes the day-to-day awesomeness happen.

Imagine being the CEO and feeling you have a trusted thought partner to turn to who knows you, the organization, and the community.

These were some of the future possibilities discussed at DANA’s 2016 conference on Catalytic Leadership. Creating the Future Fellow Justin Pollock asked workshop participants to consider what the board chair and CEO would need to feel, believe, and know for them to be confident and effective in their roles.  

What emerged was wanting the ability to work seamlessly together, and to leverage their strengths which can create a multiplying effect that ripples through the Board of Directors, the organization, and the community. Their commitment to working together, taking the time to learn each other’s gifts, and listening and learning from each other is the foundation for decision making and action. This builds the trust and respect needed to jump in with confidence, and play the leadership role they have been elected and hired to do. 

A healthy relationship can also help diffuse factors that can derail a positive leadership experience. Dynamics of organizational context, time availability, power, personal interests, and lack of role clarity can influence the manner in which the leader team is shaped. Our work culture does not typically encourage relationship building before getting down to business. There is so much to do, and task takes priority.  Then, just when the relationship has finally solidified, term limits require a new Board Chair, and the leader team formation begins all over again. 

This all probably seems pretty intuitive. We all know that a good board chair/CEO relationship is required for having an engaged board and making effective decisions, right? Yet, how many boards have structured processes to encourage and ensure relationship building takes place?  How many have defined the qualities of a healthy strong board chair/CEO leader team? I suspect very few. We take it for granted that the board chair and CEO will work it out on their own.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. 

Imagine what could be possible when the board chair and CEO commit time to build trust, and to explore what they need to feel, believe and know for their work to be successful in leading the Board and moving the organization forward. DANA is offering an opportunity for board chairs and CEOs to embark on this journey to make it possible.  In partnership with fellows from Creating the Future, who were featured at our Annual Conference last week, DANA is launching a Fellowship uniquely crafted for board chair and CEO teams. Recognizing the distinctive organizational and board context that each board chair and CEO lead, this series of learning sessions will provide not only in-depth exploration of what could be possible for their leadership, but also will allow for time to apply their discoveries within their organizations and boards. 

I’ve had the opportunity to work with six board chairs over my years as Executive Director. And each one brought unique gifts to our team. We accomplished some pretty amazing things. However, there were bumps along the road and, with reflection, I’ve come to realize they often were early on in the relationship before we really understood each other. Having worked with Creating the Future in developing the DANA fellowship, it reinforces for me why the first job of a CEO and board chair is to really get to know each other and build the trust and respect to make it happen. DANA’s board just elected a new board chair, Michele Schiavoni, and with the knowledge I’ve gained in this area, I’m looking forward to getting to know her and exploring as a team our possibilities as leaders.

-Sheila

Tags:  Board of Directors  Delaware  nonprofits 

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Connections create possibilities

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Friday, April 29, 2016

These past few weeks several conversations have emerged around partnerships, collaboration, collective impact, and even consolidation. They covered the range from how much is happening, how to get started, what it’s going to take, and the economic and social benefit. In our state, many feel that there is an immense amount of partnership activity, many collaborative initiatives, and some comprehensive ventures towards collective impact. Each of those are a continuum of relationship depth between two or more organizations. 

And that is both our challenge and our opportunity.

Starting a partnership, or immersing in a strategic alliance, requires relationship building, trust, and a lot of time. Sharing resources and common goals can be challenging, as it requires each organization to be vulnerable with each other. In Delaware, our geography and government structure provides access in ways that larger states cannot benefit.

AstraZeneca seeks to stimulate connections with nonprofits in this creative space.

Building a relationship with another leader across the state can be easy, and our networks help facilitate communication among our colleagues rather quickly. We need to leverage that advantage to strengthen Delaware community benefit organizations. We have the potential to pool our resources to collectively advance our missions.

So how do we get started? It begins with conversation; a simple willingness to meet regularly, understand who is doing what, and being willing to share ideas and resources. Those simple connections can accelerate the potential and possibilities we all have in advancing the quality of life here in Delaware.

-Sheila

Tags:  collaboration  Delaware  nonprofits  partnerships 

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Networking and Partnering can strengthen Nonprofits and their Leadership

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

There is a lot of talk these days about collaboration, and in Delaware many nonprofits are collaborating at some level with others. DANA has held several workshops on the various types of collaboration, including working together for collective impact. Partnering is not only smart from an efficiency and effectiveness standpoint, but it can also help to strengthen your leadership, as well as your organization. There are many ways to start the pathway to collaboration. One of them is by joining a network.

A recent article by Jennifer Chandler and Kristen Scott Kennedy from the National Council of Nonprofits highlights the benefits of being part of a network. Networks help advance the first step in any partnership or collaboration: building trust. By getting together regularly, group leaders break down resistance to sharing as they get to know others in the network. Mutual sharing of experiences and insights helps accelerate innovation, expand perspectives, and gain insights on what is happening in Delaware. Once trust is there, exploration of mutual initiatives begin to break down organizational resistance to working together. New programs, or cost sharing initiatives, become a reality. And leaders who are part of networks and coalitions find they also have a more powerful voice for advocacy activities.

DANA is a network. As the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, we convene nonprofit leaders in training, through member events, and our annual conference. We advocate for the interests of the nonprofit sector, and those who support it. We work in partnership with other state-wide organizations such as the Delaware Grantmakers Association, the Delaware Community Foundation, the United Way, Chambers of Commerce, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Our mission to strengthen enhance and advance nonprofits would not be possible without the connections among members, alliance partners, and government agencies. And our networking initiatives have expanded to support Executive Directors through the E2E Peer Networking sessions we're hosting each month.

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) and the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) have recently released studies on the skills required for effective nonprofit leadership. Both studies reveal that success in delivering mission can no longer be managed within organizational silos. Today, leaders must exhibit the ability to collaborate, work across organizational boundaries, network, and place solutions above their personal and organizational interests. Unfortunately, the GEO study also revealed that less than a quarter of nonprofit leaders ranked themselves as strong in these areas. That is concerning. 

As nonprofit leaders we are challenged to “squeeze blood out of a turnip.” One way to actually accomplish this is to work with others to share resources to make mission happen. Sometimes being part of a network costs money, but fees are usually well worth the benefits. However, most of what is required to network or collaborate is a commitment of time: time to meet and get to know others, and time to explore ways to make things better. I know time is in short supply for just about everyone. However, the rewards of being energized in working together and moving closer towards common goals can be great.    

In Delaware, there are plenty of ways to connect with others. I’ve counted over 22 network organizations in addition to DANA that provide opportunities for nonprofit leaders to connect, partner, and learn from each other. Most likely there are others, as I’m still learning the sectorAs Hildy Gottlieb says from Creating the Future, "Individually we don’t have enough resources, but collectively we do." Join DANA, join other networks, and strengthen your leadership and organization so that it can be successful in delivering its mission more effectively and efficiently.

Sheila

Tags:  Association of Fundraising Professionals  collaboration  Delaware  Delaware Community Foundation  Grantmakers  National Council of Nonprofits  network  nonprofits  State chamber of commerce  United Way 

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Adaptive Capacity Makes All the Difference

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Tuesday, January 12, 2016

This weekend I went to see the move The Big Short, the behind-the-scenes story of what led to the 2008 Great Recession. Though there were many insights from the film, one thing that I took away was how many signs there were that something was wrong with the housing market. Yet, despite the warnings, the perception that the housing market would always be a safe bet overshadowed the realities of blooming adjustable mortgages, suburban communities filled with foreclosed homes, and people securing mortgages that they did not have the incomes to support. Even as some credible experts came forward and made public speeches about the housing bubble and its future demise, there was little belief that this would actually become reality. 

Since the recession, the idea that you can expect anything to be a safe bet, or that the way the world is today is the way it will always be, is wildly naïve. Technology, social media, leadership turnover, and the political and economic climate are wreaking havoc on the status quo. To sustain an organization in 2016 and into the future, leaders, boards of directors, and the organization itself must have high levels of adaptive capacity in order to navigate a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous climate (VUCA).

Adaptive capacity is the ability to understand the environment (internal and external) as it is today, what it may be in the future, and respond effectively to address the pending climate changes through innovation, connecting, and inquisitiveness. This means scanning the landscape, staying on top of trends, as well as networking and collaborating to leverage the resources in the community system. It means managing the organization’s vulnerabilities, and creating scenarios of ‘what if’ so a nonprofit can respond to a crisis, in addition to reach out and capture new opportunities.

The basis for adaptive capacity can be found in Peter Senge’s 1990 seminal work The Fifth Discipline. Senge outlines the principles of a learning organization  - where members are continuously seeking improvement to enhance their capabilities and achieve what they want. Since the book’s release, many leading leadership and organizational research institutions have studied how leaders and organizations respond to change. 

Recently, Jim Collins’ Great by Choice profiles why some organizations thrive during turbulent times. What Collins found is that these organizations had leaders who were disciplined, used facts to inform decisions, and were more paranoid than those leading the organizations that did not thrive. They planned for worse case scenarios, and they were methodical in their innovation.

Last night at the Delaware State Chamber’s 179th Annual Dinner, our political leaders talked about the changing times, and how this can lead to opportunities. Senator Carper said it well: “Under the mud there is a pony.”  Leaders and nonprofit boards who embrace a learning culture, look outward, and take initiative to change the status quo will most likely be the first to find that pony and ride it into the sunset.

Sheila

Tags:  Adaptive capacity  Board of Directors  Delaware  nonprofits  State Chamber 

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New Years Tip: Create an Organizational Calendar

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Monday, December 28, 2015

Imagine these scenarios:

  • A nonprofit submits a request for funding only to be turned down due to failure to meet prior grant requirements.
  • A nonprofit cannot reapply for a contract because they did not turn in the necessary reports. 
  • A nonprofit learns they lost their tax-deductible status since they did follow IRS rules for filing.

It may sound surprising, but it happens, and not that infrequently. In many of the cases above, leadership transitions resulted in the loss of internal accountability for following up on the commitments the organization made in order to receive funding, get a contract, or even retain their nonprofit status. Or, in the throws of being focused on day-to-day operations, the nonprofit forgot they made a commitment to a grant maker to report on the results of the initiative that was funded. 

A simple solution to all this is to create an organizational calendar. Creating such a document helps nonprofit boards and executive staff stay on top of critical milestones. This not only includes board meeting dates, or special event dates, but also key activities that the organization must follow through on to meet commitments and monitor its mission.

One of the top concerns I heard by grant makers and government funders is the lack of follow-through on the part of nonprofits in providing timely reports on progress made possible by their financial support. This is not just a strict protocol, but a real requirement in which they have to report to their board, or in the case of the government, to other government officials on the use of funds. When a nonprofit fails to submit their information in a timely manner, they negatively impact the very people who are financially supporting them.

Here are some ideas on what to include in an organizational calendar:

  • Board meeting dates
  • Annual meeting, including the date when the annual budget is passed and evaluation of organizational progress towards the strategic plan takes place
  • Date to file and pay franchise tax
  • Date to file the appropriate IRS form 990
  • Date to report back to a grant maker or a contractor on program/project progress
  • Date to review the Executive Director
  • Special fundraising event dates
  • Date for new board member orientation
  • Date for board self-evaluation
  • Date to review personnel policies to ensure they are compliant with state and federal laws
  • Date for the annual DANA conference, or the gatherings of other professional organizations of which your nonprofit is a member

Once completed, the calendar should be readily available for all board members and staff to review.  Board Chairs can regularly reference the calendar, and request confirmation that the scheduled initiative was indeed followed through on. This one document can help your organization stay on top, helping to support your mission in 2016.

Happy New Year!

Sheila

Tags:  Board Member  Board of Directors  Calendar  Delaware  nonprofits 

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Making the Economy Grow

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Friday, November 13, 2015

This past week I have had several conversations with Nonprofit and Government leaders about economic impact and sustainability.  Delaware is very fortunate to have many nonprofits that contribute to the economy.  Several nonprofits are starting some impressive initiatives that are designed to generate considerable revenue growth to the State over the next couple of years.

The Wilmington Renaissance Corporation has completed planning, and has begun implementation of a Creative District in Downtown Wilmington.  This initiative focuses on creative production and consumption – in other words, it is a place for artists to work and live, and for their patrons to meet and engage them.  There are plenty of past examples of how arts initiatives have revitalized downtown districts across the country, and this has great promise to do the same.  You can learn more at http://www.bigideaswilmington.com/WRC/Creative-District#contact

Spending time in Kent County, I learned about the Restoring Central Dover collaboration. This initiative came out of the CenDel Foundation’s Safety Task Force and evolved into a collaborative vision among community leaders in the nonprofit, business, and religious communities.   Led by NCall Research, the five-year plan for restoring Dover includes a range of initiatives that overlap with government, business, religious, and nonprofit activities that are aligned towards creating a vital Dover community.  The details can be found at http://www.ncall.org/community-impact/restoring-central-dover/

Did you know: DANA is holding free nonprofit forums to further discuss how to "Make Delaware Great!" We started this discussion at our Annual Conference in June; now it's time to take it further! Bring your ideas; sign up here.

Delaware Botanic Gardens has completed their planning to convert 37 acres into the Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek outside of Dagsboro in Sussex County.   Cultural Tourism has already been marked as an economic driver for the state. Delaware Botanic Gardens adding one in Sussex County is anticipated to generate millions in future years.  With a tourist draw also comes small business opportunities such as restaurants and hotels.  This is a big boon for this part of Delaware! You can see more at http://www.delawaregardens.org/

These are just a few upcoming examples of now nonprofits continue to innovate in ways that create jobs and generate cash for the Delaware economy.  Collectively, nonprofits are a huge employer, draw millions to the state for cultural activities, and make our lives better each day.   As we move into a season of thanksgiving and celebration, and we remind our community of the transformational impact we have on lives, don’t forget to share the good news on how your organization has an impact on our economy, as well.   

Sheila

Tags:  Delaware  economy  nonprofits 

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Investing in Leaders

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It’s that time of year! Many nonprofits are going through their budget process right now.  Often, in addition to an income/expense budget and cash flow, nonprofits with fixed assets also develop budgets for facility repair and maintenance.  Too often though, nonprofits forget a very important asset that requires the same type of care and planning for future needs – human resources. 

What percent of your budget is dedicated to professional development?  Do all staff have professional development plans?   How does the Board evaluate compensation and development for the Executive Director, and how often is that reviewed?

Unfortunately, these questions are often not in the budget planning discussions.  I don’t think that it is because Boards and nonprofit leadership don’t care about professional development. Rather, most likely because this is considered discretionary.  At times when funding is tight and choices are made, giving up on training staff seems to make sense.  Perhaps this is true in the short-term, but in the long-term it has significant consequences.   Investing in training for staff is critical to long-term sustainability of a nonprofit organization. Otherwise, where will the next leaders of nonprofits come from?

A recent study completed by Third Sector New England studied nonprofit leadership issues in that region. One of the greatest concerns was leadership development and succession planning.  The study went as far as stating that the nonprofit sector is undercapitalized, with a high percent of long-term talented people and a lower than average pay scale. Retirements will create a deficit in thought-leadership and an increase in operating expense.   

I am hearing the same thing here in Delaware.  Many financially strong nonprofits have benefited from the longevity of their leaders – some of whom have grown their organizations 10-fold over the 20+ years in which they have led the nonprofit.   Who will be taking their place when they retire?  What skills will be necessary for a new leader to take the reigns?  And how are the organizational culture, board practices, and operations tied to the personality of the leader? 

If the board and leadership are not asking these questions now, they should.  The Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2015 State of the Sector report indicated that less than half (39%) of Delaware nonprofits surveyed provide professional development training for staff.   And even fewer (28%) have tackled leadership succession.  Most nonprofits rely on people, their skills, and their thinking to create sustainable value to the community.  Without investing in those areas, how will nonprofits compete for talent and resources in the future? 

Did you know: DANA has 2 more courses left for the year! Check out our training calendar by clicking here, and join us!

Infrastructure, such as buildings and technologies, over time need care and investment for them to meet the current needs of nonprofit services.   The many talented people who work tirelessly in your organizations need the same.  If you are concerned about funding, then it’s time to speak with your top donors and funders who value your people and the great work they do for the organization. 

There are many sources of training out there.  DANA training begins at $40 for members, and we offer online as well as in-class experiences.   Whatever the professional development need is, don’t delay in investing. Good, talented people who have created the value your organization offers to the community are not easy to replace. Why not build the next generation of leaders within your nonprofit organization so that it can thrive in the long-term.

Sheila

Tags:  budget  Delaware  leaders  nonprofits  succession planning 

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Seasons

Posted By Sheila Bravo, Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Last week I was driving to Newark to visit a nonprofit and I could not help but admire the colorful array of fall foliage as I drove down the highway.  Each tree, each leaf was uniquely colored. Against the bright, sunny sky, the palette was brilliant.  I began to reflect on the seasons, and how the visual environmental changes give clear signs that something different is going to happen.  There are some signals in the nonprofit environment that we are seeing that change is happening for us as well. After surviving a very difficult recession, it seems the funding landscape is changing again with concerns over corporate foundation giving, government funding, and even individual philanthropy.  

The recent forum that the Delaware Revenue Solutions Working Group held (of which DANA is a partner) brought together members of the government who lead the Delaware state budget discussion.  We listened to them talk about their limited resources and all the challenges that come with balancing a budget.   Nonprofit leaders have had that challenge for years!  In fact, it seems that our organizations are being asked to serve more people with less funding annually.  Potential cuts in government funding is concerning.  In a recent survey by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, 67% of Delaware nonprofits reported that they work to deliver services to the community through state grants and contracts.   And over 77% of people who took the survey indicate that demand for services is increasing.  

There is uncertainty in the economic landscape too, which influences the work of nonprofits. This weekend’s News Journal article, featuring DuPont and its leadership change, describes how nonprofits and communities are impacted when cities lose their companies. Yet, today’s announcement of JP Morgan Chase’s investment in Delaware – projecting an additional 1,800 employees in the next several years – shows signs of hope.  A strong workforce and vibrant companies are important elements to nonprofit health.  Nationally, individual giving contributes 72% of all dollars to nonprofits, with corporations & private foundations give less than 10% overall.   Here in Delaware, we have greatly benefitted from the generosity of our corporate philanthropists.  However, in the past decade we have seen a loss of funding as corporations move away, or consolidate their giving to regional offices. The competition for dollars has gone up with a large pool of nonprofits reaching for the same regional pockets. In the meantime, individual philanthropy in Delaware is not at pace with national trends.  Though the average Delaware household income is 12% above the national average, giving per household is 15% below the national average.  

Did you know: DANA's next training is coming up soon! "Breaking the Starvation Cycle" will explain the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Uniform Guidance on Indirect Costs. Whether your nonprofit receives federal money through grants and contracts directly, or even if it is a pass-through in state and local grants, the OMB Uniform Guidance that went into effect on December 26, 2014 applies to you! This is a DON'T MISS opportunity! Join us on Wednesday, November 4 in Wilmington, Thursday, November 5 in Dover, or Friday, November 6 in Georgetown. 

So what is a nonprofit leader to do?  First, recognize that your challenges are not unique.  And neither are Delaware’s.  Many other states and communities have experienced these challenges as corporations leave for international opportunities, or governments restructure their grants & contracts.  We can learn from the work that other state nonprofits and nonprofit councils have done to hold, if not grow, funding opportunities for nonprofits. 

How did they do it? They came together; they became a unified voice.  And that is our opportunity.  The change in the philanthropic landscape should be a chance for us to talk about the benefits of nonprofits to Delawareans, and then ask them to give.  It is a chance to have productive conversations with our government officials on funding solutions instead of expense-cutting tactics.  And, it is an opportunity for nonprofits to look to each other to see how we can work together to serve clients, patrons, and guests better and more efficiently. 

The funding season is changing again.  But one thing I know from the many nonprofit leaders who have weathered prior funding challenges is WE need to be the change.  We need to change the model. And only together can we make that happen.

-Sheila

Tags:  Delaware  DuPont  funding  government  JP Morgan Chase  Nonprofit Finance Fund  nonprofits 

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