Show Me the Money: What Every Non-Profit Leader Should Know Before Asking

Posted on December 15, 2014. Filed under: Data, SWOT | Tags: , , , |

It’s time for fundraising and you’ve perfected your elevator speech. Once-upon-a-time this may have meant that you’d do most of the talking, and you would have all the answers to the same set of highly anticipated questions. But as funding sources have dried up, and dollars flow less freely, those who have typically given to your organization along with first-timers may be asking more (and tougher) questions before investing in your non-profit. Here are some suggested things to include as you make your pitch and as donors critically evaluate the causes they will support this year:

  • Be clear on your mission, goals and objectives. Know what progress you’ve made toward achieving them.
  • Know your numbers. Donors will want to quantify your worthiness. How much, how many, how long, how far, averages, medians, percent increases, percentile ranks, ROI, etc. You get the point.
  • Be prepared to talk about threats, challenges, and even failures. More importantly, provide clarity on how you have (or are) addressing them.
  • Distinguish how you are different from other organizations doing similar work. Be knowledgeable about how you compare to them.
  • Mention any synergy, collaboration, or partnership with other organizations that is favorable, for example, talk about your public/private initiative with a local area school.
  • Mention what is new. If you have new initiatives, new employees that bring a special skill, or new board members, this may be of interest.
  • Talk about how your organization is managed. Focus on how you have utilized funding, improved effectiveness, expanded outreach, formed a sub-committee to address a particular concern, etc.

No leader will be able to accurately predict every question, but the guidelines above will better ensure that you are prepared to compete for dollars in a tougher economy. Good Luck!

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A Blog About Breast Cancer

Posted on August 6, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This is not my usual bubbly blog so be warned. As mentioned in my previous blog, HR4NONPROFITS has been working alongside Roseland Community Hospital in trying to obtain a digital mammography machine for the hospital.

Just a few days ago, my neighbor and very good friend, Kim, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She mentioned how her doctor performed a typical exam, during which the doctor did not detect any signs of breast cancer. Fortunately, Kim was due to have a mammogram screening, which did detect the cancer. While it is unfortunate that she experiences the harsh reality of having cancer, luckily, she had a mammogram screening that was able to detect the cancer early.  Thus, she can begin treatment right away as opposed to not knowing, which allows the cancer to spread. Similar to this instance, there are many more in which digital mammography machines help to detect cancer that may have gone otherwise unnoticed and undiagnosed.

According to breastcancer.org, “mammograms have been shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 35% in women over the age of 50.” Since mammograms allow for breast cancer to be both detected and treated earlier, women are more likely to be able to keep their breasts and avoid resorting to localized breast removal, also known as mastectomy.

It is crucial for Roseland to obtain this machine and help to prevent breast cancer from occurring within the Chicago communities. Death rates due to breast cancer are two times higher in Chicago than in New York City. Also, Chicago lacks quality institutions to provide routine screening. New York has 11 safety-net institutions to provide screening services, whereas Chicago has only one. Doctors at the University of Illinois at Chicago believe that Chicago’s South Side has a lack of overall preventative measures that should be taken, such as routine checks and the equipment. They believe that more hospitals located in the South Side communities need to be equipped with mammography equipment especially since there is such a strong presence of breast cancer in Chicago. Clearly, it is vital for Roseland to have this machine. If Roseland Community Hospital has this equipment, it can perform mammograms on its patients and help to prevent breast cancer and treat it earlier.

Furthermore, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American College of Radiology now recommend annual mammograms for women over 40. Dr. Susan Greenstein, a breast cancer research expert, says, “Mammography plays a critical part in diagnosing breast cancer. In the past, we’d often find that a woman had breast cancer when she came in with a lump. Today, the cancers radiologists find on mammography are usually detected early, before they can be felt by the patient, are smaller than cancers felt by patients, and have much lower levels of lymph node involvement.”

Please help Roseland obtain this mammography machine by donating and spreading the word!

For more information on breast cancer, mammograms, and advice, visit: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/mammograms/benefits_risks.jsp

Also, for information on Roseland and donating, call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at 630.830.4443 or visit our website at www.hr4nonprofits.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Alyssa Zavislak

Cornell College

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Internship: Moving Forward With Roseland

Posted on July 18, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

These past few weeks the intern team at HR4Non-Profits has been brainstorming ideas to help out Roseland Community Hospital.

Although Roseland Hospital is rated in the top 5% for pulmonary care in America and has been recognized for its medical services, it still struggles to obtain a mammography machine, which would allow doctors to detect the early signs of breast cancer in both men and women.  Since Roseland Community Hospital is the only hospital in a 7-mile radius, the lives of women in Roseland, Pullman, West Pullman, and Washington Heights communities may depend on this piece of equipment.

The current goal is to raise $250,000 to purchase a digital mammography machine, and ultimately prevent severe cases of breast cancer from occurring within the community. In order to help accomplish certain goals, it is important to reach out to different businesses and organizations and ask for donations. Some organizations specifically spell out in their websites types of projects they donate towards. These projects range from mentoring programs for women to machines that would benefit hospitals. Either way, this internship has taught me how crucial it is to network and build upon that network in order to reach goals and move forward.

For more information on Roseland and fundraising, call the HR4NON-PROFITS team 630.830.4443 or visit our website at http://www.hr4nonprofits.com

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Alyssa Zavislak

Cornell College

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Internship: Have A Game Plan!

Posted on July 9, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This past weekend, HR4Non-Profits volunteered at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. We helped organize canned goods in the warehouse section of the organization. Although there was no air conditioning, it was amazing to see how fast and efficient people worked and how some local Chicagoans dedicated time every week towards volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. It was an amazing experience and I look forward to the next volunteer opportunity we have in Chicago.

In addition to weekly volunteering, I have been interviewing various CEOs, Presidents, and Chief of Staffs of both small and larger companies worldwide. It’s interesting to see how various companies have adopted and implemented new approaches after the economic recession and how much strategic planning plays a role in every business. With so many economic obstacles and future uncertainties, it is vital for companies, regardless of size, to have a future plan extending beyond ten years.

Interviewing companies on post-recession strategies and leadership allows HR4Non-Profits to review these best practices and potentially feature these businesses in our monthly newsletter. The questionnaire is comprised of the following:

1. Has your company adopted new approaches or changes in its approaches since the economic downturn?

2. What are the main obstacles that businesses face in their first years?

3. How does your company measure success?

4. What would you say is the most important ability a leader should have?

5. How do you set up future goals for the organization and how do you measure if the organization is moving towards those goals?

If you would like to answer these questions and be featured in our newsletter, please e-mail me at azavislak@hr4nonprofits.com

For information on strategic planning and more, call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at  630.830.4443 or visit our website at www.hr4nonprofits.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Alyssa Zavislak

Cornell College

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Internship: Small Steps

Posted on July 2, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This week has been especially exciting since we are seeing some of the projects come together, forcing me to reflect on this month’s internship experience. After just a month’s time, it’s amazing to see the progress the company has made and how much we’ve grown individually and as a team.

Individually, I see how I’ve completed certain projects like newsletters and feel proud to what I’ve completed thus far. As a team, I’m amazed at how communication within the interns has improved and at the innovative ideas people bring to the table and bounce off one another. Now that a month has gone by, we can see how certain projects have been completed while others are still in the making.

As a team, we have been working on fundraising ideas for the Roseland Community Hospital, a hospital lacking mammogram technology to adequately detect and address breast cancer in patients. It was exciting to see our intern team brainstorm ideas and compile a list of fundraising initiatives and a comprehensive timeline to follow in order to get this fundraiser up and running.

Additionally, Phyllis, an intern from Northwestern University, has been working on a new commercial for HR4Non-Profits. This commercial integrates the values of HR4Non-Profits along with how the company has lowered cost and improved efficiency for non-profit organizations. The commercial is still a work in progress so it will be interesting to see how the final product will look.

Generally, it’s exciting to see where these projects are going and how we are making progress. While the projects I work on have incremental steps to completion, social, economic, and political change also takes small steps.

For information on Roseland Hospital and much more, call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at  630.830.4443 or visit our website at www.hr4nonprofits.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

Alyssa Zavislak

Cornell College

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Internship: Behind The Scenes!

Posted on June 25, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today, HR4Non-Profits volunteered with Global Explorers Kids. Global Explorers Kids is a non-profit organization that establishes after school art education programs to children and youth typically from low-income communities. The organization seeks to integrate art and culture through educating children about cultural traditions and practices around the globe. From this, Global Explorers Kids fosters tolerance, peace, and acceptance of other countries and cultural traditions. This organization has also assisted other non-profits, like All About Kids Learning Academy, in which Global Explorers Kids brought their own funding to aid the organization.

Working alongside the HR4Non-Profits team, we assisted Global Explorers Kids by establishing a curriculum base for incoming teachers to familiarize themselves with and utilize within the classroom. The curriculum centered on art activities that are representative of other cultures. Some of the activities, like mask crafting, reminded me of high school Spanish class when we’d celebrate the Mexican holiday, Dia De Los Muertos, and create Halloween-type masks.

Working alongside the HR4Non-Profits team, we assisted Global Explorers Kids by establishing a curriculum base for incoming teachers to familiarize themselves with and utilize within the classroom. The curriculum centered on art activities that are representative of other cultures. Some of the activities, like mask crafting, reminded me of high school Spanish class when we’d celebrate the Mexican holiday, Dia De Los Muertos, and create Halloween-type masks.

In addition to coordinating a curriculum, the team and I also researched grant funding opportunities for Global Explorers Kids so the organization can keep their afterschool arts education program up and running. It is important for non-profits to receive outside help from various foundations so they can expand their non-profit organization and further progress.

Thus far, I’m enjoying my time interning at HR4Non-Profits. I feel as though I’m helping humanity by uncovering the harsh realities that face poverty-stricken Chicago communities while simultaneously trying to solve them. I enjoy working alongside the HR4Non-Profits staff. Everyone is extremely resourceful and team-driven, two very essential aspects to having a successful organization.

For information on grant writing/funding and much more, call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at  630.830.4443 or visit our website at www.hr4nonprofits.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Also for more information on Global Explorers Kids, visit their website  http://globalexplorerskids.org/

 

Alyssa Zavislak

Cornell College

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