Nonprofit Update January 2017

January 30, 2017
Greetings to Our Nonprofit Partners
Happy New Year to you! Now that we've all had a chance to catch our breath after the busy year-end giving season, it is time to devote some of our energies to retaining and engaging our donors, both new and old. Our own team has been thinking a lot about the topic of donor retention and is working on some related offerings for the broader nonprofit community, so please be on the lookout for those in the coming months. In the meantime, we hope that some of the resources in this newsletter will be helpful to you. Many thanks for all that you do!
Sincerely, The Nonprofit Effectiveness Group
In This Issue
I N T E R V I E W:
Union of Concerned Scientists 
Given our focus on donor retention this edition, we are pleased to feature t he
Union of Concerned Scientists 
(UCS), an organization with a very strong donor retention rate. This edition's spotlight interview is with Membership Director John Mace, who talks with us about UCS's successful monthly giving program,
What do you believe is the relationship between recurring giving programs and donor retention?
In our experience and [what I hear from] interacting with peers, the retention you see from sustainer programs is obviously much higher than what you'll see from other programs where you're soliciting single gifts. UCS is a bit of an outlier because we've always had a very loyal donor base. We're retaining 63-64% of our donors on a year-over-year  basis, and our sustainers are retaining at something over 90%.
Read the full interview 
If you have a story you'd like to share with the broader nonprofit community, e-mail us and let us know for a chance of being featured in this newsletter. 
Upcoming Events
The BUILD Health Challenge: Applicant Webconference January 31.  Register 
Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and
  Nonprofit Incorporation Workshop January 31.  Register 
The Boston Foundation:   Understanding Boston Forum - Arts Are a Public Good: What Boston Can Learn from Other Cities to Secure & Sustain Public Funding February 1. Register 

The Boston Foundation:   Cultural Responsiveness Training February 6. Register 
Women Online:   Achieve Nonprofit Impact Without Burnout! February 6. Register 
Associated Grant Makers: Introduction to Evaluating Investments February 7.  Register 
Foundation for Metrowest:   10 Steps to a Successful Nonprofit Social Media Strategy February 8.  Register 
Foundation for Metrowest:   Elements of a Successful Strategic Plan February 9.  Register 
Social Venture Partners: Meet Social Venture Partners: Info Session for Prospective Grantees (Spring 2017) February 9.  Register 
Foundation for Metrowest:   Webinar: Grantwriting 101 February 15.  Register 
Associated Grant Makers: Overcoming Obstacles: Lessons and Approaches for Implementing CSR Strategies February 16.  Register 
Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homelessness:   Pro Bono Consultation for Nonprofits: Commercial Lease February 16.  Register 
Tech Networks of Boston and TNB Labs:   TNB Roundtable: How Nonprofits Can Find and Use Public Data Effectively February 16.  Register 
The Boston Foundation:   Understanding Boston Forum - The Growing Challenge of Family Homelessness February 23. Register 
Nonprofits Assistance Fund: Cash Is King: Managing Cash Flow for Nonprofits February 28. Register 
Boston Private Industry Council/SkillWorks/The Boston Foundation: Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum - IT Talent Strategies at Work: Active Solutions to Create a More Diverse and Work Ready Talent Pipeline for the IT/Tech Sector March 1.  Register 
Associated Grant Makers: Evaluating Impact: What Works and What Needs to Change March 9.  Register 
Giving Common Benefits & Updates
Read on for a time-saving opportunity to help you share your organizational updates in 2017!
  • The Boston Foundation's GivingCommon is a great resource for local philanthropy every day and can be updated any time. Unless you request otherwise, we share your nonprofit's published information every few months with our technology partner, GuideStar USA, Inc., and with hundreds of other national platforms so that your material is up to date across the Web, saving you the time and trouble. Data from the Giving Common will next update your GuideStar record and other platforms if submitted by February 22. To update, enter data into the Giving Common ( and submit your changes to ensure they transfer. Need help logging in or have questions? Reach out to us at or phone 617-338-1623 for assistance.

Coming soon...

  • In the coming months we will feature interviews with funders and donors that use the Giving Common in their grant making on the Boston Foundation's City of Ideas Blog. We are excited to share their stories with our nonprofit partners and give you insights into local grant makers that are viewing profiles on Make sure to follow the Foundation on Twitter @bostonfdn for links to read more! 
  • After an exciting year-end giving season, including Giving Common workshops and a webinar about driving donations to your organization, we plan to follow up with a workshop and webinar this spring focused on the other side of the coin: donor retention and establishing a monthly giving program. More details coming soon. 
The Giving Common, a major initiative of the Boston Foundation, is an in-depth database of nonprofit profiles that funders, donors and the general public can search by issue area, geography and other variables with the option to "donate now." 

To get started please visit .
Clif Bar Family Foundation: Small Grants Program Funding for work that aligns with one or more of the foundation's focus areas: promoting Earth's beauty and bounty; creating a robust, healthy food system; increasing opportunities for outdoor activity; reducing environmental health hazards; and building stronger communities. Deadline: February 1. Read More
The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities: National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Supports outstanding after-school and out-of-school programs that are transforming the lives of young people. Deadline: February 8. Read More
U.S. Soccer Foundation: Program Grants Supports organizations that are implementing innovative and/or non-traditional soccer programs in their communities. Deadline: February 10. Read More
Barr Foundation: A Vision for New England Schools and Programs for Students Off Track to Graduate from High School Supports innovative public high schools and programs across New England that are designed to support students who are not on track to graduate or connect to post-secondary success. Deadline: February 15. Read More
The Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, Inc. Grants Program Supports work that increases economic literacy throughout the United States. Deadline: February 15. Read More
Open Society Foundations: Communities Against Hate Rapid-response initiative that aims to respond to what communities believe is of greatest value to support, protect and empower those who are targets of hateful acts and rhetoric. Deadline: February 15. Read More
Petco Foundation: Grants Program Supports animal sheltering and adoption organizations. Deadline: February 15. Read More
The National Endowment for the Arts: ART WORKS Supports projects that deepen and extend the arts' value, including their ability to foster new connections and to exemplify creativity and innovation. Deadline: February 16. Read More
The BUILD Health Challenge: Awards Program Supports the advancement of collaborations designed to forge meaningful improvements in community health. Deadline: February 21. Read More
Greater Worcester Community Foundation: Early Childhood Grants Supports programs that increase the quality and quantity of formal early education for low-income children; support parents and families; and help eliminate summer learning loss among low-income children in greater Worcester. Deadline: March 1. Read More
Social Venture Partners Boston: Capacity Building Investment Supports high potential, early-mid stage nonprofits helping educationally and/or economically disadvantaged children, youth and families succeed in school or beyond. Deadline: March 1. Read More

Funders, if you have a funding opportunity you'd like to share, please e-mail us.
What We're Reading
As mentioned above, the Nonprofit Effectiveness Team has been focused on donor retention of late. Here are some of our recommended reads on the subject:
Jennifer Aronson, Associate Vice President for Programs: Donor Retention-A Call to Action and to Organization-Wide Quality Performance
Stephanie Guidry, Program Officer: Retention-Based Budgeting
Leigh Handschuh, Senior Program Associate, Nonprofit Effectiveness: 2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Project Survey Report (Infographic)

Amanda Holm, Manager, Nonprofit Effectiveness: Keep Your Donors: It's the Right Thing to Do-And It Makes You More Money!
Resources/ Opportunities
Are you looking to increase your leadership skills, broaden networks and learn from peers?
The Institute for Nonprofit Practice is now recruiting students for the 2017-2018 class. The Institute, in partnership with the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts, provides affordable, year-long certificate programs in nonprofit management and leadership for emerging, mid-career and executive leaders. The Boston Foundation is proud to support INP's efforts to strengthen and diversify leadership in our sector. Information sessions begin in February; TBF will be hosting two sessions on February 24th and March 16th at 1 pm.
Would you like to turn your new donors into lifetime supporters?
Network for Good created a free Donor Retention Toolkit that offers resources and templates that will help you build relationships with your donors through strategic communications.
Are you looking for ways to improve your fundraising effectiveness?
The Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute established the Fundraising Effectiveness Project to conduct research on fundraising effectiveness and help nonprofit organizations increase their fundraising results at a faster pace.
Is your team looking to gain extra capacity and develop your existing staff members?
Education Pioneers (EP) offers programs that can provide you with exceptional, diverse talent to address short-term critical needs over the summer ( Summer Track ) or fill long-term roles in data, strategy, operations and program/project management ( Career Track ). It also offers a Visiting Fellowship , an equity- and network-building- focused professional development for high potential staff members. If you're interested in bringing on a Pioneer or would like to learn more, email EP Greater Boston Director, Jacqueline Bennett .

Do you want to learn how to drive impact with storytelling?
Hatch for Good is an online resource that offers a suite of tools designed to help you leverage storytelling to drive social change. Built by Hattaway Communications with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Hatch for Good also features a growing community and wealth of articles from field experts.
Are you a public health leader interested in a leadership development opportunity?
Kresge Foundation's Emerging Leaders in Public Health Initiative , an ongoing leadership development initiative designed to equip local public health officers with the knowledge and skills to lead in today's changing health care environment, is accepting applications for its second cohort. Applications are due February 6.
Do you work in the community development sector?
Co-led by the National Collaborative for Health Equity and CommonHealth Action, the Culture of Health Leaders Program is accepting applications for the 2017-19 cohort. This three-year leadership development program is designed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with national partners, to advance the next generation of leaders committed to equity and better health. Applications are open now through February 15.

Need a place to host a meeting?
The Boston Foundation is pleased to invite community organizations to use our conference room space for meetings at no cost. Learn more... 
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