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Thursday, October 19, 2017

There Is More Than One Way to Approach a Feasibility Study




Ozymandias
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land, 
Who said-"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, 
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; 
And on the pedestal, these words appear: 
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; 
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare 
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
  There Is More Than One Way to Skin A Cat
And there is more than one way to approach a feasibility study.  

Nonprofit capital campaigns have long depended on the classic feasibility study to determine interest in and support of a capital improvement project. The study typically involves interviewing 40 to 50 individuals using a lengthy questionnaire. These individuals are community leaders, organization supporters, and major philanthropic resources. The results are tabulated, conclusions and recommendations are developed, and the report is presented to the client.

This is a reliable method that gives the nonprofit a basis for proceeding with its campaign. In some cases, it leads the organization to reorganize or adjust its plans to be successful in a slightly different configuration. Conducting the project in phases or reducing the project's size are common alternatives.

But what if there's a different approach that might work better?

There are two main reasons to reexamine the classic approach:
  1. Feasibility studies are expensive, a deal breaker for some nonprofits.
  2. Individuals do not always have the time to devote to an interview that can run 45 minutes to an hour long.
We offer an alternative approach that gives nonprofits reliable results. It might even have a higher rate of return from community participants.
Our process delivers:
  • The expertise of a reliable nonprofit consultant with the time and expertise necessary to develop and interpret the desired data
  • The answers to tough questions that can be solicited from a neutral third party
  • Credible results
  • A new approach to engage your top donors and major philanthropic resources
  • A summary report that provides a road map for going forward based on valid conclusions and recommendations
We will not reveal our "secret sauce" here, but if you want to learn moreplease contact us for details. We look forward to hearing from you.

P.S.  Our  approach can be adapted for a needs assessment, a community assessment, or a marketing survey. Please contact Bonny Anderson at (302) 530-6806 or banderso1066@earthlink.net, or visit us at www.macintyreassociates.com.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Case for Nonprofit Strategic Plans




Strategic planning is a controversial issue among nonprofit boards.
  • Some think it's a waste of resources (time and money) and point to plans on bookshelves or in filing cabinets.
  • Some think it's a good idea, but only if staff is designated to do the implementation.
  • Some think it's "pie in the sky" and gets in the way of normal operating functions.  
I think strategic planning gives an organization the opportunity to dream big and translate those visions into a workable and practical guide. A realistic and actionable plan:

1. Sets a course that advances the organization's mission. For instance, this could be the opportunity to coordinate sustainability actions, improve service delivery, and expand programs in scope or coverage.

2. Directs actions and creates efficiencies. Rather than just doing the necessary daily activities, staff and board have a chance to integrate a few greater goals into their work plans. Thoughtfully done, it can lead to better cooperation and efficiency by removing internal silos that have built up over time. 

3. Builds excitement and encourages participation. This is the chance to demonstrate what is possible beyond the routine, show steps that are realistic, and create a structure for involvement at every level.

4. Enhances credibility. More and more funders of major gifts want to see a strategic plan and implementation schedule. Take heed.

5. Ensures that key opportunities are not ignored. This brings us back to the vision. Don't let routine get ahead of newly suggested efforts that can help improve delivery, expand scope (or audiences), increase support, etc. Take the time to work on the big picture so you don't stagnate.

6. Promotes cost-effectiveness. This is the time for leadership to closely examine how objectives are realized and propose a more integrated process. Even if no change occurs, the examination is worthwhile.

A last word of caution: If you are not serious about implementation, don't waste your valuable resources on planning. It is self-defeating. Planning isn't just about dreaming; it's about taking those all-important next steps.

September Recipe - Ribolitta

The end of summer/early fall is an excellent time to start eating great soups. This Ribollita is the perfect soup to span the seasons.

It's warm and hearty and uses up the last of our summer vegetables. It's also fantastic for using leftover vegetables. I like this combination, but experiment as you wish. Mangia!

Ribolitta
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. olive oil
1 or 2 small zucchini, chopped- not the giant ones
3 c. greens, shredded- I like arugula or spinach
1 can (19 oz.) white beans
1 can (19oz.) or 2cups tomatoes- if canned use Cento San Marzano
3 c. chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste- I like 'em.
Good coarse bread, large cubes
Sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrots in olive oil until soft.

Add everything else except beans, including stock. Stir, cover, and cook over low heat for about an hour.

Add beans and cook for about 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Add bread to thicken and for taste and texture. The longer it sits, the better it is.

Serve at room temperature. Drizzle with pesto and olive oil if you like.

Always add cheese!

I drink red wine with this to get in the mood for fall.

To learn more about strategic planning, contact Bonny Anderson at (302) 530-6806 or banderso1066@earthlink.net, or visit us at www.macintyreassociates.com.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hate and Prejudice are Taught

Given the events in our country during the last few weeks, we should remember that hate and prejudice are taught--they are not instinctive. So I'd like to present this song from South Pacific, which puts the concept of hate into context.

You've Got To Be Carefully Taught
by Richard Rodgers

You've got to be taught to hate and fear
You've got to be taught from year to year
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught before it's too late
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught


Monday, July 24, 2017

Client Spotlight


The Jefferson School
"Education Reimagined"

This is the motto of one of our newest clients, The Jefferson School (TJS). TJS is 
a small independent school near Georgetown, Delaware. They are located on a     47-acre campus adjacent to the Redden Forest that allows a real-time education in science and the environment. They even have a small tribe of small goats! Covering pre-school through 8th grade, TJS emphasizes small classes and experienced based learning. This allows students to:
  • be more readily able to absorb new ideas and integrate them with their current knowledge 
  • develop a passion for both lifelong learning and global awareness.
TJS has been providing this educational opportunity to the children of Sussex County for 25 years. Small, creative and purposeful, TJS has launched students well prepared to thrive and succeed in competitive educational settings as they go on to high school and college.

We are so proud to be a part of their planning for the future. To learn more about The Jefferson School, visit their website: www.jeffersonschool.com.

Fundraising and the Nonprofit Board Member: Notes from a Practitioner


Development in all its elements is essentially a board function. Governance is the board's responsibility, and fundraising, which is critical to sustainability, is part of governance. Accordingly, nonprofit board members are responsible for fundraising, while staff members are responsible for management and operations.                                                               

Nonprofit board members:

  • If not you, who? The board is responsible for attracting resources to ensure the financial viability of the organization and its programs.
  • About 5.5% of charitable giving goes to arts organizations. This means that self-funding is paramount in your strategy.
  • 75% of donations to nonprofits come from individual donors.
  • Your board should be comprised of individuals who can "give or get"!
  • When you present your case for support, always explain what the community needs and how your organization fills that need.
  • Constantly build your database: Add friends, fellow club and church members, community leaders, event attendees, etc.
  • The more donors and potential donors are familiar with you, the more they are inclined to give. So make sure your organization stays top of mind with your target audience.
  • Make sure every member has an elevator pitch. Why you support makes a compelling statement to others about why they should, too.
  • THANK, RECOGNIZE, and CULTIVATE DONORS; it's an ongoing process.

If your organization does not have a resource development committee to focus efforts and motivate other board members, establish one. Every member must be actively involved. They should identify prospects, identify relationships, assist in cultivation, write thank-you notes, and write personal notes on solicitation letters. The committee can have non-board members who understand and support the mission. 

Staff can support development but should not be asked to assume major responsibility for it.

Remember, there is no magic. Why do people give? Because they are asked.

To learn more, contact Bonny Anderson at (302) 530-6806 or banderso1066@earthlink.net, or visit us at www.macintyreassociates.com.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Why do some charities get more donations than others?



Do you wonder why some charities get more donations than others? Take a look at their marketing. Here's an intriguing article by The New York Times.

At MacIntyre Associates, we can help develop a strategic marketing plan for your nonprofit.  

To learn more, contact Bonny Anderson at (302) 530-6806 or banderso1066@earthlink.net, or visit us at www.macintyreassociates.com.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Client Spotlight

                                

Central Baptist Community 
Development Corporation

Our client, Central Baptist Community Development Corporation, along with other nonprofits, is participating in United Way's Do More 24 Delaware™ campaign. Through focused online giving on June 1, 2017, Do More 24 Delaware provides the opportunity for you to make a difference in our local community.

Central Baptist CDC is part of the East Side Rising Project in Wilmington. They're committed to lifting the residents through better housing, access to urban gardens, job training, and job placement. Please check them out! You can also donate to Central Baptist CDC on June 1st--we hope you will.