The Commons – Our Blog
News, Tips, & Insights from Staff & Guests
Welcome to The Commons, 501 Commons' new blog, where we'll be sharing:
- How-tos, tips, and tricks from nonprofit tech, finance, HR, and other areas
- News and updates about upcoming events, programs, and services
- Thought-provoking pieces around topics, such as skills-based volunteerism, nonprofit management, and more
- Stories from clients about the impact of 501 Commons' programs and services
Plus, we invite your comments! Add your thoughts to these posts, so our blog truly becomes "The Commons."
Producing a major fundraising event can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. To ensure success, remember to think of events as the culmination of building relationships with donors instead of just being a place where you solicit gifts. We've compiled a list of helpful resources to help guide you through the process of planning the best fundraising events.
RFPs are a common method for nonprofits to gather bidders for an important project. However, in our experience, we believe RFPs are not always the best way to select that crucial vendor your organization needs. We recommend nonprofits instead hire a consultant based on an in-depth discussion rather than dryly reviewing a document.
The Inland Northwest Conference for the Greater Good, on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center, is a fantastic opportunity for Eastern Washington nonprofits to grow stronger together. Hosted by Washington Nonprofits, the conference promises to be a space where nonprofit leaders, staff, and volunteers can come together to inspire and be inspired. Hope to see you there!
Nonprofits that are searching for a space for their next fundraising event, program function, meeting or board retreat should check out the Washington State Nonprofit Venues Map, which lists more than 300 venues located statewide. Many of these venues are free or offer a nonprofit discount and include amenities such as A/V equipment, kitchen space, parking options, and more.
The Department of Labor (DOL) is considering changes to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will require nonprofits to pay some currently exempt staff members time-and-a-half whenever they work more than 40 hours/week. It is anticipated that these changes will be implemented in 2016.
The Executive Director Forum on Sept. 11 at Pacific Tower is a unique opportunity for nonprofit EDs/CEOs to connect with their peers, share ideas, and learn from each other in a supportive environment. Each session offers three discussion groups facilitated by three outstanding leaders.
The Washington nonprofit sector recently lost Donnie Chin, founder of the International District Emergency Center, who was murdered on the streets of the community he loved and served for 45 years. His life was a testament to the spirit of goodness that is crucial to the work of the philanthropic sector.
We may be only half way done with 2015, but many nonprofits are now starting to figure out their budgets for 2016. We ask that you consider making room in your budgets for staff and leadership development and organizational improvement, as 501 Commons offers trainings, events, and direct services in these areas.
"Policy Governance" is a tool that ensures a nonprofit's board, executive director, and staff understand their roles in advancing the organization's mission within a clearly articulated framework. As 501 Commons and leaders from Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program and ArtsWest can attest, adopting PG's principles can be crucial to a nonprofit's success.
501 Commons has used the Policy Governance approach to our board for a decade. We believe this approach is well-designed, holistic, and logically approaches how a board should relate to a nonprofit's executive director and staff. We're sharing with you 10 benefits your organization could experience using Policy Governance.