We are Here…to Pump You Up (for Give Day Tampa Bay on May 5th)

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications Stories

Do you want your nonprofit organization to be part of something BIG?

Here’s your chance: The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Florida Next Foundation are leading a 24-hour online giving challenge in May: Give Day Tampa Bay is a midnight-to-midnight event showcasing local nonprofits. Giving is easy for first-time donors and long-time supporters!

The inaugural event in 2014 raised more than $1 million for Tampa Bay nonprofits. The national Give Local America movement created the largest single-day charitable crowdfunding event ever (get the skinny and the tally from Kimbia)!

The Nonprofit Leadership Center is pleased to join the movement again as the training partner. We are ready to provide tools, tips, and resources to help you get the most from your efforts, and, beginning in February, we’ll deliver three FREE training classes dedicated to preparing your team to conduct a successful Give Day Tampa Bay campaign (see the dates below).

Nonprofit organizations must be registered to participate in the campaign and to attend the classes, so that’s Step 1. Register here.

Step 2: Assemble your Give Day Tampa Bay team. You’ll need representatives from leadership, fundraising, marketing, and accounting. You’ll also want to identify and involve volunteers and Board members.

Step 3: Add our classes to your calendar and decide which member(s) of your Give Day Tampa Bay team will attend each seminar. You’ll receive the link to sign up for the classes when you complete the registration.

Step 4: Come to class armed with ideas and questions. Get ready to learn best practices and hear what worked and what was a “#GiveDayTampaBay #fail.” Walk out with actionable ideas and next steps.

Step 5: Raise awareness, funds, and friends with Give Day Tampa Bay 2015 on May 5th!

Looking Back with Thanks & Ahead with Resolution

Team NLC Stories

As 2014 draws to a close, the team here at the Nonprofit Leadership Center wanted to share our gratitude and our hopes with you! We are grateful for our partnership with Tampa Bay nonprofits throughout the past year, and we hope to continue to be a part of your successes in 2015. Please let us know how we can help you to learn the skills to run your business better. We are eager to hear from you what training you need in the new year.

The 2015 training year is a new beginning for the NLC; we’ve built the classes in the early part of the Spring semester around a theme of Refresh, with the goal of helping our Tampa Bay nonprofit professionals refresh their personal and professional skill sets. And we’re looking forward to introducing you to new trainers and new classes in January.

In the meantime, we thought we’d also share the resolutions we’ve each made around our own individual and organizational development:  

Much of my job requires attention to detail (the accounting piece) as well as a huge need to be organized (customer service and everything else!) Both of these skills are important enough to me and to my position at work to continually strive for excellence. Although these are things I think I do quite well, I also know that there is always room for improvement. So my resolutions for 2015 are to continually explore methods to improve how I can best support my organization through accurate and thorough management reports, and to research procedures that will improve my ability to be able to best respond to customer needs and requests.   –Lorraine

In making the jump to a new job this year, I have been excited to immerse myself in the learning culture of the NLC. We don’t just offer learning for other people; we have an active learning culture ourselves, including an allowance for training both here in our own classes and through other trainers. I’ve missed out on some classes I really would’ve liked to participate in this year because I told myself I was too busy learning my new job. So one of my resolutions for the new year is take advantage of every training opportunity that will help me work smarter, not harder in 2015. (I also want to explore Evernote because my current notebook and Post-It system isn’t an efficient or effective way for me to capture, store, and access information! Has anyone seen that green post-it with my notes on the UT Nonprofit Management Certificate?)  –Jennifer

This year I resolve to put the big rocks first. In his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey lists habit No. 3 as “Put First Things First.” In a great demonstration to illustrate this point, he used large rocks to show the most important things, pebbles to show less important, and sand to show the small but distracting things. I’ll cut to the punchline: if you put the sand in first, there’s no room for the big rocks. My resolution for 2015 is to put the big rocks first. To accomplish this, I must purposefully differentiate the “big rocks” from the “sand.” This applies to my professional role at the Nonprofit Leadership Center, my personal roles of wife and mother, and my volunteer activities with New Tampa YoungLife and the AFP Suncoast Chapter. (Want to see a humorous depiction  of the big rocks demonstration? Click here for a video on the Franklin Covey YouTube channel)  –Sara

My resolution for 2015: To dwell in possibility. Emily Dickinson’s poem begins, “I dwell in possibility/a fairer house than prose/More numerous of windows/Superior – for doors.” While I do not pretend to be a scholar of poetry by any means, a number of Emily Dickinson’s poem resonate with me.  In this one she envisions a wide open space with many portals, unencumbered by obstacles and filled with opportunity. As we all contemplate our pathways ahead in 2015, this is a timely message. Too often as a leader I feel the need to know the answer, have the solution, to keep order. This poem reminds me that it can be better sometimes to hold back, take time and live in the space where all things are possible, and, by doing so, be able to examine the many dimensions of different ideas, alternate approaches, and infinite opportunities. That’s a space in which we can be creative and truly learn. Please join me!  “Of chambers as the cedars/impregnable of eye/And for an everlasting roof/The gambrels of the sky.”  –Emily

Wishing you and your team a very happy–and successful–New Year!

Looking Back with Thanks & Ahead with Resolution

Jennifer Dodd News, Stories

As 2014 draws to a close, the team here at the Nonprofit Leadership Center wanted to share our gratitude and our hopes with you! We are grateful for our partnership with Tampa Bay nonprofits throughout the past year, and we hope to continue to be a part of your successes in 2015. Please let us know how we can help you to learn the skills to run your business better. We are eager to hear from you what training you need in the new year.

The 2015 training year is a new beginning for the NLC; we’ve built the classes in the early part of the Spring semester around a theme of Refresh, with the goal of helping our Tampa Bay nonprofit professionals refresh their personal and professional skill sets. And we’re looking forward to introducing you to new trainers and new classes in January.

In the meantime, we thought we’d also share the resolutions we’ve each made around our own individual and organizational development:  

Much of my job requires attention to detail (the accounting piece) as well as a huge need to be organized (customer service and everything else!) Both of these skills are important enough to me and to my position at work to continually strive for excellence. Although these are things I think I do quite well, I also know that there is always room for improvement. So my resolutions for 2015 are to continually explore methods to improve how I can best support my organization through accurate and thorough management reports, and to research procedures that will improve my ability to be able to best respond to customer needs and requests.   –Lorraine

 

In making the jump to a new job this year, I have been excited to immerse myself in the learning culture of the NLC. We don’t just offer learning for other people; we have an active learning culture ourselves, including an allowance for training both here in our own classes and through other trainers. I’ve missed out on some classes I really would’ve liked to participate in this year because I told myself I was too busy learning my new job. So one of my resolutions for the new year is take advantage of every training opportunity that will help me work smarter, not harder in 2015. (I also want to explore Evernote because my current notebook and Post-It system isn’t an efficient or effective way for me to capture, store, and access information! Has anyone seen that green post-it with my notes on the UT Nonprofit Management Certificate?)  –Jennifer

This year I resolve to put the big rocks first. In his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey lists habit No. 3 as “Put First Things First.” In a great demonstration to illustrate this point, he used large rocks to show the most important things, pebbles to show less important, and sand to show the small but distracting things. I’ll cut to the punchline: if you put the sand in first, there’s no room for the big rocks. My resolution for 2015 is to put the big rocks first. To accomplish this, I must purposefully differentiate the “big rocks” from the “sand.” This applies to my professional role at the Nonprofit Leadership Center, my personal roles of wife and mother, and my volunteer activities with New Tampa YoungLife and the AFP Suncoast Chapter. (Want to see a humorous depiction  of the big rocks demonstration? Click here for a video on the Franklin Covey YouTube channel)  –Sara

My resolution for 2015: To dwell in possibility. Emily Dickinson’s poem begins, “I dwell in possibility/a fairer house than prose/More numerous of windows/Superior – for doors.” While I do not pretend to be a scholar of poetry by any means, a number of Emily Dickinson’s poem resonate with me.  In this one she envisions a wide open space with many portals, unencumbered by obstacles and filled with opportunity. As we all contemplate our pathways ahead in 2015, this is a timely message. Too often as a leader I feel the need to know the answer, have the solution, to keep order. This poem reminds me that it can be better sometimes to hold back, take time and live in the space where all things are possible, and, by doing so, be able to examine the many dimensions of different ideas, alternate approaches, and infinite opportunities. That’s a space in which we can be creative and truly learn. Please join me!  “Of chambers as the cedars/impregnable of eye/And for an everlasting roof/The gambrels of the sky.”  –Emily

 

Taking Time to be Thankful

Ashley Pero News, Stories

While we all try to be thankful throughout the year, November brings such warm reminders of being grateful and appreciative for what we have. As the holiday season begins we, as the staff of the Nonprofit Leadership Center, wanted to share one thing that makes us pause and give thanks. We’re so delighted to be able to provide education and training for the nonprofits in our community who provide so much and work every day to make our community a better place – for everyone!

“This week I was reminded to be thankful for something I usually take for granted: laundry. As a busy family, we generate a lot of laundry so it’s not something that generates much gratitude, usually. But this week Brian Butler who teaches our course “Form 990: It’s Not Just a Tax Return” shared some of his experiences with Current of Tampa Bay’s Laundry Love Project. Laundry Love Projects assist low-income people with meeting the basic need of washing clothes and linens. He told of meeting people who have to choose between putting gas in their car or washing their clothes. I was reminded of all of the things I have been blessed with in my life – family, education, opportunities – and how I sometimes forget to be grateful for the smallest of my blessings: a laundry room in my home, detergent, fabric softener. I’m especially grateful for my two reluctant laundry helpers – Emma age 10 and Will age 7 – and will try hard this week to convey to them what I learned about appreciation.” — Sara

“Without a doubt, this is my favorite time of the year! I am blessed to be a part of a large loving family and all but a few of them live near enough to me now so that we are able to get together often and celebrate with dinners, parties and gift exchanges. This wasn’t always the case as I have lived many of my adult years far away from sisters, brothers, parents, nieces, nephews, and all the rest, while I was bringing up my own sons. Now that I am reunited with much of my family, our frequent times spent together are extra special to me and always filled with joy, laughter and fun – and memorialized by lots of photos, especially now with the addition of darling grandchildren! As we gather again for this holiday season, I am thankful to all the family and friends – both near and afar.” – Lorraine

“This time of year reminds me to be thankful for something I too often take for granted – a full pantry. According to the USDA (http://tiny.cc/37j4nw) in 2009 – 2011 an average of 15% of Florida households were food insecure – they didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. This month, more than ever, I’ve tried to cook more at home and use the food that fills our pantry. While I complain about having to eat those canned green beans for dinner, I stop and think how grateful others would be for that opportunity. I also put a few more things in our cart that can be shared in our community to help those who aren’t in the same fortunate position as my family – in hopes they can start to stock their own pantry.” – Ashley

“Not a day goes by that I don’t drive by someone sitting at a bus stop waiting for the bus to come. And, every single time that happens, I am consciously and sincerely thankful for having a car on which I can rely every day. I am thankful for many things like my family, my job, and my colleagues at work. But those are things we are almost unconsciously grateful for every day.

My bus stop gratitude is very heartfelt because with different choices in my life, it could have been me waiting at the bus stop. Instead, I have been blessed with great transportation and I don’t have to worry or be inconvenienced. I am very thankful for this very special daily blessing.” — Grace

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

— William Arthur Ward

Save the Date: #GivingTuesday is December 2, 2014

Josh Connors News, Stories

Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. The third annual Giving Tuesday is on December 2, 2014. In the same way retail stores take part in Black Friday and online retailers encourage Cyber Monday, the nonprofit sector has the opportunity to encourage giving to support our causes.

 

Check out a few national headlines after last year’s #GivingTuesday:

Locally the movement received quite a bit of press:

What does all of this mean for you?

  • If you are with a nonprofit organization, join us for a FREE informational session (September 4 or September 5) to learn how this can boost the donations you receive this year. #GivingTuesday can be incorporated into your current year-end solicitations or it can be a starting point to create a year-end giving campaign.
  • If you are a philanthropist of any kind – business or individual – plan now to highlight the organizations you support by using social media. The #GivingTuesday resources below have ideas for you, too.

Resources:

Start now to plan for December 2, 2014. Let’s all work together to make it even bigger in Tampa Bay this year!

 

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An Attitude of Gratitude

Team NLC Stories

With Thanksgiving just a week away, the staff of the Nonprofit Leadership Center has paused to share some things we feel especially grateful for in 2014. We’re all grateful for the opportunity to work with the staff members and volunteers from so many worthy organizations. Thank you for all that you do for our community—and our world!

I recently enjoyed a two-week vacation in Hawaii where my son lives with his beautiful wife and my two adorable grandchildren. Of course I am grateful for being able to take this trip and spend time with them, since it had been 3 long years since my last trip to the Islands. And the bonus was that I met my granddaughter as a newborn and re-bonded with my 4-year old grandson! But when I can’t be with them, I realize how thankful I am for today’s technology, namely smartphones, the Internet, and Skype. I so often take them for granted, but because they keep me in touch with loved ones when we can’t physically be with each other and help us all feel connected when many months and thousands of miles separate us, I am grateful this year for these awesome capabilities and tools. — Lorraine

This Thanksgiving I’m feeling thankful for the arts, especially for those who teach the arts and are nurturing the next generation of artists—including the two who live under my roof. My children are learning from an amazing group that includes: an orchestra teacher and a chorus teacher in our middle school, two chorus teachers and one art teacher in our elementary school, and the children’s worship leaders at our church. To this group I say, “Thank you for your patience, creativity, and dedication.” The music that fills our home isn’t always perfect (have you ever heard someone learning to play the cello?), but is always heartfelt. Through music, my family is able to express joy and sadness and silliness. For this, I am deeply grateful. — Sara

As the “new kid on the block,” I’m grateful for generous and encouraging teammates here at the Nonprofit Leadership Center. I have been welcomed with open arms and encouraged at every turn (Thank you so much, Emily, Lorraine, and Sara. And to Ashley, my amazing and patient trainer, who has answered approximately 9 million questions in the last 34 days). As adults we spend so much of our waking life at the office, and so it’s important to me to work for a purpose, such as supporting the nonprofits who work tirelessly to improve our community, and in a positive environment. The NLC delivers both—in spades. And so, this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful to have found a home away from home at my new office. — Jennifer

I am grateful for laughter. It connects people in a most powerful way in a moment and then for days, weeks, or even years to come. This summer while visiting his uncle, my son Josh discovered the classic Saturday Night Live episodes. At first I was stunned and my parental instinct doubted the appropriateness of much of that material for my 15 year old. But I saw how he and his uncle would just say one word from a skit and burst into fits of laughter. Of course, my husband and I had long forgotten some of the antics of Gilda Radner and company, but Josh couldn’t wait to have us watch it again so that we could share in their mirth. Their fun became our fun; their laughter, our laughter.  Some of our favorite parts were when the cast members broke character and started laughing uncontrollably themselves. Even now, many months later, there is hardly a day that goes by in our house that Debbie Downer is not referenced and reenacted for levity. So during the hurried holiday season—as we all race to meet our deadlines, both real and imagined—I hope that we remember to take a moment to see and to share a good laugh with a friend, family member, or co-worker. It is truly a tie that binds. — Emily

Happy Thanksgiving!

Using Mobile & Social Media to Fundraise Online

Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay News, Stories

We’re thrilled that Heather Mansfield, principal blogger at Nonprofit Tech for Good and author of the best-selling books Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits and Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits, will be joining us for our 2014 Fund Development Conference. Heather has twenty years of experience utilizing the Internet for fundraising, community building, and advocacy. She will be in Tampa sharing her vast knowledge with you on October 3. Seats are limited so get yours today!

To get you ready, here are 5 of Heather’s articles we think you shouldn’t miss. Be sure to check out her entire site – you can find resources for all of your social media and online fundraising questions. You can also follow her on all of your favorite social media sites including (but not limited to) Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Get your ticket today for the 2014 Fund Development Conference on October 3 with Heather Mansfield.

 

Get to Know our New CEO, Emily Benham

Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay News, Stories

The entire board and staff at Nonprofit Leadership Center are excited to welcome our new CEO, Emily Benham, to the team. We’ve all had the opportunity to get to know Emily though the process and her previous involvement with us. Our students and stakeholders are such an important part of what we do, so we asked her for one final “interview” — a few questions so you can get to know more about her.

What are you most excited about in your new role as CEO of the Nonprofit Leadership Center?

Connecting to the good work of the nonprofits in the community. We have a great depth of nonprofits here in Tampa Bay. They make our community a better place: healthier, happier, more vibrant. NLCTB has a sterling reputation for delivering quality education and training in response to nonprofit organizational needs. I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to join this dynamic learning environment.

What are the biggest challenges facing nonprofit leaders today?

There are many in the changing landscape in which we operate: dwindling resources, increased need for services and the demand for greater impact and collaboration from all corners. But with these immense challenges come new found opportunities. I look forward to uncovering creative pathways to connect our work and demonstrate the true impact of our sector.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Integrity. Jerry Panas said, “Success in life is determined by the character of your journey and integrity is everything.” I couldn’t agree more.

What is your favorite leadership book?

Right now, for obvious reasons, it is The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins. A wise NLCTB trustee gave it to me recently because he recognized that, while I have worn many hats in my 20 year tenure at Bayfront, it has been a long time since I have joined a new organization. It is full of a lot of great actionable insights.

What is your proudest professional moment?

I’d have to say walking across the stage in 2009 at the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy International Conference in San Francisco to receive my Fellow designation and medal. It is the highest level of certification in the field of healthcare philanthropy. Several years before I had chaired the AHP Southeast Regional Cabinet, and we had agreed to it as a collective leadership goal. That day in 2009, with over 1,000 people in the audience, my colleagues from the southeast were making a lot of noise to celebrate with those of us being recognized. I was greeted on the other side of the stage by a receiving line of one hundred or so current Fellows assembled to shake our hands in a giant receiving line. I am grateful for so many supportive colleagues who encouraged me and coached me along the way. Working with a study group, my thinking was challenged often, and I was able to gain a new perspective on issues. I truly couldn’t have done it alone.

Tell us three things about yourself that many people wouldn’t know.

  1. I met my husband in the cello section of the Amherst-Mt. Holyoke Orchestra my freshman year in college. (Yes, I played the cello!) We’ve been married for 30 years.
  2. I am an avid equestrian. I have ridden horses since the age of 4. My equine partner, a 12 year old off the track thoroughbred named “Current Affair”, and I participate in dressage competitions throughout the southeastern United States.
  3. I once lived in South Dakota where I was the Executive Director of the South Dakota Symphony. One opening night in September, it was so cold that the special celebration flowers in the lobby froze solid. We moved to Florida shortly thereafter.

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Only 3 Things Matter in Your Elevator Speech

Sara Leonard News, Stories

Gail Perry joined us in Tampa for a day of laughter and learning. Her topic was “Fired-up Fundraising for Board Members.” She conveyed her deep passion for nonprofit fundraising and provided innumerable practical tips to the nonprofit staff and board members who attended.

Gail spent a good deal of the morning session helping us work on our “elevator speeches.” This is a term that gets used — and sometimes abused — a lot. Some authors will say it doesn’t matter, but Gail showed us why it is important and how we can improve it. The importance arises when we have an opportunity to introduce our organization to someone quickly. If we aren’t prepared, the opportunity will pass and usually never returns.

To improve it, Gail instructed us to think of the three things that matter:

  • What you say: Get your words right; make sure it’s interesting; draw a person in with real stories about how you are changing lives.
  • How you say it: Be aware of your body language; make sure that your enthusiasm shows in your voice; be mindful to express your passion.
  • Whether you engage the other person in conversation: Be careful not to be the only one talking; this is not a monologue. Gail suggests asking, “what are your impressions?” often so that you can learn what the other person thinks.

To learn more lessons from Gail Perry, visit her website. She writes a great blog and has many helpful (and free) resources. Also, add her book Fired-Up Fundraising to your library; it’s a practical guide to engage your board members in fundraising.

 

Get to Know our New CEO, Emily Benham

Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay News

The entire board and staff at Nonprofit Leadership Center are excited to welcome our new CEO, Emily Benham, to the team. We’ve all had the opportunity to get to know Emily though the process and her previous involvement with us. Our students and stakeholders are such an important part of what we do, so we asked her for one final “interview” — a few questions so you can get to know more about her.

 

What are you most excited about in your new role as CEO of the Nonprofit Leadership Center?

Connecting to the good work of the nonprofits in the community. We have a great depth of nonprofits here in Tampa Bay. They make our community a better place: healthier, happier, more vibrant. NLCTB has a sterling reputation for delivering quality education and training in response to nonprofit organizational needs. I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to join this dynamic learning environment.

What are the biggest challenges facing nonprofit leaders today?

There are many in the changing landscape in which we operate: dwindling resources, increased need for services and the demand for greater impact and collaboration from all corners. But with these immense challenges come new found opportunities. I look forward to uncovering creative pathways to connect our work and demonstrate the true impact of our sector.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Integrity. Jerry Panas said, “Success in life is determined by the character of your journey and integrity is everything.” I couldn’t agree more.

What is your favorite leadership book?

Right now, for obvious reasons, it is The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins. A wise NLCTB trustee gave it to me recently because he recognized that, while I have worn many hats in my 20 year tenure at Bayfront, it has been a long time since I have joined a new organization. It is full of a lot of great actionable insights.

What is your proudest professional moment?

I’d have to say walking across the stage in 2009 at the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy International Conference in San Francisco to receive my Fellow designation and medal. It is the highest level of certification in the field of healthcare philanthropy. Several years before I had chaired the AHP Southeast Regional Cabinet, and we had agreed to it as a collective leadership goal. That day in 2009, with over 1,000 people in the audience, my colleagues from the southeast were making a lot of noise to celebrate with those of us being recognized. I was greeted on the other side of the stage by a receiving line of one hundred or so current Fellows assembled to shake our hands in a giant receiving line. I am grateful for so many supportive colleagues who encouraged me and coached me along the way. Working with a study group, my thinking was challenged often, and I was able to gain a new perspective on issues. I truly couldn’t have done it alone.

Tell us three things about yourself that many people wouldn’t know.

  1. I met my husband in the cello section of the Amherst-Mt. Holyoke Orchestra my freshman year in college. (Yes, I played the cello!) We’ve been married for 30 years.
  2. I am an avid equestrian. I have ridden horses since the age of 4. My equine partner, a 12 year old off the track thoroughbred named “Current Affair”, and I participate in dressage competitions throughout the southeastern United States.
  3. I once lived in South Dakota where I was the Executive Director of the South Dakota Symphony. One opening night in September, it was so cold that the special celebration flowers in the lobby froze solid. We moved to Florida shortly thereafter.

 

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