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.

 

Other Articles You Might Like:

4 Things I’ve Come to Know

Ashley Pero Stories

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” –Margaret Wheatley

As my time as a staff member at Nonprofit Leadership Center comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on a few things I’ve come to know in my time here. These lessons, as I will call them, are not job or sector specific but rather lessons to consider no matter which title you hold.

Be kind and delightful. If you were a fly on the wall in our office you’d often hear, “Will that delight?” It’s a cultural value of the organization to satisfy and delight and we live it every day. It’s not to say that the “customer is always right,” but it does mean that you can be kind when you tell someone they aren’t going to get their way. It’s not always easy to be kind, but the extra effort is always worth it and it really makes a difference to the people you interact with (family and colleagues). Make it a habit to practice kindness and delight others. I guarantee you won’t regret it and people won’t forget that you make them feel special.

Connect often. I’ve had to privilege of meeting some amazing people while I’ve been here. It’s also been confirmed that what you hear is true, a strong network is important. It’s good for your well-being to have colleagues and friends that you can call for advice or talk through ideas. And using your connections and relationships to help others (connecting your connections if you will) makes you feel good. It’s easy to neglect those relationships, but it’s also easy to keep them alive and well. A quick coffee before work, an email with an article that would be helpful for them, a quick call to see how things are – those small gestures (that more often than not shouldn’t be about you) build relationships, and connections matter.

Seek knowledge. Knowledge comes in many forms – formal training, coaching, mentoring, experiences, volunteering, reading – and all of them should have a valued place of importance in your life. Learning keeps you sharp, allows you to contribute in meaningful ways, makes you a trusted resource, and pushes you to grow. An investment in yourself is one of the surest investments you can make. Even if the only investment you can afford to make right now is the time to stay current on your favorite news sources and blog resources, you’re worth it.

Turn it off. We all need time to recharge and disconnect (yes even you). That vacation time you’ve earned but have been saving (read: not using) needs to be used. Not just for you, but for your organization and your family. Your organization deserves a refreshed, clear-thinking version of you. Your family deserves a fully present, not work-consumed version of you. There isn’t a magic number of days to get away, you have to figure out what’s right for you. Never feel bad for taking a break from work or turning off your phone. It will all still be waiting for you when you get back and you’ll have a clear mind to tackle it.

Thank you for constantly inspiring me over the last four years. I’ve met so many wonderful people who are doing great things. Thank you for giving so much to make our community a better place to live, work, and play!

Just Released: Giving USA 2014

Sara Leonard Uncategorized

The 5 Articles series features articles covering subjects relevant to nonprofit success, leadership, marketing, human resources, communications, social media, finance and governance – articles we’d consider must reads. With so much out there to take in, we want to share five that we don’t think you should miss. Enjoy!

Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, the seminal publication reporting on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States, was released last month. This annual report provides a tremendous amount of information. In case you don’t have time to read the whole report, we’ve gathered several resources to increase your understanding of the results.

Charities Try New Strategies as Fundraising Rebounds by Alex Daniels
Hear how some charities are approaching the upward swing in donations

Corporate Giving Declines 3.2%; Donor-Advised Funds Up Sharply by Alex Daniels
Who gave last year – individuals, corporations, foundations?

What You Need To Know about the New 2014 Giving USA Report by Gail Perry
Fundraising expert Gail Perry boils it down to what we need to know.

Giving USA 2014 Spreecast from The Osborne Group
Hear from experts Bob Osborne and Laurel McCombs as they discuss the results of Giving USA and what they are seeing in their work.

Giving USA: Americans Gave $335.17 Billion to Charity in 2013; Total Approaches Pre-Recession Peak from Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI
An overview of the research results from the report’s research partner

Click here to purchase the full report or download the free summary from Giving USA