NLC Celebrates the 10 Teams in the JPMC Matrix Map Cohort

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News, Stories

On Wednesday, November 1st, and Thursday, November 2nd, with generous support provided by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMC), NLC had the privilege to bring together dozens of Tampa Bay nonprofit leaders and nonprofit sustainability author and expert Steve Zimmerman.

November 1st was our annual Board & Senior Leadership Conference as well as the introduction of the 2017-2018 Matrix Map cohort.

Area nonprofits were represented by their executive leaders and Board members, each of whom impressed us with their willingness to dive into Steve’s content and begin discussions of the true costs of their programs and services as well as their impact in search of strategic ways to move forward as an organization.

While Steve shared a wealth relevant information and tools over the course of the day, he also built in plenty of time and exercises to allow the leadership teams to discuss and apply these concepts to their unique day-to-day operations.

It was a highly productive and rewarding day, as many attendees told us:

“[I took away] great ideas for communicating sustainability to board and more clearly measuring sustainability.” 

“As a board member, [this Conference] was extremely valuable hearing about the different considerations that result into a truly sustainable nonprofit.”

“[Steve] guided us through exercises that helped us connect ideas that we, as a board, and our organizational leader were each thinking, to better articulate our challenges and create a more concrete vision for our future.”

But that was just the beginning for the 10 teams in the Matrix Map cohort, including

  • Community Development Corporation of Tampa
  • Cristo Rey Tampa High School
  • The Cypress Initiative
  • GEMS (Girls Empowered Mentally for Success)
  • The Grow Group
  • Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County
  • Metropolitan Ministries
  • Nonprofit Leadership Center
  • Quantum Leap Farm
  • The Spring of Tampa Bay

Their 3-person teams–including the CEO and one Board member–returned the following day for an even more intensive seminar in preparation for building their organization’s individual Matrix Map, a tool that will shine a light on the financial viability and true impact of programs.

NLC is thrilled to be one of the teams involved in the Matrix Map cohort, and our cohort members jumped right in to the work!

Team NLC is excited to bring this new, cohort-based learning experience to Tampa Bay as just one of the innovative ways we connect and develop nonprofit leaders in our community. And starting in mid-December the cohort teams will gather at NLC monthly for virtually facilitated and in-person follow-up sessions, as well as take advantage of one-on-one coaching with Steve and his team.

We’re looking forward to sharing more from the cohort teams over the course of their 6-month journey. Subscribe to our blog to be sure you receive each update and follow along.

Thank you to JPMC, our 2017 Board & Senior Leadership Conference presenting sponsor and 2017-2018 Matrix Map cohort sponsor.

Homelessness and Education in Florida: Impacts on Children and Youth

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News

Later this month, NLC, in partnership with the Florida Philanthropic Network, will host a preview of the findings of the “Homelessness and Education in Florida: Impacts on Children and Youth” report, co-authored by the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at UF and Miami Homes for All.

NLC and FPN are convening a gathering of nonprofit leaders, funders, and community leaders for an overview of the report, policy recommendations, and key findings followed by discussion with your colleagues from Tampa Bay’s nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

Commissioned by JPMorgan Chase & Co., the report explores the impacts of homelessness and housing instability on the education of children and youth in Florida by focusing on students’ experiences.

The findings are based on student data provided by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and phone interviews with school district staff serving as homelessness education liaisons in 29 counties throughout Florida.

The report also includes policy recommendations based on the report findings and best practices from across the country.

This event is free and seating is limited; online pre-registration is required.


Homelessness and Education in Florida: Impacts on Children and Youth

Date & Time: Friday November 17, 2017  | 10:00-11:30 am
Networking from 9:30-10:00 am

Location: Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay
1401 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 101
Tampa, FL 33607

Register Today!

Limited seats available. Online registration is required to attend.


Anne Ray
Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse Manager,
Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida

Barbara “Bobbie” Ibarra
Executive Director, Miami Homes for All
Co-chair, Funders Together Florida

Discussion moderated by Sheff Crowder, President, Conn Memorial Foundation

Who should attend?

  • Nonprofit organizations working on homelessness, education, housing, and other related issues
  • Foundations and philanthropists
  • Elected officials and policymakers

You do not need to be an FPN member to attend, but you must log in to register. 

NLC Launches Nonprofit Capacity Building Program Funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News, Stories

Team NLC is thrilled to announce that 10 Hillsborough County nonprofits have been selected to participate in a 6-month, cohort-based learning experience with sustainability expert and author, Steve Zimmerman.

After a competitive application process, ten (10) Hillsborough County nonprofits have been accepted into the NLC Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative’s 2017-2018 Matrix Map Cohort.

Our CEO Emily Benham, FAHP, CFRE, describes the newest NLC capacity-building initiative: “Thanks to a generous sponsorship by JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Nonprofit Leadership Center has established the NLC Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative. We have contracted sustainability thought leader and author Steve Zimmerman of Spectrum Nonprofit Services to lead a limited cohort of 10 Hillsborough County nonprofits through a 6-month, experiential learning series with a value of $5,000 per team. The leadership teams will create an action plan to strengthen their nonprofit’s sustainability. They will be the 2017-2018 Matrix Map Cohort.”

“JPMorgan Chase & Co. is deeply committed to building the capacity of local, community-based nonprofit organizations,” said Brent Semachko, executive director of JPMorgan Chase’s Office of Nonprofit Engagement. “We are proud to support the Nonprofit Leadership Center and the 10 nonprofit organizations selected for the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative Matrix Map Cohort.”

The 2017-2018 Matrix Map Cohort includes 3-member leadership teams from:

• Community Development Corporation of Tampa
• Cristo Rey Tampa High School
• The Cypress Initiative
• GEMS (Girls Empowered Mentally for Success)
• The Grow Group
• Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County
• Metropolitan Ministries
• Nonprofit Leadership Center
• Quantum Leap Farm
• The Spring of Tampa Bay

Each team includes the nonprofit’s CEO or Executive Director, a board member, and a member of staff active in financial and programmatic decision-making.

The Matrix Map Cohort was announced and launched at our 2017 Board & Senior Leadership Conference, themed Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, at Feathersound Country Club on November 1st, 2017.Steve Zimmerman was our keynote speaker, and each team was the guest of the Conference Presenting Sponsor, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The cohort will continue to meet monthly through May 2018. Through a series of in-person and virtual sessions as well as one-one-one coaching with nationally recognized expert Zimmerman, each team in the cohort will create a Matrix Map—a visual depiction of the nonprofit’s business model showing how each activity of the organization contributes to the overall impact and financial bottom line.

“This is an extraordinary project made possible by generous funding from JPMorgan Chase & Co.,” Emily says. The entire cost of each organization’s participation in this intensive, invitation-only program has been generously underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Conference speaker and cohort facilitator Steve D. Zimmerman, CPA, MBA, is the Principal of Spectrum Nonprofit Services and provides training and consulting in finance and strategy for community-based organizations, foundations and government agencies throughout the country. Zimmerman is co-author of two books on nonprofit sustainability published by Jossey-Bass: The Sustainability Mindset: Using the Matrix Map to Make Strategic Decisions with Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint and best-seller Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability with Jeanne Bell and Jan Masaoka of Blue Avocado.

Nonprofit Board Members Share Criticism

Guest post by Hardy Smith News, Stories

Group of social media or business people talk speech bubble link chain

Participants in my survey of nonprofit board members to identify why board members don’t perform as expected shared several criticisms about the relationship between nonprofit organizations and their boards.

This information is important because, according to survey results, the issues mentioned can contribute to enthusiastic board members becoming turned off, a silent threat to the welfare of an organization.

Responses from five long-term board volunteers offered revealing insights when they were asked to identify their biggest criticism related to nonprofits and relationships with their boards.

Their comments are representative of replies collected by the survey.

Former Florida State University President Dr. T.K. Wetherell felt that problems can develop with board relations because “nonprofits often expect more and more of board members who still have lives and businesses to run.” Dr. Wetherell suggests, “Ask only when you need their help and limit the asks to something that can make a difference.”

“Lack of communication about expected performance is my biggest criticism,” said Mayor Rusty Jessup of Riverside, Alabama. “I also believe openness about differences is essential. Don’t pretend there is not a problem. Never ignore the thousand pound gorilla in the room. Don’t sugarcoat anything for PR purposes. Close your meeting if necessary, but talk about the gorilla.”

Penske Corporation executive Walt Czarnecki is an advocate of “management and boards working more closely on all issues–not just financial,” as a way to improve board relations.

Lori Tolland, an active community volunteer in Ormond Beach, Florida, cited the general “need to communicate expectations.”

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce President Barry Kennedy added this concern “the need to ask for input on key issues.”

Acting on the constructive criticism and suggested solutions from these five engaged board members will improve board member relationships and will also help keep them performing as expected.

About Hardy Smith

Hardy Smith is living his calling by channeling his experiences and insight into maximizing the success of nonprofits, associations and other volunteer-based organizations around the country; work that has earned him recognition from Florida’s network of Small Business Development Centers. The group recently named Hardy Smith Consulting as one of its Small Business Success Stories.

Welcome to our New Website

Grace Armstrong News

One of our core values at the Nonprofit Leadership Center is to delight our customers. We have been promoting the changes to our website so much in the last few weeks because we think it will make your relationship with us much easier for you. And we hope that, in the long run, that delights you.

Once you enter your profile information one time, it will be there in the future when you register for a program. You will no longer have to enter your information over and over. We will also keep track of all the programs you attend and you can access your attended classes at any time.

In the near future, we will add a Job Bank. If you have a nonprofit job opening you will be able to post it for an affordable fee. If you are looking for a job in the nonprofit sector, you will be able to look for openings in our Job Bank. There have been many requests for this resource and we are look forward to providing it to the community.

Keep checking back with us for new features we will be adding over the next several weeks.

We appreciate your time in visiting our website, reading our blogs, using our resources, and attending our training. We hope we delight you as we are always interested in doing our best on your behalf.

The Nonprofit Board Fiduciary Role

Lorraine Faithful Uncategorized

In the nonprofit sector, the board of directors is responsible for the well-being and financial health of the organization. The board as a body and each individual board member is expected to exercise due diligence while overseeing that the organization’s financial situation remains sound. Board members need to know proper financial processes and practices so as to not place an organization in financial jeopardy. This is a board’s “fiduciary duty” and it is a critical component of the overall accountability of boards to the public and to a nonprofit’s supporters.

Some of the financial oversight responsibilities of the board include:

  • Approving the budget
  • Monitoring financial statements
  • Installing adequate internal controls
  • Ensuring legal obligations are met

Exercising fiduciary duty doesn’t mean that every board member needs to have an accounting degree. However, it does mean that board members should be aware enough about accounting practices and procedures to ask the right questions of the people in the know.

Education on nonprofit fiduciary duties, as well as other board roles and responsibilities, is provided by Nonprofit Leadership Center. Both classroom training and online resources about fiduciary duties are available. Whether you are new to board responsibilities or if you are contemplating serving on a nonprofit board soon, you can benefit from the knowledge of fiduciary responsibilities, the experience of others like you in the classroom, and the expertise of the presenters.

Fundraising and an Indie Record Label

Sara Leonard News, Stories

WUSF, our local NPR station (, had a great story about XL Recordings and for just a minute I thought they were talking about fundraising. “A Record Label With a Midas Touch” tells the story of XL Recordings, a British independent record company owned by Richard Russell. Though I’d never heard of XL Recordings, I’d certainly heard of their biggest recording artist: Adele. Last year, Adele’s 21 spawned three chart-topping singles and won six Grammys. Full disclosure: she’s on my iPod.

In the NPR story, Russell talks about his desire to concentrate on great music and leave the other parts of the business – selling records and paying people – to others on his team. XL-signed artist Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij describes it this way, “That same philosophy – know your limitations, work with people who can do things you can’t, and let them do their job – extends to the label’s musicians.” That is a great philosophy for development work.

Know your limitations – Every day we are called on to do work that is beyond the scope of our jobs. In an effort to “never say no” we take on tasks that distract us from the ultimate goal of bringing together people who will invest in the mission of our organization. We have to know when to call on others – board members, volunteers, other staff, consultants – to provide the added capacity to accomplish great things.

Work with people who can do things you can’t – With each recruitment, be it paid staff or volunteer, we have the opportunity to surround ourselves with talented people who can do things we haven’t learned to do. For instance, many of us are stymied by social networking. Chances are that someone in our organizations loves that and would be excited to put their talents to use.

Let them do their job – Our nervousness to let others take a project and run with it can hinder our ability to get more done and ultimately raise more money. When we allow others to do their jobs, everyone benefits: us, them, and ultimately the community that benefits from the work of our organization.

More full disclosure: three Adele songs played on the office Pandora during the writing of this blog. I think that’s proof that XL Recordings is onto something.

To hear the full story on

Marketing with the Form 990

Maureen Butler News, Stories

Don’t make them search for your successes!

Have you ever wondered why nonprofits are required to file the Form 990 with the IRS? It is a monitoring tool used by the IRS to ensure tax-exempt organizations are appropriately using their tax-exempt status. Nonprofits, however, can use what may seem to be an onerous regulatory requirement to their advantage. According to the Form 990 instructions, this document is the primary or sole source of information for some members of the public and possibly some external evaluators of nonprofits. Therefore, it is influential in shaping the public perception of not-for-profit organizations ( Unlike corporate and individual tax returns, the Form 990 provides the opportunity to describe the mission, programs and achievements of your organization. Don’t just fill in the numbers and check the boxes. Take advantage of this annual opportunity to articulate what you do so that lay people understand and to convince others that your organization is worthy of their donations. Here are a few suggestions of items to include:

  • The number of clients served
  • Descriptions of the results of your programs
  • The number of volunteers involved in your programs – What It Can Do For Your Nonprofit

Lorraine Faithful News, Stories

Everyone knows that most nonprofit organizations must stretch limited dollars whenever possible, so you will be pleased to know how TechSoup can save you money in a big way. TechSoup is a nonprofit online resource that can help you save thousands of dollars on your technology products. You save money because more than forty large software companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, Intuit, Cisco, and Symantec donate 400 or more of their software products to TechSoup, and TechSoup provides you the software while charging you a nominal administrative fee.

Taking advantage of this great resource is very simple. Your nonprofit joins TechSoup using an easy, online application at no charge. Once registered and approved, you can begin to order products. The only glitch is that each TechSoup donor has its own rules. Some limit you to one donation request per year while others allow multiple requests throughout the year. is a project of TechSoup Global, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that was founded in 1987 on the belief that technology is a powerful enabler for social change. Since then, they have assembled a worldwide network of individuals and organizations that share that conviction. The network includes foundations, corporations, government and NGOs (non-government organizations), social entrepreneurs and volunteers. Together, these allies developed sustainable, community-driven technology solutions to meet today’s most urgent social challenges.

Join today and start saving money now. Visit to learn more and to register.

Nonprofit Budget Planning Made Easy

Lorraine Faithful Uncategorized

In my agency, I am partially responsible for creating, implementing, maintaining, analyzing, and reporting against the company annual budget, and I am always looking for ways to make the process smoother and more meaningful for all involved, and to give it the attention it deserves. Since I know how important sound financial management is, as it is a core principle and best practice we teach, this year I am spending more time and thought into the budget planning process to find ways to improve it and make it easier. Jessica Logan of Clifton Larson Allen states, “A well planned, well documented, and well executed budget can help you monitor, predict, and maximize the activities that support your mission, ultimately making you more effective and successful.”

I hope that some of the following information to streamline your budgeting planning process will assist you:

Do your agency strategic planning first. Your annual budget should match and mirror the goals and initiatives set forth in your strategic planning session which of course should include all key stakeholders – board members, staff, and volunteers or others as appropriate.

Create a budget timeline. Map out an annual timeline for the budget process months before a preliminary or final budget is needed to be presented to your board or finance committee for discussion and approval. Schedule your strategic planning first (see above.)

Define expectations from all key people. Keep participants knowledgeable about their roles and responsibilities in the planning process. Include everyone involved so that they understand ahead of time what you expect of them. Provide them reasonable due dates and deadlines.

Document everything. Write down all ideas, assumptions, plans, projections, etc. Perhaps you won’t use every idea proposed, but you will want to capture everyone’s contributions.

Determine what tools you need. Most small organizational budgets can be effectively managed using Excel spreadsheets. Larger agencies may consider special budgeting software. A simple Google search results in many options.

Collect your data and check for accuracy, including all Excel formulas and assumptions. It is very important that your agency budget be accurate as it will be shared with funders and other donors who will rely on you for correct and accurate information.

Here are some excellent, detailed budget tips from Kay Snowden of Third Sector New England.

Finally, remember that your budget should reflect and fully support your agency’s mission and vision. I hope that some of the above tips will be useful in your next annual budget planning process.