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Fieldstone Alliance: Free Tools

FREE Tools

 

Topics Types of resources

Boards

Capacity Building

Collaboration, Alliances, Merger

Community Building

Cultural Competence

Finance & Social Enterprise

Grantmaking

Lobbying, Advocacy, & Organizing

Management & Leadership

Marketing

Trends

Volunteer Engagement

Articles
In-depth information on key nonprofit management issues.
Assessment and Analysis Tools
Assess how your organization or collaboration is doing relative to researched success factors. Analyze your funding base and evaluate potential new revenue sources.
Booklets
Downloadable booklets promoting peace and taking care for caregivers.(Developed while we were still part of the Wilder Foundation.)
E-newsletter: Nonprofit Tools You Can Use
"Practical tips for busy nonprofits."
In each issue (arriving twice a month), we feature a management tool or idea to help you and your nonprofit be more effective. Content comes from our award-winning books, our consultant's direct experience, and from other experts in the field. Each issue focuses on a specific topic and includes practical actions for putting the information to use. There are 70 great issues in the archive!
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Field Focus
In-depth information on specific topics.
Field Tips
Short, sweet, pithy, funny. Greeting cards with a point.
Opportunities in Lean Times
A special "Field Focus" page with specific resources for taking direct action when faced with cutbacks.
Podcasts
Peter Brinckerhoff talks about his book, Generations: Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit Organization.
Research Reports
Research done to inform our demonstration projects and consulting practice.
Videos
Instructional and informational videos on Fieldstone Alliance services.
Worksheets
Here's where book buyers can download electronic versions of book's worksheets.

 

By Type of Resource
Articles
A Nonprofit Merger Case Study
The story of the successful merger of Family Service of Greater Saint Paul and East Communities Family Center.
Collaborating with a For-Profit: Some Risks but Huge Potential
Tom Triplett describes different forms that for-profit and nonprofit collaborations can take and offers advice about what to avoid.
Don't Replace...Merge
Article by Thomas A. McLaughlin
Merger as an alternative to filling a vacant CEO position.
Four Keys to Collaboration Success
An article by Carol Lukas, consultant to more than 50 collaborations in the past ten years. Carol has identified four keys that—while not a guarantee to success—are essential to a well-functioning collaboration.
Hanging a Shingle in the Nonprofit Sector
Before you hang your shingle as a nonprofit consultant, there are some unique elements about the sector that you should know.
Organization Assessment: Stepping Back...Taking Stock
Organization assessment is a data gathering and diagnostic process in which you step back from the day to day details of life in the organization and try to see the bigger picture, the trends, patterns and dynamics that have made the organization what it is today. This article gives an overview.
The Organization-Consultant Relationship: Making It Work
A brief article with tips on how to hire the right consultant, at the right time, for the right reason.
Six Components of Organizational Capacity
Six components of organizational capacity that are critical for high performance.
Assessment Tools
Collaboration Factors Inventory
Use this tool to help you assess your collaboration's strengths and weaknesses.
(Excerpted from Collaboration: What Makes It Work.)
Nonprofit Life Stages Assessment
Use this assessment to see how your organization is doing in seven areas of development - governance, staff leadership, finance, administrative systems, staffing, products and services, and marketing.
(Excerpted from The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations.)
Generational Self-Assessment
This assessment is designed to get you thinking about where your organization is in relation to the effect generational change will have on your services, your staff, your volunteers, and your technology.
(Excerpted from Generations: The Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit.)
Organizational Stewardship Assessment
Please note: A automatic-scoring version of this assessment will be posted on this site soon. In the meantime, you can download a PDF version from our worksheet downloads page. Use this access code: W423Stw04

Peter Brinckerhoff's Organizational Stewardship Assessment is a tool to determine how your organization practices the stewardship model described in Nonprofit Stewardship: A Better Way to Lead Your Mission-Based Organization. It is based on the nine characteristics of a successful not-for-profit. (Excerpted from Nonprofit Stewardship.)

Revenue Evaluation Matrix
This is a tool for evaluating an organization’s financial situation and revenue mix. It can be used to evaluate the stability of your current revenue streams, gauge the potential of new revenue sources, and compare your organization's funding mix to that of similar organizations. 
Booklets
Little Book of Peace, English Version [167K PDF]
We developed this booklet to help people think about violence and talk about it with their families and friends. Over 250,000 copies are in use in schools, homes, churches, businesses, and prisons. We hope it will be a tiny start toward making the world a more peaceful place.

Spanish Version [769K PDF]
Hmong Version [861K PDF]

Take Care! booklet [112K PDF]
A free booklet for caregivers on how to “take care” of themselves and avoid burnout.
Podcasts

Peter Brinckerhoff talks about his book, Generations: Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit Organization:

Generations Podcast 1  [5:57]
Listen to Peter Brinckerhoff talking about the book, its origins, and its contents.
Generations Podcast 2  [4:59]
Hear Peter reading from the first chapter of the book.

Research Reports
Consultant Survey Results [197K PDF]
Professional Development Needs of Consultants Serving the Nonprofit Sector
La Piana Associates, Inc. and Fieldstone Alliance jointly conducted a survey of 322 consultants from around the U.S. The objective was to learn about the types of professional development opportunities available, how useful consultants considered them to be, and what opportunities consultants would like to have.
Funder-Intermediary Relationships: Survey Report, March 2008 [146K PDF]
Research on critical success factors that lead to positive, mutually beneficial relationships between funders and intermediaries.* These factors can be used by both funders and intermediaries as a guide when developing contracts or grants, and as a tool to manage the ongoing work of the partnership.

(*INTERMEDIARY refers to a nonprofit organization that provides products and services to strengthen nonprofits and/or the sector, and works in partnership or affiliation with a foundation or group of funders to do so. Intermediaries typically do some grantmaking or re-granting on behalf of their foundation partners.)

Research on Immigrant- and Refugee-led Organizations (IRLOs)
Through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Innovation Fund, Fieldstone Alliance initiated a two-year project in January 2004 called Nexus. The goal of Nexus was to enhance the knowledge and skill of capacity builders across North America in working with immigrant- and refugee-led organizations (IRLOs), beginning with a core group of partner organizations and then expanding to the broader field of capacity builders. The Nexus project brought together 10 capacity building organizations that work with IRLOs in North America to form a learning community for sharing knowledge gained from working with IRLOs and to identify promising strategies for effective capacity building.

Crossing Borders, Sharing Journeys [1,515K PDF]
This report draws three broad lessons for the capacity building field, with implications for the funding community, IRLOs, and capacity builders.

Nexus Research Report
This is a summary of immigrant- and refugee-led organization research conducted by Wilder Research specifically for Nexus. It includes a bibliography; and descriptions of the organizations and individuals who contributed to the report.

Nonprofit Decline and Dissolution Report [197K PDF]
This report sheds light on an important, and yet poorly understood potential phase of an organization's life cycle—going out of business.
Videos
Focus Group Do's and Don'ts [11:30]
About the "Action Lab" Demonstration Project [2:00]

 

By Topic
Boards
Dealing Effectively with Board Conflicts
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, December 7, 2005)
Board conflicts are among the most challenging conflicts a nonprofit executive faces. Here are tips for handling these conflicts effectively.
Elephants in the Boardroom: A Framework for Discussing Board Effectiveness Issues
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, February 4, 2009)
A framework for helping boards quickly identify issues they've needed to discuss but perhaps couldn't put their fingers on.
Eleven Cool Ideas for Finding Hot New Board Members
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, November 1, 2007)
Simple, inexpensive ideas for finding people to join your board.
Seven Essentials for a Successful Executive Transition
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, June 10, 2009)
A change of leadership is never an easy time for a nonprofit. The board has a lot on the line. Here's an overview of the transition process and how it differs from a typical hire. Also, you'll find seven essential elements of a successful executive transition.
Capacity Building
Capacity Building Defined and Demystified
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, June 20, 2006)
The term "capacity building" is well-worn and used by many. But what do we mean by it? What are we doing when we build capacity?
Consultant Survey Results [197K PDF]
Professional Development Needs of Consultants Serving the Nonprofit Sector
La Piana Associates, Inc. and Fieldstone Alliance jointly conducted a survey of 322 consultants from around the U.S. The objective was to learn about the types of professional development opportunities available, how useful consultants considered them to be, and what opportunities consultants would like to have.
Funder-Intermediary Relationships: Survey Report, March 2008 [146K PDF]
Research on critical success factors that lead to positive, mutually beneficial relationships between funders and intermediaries.* These factors can be used by both funders and intermediaries as a guide when developing contracts or grants, and as a tool to manage the ongoing work of the partnership.

(*INTERMEDIARY refers to a nonprofit organization that provides products and services to strengthen nonprofits and/or the sector, and works in partnership or affiliation with a foundation or group of funders to do so. Intermediaries typically do some grantmaking or re-granting on behalf of their foundation partners.)

Hanging a Shingle in the Nonprofit Sector
Before you hang your shingle as a nonprofit consultant, there are some unique elements about the sector that you should know.
Organization Assessment: Stepping Back...Taking Stock
Organization assessment is a data gathering and diagnostic process in which you step back from the day to day details of life in the organization and try to see the bigger picture, the trends, patterns and dynamics that have made the organization what it is today. This article gives an overview.
The Organization-Consultant Relationship: Making It Work
A brief article with tips on how to hire the right consultant, at the right time, for the right reason.
Six Components of Organizational Capacity
Six components of organizational capacity that are critical for high performance.
Six Keys to Successful Organizational Assessment
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 10, 2006)
These factors have implications for the approach you choose and the resources you will need to do assessment well.
Collaboration, Alliances, & Merger
A Nonprofit Merger Case Study
The story of the successful merger of Family Service of Greater Saint Paul and East Communities Family Center.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Merger?
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 24, 2009)
Assess your organization’s readiness and suitability as a potential merger partner.
Collaborating with a For-Profit: Some Risks but Huge Potential
Tom Triplett describes different forms that for-profit and nonprofit collaborations can take and offers advice about what to avoid.
Collaboration Bibliography
A free list of resources dealing with the topic of collaboration. This list is useful to collaborations and collaboration consultants.
Collaboration Factors Inventory
Use this tool to help you assess your collaboration's strengths and weaknesses.
(Excerpted from Collaboration: What Makes It Work).
Don't Replace...Merge
Article by Thomas A. McLaughlin
Merger as an alternative to filling a vacant CEO position.
Engagement Strategies: Making the Most of Working Together
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, May 20, 2009)
Specific suggestions on how to work together, from simple engagements all the way up to a merger.
Four Keys to Collaboration Success
An article by Carol Lukas, consultant to more than 50 collaborations in the past ten years. Carol has identified four keys that—while not a guarantee to success—are essential to a well-functioning collaboration.
How to "Nimble-ize" a Collaboration
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, July 25, 2007)
Ten principles for creating a resilient collaboration structure and why they're critical to success.
Lower Intensity Alliances (Part 1): When Less is More
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 23, 2005)
Don't waste time on complex partnerships when simpler alliances can be more effective.
Lower Intensity Alliances (Part 2): What to Do When Your Partnership Is on the Rocks
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, September 13, 2005)
How to understand and manage the relationship dynamics within an alliance.
Mapping Your Networks to Mine Valuable Resources
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 5, 2009)
Social capital is the resources available to people based on the networks their relationships give them access to. Here's how to create a social capital map to get a clear picture of your organization's connections and networks.
Six Best Practices for Complex Collaborations
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, September 12, 2006)
Practices for helping collaboration with a large number of partners and a long time frame succeed.
Steps for Considering and Creating an Alliance
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, July 22, 2009)
Is an alliance right for your organization? Who should you recruit and how? This issue of Tools gives you an overview of the steps for considering and creating an alliance.
Tips for Managing Conflict in Collaborations
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, July 23, 2008)
Typical sources of conflict in collaborations and ways to resolve them.
Tough Times Strategies: Moving Beyond the Bake Sale
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 23, 2009)
Fieldstone Alliance consultant and collaboration expert, Sandy Jacobsen, shares advice on diversifying your pool of strategies and offers special tips for collaborating in a recession.
What Makes Collaborations Succeed
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 26, 2005)
Describes The Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory and how to use it to see if your collaboration has the necessary ingredients to succeed.
When to Consider a Merger
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, November 15, 2007)
Is a merger right for your organization? This issue describes what mergers can and can't do and gives you tools to help you decide if a merger is the best option given your nonprofit's goals.
Community Building
28 Factors for Successful Community Building
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 6, 2006)
Several years ago, we commissioned the Wilder Research Center to delve into the studies on community building. They found 28 factors that influenced the success of any community building effort. Excerpted and adapted from our book, Community Building: What Makes It Work.
Creative Uses of Community Forums
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, February 6, 2008)
Describes the three common types of forums and shows you ways that they may be useful in your work.
Four Pivot-Points for Rebuilding Local Economies
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 8, 2007)
Identifies four strategies, or “pivot points,” and shows how community-based organizations can turn them into economic engines for community impact.
Helping Communities Succeed: Community Coaches and What They Do
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 21, 2007)
An overview of what community coaches do and how communities are moving forward with their help.
Mapping Your Networks to Mine Valuable Resources
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 5, 2009)
Social capital is the resources available to people based on the networks their relationships give them access to. Here's how to create a social capital map to get a clear picture of your organization's connections and networks.
Tapping Local Arts and Culture to Revitalize Communities
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, July 27, 2006)
Lists ten economic and social capital development strategies and highlights one example of how a strategy played out. Get started thinking about ways you can help strengthen your community.
Three Keys to Being an Effective Community Leader
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, February 8, 2006)
The leadership principles described here are useful whether you are galvanizing your staff, your organization, a collaborative, or an interstate coalition.
Cultural Competence
Starting Steps for Improving Cultural Competence
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, September 11, 2008)
For most organizations, the issue of cultural competence is so “big” and fraught with peril that they’re afraid to get started. Here are some steps and guidance.
Working with Refugees: Tips for Dealing with Three Major Challenges
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, November 2, 2006)
Practical advice for dealing with 1) language barriers, 2) lack of cultural competency, and 3) lack of experience working together.
Finance & Social Enterprise
20 Cost Cutting Ideas for Nonprofits
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 22, 2009)
Ideas for cutting or controlling costs when faced with cutbacks.
20 Emergency Funding Sources for Nonprofits
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, December 16, 2008)
These are revenue sources that can be accessed quickly—usually within 30 days. Not all of these sources are available to all nonprofits, and some of them carry great risk. Nonetheless, we hope you find the list useful and thought-provoking.
185 Cutback Strategies
A list to help you think creatively about your organization, its mission, its future, its response to immediate financial crises, and its long-term preparation for a changing culture.
(Excerpted from Coping with Cutbacks.)
Building a Better World—One Balance Sheet at a Time
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 29, 2005)
How to use finance as a tool for protecting and growing your nonprofit's assets, so that you can accomplish as much mission as possible with those resources.
The Busy Person's Guide to Four Essential Finance Reports
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, May 14, 2008)
Get accurate and timely information so you know exactly where you stand and what corrections are needed.
Collaborating with a For-Profit: Some Risks but Huge Potential
Tom Triplett describes different forms that for-profit and nonprofit collaborations can take and offers advice about what to avoid.
Does Your Organization Have What It Takes to Start a Business Venture?
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 22, 2007)
11 questions you should answer before embarking on a social venture.
Financial Terminology Demystified
Definitions of key financial terms.
(Excerpted from Financial Leadership for Nonprofit Executives.)
Financing for the Long-Term
(Field Tip direct mail card, January, 2008)
Beyond the bake sale: innovative long-term sustainability options.
Have You Hugged Your Bookkeeper Lately?
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 8, 2005)
Why the bookkeeper's role is so important and what managers and bookkeepers need to know to stay out of trouble and keep the organization on track.
Hybrid Business Model Gives Social Causes Access to Venture Capital
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, June 18, 2008)
Enactment of the L3C law is a huge step forward for the movement to broaden the base of funding sources available to nonprofits. The goal of laws like this is to bring together access to equity capital that for-profits now have with the social missions inherent in nonprofits.
Managing the End of a Funding Relationship
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 24, 2008)
Recommendations for creating an effective funding exit that adds value to a project and leaves grantees in a strong position.
Nonprofit Decline and Dissolution Report [197K PDF]
This report sheds light on an important, and yet poorly understood potential phase of an organization's life cycle—going out of business.
Opportunities in Lean Times
(Field Focus - October 2008 "In-depth information on specific topics")
This web page is devoted to the economic crisis. It offers resources to help you frame the issues, find facts and trends, consider options, and arrive at the best strategies for your organization and mission.
Revenue Evaluation Matrix
This is a tool for evaluating an organization’s financial situation and revenue mix. It can be used to evaluate the stability of your current revenue streams, gauge the potential of new revenue sources, and compare your organization's funding mix to that of similar organizations. 
Short and Long-Term Approaches to Finding Revenue Sources
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, November 19, 2008)
Includes short-term ways to turn your organization’s products or services into new sources of revenue, and a longer-term process for assessing whether or not a business venture is right for your organization.
Six Signs That It's Time to Consider Going Out of Business
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 23, 2008)
Shedding light on an important, and yet poorly understood potential phase of an organization's life cycle—going out of business.
Things to Do When the Budget Squeezes
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, February 16, 2005)
Discusses strategies that are often overlooked when a nonprofit is struggling or expanding. Yet they can be the keys to long lasting mission success.
Tips for Getting Technology Funding
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, October 4, 2005)
How many times have you struggled to get funders to support something you know is essential to your mission, but they see as irrelevant, uninteresting, or both? Here are tips to help you inspire as much passion for a mysterious and costly database as you do for the humans who will populate that database.
Two Guiding Principles for Effective Budgeting
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, December 19, 2007)
Two guiding principles that will help you lead a successful budgeting process that results in a useful tool for your organization.
Want Stimulus Money? Act Fast!
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 8, 2009)
What does the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 mean for your nonprofit or grantees? Here's an overview of the purpose of the law, the funding categories that are most applicable to nonprofits, and resources for accessing the funds.
When Layoffs Are Necessary, Nonprofits Need to Be Planful
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, November 5, 2008)
If your nonprofit is faced with making job cuts, it is critical to get good counsel, plan the process, and articulate a clear message to all concerned. These steps will not make a layoff easy, but they can minimize damage and maximize the likelihood of a solid recovery.
When Times are Tough, Get Creative and Strategic
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, October 23, 2008)
A logical, practical process to help you think through options and arrive at the best strategies to help your organization's mission survive in tough times.
Grantmaking
Managing the End of a Funding Relationship
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 24, 2008)
Recommendations for creating an effective funding exit that adds value to a project and leaves grantees in a strong position.
Policy and Advocacy Resources for Grantmakers and Nonprofits
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 4, 2007)
A list of key resources related to all aspects of public policy participation.
Three Ways to Involve Foundations in Public Policy
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 31, 2007)
Foundations have ample opportunity to be part of advancing policy to benefit the causes they serve. This tool outlines three phases of policy work and suggests ways foundations can be involved at each phase.
Lobbying, Advocacy, and Organizing
Advocacy Success: Know How Laws Are Made and Who Controls What Decisions
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 9, 2008)
You can’t advocate successfully without a basic understanding of the structures, systems, and people that make laws happen. This issue gives you an overview of the process and specific tips for gathering information about your area.
Harnessing the Power of Public Policy
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 10, 2007)
A summary of legal rules for private and community foundation involvement in public policy and civic activity.
Mapping Your Networks to Mine Valuable Resources
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 5, 2009)
Social capital is the resources available to people based on the networks their relationships give them access to. Here's how to create a social capital map to get a clear picture of your organization's connections and networks.
Policy and Advocacy Resources for Grantmakers and Nonprofits
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 4, 2007)
A list of key resources related to all aspects of public policy participation.
Stakeholder Analysis Tool
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 15, 2006)
The Stakeholder Analysis tool is used not just by people involved in lobbying, but by any group wishing to understand, influence, and mobilize its constituents.
Three Ways to Involve Foundations in Public Policy
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 31, 2007)
Foundations have ample opportunity to be part of advancing policy to benefit the causes they serve. This tool outlines three phases of policy work and suggests ways foundations can be involved at each phase.
Management & Leadership
25 Random Things that Make the Nonprofit Sector Great
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 18, 2009)
A reminder of the many good things accomplished every day in the nonprofit sector.
Adapting to Change: 22 Structural Strategies for Nonprofits
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, May 6, 2009)
When major external change happens, it’s important to look internally to revisit and, if necessary, revise your mission and approach in order to serve the community in the best way possible. You'll find up-to-date information and examples of the three main types of structural strategies.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Merger?
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 24, 2009)
Assess your organization’s readiness and suitability as a potential merger partner.
Avoiding Knee-Jerk Reactions to a Crisis
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, September 5, 2007)
Checklists of things to do and questions to ask when times suddenly get very bad.
Benchmarking 101 for Nonprofits
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 26, 2005)
The basics of benchmarking including what it is, how it can be useful, and how it differs from evaluation.
Communicating Clearly: It's Not What You Say, It's How Others Hear You
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 20, 2008)
The biggest danger in communication is assuming that it has taken place—that shared meaning has already been created. But getting to shared meaning isn’t always easy or obvious. Here's a process for creating shared meaning that you can use in all your work—including diagnosing a current problem speaking with or listening to a specific person.
Create a "Culture of Evaluation"
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, June 20, 2007)
Creating a culture of evaluation is the surest way to improve services. Here's how to help everyone in your organization see the benefit of evaluation.
Diagnosing Problems to Avoid "Ready, Fire, Aim" Syndrome
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 9, 2008)
A step-by-step process for defining a problem in such a way that people can do something about it.
Do-It-Yourself Market Research (Part 1): Analyzing the Competition
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, September 24, 2008)
Features the Competitor Analysis Tool. This tool helps you compare your nonprofit to other organizations in your market competing for the same resources. The comparison helps you identify your nonprofit’s strengths and those of competitors. It also reveals areas where your nonprofit may want or need to strengthen its organizational capacity.
Do-It-Yourself Market Research (Part 2): Tracking Trends
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, October 8, 2008)
Features the Trend Analysis Worksheet. Why it's important to keep abreast of trends and tips for doing a trend analysis.
Engagement Strategies: Making the Most of Working Together
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, May 20, 2009)
Specific suggestions on how to work together, from simple engagements all the way up to a merger.
Five Life Stages Bibliography
Resources related to organization developmental stages.
(Excerpted from The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations.)
Five Secrets for Managing Rapid Growth
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, July 11, 2007)
Tips from the experiences of CaringBridge.
Focus Group Do's and Don'ts [Video 11:30]
This video demonstrates how to run an effective focus group.
Four Impacts of Generational Change
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 7, 2007)
Four impacts what they mean relative to your work. See also, Six Trends that Will Affect Your Nonprofit.
Four Ways to Create a Compelling Vision
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, May 2, 2007)
How to create a truly inspiring vision.
Getting the Most from Evaluation
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, June 6, 2007)
How one organization leveraged its evaluation findings in a variety of innovative ways.
How to Run Useful, Inexpensive Focus Groups
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, December 5, 2007)
Describes the ten steps for doing focus groups—without a lot of money or special expertise.
Leading Through a Change Without Losing Your Mind
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, October 6, 2006)
Ten myths, mindsets, and motivators you'll find indispensable when guiding an organization through change.
Logic Models: What Are They and Why Would Anyone Except Spock Care?
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, July 26, 2005)
Explains what a logic model is and how they are useful for understanding why your nonprofit gets the results that it does.
Managing at the Intersection of Generational Change and Policy
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, May 16, 2007)
This issue profiles one organization that—in planning for coming generational changes—saw the need for public policy changes in order to fulfill its mission.
Mapping Your Networks to Mine Valuable Resources
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, August 5, 2009)
Social capital is the resources available to people based on the networks their relationships give them access to. Here's how to create a social capital map to get a clear picture of your organization's connections and networks.
Nonprofit Life Stages Assessment
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 10, 2005)
(See also: Nonprofit Life Stage Assessment online)
Describes how the Nonprofit Life Stage Assessment can help you anticipate some of the challenges you'll face, and plan for some of the changes you’d better make. Includes links to other useful resources.
(Excerpted from The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations.)
Nonprofit Life Stages: Knowing What's Normal and What's Next
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, October 17, 2007)
This is an overview of Judy Sharken Simon’s organizational life stages model from her book: The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations. Armed with the knowledge of nonprofit life cycle stages, staff, management, boards, and funders can project future needs, make decisions proactively, and anticipate challenges. (It’s also comforting to know that the stress staff and organizations are experiencing is normal and inevitable—not a sign of incompetence or impending disaster!)
Real-Time Strategic Planning in a Rapid-Response World
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 20, 2008)
An overview of the Real-Time Strategic Planning Cycle a revolutionary alternative to traditional strategic planning. Also includes a more in-depth look at the critical first portion of strategy—understanding your organizational identity.
Seven Essentials for a Successful Executive Transition
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, June 10, 2009)
A change of leadership is never an easy time for a nonprofit. The board has a lot on the line. Here's an overview of the transition process and how it differs from a typical hire. Also, you'll find seven essential elements of a successful executive transition.
Seven Pivotal Points When Nonprofits Must Make Fundamental Changes
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 4, 2009)
Addresses critical junctures at which nonprofits must reassess the way they operate and make fundamental changes or risk decline.
Six Signs That It's Time to Consider Going Out of Business
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 23, 2008)
Shedding light on an important, and yet poorly understood potential phase of an organization's life cycle—going out of business.
Six Steps to Deal with Generational Change in Your Organization
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 18, 2007)
While there are many things you might do to prepare for the huge generational changes coming, six stand out. Author Peter Brinckerhoff calls these the “Six Big Actions” because taking them will smooth your ride through the coming transition.
Six Generational Trends that Will Affect Your Nonprofit
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, February 21, 2007)
Six critically important generational trends you need to know about in order to keep your nonprofit relevant and able to meet the changing needs of your staff, volunteers, donors, and the community you serve.
Stewardship Helps Get More Mission for the Money
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, May 24, 2005)
What it means to be a nonprofit steward and how this helps you make decisions that are best for the people your organization serves. Includes Peter Brinckerhoff's Stewardship Decision Tree and a link to the stewardship self-assessment from Nonprofit Stewardship: A Better Way to Lead Your Mission-Based Organization.
Tough Times Strategies: Moving Beyond the Bake Sale
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 23, 2009)
Fieldstone Alliance consultant and collaboration expert, Sandy Jacobsen, shares advice on diversifying your pool of strategies and offers special tips for collaborating in a recession.
Who to Consult for What Decisions
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, December 4, 2008)
You want the insights and perspective of others, yet you don't want decisions to be undermined by endless discussion. Here's tips for when to use insiders and when to use outsiders to help inform different types of decisions.
When Layoffs Are Necessary, Nonprofits Need to Be Planful
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, November 5, 2008)
If your nonprofit is faced with making job cuts, it is critical to get good counsel, plan the process, and articulate a clear message to all concerned. These steps will not make a layoff easy, but they can minimize damage and maximize the likelihood of a solid recovery.
When to Consider a Merger
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, November 15, 2007)
Is a merger right for your organization? This issue describes what mergers can and can't do and gives you tools to help you decide if a merger is the best option given your nonprofit's goals.
Why Traditional Strategic Planning Isn't Strategic
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 5, 2008)
Strategic planning is still a useful tool—just not for setting strategies. Here's a look at the problems with traditional strategic planning.
Winning the "Talent" Competition: How to Recruit the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, June 4, 2008)
Tips and low-cost ideas for reaching and wooing future leaders and furthering the “cause” of promoting nonprofit careers.
Marketing
25 Random Things that Make the Nonprofit Sector Great
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 18, 2009)
A reminder of the many good things accomplished every day in the nonprofit sector.
Assessing Your Communication Goals
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, October 3, 2007)
Two assessment tools which will help you determine what your organization needs from a strategic message development process and how to ready itself to undertake the development of a core message that captures the intersection of your goals with what your market actually wants. Also includes the free Message Matrix, an interactive PDF that you can use when crafting your messages.
Five Keys to Creating Motivating Messages
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, September 19, 2007)
What exactly makes for a message that motivates people to fund you, vote your way, participate in your program, buy your service, volunteer for your organization, quote you, adopt a best practice, or take other specific actions.
Focus Group Do's and Don'ts [Video 11:30]
This video demonstrates how to run an effective focus group.
Four Key Roles Your Supporters Can Play in Fundraising and Marketing Campaigns
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, April 26, 2006)
This tool describes four roles your staff, volunteers, board members, and other supporters can play to promote your mission.
How to Run Useful, Inexpensive Focus Groups
(Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, December 5, 2007)
Describes the ten steps for doing focus groups—without a lot of money or special expertise.
Marketing Magic Turns Lackluster Event into Record-Breaking Success
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, February 20, 2008)
How a natural history museum used marketing to increase attendance at their annual event from 60 people to 1,087 the following year.
Positioning Your Organization for Success
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, October 25, 2005)
Defines positioning and walks you through six steps that help you craft a positioning statement for your organization.
Reputation Builders
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, November 15, 2005)
Steps every organization should take to claim and maintain its position. These should be helpful whether you already have a well-established position or you are still struggling to formulate your position strategy.
What Makes for a Good Nonprofit Salesperson?
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, May 18, 2006)
Seventy-four of our subscribers responded with their insights of people who are good at "selling" a nonprofit's vision.
Trends
Do-It-Yourself Market Research (Part 2): Tracking Trends
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, October 8, 2008)
Features the Trend Analysis Worksheet. Why it's important to keep abreast of trends and tips for doing a trend analysis.
Five Nonprofit Trends and Their Implications for Capacity Builders
Bryan Barry identified trends that will affect how capacity building work is done in the future and the implications for capacity builders (i.e., how might we respond?).
Four Impacts of Generational Change
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, March 7, 2007)
Four impacts what they mean relative to your work.
Six Generational Trends that Will Affect Your Nonprofit
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, February 21, 2007)
Six critically important generational trends you need to know about in order to keep your nonprofit relevant and able to meet the changing needs of your staff, volunteers, donors, and the community you serve.
Volunteer Engagement
8 Tips for Recruiting & Retaining Volunteers in Tough Times
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, January 7, 2009)
Because volunteers are real people living in real communities, tight budgets will have an impact. Here are eight recommendations that can help any type of organization looking to recruit and retain volunteers in tough times.
14 Steps to Developing a Top-Notch Volunteer Program
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, February 19, 2009)
You may have talked about needing volunteers but haven't known how to go about it. Here's a step-by-step process to get you started on developing a great program.
Want to Build Capacity? Tap into Boomer Volunteers' Professional Experience
(Nonprofit Tools You Can Use e-newsletter, June 24, 2009)
To build your organization’s capacity beyond what staff alone can accomplish, here are nine tips for shifting from volunteer management to a culture of volunteer engagement that utilizes the skills and talents of Baby Boomers and the generations that follow.
"Nonprofit Tools You Can Use" e-newsletter issues by date
Issue MM-DD-YYYY
Date
Title
1
01-10-2005
The Nonprofit Life Stage Assessment
2
01-26-2005
What Makes Collaborations Succeed
3
02-16-2005
Things to Do When the Budget Squeezes
4
03-08-2005
Have You Hugged Your Bookkeeper Lately?
5
03-29-2005
Building a Better World—One Balance Sheet at a Time
6
04-26-2005
Benchmarking 101 for Nonprofits
7
05-24-2005
Stewardship Helps Get More Mission for the Money
8
07-27-2005
Logic Models: What Are They and Why Would Anyone Except Spock Care?
9
08-23-2005
Lower Intensity Alliances (Part 1): When Less is More
10
09-13-2005
Lower Intensity Alliances (Part 2): What to Do When Your Partnership Is on the Rocks
11
10-04-2005
Tips for Getting Technology Funding
12
10-25-2005
Positioning Your Organization for Success
13
11-15-2005
Reputation Builders
14
12-07-2005
Dealing Effectively with Board Conflicts
15
01-10-2006
Six Keys to Successful Organizational Assessment
16
02-08-2006
Three Keys to Being an Effective Community Leader
17
03-15-2006
Stakeholder Analysis Tool: How to Understand, Influence, and Mobilize Your Constituents
18
04-06-2006
28 Factors for Successful Community Building
19
04-26-2006
Four Key Roles Your Supporters Can Play in Fundraising and Marketing Campaigns
20
05-18-2006
What Makes for a Good Nonprofit Salesperson?
21
06-20-2006
Capacity Building Defined and Demystified
22
07-26-2006
Tapping Local Arts and Culture to Revitalize Communities
23
09-12-2006
Six Best Practices for Complex Collaborations
24
10-06-2006
Leading Through a Change Without Losing Your Mind
25
11-02-2006
Working with Refugees: Tips for Dealing with Three Major Challenges
26
01-10-2007
Harnessing the Power of Public Policy
27
01-31-2007
Three Ways to Involve Foundations in Public Policy
28
02-21-2007
Six Generational Trends that Will Affect Your Nonprofit
29
03-07-2007
Four Impacts of Generational Change
30
03-21-2007
Helping Communities Succeed: Community Coaches and What They Do
31
04-04-2007
Policy and Advocacy Resources for Grantmakers and Nonprofits
32
04-18-2007
Six Steps to Deal with Generational Change in Your Organization
33
05-02-2007
Four Ways to Create a Compelling Vision
34
05-16-2007
Managing at the Intersection of Generational Change and Policy
35
06-06-2007
Getting the Most from Evaluation
36
06-20-2007
Create a "Culture of Evaluation"
37
07-11-2007
Five Secrets for Managing Rapid Growth
38
07-25-2007
How to "Nimble-ize" a Collaboration
39
08-08-2007
Four Pivot-Points for Rebuilding Local Economies
40
08-22-2007
Does Your Organization Have What It Takes to Start a Business Venture?
41
09-05-2007
Avoiding Knee-Jerk Reactions to a Crisis
42
09-19-2007
Five Keys to Creating Motivating Messages
43
10-03-2007
Assessing Your Communication Goals
44
10-17-2007
Nonprofit Life Stages: Knowing What's Normal and What's Next
45
11-01-2007
Eleven Cool Ideas for Finding Hot New Board Members
46
11-15-2007
When to Consider a Merger
47
12-05-2007
How to Run Useful, Inexpensive Focus Groups
48
12-19-2007
Two Guiding Principles for Effective Budgeting
49
01-09-2008
Diagnosing Problems to Avoid “Ready, Fire, Aim” Syndrome
50
01-24-2008
Managing the End of a Funding Relationship
51
02-06-2008
Creative Uses of Community Forums
52
02-20-2008
Marketing Magic Turns Lackluster Event into Record-Breaking Success
53
03-05-2008
Why Traditional Strategic Planning Isn't Strategic
54
03-20-2008
Real-Time Strategic Planning in a Rapid-Response World
55
04-09-2008
Advocacy Success: Know How Laws Are Made and Who Controls What Decisions
56
04-23-2008
Six Signs That It's Time to Consider Going Out of Business
57
05-14-2008
The Busy Person's Guide to Four Essential Finance Reports
58
06-04-2008
Winning the "Talent" Competition: How to Recruit the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders
59
06-18-2008
Hybrid Business Model Gives Social Causes Access to Venture Capital
60
07-23-2008
Tips for Managing Conflict in Collaborations
61
08-20-2008
Communicating Clearly: It's Not What You Say, It's How Others Hear You
62
09-11-2008
Starting Steps for Improving Cultural Competence
63
09-24-2008
Do-It-Yourself Market Research (Part 1): Analyzing the Competition
64
10-08-2008
Do-It-Yourself Market Research (Part 2): Tracking Trends
65
10-23-2008
When Times are Tough, Get Creative and Strategic
66
11-05-2008
When Layoffs Are Necessary, Nonprofits Need to Be Planful
67
11-19-2008
Short and Long-Term Approaches to Finding Revenue Sources
68
12-04-2008
Who to Consult for What Decisions
69
12-16-2008
20 Emergency Funding Sources for Nonprofits
70
01-07-2009
8 Tips for Recruiting & Retaining Volunteers in Tough Times
71
01-22-2009
20 Cost Cutting Ideas for Nonprofits
72
02-04-2009
Elephants in the Boardroom: A Framework for Discussing Board Effectiveness Issues
73
02-19-2009
14 Steps to Developing a Top-Notch Volunteer Program
74
03-04-2009
Seven Pivotal Points When Nonprofits Must Make Fundamental Changes
75
03-18-2009
25 Random Things that Make the Nonprofit Sector Great
76
04-08-2009
Want Stimulus Money? Act Fast!
77
04-23-2009
Tough Times Strategies: Moving Beyond the Bake Sale
78
05-06-2009
Adapting to Change: 22 Structural Strategies for Nonprofits
79
05-20-2009
Engagement Strategies: Making the Most of Working Together
80
06-10-2009
Seven Essentials for a Successful Executive Transition
81
06-24-2009
Want to Build Capacity? Tap into Boomer Volunteers' Professional Experience
82
07-22-2009
Steps for Considering and Creating an Alliance
83
08-05-2009
Mapping Your Networks to Mine Valuable Resources
84
08-24-2009
Are You a Good Candidate for a Merger?