Strengthening Nonprofit Governance & Management
 536 N.Jackson Street,  Jackson, Michigan 49201

April 2011

In this issue... (click to jump)

Upcoming Workshops

Wednesday, January 01, 2014 12:00 AM • Does every member of your board understand their legal obligations, basic responsibilities, and duties?
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:00 AM • United Way of Jackson Conference Room A/B 536 N. Jackson, Jackson MI 49201
Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:00 AM • United Way Conference Room A/B, 536 N. Jackson St., Jackson, MI 49201
Thursday, May 01, 2014 8:00 AM • Cascades Manor House, 1970 Kibby Road, Jackson, MI 49203

Welcome New Members

Members who have joined since January 1, 2011

  • SHI-M=DB, Self Help for Independency in MIchigan Equalizing the Deaf Blind
  • Adrian Community Preschool
  • Youth Empowerment Project
  • Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Partnership Park
  • Southhaven Senior Services
  • Maxwell Business Solution
  • JTV
  • Optimist Charitable Fund
  • Optimist Ice Arena
  • Patricia Rayl
  • MaryAnne LaMarre
  • Monica Day
  • Michigan Center Community Food Pantry
  • Mark Smith
  • Seque, Inc.
  • Spring Arbor University
  • First Evangelistic Church of God & Christ
  • Jackson Area Home Educators
  • Community 1 Cooperative

  • Trent Harris

  • Jackson Area Home Educators

  • Purple Rose Theatre

  • Cheryl Norey - MACI

  • Spring Arbor University

  • Hillsdale County Community Foundation

  • House of New Beginnings, Inc.

  • City of Zion Ministries

  • Save Our Youth, Inc.

  • Roxann Keating


Spring Conference Follow Up

We had 112 particpants at our Spring Grant Writer's Conference - an amazing turnout.  We are so grateful! Some of the workshops were so popular there was standing room only!

Survey results are still coming in and we have some work to do to ensure next year's event is better, that the funder dating process goes smoother and 100% of the particpants leave full and satisfied.  But, we are so excited to share the following:

  • 87% said the opportunity to meet funders was valuable
  • 87% said they received enough tools in the workshops to pick up the phone and call a funder
  • 92% would recommend others attend the Spring Conference

A few comments from the survey:

  • It was truly an excellent event!
  • Great way to either learn the basics or renew skills and wonderful opportunity to enjoy brief periods of face time with funders - speed dating was a great idea.
  • This was a great opportunity and very beneficial to all who are involved in fund development for nonprofits
  • Great value - time, money, networking, meeting with funders
  • I find this one fo the most valuable tools for understanding the entire grant process and the networking opportunity is priceless

And the comments we will use to fix next year's event:

  • Funder dates filled up and there weren't enough "dates" for everyone
  • Sessions need to be longer
  • Didn't like having to choose which sessions to go to - felt like I was missing out on opportunities
  • Too crowded - too many people were allowed to attend

Thank you to the Foundations that have Supported our Work this Year!

United Way of Jackson County
The Hurst Foundation
Weatherwax Foundation
Michigan Nonprofit Association

2011 Road Rallye
April 29th
To Register, click here
Mission Accomplished:  Nonprofits Go Out of Business

A few nonprofit groups have recently announced plans to wind down, not over financial problems but because their missions are nearly finished.

Most notable, perhaps, is Malaria No More, a popular nonprofit that supplies bed nets in malaria zones. Its goal is to end deaths from malaria, a target it sees fast approaching.

The charity has announced plans to close in 2015, but it is keeping its options open in the unlikely event that advances against malaria are reversed.

“We never planned to be around forever,” said Scott Case, a co-founder of Priceline and vice chairman of Malaria No More. “We have thought of this more as a project than as an institution-building exercise, and the project is nearing its completion.”

So far, the number of organizations opting to go out of business for mission-related reasons is too small to call a trend. It is still far more common for a nonprofit to close its doors because of financial pressure, which is increasing as governments continue to pare their budgets and donors maintain tight grips on their giving.

To read the rest of the article: click here

Key Questions

Nonprofit Network has recently been asked by a number of different funders to help them identify a "red flags".  Here are just some of the key questions we know are important to ask... but we also know that while every organization may operates differently, the answers are more important than the questions 

  • How often does the board meet and is it often enough to complete the work of the board?
  •  When is the last time the bylaws were updated? 
  • Describe how the current chair of the board was chosen/elected.
  • Do any of the board members receive reimbursement or payment for any reason?
  • Describe the process the board uses to approve the organization’s budget.
  • Can the board describe a time in the last year that a vote was NOT unanimous. 
  • When was the last time the ED had a performance evaluation?
  • Duty of Care can be illustrated with board meeting minutes – are the same board members absent again and again with no explanation, do the minutes reflect active conversation?
  • Duty of Loyalty can be illustrated in a purposeful conflict of interest policy and disclosure – can the organization describe their COI disclosure process?
  • Does the organization have a strategic plan?  Can the success of the organization be measured with the strategic plan?

How would you answer these questions? 

Did we miss an important one?

Let me know:

Are You Facing Dissolution?  Have You Considered Collaboration?

Dissolution is something no nonprofit board member or CEO wants to face, however, it does not have to mean failure of the nonprofit’s mission. With the right strategic partner and a will to collaborate, there is nearly always a way to save the programs that provide the greatest benefit to the community.

While most people think of mergers or joint ventures when they think of nonprofit collaborations, the possibilities are really endless. Some examples of collaborative relationships we have helped to create include the following:

1.      Merger. A merger is the legal assimilation of one organization into another. The board of the consolidated organization is either disbanded or absorbed, in whole or in part, into the surviving organization. The assets, liabilities, and other legal obligations are also absorbed by the surviving organization.

2.      Consolidation. A consolidation typically refers to a legal combination of organizations by creating a new organization with a new name, appointing a board and staff made up of representatives of each organization to lead it, and appointing one CEO answerable to the combined board.

Click here to read about the other 5 relationships that could help you.

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