Sheryl Keeme

Mentoring Staff New to Nonprofit Work

posted by
Sheryl Keeme,
Executive Director,

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Have you ever been asked what you do for a living and when you responded, the person reacted as though you were Mother Teresa? Some believe that nonprofit work is more of a calling than a career, but when one considers that this ‘calling’ is responsible for literally billions of dollars changing hands each year in our own country alone, it’s a calling of high importance. Not to mention one in which the skills set must be honed and finely tuned.

It’s rare to learn of someone who entered a nonprofit career having always known that this is what they were born to do. But, when considering helping young graduates transition to a career in nonprofit or even helping a mid-career professional make the leap from a for-profit vocation to one in the nonprofit sector, there are a few basics to keep in mind when mentoring a new nonprofit worker.

Encourage the employee to spend a few days doing information "downloads" from fellow staff members or if it’s a smaller nonprofit, from key volunteer leadership. Meeting with the people who have been active in the areas in which the worker will be assigned is invaluable. Urge them to become a listener and learner at first, rather than a talker. Have them prepare a list of contacts throughout these discussions that they should spend time reaching out to via telephone or, at times, in person, to acquaint themselves with these key people.

Transition From Event-Based Fundraising to Annual Fundraising

posted by
Sheryl Keeme,
Executive Director,

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

If you are depending on special event income to fund your mission, it’s likely you’ve noticed the last five years have felt like you are moving up the down escalator. Perhaps you have noticed that sponsors are gripping their pocketbooks with a tighter fist, attendees are not as plentiful as they once were and high-end table buyers are downsizing their commitments. What’s more is that it doesn’t really matter whether it is a high-end gala or a walk. Keeping staff motivated and raising the big dollars with special events can be an expensive and staff-intensive endeavor that is growing more difficult to sustain in our world’s diminished economy.

Yet, donors are still available but are far more discriminating about where to invest their charitable dollars.  Here are some items that donors want when making their decisions:

  • Results. Donors want to know what happened with the dollars you used to have. What did your organization do to move the marble?
  • Personalization. Do you know me and what I like to support? 
  • Knowledge. Do you keep me informed of mission progress without always asking for support?

So how does an organization make this transition? Here are some steps to get started:

 

Collect and organize