Monday, March 31, 2008

New column every Monday: March 31, 2008

Reminder: "Fundraising Success," a weekly, one-hour radio show, airs on WXEL/National Public Radio. It is broadcast over-the-air, but you may hear it on the Internet 24/7, whenever you want, from wherever you are. Just go to

There are a gazillion shows and columns regurgitating advice on how businesses can succeed, but nothing--zip, zero--for nonprofits. On "Fundraising Success," national and local experts in communications, grant-writing, capital campaigns, PR, and other areas of interest will share their best advice.

"Fundraising Success" provides nonprofits the consultants none of them can afford, but all of them need.

To hear programs, go to the "Fundraising Success" headings, 24/7, whenever you want, from wherever you are, at Each program's content is summarized. You may even download programs to your computer--and forward them to others.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New column every Monday: March 24, 2008

The Forum for Nonprofits is broadcast as a public service of Beasley radio stations WSBR AM 740 and WWNN AM 1470 to enhance the success of the nonprofit community. In addition to over-the-air broadcasts, with Internet access or its equivalent, you may listen to The Forum for Nonprofits 24/7 from anywhere in the world--at your convenience. Just go to

There are 1.2 million nonprofits in America, and an estimated 1 in 3 Americans is involved in nonprofit organizations as volunteers, donors, or board members. Nonprofits are crucial to the health and well-being of every American.

Dynamic and cutting-edge, the weekly Forum for NonProfits features one or more organizations worthy of philanthropic support and encourages listeners to jump on their bandwagon.

In addition, leading consultants give advice to help nonprofits succeed, and donors and other sources of funding explain how best to approach them for contributions.

Be sure the check the archive section for a list of our most recent shows. And if you would like to feature your organization on the program, please contact us.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

New column every Monday: March 17, 2008

"The Fundraising Guru"
by Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein

Last week, I gave you benchmarks for individual board self-assessment, as a way of establishing parameters for successful fundraising. Nonprofits must first gauge the strength of their board before they can hope to approach the outside world for financial support. Fill out that form if you haven't already done so before doing this week's.

This week's benchmarks assess the total board from an individual board member's perspective. It's the next, logical step for every nonprofit to take.

2. Total Board

From 0 (Not at all) to 10 (Very)
2.1. How committed do you think THE BOARD AS
A WHOLE is to the goals of ICA USA?..................…0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

2.2. How committed do you think THE BOARD AS
A WHOLE is to telling others about ICA USA?........0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

2.3. How serious a loss do you think THE BOARD would
feel it was if ICA USA went out of business?..............0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

2.4. How committed do you think THE BOARD
is financially to ICA USA?............................................0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

2.5. How committed do you think THE BOARD
is to getting others to donate to ICA USA?.................0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

2.6 YOUR TOTAL: _____ of 50

Send your comments and questions to Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein at He is the author of the bestselling 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, which is available at,, other online booksellers, and bookstores nationwide.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

New column every Monday: "The Fundraising Guru," March 10, 2008

Your board members are the engine
that drives your fundraising
by Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein

Your board is the catalyst for all of your fundraising. It takes the lead/opens doors/multiplies itself to make your nonprofit successful. Take Step 1 in determining your board's individual and collective energy by asking each and every board member to fill out the Self-Assessment below.

1. Individual Board Member

From 0 (Not at all) to 10 (Very)
1.1. How committed are YOU to the goals
of your nonprofit?.……………..……………………...……0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

1.2. How committed are YOU to telling others
about your nonprofit?..................................................0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

1.3. How serious a loss do YOU think it would be
if your nonprofit went out of business?.........................0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

1.4. How committed are YOU financially to
your nonprofit?.............................................................0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

1.5. How committed are YOU to getting others
to invest in your nonprofit?.........................................0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are you willing to do to raise your score? _____________________________________________________________

1.6. Your total: ____ of 50

Next week: Take Step 2--Individual board member's assessment of your board's commitment.
Email Stephen Goldstein your questions and comments:


Sunday, March 02, 2008

New column every Monday: What a waste of philanthropic dollars--March 3, 2008

[Questions about the following article from Stephen L. Goldstein: Why are foundations throwing good money after bad? The Bush Administration and its enabler, Alan Greenspan, pumped up the economy with a false housing boom to lull the American public into complacency while it waged the Iraq invasion, whose costs have been kept off the books. So, now that the market has crashed, why do philanthropies think they can/should stop the hemorrhaging?]

as posted on The South Florida from The Wall Street Journal
Philanthropists look for ways to curb foreclosure crisis
Groups could provide quick funding for local remedies
The Wall Street Journal
March 2, 2008

Some of the nation's wealthiest philanthropies are turning their attention to the growing foreclosure crisis, which some fear could usher in the type of urban blight that devastated pockets of American cities in the 1970s and 1980s.How to tackle it isn't clear."Every big funder is out there trying to figure out how to participate in systemic responses," says George McCarthy, a senior program officer with the Ford Foundation. The problem, he says, is that "no one can figure out where the opportunity lies" and how philanthropic dollars can be spent most effectively.

The Ford Foundation, which has about $12.8 billion in assets, is looking to fund programs aimed at reducing the number of homes that wind up in foreclosure, perhaps by making it easier for homeowners to get mortgages modified.

Meanwhile, Living Cities, a consortium of major foundations and financial institutions working to revive inner cities, is considering funding programs to keep borrowers in their homes and get abandoned properties back into use. Many of the group's members have worked over the last decade on ways to create affordable housing and reduce urban blight. "

Unfortunately, a lot of that progress is being wiped away or has the potential to be wiped away," says Ben Hecht, the group's chief executive.Hecht hopes to raise at least $5 million from the group's members and others that can be used for grants, as well as at least $10 million in flexible longer-term loans for local programs that, if successful, could be quickly replicated nationally — perhaps influencing policy makers figuring out how to use public dollars.

The amount of money charities are setting aside to assist is relatively small when compared with the scope of the mortgage crisis. As of the end of January, some 2.3 million mortgage loans were delinquent and another 505,000 were in default, according to Moody's economic research firm.Nevertheless, moves by foundations could provide quick funding for programs operated by local governments and nonprofit groups at a time when federal solutions have been slow to materialize. This week Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, floated a plan that would allocate as much as $10 billion in loans to states to buy foreclosed or abandoned properties, along with $10 billion in Federal Housing Administration guarantees to allow people delinquent in payments to refinance into more-affordable mortgages. But it isn't clear whether such proposals will reach fruition. Meanwhile, city and state officials say the situation is growing bleaker and that they need to act now.

The Living Cities consortium, which met this week to weigh about a dozen proposals from local governments and community groups, includes the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and companies such as Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Deutsche Bank AG. Other supporters include the Kresge Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

In the 1970s and 1980s, many cities were hurt when the loss of manufacturing jobs and an economic downturn drove residents to move away. Investor-owners abandoned properties in the face of rising inflation and higher fuel costs, and many ended up in the hands of local governments. Foundations, community groups and others eventually helped return many of these properties to productive use.

This time around, assisting troubled homeowners is turning out to be particularly difficult and costly because many are in such bad financial shape. The large volume of problem loans has stretched the resources of housing counselors and mortgage-servicing companies. Arranging for broad-based loan workouts or purchases of foreclosed properties also has proved difficult, in part because so many mortgages were packaged into securities, sliced and diced and sold to investors.

The Ford Foundation is considering an investment in a program being developed by Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta that would give its counselors access to mortgage-pooling and servicing agreements, and the authority to fashion loan modifications for certain borrowers who've fallen behind on their payments. Mortgage servicing companies that participate in the program would agree in principal to execute the group's recommendations.

The Ford Foundation allocates as much as $5 million in grants and up to $10 million in loans annually to housing-related initiatives, but may make additional money available this year.The impact of foreclosures on other people who live in the neighborhoods is "the part of the story that gets lost in the whole mortgage discussion," says Hecht of Living Cities. "When I go to some of these communities, it breaks your heart. Not only are the buildings boarded and abandoned, but you have people who have these homes in blue-collar neighborhoods. ... They are hard-working people. They did nothing wrong. We would like to be able to help them."Among projects the consortium is considering funding is one proposed by nonprofits and local governments in Cleveland. It would aim to acquire 450 foreclosed properties in the area at a cost of roughly $21 million, and either rehabilitate them as homes or rental units, or demolish them to make way for parks and other uses."Over the last 20 years, we have worked with local community-development organizations to really stabilize these neighborhoods," says Doris Koo, president and chief executive of Enterprise Community Partners, which has helped bring in about $240 million for affordable housing in Cleveland. "

We've produced some stable communities, but because they are so fragile, any large-scale abandonment can bring them down."Another program Living Cities is looking at was proposed by the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, a nonprofit recently created to address the subprime mortgage crisis. The program wants to reach borrowers at risk of foreclosure and get them into loans that they can afford.

Already the Open Society Institute, funded by George Soros, is spending $1 million in both 2008 and 2009 on efforts including counseling, legal assistance and borrower education. The Open Society Institute has committed to spending a total of $10 million on mortgage-related programs over the next two years.

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, with assets of $6.8 billion, is stepping up its support for organizations it already funds, such as the Woodstock Institute, which is analyzing foreclosure data.
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