Monday, December 22, 2008

Investing in NonProfit Skills

Nice piece in the Philanthropy Journal about the importance of developing nonprofit skills. The article highlights the benefits of training and the lack of training dollars for most NGOs:I
n 2005, the average corporation spent just over $1,000 per employee on professional development, and best-in-class businesses spent $1,435, says the State of the Industry Report by the American Society for Training & Development.

Nonprofits and governments, on the other hand, spent an average of $656 per employee.

"People see professional development as the nice-to-haves, rather than the must-haves," says Kathleen Enright, executive director of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, a coalition of about 300 grantmakers. "I would argue it is absolutely critical."
There is a growing movement among grant makers to look beyond program specifics to the total performance and skills a grant seeking agencies. This is driving an effort to increase training and skill building efforts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New CEO Class at TCC still open

This note from Irene Bailey at the Academy for Nonprofit Excellence at Tidewater Community College:
Greetings everyone,
Seats remain for the New CEOs course scheduled for January 8 and 15. In addition to executive directors, we have had board members, staff, and volunteers attend with rave reviews. If you are a board member interested in gaining insights into the complexities of your CEOs role, staff or volunteer aspiring to the role, or just in need of more information, come join us. If you have questions about course content, let me know. A registration form is attached.

Workforce Development will be providing coverage throughout the holiday. So do not hesitate to call, 757-822-1170, or email Vickie and I wish you a successful new year and look forward to seeing you soon.

COURSE: "New CEOs: Moving from Surviving to Thriving"
If you are like most new nonprofit executive directors, you find leading your nonprofit to be rewarding but challenging. This two-day course will teach strategies and skills to help new executive directors like you become effective leaders. Topics include understanding the nonprofit culture; roles of the executive director, board and staff; sound financial management; and leadership development. This course is open to anyone but is targeted toward nonprofit executive directors with two years or less experience in their current positions.

Date: January 8 and 15, 2009
Time: 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: TCC Norfolk Campus, 5th floor Martin Building, Room 2502
Tuition: $85

Jane Stein is the owner of JPS Consulting in Norfolk, Virginia. A sought after facilitator, speaker and trainer, Jane has presented her programs in board development, management, leadership development, marketing, public relations, and fundraising to nonprofit agencies throughout the United States. Her experience also includes a tenure as a national director for major gifts for the American Cancer Society. Currently, Jane serves as the national chairman for training for the United Jewish Communities (formerly the United Jewish Appeal). She shares her secrets for success in these turbulent times and inspires her audiences to solve challenges in the nonprofit community in a humorous and heartfelt manner. Jane holds a Masters in Business Administration from Old Dominion University and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spring Class Schedule

Registration for these classes will begin in Jan. of 2009.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Email: Telling Your Nonprofit’s Story Online Thurs. April 9th 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (6 hours $5 fee 1 hour networking lunch)
Kivi Leroux Miller - #12071
Telling stories about your good cause is a great way to connect with supporters, because stories are emotional, and emotions drive giving. They are also much easier to remember than facts and figures, so your supporters can easily pass them on to others for you.

During this course, you’ll not only learn how to tell your nonprofit’s stories using time-honored techniques, but you’ll also learn how to integrate stories into your online communications. We’ll review some good nonprofit stories, break down why they work, and then write some stories of your own. Then we’ll review ways to use them on your website and in your e-newsletter and social networks.

Kivi Leroux Miller, president of EcoScribe Communications and founder of Nonprofit Marketing, consults with and trains nonprofits across the U.S. and Canada to communicate more effectively with donors, volunteers, clients, and other supporters.

Introduction to Strategic Planning Wed. April 29th. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (7 hours, $7 fee 1 hour networking lunch)
Naomi Takeuchi - #12067

In this course, participants will examine the strategic plan and vision statement as important tools for your organization. We will focus on the basics components of the strategic plan, vision statement and the planning process. Naomi Takeuchi is Founder and President of 1000 Cranes Business Consulting assisting small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the areas of strategic planning, grant writing, financial analysis and business plan development. Her customers include the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Duke University Medical Center. She has been a Duke instructor since June 2002 and is a professional member of the National Speakers Association. To enhance her MBA degree, she also earned her Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management. 1 hour networking lunch

Introduction to Strategic Planning Wed. April 29th. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (7 hours, $7 fee 1 hour networking lunch)
Naomi Takeuchi - #12067

In this course, participants will examine the strategic plan and vision statement as important tools for your organization. We will focus on the basics components of the strategic plan, vision statement and the planning process. Naomi Takeuchi is Founder and President of 1000 Cranes Business Consulting assisting small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the areas of strategic planning, grant writing, financial analysis and business plan development. Her customers include the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Duke University Medical Center. She has been a Duke instructor since June 2002 and is a professional member of the National Speakers Association. To enhance her MBA degree, she also earned her Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management. 1 hour networking lunch

The ABCs of Financial Success Thurs. April 30th. 9:00 am to 4:00 pm ( 6 hours, $7 fee 1 hour networking lunch)

Naomi Takeuchi - #12068

Accounting, Budgeting and Cashflow are basis of all successful agencies. The first half of the class will focus on the three basic financial statements including the income statement, the balance sheet and the cashflow statement. The second half of the class focus on how to plan program expenses and project revenues to build a accurate budget with an emphasis on managing cashflow. Naomi Takeuchi is Founder and President of 1000 Cranes Business Consulting assisting small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the areas of strategic planning, grant writing, financial analysis and business plan development. Her customers include the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Duke University Medical Center. She has been a Duke instructor since June s2002 and is a professional member of the National Speakers Association. To enhance her MBA degree, she also earned her Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Developing a Fundraising Plan May 7 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (5 hours $4 fee 1 hour networking lunch)
Jean Pudlo - #12069

A good fundraising plan focuses your agency on the most productive path toward sustainability. Step out of the day-to-day and evaluate prospective donor groups from a marketing perspective. Compare the effort and resources required for various funding methods including direct mail, special events, foundation and corporate grants. Put them together into a balanced, practical plan. We will use case studies and your situations to apply basic marketing concepts and outline steps to develop a comprehensive fundraising plan. Jean Pudlo, MBA in Nonprofit Management, is a former Executive and Development Director who brings varied experiences to her management consulting work with nonprofit organizations in the Triad. 1 hour Networking Lunch

Board Development for Young and Growing Nonprofits May 8 9:00 am to Noon (3 hours $4 fee no lunch)
Jean Pudlo - #12070

We will explore together how a board must answer these questions for their organization: Why does this organization exist? How will we get our work done? What resources will we need and where do we find them? How well are we doing? Then, we will review a life cycle approach to how boards can organize to work well in the early stages of an organization – from beginnings to being fairly established. We will explore the dynamics of changing from a “hands-on” board to more a board with clearly separated board and staff roles leading to a more mature organization. We’ll share practical ideas on your questions about boards. Jean Pudlo serves the nonprofit community as a consultant based in Greensboro. She has over 15 years experience with nonprofit organizations, and an MBA in Public and Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Freebies! Webinar on Thursday,

Check out Kivi leroux Miller's free webinar tommorow. Good free advice on managing the public perception of your organization.

Check out the post and links on her blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tidewater Academy for Nonprofit Excellence - Spring Course Schedule

Academy Announces Spring Schedule

The Academy for Nonprofit Excellence will offer an array of courses for nonprofits staff members in Hampton Roads during its spring 2009 semester. Each one- or two-day course is led by an expert and will equip you with knowledge you can apply immediately. In the past three years, 539 employees from more than 260 area nonprofits have taken classes.

Courses cost $60 for one day and $85 for two days. Register early since seating is limited. Courses are held at Tidewater Community College's campus in downtown Norfolk. Upcoming courses include:

* New CEOs: Moving from Surviving to Thriving -- January 8 and 15.
* Successful Networking: Making Your Contacts Count -- January 27
* Leading Through Influence: Making Change Work for You -- February 11 and 12.
* Sharing Knowledge: Training Strategies for Non-Trainers -- February 24
* Grantsmanship 101: Understanding the Basics -- March 12 and 19.
* Social Media: Strengthening Online Audience Connections -- March 24.
* Development 101: Mastering the Fundamentals -- April 9 and 16.
* Social Enterprise: Thinking Outside the Box -- April 28.

The academy is sponsored by The Norfolk Foundation, Tidewater Community College and The Virginian-Pilot. Participants who earn 10 continuing education credits will earn a Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Friday, November 7, 2008

3 down and lots more to go.

The first 3 Duke Nonprofit Management Program are now history. A total of 45 students representing about 30 different organizations and agencies completed classes. About half of all the students received scholarship help from the Outer Banks Community Foundation.
The class evaluations were consistently positive and interest seems high for future courses. The next class, Grant Proposals: Planning for Positive Results with instructor Amy Montgomery, is full and accepting waiting list registration only.
Attendees at the first classes were given sneak peak at the Spring 09 schedule and it will be posted on this website once the fall semester is complete. Suffice to say it is an exciting line up.
Thanks to everyone who attended class for making these first efforts a great success

Thursday, October 9, 2008

FIrst Class Complete

16 students assembled at the Education Pavillion at Nags Head Woods this morning for Alice Lutz' Marketing class. Course evaluation sheets were very favorable and comments after the course echoed the written evaluations.
Friday brings Leading Volunteers with another 15 enrollees.
Thanks to everyone who encouraged this project and to everyone who has signed up for the classes.

Feb 5th, Save the Date

The Outer Banks Community Foundation will will sponsor a half-day (morning) workshop related to federal and state legal issues Thursday, February 5, 2009. The presenter is David Heinen, an attorney with the NC Center for Nonprofits who has a background working with nonprofit clients.

More information on location, time and registration when it becomes available.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grantwriting full others filling

Registration has been strong for the fall classes. The grantwriting class has now filled all 20 spots. You can register to be notified if someone withdraws.
The other 3 classes have between 5 and 8 slots left so if you are planning to attend you need to register now.
The Outer Banks Community Foundation still has some scholarships remaining so send your application in now. Reimbursements for the scholarships will be mailed after all the fall courses have been held. Any problems or questions use the contact page to email or call.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NYT - Wall St. crisis makes fundraising harder for everyone

The New York Times reports the impact of the Wall St. crisis will have to have an
impact on charitable giving for charities large and small.
For example, many in the Wall Street crowd have historically been generous with their wealth. The charities they have supported now worry about what is going to happen to the executives’ pledges they’ve come to depend on.

It is not just the executives who have supported worthy causes. Many major financial institutions have charitable wings that have, historically, subsidized numerous cultural and social nonprofits. In Washington, for example, the troubled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the area’s biggest corporate donors, according to The Washington Post.

The article points to an April piece that cited the impact of the collapse of Bear Stearns. The partners in the firm had made significant contributions to a wide variety of major charities.
Closer to home problems for Gateway Bank and Wachovia may limit contributions from two major players in the local nonprofit scene. Weak real estate sales and new home construction has made it harder for another pillar of the local charitable economy to provide support.
The third strike is the loss of occupancy tax revenues that has made the tough job of soliciting local government support even harder.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Classes are filling up

Registrations are coming in for the fall courses. The grantwriting course scheduled for Nov. already has 15 of its 20 slots filled. The other 3 courses have about 10 students registered. Now is the time to register if you want to make sure that you get the course that your want.

You can register at the Duke Nonprofit Management web site.
The fall courses are:
Marketing Your Nonprofit (KILL DEVIL HILLS)
1 Thursday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Leading Volunteers to Success (KILL DEVIL HILLS)
1 Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
NEW COURSE OFFERING - Dynamics of Executive Director/Board Relations (KILL DEVIL HILLS)
1 Thursday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Grant Proposals: Planning for Positive Results (KILL DEVIL HILLS)
1 Thursday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Friday, September 12, 2008

Update and Course numbers

Good News,
Registrations and the associated scholarship applications are starting to flow in. There is still time to register and not all the scholarships have been claimed but there are new applications each day so the sooner you apply the better the chance for financial support.
Download and complete the application from the Outer Banks Community Foundation. All the information about the scholarship program is on the form.

I have had several calls about course numbers. Here are the course numbers for each of the classes.

Thursday, October 9 - 9:00am -- Course # 11721 Marketing Your Nonprofit -Alice Lutz

Friday, October 10 - 9:00am -- Course # 11722 Leading Volunteers to Success -Alice Lutz

Thursday, October 23- 9:00am -- Course # 12006 The Dynamics of ED Board Relations - Don Wells

Thursday, November 20 9:00am -- Course # 11719 Grant Proposals: Planning for Positive Results - Amy Montgomery

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fall Catalog Released Registration Open

Registration is now open for the four Duke Nonprofit Management classes that will be offered on the Outer Banks this fall. The classes include:
  • Marketing Your Nonprofit Thursday, October 9
  • Leading Volunteers to Success Friday, October 10
  • The Dynamics of Executive Director-Board Relations Thursday, October 23
  • Grant Proposals: Planning for Positive Results Thursday, November 20

Additional information about the classes is available at or by calling Duke’s Outer Banks site coordinator Bob Muller at 252-207-5287,
Registration is required and can be completed online or at either of 2 upcoming information sessions. on Wed. Sept. 3rd at 1:00 pm and Thurs. Sept. 4th at 7:00 pm. The information sessions and classes will be held at the Education Pavilion at the The Nature Conservancy office at Nags Head Woods. Located on Ocean Acres Dr. in Kill Devil Hills.
There is a $98 registration fee and a small materials fee for each class. The classes run for six hours with a one hour break for lunch. The Outer Banks Community Foundation is offering scholarships for up to 10 students for each class. Scholarships are available for anyone who works with a local nonprofit. The scholarships will reimburse half the cost of up to two course per individual for the fall session. For more information and to apply for a scholarship go to or call the Outer Banks Community Foundation at (252) 261-8839.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

GuideStar - No-Ask Fundraising: Six High-Impact Jobs for Board Members

Guidestar continues to provide great information in their monthly newsletters (sign up here) This month features a number of useful articles. I especially liked the piece on fundraising with board members without asking for money. Among the 6 ideas is one I have used often, I didn't realize it was a common practice:
3. Open the Door with Advice Visits

We all know that within our board members' social networks there is a gold mine of potential friends and donors. But how do we help them open the door to these contacts? What is a "nice" way to introduce their friends to their favorite cause? A soft-sell way that is "low pressure but high intention"?

A personal one-on-one meeting is a wonderful way to introduce a person to your organization or cause. It's an "Advice Visit," because that is truly what we are after—advice.

Advice Visits are based on the old fundraising adage "If you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, then ask for money." They are treasure hunts, because when you get together personally with someone for an exploratory conversation, you are not certain what you will find. But you always end up making a friend for your cause.

This is a perfect opportunity for a board member to promote your cause in a direct, personal way. Our only goal for visiting this person is to ask them what they think of our project and ask for some serious guidance. This visit is emphatically not about money.

People are usually flattered when someone approaches them just to ask for advice. You would be surprised at the number of doors that will open if you just ask for advice. People want to help nonprofit causes, because they care about their communities, their country, and their world.

Board members love Advice Visits because the other person does the talking. They are relieved that they don't need a detailed presentation. The important points are to share their personal passion and excitement for the cause and why they are personally involved. Here are questions to ask:

* What do you think about the project?
* What about the need in the community?
* What interests you personally about the problem we are addressing?
* Who else would be interested in hearing about this?

This is a great way to start developing supporters. Try it some time. A little investment of time might return a great new level of support.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

TCC Non profit training this fall.

Tidewater Community College's Academy for Nonprofit Excellence has announced its fall calls schedule.

Topics for the upcoming session are:
*Financial Analysis -- Aug. 6 and 7
*Political Action and Advocacy -- Aug. 26
*Capacity Building -- Sept. 11 and 18
*Performance Management -- Sept. 30
*Managing Volunteer Resources -- Oct. 9 and 16
*Producing Annual Reports -- Oct. 28
*Enhancing Board Governance -- Nov. 13 and 20
*Planned Giving Techniques -- Dec. 2
Details will be posted at the Academy website shortly. You can register here. The classes are similar to the Duke program and TCC and Duke use some of the same instructors.

The academy is sponsored by The Norfolk Foundation, TCC and The Virginian-Pilot. Since it started in 2005 representatives of 240 area nonprofit organizations have taken classes. A recent survey of participants showed 100% satisfaction with academy classes. All those responding to the survey agreed the course information was "immediately applicable and of value to their work setting."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thank you Outer Banks Community Foundation Board

The good news came in the mail today. The Board of the Outer Banks Community Foundation has awarded a $3,920 grant for scholarships in support of the Duke Nonprofit Management classes on the Outer Banks. The stipulations are what I asked for: up to two reimbursements of half of the class tuition for each session. 10 supplements per class, for a total of 40 scholarships for each session. The details of the reimbursement process will be explained in another post.
I can't say how much I appreciate the support from the OBCF. Now it is up to us to use this investment to build a better community.
More as it comes in.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Two more courses scheduled

The courses for the fall semester are now finalized. The first two were listed in my last post. Here are descriptions of the other two. No you can't register just yet but
Oct. 9, 2008
Marketing Your Nonprofit -Alice Lutz
Learn the basics of Marketing through the exploration of steps involved. Using case studies, participants will go through an entire process including the evaluation. Learn the components of an effective marketing plan. Explore the essentials of “brand awareness”. Outline strategies you can implement to increase the overall image of your nonprofit. Course Objectives: Discuss marketing concepts, terminology, and methods. identify target markets, create messaging statements for various markets, outline marketing plan steps, outline, Identify generally accepted methods for evaluation.
and then:

Oct. 10, 2008
Leading Volunteers to Success -Alice Lutz
Learn the basics of Leadership within the nonprofit sector and how to strategize to set your nonprofit up for success within the “volunteer” sector. Through the exploration of basic leadership model(s) within the nonprofit sector, participants will then explore the volunteer management skills necessary to insure succession planning and leadership transition(s) for nonprofit sustainability. Finally, participants will explore and define the action steps necessary to take back to their particular organizations.

Both classes will be taught by Alice Lutz.
Alice brings 20+ years of experience as a facilitator and strategic business partner to her company Oxygen: Business Planning & Development. Highlights include: project management, comprehensive marketing and communication plans, corporate solicitation, and educational workshops for nonprofits Executives as well as key volunteers. Ms. Lutz is a graduate of the Advanced Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership Program with the Duke University of Continuing Studies and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. Please visit for a more comprehensive look at services and experience. Alice has the talent and tools to create dynamic learning in others, as well as the skills to manage multi-faceted projects and events on her own. Oxygen: Listens and provides workable solutions.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The First Classes are scheduled!!

The first classes are on the books. You can't register yet but we will have Duke training on the Outer Banks this year. Here are the particulars:
Thursday, October 23- 9:00am

The Dynamics of ED Board Relations - Don Wells

The roles and responsibilities of the ED and the board can become complicated – so complicated that resolving territorial rights can consume all an agency’s energy. This course helps sort out the roles, responsibilities and potential strengths of this unique, yet vital, partnership.

And then we get:

Thursday, November 20 9:00am

Grant Proposals: Planning for Positive Results - Amy Montgomery

Does “grant writing” sound like a daunting task? Are you or could you be a grant writer? A grant writer is a passionate person on a mission to solve a problem or an unmet need. Successful grant writers know that writing is the easy part, especially if you have someone who will edit your work. Your passion for your work is your number one tool to get funded. You know your target audience, what they need and how to help. With some solid research, careful and realistic planning, strong and strategic relationships, and a good editor, you can be a successful grant writer. Participants will finish this personalized course with a checklist and roadmap, definite do’s and definite don’ts, and completely convinced that they have what it takes to be a successful grant writer.

Some other minor changes. New layout for the blog and a Calendar page on the website. Check it out and let me know what you think.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Grant Proposal is in

Yeah. I just dropped of the grant proposal to the Outer Banks Community Foundation, an original and 5 copies courtesy of Coastal Impressions. You can see it online. It was published using Google Docs so the formatting leaves a bit to be desired. See if you like my writing style. We asked for enough money to provide ten scholarships to 4 courses in each of 2 semesters. Total cost $3,920.

I haven't done a lot of grant writing though I have drafted a few. It is always hard job, trying to present a strong case that both meets the goals of the granting agency and accomplishes your agencies mission at the same time. This application seemed to be a pretty good fit. Still you never know.
Now its time to get some classes scheduled.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Progress in all areas

The grant application for scholarships from the Outer Banks Community Foundation will go in tomorrow. I have support letters from several agencies and from a former OBCF President. Keep your fingers crossed.
I also have spoken with Alice Lutz of Oxygen, a nonprofit consultant and Duke Instructor. She is interested in teaching her class on Marketing in the fall and in presenting a class in Leadership. We are working on the dates. Possibly we will offer the classes on successive days to maximize her time. Both of these topics were high on the advisory committee's priority list.
Finally Village Realty has offered to contribute rooms at the First Colony Inn for the instructors. It is clear, after talking with Alice that this will be a key in bringing instructors out for classes. The fees from Duke simply won't cover travel, lodging and meals. I had planned to supplement the fees with lodging and meals. Now the lodging component is covered. Thanks to Bob Oakes and all the good people at Village Realy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

GuideStar The Fired-Up Board: Preparing Your Board Members for Fundraising

Guidestar is a great source for articles and tips on a wide variety of nonprofit topics. The most recent newsletter has great articles - The Fired-Up Board: Preparing Your Board Members for Fundraising. The main focus of the article is developing board fundraising skills and enthusiasm. The article also contains some good advice about your board meetings.
Focus the agenda on results. Decide what is needed most out of the meeting and tell your board members: "By the end of this meeting, we need to accomplish x, y, and z." That will get their attention.
Focus on problems, challenges, or ambiguous issues. This approach will activate your board members' various backgrounds and skills sets, not to mention their interest. It will allow you to draw upon a deeper reservoir of their talent and energy and will give them more interesting work.
Plan big. Bring big-picture strategic planning issues into regular board meetings. For example, work SWOT analysis (strategic planning focusing on organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) into regular meeting agendas.
Look at your board meetings as cheerleading sessions designed to fire up your board members and put them into action."
I firmly endorse these tips. Town of Nags Head board meetings always opened with succes stories and recognition of successes in the organization. We also focused on our partnerships with the nonprofit community. This emphasis helped citizens see the town as more than just faceless bureaucracy, it gave us a face and a story. In the end it made us human and more approachable.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Conversation with the WNC Nonprofit Pathways

It was Manteo to Murphy (well Nags Head to Ashville really ) this morning whe I had a very informative phone conversation with Kim McGuire, Executive Director of the Western NC Partners for Nonprofit Success. This group sponsors Duke training in the western part of the state. They also offer scholarships for the classes, as I hope we will be able to do.
The program has evolved in the 6 semesters it has been operating. They have developed their own set of instructors and courses with an emphasis on practical information with clear direction on how to apply it. They offer 2 or 3 courses focused on nonprofit fundamentals and fill their remaing slots with topics requested directly or through the Duke class evaluation forms. Since they serve the entire western part of the state they offer courses in several locations. Ms. McGuire explained that there was a lot of interest initially but the enthusiasm has dropped off a little as the initial surge of needs were met. They budget for 100 scholarships per semester but they are not all used.
The biggest take away for me was the process they use to develop their courses. They identify individuals with specific expertise and ask them to create a course outline. Kim then reviews the outline with the instructor to ensure the information is relevant and presented in a style that allows the students to use the new skills quickly and easily. They try to spread the work load around and include many different instructors, but they ask the same instructor to deliver the course again when needed but not more frequently than every 2 to 3 years. Sounds like a great model and one we can strive to develop. Perhaps we can use some of their course outlines to help structure our courses. They certainly seem to have a great model.
Thanks Kim McGuire, for helping us grow here at the other end of the state.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Letters of support

I am preparing the final draft of my grant proposal for the Outer Banks Community Foundation.  I would like to include letters of support from a cross section of the local nonprofit community.  I hope you will consider writing a letter of support for your signature or for the signature of your Board Chair or both.  The letter should support the request that the OBCF provide funding for scholarships for students enrolled in the local classes of Duke Nonprofit Management Certificate Program.  Possible elements for letter included:
  • The lack of affordable, accessible training for nonprofits on the Outer Banks
  • The specific subjects you feel will help your agency better meet its mission (Grant Writing, Volunteer Management, Program evaluation)
  • An example of how you might apply the training.
  • Your intention to participate in the training (or those involved with the agency)
  • How the scholarships might impact your decision to participate
  • How the scholarships might impact your agencies ability to train
Please let me know if you are willing to prepare a letter.  I will arrange to pick up the complete copy.  I would like to have the letters by Wed. May 7th.  Application deadline is the 9th so this will give me a couple of days to put the final pieces together.
Thanks in advance for your help.
PS. For information about the program please contact me or see

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Peter Drucker

Friday, April 25, 2008

Advisory Committee meeting

Really good Advisory Committee meeting. We worked through the courses in the catalog and prioritized 5 topics from which I should be able to schedule 4 courses for the fall semester. Each participant got to award 4 priority stars. Here are the top 5 topics.
  • Marketing (4 stars)
  • Leadership (4 stars)
  • Executive and Board Relations (3 stars)
  • Grant Writing (3 stars)
  • Volunteers (3 stars)
All are great subjects with good instructors. My job now is to select and schedule the classes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

We have a name

The web site is now on the URL Hopefully this will be easier for people to remember and check in on.
Lots going on:
  • Advisory Committee meeting Fri. at 1 at Nags Head Woods. right now it looks like about 5 confirmed. If you are interested show up.
  • Good meeting with Barbara Bingham of the Community Foundation. She encouraged me to file a proposal for scholarships. I am polishing the draft and may post it shortly so others can comment.
  • Scheduled a call to the WNC Nonprofit Pathways Director. This group hosts courses and provides scholarships in the western part of the state. I should learn a lot more about their success on that call.
  • Spoke to Aaron McCall at TNC Nags Head Woods. He is checking with the Conservancy office in Durham to see if there are any issues with the use of their pavilion. He is encourageing.
Hope to see you on Fri.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Advisory Committee meeting scheduled

I have reserved the pavilion at The Nature Conservancy's offices at Nags Head Woods for 1pm this Friday, April 25. I have invited about 15 people to come or send a rep. I have 4 confirmed so far. Hopefully we will settle on 4 class for the fall schedule with 2 alternates and I will get some advice about dates. The meeting is open so if you want to come please feel free to do so. If need be bring a bag lunch. This will be very informal.
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Proposal for the OBCF

I spent the weekend working on a proposal for the Outer Banks Community Foundation to provide financial support for nonprofit training on the Outer Banks. the bottom line is $4,000 would provide pay half the cost for 10 students in a total of 8 courses in Year 1. I have a meeting with Barbara Bingham tomorrow to discuss the idea and talk about how it might be implemented if the OBCF decided to allocate fund.
Barbara has been great. She help with a lot of history and pointed me to some good contacts that have moved the project forward.
The draft needs a bit more polishing before I publish it but I will share it when before I send it forward.

I also had a good conversation with a member of the COA staff. I expect this contact will help me clarify what role if any COA can play in bringing classes to the area.
Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Back Home and Back to Work

After and excellent class on grant writing we headed back to Nags Head. The next couple of weeks will be critical in getting classes taught in the fall. The steps to pull together included
  • Form an advisory committee and select the classes we want hold in the fall.
  • Figure out the role of the Outer Banks Community Foundation regarding scholarships and stipends for instructors.
  • Make sure The Nature Conservancy pavilion is available.
  • Contact the instructors about the new location.

If I can get all that done by May 1, I can focus on fixing dates with the instructors for the specific classes. Fund raising will have to wait until the selection and scheduling is complete.
I have an appointment with Barbara Bingham of the OBCF next Tues. that should clarify the OBCF role or at least give me some direction. I need a formal or near formal proposal to distribute at that meeting. Guess I will use my new grant writing skills.

If you are interested in serving on the advisory committee please contact me using the email form on the OBX Learn website. I hope to get the group together on Thurs or Fri. possibly around a bag lunch. If you need a listing of the possible courses you can explore the Duke program's site by topic or download the spring brochure.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Deadlines

Wow, I had a chance to chat with Nancy Love, Director of the Duke Program today. The deadline for getting courses in the fall catalog is May 16. This means it is time to ramp up the program.
If you are interested in serving on an advisory committee email me from the contact form or comment on this post and I will get in touch. We need to get started picking classes.
You can find the catalog at the Duke program course and curriculum site.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My last two classes

I am off to Durham today for two courses over the next two days.. This will complete my requirements for the certificate. I am taking
Becoming an Effective Leader in the Nonprofit Sector ncyt
Grantwriting 101
I am particularly excited about the leadership class. I have been involved in a lot of projects and organizations. I find the principles of leadership remain the same, Vision, planning, inclusion and inspiration. Curious to see how this class views leadership.
Grantwriting is a fundamental nonprofit skill. I have been doing some reading about the process and have written some simple grants aps but I am ready to learn from an expert.

I will let you know what I learn.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Face Book Page

I created a Face Book Page of OBX Learn. It needs a photo but I am not sure what it should be a photo of.
Any suggestions.
Oh, if you are on Face Book you can become a fan.

Beta Testing

I am ready to start beta testing on the OBX Learn website. The next step is to email some of the people I have talked to about the project and get their feedback on the site.
I know it needs some graphics and a little splash of color.
I have tested it with
  • Firefox (my main browser, highly recommended)
  • IE
  • Opera
  • Safari (for Windows)
It seems to work well with all the browsers.
This exercise has been as much about building web skills and learning to implement new ways of spreading the word, as it has been about nonprofit training. I view it as a training exercise. I am sure there will be revisions.
My heartfelt thanks to the beta testers. I appreciate you help and support.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nonprofit LInks

  • How to Start a Nonprofit. From the NC Center for Nonprofits a basic guide on the basics of creating a nonprofit corporation. Great document.
  • Guidestar - This site provides a variety of support services for nonprofits. The newsletter is an excellent source of information and services. You can regsiter for web site access for free, most services require a membership fee.+
  • Foundation Center - The best source on the web for research about nonprofits and funders. Registration is free but full services require a membership fee. They offer a wide variety of courses about writing proposals.

Duke Instructor Links

  • Naomi Takeuchi - 1000 Cranes Business Consulting. Naomi teaches classes in Strategic Planning and writing business plans. She also has an interest and substantial expertise in Social Enterprise development. We met when I took her Business Plan course. Naomi also works with the NC Association of Community Development Corp. She facilitate The Outer Banks CDC retreat this spring.
  • Dave Rendall -Rendall and Assoc. Dave's two blogs Freak Factor and The Four Factors of Effective Leadership are excellent sources for personal development ides. Freek stresses the importance of capitalizing on your unique strengths. While "Four focuses on the key elements of leadership Influence, Integrity, Inspiration, Improvement. Dave teaches Social Enterprise and fundraising techniques. I took a course on fund raising and it led me to this post at my personal blog. Dave has several books and training DVDs available.
  • Tom Gaffney is a Senior Account Manager at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro. He has 18 years of professional development experience working with individual donors, corporations, foundations and government entities. I took a course in major gift fundraising from Tom. It helped me find a better framework for approaching potential donors about supporting my nonprofit projects.

Training Links

  • The Duke Nonprofit Management Certificate Program - This site contains all the inforation about Duke nonprofit training program including requirements, courses and scholarships. You can search the course catalog or download the catalog in pdf format.
  • Tidewater Community College - Academy for Nonprofit Excellence. This program offers one and two day training in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Costs are similar to the Duke program though the offerings are not as extensive. Some of the same instructors teach at both programs.
  • NC Center for Nonprofits - This group provides a vast amount of support to nonprofits in all of North Carolina's 100 counties. They offer some training classes, an annual conference and periodic web based seminars (webinars). Participation is generally limited to member agencies.
  • The Foundation Center Gain Knowledge This groups provides access to an enormous about of information. They sell bookds and offer tranning as well. Register for free to explore

Who, What When Where and Why

It is a website for people interested in providing training for nonprofit leaders on the Outer Banks of North Carolina
Bob Muller is responsible for this page and is working with Duke.
The current goal is to host 4-6 classes in the fall of 2008A
No location has been settled on but the leading options are in Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills
Surveys of nonprofit leaders indicate there is a need for increased training. The Duke Nonprofit Management Certicate Program is one of the leading progras of its type in the state.