News for Nonprofits

Posted by Maura Noonan, Supervising Senior on Feb 22, 2017

Is your next board chair prepared to lead?

Only half of board chairpersons are prepared for their leadership role when they take on the post, according to a recent survey by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. The Voices of Board Chairs: A National Study on the Perspectives of Nonprofit Board Chairs surveyed 635 board chairs across the country. For those who considered themselves ready for the position, the chairs’ primary source of training was the observation of prior chairs, regardless of whether they were effective leaders. Less than half of the respondents received formal training; used the Internet for resources; or used books, magazines, or libraries to help them learn how to be effective chairs. The results underscore the need for succession planning and board chairperson training.

Jargon plagues some nonprofits

Nonprofits are just like their for-profit counterparts when it comes to using sometimes head-scratching jargon. The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently compiled a list of some of the most bothersome jargon used in the nonprofit world, including sustainable, scalable, leverage, deep dive, capacity building, giving levels, ask amounts, and outcome. Jargon can prove especially damaging in fundraising efforts and communicating the importance of your work, the Chronicle noted. It’s difficult for potential donors, volunteers, and others to become invested when they feel they’re hearing the language of an exclusive group.

Larger audiences may lead to fewer contributions

A study of arts and cultural nonprofits published in the journal Public Performance & Management Review finds that organizations that are more successful — in terms of attracting larger audiences to their programs — tend to receive fewer contributions. Despite a growing environment of performance measurement, the researchers say, the evidence doesn’t point to increased support from donors. They theorize that better performance results create the image of success, making organizations appear less needy.

Marketing agency deploys clickbait to help nonprofits

A digital marketing agency is working to turn clickbait (sensational or provocative online content intended to drive traffic to a particular website) from a nuisance to a tool for good, according to a Wall Street Journal report. RXM Creative has set up a website ( where people can get links to share on their social profiles. Those who click on them are steered to charities, including World Wildlife Fund; charity: water; Stop Hunger Now; and others. The agency searches online daily for content by or about charities it believes advocate worthy causes and writes clickbait headlines associated with that content. Charities also can submit their content for consideration through the “Submit Charity” link on the website.

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Topics: Accounting Tips, Not-for-Profit, Tax, Audit