On August 2nd, I attended a lecture organized by the Jerusalem Web Professionals (JWP) and given over by appSTUDIO on “Making Your Website Mobile in 2011.” The embedded 5 minute video is an edited version of my after-session interview with some of the consultants that attended the event and the experts from appSTUDIO; including answers to the 5 Questions Every Nonprofit Needs to Ask When Considering Developing an App.
I spoke recently at the Kishor conference to Women Professionals on Raising Capital. I really enjoyed the challenge of preparing for the talk as the subject was a business term not often used when working in the nonprofit sector.
When priming the presentation for the expected for-profit audience, I was surprised – though in retrospect I shouldn’t have been – by how much holds true when raising funds for either a nonprofit organization or a for-profit venture.
Moreover, after going over the slides, I was amazed how easily I could replace “investor” with “donor” in most of the examples. The fact that the session was attended by professionals from both sectors reinforced this belief, as well.
(The most notable exception to the above is the definition of traction, which is not shared by for-profit and not-for-profit companies.)
Upon further reflection, I was able to gleam three live-or-die principles that span the charitable and capitalist sectors. What follows are the slides of the from presentation and these three takeaways.
Paypal is one of the leading Internet-payment options in the world for for-profits and nonprofits, alike. With only a PayPal logo and some code easily inserted onto a website, payments are a breeze. And with over 230 million PayPal users worldwide, the chances are good that your customer or donor either already has a PayPal account or trusts the company enough to register for a new one.
Combine the above with the one percent discount PayPal offers qualifying charitable organizations and you’re looking at a strong argument why PayPal should be the online payment-system of choice — for local donations.
However, for international fundraising, PayPal’s “cross-border fees” should prompt nonprofits to tread carefully before jumping head first into this particular pool.
English-Speaking nonprofit executives in Israel have reason to celebrate. As of this week, Israel’s Rasham Ha’amutot [Registrar of Charities] has uploaded to its website the manual of the Nihul Takin in English!
The importance of the Nihul Takin [The Certificate of Proper Management] as described in the manual’s introduction: “the Certification of Proper Management has turned into a precondition for Amutot who wish to enjoy the benefit of State support or to provide services to the State.”
Since early January of this year, the topic of Funding from Foreign Governments to Israeli NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organization) has been making headlines. Two initiatives promoting Transparency though in very different contexts — a proposal put forth in January and a bill approved in February — have politicians, nonprofits, and European Governments lamenting the destruction of democracy and human-rights in Israel.
However, the pursuant rhetoric, innuendos, politicking, and here-say makes it near impossible to filter out fact from fiction and to distinguish these two very different initiatives.
Last Monday, February 28th, 2011, I had the privilege and pleasure of presenting a Quickfire (10 minute presentation) at the FONSI (Future of Nonprofit Summit – Israel) Conference in Jaffa, Israel.
In my short session, I attempted to describe how money is changing from an object of secondary importance into a measuring stick and a marketing tool. Furthermore, financials and budgets are now being used proactively to make sure the right message is being conveyed about your nonprofit organization. While the specifics of the sessions are beyond the scope of this piece, I did want to provide those that were at the conference with a link and embed of the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied by speech. (The presentation has been upgraded to clarify some points and include links to the article and tools cited.)
Once again, the Israeli nonprofit organization Magan David Adom (MDA) and it’s American supporting charity, American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA), are in the news after all five members of AFMDA’s executive board resigned, stating that they “refuse to abdicate or compromise in any way our fiduciary duty to AFMDA and its donors.”
First, allow me to say that writing this piece is painful; it is disturbing (to put it mildly) that an organization that has such a positive impact on Israel’s daily life is getting such negative press.
Two, which side is right or wrong is of secondary importance. Regardless how the situation plays out in the near or distant future, organizations can learn RIGHT NOW from the very public debates raging between the American and Israeli arms.
Specifically, the core issues — defining roles, trust, independence, and personnel — are the same faced by all international organizations, and, as such, can provide a constructive case-study for nonprofits, their board members, and their donors.
…Those Israeli nonprofits that choose the second option of a Conduit (also referred to as an Intermediary or Fiscal Agent) are in luck, as recent years have seen an quasi-explosion in the number of American charities that offer Conduit services. This being the case, foreign organizations have luxury and liberty — and some might argue the responsibility and obligation — to investigate the various Intermediaries so as to choose the best fit for the nonprofit. And, yes, all Conduits are by no means the same.
My six criteria for judging a potential Fiscal Agent: Cost, Currency, Time, Payment Method, Communication and Association.
Recent years have seen an explosion of these types of charities. With so many to choose from, Israeli charities have the luxury of choosing their partner – and they should because all Conduits are not the same. But, of course, the only way to finding the right fit is to ask the important questions, namely: Cost, Currency, Time, Payment Method, Communication and Association.