Today’s episode explores a unique path that one nonprofit took to transition from steady, incremental growth to a dramatic program expansion and impact. : buying a for profit company.
We spoke with David Shaffer, CEO of First Step Staffing. In 2015, First Step Staffing was a $2 million nonprofit organization providing employment opportunities for low-income, hard to employ people (including those who are homeless and citizens returning from incarceration). The nonprofit took a bold step by purchasing a for profit staffing firm with annual revenues of about $20 million!
One year after the purchase, First Step staffing was using the combined infrastructure to have a much larger impact on the community. They provided employment to over 2,100 of Atlanta’s homeless, and 86% of those working over 180 days were able to rent their own residence!
This unique conversation explored:
This week on the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, we speak with author and fundraising consultant Ellen Bristol.
Bristol’s effective fundraising counsel is the result of 4 decades of experience and data from over 1,000 nonprofits that completed the Leaky Bucket Assessment. This innovative online assessment measures nine key practices that contribute to or detract from your fundraising efforts, which are summarized in her book "The Leaky Bucket: What's wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it".
Those taking the survey included very small organizations to those with multi-million dollar budgets. Shockingly, the median organizational score on the Leaky Bucket Assessment was a C-minus.
To find out how organizations be more effective at fundraising, our conversation focused on three important factors for fundraising:
Hiring and supporting dedicated fundraising staff is one of the key indicators for fundraising success. Bristol notes that organizations with no dedicated fundraising staff only meet their fundraising objectives 39% of the time. For this reason, we discussed:
In addition to using paid staff, the organizations that are most successful at fundraising also utilize volunteers. In our conversation, Bristol recommended providing volunteers:
We finished the conversation with a summary of the four laws of performance management, and you’ll have to listen to the podcast to get these golden gems!
Ellen Bristol reminded listeners that their organization can take the Leaky Bucket Assessment by visiting http://www.bristolstrategygroup.com/resources/the-leaky-bucket-for-nonprofit-fundraising. When taking the Leaky Bucket Assessment, your organization will be able to compare your fundraising to global averages and get an hour of private review with Bristol or another facilitator.
Links for Bristol Strategy Group:
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BristolStrategyGroup
LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellenbristol
Phone number: 305-935-6676
Buy the “The Leaky Bucket: What’s wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it” on Amazon.
Big data. Small data. Sometimes no data. For something so important, we often don’t know enough about how to collect and analyze our organization’s most important outcome measures. For this reason, I sat down with data guru Khurram Hassan who provides strategic planning, evaluation, and program design consulting to nonprofits, foundations, and governments.
During this conversation we discussed:
Article of the Week
I flew solo for the article of the week: Putting Your Major Donors to Work Can Help You Raise More Money by author Joe Garecth of The Fundraising Authority blog.
With almost two decades of fundraising experience, I have learned first hand the importance of getting donors meaningfully involved. Garecht offers some excellent ideas for engaging major donors as volunteers, and I suggested using Story Corps as an additional opportunity to recognize and highlight your donors.
Article of the week:
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