The Center for Nonprofit Communication

Springfield Metro CARES Articles

May 2015

Women in Nonprofit Leadership Part III
My Advice to 'younger' female leaders would be to hone their strategic skills so that they can become more competitive in the workforce as they move into leadership positions. Effective leaders exhibit both male female characteristics of leadership while staying true to themselves and learning to highlight their own strengths. I would also encourage them to ask for what they're worth! If their board values appreciates the work they do, they will respond appropriately...


April 2015

Women in Nonprofit Leadership Part II
One challenge is unequal access to informal networking or face time with decision makers. I don’t believe it is intentional, but men tend to invite men to lunch, golf, discussion groups, etc. because it is comfortable. Maybe without realizing it, women are excluded from these informal settings and can lag behind in forming important relationships and partnerships. We must work harder to establish these relationships in more formal settings... 


March 2015

Women in Nonprofit Leadership
There is no question that women are strong leaders; their presence is clear in organizations throughout the nation. About two-thirds (65 percent) of nonprofits with budgets under $1-million are led by women (2014 BoardSource annual report). Women in volunteerism and philanthropy have deep roots. In 17th century churches, women were meeting community needs while men worked. Throughout the years, women in these “do-gooder” roles have been expected to balance these activities with the domestic responsibilities of raising children, supporting a husband, and overseeing the home...


February 2015

Recruiting Great Volunteers
Some nonprofits use volunteers as their main source of program delivery. Groups like Big Brothers/Big Sisters and CASA rely on volunteers to carry out their missions. These roles are highly rewarding, but can be highly demanding. It's important to create alternative opportunities for those who want to help your organization buy don't have the time or desire to do program work. Consider using volunteers in the office, greeting visitors or answering the phones...


January 2015

Myths about working in the Nonprofit Industry
Today’s nonprofits are still addressing community problems, but organizations have evolved into much, much more. They are now at the forefront of solving complex life issues and, in some cases, are providing the safety net that once was one of the primary roles of government. As the sector has matured, the men and women who work at nonprofits have evolved as well. Having the heart (passion) is still necessary. But equally important is the head (knowledge) to make sure these important operations are efficient and effective...


December 2014

'Tis the Season to Receive
Nonprofit leaders understand the importance and potential of the Holiday Season. A study by Charity Navigator showed many organizations raise up to 50 percent of their total contributed income between Thanksgiving and January. According to, online donations to nonprofits increase by 42 percent during November and December compared to other months throughout the remainder of the year.


January 2014

Grounded Goals
January has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, looking forward to the future. It's a fresh start, a chance to be better. A 2013 report in the Washington Post says at least half of all Americans make a new year's resolution. Their goals typically center on health—losing weight, exercising, and making better life choices...


December 2013

Good Will Toward All Nonprofits
Unless you live in a cave, you are keenly aware that it is here—the holiday season has arrived in full force. This time of year means different things to different people. For some, it's a time of dear traditions. For others, it a sacred religious time, a season of frenzied shopping, a time of joy, or a time of complete anxiety. Beyond the lights, food, and festivities, the season brings an elevated sense of good will. And nonprofit organizations know that feeling of good will often results in some of the biggest and best donations of the entire year...


November 2013

How to Hire an Executive Director
When Anne joined the board of a local nonprofit, she was eager to become active in helping the organization succeed. She was confident her skills as a business owner would be a great asset to this small operation. Six months after joining the board, Anne was shocked when the organization's long-time executive director announced her sudden resignation. The other board members, recognizing Anne's business savvy and passion for the cause, asked her to temporarily take over the organization's day-to-day activities while they searched for a new director...


October 2013

Counting What Counts
Albert Einstein once said, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Einstein may have been right, but even so, funders want to know if their investment of dollars is doing what it is supposed to do. For them, counting really does count. There is a growing pressure on organizations to prove their effectiveness and impact on social and environmental issues. Changes in the economy and funding sources, as well as media reports and public perceptions, have forced nonprofits to re-evaluate their business model...


September 2013

Merge Mania
There was a time, long ago, when it seemed nearly all organizations were thriving. Even nonprofit growth was rapid and sustainable. Then the bottom fell out of the economy. With government funding drastically reduced or eliminated, and as corporate dollars dwindled, nonprofit organizations were forced to re-evaluate their business model. To avoid cuts in services to clients, reductions in staff, or even dissolution, many organizations are now considering a merger. In fact, 12 percent of organizations responding to a recent national survey (McLean & Brouwer) about the effects of the economy in the nonprofit sector said they had restructured or merged with another organization to reduce their budgets...


August 2013

The Habits of Highly Effective Nonprofit Leaders
The "Seven Habits" have been incorporated by organizations around the world, including many Fortune 500 companies. Former President Bill Clinton was strongly influenced by the book and invited Covey to counsel him on how to integrate the book's principles into his presidency. Clinton suggested "Seven Habits" was one of three books every American worker should read to dramatically boost the nation's productivity. In contrast to some management books that emphasize processes, "Seven Habits" focuses on relationships and integrity. While Covey's book presents a framework for personal effectiveness, the concepts easily translate to nonprofit leadership...