All posts by kmclarkstaging

The importance of having a board succession plan

The Importance of Having a Board Succession Plan

Strong leadership is vital to the success of any nonprofit, and that strength begins with management. The core of a nonprofit’s team should constantly be planning for the organization’s future– this means a board succession plan is integral to a continued, thriving nonprofit.

What Is Succession Planning?

This type of planning typically falls under the fiduciary “duty of care.” Board directors should think ahead to long-term care of the nonprofit, which includes recruitment strategies and leadership planning. Organization leaders should have a board of succession plan to:

– Recruit top talent

– Maintain a diverse team and idea pool

– Continue a balance of power

– Ensure smooth transitions between leadership

As members grow more tenured, it’s always possible to have them leave the organization or pursue other opportunities. Having a detailed, strategic plan in place will guarantee your nonprofit does not suffer as your team fluctuates in members.

Creating an Effective Board Succession Plan

The most successful plans come from strategic thought and execution. Taking the time to understand the best methods for planning will help you handle the changes better in the long run. It might appear to be a tedious and daunting task, but there are straightforward steps that will lead you to success.

1. Begin a discussion with your current board members.

Gather your organization’s current leadership team and exchange ideas regarding future leadership goals. Everyone should be present to provide input; it’s extremely important for everyone to be on the same page, no questions asked. You can form an ad hoc nomination committee for more organized processing, or you can assign the task to your usual governance team.

Whomever the choice, this taskforce should design a criteria for board composition, ideal candidate profiles, and head the recruitment process for new candidates that match the standards. They should develop training processes for these new recruits to ensure the most structured environment during transitions.

2. Plan for any future vacancies.

Once the process for finding and onboarding new talent is established, the team should evaluate any anticipated vacancies within the organization. The best way to keep track of member intentions is by conducting semi-annual or annual reviews. Circumstances to consider include retirements, planned removals, and resignations. The team should have a good idea of how the organization will function without certain roles being filled. They

should have plans in place for who will take over which responsibilities and for how long that will be sustainable. This will provide the best idea of a timeline for finding a new member to take over.

3. Bring in new, talented recruits.

You have the profiles created and potential vacancies identified. Now it’s time to focus on recruiting. This process should be straightforward due to prior planning, so all that’s left is to execute your detailed plans and find the best fits.

4. Hire a nonprofit consultant.

At the end of the day, if you’re still struggling to come up with the best plan of action, create profiles, or find new talent…reach out to a professional consultant. A nonprofit consultation, like KM Clark Consulting Group can go a long way in regards to offering organization and structure to your process. These consultants are trained in what to look for. They know what steps to take, no matter where you’re at in your board succession plan. It doesn’t hurt to have some extra, specialized help.

Creating a board succession plan may not have been on the top of your to-do list, but it’s crucial to the longevity of your organization. Staying strategic and planning will help you find the most success for years to come.

What is working in a silo and how can we break it

What is Working in a Silo and How Can We Break It?

As they say, “teamwork makes the dream work,” and as cliche as that phrase may be, it’s the absolute truth and overall solution when it comes to combating the silo mentality, especially in nonprofit organizations where collaboration is king!

A silo mentality, in short, is the unwillingness to share or communicate important knowledge or information with fellow team members across different departments within a company or organization. As you can imagine, this type of mindset can prove to be problematic within any organization as it leads to isolated departments and teams, and ultimately, not achieving set goals.

The great news is that if your nonprofit is experiencing organizational silos, there are ways to break down those communication barriers to create a more fluid flow of information and open communication across all departments within your organization.

Have Regularly Scheduled Cross-Department Meetings

The hovering theme of silo mentalities is the lack of communication across different departments, right? Well, consider hosting regular cross-department meetings so that everyone can be on the same page and share ideas. It’s also important to get the entire team involved in some of these meetings as well, not just upper management. By involving all team members, the meeting may take a bit longer, but it allows team members in other departments to see the good work other department members are doing, it improves documentation, and lastly, it puts the bigger picture, or mission/goal, at the forefront for everyone across all departments.

Make Sure Everyone’s Roles and Responsibilities are Clearly Defined

Ensuring that all team members have clear roles and responsibilities will keep accountability intact and aid in the execution of integral initiatives. When roles are clear, it allows the person or group responsible for a certain area to be the primary decision-maker(s) and ensure all cross-departmental groups achieve their group goals. Clear roles and responsibilities also aid in conflict resolution as well.

Model the Change You Desire

As easy as it is to say “do as I say and not as I do,” it’s nowhere near as effective as “practicing what you preach.” If breaking the silo mindset is what you desire for your nonprofit organization, then you must exhibit model behavior. Members across multiple departments and diverse teams must engage and participate in training sessions and work together to develop and implement how the levels of collaboration will be strategized and executed.

Just imagine a team that knows a certain project is in operation but doesn’t understand or even know the specific details, when other teams know more. This can make individual team members

feel left out and cause anxiety; transparency should be provided throughout the change from start to finish. Teams should be able to collect and share data, forecast success and potential areas of improvement, and share feedback and ideas all while feeling that they are in a safe space to do so.

It’s easy to get caught up in the competitive side of nonprofits by wanting to be the person who came up with the great idea or the team that brought in the most donations, and when that becomes apparent, it’s a clear indicator that the initial mission and goal got lost in translation. Leading by example will encourage and empower team members to work together towards the overall mission and goal. It will also show that you’re a team player as well. Again, it’s easy to say “do this” and expect everyone to do the task except you. When you practice what you preach, it not only opens the door for consistent communication but also builds trust, which will, ultimately, help your organization thrive and grow.

Changing the Mindset of Your Team is Very Achievable

Silos are meant to separate grain, not communication within nonprofit organizations. Whether your nonprofit organization is in the charity, education, humanities, or a different sector, it’s important to keep the goals you’re trying to achieve at the forefront of your mind and use that as the foundation of why, as a team, you do what you do. Sure, there will be some clashing of ideas and different opinions to consider, but will withholding information from each other across different departments get the team closer to the overall goal? In most cases, no.

If your organization is experiencing silo mentalities, the team at KM Clark knows and understands just how important nonprofits are to our local communities and the important role they play in contributing to society at large. More importantly, they know and understand the challenges nonprofit organizations face and provide consultation services to help teams get on the same page. From management and strategy and partnership building to training and facilitation and media and marketing, the vision of KM Clark is to ensure nonprofits have sustained maximum impact. To encourage teamwork and create a silo-free environment, call today to schedule your initial consultation.

Ways your nonprofit can contribute to diversity in your community

Ways Your Nonprofit Can Contribute to Diversity in Your Community

When describing their business models and the values upon which these businesses are founded and conducted, the subject of diversity is currently at the forefront of both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. In today’s workplace environment and going forward as well, decisive action is being taken by nonprofits to change the way diversity looks both internally and externally.

The intention may be present but without specific action, diversity becomes just another buzzword devoid of any real substance. Creating a definitive diversity strategy through nonprofit consultation with leadership, board members, staff, and community stakeholders will ensure that your nonprofit contributes to and mirrors the diversity of the community it serves.

Look Internally

Assess the make-up of all the players within your nonprofit and then do the math. What percentage of your directors, managers, and direct service staff reflect a diverse composition based on gender, race, orientation, and ethnicity? What about your board? Do you see a varied representation of demographics that achieves diversity at this level?

And most importantly, the staff members who provide direct services to the community, do they bear a similar reflection to those people who must rely on them and trust them?

Diversity within the people who make up your organization is not just about being bilingual or being a person of color. It is about including folks from all walks of life who bring an enormous array of experience and wisdom to the table so that no matter their background, they provide an effective, heterogeneous foundation of compassion and expertise for the community in which they serve.

Look Externally

Who is living, working, and going to school within the service area of your nonprofit? It is essential to know who they are not only according to their demographics based on race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status but also in what they value and how they may be appropriately engaged to receive support in a kind, dignified manner. Observe perceptions about your reputation and brand awareness in the community as an organization that is rooted in diversity with whom they employ and what populations are served.

Diversity is not just about inclusion. It is about denouncing inequity and intolerance and accepting that in both giving and receiving services all people are welcome and respected.

Where Do You Start?

There are many ways to address and improve the level of diversity in your nonprofit. Some are quickly achieved; others take a bit of time and are open-ended. Here are some ideas to get you started or thinking in this direction:

1. Assess who you serve and what issues you address. Are there diversity gaps that can be narrowed by broadening your scope of services or advocacy?

2. Create a diversity statement to be included in your by-laws and make it visible on your website and in any documentation, both inside and outside the organization.

3. Include diversity as part of your long-term strategic plan. Set goals and evaluate outcomes each year the plan covers.

4. Establish a pipeline of potential leadership, board members, and staff that reflects your commitment to diversity and inclusion.

5. Establish a similar pipeline for volunteers, community partners, and donors to ensure that diversity among these stakeholders is a valuable part of your mission and vision.

6. Create a robust digital marketing strategy that includes your website as well as social media platforms. Utilize photos, videos, and posts that allow your audience to observe your approach to diversity in action.

7. Engage the services of a nonprofit consultant to help you form a needs assessment and subsequent action plan addressing diversity as a priority.

A plan for improving diversity within your nonprofit requires creativity plus commitment, but nothing will be achieved unless the effort is made. The positive outcomes from this initiative will be rooted in this valuable work.

To get started with your diversity plan contact KM Clark, and our experienced nonprofit consultants can help you succeed in being a community leader regarding diversity.

Nonprofit Collaboration Pooling Ideas and Resources

Nonprofit Collaboration: Pooling Ideas and Resources

It can be frustrating when nonprofits are aware of needs in the community, whether attributed to individuals or issues, but do not have the resources or staff to accomplish those specific goals. Their employees have great ideas and great energy, but sometimes there just isn’t enough of either to tackle the tasks needed in their community.

When this happens, it can be disappointing at best and dire at worst. Nonprofits provide extensive programming to their communities but are sometimes brought to a standstill because a lack of funding, manpower or various logistics prevent them from achieving the results they want and know the community needs.

That is where nonprofit collaboration comes into play. Nonprofits are resourceful and when they partner with other organizations in their community, the resources can extend even further. So, if your nonprofit is looking for ideas of how to collaborate more with others to continue your incredible work, keep reading. Not only will you be pooling some of your resources which can increase the likeness of success, you will be able to identify and reduce duplication of services as well.

Where to Begin?

Most nonprofits may have experienced periods of financial drought or limited resources throughout the years. The economy changes and budgets fluctuate. Or, unfortunately, circumstances like natural disasters can influence a community’s emergency needs. One agency can’t do all the work alone, nor are they expected to, but these are tough words to swallow when there are issues to address or individuals to care for.

Just because the focus shifts doesn’t mean the issues at hand cease to exist. Sure, this can be a crushing setback, but it can also be an opportunity. The nonprofit sector is not and never will be a “one and done”. We must always be reassessing and re-evaluating the needs of our community.

And that’s where we start. Identify the community needs and then create a list of which organization does what and where, and for how long and at what financial cost. This will help in identifying where the gaps are and how collaboration can fill in those spots where needs exist. Remember we talked about reducing duplication of services. This can be an opportunity to better utilize some of those resources and ensure maximum impact while reducing waste.

What Are the Next Steps in the Plan?

This is where your collaborative efforts begin to take shape. The informal conversation about possibly working together leads to a more formal agreement with resources and goals in mind. Each member of this partnership must be aware of the scope of commitment each other can provide. While you are linking services to address a broader mission, parameters must be in place to ensure a smooth delivery of services.

The Ever-Present Notion of Collective Impact

There is no organization in the nonprofit sector that is unaware of collective impact especially when it influences securing funding for programs or other initiatives. Funders from corporations to private foundations to government entities want to see that nonprofits are ready and willing to collaborate in order to pull resources and reduce the risk of duplicating efforts.

This sounds great in theory, but often funders don’t realize how difficult collaboration can be to coordinate program logistics and execute services. Nonprofit organizations must employ a detailed development plan with their partners to assure funders that programs will operate with efficiency and eliminate waste or duplication. Adhering to a strategy of collective impact can improve the chances of full funding in order to execute programmatic goals.

Playing Nice and Making Friends

There will be complexities along the way that can create challenges as well as the unexpected unseen forces that can hopefully move each organization to adapt with flexibility and grace. Nonprofit organizations and the people they employ are driven by a passion to improve the lives of all individuals in their communities as well as address needs that make their towns and cities robust with education and culture. Keeping in mind the initial reason for the collaboration to take place should cement the overarching mission of providing services to those in need and benefiting the community in which all belong.

Non profit Bylaws

Is It Time To Update Your Non-Profit Bylaws?

When you first opened your non-profit, your team likely established a set of non-profit bylaws that have since governed the way your organization conducts itself. Whether it’s been a year, five years, or a decade, your first set of by-laws likely need to be edited.

The reason for this is simple: your first set of bylaws are in place just for your organization to become established. Once you’re up and running, you’ll understand the actual mechanics of your organization, what actually goes into its day-to-day operations, and the proper bylaws you should have set in place. That’s why it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since your first set of bylaws– you should always update them as soon as you can. If you’ve already revised your bylaws and are unsure if it’s time for additional revisions, we’ll answer all of your questions about when it might be time to do so.

New Organizations – After Your First Bylaws

As a new non-profit, you may have gone through the steps of a non-profit consultation, used a template, or mirrored an existing organization’s bylaws just to get you started. Those methods work well for anyone getting a foot into the door, but once you’re established, it’s time to revisit those bylaws. Shortcuts are an easy way to expedite the process in the beginning, but you’ll need something more individualized to sustain your organization.

When you’re first starting out, you can only work off of the vision and mission you have for your organization. You don’t actually know what daily operations will look like. After you’ve grown familiar with how aligned your vision is to the reality of your non-profit, you’ll have a better understanding of what non-profit bylaws are needed for your specific organization.

Take note of what your expectations versus your reality are. Perhaps you expected quarterly meetings to be sufficient, but, you require monthly meetings. Maybe you need 10 board members instead of 20. Once you’re able to distinguish these details with a degree of certainty, it’s time to compare those realities to what your first non-profit bylaws outlined. Specifically, you should keep tabs on which bylaws are obviously outdated and which could use revision in general. Maybe you forgot something that could now be added, or you need to include an unexpected bylaw that you discovered after launching your non-profit. Regardless, it’s time to get an update drafted. You can easily do so via a non-profit consultation, or you can mend the discrepancies yourself.

General Guidelines for Updating Your Bylaws

Just as you should do after rolling out the actual operations aspect of your foundation, every organization should conduct an annual (at the minimum) bylaw review. Many organizations establish their non-profit bylaws and hardly, if ever, glance at them again. Even less have them memorized. An annual bylaw review paired with a non-profit consultation will ensure your bylaws are up to date and your nonprofit is on the correct trajectory for growth and success.

Once you review the bylaws, it’s simple. You need to go through them each and individually determine whether they are still applicable to your foundation. After you’ve eliminated the irrelevant or outdated bylaws, you can begin drafting a new set or adding to the remaining bylaws.

A common mistake usually made during this process is creating bylaws that reflect how your board currently operates. While this isn’t technically incorrect, it will only create another set of bylaws that require complete modification down the line. The reason for this is that you should always draft bylaws based on how you would like to see your organization operate, not how it is currently operating. Doing this ensures you are constantly working towards a goal rather than complying with wherever your board is presently at. If your future vision for the board aligns with some of their current practices, include those practices in the bylaws. The non-profit bylaws as a whole, however, should not be completely reflective of the exact behaviors your board engages in currently.

Update Your Non-Profit Bylaws Today

The process of drafting new bylaws is easy, but the actual implementation may be a bit confusing. There is a formal process that must be upheld and followed during every bylaw update, and it can get complicated depending on the length, detail, and specifics of your organization’s bylaws. On top of it all, your non-profit bylaws are more than just guidelines for your foundation; in fact, they are legally binding. The likelihood of a lawsuit from one of your staff or board members may be slim, but it’s never zero. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry in these cases.

Schedule a non-profit consultation with KM Clark to get started on updating your old non-profit bylaws. We make the process easy and painless, and we can help your organization’s operations reflect its vision.

RelationShip Building

Top Tips for Building a Relationship With Your Local Media

A well-cultivated relationship with the local media is one of the most powerful tools in a nonprofit’s belt. It can help with spreading awareness for your mission, furthering your local presence, and making connections through media exposure. These perks don’t come without solid effort on your part though. You can follow these tips to help grow a better relationship with the media and better your nonprofit’s community standing

Gain Familiarity With Local Media

The first step to establish a media relationship is to familiarize yourself with the media organizations in your area. Who oversees the news? Who runs the local magazines? Are there any video production or photography companies near you? Learn the answers to these questions, then take it a step further. Begin researching more about the organization and their personnel. Is the organization writing on topics that connect back to your mission or are about a similar organization to yours? Who is coverin

Introduce Yourself

Don’t be afraid to make contact first. After all, the local media may not be familiar with your group. It’s a good rule of thumb to send an email, make a phone call, and stop by in person to discuss your organization, mission, and meet the people you’ve researched. This is the first step in creating a relationship with the media, so come prepared and have questions ready to display interest.

Be careful here not to come in with a list of “asks” that can help your organization. Build the relationship first. It may take time and a few meetings before you even ask one thing of the media! Just like any other relationship in your personal or professional life, it takes time and work to grow. Be patient and open.

Offer Stories

Now that you’re on a first name basis, you can further establish your connection by reaching out with material. Remind them of your prior meeting, reiterate your interest in their company, and give them material to work with. Do you have a special event coming up? Maybe they would like to write a story, take photos, or get video footage. What battles are your nonprofit fighting? Your team is attempting to make a difference and support your community. Local media groups will be interested in your story and current developments.

Give Them Material

Take it a step further – offer them completed material. If you had a successful event yesterday, shoot them an email containing a story and photographs or videos. Providing them with good material upfront will make it easier to pull together a story. They will have less work to do when it comes to publishing about your nonprofit, and this means more exposure for your company. After you send the material in, follow up with a phone call to solidify your rapport.

Be Available and Informative

You’ve given them your contact and organization information. Now, you need to stay on top of any attempted communications. If they call, be sure to answer. If you can’t answer, make sure to follow up in a timely manner. Do you have a newsletter? An organization calendar? Remember those 2 points of contact you identified earlier; they should be receiving regular, personal copies of these materials. Don’t put them on a blast list, but rather take the time to compose a thoughtful email with the attachments.

There’s Always Consulting

If all else fails, try hiring a consultant. A nonprofit consulting group will help you understand the areas of growth for your organization. After they identify the areas that require the most improvement, they will help you strategize and sets goals for implementing your plans. If your attempts to connect with the local media are fruitless, a nonprofit consulting group, like KM Clark Consulting, can provide a fresh perspective and new methods that will hopefully engage the media.

Remember: exposure helps your organization! An easy way to grow your organization while harboring unique local media connections is fighting to stay engaged. Connecting with the media on a regular basis will keep you at the forefront of coverage!




Our Favorite Ways to Thank Nonprofit Volunteers

Volunteers are an essential part of any nonprofit organization. Their contributions to your community save you time and money and gives employees time back in their schedules as well. In fact, studies show that volunteers are worth around $28 per hour and have a 66% chance of donating to the organization they’re volunteering for than individuals who don’t volunteer at all.

Of course, people have their own reasons for volunteering for your organization. Some volunteer because it gives them the opportunity to give back to their community and develop news skills, while others do it because it holds a special place in their heart due to a family member leaving their legacy with the organization. No matter a volunteer’s reason for supporting your organization, the main thing to recognize is the fact that they are giving up their personal time to contribute to your organization. That’s time they could be spending resting, being with friends or family, or working.

The bottom line is that the contributions that volunteers make to nonprofit organizations are priceless, therefore, it’s important to show your appreciation to them.

Branded Gifts

Branded gifts are a traditional gift that is typically received very well by volunteers. If you opt to go with branded gifts, you want to make sure they’re gifts that your volunteers will be happy to receive and will actually find useful. One of the worst items you can give as a gift is something that will collect dust or get thrown away. Good branded gifts to give volunteers include the following:

1. Drawstring backpacks

2. T-shirts

3. Hats

4. Water bottles

5. Fanny packs

These are items your volunteers will love and will make them feel like part of the team.

Gift Cards

You can never go wrong with gift cards. You can opt to do a gift card to a specific place or a Visa gift card so they can spend their money how they want. It is completely up to you the dollar amount you want to give. Place the gift card in a nice card with a handwritten thank you and the gift is complete.

Framed Photo With a Nice Message

This form of gratitude can go a very long way in showing appreciation to your volunteers. This will require you to be mindful in taking photos during certain volunteer projects for this to work, but if you have good photos to use, get those photos developed and put them in a nice picture frame and write a nice thank you card with it. You can put each of them in gift bags or boxes.

Host a Volunteer Appreciation Event

Hosting an appreciation event is a grand way to show gratitude for the hard work the volunteers have put forth. You can take the volunteers to a local restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can also host a taco bar or ice cream social at your office.. The focus of the event should be on the volunteers and to make the volunteers feel special and valued.

Thank-You Calls From Board Members

Get in contact with your board members and ask them to call volunteers to thank them and let them know how much they’re appreciated. Simply provide them with a list of the volunteer’s names and numbers, and you can even provide a small detail about them or something they did that was really special and thank them for that. This will let them know that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed by the staff or the board members.

Handwritten Personal Thank You Cards

A handwritten letter may seem like a small gift, but we live in a digital world and everything can be, and usually is done via email, text, or social media. So, a well thought out, handwritten letter can bring an incredible sense of magic and warmth to the recipient. It’s something they can keep and always come back to as a reminder of how much they are appreciated by your organization.

It Truly Is the Thought That Counts

Volunteers do the work they do and rarely expect anything in return. However, your organization wouldn’t be what it is without their help, which is why showing gratitude is very important in keeping volunteers engaged in the organization’s mission and goals.

At KM Clark, we know and understand the integral role volunteers play in the overall success of nonprofit organizations. Whether you want to do a small gesture of appreciation or a grand gesture, we can help you plan and execute a strategy to not only show gratitude for all their hard work, but also help you keep volunteers excited and interested in continuing volunteering with your organization. To schedule your consultation appointment, give us a call today!

Way to develop the business

What is the Best Way to Develop a Business Plan for a Nonprofit?

Most nonprofit owners didn’t know how or where to begin their nonprofit journey when they first started. They may have had a desire to positively change their community whether that was for educational, religious, charitable, or other reasons, but they weren’t sure what the next steps were. This is common and can put a lot of leaders at a standstill. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, we are here to help you take the next step from an idea to a nonprofit with a plan and goals. Yep, let’s talk about business plans.

Businesses and Nonprofits: The Big Commonality

The first thing to understand about nonprofits is that although they don’t collect profits, they still operate as a business. So, just as businesses need a business plan to project the “lay of the land” so to speak, short- and long-term goals, budgets, funding, etc., Nonprofits need a nonprofit business plan.

Creating your business plan is going to be the biggest battle on your journey to starting your nonprofit. Why? Because it’s the very first step in getting people (volunteers, investors, donors, board members, foundations, beneficiaries, etc.) on board with your plan— These groups want to know exactly what you want to accomplish and exactly how you plan to do it. Without a nonprofit business plan, you’re not going to achieve the reach and impact you want to make on your community and the public at large.

However, the good news is that once your nonprofit business plan is created, it literally becomes a road map of how you plan to achieve your goals, overcome obstacles and challenges, and clearly display your overall plan of attack. This will not only be a great tool for getting noticed but it will also show potential donors that you’re serious about getting your nonprofit off the ground. In short, this means that based on your nonprofit business plan, investors, and donors (and anyone else providing funding to your nonprofit) will be able to determine not only how valuable your nonprofit is but also how satisfied the people who will benefit from your efforts will be.

Best Way to Create and Develop Your Nonprofit Business Plan

When writing your nonprofit business plan, you’re obviously going to have specific sections in it that lay out your plan for how to achieve the goals of your organization, such as your executive summary, operations, programs and services, marketing, budget, etc. However, when creating and developing your business plan, before you even think about the planning sections, there are some important considerations to keep in mind that are related to those business plan sections.

Keep Your Audience in Mind

When it comes to investors, donors, potential board members, etc., it’s important that you keep in mind that some of them who read your business plan may not be as familiar or knowledgeable in your nonprofit area of interest or what you hope to accomplish with your nonprofit. With that, it’s important that you try to avoid jargon, acronyms, or any other type of language that can be confusing to those reading your nonprofit business plan.

Adhere to Simple Formatting

Making your business plan format simple will make it easier for interested parties to read. Sticking to a 12-point font, either Arial or Times New Roman font style, and 1.5 (even double) spaced lines will all create the white space needed to not only make the data of the plan easily readable but also keep readers engaged, eliminating any type of confusion as to where their eyes should go.

Create the Plan on a Positive Note

As you can imagine, most nonprofit organizations are created based on less-than-ideal situations or circumstances in the local community. However, those unfortunate events or circumstances do not need to be the sole focus of your business plan. If you’re fighting hunger or homelessness, your business plan will definitely need to explain what is going on in those areas; you can even provide statistical data to support the need for your organization. However, your nonprofit business plan should mainly focus on how it’s the solution to the problem, highlighting what you plan to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish your goals and efforts!

Hire an Editor

A second set of eyes is always valuable. The fact that you worked so hard on your business plan to create the change needed in your community, the last thing you need is bad grammar or spelling to make interested parties question your seriousness, or worse, your credibility. This reason alone is why it’s so important to have an editor review your business plan to ensure it reads well and is professionally executed.

How Will You Approach Your Nonprofit Business Plan?

Creating your business plan is just as important as your passion for starting your nonprofit, can’t have one without the other. The who, what, when, where, and why of your nonprofit will all be included in your nonprofit business plan, and it’s crucial to the success of your nonprofit.

Understand that it’s okay to not know where or how to start when beginning such a journey. KM Clark Consulting Group offers professional nonprofit consulting services that will ensure you’re taking the right steps in the right direction toward success. To schedule your consultation, simply call (615) 225-8578 to get started. We’re here to help you be the change your community needs.

Non profit e fundraiser

What are the Best Nonprofit e-Fundraising Strategies?

Online giving is steadily on the rise, especially since the emergence of the pandemic, and it has accounted for 22% of all online fundraising revenue for 2021, according to M+R Benchmarks. This presents a huge opportunity, especially for the smaller nonprofits that might not have access to large annual donors.

Don’t get me wrong, traditional social events and campaigns are not going anywhere but with the modern world we live in and easy access to the internet, e-fundraising strategies will create opportunities to reach a larger audience, attract a new audience and donors, integrate new campaigns and stewardship techniques, and build stronger relationships with current donors while also reducing the overall cost of the fundraising “event” allowing for more dollars received to go towards and impact the cause.

There’s no denying the fact that e-fundraising has, without a doubt, changed the nonprofit donation landscape and what organizations can do, but because there are so many different types of applications to start a digital nonprofit fundraiser, how do you know which ones to use for your nonprofit?

Well, there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all strategy, but in order to determine which strategies will work best for your nonprofit, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the different e-fundraising strategies available to you. Below you’ll find a few of the more popular strategies.

Host a Virtual Gaming Tournament

If there’s one thing about a virtual gaming tournament that will make it successful, it’s that gaming is an industry that already has a loyal audience dedicated to playing video games.

You’ll definitely want to do your research on the best games to host for this event, simply because a game that’s popular right now, may not be in seven months at the time of your virtual gaming tournament.

Once you’ve decided on a game, you want to get set up on a streaming service to promote your event. The donations come in by setting a dollar amount for an entry fee for players.

Additionally, you can encourage the viewers watching the competitors play to donate as a way to show support for their favorite players. If you’re going to have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, reach out to your local business and see about donations for the winning participants. Trophies or medals work great as well!

Create a Donation Form or Page for Your Nonprofit’s Website

A donation form or page isn’t necessarily a fundraiser in the traditional aspect, however, it’s a convenient and effortless way for people to make donations for all virtual fundraising events you may have.

Whatever virtual event you have, incorporating a simple link or button that redirects the online user to the donation form or page will streamline the donation process without donors having to click around to find out how to make a donation.

Host an Online Auction

Charity auctions aren’t a new event or concept but hosting virtual auctions does bring about a new flare of ease and convenience of the process. With an online auction, you don’t need to book a physical location for the event; a simple picture of the item or listing of the service can be uploaded to your bidding platform. Just be sure to find sponsors, write clear and concise prize descriptions, and properly promote the event via social media, email campaigns, and through local media.

Once the auction is over, you want to get in contact with the winners and discuss payment options as well as delivery options for the prizes. And, of course, thank them for participating in the auction and making their nonprofit donation to your organization.

Getting Your Nonprofit Out There

When it comes to getting donors and reaching new audiences, you have to get your name out there, because if people don’t know who you are and what your nonprofit represents or its mission and vision, your odds of acquiring donations are going to be lower. This particular aspect is how e-fundraising strategies make the biggest impact and difference for nonprofits. There are a lot of free and/or low cost options to help get your nonprofit and its mission out there. One free resource to help get your nonprofit out there is the FREE Google ads campaign they offer to nonprofits. Never heard of this? We are happy to provide you with information about this service. There are also events like “The Big Payback” that your nonprofit can participate in as well as the Amazon giveback program.

There are also local initiatives in your area that provide free platforms for your nonprofit to register for that brings donors and recipients together, providing a greater reach.

At KM Clark, we work to help your nonprofit grow and thrive by implementing strategies to do just that. Though we don’t provide funding, we do provide resources. Contact us today for a free discovery call and let’s see how we can help you!

We offer four primary services:

1. Management and Strategy

2. Media and Marketing

3. Partnership Building

4. Training and Facilitation

Depending on where you are with your nonprofit, you may need one or potentially all of these services to truly take your organization to the next level, and that’s what we’re here to help with.

We understand it can be frustrating when you have great work to do for your community but are struggling to reach enough people to make the difference you know you can make. Don’t get discouraged. We are only a click away!

Contact KM Clark Consulting today to jumpstart your nonprofit and make the difference your community needs.


Public speaking

Best Tips on Public Speaking for Beginners

It might be fair to admit we all probably share a few common fears like flying, heights, or fear of the dark. Avoidance can be an easy solution to our fears. If we’re afraid of flying, then we are likely to drive instead of buying a ticket for an airplane or if we’re afraid of heights then taking up mountain climbing may not be our top choice of activities.

But what if avoidance isn’t an option because your fear is an activity included in your job responsibilities? Yep, we’re talking about the fear of public speaking or the more scientific term “glossophobia”. For some of us, the mere mention of this responsibility can make hearts race and palms sweat.

Public speaking can instill fear in all of us, even the most seasoned speakers. Nonprofit consulting services are a great resource to help clients through these sometimes uncomfortable situations. There are some tips and tricks to employ, though, that can ease you through these daunting events and guide you toward becoming a public speaker exhibiting knowledge and grace. And a much slower heart rate.

Preparation is Key

Public speaking comes in many forms. A best man’s toast, speaking with the media, or thanking a large group of people. Sometimes you have to make an extensive presentation or you’re doing an interview for your local radio station.

Each can contribute to the level of fear you experience, but the common denominator is preparation. You simply have to know what you are going to say. Lack of preparation will only contribute to the anxiety you are already feeling.

Now that you have prepared what you are going to say or present, remember to cut yourself some slack. We all make mistakes and most people observing will sympathize with you should this happen. That being said, it will definitely show if you are underprepared as well.

Remember that old joke “Pardon me, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer is: Practice. Practice. Practice. The same applies to public speaking. It is essential that you practice what you intend to say so that you can establish your cadence, pronunciations, and inflections. Know your subject, know your audience and in time practicing will help you leave out the “you knows” and the “ums”. The more you practice, the more you will feel at ease with each word.

The Importance of Appearance

If you are on stage delivering an important speech the last thing you want to think about is your tie being too tight, or your wool sweater too scratchy. Your physical comfort will contribute to feeling relaxed so you can concentrate on your presentation rather than loosening your tie. Preparation includes more than just practicing your speech.

Pay close attention to what you are wearing and the tools around you. Before taking the stage, if you have the ability, move your shoulders up and down and jiggle your arms and hands. A few slow deep breaths can work wonders to alleviate your nerves as well.

Once you begin your presentation don’t be afraid to use your body language. If you appear stiff and immoveable then the audience will notice this rather than concentrate on your speech. Casual hand gesturing and even walking around, if the situation allows, can contribute to your connection with the audience as well.

And lastly, make eye contact. It doesn’t matter if it’s an audience of five or 500, there is no surer way to connect with people than by making eye contact. This creates an intimate, human connection and can convince an audience of the significance of your words.

Are You Still Nervous?

If you are, then let that be the driving force to help you prepare what you have to say in front of an audience. Fear and anxiety about public speaking are normal and can affect anyone, but by implementing the tips above and of course, practicing, you’ll be sure to become more and more proficient at it. If you’re looking for more assistance on public speaking, reach out to us at KM Clark Consulting. We have years of experience with public speaking and… actually enjoy it! Let us help you find a place where you can enjoy public speaking as well!