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Critical tips from today’s news

Building a Charismatic Nonprofit

“What distinguishes a good nonprofit from a great nonprofit? At the end of the day, the great, charismatic nonprofits are not necessarily those that have charismatic leaders, but those that can create strong social capital,” said Deborah Jospin at a Center for American Progress event about the book she co-authored with Shirley Sagawa, The Charismatic Organization: Eight Ways to Grow a Nonprofit that Builds Buzz, Delights Donors, and Energizes Employees. Nina Easton, Washington Bureau Chief of Fortune Magazine, moderated the discussion with Sagawa and Jospin.

The danger of basing an organization around one person with charismatic leadership qualities is that the focus can quickly become the leader rather than the organization. A leader can always leave an organization. This is why Sagawa and Jospin argue that building a fundamentally strong, team based nonprofit will be a more effective method in the long run than relying on individual leadership.

“There are two kinds of social capital,” explained Sagawa. “One kind brings people together and unites them in a cause so that they want to be part of that community.” This is especially valuable because it means that, in hard economic times, an organization’s donors and supporters will still be there and feel a connection to that cause. The other type of social capital is “bridging social capital.” This means that an organization is able to reach beyond its immediate network, which allows it to expand their donor base or political influence. …read more and see the video at Building a Charismatic Nonprofit – Center for American Progress, published 21 April 2009.

Flickr photo credit: an untrained eye

By | April 27, 2009|Blog, Nonprofits|0 Comments

How to Finance a Business Start-Up

Q: My son has a sure-fire business idea that’s gonna make us rich. Who do we see to get $100,000?

A: I was asked this question by a very serious forty-something father with his teen-something son in tow at a business opportunity fair not all that long ago.

I was tempted say that if I knew someone with that kind of money burning holes in his or her pockets, would I be standing there talking to them? However, my answer was the one any prospective entrepreneur will hear when asking for money: “Let’s see your business plan.”

Even if your business is to be an in-home affair and you’re the only employee, you need to be able to answer two questions before any lender or investor will write you a check:

  1. What will it cost?
  2. Who’s going to buy it?

These are the questions that a business plan answers. Step one is …read more at How to finance a business start-up – Examiner.com, published 19 April 2009.

Flickr photo credit: YTK23

By | April 20, 2009|Administration & Finance, Blog|0 Comments

Small Business SEO: How to Launch That Web Site

It’s hard when you’re small. Everything seems bigger and more intimidating. Puppies get toppled by bigger dogs, middle schoolers are stuffed in lockers and small business owners back away in fear of this whole “Internet” thing. But like the chess player who grew up to be accepted by the Homecoming Queen, you, too, can overcome! The trick is to never let your fear stop you from your plans of World domination.

Though you may be smaller, there’s no shortage of opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to compete in search. And that statement is made even more true when you consider that nearly 40 percent of searches include local intent and that the search engines are now using local results even when a user doesn’t implicitly ask for them. If you’re a small business, that’s an opportunity.

Okay, so say you’re a small business looking for search on a dime. You have your domain, your hosting is squared away, you have a few pages of content up and you’re finally ready to attract the world (or at least your city) to your Web site. Being small means you need to be smarter. It’s about doing all the little things that will pack the big rewards. Where do you start? …read more at Small Business SEO: How to Launch That Web Site – outspoken media, published 15 April 2009.

Flickr photo credit: Artelier Teee

By | April 20, 2009|Blog, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments