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#INGovConf Tweet Chat Summary on Nonprofit Best Practices

untitllledLast week the Governor’s Conference on Service and Nonprofit Capacity Building hosts participated in a Twitter chat and shared their insights on nonprofit best practices. Did you miss attending the Twitter chat?Not to worry! We’ve captured it here so that you don’t miss out on any valuable information.

untitledThe Storify stream includes a transcript of the Twitter Chat. We encourage you to skim through it in its entirety, but here’s a quick recap of some of the key topics.

Questions for SAVI

I. Why don’t more nonprofits use data in their planning process?

1) it can be overwhelming

2) they’re unaware of free and valuable data resources

3) they feel they can simply use anecdotal evidence as a replacement for data

II. Why is data so important?

Because it’s completely accurate and honest. Knowledge derived from data leads to higher performance and gives organizations that all important edge they need to be competitive.

III. How can nonprofits begin using data?

1) Understand your service area’s demographics, needs, and assets.

2) This data is easy to find in SAVI and will help to identify areas of greatest need as well as areas where there are gaps in resources.

Questions for Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

I. Once nonprofits identify areas of greatest need, how can they rally volunteers to help meet these needs?

1) The data will help to identify the skills and numbers of volunteers you need. Then you can connect with an OFBCI center to recruit.

2) Try hosting a launch party or similar fun event to attract volunteers.

II. How can nonprofits develop a stronger volunteer base?

Train your staff to properly interact with and manage volunteers. Empower your staff to positively connect with volunteers and act quickly if issues arise.

III. How can nonprofits get (and keep) volunteers with the skill sets they need?

1) Develop a skill-building aspect to volunteer training to benefit shared goals. Everyone wins when volunteers learn new skills.

2) In fact, volunteers have a 27% higher chance of finding a job!

Questions for Indiana Attorney General

I. As organizations become more strategic and add volunteers, do they run the risk of more compliance issues?

Any time an organization increases its capacity, it adds complexity, which potentially means added compliance issues. But consistent training of volunteers will help to ensure compliance.

II. What is the biggest compliance mistake you see nonprofits make?

A sole focus on the nonprofit’s mission with a failure to familiarize with state and federal compliance regimes. The mission should be a priority, but nonprofits still must operate within state and federal law.

III. Do you have any quick tips or easy steps for improving compliance with fundraising laws and other rules?

Seek accounting expertise to implement internal controls and fund tracking. Fundraising consultants and solicitors can help.

We hope you find this Twitter chat summary helpful. Make sure to register for this year’s Governor’s Conference on Service and Nonprofit Capacity Building to learn more about key nonprofit strategies.


Crucial connections to meet Indiana’s human needs

by Sharon Kandris 

One of the most common benefits cited by attendees of the Governor’s Conference on Service and Nonprofit Capacity Building is the opportunity to network.

Join Our TeamParticipants get the opportunity to connect with and learn from peers in other organizations, getting ideas from people they normally would not have the opportunity to connect with.

This year we are going to leverage that networking and synergy to develop strategies to address some of the most pressing issues facing Indiana in the first statewide Human Needs Summit.

The second day of the 2013 conference (Oct. 4) will be a working session for nonprofits to learn about some key issues, discuss them, and develop strategies to do something about them.

Here’s what the day looks like:

Paula Parker-Sawyers will be our emcee for the day. Paula is the Program Manager of the Indiana CTSI Community Health Engagement Program, has held many positions in the public sector, and is former Director of Outreach and Partnerships for The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

The day will begin with a keynote address from Robert Egger, founder of DC Kitchen and LA Kitchen.  Egger also founded CForward to advocate for the economic role of nonprofits and will have an inspiring message to encourage nonprofits.

Then the work begins.

Attendees will participate in one breakout session on EDUCATION, HEALTH, HUNGER, or HOUSING.  These sessions will be facilitated by prominent community leaders (see the conference agenda page).  Here’s what you’ll do in your breakout session:

  • Learn from experts: What are the issues most pressing in the state and in our communities relative to the topic?  Where are there gaps and opportunities to address them?
  • Discuss with your peers and community leaders: What resources are already in place to address these gaps?  How can the nonprofit community work together make a positive impact on addressing the problems?
  • Develop strategies:   Work together to identify realistic short-term and long-term strategies that will address the issues and make a difference.

Then everyone will reconvene for lunch and share the strategies identified in each of the topic areas.

Following the conference, all of the information presented by experts and the strategies developed by conference participants will be captured in a white paper so that the ideas can be shared with broader audiences that can help these ideas become reality.

Every nonprofit counts!  Even the small nonprofits are an important part of the solution.

Won’t you join the discussion?  Register for the conference.


Blog author Sharon Kandris is the Director of Community Informatics at The Polis Center at IUPUI and Program Director of the SAVI Community Information System, where she oversees the organization’s role as a Conference host.


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