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How to Start a New 501(c)(3) Nonprofit

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Countless times over the past decade or so, I have received the following basic email/phone call/LinkedIn message: “I recently met someone who wants to start a nonprofit. They are incredibly passionate about their cause and would be great at it, but they need some help with raising money. Could you speak with them and tell them how to get started?” …

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Beyond the 5%: Impact Investing and the Future of Foundations

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Potentially transformative news appeared in The Chronicle of Philanthropy today in the article by Alex Daniels, “IRS Issues Rules Favorable to Foundations on Program-Related Investments.” “The Internal Revenue Service has issued new regulations designed to encourage private foundations to make investments in areas such as education, health, and the environment that can result in societal benefits and simultaneously generate income.” …

A New Model of Social Enterprise: Master Franchising

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Blog on two pioneering innovations in the realm of social entrepreneurship: social franchising at the statewide level and alternative financing for earned income ventures.

7 Simple Steps to Build a Low-Cost, High-Impact Marketing Program

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  All the best ways to build your market are free — word of mouth and referrals being chief among them. However, to maximize your potential referral sources, you have to make it easy for people to send you their contacts. And no, this is not asking them to literally give you their Rolodex (for those of you in Gen …

A big, important question asked by Salah Boukadoum

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My friend Salah Boukadoum is the founder of Soap Hope, an amazing company with an even more amazing mission. In brief, they sell all-natural, organic, high-quality products … and invest 100% of their profits in microloans to impoverished women. Their model — which Salah calls the Good Returns model (click for his TEDxGrandRapids talk on the topic) — can equip any …

Robert Egger

Robert Egger’s advice on how to give a presentation about #nonprofits

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“Just be cool, drop f-bombs & embrace an unwavering faith in the power of #nonprofits to help rebuild the economy & you’re there.” – @RobertEgger

Who will win the nonprofit sector’s 10 million votes?

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More powerful updates from the inimitable Robert Egger, founder of the DC Central Kitchen, and the V3 Campaign … which has been reborn as the even more awesome, and far more powerful CForward (a PAC aimed at endorsing and supporting political candidates who have a strong platform for engaging the tenth of the economy known as the nonprofit sector): The …

Jeremy Gregg and PEP Graduates

10 Things a Nonprofit Should Know About Using Social Media

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I am not going to write about why your organization needs to integrate social media into its communications plan; if you can’t answer that for yourself by now, I can’t help you. But if you’re like most nonprofiteers, you’re already doing this: you just want to do it better. If that’s you, then here are ten pieces of advice that …

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Why Nonprofits Should Give Thanks this Year

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The Street/ just published a nice article entitled, “What Main Street Is Thankful for This Year” — and I am grateful that I was included in the section about nonprofits. Here was my initial reply to the reporter: “I work for one of the nation’s 1.4 million nonprofit organizations — and I am thankful for the millions of …

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Why innovate when you have $700 million?

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I was delighted to receive an email from Sarah Nelson, Chief Philanthropy Officer for Communities Foundation of Texas, announcing that the 50+ year-old grantmaker was getting a facelift. (There is a fantastic video about it here) My excitement was not because the organization needed it. In fact, I am sure that many feel the rebranding is an unnecessary expense — …

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How to Turn a Seasonal Business into a Year-Round Success

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NFTE Dallas

What dreams do we hold for our neighbors’ children?

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Among the many privileges of my career, I have the honor of working alongside some of the best nonprofits in town. This morning, I was invited to speak to the students of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) at their 3rd annual Young Entrepreneurs Rally. NFTE is a remarkable organization that is always on my short-list for year-end donations. They …

The Future of Marketing: Predictions For 2012 on Social Media Marketing

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Business 2 Community is an “independent online community focused on sharing the latest news surrounding Social Media, Marketing, Branding, Public Relations & Much More.” The site recently included me as one of its “46 experts on marketing” in the article, The Future of Marketing: 46 Experts Share Their Predictions For 2012. Here was my contribution: The future of marketing will be …

How to Market a Nonprofit Social Enterprise (#socent)

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I was very encouraged to see this piece on CitySquare (formerly Central Dallas Ministries) by NBC 5 DFW. The piece is a prime example of two of the best ways to market a nonprofit social enterprise: It promotes the social benefit of the store rather than just the products or services (i.e. it focuses on its unique point of differentiation from …

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Lessons on Fundraising from To Kill a Mockingbird

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A review of the recent performance of the play by Dallas Theater Center, with an analysis of what this play can tell us about fundraising and nonprofit management.

Is Starbucks “Create Jobs for USA” about microloans… or marketing?

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I admit it: my family probably spends more money at Starbucks than at the grocery store. So, I was grateful to hear the news that our daily addiction might actually fund something useful in the world: Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network® (OFN) are working together to create and sustain jobs in underserved communities… The Starbucks Foundation is donating the first $5 …

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10 Totally Unique Ideas for Your Next Blog Post (My interview on WordChef)

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I am grateful to Tea Silvestre, aka the Word Chef, for including me among “the brightest folks in web marketing and writing.” You can read the article here: 10 Totally Unique Ideas for Your Next Blog Post The blog featured some great advice from some great bloggers. Here was my contribution: Imitate the Masters One of the best tactics …

Top 5 Secrets To Hyper-Local Marketing (My interview on AmEx Open Forum)

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I was recently interviewed as an expert on small business and hyper-local marketing by the American Express Open Forum‘s Katie Morrell. The article, entitled “Top 5 Secrets To Hyper-Local Marketing,” can be viewed here. The article describes how small businesses can leverage the power of hyper-local advertising such as neighborhood newsletters, collaborations with other small businesses, viral marketing with contests/catchy …

Thoughts on the Closing of The Demeter Project

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A tiny crack appeared in my heart when I first heard the rumor that one of Dallas’ preeminent social enterprises, The Demeter Project, would be closing along with their “It’s a Grind” coffee shop in Deep Ellum. For the past three years, this company has endeavored to provide a living wage with benefits, vacation and flexible hours to employees who could not …

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Management Advice from Patrick Esquerre

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I recently had the chance to enjoy a lunch with Patrick Esquerre, the founder of La Madeleine Country French Café. Over a delightful meal of mussels and lamb at the impeccable Salum, we discussed Patrick’s career as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Patrick offered an interesting analysis of the three types of people involved in any successful venture: Steppers: The majority …