Thursday, May 28, 2009

Student-produced NP resource available

One of the greater pleasures of writing this blog is the ongoing opportunity it provides to share resources that may be useful to nonprofit board members.

Today, I am glad so share a new resource produced by students in my spring 2009 "Nonprofit Management & Leadership" class. They created the wiki, Wyo NP Management & Leadership Source, with the information needs of rural nonprofit practitioners in mind. They addressed four topics in depth:

Community Relations
Volunteer Management

It's still a work in process, but it's a resource I share now with pride. My students put their hearts and their brains into this wiki, and nonprofits will benefit from their effort. For a list of student authors, please click here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Join our Twibe

I just created a Twibe (Twitter group) for Wyoming nonprofits. My goal is to help connect sector practitioners, board members, volunteers, and supporters who are already using this social networking tool.

If you are on Twitter, please consider joining and connecting with others who tweet. The Twibe can be found at

If you know of friends and colleagues who use Twitter and who would appreciate the chance to find others interested in the work of our sector, please share the URL and encourage them to join. Twitter offers great opportunities to share news, resources, and other useful information.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Defining Wyoming NP capacity

I participated in an interesting discussion yesterday, focusing on ways to identify and address the capacity needs of Wyoming's nonprofits.

While it was valuable to hear about efforts that already exist, both those familiar and new to me (Great people are doing great things to support the sector!), the more intriguing and potentially challenging part of the discussion came when a question was posed to the group: what do we think of when we think of the "capacity building" needs of our state's sector?

The people on the call are knowledgeable, connected, and well-versed in the work of Wyoming's nonprofits. We probably could generate a solid vision that would come very close to what sector practitioners would identify as their capacity needs. Others, including the Montana Nonprofit Association, have contributed research-driven principles and practices to help inform the discussion.

But I also would like to open the discussion to readers of this blog, especially those living and working in Wyoming. What are the critical capacity needs that you have? How do they limit your ability to serve your community and fulfill your mission? How could support in these areas enhance your performance and effectiveness? Please share your thoughts via a comment to this post. If you're not sure what qualifies as "capacity building" in the sector, my bookmarks on the topic might be a good starting point. Click here to access links and resources that I have tagged as "nonprofit" and "capacity."

It would be great to use this venue to contribute to this emerging conversation. This group would be interested in reading your feedback on the topic as we move forward.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tweeting for nonprofits

While I haven't been burning up the blogosphere lately, I have been actively tweeting -- or more frequently, re-tweeting (forwarding great resources others share) -- in Twitter.

Nonprofits are my focus in that venue; if you're on Twitter, please follow me and enjoy the great finds that I encounter daily from around the world. I'll also be sharing insights from my research over time. My profile can be accessed by clicking here. I'm @npmaven.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

New Form 990: IRS offers brief video overview

As the gap between posts confirms, the final stages of the dissertation /defense process were more overwhelming than I anticipated.

Re-entry into post-doctoral life is, I am finding, a very slow process. Returning to a posting routine may remain a short-term challenge. On the bright side: I am now officially Dr. Beck. Even better: I emerged from the defense process understanding more clearly that the board I studied was a true exemplar for nonprofit governing bodies everywhere. Sharing what I have learned, to benefit all, will be the greatest pleasure of this long journey.

But on to the topic of this post:

As I think about the growing number of requests from boards for resources on meeting the new 990 requirements, I'd like to share one nice little offering from the Internal Revenue Service.

Click here to access a new "video mini-course" that outlines the essential elements to get you started. It's a nice little overview, on a topic that is still new enough to make details and examples challenging to find.