A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        

HEADLINES
Nonprofit Takeaways from Sweet Briar Saga
In early March, many at Virginia's Sweet Briar College  were blindsided when the Board of Directors, citing financial failure, voted to shutter the college  this summer. The announcement spurred a series of movements led by students, faculty, alumnae and parents determined to keep the doors of their beloved  school op en.  

T hr ough the creation o f   Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. and Sweet Briar 2.0 , advocates utilized extensive social media and fundraising campaigns that successfully brought awareness to the impending closure, while also providing information concerning the financial condition of the school that many felt the board had failed to share.


Months later, after several suits were filed, Sweet Briar students and faculty were told that the school would remain open. At the request of Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. an entirely new Board of Directors was appointed and Phillip Stone, former president of Bridgewater College, was named president of Sweet Briar College.

 

The events of the Sweet Briar College saga are particularly relevant when examined from a nonprofit perspective. For instance, the power of social media in furthering a cause is undeniable, as was seen in this particular example. As we head into a future in which technology is ingrained in nearly every daily task, it is important for nonprofit organizations to adapt and utilize the social media tools capable of engaging current and potential donors, supporters, constituents, and more. 

 

Further, Sweet Briar demonstrates that every organization has a wide range of stakeholders, in addition to its board, whose input and concerns must be recognized, and whose talents should be harnessed to help an organization succeed. As reported in The Cavalier Daily, Mimi Fahs, a Sweet Briar graduate from the class of 1971 and founding member of Sweet Briar 2.0, explained the strengths of those fighting to keep Sweet Briar open, saying:

 

"People have come forward with what they do best and volunteered to head up committees...Sweet Briar 2.0 is really trying to harness all the talents of this incredible group of alumnae to contribute in any way that is helpful to the college going forward..."


The Nonprofit Quarterly sums it up best with its "12 Critical Points on Stakeholder Engagement," a list created in response to the Sweet Briar experience...Read more.


 



 


 


 

Increase Your Visibility: Sponsor & Exhibit at MNN's Annual Conference

MNN's annual conference and expo is one of the largest gatherings of nonprofit professionals in Massachusetts and brings together 650+ nonprofit and business leaders to share lessons and best practices and learn about capacity-building products and services. This year's conference will take place on October 21 in Framingham. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

 

As a sponsor and exhibitor, you will showcase your company's offerings to the decision makers of the nonprofit community, expand your business opportunities, gain local and statewide visibility, and highlight your commitment to the nonprofit sector. Space is limited- reserve your spot today!

 

Learn more and sign-on as a sponsor.

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE
Understanding School Funding Formulas
MassBudget has a terrific FAQ page that lays out the implications of the new formula used to determine "low income" students across the Commonwealth, including options for adjusting school funding mechanisms.  Read more.
NONPROFIT 411:  Creating a For-profit Subsidiary of a Tax-exempt Organization 
By Elka Sachs, Partner at Krokidas & Bluestein LLP 

Your tax-exempt organization might consider creating a for-profit subsidiary for legal and practical reasons.  A subsidiary can be used to segregate the subsidiary's liabilities from the parent's assets - or vice versa.  

Creating a for-profit subsidiary  facilitates maintaining separate lines of business, which in turn simplifies compliance by the tax-exempt with government fundin g requirements, permits branding of the separate businesses, and allows the for-profit to incentivize employees by offering ownership interests.  Tax-exempt entities can also enter into arrangements with other tax-exempts whereby they jointly own taxable entities.

 

There are several ways to structure a subsidiary relationship, each with attendant advantages and disadvantages...Read more.

Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
Executive Director, South Cove Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Director of Marketing, Boston Partners in Education
Deputy Director, Catholic Charities of Boston
Executive Director, Family Services of Central Massachusetts
Program Manager, Heading Home
Executive Director, YMCA of Western MA
Chief Program Officer, Montachusett Opportunity Council
Director of Operations, Worcester County Food Bank
Executive Director, Young Audiences of Massachusetts
Vice President of Business Development, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

Grant & Award Opportunities

Highland Street Foundation Fellowships, Applications due July 13
Baseball Tomorrow, Due October 1
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, accepting LOIs

Trainings & Events 
*Discounts for MNN members

How to Launch a Social Media and Content Strategy for Your Nonprofit, Webinar, July 14 

Improving your Conflict Competency, Brookline, July 21-22 

Knowledge Management for Nonprofits, Webinar, July 22

Beginner HTML & CSS for Nonprofits, Cambridge, July 23 

Sharing your Success: Visualizing Outcomes Data, a Hands-On Training, Boston, July 15

Free Fall Workshop Series: Learn how to tell your impact story , Boston, applications open until July 28

Sharing your Success: Visualizing Outcomes Data, a Hands-On Training, Worcester, July 29

How to Get Your Technology Project Funded: Tips from Grantmakers, Webinars, Thursdays from July 16-30

10 Blogging Best Practices for Nonprofits, Webinar, August 4
 
How to Create Visual Content for Your Nonprofit, Webinar, August 25

What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know about .NGO, .ONG, and OnGood, Webinar, September 8

Introduction to Grant Writing, Boston, September 15
Quickbooks Made Easy: Love Seminar, Boston, September 24
* Public Conversations Workshops  (contact Program Manager Katie Hyten atkhyten@publicconversations.org   to receive special MNN member discounts)

 

Resources

6 Best Practices for Using Social Media: Developing a social media strategy for your business or nonprofit organization can seem daunting, given the various social medial channels and tools available. However, with the right plan and boundaries set around your posts you'll find success and represent your brand with excellence. 


Certificate in Nonprofit Management Now Offered in Brattleboro: The Marlboro College Center for New Leadership has announced a Fall 2015 cohort of the highly regarded Certificate in Nonprofit Management to take place in Brattleboro. This 80-hour series helps nonprofit leaders develop the essential skills needed to strengthen their organizations and achieve their missions. 





New & Returning Affiliates

The Corporate Citizenship team at Blue Cross devotes their time and expertise to working within the community with a focus on making a measurable and sustainable impact in four primary areas: Healthy Child Development; Education Enrichment; Healthy Environments and Family Nutrition; and Sustainable Health Care Systems.

This public relations and marketing firm will help you identify, target, and speak with your customers. You'll create a unique and intimate relationship with your customers, allowing you access to greater opportunities for success.

Helps nonprofit organizations build the capacity to move their strategic vision forward with a solid foundation and an army of support with services that support finances, fundraising, management, and boards.