A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        



Nominations now open:

2015 Nonprofit Excellence Awards

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network wants to honor the best nonprofit organizations, employees, and board members by highlighting the work they do in every subsector and corner of the state. Help us showcase the amazing commitment, diversity and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector by submitting a nomination for the 2015 Nonprofit Excellence Awards.


Nominations are due by Tuesday, March 10. 



Now in it's 7th year, the Nonprofit Excellence Awards were created to recognize the essential role that the more than 33,000 nonprofits, with nearly half a million employees, play in strengthening the Commonwealth. Click here to view past award finalists and award winners. 


Bringing entrepreneurship to social services

By Deborah Kincade Rambo, LICSW, President of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston

Originally published by the MetroWest Daily News on January 18, 2015


Today the distinction between for-profit and non-profit organizations is becoming increasingly blurry. For-profit businesses are emphasizing social entrepreneurship and non-profits are developing sustainable business models. With the crossing of traditional boundaries a different model of enterprise has emerged, the social enterprise.


If you have ever purchased a box of cookies from a Girl Scout or donated clothing to a Goodwill store, you have contributed to a non-profit social enterprise. The pursuit of social enterprise or "earned income" by a non-profit is hardly a new idea, though the concept has made a resurgence in recent years as many non-profits seek out new funding streams.


While the Great Recession is now technically years behind us, non-profits are finding corporate and private giving rates have not recovered. Similarly, a decline in federal funding through sequestration has left many organizations struggling to keep up with the demand for services. According to the Non-Profit Finance Fund's 2014 State of Sector Survey, 56 percent of non-profits said their organization is unable to meet demand for services, the greatest shortfall in the past six years of the survey. Of the more than 5,000 organizations surveyed, 26 percent reported they will pursue an earned income venture in the next year as a strategy for bringing in additional funding. Read more...


What are the issues impacting your nonprofit?
The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is conducting its seventh annual nationwide survey examining the current state of the nonprofit sector, and we hope you will add your voice and share your feedback. The State of the Sector Survey, which is anonymous and takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete, collects data on challenges facing the nonprofit sector, as well as new and emerging trends. Click here to take the survey.

The survey is open until February 18- click here to take the survey now and please pass it on to other nonprofits in your community. The more survey respondents, the more representative and useful the findings will be. NFF will analyze the results and distribute them to the community in early May.

Massachusetts has millions of dollars available for workforce training and professional development - but very few nonprofits take advantage of this opportunity.


Join MNN to learn how your organization can support and develop its employees through the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund: a statewide program that provides employers in the Commonwealth with funding to train and develop their employees. Attendees will also participate in a broader discussion to identify training needs and opportunities across the state.


These morning sessions will take place from late February through April in each of the state's eight regions and are an opportunity for local nonprofit leaders to receive vital tools as well as network and discuss issues facing the sector in their region. 


Learn more and find a meeting in your region.

Baker Announces Budget Plans
Governor Charlie Baker just announced his plans to address the state's budget shortfall. Baker is proposing more than $500 million in spending cuts to address the $765 million hole in the current state budget. The Boston Globe has more details.  
Using Form 990 to Improve Nonprofit Board Governance
By Michael Hickey, CPA, MBA, Manager at BlumShapiro


The changes made by the IRS to Form 990 approximately six years ago focus attention on the role of the non-profit organization's board. These changes required organizations to provide details about board governance, practices and policies. These questions comprise Part VI of Form 990. The answers can indicate whether an organization is well managed and can help directors analyze whether they need to make changes to their organization and its business model. How the organization answers these questions can reassure potential donors and others that assets and funds are being put to proper use.


Read more about how your Board of Directors should look at data included in Form 990 and use that as a guide to improve board governance. 

Major Gifts Officer, Zoo New England

Chief Marketing Officer, Citizen Schools

Program Director, Crossroads for Kids

Chief Development Officer, Girl Scouts of Eastern MA

Campaign Leader, Donorworx

Public Policy Director, Rosie's Place

Social Innovation Fund Manager, Third Sector Capital Partners

Arts and Culture Program Officer, Barr Foundation

Founding Principal of Elementary Charter School, Old Sturbridge Village

Director, Marketing and Public Relations, Catholic Charities of Boston

General Manager, The Trustees of Reservations

Director of Programs, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston

Executive Director, GROW Associates Inc.

Chief Advancement Officer, Italian Home for Children

VP/ Director of Marketing, Cradles to Crayons

Executive Director, The Jericho Road Project

Director of Finance, Accounting Management Solutions

Senior Development Officer, Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Director of Development and Advancement, Bridgewell


Grant & Award Opportunities

Vela Foundation, Due March 2
Carter Manny Award, Due March 15
ArtWeek Boston, Due March 20

Trainings & Events 
*Discounts for MNN members
Get New Headshots, Boston, February 4 & 5

*Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations, Boston, February 5

Engaging Your Board in Creating Sustainable Funding, webinar, Feb. 5

Technical Strategies to Ensure Full Participation in Multi-Lingual Meetings, Boston, February 5

Writing Winning Grant Proposals, Webinar, February 5

Written Annual Reports Donors Will Read, Webinar, Feb. 10

Facility Siting Issues for Nonprofits, Boston, February 11

Communications: Telling Your Story, Hyannis, February 11

Balancing Responsibilities Between Your Board and Staff, Quincy, Feb 12

Storytelling with Data, Boston, February 18

Introduction to Major Gifts Fundraising, Boston, February 19

*Dare To Be Happy: Positive Psychology in Practice, Holyoke, February 26

Bringing Community Meetings to Life, Lawrence, March 3

*Effective Supervision: Creating A Culture of Mutual Respect, Boston, March 5

Basics of Community Organizing, Roxbury, March 5

Marlboro Board Leadership Institute, Brattleboro, VT, March 7- April 16

Social Media: Tips and Tools for Using Social Media to Build Support for your Mission, Boston, March 19

*10 Easy Steps to Rock Your Online Communications, Boston, March 19

*HSF Supervisory Skills Certificate Series, Holyoke, March 19

*Courage in Leaving: An Act of Leadership for the Transitions Ahead, May 21-22 (registration deadline is January 30)

*Boston Fiduciary Summit, Boston, March 25



Fundraise at Gillette: Each season, Gillette Stadium staffs all of their concession stands with nonprofit organizations who use the venue to fundraise. It serves as an alternative to traditional fundraising while developing teamwork and camaraderie in an exciting atmosphere. For more information regarding the fundraising program at Gillette Stadium, please contact Brian Urquhart at fundraising@gillettestadium.com or by calling (508) 384-4329.


Nominations for the Human Service Forum Awards are now being accepted! Nominate a nonprofit employee, volunteers or local business that supports the community by February 12. 


If your staff is looking for opportunities to volunteer OR your nonprofit wants to connect with thousands of volunteers in Greater Boston, contact Building Impact. Building Impact will come to your office and engage your employees in meaningful projects to benefit a local nonprofit. And the support is free to the benefiting nonprofit. Contact Nonprofit Program Coordinator, Robert Kordenbrock at Robert@BuildingImpact.org to learn more.


Check out MNN's online Professional Directory for companies throughout MA. 

New & Returning Affiliates
*Discounts for MNN members


A full service fleet management company that provides a full range of leasing services with a personal touch and competitive rates. Their staff invest the time to understand each customer's individual needs resulting in the best solution to free up working capital, control operating costs and provide value. *Full fleet analysis at no cost



Helps nonprofits build capacity by matching them with skilled volunteers seeking to give back to causes they care about. They work with organizations to scope projects in areas including marketing, web design, fundraising, operations and Board development, and then connect them with professionals who have both the skills to help and a passion for their cause. *25% off the cost of a Catchafire subscription.



Donorworx helps nonprofits raise money by executing face-to-face fundraising campaigns including retail campaigns, door to door and street fundraising. Their professional and respectful fundraisers engage with the public and inspire them to take action and support a charity



Provides audit, accounting, tax and advisory services that help nonprofits achieve maximum efficiency. Nonprofit organizations need trusted advisors with the skill and insight to address their unique needs- G.T. Reilly & Company is here to help. *Free initial consultation



One of the largest regional accounting firms in New England, their experienced professionals and access to the best resources ensure nonprofit clients receive the highest quality accounting services.



This series of industry-specific live trainings and on DVD-ROMs are uniquely designed to teach you how to set up and enter transactions common for your industry. Specializing in solutions for nonprofits, QuickBooks� Made Easy has trained more than 35,000 students in over 1,500 locations across the country. *Live Training: $20 Off DVD+Manual Training: $50-$100 Off Tech Support: $99 off



The Mediation Group saves resources, time and stress for people and organizations by helping them resolve tough conflicts with a caring, interdisciplinary approach. They can serve as neutral mediators to help find a solution everyone can live with, assist in facilitating a difficult meeting, or equip an organization with the tools to navigate conflicts better in the future.