A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        


Excellence Award Spotlight: Get to know the Advocacy & Young Professional Finalists

Pictured is finalist Robbie Bergquist with US troops.

The 32 finalists for MNN's Nonprofit Excellence Awards represent the best-of-the-best in the sector. From the wide range of life experiences, backgrounds, and skill sets of the nonprofit employees, to the diversity of the missions served by each organization, the Nonprofit Excellence Award finalists represent all that makes the sector unique. We'll be profiling these finalists leading up to Nonprofit Awareness Day. Here's a look at a few of them. 


Advocacy: Changing the Game

The finalists in the advocacy category work tirelessly to bring about change and results. For instance, finalist The Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN), brought together faith, community, and labor organizations, as well as thousands of volunteers, to advocate on behalf of low-income workers.  By lending a voice to those often unheard, MCAN played an integral role in raising the state's minimum wage to $11 and added up to 5 days of sick time for all workers. Also working on behalf of the underrepresented, Citizens for Juvenile Justice led a multi-year effort, their Justice For Kids campaign, which successfully changed the state law and moved kids under 18 to the juvenile system. And victims of rape and sexual assault rely on finalist Victim Rights Law Center to help move the needle on this important subject. The organization has led the local and national dialogue on the topic of college campus sexual assault, increased public awareness through earned media efforts, and helped change policies at colleges and at the federal level.


Young Nonprofit Professional: Forging the Future

Finalists for the Young Professional category are establishing themselves as major forces to be reckoned with, demonstrating the bright future that lies ahead for the nonprofit sector. At the age of 12, Robbie Bergquist, with his sister, Brittany, recognized the limited availability of affordable, secure communications services for active-duty military members and veterans and established Cell Phones for Soldiers. Now 23, Robbie continues to grow and expand the reach of his organization, which so far has provided more than 213 million minutes of talk time for members of the military.  At 28, Vanessa Aguirreche Snow serves as Manager of Organizing and Policy Initiatives at Hyde Square Task Force, a position that allows her to merge her passions for art and social activism and where she's made a clear impact with accomplishments such as creating the Youth Arts Advocacy initiative, which brings together 15 youth arts groups in Greater Boston.  


Scott Bailey, the 27-year-old Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston, is making a name for himself as he leads his organization in supporting high-growth, high-impact startups.  Scott joined the MassChallenge team as an intern and after working his way up through the organization, has made a dramatic impact on the company's effectiveness and long-term success. In the field of education, Sara Bartolino, 27-year-old co-founder of Transforming Education, works to protect youth, ensuring that students are equipped with the mindset, essential skills, and habits needed to succeed in college, a career, and life through unique measurement of their socio-emotional learning and cognitive development.


You can learn about the other impressive finalists here. And don't forget to register for Nonprofit Awareness Day on June 8 at the State House, presented by Citizens Bank, when we'll celebrate all 32 finalists and announce the winners in each category. 

TOMORROW: MNN FREE Webinar- Building Your Bench Strength through Succession Planning
We've heard time and again from nonprofits in varying subsectors across the state that they are facing an acute senior leadership shortage. To address these concerns, tomorrow, our monthly webinar will explore effective succession planning practices and tools. 

This free webinar will take place tomorrow, April 29 from 10-11am. It is hosted by MNN and presented by Tom LaSalvia, Senior Consultant at Raffa. Register now.

Spam Folders Could Be Costing Your Nonprofit
According to a new study, as reported in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, nonprofits lose an average of $15,000 each year due to their fundraising solicitations being intercepted by spam filters. The study found that donations made in response to emails accounted for about a third of online fundraising revenue in 2013, however 1 in 8 emails never reaches an inbox. By reducing their spam rate, nonprofits could boost email fundraising revenue by around 14%.  Read the full article.
Join the local social media movement to let everyone know why #nonprofi tsmakesense
Many residents don't know the incredible impact nonprofits have on them each and every day. So join us for our  annual #nonprofitsmakesense  social media campaign leading up to Nonprofit Awareness Day, presented by Citizens Bank, to increase  awareness of the impact and diversity of the thousands of nonprofits across the state in a fun and easy to share  way. 

Last year's #nonprofitsmakesense campaign engaged approximately 600 social media partners and resulted in 2.8 million+  impressions . Join the #nonprofitsmakesense movement and let your voice be heard!

MNN will be highlighting #nonprofitsmakesense partners through our social media channels, website, and  newsletter. Once you sign-on as a partner we'll send you some fun ideas for how to   participate and increase your social media visibility Become a #nonprofitmakesense partner today!
Disaster Relief for MA Nonprofits
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that certain nonprofits located in the MA counties of Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester may be eligible to apply for low interest disaster loans. Organizations may borrow up to $2 million  to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Click here for more information.  The filing deadline for physical property damage is June 12.  

Policy Report: Helping Leaders Use Evidence to Make Smarter Choices
To better understand how a marketplace focused on learning and continuous improvement can lead decision-makers to make smarter choices and achieve better outcomes, Results for America and The Bridgespan Group released The What Works Marketplace: Helping Leaders Use Evidence to Make Smarter Choices. This report emphasizes the importance of having a strong supply of and demand for information regarding the evidence of effectiveness of policies and programs, in order to help elected officials improve outcomes and make our government more effective and efficient.  
NONPROFIT 411:  A Practical, No-Nonsense Guide to Building a Movement 

It can seem like magic - the way movements come together - and in some ways, it is. The chemistry that members of a movement feel when moving toward something bigger than themselves is inspiring. But the ingredients of a movement aren't as mysterious as they may seem and waiting for that spark of inspiration may leave you waiting for far too long. Movements, large and small, can all be dissected into a few essential elements. Get these elements right, match them with a disciplined and passionate team and you have the potential spark something far-reaching.


Define the problem

Every movement needs a purpose: the clearer the purpose, the more powerful the movement. We've all seen what can happen to a movement when its purpose becomes muddled.  Volunteers lose focus, the timeline gets stretched, and opportunities to broadcast the cause clearly and compellingly are wasted. Part of knowing what you're fighting for depends on knowing what you're fighting against...Read more. 

Executive Director, Hyde Square Task Force

Development Director, Design Museum Foundation

Senior Manager, Policy Program, Ceres

Director of Program Excellence, United Teen Equality Center

Communications Manager, Hyams Foundation, Inc.

Chief Financial Officer, Community Connections inc.

Education Program Assistant, Barr Foundation

Vice President of Programs, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

Executive Director, ActonTV

Executive Director, The James Library & Center for the Arts

Chief Operating Officer, Ceres

Executive Director, Wellspring House

Director of Development, Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism

Manager of Marketing and Communications, El Hogar Ministries, Inc.

Senior Innovation Manager, Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund

President and Chief Executive Officer, Easter Seals Massachusetts

Grant & Award Opportunities

ESA Foundation Grant, Due May 15
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, accepting LOIs

Trainings & Events 
*Discounts for MNN members

FREE Building Your Bench Strength Through Succession Planning, Webinar, April 29

Finding your Middle Class Millionaires, Hyannis, April 29

Lead, Follow, & Get Out of the Way, Holyoke, April 29

Moving Beyond Icebreakers Level 1: Understanding the Power of an Interactive Model, Boston, April 30

*Succession Planning: More Than Assessing Bench Strength, Boston, April 30

*Get on Board! One-Day Board Service Bootcamp, Boston, May 1

Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership, early application deadline, May 1

*Fearless Presenting, Boston, May 7

Results-Based Accountability: 4-Part Series, Brattleboro, VT, May 5

Social Capital & Health Forum, Boston, May 8

Next Steps Workshop for Nonprofit CEOs, Hartford, CT, May 11-12

Focusing on the Right Risks: Nonprofit Financial Roundtable, Quincy, May 12

The Road to Your First Successful Grant, Boston, May 12

Nonprofit Incorporation Workshop, Boston, May 12

Using Community Preservation Act Funding for Affordable Housing, Worcester, May 12

The New Massachusetts Sick Time Law and How it Affects Nonprofits, Boston, May 13

*Effective Supervision: Creating a Culture of Mutual Respect, Boston, May 14

 Building Evaluation Capacity, Boston, May 15

"The Bottom Line: We Gain By Giving" Service & Giving Report Launch, Boston, May 18

Landlord Strategies for Dealing with Non-Complying Commercial Tenant, Boston, May 19

The Paulsen Perspective: Update on the economy(contact Joseph Crowley to register: 617.210.3901 or Joseph.crowley@wellscap.com), Boston, May 19

Fundraising 101, Hyannis, May 20

Exploring the World of Corporate Sponsorship, Boston, May 28

2015 Massachusetts Conference on Service & Volunteering, Framingham, June 1

How to Maintain Not-for-Profit Status, Boston, June 4

Creating Sustainable Funding for your Nonprofit, Boston, June 10

How to Prepare a Multi-Channel Fundraising Plan, Hyannis, June 17

Where is the Line? The Board Duties and the Management Responsibilities, Lawrence, June 25

 *Public Conversations Workshops (contact Program Manager Katie Hyten at khyten@publicconversations.org to receive special MNN member discounts)



The Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership is recruiting new students for its award-winning programs in nonprofit management and leadership. INML targets the entire spectrum of nonprofit leaders: executives, middle managers and a new generation of young leaders, all to ensure that superior leadership skills are available to all levels of leadership with organizations. To learn more, visit www.inml.org, or contact Yolanda Coentro at ycoentro@inml.org.


The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) entitled Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) and Health Care Entities (Topic 954): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities.  The proposed ASU is intended to improve the financial reporting of nonprofits and to provide more information to donors, creditors, grantors and others institutions. Potential changes could impact reporting, disclosure and presentation of finances. You are encouraged to submit feedback on the plan by August 20, 2015. You can learn more on AAF CPA's blog.

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

New & Returning Affiliates
*Discount for MNN members

The agency assists nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies with strategic planning, organizational development, program design and evaluation, fund development, and more. *free 2-hour consultation to MNN Members, in addition to a 10% discount to MNN members on hourly and daily consulting rates.

Egmont Associates is a full-service national executive search firm specializing in CEO searches for nonprofits and foundations.



TriNet's bundled HR products cover the core services of payroll, benefits, risk & compliance, an HR team and a cloud platform so you can focus on what your organization does best.