A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        

Excellence Awards Spotlight: Communication, Innovation, and Leadership

Nonprofit Awareness Day is around the corner, and that means we're just a couple weeks away from announcing the winners of this year's Nonprofit Excellence Awards. Over the past few weeks we have highlighted the amazing finalists across five of the categories (read the first and second pieces). In this final article, we spotlight finalists in the Communications, Innovation, and Leadership categories...



The finalists in the Communications category demonstrate how to use social media and technology, plus good 'ol creativity, to increase brand recognition, reach and donations. Fenway Health, an organization with the mission to enhance the well-being of LGBT communities, recognized the crucial need for improvement within their website, and as a result developed and executed a comprehensive 

communications and social media strategy to bring the organization's mission and brand to life.  Urban Edge Housing Corporation, which develops and sustains healthy and diverse communities in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and surrounding areas, also recognized the need to build up and advance its website, one of many components of its robust  5 year communications strategy. The organization has already found success with its newly created Facebook page, attaining an organic reach of over 25,000 potential first-time homebuyers. 


Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program, which provides therapeutic horseback riding to children with special needs, capitalized on a unique opportunity to combine new means of communication with more traditional story telling practices to increase donations. Their new communications strategy, known as the "friend-of-our-friend" circle, used mail, e-news, earned media and social media to share information about the organization through the use of real, personal stories that have a lasting emotional impact. The innovative approach proved effective, as 54% of the attendees at a recent event had no prior relationship to Lovelane, yet helped the organization raise a substantial amount of money.


Click here to continue learning about this year's finalists for the Innovation and Leadership categories. Winners will be announced at Nonprofit Awareness Day.

Sign-up now to attend Nonprofit Awareness Day & let everyone know why #nonprofitsmakesense
Don't forget to register for MNN's celebration of Nonprofit Awareness Day on June 8 at the State House, presented by Citizens Bank.  Make sure you secure your seat to be a part of this special event celebrating the Commonwealth's most innovative and effective nonprofit organizations. We will also be presenting Senate President Stan Rosenberg with the Public Officials of the Year Award for his support of the nonprofit sector.

After you register, take a moment to share why  #nonprofitsmakesense by joining MNN's social media movement leading up to Nonprofit Awareness Day. Help increase awareness of the impact and diversity of the thousands of nonprofits across the state in a fun and easy to share way.  Use the hashtag #nonprofitsmakesense on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to share photos, stories and stats that highlight your efforts. Learn more here. 

2015 MNN Conference Workshop RFP

Proposals due this Friday, May 29

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network is now

accepting proposals for our 2015 annual conference: Advance, taking place on October 21 in Framingham. This conference, which will bring together more than 600 nonprofit professionals and for-profit affiliates from across the state, will focus on advancing the sector's workforce for a deeper impact and a stronger Commonwealth. 


We are seeking proposals for 20 workshops that will make our 2015 conference the best yet. If you have information or best practices to share, whether cutting edge trends or timeless advice, this conference will be the perfect opportunity to highlight your organization, business or educational institution. Before submitting a proposal, please read the 2015 Conference Workshop Request for Proposal. You can learn more about the conference and submit your proposal here. We also urge you to forward this RFP to any colleagues or connections who you think might be interested in proposing a workshop for the conference. The deadline for proposals is Friday, May 29.

Survey on Vocational Technical Education
The Coalition for Vocational Technical Education is seeking organizations to participate in their survey of current and potential beneficiaries of vocational education programs in Massachusetts, including employers; school administrators, students, graduates, and parents; and the community at large. Survey results are intended to help both the Baker administration and citizens of the Commonwealth.  Click  here  to take the survey. Deadline to complete is June 15, 2015.

New IRS Rules for Political Groups Could Come Out Next Month
According to The New York Times, the IRS could issue new regulations related to political activities by nonprofit organizations as early as next month. Current regulations do not contain clear guidelines on how much money nonprofits can spend on election campaigns and what constitutes permissible political activity. The article was quick to point out that it is unlikely that the new rules will be in place prior to the 2016 election, in which its estimated that nonprofits will spend hundreds of millions of dollars. Read the full article.
NONPROFIT 411:  Ready, Fire, Aim: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Organizational Development


These days there is an ever greater emphasis on planning, impact, and measurement.  But the orderly approach reflected in these activities is not necessarily the best way to start an organization or even a project.  Planning is a human activity, replete with human feelings and foibles.  And the world rarely stays still long enough to conform to the conditions we plan for.  So flexibility and nimbleness in responding to changing conditions-both threatening and ripe with opportunity-are among the keys to organizational effectiveness.


If ready, aim, fire is the motto for the planning mode, I want to propose an alternative: ready, fire, aim.  In this mode, 'ready' does not mean you have all your ducks in order.  It means that you have a good idea that both turns you on and strikes you as practical.  You think about it for a while, let it marinate in your thinking.  It still sounds good. Read more...

Director of Business Development , National Institute for Children's Health Quality
Executive Director, Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership
President and CEO, Kennedy Donovan Center
Major Gifts Officer/Capital Campaign Manager, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, Inc.
Controller, Italian Home for Children
Director of Operations, Worcester County Food Bank
Executive Director, Link House

Executive Director, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition
Executive Director, Young Audiences Massachusetts

Communications Manager, Hyams Foundation, Inc.

Executive Director, Waltham Fields Community Farm

Executive Director, Kids4Peace Boston

Executive Director, Institute for Energy and Sustainability

Chief Financial Officer, Community Connections Inc.

Director of Development and Communications, B'nai B'rith Housing New England

Strategic Financial Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay


Grant & Award Opportunities

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, accepting LOIs

Trainings & Events 
*Discounts for MNN members

Exploring the World of Corporate Sponsorship, Boston, May 28

Finding the "Best" Candidate: A Recruiting and Hiring Clinic, Boston, May 28

Fostering Entrepreneurship through Shared Workspace Models, Worcester, May 28

Moving Beyond Icebreakers Level 2: Designing and Facilitating Interactive Agendas, Boston, May 29

Program Evaluation 101, Webinar, May 29

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

*Advanced Supervision: Decode, Identify and Practice, Boston, June 4

Health and Community Development: Leveraging Resources and Opportunities for Collective Impact, Framingham, MA

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

Improving your Conflict Competency, Brookline, June 4

MetroWest Nonprofit Network Meet the Funders, Framingham, June 5

Quarterly Encore Boston Network meeting, Boston, June 5 (RSVP to encoreboston1@gmail.com)

Horizons for Homeless Children Playspace Volunteer Training, Brockton, June 6

A Toast to Nonprofit Excellence- Young Professionals Networking Event, Boston, June 8

Storytelling with Data Workshop Session 1, Boston, June 8-12

Careers in Community Development, Boston, June 9

No Boundaries: The Changing Face of Health Care, Boston, June 9

Creating Sustainable Funding for your Nonprofit, Boston, June 10

Storytelling with Data Workshop Session 2, Boston, June 15-19

Nonprofit Incorporation Workshop, Boston, June 16

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

401K Fiduciary Half-Day Training, Waltham, June 18 (RSVP to shirley@tpsuniversity.com)

*Reflection, Connection, and Mindfulness, Boston, June 18

Program Evaluation 201, Webinar, June 19

Storytelling with Data Workshop Session 3, Boston, June 22-27

Convergence OF Accounting & Technology Breakfast, Boston, June 23

Financial Accounting Standards Board Roundtable, Quincy, June 25 (RSVP to christie.andrade@CLAconnect.com)

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)


World Wide Week of Partnership: During this week, experienced consultants donate their skills to non-profit organizations through on site training. During the Organization Workshop, you'll learn why partnership is critical to success, what gets in the way, and the role of leaders in promoting effective partnerships within and beyond your organization. To request the Organization Workshop, please write to info@worldwideweekofpartnership.org . Visit Facebook for more information.

Host a Fellow for the Quaker Voluntary Service! Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) Boston is a faith-based service year program for young adults (age 21-30) interested in social justice and structural transformation. QVS Boston is looking for nonprofit partners (each pay $15,000 for a full-time, year-long Fellow) for this upcoming year (Sept 2015 to August 2016).  Please be in touch with Hilary Burgin (hilary@quakervoluntaryservice.org) if you are interested in learning more about hosting a Fellow!  
Check out MNN's online Business Directory  for companies throughout MA. 

New & Returning Affiliates
*Discount for MNN members

ADVIZA helps organizations achieve their missions and focus on results, whether it is building a better management team, coaching senior leaders, or developing a strategic plan. The agency provides services to executives, senior managers, and boards who want to navigate the challenges associated with organizational growth, leadership changes, and new directions.

The company is a worldwide managed DNS provider specializing in Anycast DNS, Server Monitoring, Failover, Load Balancing, and more. With their next-generation suite of DNS, domain management services, CloudfloorDNS enable and accelerate organizations' ability to achieve online business objectives. *25% discount on DNS Service, Failover, Loadbalancing and monitoring. 20% off consulting service for online presence, security and Disaster Prevention planning.

Simplify and consolidate your charitable solicitation registrations nationwide. With Harbor Compliance's annual service, your nonprofit will meet filing requirements and stay compliant, while also having access to annual report services, registered agent services, and nationwide corporate/license/tax exemption filings. *MNN members save $25 per state on charitable solicitation registration filings.


The firm provides a full range of writing, editing, and design services for nonprofit and education organizations. With expertise in both print and online marketing, the firm has helped dozens of nonprofits get their message across to members, funders, and other stakeholders.