A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        

21 Workshops, Countless Opportunities for Growth
An integral part of our annual conference are our informative and  engaging workshops   - and we promise this year won't disappoint! We've brought together experts in fields ranging from finance to development, communications to board management, and everywhere in between.  Whether you're looking to  boost personal productivity, or are in need of best practices to better engage staff and volunteers, we have the workshop for you .

The 21 workshops will be divided among two sessions.  Below are just a few of the exciting workshops taking place. For the full list, click here
  • 21st Century Grant Applications: Brief and to the Point 
  • Advancing Your Staff with Financial Information 
  • Communications: What is Essential and What Just Wastes Your Time?
  • Create and Sustain a Great Workplace through Succession Planning and Leadership Coaching 
  • Empowering Board Members for Successful Leadership
  • Adapting to an Outcomes-Based World: What Every Nonprofit Needs to Know
  • Seeking Growth: Lessons for Scaling a Nonprofit
  • Digital Strategy for Today and Tomorrow 
  • Found Time: Boost your Efficiency and Productivity
Through inspiring case studies, discussion, and hands-on exercises, attendees will leave the workshops equipped with the knowledge and best practices to perform more effectively as members of the nonprofit community. Click here to learn more about the workshops and presenters. The workshops are in addition to the six highly-interactive Breakthrough Sessions covering a range of topics in every career stage.

Ready for Change?
By Hez G. Norton, Third Sector New England
This past fall, Third Sector New England conducted a study of leadership in New England. We surveyed 877 leaders - primarily executive directors - and 330 board members of nonprofit organizations to advance o ur collective understanding of nonprofit leadership in New England - who these leaders are and the challenges they face.
Our findings, published in   Leadership New England: Essential Shifts for a Thriving Nonprofit Sector, shows that the sector's success and impact continue to rely on unsustainable trends including: overworked and underpaid leaders and staff, a never-ending fight to balance shaky budgets with fickle funding streams, and little money for professional development and growth. These are not new challenges for the sector, yet they continue to be chronic issues.
We are about to experience the biggest generational shift in this country as boomers retire. The departure statistics on New England leaders, which generally mirror national numbers, underscore the importance of supporting organizations to prepare for leadership transitions more effectively. The percentage of leaders saying they will leave their jobs in the next five years has remained fairly stable across similar studies for a decade (we are just beginning to see the start of Boomer departures) and calls for succession planning across the sector have been issued again and again in countless reports, blogs and other forums. Yet most organizations still do not have succession plans. Read the full article. 

Ice Bucket Challenge: Hot on the Trail for a Cure
Though some were skeptical of the true impact of last summer's Ice Bucket Challenge, a recent study in Science Magazine has shown that the proceeds earned during this innovative social media campaign have allowed for major progress towards a cure for the debilitating and fatal illness. Johns Hopkins medical researcher, Jonathan Ling, shared that the $115 million raised has been put to good use, "All of your donations have been amazingly helpful, and we have been working tirelessly to find a cure." Read the full article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy


The State's 2016 Budget, Finally Final
With the state's fiscal year 2016 budget now complete, we can see where the major changes were made and how funding will impact the sector.  MassBudget crafted a fantastic analysis, as they always do, highlighting that this year's budget makes few changes to funding related to education and community safety. New initiatives include an increase in the value of the state's earned income tax credit as well as a focus on improving the MBTA and addressing substance abuse. MassBudget also notes that the state's budget "relies heavily on temporary strategies to balance the budget."  Read the full analysis here.

Donation Processing Rules Are Changing, Is Your Nonprofit Protected?
Beginning this October, credit card giants such as American Express, Visa, and Mastercard will issue changes to their liability rules regarding card-present credit card fraud as a result of the institution of credit cards embedded with microchips, which are said to be much more secure.While credit card issuers were previously held accountable for fraudulent charges, these new liability rules will hold accountable whichever party is least protected. It is important that nonprofits secure the proper equipment to accept donations made using micro-chipped credit cards at events and other fundraising opportunities, so as not to be liable for any fraudulent charges.   Learn more about changes from the Nonprofit Times.  
NONPROFIT 411: Hire Out or Invest Within? That is the Question
By Shaun Adamec,  Director of Strategic Communications at the 
Nellie Mae Education Foundation
, and Founder and President of 
Adamec Communications

Shaun will be presenting on this topic at MNN's annual conference ADVANCE on  
October 21. Click here to learn more about this topic or t he 20+ other exciting and essential options.

Mission-driven organizations almost universally recognize the value of strategic communications. A well-crafted brand strategy can generate buzz. A savvy media strategy can attract attention. And a professional look and feel for any organization can invite donors. But limited budgets and expertise often result in communications being folded into the job description of a current staff member whose responsibilities include a number of focus areas. For nonprofit Boards, it can be a tough sell to dedicate a full-time staff position to communications, when those funds could instead go to directly supporting the mission. So nonprofit leaders are faced with the question when consideration communications needs: Should we hire out or invest within? Read more...
Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
Chief Financial Officer, Sunshine Village
Executive Director, YWCA of Western Massachusetts
Executive Director, Four Paws International
Chief Financial Officer, Cape Cod Child Development
President and CEO, Friendship Home
Executive Director, Boston Cyclists Union
Chief Development Officer, Facing History and Ourselves
Chief Financial Officer, New England Village
Chief of External Engagement, Citizen Schools

Grant & Award Opportunities
Quality of Life Grants, Due Aug. 18
Nonprofit Skills-Based Volunteer Project, Applications due Aug. 21
GRAMMY Foundation Grants, LOI due Oct. 1
YoungArts Program, Application due Oct. 16

Trainings & Events 
*Discounts for MNN members
Introduction to Grant Writing, Boston, September 15
Alignment Advantage Workshop, Burlington, September 17
* Be a Better Communicator, Holyoke, September 17
Tech Gives Back Day of Service, city-wide, September 17
Plan your Intergenerational Programs, East Longmeadow, September 22
Quickbooks Made Easy: Love Seminar, Boston, September 24
Courage in Leaving Retreat, Essex, September 29-30, December 7-8
* Fearless Presenting, Boston, October 15
Social Media for Nonprofits, Cambridge, October 19
* ADVANCE: MNN's Annual Conference, Framingham, October 21
* Power of Dialogue, Boston, October 22-24

Earn your certificate in Nonprofit Management!  If you're eager to gain valuable expertise that will make you a more efficient and effective nonprofit leader, enroll in Marlboro College's renowned 80-hour series that will help you gain and refine the skills necessary to strengthen your organization. Click here to learn more about the program.