Thursday, August 26, 2010

As Political Season Heats Up, What about Advocacy for Your Nonprofit?

To help you select your nonprofit/fundraising reading , we've asked VLAA summer interns to describe and comment on some of the books available in our G&FC collection (and elsewhere.) Here's another review:

The Lobbying and Advocacy Handbook for Nonprofit Organizations by Marcia Avner

This guide was written for 501(c)3 charities. Other types of nonprofits are governed by different rules and should seek out other materials. The author herself, however, seems to suggest that this guide is one of several that organizations should read before launching a lobbying campaign. The handbook was creatively written. Besides the basics of lobbying, it discusses such topics as deciding whether to become part of a coalition, rehearsing meetings with the legislature, activities lobbyists should avoid, and how to handle failure. The author also describes organizing group treasure hunts and field trips to familiarize nonprofit members with the places and people involved in the lobbying process and with the lobbying process itself. In addition, the guide’s sample checklists and worksheets will facilitate compliance and good record-keeping, alerting readers to the fact that nonprofits are limited by laws governing reporting and expenditures. Lastly, the guide contains sample lobbying materials used by a nonprofit organization in Minnesota, including a proposal, campaign summary sheet, and a lobby-day agenda. While the author does provide some information about the differences between direct and grassroots lobbying, the distinctions are limited in scope.

-- Shannon Martínez, Law Student at Saint Louis University School of Law

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Want a Short, Yet Detailed, Overview of Grants Process?

To help you select your nonprofit/fundraising reading this summer, we've asked VLAA summer interns to describe and comment on some of the books available in our G&FC collection (and elsewhere)

The Art and Science of Grantsmanship
by John Tesoriero

Less than 200 pages long, this guide quickly takes the reader through the grant application process and still manages to give enough detailed instructions so that even veterans could learn a thing or two. The amount of detail may slightly overwhelm readers new to the grant application process, but the guide serves well as an introductory overview of the process. Suggestions on how and where to locate grant opportunities both within the local community and on the internet are included. Chapters about post-award administration and closing the grant project and information about what to do if an organization does not use all of its grant funds will be helpful for those who have already applied for and received grants. The author has been active in the field of grants for almost 30 years and his knowledge is apparent.
-- Shannon Martínez, VLAA Intern
Law Student at Saint Louis University School of Law

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Come Focus on Program Development, Evaluation Aug. 24

Tues. Aug. 24, 3-5 pm, Program Development with the End in Mind: Claire Hundelt from the Nonprofit Services Center will present a different approach to project development that first focuses on the overall program goals and then builds the program toward meeting the end objectives. Participants will learn more about;
  • the relationship between strong programming and evaluation,

  • use of tools like the Logic Model and

  • how to align program development with proposal development
    The program here at Schlafly is free but preregistration is requested; call 314-539-0357 or e-mail me