Monday, December 11, 2006

American Express, Guidestar and You

Have you thought about setting up online giving on your website but haven't gotten around to it? Not sure if it is worth the investment? Don't want to share the donor contibution with the merchant fee? Well guess what - the good news is you may get some of those "I want to give but only with the convenience of my credit card and online" donors anyway. But make sure they can find you and like what they see and that part is free.

By now almost all of you have heard about Guidestar and whether or not you like it is a different topic. For those of you who haven't heard of them make sure you check out their website - and I mean very thoroughly.

Guidestar has every nonprofit that files a 990 in its database. In fact it has your 990 and all of the information on it in their database. Anyone can search Guidestar and find this info - they don't have to show up at your fron door and ask for it. Donor advised funds like those at Fidelity use the Guidestar database as its source of legitimate charitable organizations that funds can be distributed too.

But there is something new. At least I just found out about it. American Express sent me an email letting me know that I could make charitable donations and charge them to my American Express card. I clicked through and found that the database they use is Guidestar. I typed in several organizations that came up and then one that didn't. I tried narrowing to the name and zipcode - no deal. Finally I tried a search on "human services" and the zipcode of the organization. There it was with a hyphen. I checked the envelope and newsletter of the organization - no hyphen.

My advice to all of you is to go to Guidestar and check yourself out. Search in different ways. Make sure you are under the right category. If you are really human services, you shouldn't be under hospitals just because you serve a client base with a particular illness.

Next bit of advice - scrutinze your 990 this year. It is not just a tax form anymore, it is potentially a marketing document. When you make a short list of your programs on the 990 - spell them out, list the most important first, eliminate old programs and make sure you state the specific constituency you serve. For example instead of "Day care" is it really "Early childhood development and day care for inner city children"

If someone gets one of these emails from American Express and thinks of your organization as one it might give to in this spontaneous way you want to make sure they can find you on the list and your services sound like something they would want to give too.

Online giving is still small but it is growing and even small nonprofits should not brush it aside and not give it any attention.


Marion Conway Consulting

Friday, December 08, 2006

Great Nonprofit Blogs

I have been visiting other nonprofit blogs and I found that there are some great places that you will want to bookmark and visit once in awhile. A year ago when I checked out other blogs about nonprofits it was very slim pickins. Today there are quite a number of good ones. You can find them by googling the topic words you are interested in and the word "blog." Here are just a few that I have visited recently and found to be chuck full of great information, statistics, links to articles, etc.

This site has great infomation about donors and donor development.

Donor In Site

This site, another favorite of mine, provides advice such as - visit your own website and time how long it takes to figure out how to and to complete making a donation. This may sound basic but for too many nonprofits this is not as easy as it should be.

Donor Power Blog

The content on this site is a bit (well more than a bit) dry but it is straightforward and timely. IRS rulings, congressional goings-on and more abound.

Nonprofit Law Blog

This is just a sampling to wet your appetite. Check out the blogs on any topic you'd like. There really is a goldmine of information about what's happening in the Nonprofit sector.

Marion Conway Consulting

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Online Giving - New Major Study Realease Findings

Network for Good has released a study of $100 million in donations from over 23,000 individual donors. The report entitled "The Young and the Generous" provides key insights such as:
Online givers are young (38-39 years old) and generous, giving several times more than offline donors on average.
Virtually all of online givers (96%) have given to charity before, but a sizable proportion (38%) is new to online philanthropy.
Online giving is tracking to the trends of online shopping and banking - it is growing rapidly - and it is the avenue of choice for donors during disasters.
Most people give online during the week, during business hours.
Top searches are disaster related, plus "children," "cancer," and "homeless."
Small organizations benefit from listings on aggregation sites; at Network for Good, half of dollars go to small-medium sized charities.
People say they give online because it's easier than writing a check and a fast way to respond to disasters.

I can post a lot more about this subject and I cover it much more extensively in my Technology Planning, Funding and Resources workshop.

if you would like me to post more infomation on online giving for nonprofits, either send me an email or leave a comment for this post.

You can read and download the whole report at:

Network for Good - The Young and the Generous

Marion Conway Consulting

Monday, November 27, 2006

New Sources of Volunteers

No matter what topic I am offering a workshop in for nonprofits, the subject of the lack of volunteers always comes up. I talk about some new possibilites for volunteers today but what I am always surprised at is how few organizations take advantage of college students.

College students may be available for free as interns, or at a very low rate as work-study students where their funding from federal grants requires that they work. Some colleges only employ students in on-campus jobs to fulfill this requirement, but others seek community service jobs in nonprofits. You have to find out who is responsible for interns and work study at nearby colleges and they can describe how it works - it is different at every college. College fraternities and sororities frequently have a community service requirement as part of their national affiliation. Some colleges also have a community service requirement associated with some courses. My daughter had to complete community service as part of a required course in ethics. She was an America Reads tutor and received a nomination from the program director for college student volunteer of the year. Other students want to have volunteering as a resume builder and then of course there are those who just want to volunteer to help others. This all adds up to a lot of possibilities.

Now, a new study says that the number of college students who volunteer has grown sharply over the past four years, due in large part to Sept. 11th. The report, "College Students Helping America," was released by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that manages AmeriCorps and other service programs.

About 3.3 million students, or one in three, volunteered their time in 2005, up about 20 percent from 2002, a growth rate that is more than double that for adults over the same period. Much of that growth was driven by students who were in high school or entering college on 9/11/01 and who witnessed the acts of firefighters, police and others in the wake of the disaster.

You can check out the full reports with statistical data and charts at:

College Students Helping America Report

Marion Conway Consulting

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Conference on Philanthropy Report - Part 1

On November 3rd I attended the Association of Fundraising Professionals - NJ Chapter's annual Conference on Philanthropy. There was an outstanding choice of workshops and keynote speakers. If you haven't attended one of these conferences in the past, I strongly suggest you consider doing so next year. Today I want to blog about the Luncheon Keynote Speaker - Carol Weisman. Carol is a well known author and speaker in the nonprofit sector. Her topic was the same as her newest book - Raising Charitable Children. She gave a great speech about introducing the concepts of philanthropy with children and gave excellent advice.

I thought her most important idea for young children was to introduce the idea in a positive manner as an extra rather than as something they are giving away instead of getting themselves. Carol had some interesting ideas about how to approach this. She recommended that you start with asking children what made them happy and what made them sad in the last year. Their answers then become the inspiration for suggesting charities that they may support.

Carol talked about a family who told her 3 children that on the second night of Hannukah they would each have $36 to give away and how this had become an annual event and each year each child found a way to leverage their gift and get more than $36 to give away. She also described how she involved her own children in choosing the charities that her family supported.

Carol was definitely inspirational and I came away with great ideas for my clients and my own family.

I have to run now because I am working on a deadline but I will post again about two other sessions at the conference.

Marion Conway Consulting

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

10 Easy and Cost Effective Ways to Promote Your New or Redesigned Web Site

TechSoup has a great weekly eNewsletter - TechSoup- By the Cup - that I strongly encourage you to sign up for if you are not already subscribed. Each edition has featured articles, a list of upcoming events and actual soup recipes. This week's has two especially good featured articles. The first article chronicles the experiences of three nonprofits who have 3 different new donor databases. It is always good to hear about actual experiences in addition to the more clinical analysis available comparing features and costs of various products.

But my favorite article is entitled "Promoting Your New (or Redesigned) Web Site. These simple ideas include everything from sending out an email announcing the web site to sending out press releases. You can read the whole article at:

TechSoup - Promoting Your New (or Redesigned) Web Site

And don't forget to go to TechSoup and sign up for By the Cup!

Marion Conway Consulting

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Grant Writing Made A Little Easier

Use the same application more than once!

You all know that fundraising is not one of my areas of expertise. However, once in a while I have an entry on this blog because I know that all of you are very interested in this topic and it might keep you coming back. I just learned something as I was doing some research on a different topic so I thought I'd share it it with you.

I know how grant writing is a time consuming, heart wrenching task that you all wish you had to put less time and energy into in order to stay in business. Do you know that there is a common form accepted by over 60 grantmakers - some of which are the large ones that you probably apply to anyway?

Wait it gets even better. About 30 of these organizations also accpet a common report form!

You can get the forms and learn more about this topic at the Council of NJ Grantmakers website. The site includes a list of grantmakers who accept the forms. These streamlined forms were developed to assist in the often time-consuming grant preparation and reporting process.

Check this out today. It may be a great timesaver and an opportunity to apply for a few more grants without having reinvent the wheel.

Council of NJ Grantmakers

Marion Conway Consulting

Monday, October 16, 2006

Benchmarking for Nonprofits - Workshop by Marion

This post is part of my continuing update on conferences and training opportunities. My last public workshop of this calendar year is sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and will be held on November 15th in Hackensack. This brand new full day workshop on Benchmarking for Nonprofits is a hands on workshop which includes the outstanding text Benchmarking for Nonprofits: How to Measure, Manage and Improve Performance by Jason Saul. I was a reviewer of the manuscript and I am quoted on the back cover. But guess what - I have never met Jason Saul! My work was through Fieldstone Alliance, the publisher.

Topics will include the five key steps of benchmarking, best practices, forming a benchmarking team, how to measure what matters and the difference between benchmarking and evaluation.

The fee for this course includes continental breakfast, lunch and a copy of the text (a $35 value). It is important to register as far ahead as possible so that you will have the text on the day of the workshop.

Check out the Volunteer Center's website for more information.

Volunteer Center of Bergen County

Marion Conway Consulting

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Conference on Philanthropy - AFP-NJ Annual Conference on November 3, 2006

The NJ Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals has an outstanding program at their annual conference. There are morning and afternoon workshops on major and planned giving, marketing strategies, communicating with donors, professional development, annual giving and trends. In addition the Lunch Keynote speaker is Carol Weisman and her topic is "Raising Charitable Children." Carol is well known in the Nonprofit sector and I am personally looking forward to hearing her speak. The whole day is topped off with a reception and dinner.

I highly recommend that you take a look at the program at their website and seriously consider attending. if you see me, make sure you let me know you read about the conference on the blog.

Marion Conway Consulting

AFP - NJ Conference on Philanthropy

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Training, Conferences, Webinars. Its important to keep up to date. over the next few days I plan to post information about a variety of upcoming opportunties. Check the technology opportunities below and check back soon for other opporunties all coming up soon.

Five great online seminars online donation, blogging, e-newsletter, content management, constituent database tools are being offered by NTEN and Idealware inpartnership with each other. The NTEN and Idealware Software Series will focus on how to choose the types of software that nonprofits find most important: online donation, blogging, e-newsletter, content management, constituent database tools. The webinars will focus on candid advice, with product comparisons, screenshots, product demos and more.

> Choosing a Blogging Tool: Wed, September 27th
> Getting Started with Online Donations : Wed, October 11
> 10 Common Mistakes When Choosing Donor Databases: Wed, October 25
> Choosing an eNewsletter Tool: Wed, November 1
> Comparing Open Source CMSs: Joomla, Drupal, and Plone: Wed, November 15

All run from 11:00 AM to 12:30PM PST. Each of these sessions are $60 for NTEN members and Idealware eNews subscribers, or $100 for others.

View more information about the series atthe NTEN or Idealware websites.

NTEN Webinars Information


Marion Conway Consulting

Saturday, September 02, 2006

September and October Workshop Schedule

The Nonprofit Board - Responsibilities, Leadership and Emerging Trends for the 21st Century

September 20th - 6:30 - 8:30 PM
The Burgdorff Cultural Center,10 Durand Road, Maplewood, NJ
Directions at:
Sponsored by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs
Registration - Call Donna Drew-Pack at 973-268-3500, Ext 237

Technology Planning, Funding and Resources for Nonprofits
September 26th - 9AM - Noon
64 Passaic Street, Hacensack, NJ
Sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County
Registration - Call 201-489-9454

Technology Planning, Funding and Resources for Nonprofits
October 4th 6:30 - 8:30
The Bloomfield Public Library,90 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ
Sponsored by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs

Registration - Call Donna Drew-Pack at 973-268-3500, Ext 237

Hope to see you there!

If you would like to get my newsletter, please send an email to

Marion Conway Consulting

Volunteer Center of Bergen County

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Planned Giving - Are you Ready?

First of all the qualifier - I am not a fundraising expert.

I am interested in planned giving because I think this is a key ingredient to long term sustainability and is very often overlooked by smaller nonprofits. If fundraising is an issue in my strategic planning consulting work (it usually is) I usually like to see planned giving as part of the mix of their future plans.

It does take more work than an annual appeal and requires that certain systems be set up to function properly so like a trip to the dentist it is often delayed. But like the trip to the dentist, the upfront discomfort of setting up what needs to be done first is well worth the lasting results. A recent article in
provided some baseline entry points that a nonprofit should meet before starting a planned giving program. I thought I would share those with you today:

The non-profit should be at least 10 years old and have an established annual giving program that is growing year to year in donations.

At least 10 - 15 of the donors should have given every year for more than five years.

You should already have an establised major gifts program because this is your relationship base.

My thought for the day...Think about how establishing a Planned Giving Program can work for your organization...and do some homework on the subject. There is plenty of information out there on this subject.

Philanthropy Journal

Marion Conway Consulting

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Institute of Museum and Library Services annouced that October 1, 2006 as the deadline for applications for 2007 grants.

IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to grow and sustain a “Nation of Learners” because life-long learning is essential to a democratic society and individual success. Through its grant making, convenings, research and publications, the Institute empowers museums and libraries nationwide to provide leadership and services to enhance learning in families and communities, sustain cultural heritage, build twenty-first-century skills, and increase civic participation.

IMLS is accepting grant applications to the agency’s FY 2007 Conservation Project Support (CPS) program. “Roughly 190 million objects held in America’s collecting institutions are in need of treatment,” said agency director Dr. Anne-Imelda M. Radice citing the Heritage Health Index, the first comprehensive survey of the condition of preservation at museums, libraries, and archives. “We must do better. I strongly encourage museums to apply for these grants.”

CPS awards matching grants to help museums identify conservation needs and priorities and perform activities to ensure the safekeeping of their collections.

The 7 categories of Conservation Project Support are:
General Conservation Survey: to broadly assess all of the museum’s collections and environmental conditions
Detailed Conservation Survey: to systematically examine, item-by-item, all or part of a museum’s collections
Treatment: to conserve, preserve, or stabilize collections
Environmental Survey: to assess a museum’s environmental conditions, including temperature, relative humidity, and light
Environmental Improvements: to improve and/or stabilize climatic conditions such as light, temperature, relative humidity, vibration, mold/fungus, pests, or air pollutants
Research: to conduct innovative conservation research projects with potential benefits to the field of conservation
Training: to train staff (including volunteers and interns) in conservation and collections care*
The Institute will provide up to $150,000 for successful grant proposals. For Impact Projects, proposals with broad-reaching effects that benefit multiple institutions, the maximum is increased to $250,000. All applicants may also apply for up to $10,000 in additional funds for an Education Component that will educate the general public about their conservation project. Click here for grant application and guidelines.

To help museum applicants prepare proposals, the Institute will host technical assistance audio conference calls--dates, times, and telephone numbers to be announced.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Marion Conway Consulting

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

When a Grant Is Worth More Than the Money

Some grants are worth more than the dollar value of the grant. And the extras can be pretty important. All large foundations consider the sustainable of your organization as a factor in whether or not they provide support. But some foundations are building in programs to develop their grantees' sustainability. These "extras" can be worth a lot to your organization and frequently they are available to even small nonprofits who never could have afforded these extra services on their own. Here are a few examples.

Kellogg Foundation - Ensuring that its grantees survive is the goal of a new partnership the foundation created with a $9.3 million grant. The grant brings together the Fieldstone Alliance and the Nonprofit Finance Fund in a partnership whose aim is to help Kellogg's more than 800 grantees improve their performance, effectiveness and financial sustainability. Fieldstone Alliance helps nonprofits fine-tune their organizational planning and management structures. The Nonprofit Finance Fund provides groups with financial analysis and access to capital – an investment bank of sorts for the nonprofit sector.

Geraldine Dodge Foundation - Offers an ongoing series of workshops on important topics to its grantees. Nationally recognized experts are brought in to conduct the workshops.

Bank of America - The BOA Neighborhood Builders Awards for $100000 in selected designated cities across the country also include a year longprofessionall leadership development program for the nonprofit's leaders.

Look for those extras that your major funders may provide and hop on board! Sometimes the extras are available to staff, board members and even your consultants!


Sunday, August 06, 2006

The increase in gasoline prices is probably affecting your nonprofit finances in more ways than one but perhaps you haven't thought about the details yet. Guidestar's newsletter this month has an interesting article on this subject based on the results of their monthly poll. Here are the results which you may want to use to benchmark your own results.

73% of participant nonproftis said that gas prices were affecting their organizations

31% of respondents stated that fuel costs were affecting their personal charitable giving.

This is a double whammy. As discretionary income is squeezed, individual giving is being affected. On the other side of the coin, organizations' costs are increasing as energy costs go up. Organizations from the Special Olympics to Goodwill to Meals on Wheels and other social services are feeling the pain of increased transportation costs. Some organizations say that volunteering is also affected by transportation costs.

Just some thoughts to consider in your budget and fundraising plans. See the whole article at:


Marion Conway Consulting

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) is a
nonprofit organization serving museums,museum professionals, and related institutions and individuals. As one of six regional associations affiliated with the American Association of Museums (AAM), MAAM represents the museum communities in
Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

Registration is now open for the 2006 MAAM Annual Meeting - Bridging Communities in Brooklyn, NY. This is their 60th anniversary and it is sure to be a great learning opportunity and a lot of fun for the participants. I strongly urge those of you associated with small museums to consider attending this conference. it is a comfortable place to enjoy what is happening in the broader world of museums, meet new colleagues and enjoy yourself. many of the participants represent smaller museums.

Marriott Brooklyn Bridge - October 22-24, 2006

August 15, 2006 is the deadline for early and discounted registration. Online registration is available at:

Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The 2006 edition of the KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Annie E. Casey Foundation
is now available.

State and New Jersey county specific data is available at

The Cliks database

This is an excellent database and resource to quote statistics when writing grants that will provide social services for children.

Actually the Annie E Casey foundation is a great source for information. Put it on your list of websites to check out.

Marion Conway Consulting

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'd like to bring you up to date on a couple of personal professioanl development activities that I have recently been involved with. First of all on June 16th I attended the International Assocaition of Facilitators Conference in Baltimore as botha volunteer and participant. I worked in the morning helping to set up signage for the workshops, and facilitating at the Creativity Corner. In the afternoon I attended an excellent workshop on facilitating planning for the future.

On June 20th, I attended an excellent all day workshop on governance sponsored by the Dodge Foundation. This workshop was conducted by Susan K. Stevens who is a nationally recognized expert on nonprofit governance issues. What was new for me is a very informative segment on the lifecycle stages of nonprofits and what you should be looking for in board members in the various stages. It was a very insightful presentation and I hope to integrate these concepts into my own work with nonprofit boards.

I regularly dedicate time to professional development. How about you? Keep posted for more information on upcoming workshops that I offer. And don't forget - the summer is the perfect time to do the pre-planning for a Fall Board Retreat or begin the planning for strategic planning. My Fall calendar is filling up quickly - so if you are interested now is the time to begin exploring the possibilities.

Marion Conway Consulting

Monday, June 12, 2006

This post is a reminder that my next workshop - Strategic Planning for Nonprofits will be held on Monday, June 19th from 5 PM to 8 PM. The workshop is being sponsored by the United Way of Passaic County and will be held at the Passaic County Public Safety Academy, 300 Oldham Road, Wayne, NJ. The academy is on the Passaic County Coummunity College campus.

The workshop will cover:
-What is strategic planning
-Why a nonprofit should have a strategic plan
-A sample process with detailed steps
-Budgeting for strategic planning
-Resources available

Register at the United Way: 973-279-8900
Directions are available online at:

Hope to see you there!

Marion Conway Consulting

United Way of Passaic County

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Here is another great offer available from TechSoup that won't last.

While Supplies Last: A Special Donation from Symantec

Starting this month, Symantec will offer Norton Internet
Security 2005 retail versions on TechSoup Stock for a low
administrative fee.

Unlike other products available through TechSoup's Symantec
Donation Program, retail versions of this all-in-one security
system include access to Symantec customer service and discounts
on future upgrades.

Moreover, organizations that have reached their quantity limits
on the regular Symantec Donation Program are still eligible for
this special offer -- and can request as many copies of Norton
Internet Security 2005 as they wish without affecting their

Place your order while supplies last.

For more information go to:
TechSoup - Special Norton Internet Security 2005 Offer

Marion Conway Consulting

Thursday, May 18, 2006

All nonprofits should be familiar with free or heavily discounted software that are available to them at TechSoup. Here is an offer that is expiring soon so don't delay if you are interested.

The Mission Research Donation Program at TechSoup is changing from a
donation to discount program. (In the discount program, the
GiftWorks admin fee will be higher than the current admin fee.)

The supply of donated GiftWorks product is available at TechSoup Stock through May 24 or until all products are distributed, whichever comes first. They expect that the supply of donated GiftWorks products will be completely distributed before May 24, so place your donation request as soon as possible if interested.

GiftWorks is a fundraising software application for smaller nonprofits.
Nonprofits can use GiftWorks to track donors and donations and
to build targeted lists of donors, supporters and prospects. The
interface is designed for use with minimal training, so volunteers can quickly become productive. You can also use GiftWorks to send mailings and create reports.

This software is available at TechSoup Stock for an admin fee of$35, as compared to the published retail price of $299. Please note that only organizations with annual operating budgets of $500,000 USD or less are eligible to receive this donation.

For more information go to:
TechSoup - Giftworks Details

Marion Conway Consulting

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

This post is one of the brief articles in my Spring newsletter. If you would like to receive my newsletter please send me an email at:

Important New Exemption to the New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act (NJCIA)
Many nonprofits depend on the NJCIA to provide immunity from a wide variety of potential legal problems. However, an important new protection for victims has been signed into law. This new provision should cause nonprofits to take a look at their Human Resources policies – or lack thereof – and take preventive action.

On January 5, 2006 Acting Governor Codey signed into law revisions to the New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act. Effective on that date, the revised Act no longer applies to lawsuits alleging the negligent hiring, supervision or retention of an “employee, agent or servant” by a charity, resulting in a sexual offense against a person under the age of 18 years. A retroactivity provision allows plaintiffs with suits currently in the judicial system, including those on appeal, to proceed without the charitable immunity defense being available to non-profit defendants.

Marion Conway Consulting

Friday, May 12, 2006

Craigslist Foundation Nonprofit Boot Camp – June 10

Join 450 emerging nonprofit leaders at Craigslist Foundation's first annual New York Nonprofit Boot Camp. Get inspired and energized to take your nonprofit to the next level!

Thr program for the day has a wide variety of topices. Just $50 gets you access to all seminars and workshops, meals, an Exhibit Hall filled with organizations that serve the nonprofit community, a Networking Reception and a range of high profile speakers. Tracks will feature Nonprofit Basics, Fundraising, Social Entrepreneurship and IT/Technology.

For more information and to register visit:

Craiglist Foundation

Marion Conway Consulting

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hello Everyone -

It has been almost a month since I posted so I just wanted to let everyone know that the Visionary Workshop went very well and all of the participants really got a lot out of the workshop. This is the kind of subject where the workshop just gets you started and gives you some ideas on how to develop your own visionary leadership skills. I hope to offer this workshop again since I think it can really be beneficial to nonprofit leaders.

I'll be posting soon about workshops coming up this summer.


Marion Conway Consulting

Friday, March 24, 2006

This message is to make sure you know about the “Visionary Leadership for Nonprofit Executives” workshop which I will be facilitating on April 5th. If you have attended another one of my workshops that was most likely a half day and primarily lecture oriented.

This workshop is a full day workshop that has a professional visionary leadership self assessment, group activities and discussion, individual exercises and very little lecture. The workshop has been developed by me – it is not a canned program – and the material is drawn from noted scholarly research.

I have been putting the finishing touches on the workshop and I am very excited about it. I am sure that all of the participants will have a great day. The only thing that could make it better is if you joined us.

Visionary Leadership for Nonprofit Executives is being sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County in Hackensack, NJ. The $75 fee includes professional materials, continental breakfast and lunch. To register, contact the Volunteer Center of Bergen County at 201-489-9454.

Volunteer Center of Bergen County

Marion Conway Consulting

Friday, March 17, 2006

Today I am delighted to report that my article "Planning a Board Retreat" previously published in Charity Channel's Nonprofit Boards and Governance Review is published in its entirity in

Candadian Fundraiser. Use the link below to check it out now.

Canadian Fundraiser

Marion Conway Consulting

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This week I am hard at work developing material and the program for my workshop on April 5th - Visionary Leadership for Nonprofit Executives. I am really excited about this workshop and I know that it is going to be a personal growth experience for everyone who attends. I am planning presentation, individual activity and group activities for the day. For more information be sure to visit my website and the Volunteer Center of Bergen County website. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information. Get registration information for the workshop at the Bergen Volunteers website.

Volunteer Center of Bergen County

Marion Conway Consulting

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

On Saturday I had a great time facilitating the workshop "The Power of Strategic Planning." The workshop was sponsored by the Union County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs. It was a wonderful interactive group and many people contributed to making the workshop a huge success. Thanks to all of you who attended. I enjoyed being with you.

My next workshop is a full day workshop "Visionary Leadership for Nonprofit Executives" sponsored by the Bergen County Volunteer Center on April 5th. I am really looking forward to facilitating this workshop which has a lot of individual and group activity. Check out my website for the details.

Volunteer Center of Bergen County

Marion Conway Consulting

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

N-TEN is a great organization which provides technology support for nonprofits. They have a great program of online "webinars" offered a very reasonable price but now they are offefing three webinars absolutely free. If you are at all involved with technology and nonprofits check out this offering RIGHT NOW! There are two Webinars this week. Learn more and sign up at, and here’s a little overview of each:

<> Wednesday, February 15, 2006, 10am Pacific
Designing Effective Learning Experiences for Technology Training
For anyone who is planning to present at the NTC, or is involved in training on technology-related topics in their organization. This session will explore the basics of learning styles and providing interactive exercises to help you design technology workshops and conference panel sessions with greater impact, including lots of practical tips on the how to use icebreakers, backchannels, interactive PowerPoint presentation styles, games, and other techniques. This will be a very hands-on, brains-on interactive Webinar experience! So be prepared to be challenged, be creative, and (gasp!) even have fun!
FREE! - Presented by Beth Kanter

<> Friday, February 17, 2006, 10am Pacific
Getting Starting with Online Donation Tools
Do you want to help your organization take donations online, but aren’t sure how? This session will tell you what you need to know in order to choose a tool and get started. We’ll touch on some of the strategic aspects of online donations, but our focus will be on the tactical: What online donation tools are available? How do they work? How do you know which one is right for your organization? We’ll close by looking more closely at some of the specific tools that are available.
FREE! - Presented by Laura Quinn, Idealware

<> Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 10am Pacific
ReliefWeb - A Platform for NGO Information Partnerships
The presentation for this webinar looks at how NGOs, particularly in the humanitarian response field, can make more use of some of the coordination tools and services offered by UN OCHA, in particular the ReliefWeb information system. Drawing on the response to some recent disasters (e.g. Hurricane Katrina, the South Asia tsunami) it will look at current information sharing patterns among ReliefWeb's partners and what services are being provided to NGOs.
FREE! Sponsored by Intel - Presented by Humaninet and Sebastian Naidoo, Managing Editor of ReliefWeb

What is a Webinar?

A webinar is an online seminar hosted by N-TEN, on topics relating to nonprofit technology. Participants log-in to watch the presentation on their personal computers and listen by dialing in by phone. Webinars usually last 90 minutes, and recordings of webinars can also be purchased after an event has occurred. View the complete list of upcoming live webinars and recorded webinars at:

N-TEN - Webinar Info

Marion Conway Consulting

Monday, February 06, 2006

I am proud to announce that my new article, "Planning a Board Retreat" has been published in Charity Channel's Nonprofit Boards and Governance Review. As I have posted previously Charity Channel is an excellent resource for all topics of interest to the nonprofit sector. NRGR is published bi-weekly and always has great articles for those involved with Nonprofit boards. There are other eNewsletters on different topics also.

The outline for the Planning a Board Retreat article is:

Getting Started
Choosing a Retreat Theme
Planning the Retreat Program
The Retreat Leadership Checklist
Follow-up to the Retreat is the Measure of its Success
Two examples: Purpose, Plan and Measure of Success for Retreats

Check it out at Charity Channel


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Here is another entry in my series on great websites for nonprofits. A new website -
. - is dedicated to providing candid information about nonprofit software. They are a great group of knowledgeable people who really know their stuff and also are able to organize their recommendations into easy to read reports. If you are considering any kind of software or web based system, make sure you visit this site as part of your analysis. It is a new organization and website so they are still developing information. Here is a summary of a couple of their recent reports.

A Few Good Tools: Low Cost Constituent Databases
Looking for a low cost way to track your volunteers, donors, partners, and other constituents? We asked thirteen nonprofit technology professionals what tools have worked well for them in these circumstances.

Donate Now: Selecting an Online Donation Tool
Idealware reviewed twenty-seven lower-priced online software tools that accept donations from an existing website. What we found was good news: many affordable tools are also powerful, friendly, and flexible. We offer recommendations for high-quality tools, as well as a method to choose the right tool for you. View


Marion Conway Consulting


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Don't miss this great opportunity to attend a low cost, high quality workshop on IT Fundraising

The United Way of New York City has funding from IBM to support the advancement of technology at nonprofits. They sponsor high quality low cost workshops for nonprofits and publish a Technology News eNewsletter. If you are responsible for technology at a nonprofit you should sign up for the free newsletter and consider attending the workshops. The United Way building is conveniently located a short distance from the PATH and is a reasonable commute for people located in northern New Jersey.

There are only a few seats left for United Way of New York City's educational seminar on "IT Fundraising for Nonprofits." United Way of New York City, in partnership with TechFoundation and IBM, invites you to develop an "IT Fundraising" gameplan.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

8:30am – 11:30am
8:30am - 9:00am Registration/Breakfast
9:00am - 11:00am Presentation
11:00am - 11:30am Q&A

United Way of New York City
2 Park Avenue, 2nd Floor (between 32nd and 33rd streets)
New York, NY 10016

Directions: #6 Train to 33rd Street Station

• Abstract: Allocating appropriate resources to Information Technology (IT) has been a problem for nonprofits in terms of funds, people, and organizational attention. For many nonprofits, technology acquisitions are treated in a zero-sum manner where every dollar spent on technology is a dollar not spent on programs. “Unkind” inkind (i.e., donated computers) may not do the job. This presentation will help attendees identify and overcome some of the barriers associated with securing funds for IT projects always remembering that mission sells technology.

• The purpose of this presentation is to:

- Increase the confidence of nonprofit managers to secure funding for IT-related initiatives by improving understanding of writing technology proposals and expanding the range of options available,

- Identify what makes IT fundraising so challenging,

- Systematically review techniques targeted specifically at the challenges,

- Learn how to present the return on investment (ROI) on IT initiatives to secure funding,

- Demonstrate how to effectively tie technology to mission.

• Attendees will:

- Understand how IT-related proposals differ from non-IT proposals,

- Develop methods for writing more effective proposals,

- Recognize issues and possible strategies for rethinking the allocation of organizational resources budgeted for IT,

- Learn about additional resources to assist with a technology funding search,

- Become vigilant about viewing all technology proposals as vehicles to meeting organizational mission.
• Presented By:

Kathleen A. Sherwin
Director of Programs and External Affairs, TechFoundation

United Way of New York

Monday, January 16, 2006

This post is one in a continuing series about websites that are valuable to those of us interested in the nonprofit sector. Independent Sector is one of my favorite sites for important information based on research. They are highly respected and you can feel comfortable if you cite Independent Sector as a source.

Independent Sector is the leadership forum for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States. They are a nonpartisan coalition of approximately 500 organizations. You can join Independent Sector and become a part of America's leading coalition of charities, foundations, corporations, and individuals.

They sponsor ground-breaking research, fight for public policies that support a dynamic, independent sector, and create wonderful resources for nonprofits.

Recent research by Independent Sector has developed the following statistics:

89% of households contribute to charity.
The average household annual contributions totaled $1620.
The value of volunteer time in 2005 was $17.55 an hour.

You can find out more about Independent Sector at:

Independent Sector

Saturday, January 14, 2006

On Tuesday I thoroughly enjoyed facilitating my first workshop of the new year on Strategic Planning for Nonprofits. It was a lively, engaged, diversified group with people from social services,a library, an arboretium, mental health services and other groups represented. We all learned from each other.

I will also be offering a workshop on strategic planning for nonprofits on February 25th. This workshop will be geared for small organizations which are mainly historical and heritge sites. If you are interested in the details check out my website or send me an email. It will be held in Rahway, NJ

Marion Conway Consulting

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

If you are interested in the latest technology, tools, and strategies for fundraising you may be interested in this Executive Briefing session for nonprofit professionals. See what's new in donor management software for 2006.

There is no cost for this entertaining and educational session, which is brought to you by eTapestry & Foothold Technology.
Attendees at the briefing will learn:
· How your donor database, website, ecommerce, and email communication can successfully work together in a simple, integrated, fashion.
· How eTapestry’s end-to-end solutions provide a unique and superior donor experience with your organization.
· How eTapestry helps organizations in their pursuit of major donors/major gifts.
· How non-technical users can have powerful information at their fingertips – from any location.
· How applications can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of growing or evolving nonprofits, as they change in terms of both size and sophistication
· How eTapestry is being used successfully in organizations of all types – health care, education, the arts, faith-based, social service and more.
· How you can substantially improve your data security, protect yourself from intrusions and from other data disasters
· How technology can finally make your life EASIER with LOWER COSTS!

This session will be held:
Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
2:00 – 3:30 Donor Management Software Seminar from eTapestry
3:30 – 5:00 Bonus Presentation: Client Tracking/Case Management Software Seminar from Foothold Technology
Attend either session, or both.

Hosted by Foothold Technology
666 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York, NY
Call Chris Painchaud at 888-739-3827 ext 221. Tell him that Marion sent you. Directions and confirmation will be provided 2 days prior the seminar.

Space is limited for this briefing, so register early. If you have questions contact Chris at

Marion Conway Consulting