March 2010

Boomer Builds Business Through Support

Prelude to the Road to Entrepreneurship
I teach Entrepreneurship at The New School. The class is a mix of matriculated and non-matriculated students. They range in age from 18 to 65 years of age. They take my class for a variety of reasons: some have a business idea; others have entrepreneurial instincts and want to see if they can generate an idea for a business; still others are just curious.

Small Business Network Builds for Members and Community

Ellen Shepard runs a network for mostly mom-and-pop stores in a neighborhood of Chicago. She's focused on a mile-long stretch of one of Chicago's main streets.

Instead of being taken over by big-box and chain stores – they did try to move in – the Andersonville neighborhood has become a dining and shopping destination for Chicago residents, in part because the neighborhood businesses worked together to preserve their small-town feel.

6 Simple Ways for Nonprofits, Funders to Make A Big Change

"Catalyze" is a great word, a great concept: to bring about or inspire change. It implies that a small action will cause other, bigger things to happen.

That's why the "6 Ways to Catalyze Change" list caught my eye. It was put together by the NASSCOM Foundation, an organization based in India that uses information technology to improve people's lives. It reminds us all that simple things can make a big difference.

3 Steps to Increased Nonprofit Revenue in the 21st Century

Yes, it is the 21st century and nonprofit leaders who don't understand new technology may well find themselves left behind in the fundraising race.

The good news is: Much of the technology you need to use is inexpensive or even free. The bad news is: You have to learn a whole new way of thinking and of marketing. You have to learn how to work with the Internet and social media.

Outstanding Nonprofit Board Leaders Honored, And the Lessons You Can Learn From Them

The value of nonprofit board members – beyond money and name-recognition – was given much deserved recognition last week when the first Brooke W. Mahoney Award was presented to Harlem RBI by the Volunteer Consulting Group.

Competency Doesn't Mean Heartlessness: Businesses Can Be Profitable and Compassionate

I've said my piece about the competency of nonprofits – they are competent! – but now I have to speak up for businesses – they can be trustworthy, compassionate, and ethical.

That is not the perception of businesses in the survey recently published by Stanford University. The study indicated that nonprofits are viewed as trustworthy and incompetent. It found that corporations are viewed as competent but not trustworthy or "moral."

Take Up the Challenge: Show How Competent Nonprofits Are

You’d think that after the Great Recession exposed so many incompetent corporations, opinions might be changing toward nonprofits, but a recent survey says, "no."

Madoff, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and General Motors have not dented the perception that for-profit corporations are more competent – although less warm and fuzzy – than nonprofits.

Non-profit, For-profit Leaders Have Much in Common

What's the difference between improving sales and drawing in more donors?

Not much, as it turns out. Both involve marketing, staff development, and having “A” players on board. The need to attract and retain good employees is common to both the for-profit and non-profit sectors as are the conundrums of mergers; how to do more with less; and how to fire or hire.

Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Social Enterprises Will Benefit From Ventureneer's Free eBook

As a teacher, consultant, nonprofit board member, and entrepreneur, I've learned a lot about starting and growing a business. I'm distilling the key points into a series of free ebooks for small businesses – that includes commercial businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises.