Knowledge Page - News You Can Use


Managing a nonprofit is hard work. The ever-changing organizational, developmental, funding, branding and compliance issues can overwhelm even the most seasoned leaders unless they stay alert and seek guidance from the sector's specialists when needed. This resource guide provides a selection of some of our contributors' most helpful articles on ways to survive and thrive. If there's a topic you'd like to see covered, contact us here. Note: You may want to bookmark this page - we'll be updating it as more helpful content comes in.


Branding | Contracts | Fundraising and Events | Governance | Management | Scaling



The importance of a rebranding process - Ron Gold of Marketing Works PR and Christopher Quereau, CEO and creative director at Vibrant Creative, discuss the importance of your brand and how to hold on to your donors and constituents, during the re-branding process. (September 2016)

Critical Communications - Consultant Anat Gerstein offers tips for smaller nonprofits looking to create or develop a smarter communications strategy. (September 2015)


The power of acronyms in rebranding - Looking to embrace an acronym for your organization? Ron Gold, the president and CEO of Marketing Works PR, writes that  there are times when an acronym is a good thing, especially when rebranding or when your mission or scope of services changes. (July 2015)


The rebrand effect - Sarah Durham, the CEO and founder of Big Duck, a New York City-based communications firm that works exclusively with nonprofits, offers tips to help ensure the results are inviting and more attractive to your constituencies. (June 2015)



Could Trump's Budget Priorities Threaten Existing Contracts? - Claude M. Millman, a former Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contracts Services, writes that while it’s obvious that federal funding cuts could affect the availability of future state and city contracts, the new federal policies could also affect prior contracts. (March 2017)


What happened to your RFP? - Millman untangles the mystery of what happens behind the scenes of procurement. (August 2016)


New federal procurement standards - Sibi Thomas, a partner at the nonprofit and government group at Marks Paneth LLP, walks organizations through the new federal procurement standards that apply to purchases of goods and services made with federally contracted funds, effective July 1, 2017. (May 2016)


How much will it cost? Program budgeting 101 - You might have landed that grant, but how do you figure out the true costs? Paul Konigstein, a senior consultant at Accounting Management Solutions, offers advice on figuring out the true price of operations, personnel and other costs. (January 2016)


Fundraising and Events


What you need to know about Donor Advised Funds - Christina Taler, who holds an M.S. in nonprofit and fundraising management from Columbia University and is an associate director at CCS, walks nonprofit professionals through some things they need to know to take advantage of this ever-growing segment of philanthropic giving. (September 2016) 


Planning for gala season - Consultant Anat Gerstein offers tips to help you capitalize on the interactions you'll have with donors and supporters during gala season. (September 2016)


Revenue generation: Fresh ideas to help your nonprofit raise funds - Need to develop new ways of engaging donors and reach a new pool of funders? Stax Inc. founder Rafi Musher and PAVE Communications & Consulting Co-Founder and Principal Sascha Freudenheim offer tips on monetization, finding new revenue streams and other issues to keep in mind. (June 2016)


Maximizing the return on investment from your special events - Craig Shelley, a Vice President at Orr Associates, Inc., a premier consulting firm to the nonprofit industry, offers three things to focus on as you lay the groundwork for cultivating the major donors attending your gala. (March 2016)


What's new in fundraising events? - Ron Gold writes that some organizations are moving away from traditional galas and golf fundraisers in favor of more innovative approaches, such as casino nights.  (January 2016)

Plan Your Fall Advocacy and Communications Activies - Bich Ha Pham, ‎Senior Vice President at Anat Gerstein Inc., writes that the fall is when organizations should begin to develop their advocacy campaigns and offers tips for groups to lay out their priorities. (November 2015)


Tips to Help Nonprofits Avoid Conflicts of Interest - Claude M. Millman, a partner at Kostelanetz & Fink LLP, offers advice for nonprofits and their employees to avoid violating New York City's conflict of interest regulations. (June 2017)


New Rules For Telling Your Financial Story - John D’Amico, CPA, is a director with the Professional Standards Group at Marks Paneth LLP, explain how the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s recent Accounting Standards Update – its first change to nonprofit financial reporting in over 20 years - helps nonprofits better tell their financial story to donors and grantors. (June 2017)


How to Protect Against Fraud - Eden Gillott Bowe, the author of A Board Member’s Guide to Crisis PR: How to Protect You and Your Organization’s Reputation and a leader a group of nonprofit executives, writes about actions that nonprofits can start taking to prevent embezzlement cases and other illegal activity. (March 2017)


Charting the right course: Tips for the new board chair - Judy Levine, executive director of Cause Effective, a nonprofit that counsels board leaders and staff on effective stewardship and fundraising, offers tips to help new board leaders build a supportive, successful support team for the organization's executive director. (January 2017)


Keeping the board informed: Internal financial reporting at nonprofit organizations - If a board is going to adequately exercise its oversight function, it must be fully informed and fully engaged with the organization's operations. Sibi Thomas provides advice on establishing a framework that will enable timely and accurate internal financial reporting from management staff to the board. (November 2015)


Nonprofit corporation law amendments ease governance requirements on NY nonprofits - Executive Director Sean Delany and Laura Abel, the Senior Policy Counsel, at Lawyers Alliance for New York explain how to stay compliant with a new law which amends the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law and Estates, Powers and Trust Law, scheduled to take effect May 27, 2017.  (January 2017)


Tips for navigating New York City’s integrity disclosure forms - Claude M. Millman, a partner at Kostelanetz & Fink LLP and former director of the Mayor’s Office of Contracts Services, writes about how to properly fill out VENDEX forms, which are required for groups dependent on city funding. (November 2016)


Tips for improving the quality of your nonprofit's audit - Sibi Thomas, writes that with audits under more scrutiny within the nonprofit sector, it is important to ensure that everyone is clear about expectations, that oversight functions for the auditing process are in place and communication between all stakeholders is open and transparent. (June 2016) 


Uniform guidance procurement rules are coming… Is your organization prepared? Andrea Wilson, managing director in BDO’s Government Contracts and Grants Advisory Services group, writes that organizations that receive federal funding subject to Uniform Guidance (UG), 2 CFR 200, need to update their procurement standards. (July 2016)


(One Photo / Shutterstock)



How and Why You Should Build Out Your Volunteer Program - Bridgette Blair, AmeriCorps and Volunteer Management Program Director at NYC Service, a division of the Office of the Mayor, writes about the Great Volunteer Management System, which gives organizations a toolbox for encouraging supporters and including them in a strategic plan. (January 2017)


Planning Your Leadership Transition - Michael Zisser, the recently retired CEO for University Settlement and The Door, offers tips for seasons leaders departing their organizations and how to most effectively pass the torch. (February 2017)


Managing Organizational Tensions, Part One & Part 2 - Michael Zisser, the recently retired CEO for University Settlement and The Door, writes about how organizations can harness internal dynamics competing for the same goals. (March 2017)


Successful management practices from the excellence awards selection committee - Anat Gerstein joins New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards selection committee members to share management advice. (December 2016)


Empowering nonprofit innovation - Katie Leonberger and Fiona Kanagasingam of Community Resource Exchange provides examples of nonprofits which have solved complex problems with limited resources, and tips for following their lead. (September 2016)


Inspiring staff and volunteer excellence in nonprofits - Paula Gavin, New York City's chief service officer, responsible for NYC Service, offers tips for inspiring excellence among the staff and volunteers at your nonprofit. (June 2016)


Monitoring your organization's fiscal health to avoid financial failure - Understanding your financial situation is critical to ensure your organization future success. Sibi Thomas provides some criteria that effective managers can evaluate on a regular basis. (January 2016)




Thinking about land use ventures - Michael Zisser, the recently retired CEO for University Settlement and The Door, writes about how organizations can decide if air rights deals, zoning lot mergers or other corporate acquisition is right for them. (November 2016)


Is it time for new software? - Thomas M. Dewar, Senior Director of Applications & Healthcare Systems at The New York Foundling, offer six pieces of advice for those evaluating whether to upgrade their technology and IT infrastructure. (July 2015)