The Nonprofit Survival Guide

A Strategy for Sustainability


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About the Book

There are nearly a million nonprofit organizations in the United States vying for funding from an ever-diminishing pool of resources. Whether you’re directing or working for a nonprofit or founding a new one, your biggest concern is how to make it sustainable through tough economic times. This book shows you how to keep your organization working regardless of whether you are successful in securing grants. You’ll learn how to obtain space, equipment and tools at little or no cost, how to minimize insurance and legal fees, and how to use volunteers and keynote programs to stay lean and successful. Checklists help you initiate and file paperwork and create a master assets and inventory document that will keep your directors, officers and volunteers up to date on everything you own and lease, including Internet and social media resources. Realistic hands-on strategies are provided that can save your organization significant amounts of money each year and prevent the mistakes that cause so many nonprofits to fail.

About the Author(s)

Geoff Alexander has authored two books on cinema and has written on musical subjects ranging from jazz history to flamenco. He is the founder and director of the Academic Film Archive of North America, in San Jose, California, the first archive solely dedicated to the history, preservation, and scholarship of the classroom educational film.

Bibliographic Details

Geoff Alexander

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9844-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2050-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction: I’m Small … Why Should I Bother Forming a Nonprofit Corporation? 4

1. Redefining “Success” 11
2. Don’t Quit Your Day Job 15
3. The First Step: Forming Your Nonprofit Corporation 19
4. Setting Up Your Sustainable Nonprofit Office 37
5. Building and Maintaining Your Website, ­E-mail, Social Media and ­Business-Networking Presence 49
6. Volunteers: Your Most Valuable Asset 61
7. Sponsorships: Building a Definitive, ­Self-Sustaining, ­Permanent and Exciting Keynote Program 79
8. Events, Benefits, Conferences and Nontraditional Ways to Pay a Few Bills 90
9. Working the Big Room: Building Alliances and Affiliates 100
10. Publicity and Publishing: Getting Others to Know About Your Work 104
11. Grants, Consultants and Crowdfunding Platforms: ­Churning and Burning in the Funding Mill 114
12. Fund-Raising Programs and Techniques That Could Present Problems 131
13. The Cutting Edge: Thinking Outside the Box 140
14. Keeping the Government Happy 147
15. Crafting a Succession Plan: Leaving a Legacy and ­Documenting Your Assets 157
16. Small Is Beautiful: Keeping It Pertinent, Creative, ­Successful, Sustainable and Manageable 164

I. Case Studies of Three Lean, Successful and Sustainable Nonprofits 169
II. Access and Assets Inventory Checklist 183
Chapter Notes 191
Bibliography 195
Index 199

Book Reviews & Awards

“written in an experienced and encouraging tone, this book is the right choice for those interested in running or working within the growing nonprofit sector.”—ARBA.