The 43 "Knowledge Needs" of EVERY Nonprofit

Compiled and Refined regularly since 1987.
(Formerly known as "39 Needs" and follow in alphabetical order. . .)
by   Robert J. (Bob) Vickers, Founder/President, Artful Askers

The perish is caused by "lack of knowledge." Many people don't know what they don't know.
Few people can communicate with Donors and Supporters efficiently, sufficiently and respectfully.

1. Blue Ink usage! Impact and what does it say? Sign letter, hand-address envelope, Thank You notes, etc.

2. Boards. Incorporating (3-4 people), Advisory (5-7), Fiduciary Legal Governing Board (5-7). Complete Listing. Board Governance training and ongoing coaching, mentoring. Letters of Support and Endorsement (guidelines and samples), Board Member insurance, and MORE!

3. Budgets. 6 to 10 largest categories of expenditures, emphasis on program/project. Minimize general operating by using F.T.E. (full-time equivalent). 1 page max BUT 4 types of budgets.

4. Communicating with Donors. Speaking Donor language. Words to use/not use to communicate.  Accountability and transparency (issues, statement, assurance).

5. Cooperating. With other nonprofits, civic groups, churches and playing well, getting along with others. Cooperating and Collaborating in meaningful ways to impact, transform your community.

6. Current Technology? Smart phones, current environment. Also, Zoom, Skype, Webinars, Go-To-Meeting, Constant Contact, MailChimp, Go-Fund-Me, crowd source, etc. NOT exclusive! Website--what goes on it, do one yourself? 5 to 7 seconds to stay or go. Email address tied to website for professionalism.

7. Elevator Speech. 30 to 60 seconds of a sufficient presentation.

8. Event Fundraisers. Strategies for banquets, golf tournaments, walk-a-thons, etc.

9. Summary Page, Executive Summary and/or Abstract? What to use, what's difference?

10. Facebook and Other Social Media. How to use in positive ways. NOT exclusive to you!

11. Federal and State Incorporation. Processes, templates and assistance AND staying in "good standing" and ongoing reporting. Federal-Level Info. 28% rule, documentation, record-keeping, giving guidelines, etc. State tax exemption paperwork, usage. What is necessary?

12. First Impressions: Opportunities from START through the process! Dynamic impression— impact by letterhead, spelling, font, page #s, etc. You never get a second chance!

13. Flow Chart, Decision Matrix, Source/Use Charts, Budgets. Assist NPOs and Directors.

14. History of Your Organization. In 1 paragraph.

15. Hosting Project Connect. A community serve day for HUGE impact/awareness!

16. Human Resources Processes and Issues. Payroll, time-off, PTO, options, considerations.
17. In-Kind Documentation. Leverage value (Return on Investment) of Gifts in Kind, especially Volunteers!

18. Individual Donations through end-of-year, year-beginning, appeal letters, data base, Board Members, etc?

19. Mailing Guidelines and delivery instructions to Donors and Supporters.

20. Marketing Plan--FULL in writing! Not perfect BUT a good-faith effort.

21. Mentoring, Coaching and Ongoing Help. With grant applications and training. What is a "Network?" Capacity-building and sustainability in today's world. Zoom? Skype? Online?

22. Mission Statement. 25 to 40 words or less of what you do every day. Followed by Vision Statement: 2 paragraphs of larger-picture target goal but will never accomplish.

23. Modifying your information into their format. Especially when submitting online or as an attached file. Submitting proposals online and using technology for best impression in their forms.

24. Ideas and options for Passive, Residual and Endorsement Income?

25. Personal Initiative and Responsibility. Take ownership and don't always ask "them" to do something for you!

26. Pillars of Poverty. Understanding community needs, speaking within and discussing around a framework about work, cooperation and collaboration in communities.

27. Presentation to Donors, Funders and Supporters. In person in 3 to 5 minutes.

28. Primary Contact Information. And who to contact for more information. Mailing Address for the Organization (permanent vs mailing purposes). Email? Cell phone?

29. Proposal in 3 to 5 pages to utilize in single contiguous file. Use or cut-and-paste from.

30. Receipting. Sufficient, impactful, timely appropriate steps and donor education.

31. Resume to attach if asked for. A GOOD ONE not a bad one.

32. Return on Investment (R.O.I.). Gleaning, leveraging, multiplying talents.

33. Self-Evaluation Measures. 3 to 5 goals and objectives each for determination of success.

34. Starting a Warehouse (to glean/leverage). Access FREE stuff: 92% of ALL giving.

35. State/Federal Grants. Responding to RFP/CFP/NOFA (read, comprehend, understand).

36. Statement of Problem and Statement of Solution. One-half page each.

37. Strategic Plan in one-half to three-quarters page in writing!

38. Target Audience description (socioeconomic, geographic, ethnographic, etc.).

39. Thank You Notes--I.R.S. acceptable (approval), Thank You Anyway notes (rejections).

40. Timeline of Philanthropy. Understanding and Guidance. Year-end and year-beginning with individuals. First and fourth quarter with foundations. 3 to 5 days with Thank yous. Understanding the importance of follow-up AND follow-through Guidelines, timing and steps in the processes.

41. Using 3- to 5-page document. For Supporters, Donors and others around you in relationship and for Foundations, Corporations, Community Funds, Donor-Advised Funds.

42. Utilizing Credit/Debts cards appropriately and monitoring or regulating your organization's checking account. 2 signatures, etc.

43. Volunteer Management: recruitment, documentation of hours, Thank You notes, Thank You Anyway notes, Return on Investment implications, etc.

Additional topics to consider and develop after EACH flannel-boarding. . . 
   --Charitable Remainder Trusts
   --Paying consultants?

Many of these have 3- to 5-minute videos with a Religious flavor at   (under Tab: E-Courses)