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There is plenty of wisdom and knowledge among the leaders and staff of the community-based nonprofits themselves. We just need a place through which to share it. Blue Avocado is that place.

We also believe that nonprofits can only be vibrant, healthy, and effective when they have access to financial resources and practical know-how shared by experts and peers. So welcome home.

Board of Directors

Five Lessons for Creating an Effective (and Accountable) Nonprofit Board

Help your board members avoid dysfunction and clearly understand their roles in supporting your nonprofit’s success.

A Cautionary Tale: Overcoming Governance Nightmares in Nonprofit Organizations

Adopting solid organizational policies can help your nonprofit set expectations and avoid a laundry list of problems.

How to Persuade a New Generation to Join Your Nonprofit’s Board

Highlighting the personal and professional benefits of serving on your nonprofit’s board can help you make the role more appealing to younger candidates.

Community & Culture

Can Nonprofits Look to the Past to Build the Future?

Nonprofits may be surprised to find that their communities have already implemented the kind of innovative, collaborative programming that their leadership — and funders — are looking for.

How Lessons Learned From Fighting Food Insecurity Can Help Your Nonprofit

Simple acts can have a big impact on the community. Learn how one nonprofit discovered the tools to fight systemic issues were at their disposal all along — they just needed to learn how to use them.

The Big Chill: Why Nonprofits Should Care about Affirmative Action

Exploring how nonprofits can remain committed to supporting the health, economic security, and well-being of historically marginalized communities — even after the end of affirmative action.

Beyond the Hype: Why ESG Frameworks Miss the Mark for Small Nonprofits

When we take a closer look at what Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) frameworks actually entail, it is often not worth the time and resources for most small nonprofits to go through such a process.

How Nonprofits Can Benefit from Embracing ESG Practices

By expanding ESG efforts and communicating them effectively, nonprofits can engage new audiences and achieve greater impact. This article discusses how nonprofits can document and communicate their ESG impact and provides five steps to get started.

ESG is Everywhere. Should It Matter to Nonprofits?

Nonprofits can learn from the for-profit sector’s efforts on ESG and begin to think about how these corporate strategies can apply to their work as well.

Finance

Grant Management Series: Involving Your CFO throughout the Grant Application Process

Learn how your CFO can contribute to a successful grant application — and the administrative processes that follow.

The Art of Grant Budgeting: A Guide for Nonprofit CFOs

Is your organization’s CFO ready to put together a grant proposal budget that will make an impact with potential funders?

Nonprofit ROI: How “Measuring the Good” Can Help Nonprofits Justify Investments

Expanding what “return on investment” means to your nonprofit — beyond just money — can help provide a clearer idea of how you’re helping your community and serving your mission goals.

Fundraising

9 Principles to Make Your Nonprofit Fundraising Effective — and Fun!

Raising funds for your nonprofit doesn’t have to be stressful. Learn how one California nonprofit proved that, when designed thoughtfully and collaboratively, fundraising can be successful and enjoyable.

Rethinking Perpetuity: Resetting Endowment Expectations After the Pandemic

With endowments, let’s rethink ‘forever’ and explore new, flexible ways to ensure your nonprofit organization’s longevity and effectiveness.

7 Things Nonprofit Leaders Can Say to Funders to Effectively Manage Limited Resources

Seven things nonprofit executives can begin saying to set boundaries with funders and say no without consequences.

HR & Employment Issues

Ask Rita in HR: Should Murphy’s Law Be a Consideration in Making HR Decisions?

Some factors to keep in mind when you’re planning to discipline or terminate a nonprofit employee.

Moving Beyond Performance: Making DEI Actionable

If you want to make your organization a healthy space for all and overcome biases and prejudices, you have to do the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. It’s that simple.

Is There Anybody Out There? Navigating the Challenges of Managing Hybrid Work Teams

Remote work is the new normal. Be sure your nonprofit’s managers and executives are equipped to successfully lead remote and hybrid work teams.

Leadership & Management

Empowering Community Voices: The Strategic Advantage of Nonprofit Advisory Committees

An inclusive and engaged advisory committee has the potential to increase the quality, reach, and overall impact of your nonprofit’s work on a consistent basis.

Vision Before Strategy: A Nonprofit’s Guide to Defining Success

Defining the desired outcome and what constitutes success in measurable terms helps stakeholders align their actions and priorities, ensuring that every effort is geared toward achieving this shared vision.

Charting a New Course for Youth Engagement

A blueprint for how using strategic inquiry can help your nonprofit better understand your community’s needs and provide key insights with the potential to help you innovate and better serve those who count on you.

Marketing & Communications

Five Signs Your Nonprofit is Ready to Reach a Bigger Community

Does your nonprofit consistently reach the same group? It may be time to consider expanding your marketing efforts to reach a wider audience.

Perfect Together: How to Access Community Television for Your Nonprofit

How nonprofits can work with public, educational, or governmental TV stations to raise visibility and get the word out about their great work.

Identifying and Mitigating Nonprofit Risk with a Six-Step Crisis Communication Plan

Nonprofit leaders must be proactive in identifying risks, take steps to prevent them, and be prepared with a communications plan in the event of a crisis.

Opinion

Volunteering Alone Will Not Save Us

To fight the battle against hunger, nonprofits can advocate for meaningful change in our societal structures.

Nonprofit Lessons from Star Wars

Deepak Bhargava of the Center for Community Change channels the Force to call nonprofits to action, drawing parallels to Star Wars.

Teach for America: Icon with Feet of Clay?

Rick Cohen delves into the less-heard concerns and questions about Teach for America, and its effect on the education sector.

Risk Management

Rethinking Perpetuity: Resetting Endowment Expectations After the Pandemic

With endowments, let’s rethink ‘forever’ and explore new, flexible ways to ensure your nonprofit organization’s longevity and effectiveness.

Risk Management for Nonprofits: Copyright

When web designers have an email from another nonprofit saying they don’t mind if you use one of their images, are you ok to use the image?

Don’t Let Internal Controls Slip at Your Nonprofit Organization!

Internal controls are more important than ever to have in place and operating effectively in order to prevent wrongdoing and malfeasance.

Political Issues

Litigating a Path to Progress: Nonprofit Advocacy through the Courts

Legislative inaction at the state and federal level has seen nonprofits moving toward using litigation as a normative standard in advancing their advocacy campaigns like never before.

Citizens United Unfair to One Million Corporations

What to do about the Citizens United decision allowing for-profit corporations to spend unlimited funds on electoral campaigns.

Nonprofit Staff Don’t Vote in Elections? False!

“Nonprofit staff don’t vote.” The Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits tested this. Here’s what they found.

Sample Policies & Templates

5 Best Practices for Building a Nonprofit Annual Operating Budget (with Template!)

While no two nonprofits are exactly alike, there are some best practices that all organizations should use when building their annual operating budgets.

7 Guiding Principles for a JDEI Policy That Isn’t Just Hot Air. Plus, a Free Sample Policy!

Guiding principles for organizations that want to create a binding, board-approved JDEI policy with values, action plans, and accountability.

Board Assessments with Sample Management Questions

Four reasons your nonprofit and its mission can benefit from conducting a board evaluation.

Volunteers

A Practical Process Guide to Getting and Keeping Your Volunteers

Providing your nonprofit’s volunteers with the same recruitment, training, mentoring, and appreciation as your employees can reduce turnover and create a better overall volunteer experience.

Volunteering Alone Will Not Save Us

To fight the battle against hunger, nonprofits can advocate for meaningful change in our societal structures.

Up Your Game with Skills-based Volunteering

Specialized volunteers can come from organizations that recruit those seeking opportunities for organizations in need of specialized help.

Webinars

Blue Avocado Presents: Copyright Concerns for Nonprofits – Live Q&A

Thursday, March 21, 2024 – In the digital age, nonprofits engaging in various creative endeavors must be mindful of copyright concerns.

Blue Avocado Presents: Does Your Nonprofit Qualify for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)? – Live Q&A

The ERC program has been amended several times and has officially concluded, but eligible nonprofit organizations are still eligible to file and benefit from this tax credit. Find out more about this government stimulus program.

Blue Avocado Presents: Cyber Incident Response Plans for Nonprofits – Live Q&A

It’s a misnomer to believe that mission-driven organizations, who contribute to and/or benefit our society, are safe from cyber incidents. And yet many of these nonprofit organizations are unprepared when it happens to them.