C. Nicole Henderson & Associates

Like No Other

You are peculiar and set apart. You are an original. No one has your imprint, DNA, fingerprint or even your smile. You were made unique. YOU were given a unique call or mission in life to do more as well. There is this burning passion to do more, give more, make a difference in life of Others.

How and where do one begin to be like no other. To love like no other. To bless others like no other. To serve like no other. It begins with you. First you have to yield to a power greater than you to know that you are called to do this work. Servanthood comes with joy and some sorrows. You want to heal the lis of this world and make a better life for Others.

Take the challenge to become a Social Impactor. Read my past blog on the Manifesto of Social Impact and how to make a difference in the world around you. Many times it will start in your own home, neighborhood, work place before you conquer the world. Remember to be like no Other. Just be yourself. Do not compare or judge. Take moments to breathe and live in the present. It is gift that God gives us daily.

Why having a Fundraising Plan is so imperative to get Funded!

“Help us raise money!”  As a consultant with over 25 years experience, I hear this so often.  People always want help raising money but not willing or ready to do the prep work to Fundraising. There is no Special Funding Godmother and Secret Mystery to Funding.  It is not quite that easy.

On the other hand, many nonprofits are sitting on a gold mine without realizing it.  They need to dig out their hidden assets and match them to proven fundraising strategies.  My Fundraising Plan Sessions will show you how to do just that. If you follow the steps and do the exercises, you will end up with a powerful tool to mine your organization’s resources.  Each issue of Nonprofit World contains departments addressing fundraising; there are many resources on the subject.

Most founders  start with not the idea that their passion  or mission is big enough for others to give donations; however, it takes more than just a need to make people move and give donations.  Because is this thought, some nonprofits  do survive, because they didn’t build the proper fundraising foundation.  No matter how worthy your cause, you won’t automatically attract funds. Successful fundraising demands a broad view, an understanding of why people give and what you can offer in return for their support. There are many levels of support and in-kind is just as important.  The success of your plan is greater than the amount of money raised but also the influence of the organization and increased support from the greater community.

Make the commitment now to start your eight steps and register for our Live Online Sessions.  Prefer an in-person session, Invite our firm to your organization to teach more on Sustainable Income for your Nonprofit and Developing your fundraiser plan.  Put aside an time to work on the information given. Form a Fund-raiser committee to assist with the tasks. Have Fun with it.  Before you know it, you will understanding how fundraiser plan works and begin to  raise the funds you need. Use this link below to register or go to Register page and register for the 8 Foundational Steps to Fundraising Plan. https://form.jotform.com/72345437816158

4 Strategies for Making Social Enterprise Stand Out

Let’s Get Real About Social Enterprise

With the growing number of businesses adopting practices that promote social good, how can we differentiate ourselves, ensuring our missions and impacts stand out from the crowd?

On the surface, this question may seem counterintuitive. There’s something inherently altruistic about social enterprise, so it’s easy to feel strange about concerning yourself with product sales and profit. But the bottom line is that the success of social enterprise is measured on the impact you can make in our community through the success of your business. The more successful you are, the greater the capacity for social good. For social enterprises to maximize their impact, they must effectively reach and activate their target audiences, something that’s more difficult than ever with the amount of likeminded companies competing for consumer attention.

Keep reading for four key ways to make sure your social impact gets noticed.

1. Align your cause with your consumer.

If you’re supporting a cause that doesn’t resonate with your customers, you’re already off on the wrong foot. Take time to understand the issues your target audience cares about, and insert your company into the conversation. For example, at my company, UChic, we found that our target market of high school and college-aged women valued out-of-classroom experiences, like study abroad trips and internships, yet lacked the means to fund them. With this knowledge, we created a scholarship program that provides necessary funding to our very same consumers, funded by our product sales. Align your social good efforts with your customers’ values and they’ll be more willing to advocate for and support your brand.

Related: Don’t Let These 3 Myths Stop You From Launching a Cause-Marketing Campaign

2. Show your impact.

Storytelling should be at the heart of your social enterprise. It’s not enough to simply spout numbers about total dollars given to your cause; go one step further and show the total impact of your efforts on a personal level. At UChic, we highlight the stories of the girls we support with our scholarship program, giving a face to those young women our customers are helping through product purchases.

Try creating a landing page dedicated to your cause, your goal and your tangible impact. Share photos, narratives and in-depth looks at the good you’re doing. Make it clear to your customers that you’re following through on your company’s philanthropic missions – and promise – and you’ll have advocates for the long term.

Related: Storytelling Could Bring Your Brand to Life and Strengthen Your Marketing Impact

3. Get customers involved.

People feel more connected to social enterprises when they’re invited to participate in the process. TOMS Shoes has built an entire army of social good-driven supporters through this model. They encourage their customers to join “TOMS Tribe,” leading their own philanthropy efforts across the world – all backed by the power of TOMS. By doing so, they have people around the globe sharing stories of the companies impact. Whether it’s inviting customers to join humanitarian trips, asking them to share their own stories of social good or simply asking them what social issues matter most, involving them in the philanthropic process will help them feel connected on a deeper level. And change them from customers to ambassadors.

4. Deliver a stellar product.

You could follow the best social enterprise practices and support an amazing cause, but if your product doesn’t appeal to your market, your business won’t gain traction. A successful social enterprise combines appealing to the cause your target consumer supports and offering the products that resonate with their needs and wants. Warby Parker is a shining example. They attract busy, cash-strapped millennials with quick, easy and affordable eyewear options, and then seal the deal with their impactful social good mission. It’s a win-win.

By truly understanding your consumers and effectively articulating the story of your mission, you’ll set your social enterprise up for success, and ultimately, greater impact.

11 Ways to Maintain Your Status

Maintain Your Status

Once you’ve been approved at every level, there’s still work to do. Maintaining your nonprofit status is an ongoing process, and the consequences are severe if you don’t follow the rules. Here are 11 things you need to do on an ongoing basis.

1. Make sure your organization operates in the way you said it would in your application.

2. Hold regular meetings of the board of directors, focus on the mission of the organization by being mission driven.

3. Comply with annual IRS requirements to file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ. In these forms, you will report your organization’s activities, governance, revenue, expenses and net assets. Be aware that your completed form will be publicly available. Also, your state government may require a copy.

4. Have diverse funding sources. 501(c)(3) organizations are supposed to be public; if you have too few funding sources, you might have to reorganize as a private foundation. Foundations must operate by a completely different set of rules.

5. Run your organization like a business with its own bank account and credit card. Keep all financial transactions completely separate from your personal accounts.

6. Keep impeccable financial records in case your organization is audited.

7. Do not allow your organization to participate in any political campaigns.

8. Do not unjustly enrich anyone compensated by your organization.

9. Do not use your organization to further non-exempt purposes or to commit illegal acts.

10. Do not allow a substantial part of your organization’s activities to be geared toward influencing legislation.

11. Avoid earning unrelated business income through your organization. This is income from an activity that is regularly carried on and is not substantially related to your organization’s purpose. Such income is subject to the unrelated business income tax.

The Bottom Line

Starting a 501(c)(3) can become a simplified and turn key process with WSG Consulting, Inc.  but can be an exhausting process to maintain it. Before you tackle the challenge, weigh the pros and cons of meeting all the legal and tax requirements of forming and operating an official nonprofit organization.

Sign up for your assessment with C Nicole & WSG Consulting, Inc.

Start Strong and Develop what it takes to be Great and successful! Ask about Gift Certificate!

Social Impact Manifesto

Tired of being just a watcher or spectator on the sidelines.  Become a part of a team or build a Nonprofit Organization where you and others can play to win for social impact and social justice.  You have been passive for too long.  You know you have a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of others.  No need to be afraid. The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains.

Find yourself in one or more of these keys to the Social Impact Manifesto.  There are several different ways that you can participate and become a light or change agent for others.  Get involved as an advisor.  Become trained as a board member with C Nicole Henderson & Associates to serve in your organization or with others.  It is never too late to live our your purpose or mission that is burning in your heart.

We have the tools and the expert know how to walk with you every step of the way to Fast Track Your 501c3 Process and become a Hi-Touch Sustainable Organization.

Join the 10 month Leadership Council for Nonprofits.  Social Impact Leaders Master Mind/Round Table will be March, TBA.    

7 Ways to Attain Social Impact
1. Explore the benefits of volunteering
2. Make a difference in your community as light or change agent
3. Act on your Personal mission or Purpose
4. Share your expertise and talent on boards and offer advisement
5. Extend legacy and honor in the name of nonprofit organization
6. Create a plan of Social Good for your business
7. Make time and commitment to serve and give to others

 

8 Things Great Proposal Writers Do Differently

Proposal writing is very different from other forms of writing. The goals are different, the methods are different, and even the word choices are different. Extremely competent professionals often produce text that would be acceptable for other applications, but which amounts to rather ordinary proposal writing. Ordinary proposal writing is not enough to win. So I’m constantly looking for ways to show people how to get from ordinary proposal writing to great proposal writing. When I do proposal training, here are some of the things I focus on to help people break out of the ordinary so they can win in writing.

  1. Make a point. Every sentence in a proposal has to do two things: respond to the RFP and make a point that explains why it matters. Don’t just simply tell them what you are offering, why you are qualified, or how much experience you have. Tell them how what you are offering achieves their goals, why your qualifications mean you will be able to deliver as promised, or how your experience will lead to better results. It helps to know what matters. If you don’t make the right points, your proposal will add up to nothing, even if you say how really and truly great your company is.

  2. Differentiate. You can’t win if you don’t differentiate. Customers pick winners based on the differences that make one the best alternative. The points you make in your proposal writing must differentiate your proposal.

  3. Write from the customer’s perspective instead of your own. It’s not about what you want to say, it’s about what the customer needs to read in order to make their decision. If you simply describe your company and your offering, you’re not writing from the customer’s perspective, you’re writing about yourself. You have to twist your sentences around to be what the customer wants to see instead of just writing what you think sounds good.

  4. Use other people’s words. When there’s an RFP and a formal evaluation, you are being evaluated against the words in the RFP. That means your points have to match their evaluation criteria, and you have to make those points using the words of the RFP. Instead of writing things the way you want to say them, you have to use their words. It’s more like solving a puzzle or cooking than it is like speaking.

  5. Communicate visually. A great proposal writer doesn’t have to be an artist, but it does help to be able to doodle. A good graphic communicates better than good writing. A good graphic can be used to drive what you do write. Great proposal writers build what they write around great graphics.

  6. Have a process. Before you start writing you need to know what points to make. Before you use a graphic to drive what you write, you have to be able to draw that graphic. Before you can use the customer’s words, you have to parse them. Before you can write to the customer’s perspective, you have to understand the customer. Without the right information delivered to the right people at the right time in a chain of events leading up to the start of the proposal, a great proposal writer won’t be able to achieve great proposal writing. Great proposal writing only happens at the tail end of a process.

  7. Make it add up to what it will take to win. Winning a proposal requires you to make the points that add up to being the customer’s best alternative. Winning in writing requires discovering what it will take to win.

  8. Time management. I know you’re getting pulled in a hundred different directions, but there’s this thing called a deadline… Even if you have the skills and you have the information, you have to be able to deliver on time in spite of all the distractions. You have to prioritize, and this may mean some brutal choices. But keep your eyes on the prize. See “Making it add up to what it takes to win” above. See “Have a process” above for the most significant thing you can do to support time management.

What great proposal writers do is bring it all together at the same time. They do all of them and skip none of them. They do them all in every single sentence. When you put an ordinary proposal next to a great proposal, the difference is huge. Even when the RFP forces everyone to offer the exact same thing, a great proposal will clearly offer more value, be more insightful, and be more trustworthy. Seek WSG Consulting, Inc. for your proposal needs.  We write what is just right for your organization and the RFP.