Wrapping Up Year End

December at KNN means seeing many months of hard work on two key projects finally come together.  While I suspect your year-end list might be long, please take a moment to add these two projects to your list of things to check out:  our new state association health plan and recommendations on laws governing nonprofits in Kentucky.

KNN is committed to finding ways to save our members time and money so you can focus on what matters – your mission.  We heard loud and clear that the costs and complexities of healthcare were causing many of you headaches, so we knew we needed to act.  KNN’s new Employee Benefits Program with our partner Peel & Holland offers eligible members a wide variety of plan choices through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield; full service benefits advisory on group medical, dental and cafeteria plans; and special KNN members-only rates.  If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.  Even if your plan isn’t up for renewal for several months, now is the time to work on exploring options and rates.

We’ve also been hard at work advocating for you.  You may remember that last year, SB 178 (the Revised Nonprofit Incorporation Act) was introduced to overhaul the Kentucky Revised Statues concerning nonprofit incorporation and governance.  The proposed legislation was drafted with no input from nonprofits and it would have impacted every single organization in Kentucky.  KNN was successful in helping keep this bill from moving in last year’s General Assembly.  We proactively convened a work group to explore specific recommendations to improve these laws (since the majority were written in the 1960s and fail to take into account advances in technology) and thanks to their efforts, our list of recommendations has been developed to clarify areas of confusion in the laws.  Now we need to hear from you – please take a minute to read through these recommendations and let us know your thoughts, including any positive or negative implications of the proposed changes by December 11.  Please also plan to join us on December 12 for the upcoming Nonprofit Sector Advocacy Council virtual meeting, where we’ll be further discussing these recommendations and the sector’s legislative agenda for the 2015 General Assembly, and KY Nonprofit Day at the Capitol on February 12.

KNN is proud to serve as your state association – working to strengthen and advance our nonprofit community.  We do this work for you and we simply cannot do it without you – it’s a partnership.  As always, please contact us with your questions, ideas and thoughts.

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Danielle Clore

Executive Director

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Please Don’t Ever Say That Again

Last August we told you about some welcome news from the nation’s three largest nonprofit information providers – GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance – teaming up to issue an open letter to America’s donors explaining that overhead ratios are a poor way to understand a nonprofit’s performance or effectiveness.

Now they’re directly addressing us – the nonprofits – and they are looking for our help.  As a matter of fact, they’ve told us there are some things about overhead that they hope nonprofits NEVER say again.

Statements like “Only X% of your gift goes to overhead,” or “Only X cents on the dollar go to overhead costs” are doing your nonprofit, your donors and those you serve a disservice.

This reminds me of a conversation I had several years ago with a nonprofit executive who boasted about their overhead of less than 7%, yet lamented for the next 30 minutes about how the organization simply couldn’t get things accomplished.  I finally had to ask – do you think your ridiculously low overhead, your unwillingness to invest in infrastructure could be to blame for your woes?  And honestly, don’t those you serve deserve better?

So, where do we go from here?  In this second letter from the “big three,” they share three things that nonprofits can do to move toward an “Overhead Solution:”

  1.      Demonstrate ethical practice and share data about your performance.
  2.      Manage towards results and understand your true costs.
  3.      Help educate funders (individuals, foundations, corporations and government) on the real cost of results.

KNN resources can help you take the steps needed to help us all work together to dismantle the overhead myth and move toward an overhead solution.  Our Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Kentucky tools are the perfect place to start and our website is full of links, templates and resources to assist your organization in improving your effectiveness.  The Principles & Practices tools outline state and federal legal requirements for your nonprofit and provide guidance on recommended best practices in fourteen areas of nonprofit management.  Just by simply using these tools, your nonprofit can become a KNN Best Practices Partner and join with other nonprofits to communicate your organization’s efforts with donors, funders, community members and other stakeholders.   Additional tools and resources can be found at www.strongnonprofits.org and www.overheadmyth.com.

I urge you to please start at home – share these resources with your staff, board members and take a moment to reflect on your OWN attitudes about overhead.  As this great blog post points out, many nonprofits are perpetuating the very myth we claim we so desperately want to dismantle!  I then hope you will seize this opportunity to communicate with donors and funders.  It is only through open and honest discussion between donors and nonprofits about the real cost of results that we can make progress and focus on the work of getting stuff done rather than bending over backward to promote our low or non-existent overhead.

I know some of you are thinking “Amen!” and others plan to file this in the “Danielle is off her rocker” folder.  Either way, let me hear from you and more importantly, let me know how KNN can help.

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Danielle Clore

Executive Director

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Our untapped power

KNN just wrapped up our road trip of town hall meetings across Kentucky to talk about the economic importance of nonprofits.  In each and every meeting we held, nonprofit leaders were completely shocked to learn about the economic power of our sector – the untapped power of our nonprofit community.  What did you miss?

Well you missed a lot, but don’t worry – you can attend one of two town hall meeting sessions at the upcoming KY Nonprofit Leadership Forum on October 28-29 at the Lexington Convention Center to get up to speed.  We’ve also created this quick video that we hope you will post to social media and share with your nonprofit colleagues, board members, staff, donors and volunteers.  Finally, in preparation for election day on November 4, we’ve created these stickers that you can print and distribute.  We’re working on additional tools to help each of us get more informed and better engaged in communicating the economic importance and critical work of our sector.

There are several significant public policy issues facing the nonprofit community in the upcoming legislative session, so efforts NOW to understand our own value and create awareness and relationships with legislators and public officials are vitally important.  The bottom line is: KNN is YOUR state association and we simply cannot do this important work without you and other nonprofits standing with us – standing together.  Please become a KNN member, and if you are already a member, please take a moment to encourage your colleagues to stand with us today.

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Danielle Clore

Executive Director

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Three Award Recipients Announced

In just over a month, nonprofits from across the Commonwealth will arrive in Lexington to attend the Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Forum, the statewide conference for nonprofit professionals.  In addition to learning critical skills and information to help their organizations succeed, attendees have an additional opportunity – to help us celebrate this year’s recipients of our annual awards!

I am thrilled to announce this year’s award recipient​s:

  • Life Learning Center of Covington, selected as recipient of the Innovative Nonprofit Award for their Foundations for a Better Life program — a trademarked, 16-week curriculum which provides the tools and resources needed by individuals seeking long-term stability and a better way to live.
  • Kevin Connelly, executive director of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Louisville, was selected as the recipient of the Energy Insurance Agency and Travelers Insurance Distinguished Nonprofit Leadership Award.  Kevin, the organization’s first executive director, has served for 15 years and was selected for spearheading CNPE’s growth and community building efforts.
  • Glenn Leveridge, board member of Hindman Settlement School, was selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Board Leadership Award.  Glenn was recognized for his outstanding service and leadership, especially during a period of transition at Hindman Settlement School.
I sincerely hope to see you at the Forum on October 28-29 and if you can’t join us for both days, please do plan to purchase an Awards Luncheon ticket for October 29 to help us recognize these outstanding recipients and celebrate our sector. See you soon!
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Danielle Clore
Executive Director

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Hitting the Road Again

I’ve been on the road all summer and while it’s made the summer fly by and end too quickly, I’ve been blessed to make some wonderful memories over the past few months.  I hope you also had an opportunity to rest and relax (or not) with a vacation this summer or have one planned soon!  My unsolicited advice:  do not travel to Disney World in early August. :) dc goofy

I’m packing my bags again because KNN is hitting the road!  Our first stop is in Morehead on Thursday and in total, we’ll visit with eleven communities across the Commonwealth.  If you haven’t yet registered for one of our upcoming More Than Charity Town Hall Meetings, please take a minute and do so now!  Not only because I’d like to see you, but because your nonprofit colleagues need you to join with us for important discussions about our sector. 

If you haven’t heard yet: Kentucky’s nonprofit sector is Kentucky’s third largest industry – following government and retail.  Not only do we as nonprofit leaders need to know facts about the importance of our sector, but our community leaders and decision-makers need to understand these as well.  At our town hall meetings, we’ll be strategizing about how we can better communicate the work of our own nonprofit organizations and our overall sector, including how we can better communicate our importance as providers, employers and major contributors to the economy.

More unsolicited advice:  you need this information, decision-makers need this information and we need you to engage with us to get the word out, so please register today and plan to join us.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

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Danielle Clore

Executive Director

P.S.  Please help us spread the word as we travel across Kentucky by utilizing social media with the hashtag #morethancharitytour.

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Don’t miss out.

I’m not kidding you when I say we have great things in store for you at this year’s 12th Annual Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Forum on October 28-29 at the Lexington Convention Center.   Our new two-day format offers MORE of everything – more networking, more information, more tools and more sessions on topics you’ve requested.  Online registration will be up and running later this week – be on the lookout for the email blast. 

I want to also be sure you don’t miss the opportunity to nominate an innovative organization, an outstanding board leader and/or a distinguished nonprofit executive for KNN’s annual awards.  Nominations must be received by noon this Friday, August 29.  Each award offers great visibility and recipient benefits.  2015 recipients will join the list of innovative organizations like Greenhouse 17 (click here to see their “prize” from last year – a video highlighting their work); outstanding board leaders like Lindy Karns serving Chrysalis House; and distinguished nonprofit executives like Florence Tandy, executive director of Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission. 

The KNN Annual Forum offers great education and networking, but it’s certainly a time of celebration – celebrating the best and most innovative of our sector.  I hope you will take time to nominate a deserving individual or organization and mark your calendar to join us for this year’s event!  I look forward to seeing you there!

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Danielle Clore

Executive Director

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How many desks can we fit in one office?

When KNN moved into our office in September, I never dreamed that by July we’d be nearly out of space.  But squeezing desks into tight spaces are the kinds of good “problems” I’m facing this month as we excitedly welcome two new team members to KNN!  I suspect many of you have experienced similar “growing pains” at your organizations, and despite the challenges, these are good problems and pains to have.

Sarah Brandenburg has been hired as our Director of Membership & Outreach.  She is a resident of Georgetown, graduate of WKU and comes to KNN from the Kentucky Travel Industry Association and is charged with ensuring KNN benefits and educational opportunities meet your needs.  She will also be working on expanding our membership so that our collective nonprofit voice continues to grow.

Ian McHugh has also joined our team as KNN’s first AmeriCorps VISTA member.   He lives in Lexington and is a graduate of Berea College.  Ian will also be helping us enhance our membership efforts, with a special emphasis on our work in Appalachia.

Please join me in welcoming Sarah and Ian to KNN and our nonprofit community.  I know both of them look forward to connecting with you and we definitely hope we see you at the KY Nonprofit Leadership Forum on October 28-29.  Please mark your calendar for the new two-day format of this annual event!

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Danielle Clore

Executive Director

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