The Rundown 11.15.2017

You know it's the holiday season when your lists not only grow, but you start adding new ones to the bunch: lists for work, lists for holiday gift shopping, lists for holiday food shopping, lists for seasonal events and parties, lists for who's been naughty and who's been nice around the office. And on and on and on they go.

So it seems about right that my favorite articles this week all seemed to have the list thing too going on. And who doesn't love a good list blog anyway? Usually articles in this format are clear and consumable from the title alone. 5 things? That sounds great. 25? Hm. Maybe. 82? No way, I have better things to do.

So, here is your list of the 5 of the best articles I've read this week with a combined 37 tips and ideas to make you smarter and savvier in less than 25 minutes. Not too shabby, right? Aren't you glad you've added The Rundown to your list of some of your favorite things this year? I know I am.



8 Nonprofit Phrases, From Least to Most Exploitative, Ranked

  • If you've been reading The Rundown for any length of time, you know what a nut I am for language and the use of it. Especially in the nonprofit sector. And while I'm not fully on board with every example in this list, I'm enough so that it's one of my favorite articles I've read this week. 
  • Filled with phrases we all use wildly, Ryan Blocker at The Clyde Fitch Report, breaks down 8 of them that really tear at our collective fabric in ways we don't always intend or notice. Until today. 

5 minute read 

11 ways to get feedback from your most introverted employee

  • Believe it or not, I'm honestly an extroverted introvert. As such, I am often more sensitive to the plight of classic introverts. So an article like this really spoke to me when it came to helping anyone manage more strategically and thoughtfully with their introverted employees and co-workers. 
  • Brilliantly outlined by Claire Lew at the Know Your Company Blog, she not only puts things into perspective, but honestly offers one of the best lists I've ever seen that's both frank and effective. 

8 minute read

6 Approaches to Innovation for Nonprofit Boards

  • Upon my deathbed, I will probably utter to my loved ones "...always remember, a nonprofit with a crummy board will never thrive in any other area of their organization until they build one that can move them forward powerfully..." Or something dramatic like that. 
  • So I'm always thankful for articles like this by Eugene Fram, because it's ripe with a wealth of ways to think bigger and more effectively about board models and management. No. Seriously folks. Get your boards together. 

3 minute read

5 Reasons to Add Your Voice to the Volunteer Management Progress Report

  • And if I still have any breath in my body while still on my deathbed, I will also include the phase "...and don't even get me started about the plight of volunteer managers and how poorly the industry treats them..." or again, something equally as dramatic. 
  • No matter if you are a paid or unpaid volunteer professional, please check out this  request to help support the 2018 Volunteer Management Progress Report put out by Tobi Johnson at VolunteerPRO. It'll provide a dynamic wealth of information on the industry and honestly needs your voice to help insure so. 

3 minute read w/o links

The Seven Deadly Sins of Sponsorship

  • Sponsorship is not philanthropy. And yet, how many times do we attempt to intertwine them boldly and foolishly? But they are not the same, and it's a problem and often looks foolish when we try to merge them. 
  • Carrying them down from the mountain top, Chris Baylis spells out the top 7 "sins" we all face in the sponsorship game and how to smartly avoid them.  He's not just preaching folks, this is the Word. Trust me. 

5 minute read



We all know the classic nonprofit terms and definitions governing the sector, but what happens when we need new ones? So Team Rhinocorn decided to suggest new thoughtful or playful terms we think need introduced into the nonprofit lexicon.


noun | An organization of one where the sole founder calls themselves the "owner" and won't accept any sustainable help, advice, or support from volunteers or stakeholders. Often 501cMEs brag about how hard they work for no pay and how "no one gets the importance of their work anyway" to anyone within earshot. 



"The human animal differs from the lesser primates in his passion for lists."

H. Allen Smith

The Rundown 11.8.2017

This was a fun week to produce. Not only am I sharing a really fantastic nonprofit blog series I've fallen in love with, and several best-practice-smashing articles, but I found a blog that's literally featuring a dozen other blogs!

I know, right? Informational Networking Nerd Heaven! So this week is rich with learning and new writers and thought-leaders to follow. It just makes me so happy to spread the intellectual wealth among us all. 

On that very note, do you know that if you're a writer, podcaster, or have thoughts to share, I'd love to see your stuff too, right? Please send it my way. I can't promise I'll share everything on here, but as you know, I still love to read it all


501 Crossroads Podcast

  • The nonprofit sector, a savory topic or two, and sometimes a glass of wine, it's all ripe for lively discussion and  exploration on the 501 Crossroads Podcast - a podcast I've come to really enjoy in the past few months.
  • Hosted by Marjorie Moore and Natalie Jablonski, they're smart, funny, and passionate about exploring the intersection between people and mission because like the rest of us, they live it everyday.  

Costly Mistakes That Affect Many Non-Profits

  • I always love a good solid, straight-to-the-point article that lays out the kind of truthful advice we all need to hear in an honest, direct, thoughtful tone.  
  • This one is a recent favorite by Robert L. Wambolt who pulls no punches in offering 4 examples of mistakes nonprofit make that costs more money than we often realize. My favorite number? Honestly, they're all equally meaningful.
  • 2 minute read

A Graphic Re-visioning of Nonprofit Overhead

  • There are some days when reading an article is just flat-out rewarding. A revelation. A mind-blower. An article ofoffering advice, or a tool, or a way to look at something in a way that completely changes the game - and kinda make you leap for joy. 
  • And this time around, we have Curtis Klotz at Nonprofit Quarterly to thank for his article, introducing a life-changing new concept about how to address and showcase nonprofit overhead like never before. But moreover, in a way that's actually clearer and more effective for donors and stakeholders. 
  • 5 minute read

2017 International Volunteer Managers Day Blog Carnival

  • As you might know, the nonprofit industry just celebrated International Volunteer Manager's Day and what better way to celebrate than with a ton of amazing volunteer management blogs written by professionals from all over the globe! 
  • Massive shout-out to Liza J Dyer who lovingly put together this list of a dozen articles written by some of my personal favorite people in the industry and one that'll keep you reading and learning for days to come!


We all know the classic nonprofit terms and definitions governing the sector, but what happens when we need new ones? So Team Rhinocorn decided to suggest new thoughtful or playful terms we think need introduced to the nonprofit lexicon.

Vanilla Marketing

noun | the opposite of Guerrilla Marketing, where a nonprofit spends too much on an advertising strategy that's overly generic or conventional , often stripping out their core message to appeal to a larger audience. 

"We were worried that our mission to support three-legged, one-eyed dogs was alienating, but we might have gone a little too vanilla marketing with our visuals of just dog bowls in the grass and the tagline 'Help us make them feel whole again...'." 


"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."

Johnny Cash

The Rundown 11.1.2017

Oh sure, we think we have it ALL figured out, we nonprofit professionals. As I like to joke in our world, "best practices" are really just a phrase we use to make the stuff we're always endlessly doing sound like it's intentional. 

So when you see an article by a seasoned professional talk about how their past mistakes can save you time and trouble today, or they're showcasing a list of ideas to help change your organization's culture, or they're offering a free course? You run to those links. You run to them and click on them and pour over them and thank the nonprofit gods these people take the time to write. And that you took the time to read.

But don't thank me for taking the time to post them. I'm just a crazy person doing my thing. I'm no hero. You and the writers are the real heroes. I'm just connecting dots and hopefully speeding up the process. 


FREE Nonprofit Master Class: Mapping Out Your Nonprofit Marketing Calendar for 2018!

  • How often are you only just starting to think about your holiday solicitation campaign in late September or your summer campaign in May?
  • Thankfully, Julia Campbell has you covered with a free webinar in December to help you plan for all of 2018 with a Master Class in nonprofit marketing mapping.

16 (yes, 16!) Easy Ways to Lead Your Organization’s Culture Shift

  • You know your organization needs a culture shift around fundraising and philanthropy, but how? Where do you start? And how can you directly contribute to the success? 
  • Offering over a dozen smart and easy solutions, Pamela Grow suggests a wealth of culture-affecting ideas that anyone and everyone can do to create impact. My favorites on her list? #1 and #14, for sure. 
  • 5 minute read

5 Fundraising Delusions Nonprofits Suffer

  • Sometimes an article just drops from heaven, preaching the truth, showing us the way. If only we were smart enough to read them and heed them!
  • Offering us a beacon of light, Nell Edgington at Social Velocity spells out five of the lies fundraisers (and board members) tell ourselves. Go get a second cup of coffee and sit down for this one. 
  • 3 minute read

10 Things I Regret About My First Volunteer Training

  • Training and orienting volunteers isn't just about reviewing a handbook or telling people where the bathrooms are and when to clock-in for a shift. No no, my friends, it's an invested process that takes tact, planning and a heap of purpose.
  • And take it from a master like Tobi Johnson at VolunteerPRO, who thoughtfully tells us about her early years, the mistakes she's made, and how you can avoid them to insure your own program thrives today. 
  • 3 minute read


We all know the classic nonprofit terms and definitions governing the sector, but what happens when we need new ones? So Team Rhinocorn decided to suggest new thoughtful or playful terms we think need introduced to the nonprofit lexicon.


noun | when a donor asks to have a special or significant thank you uniquely created for them as a condition of their donation.  

"Mrs. Jones was open to a $10k gift, but as a thanchor she's expecting our next special event 5k be named after her late husband."


"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do." 



The Rundown 10.25.2017

"Kill'em with kindness" is something I've heard my entire life. It wasn't until I became an SME and then a consultant that I understood what it really meant. Sometimes I'm right and others are wrong. Sometimes I'm wrong and others are right. And sometimes we're both both and still at odds. 

But how we handle ourselves is what really matters anymore. Not just politically or personally, but has humans. Being right or wrong doesn't warrant a behavior that should ignore kindness or thoughtfulness. In fact, I've found that people are more willing than ever to listen and hear me when I'm coming from a place of kindness rather than trying to "win" something. 

With that in mind, I've found some really kind articles and promotions this week where people are being really thoughtful and mindful of their opinions and the facts involved. You honestly don't find that everyday. So I'm glad I found some for us to share in the bounty. 


Free Membership Growth Online summit 2017

  • Imagine a world where you'd have access to 5 expert-led webinars over 5 days that was free, recorded, earned you CAEs, and covered a wealth of insight and strategy on the subjects of member engagement and growth.
  • Well, thanks to the Wild Apricot team, you need imagine no longer. Taking place the week of November 13th-17th, click the link above to learn more, register and enjoy the splendor of free, focused education all from the comforts of your desktop. My favorite kind.  

5 Ways You Can Create a More Inclusive Workplace Immediately -- and Why You Should

  • SPOILER ALERT: "Inclusion" isn't a buzzword. It's real. It's needed. And it matters to the future of any organization no matter the shape, size or mission. If only there were some easy ways to create a more inclusive environment worth considering. 
  • Thank goodness for people like Frans Johansson at  Entrepreneur who make our lives easier with their bright ideas. And bonus! This isn't written just for "leaders" but for any employee or volunteer to consider and use. 

3 minute read

4 Strategies to Dramatically Increase Nonprofit Donations

  • Unless you're new to fundraising, there are very few tricks that most of us haven't used to try and get new or renewed donors. Now, that doesn't mean we don't need the occasional reconsideration or idea to give us a little renewed spirit or idea. 
  • Enter Claire Axelrad at Clarification where she suggests 4 solid ideas to consider engaging and enticing donors--including one I don't personally appreciate, but Claire makes the point that she doesn't either - and yet it really works. 

5 minute read w/o links

Anti-Collaboration Is Killing Your Nonprofit

  • POPQUIZ: Do you know how many of your volunteers donate? Or how many donors volunteer? No? Oh. Wow. Ok. 
  • Written lovingly by me, I want to just explore the conversation about the value of making sure your Engagement Professionals are collaborating. Because your donors and volunteers are... and it's painful when you don't play along. 

4 minute read


We all know the classic nonprofit terms and definitions governing the sector, but what happens when we need new ones? So Team Rhinocorn decided to suggest new thoughtful or playful terms we think need introduced to the nonprofit lexicon. 


verb | using a free, cheaper, or donated item or service from an outside source that's knowingly inferior but financially and logistically necessary. 

"We got to a point where we needed a solid CRM to track our donors, but the board told us it was too expensive so we downsourced a donor tracker in Excel that one of our volunteers built for another organization she works at."


"Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all." 

Ban Ki-moon


The Rundown 10.18.2017

I think we are comfortable pushing hard for our missions, but not always comfortable pushing as hard for our visions. We're passionate about the problems we're trying to solve, but we often struggle to master and address the larger systems of failure or struggle.

And no, I understand that some of our nonprofits are not actually focused on those kinds of issues, that we really exist only to solve the systemic by-products of key issues. But I'd like to think we could do so much more for the world if we spent just a little more time on the madness and not just the methods to address the madness.

So this week? A few ways to think differently about where we are and where we could go regarding our stories, our engagement relationships and our financial needs. Enjoy and let your thoughtful brain wander just a little. 



10 Free Ways to Re-Purpose Your Nonprofit’s Stories

  • You have these amazing stories you've been telling for years... but why are you kinda tired of telling them? Because, frankly, you're not diversifying your methods or delivery channels.
  • Thank Julia Claire Campbell for coming to the rescue with 10 amazing ideas, places and platforms to reinvigorate and reinspire your storytelling platform in ways even your longest running donor or volunteer will appreciate with new eyes or ears. 

6 minute read w/o links and video examples

4 Things Successful People Do to Have Great Relationships!

  • I love articles that have impact on several levels. Like when you read an inspired story about someone's travel and and it makes you simultaneously appreciate your own town, or when you read an article about a new recipe and it make you appreciate the value of shopping for specialaity foods or unique produce. 
  • And then there is this gem from Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, where in a simple article about having successful interpersonal relationships, you can't help but see how these 4 tips relate to relationships with your volunteers, staff, board members and donors. A two-for-one-article, and both are free! 

3 minute read w/o video

The Greatest Ongoing Nonprofit and Donor Debate

  • We've all been there: donors wanting to know how much of their $1 is going directly to mission and not all that "other stuff". And how do we respond? Usually not well or... honestly.  
  • Thank goodness for people like Wayne Elsey who help us with those difficult conversations about overhead myths and how to better make sure we're talking honestly and educationally with donors about not just the value of their dollar for mission, but their support of the structures that are necessary to perform the mission. 

4 minute read

Have You Checked Out Rhinocorn's Conference Created Exclusively for Engagement Professionals?

  • If you're a fundraiser, volunteer manager or executive leader wishing you could attend a conference that handed over amazing educational tools but also really understood your pressures and the issues pushing you to burnout, you're in luck. 
  • ER2: An Engagement Refinery & Retreat for Nonprofit Engagement Professionals is the conference for you! A unique one-day conference in NE Ohio, January 2018 - focused on nonprofit Engagement Professionals and their unique and often unmet educational and self-care needs. 

Click the link for details and to get the Early Bird rate!

new nonprofit LEXICON 

We all know the classic nonprofit terms and definitions governing the sector, but what happens when we need new ones? So Team Rhinocorn decided to suggest new thoughtful or playful terms we think need introduced to the nonprofit lexicon. 


noun a large formal meeting or multi-day professional event for networking or learning with peers, industry leaders and subject matters experts where the schedule looked and sounded exciting, but it was just another generic, thread-bare and best-practices-on-repeat event that made you wish you'd stayed at home.  

"I worked so hard to get my nonprofit to give me the budget for this event, but it was such a yawnference that it almost doesn't feel worth it to ask to attend again next year." 


"I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better. I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself." | Elon Musk


The Rundown 10.11.2017

What are you willing to actually do to make what you're doing successful and effective? This is a question I've been asking myself lately. There are a million roads to travel, a million "best practices" a million voices telling us what to do, why, when and sometimes--but rarely--how. 

But what are you really willing to do? Because I've found that without a focus, without a vision, without a strategy or purpose, it's just a bunch of stuff and random actions. And yes, maybe you have a few successes, but where is it all going? So this week? Some bright ideas, rolled in vision. Enjoy. 


Create the Perfect Fundraising Pitch with this Easy Template

  • Nothing makes me happier than a mix of humor, wit and intelligence. So when you find a blog with those attributes, you know I'm going to share it.
  • Taking a literal "Mad-Libs" approach to creating an effective elevator pitch for donors, Jean Wong at INSTRUMENTL offers an inspired tool using a beloved childhood favorite. 

4 minute read | originally shared by Victoria Thorne @ the InfoShare Network

Three reasons why it’s time to stop talking about amateurs and professionals

  • Do you believe that volunteers are less dedicated, talented or suited for more difficult tasks than "paid" professionals or staff? Then you are a terrible person. No, just mostly, kinda, sorta, (not really) kidding. 
  • Helping to smartly dispel the myths that often shackle volunteerism and it's opportunities and purpose, Rob Jackson breaks it down to reset the ideas of anyone thinking volunteers are amateurs by design or default. 

3 minute read

How to Determine an Exact Ask Amount for Each of Your Major Gift Donors

  • Maybe "exact" is a strong word, but sometimes you just need a really smart approach to ask for a gift amount from your individual donors that isn't too far above or below their ability to give.
  • Offered in both video and blog format (love that) Amy Eisenstein at the GuideStar Blog walks you through a thoughtful process to identify the best ask amount and strategy for major gift solicitations. 

6 minute video and/or 4 minute read

Rhinocorn Launches Its First Nonprofit Conference for Engagement Professionals: ER2! 

  • Are you a fundraiser, volunteer manager or executive leader feeling unsupported educationally, with the pressure and stress of your day-to-day verging on personal or professonal burnout? 
  • Then ER2: An Engagement Refinery & Retreat for Nonprofit Engagement Professionals is the conference for you! A unique one-day conference in NE Ohio, January 2018 - focused on nonprofit Engagement Professionals and their unique and often unmet educational and self-care needs. 

Click the link for details and to get the Early Bird rate!



We all know the classic nonprofit terms and definitions governing the sector, but what happens when we need new ones?  Welcome to the "Lexicon" section of The Rundown: new thoughtfully or playfully terms we think should be introduced into the nonprofit lexicon. 


noun A standard or point of reference that's past its prime or no longer effective but it's been happening for so long or it's so well known, that an organization can't seem to stop doing it. 

"We haven't made good money off this event in over seven years, I'm worried it's become a trenchmark for our fundraising."


What is the one piece of work-related technology you could never give up?



"No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination."  Edward Hopper



The Rundown 10.4.2017

I believe The Rundown shouldn't just be a reflection of what a busy nonprofit engagement professional can experience to keep them smarter and more informed, but also a platform to invite new language and conversations in our everyday lives. It believe it should be progressive, not just expressive. 

So welcome to the refreshed Rundown, where I hope you enjoy the new layout and features. It's all to keep making this your absolute favorite nonprofit informational resource each and every week. Enjoy!

* * *

My heart goes out this week to everyone affected by the shootings in Las Vegas.



Why It's Important To Understand The Donor Journey

  • Sometimes all it takes a different eye, a different lens to look at something with a fresh perspective. What is your donor's journey with your nonprofit, why does it matter and how do you actually influence the experience?
  • Outlined to perfection by Kari Wilson at Kindful, she introduces a different way to think not only about your donor's experience, but your ability to make it a journey worth repeating. 

5 minute read w/o links

Your most undervalued trait

  • Sometimes we need to hold a mirror up to ourselves, our goals, our very motivations in order to even grasp how someone else might be driven to do similar things. 
  • Talking specifically about her interpersonal relationship with giving, but having so much to do with how to better understand a donor's relationship too, Bea Boccalandro give us a peek into her own "Inner Giver" to shed light for all of us find ours and the "Inner Giver" of others. 

2 minute read

Why to Focus on Event Outcomes when Managing Volunteers

  • Outputs are easy, but outcomes? Those are often far more complicated. And the world between them matter tremendously. So if you're only focused on outputs as a volunteer manager you're not even scratching the surface of what you or your volunteers are truly capable of accomplishing.
  • Creating a conversation around this issue, Jana Wunderlich talks about the topic in a grounded, realistic manner before inviting us to respond with our own concerns and interests. 

3 minute read

Words Matter: Finding a Better Narrative for the Sector

  • Among a variety of language needs, it's clear to anyone in the industry that the nonprofit sector suffers from lacking a thoughtful and identifiable narrative to help better tell it's larger story. 
  • A topic and project passionately introduced by Robert Jones at the Independent Sector, you'll see that with the support of communications firms, Ogilvy and Springboard Partners, this project not only has great merit, it has dynamic legs. 

2 minute read



We all know the classic nonprofit terms and definitions governing the sector, but what happens when we need new ones to describe the day-to-day adventures and unique qualities that often lack a proper term? Welcome to the "Lexicon" section of The Rundown, where we aim to thoughtfully or playfully identify and explore a potential term or two we'd like to introduce into the nonprofit lexicon. 


noun | The sequence of processes involved in the distribution of a new policy or tool by someone at the headquartered or executive level of a nonprofit for the whole organization to use in accordance of a wish or command. 

"Do we think one email to everyone will work as the best comply chain announcement for the new HR policy updates?" 


What is the number one thing you wish donors knew better about your nonprofit?



"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why."
Eddie Cantor




The Rundown 9.27.2017

Some weeks I'm up to my eyeballs in great content and dozens of fantastic articles, making it hard to pick just a handful to share. And then there are other weeks... where it's a little less, a little anemic. *tumbleweed rolls by*

This week was a little dry by my estimation. But what I did read that's worth sharing really focused on several areas we often ask ourselves, but can't always put a firm finger on the answers: telling board members "No." effectively, why it's hard to tell the difference between capability and performance, and how to gain leadership skills without breaking the bank. 

Some solid answer and ideas here folks. A brief, but great week of informational enlightenment, all in your inbox. 

How to Say “No” to Nonprofit Board Members

  • Its rare that I feature back-to-back articles from the same author from week to week, but when they're this good, and on a topic so many of us struggle with? You don't even hesitate. 
  • Offering 6 smart tips on how to say "no" with skill, Terry Ibele at Wild Apricot give you a wealth to think about and even more to employ. 

5 minute read

Why Is Focusing on Performance So Difficult?

  • No really. No. Really. Performance is how things are done and capability are skill that someone has. Can and should they overlap? Yes. But they're not exchangeable. 
  • Because we all manage people (staff, volunteers, donors, board members) Dana Robinson at the Association for Talent Development (ATD) gives you a few thoughts on how to be better at tracking and managing performance in ways that really translate, no matter your sector. 

2 minute read

11 Places to Learn Leadership Skills That Will Make You a More Confident Leader Without Costing You a Dime

  • I don't know if you've caught on? But I get around when it comes to leadership development and education. So when I found an article that highlights 8-9 educational resources I'd never heard of and they're free?! It's worth sharing. 
  • Putting together a really thoughtful list, Larry Kim at Inc. gives you a dozen new places to find new, free and progressive educational resources (Larry being the 12th) to keep sharpening you into the leader you know you are. 

3 minute read w/o links

"I am a teacher. It's how I define myself. A good teacher isn't someone who gives the answers out... but is understanding of needs and challenges and gives tools to help other people succeed. That's the way I see myself, so whatever it is that I will do eventually after politics, it'll have to do a lot with teaching."
Justin Trudeau

The Rundown 9.20.2017

Ever find a really gorgeous lamp or piece of art and think "Oh, I'd love to have that, but where would I put it?" And you stand there, wondering if you should buy it anyway and figure it out later or just let it go so you don't fill your house with a bunch of things that don't really have a place or purpose? 

This is me. This is you. This is the nonprofit sector. A place where we often find nuggets of wisdom, bright ideas, new models of ingenuity and the like, and think to ourselves "Is there a place for this at my nonprofit?" or "Do I have the bandwidth or money or space or time to try and adopt this idea into our organization?"

This week? I've got a few more nuggets of wisdom and bright ideas to share. About fundraising, about presenting, board diversity, and volunteer recruitment. What will you do? Will you find any room? I guess time will tell. But even if I'm making you think a little harder about those problems, I still argue they're good problems to have. More options and brighter ideas are always better than none. 

How to Get Donations: 18 Ways the Pros Are Doing It

  • Consultants like me believe everyone could do something better or at least try something different. So having 18 ideas to grow or support your fundraising is a nice place to start. I personally loved #15. 
  • A dynamic list created by Terry Ibele at Wild Apricot, even the most seasoned fundraiser will find at least one idea you've never explored but worth considering. 

5 minute read w/o links

The Great Presentation Skills Hoax

  • Can you have a successful presentation and not be a good presenter? Sure! Just like you can get to the other side of the lake by doggy paddling and not be a good swimmer. But it's not easy. 
  • Kindly addressed by Dave Mac over at the Presentation Blogger, he offers a handful of thoughtful tips to help you grow your skills. 

3 minute read

7 things you can do to improve the sad, pathetic state of board diversity

  • BoardSource recently released its report on board diversity - and boy are we failing as an industry. In fact, over two decades of research proves we're not even trying to improve. 
  • Please. Please. Please read this really passionate and thoughtful overview from Vu Le over at Nonprofit AF.  He breaks it all down and then helps to build it back up with a series of serious investments we all need to achieve for moving forward powerfully. 

6 minute read - and worth every second. 

Remember, Seek Out Volunteers Who Represent Your Audience

  • Fresh off the idea of how diversity plays into your boards, have you considered how it also involves your volunteers? Do you think of your volunteers as a true reflection of your organization?
  • While this article doesn't directly address racial diversity, Kayla Matthews at VolunteerMatch's Engaging Volunteers blog offers insights that help you map your community against your volunteers and now--more than ever--looking at this through the lens of diversity and how to reflect your community more effectively. 

3 minute read

"If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." John F. Kennedy


The Rundown 9.13.2017

I was telling a good friend the other day that each week while I'm constructing The Rundown, I always think that week's edition is the best edition ever. And frankly, this week's edition is no different. 

Little by little I feel I'm constantly uncovering what The Rundown is and how to make it an exciting and effective source of information for its readership.

Just as Rhinocorn is an Engagement Expertise consultancy, The Rundown is a reflection of that - a collection of blogs and insights about leadership, growth, engagement, education and insights affecting the professions of fundraisers, volunteer managers, communicators, public programmers, educators and leadership. 

If you're a nonprofit professional in another sector, does that mean it's not a good fit for you? I don't know, you'd have to tell me. But if you're an Engagement Professional, I hope you've found The Rundown to be a wellspring of curated insight and information that's speaking to you. 


The More Senior Your Job Title, the More You Need to Keep a Journal

  • Your brain needs a break. It needs time to not just think, but process and dwell and consider. And if you're in a leadership position, more than ever. 
  • Addressing its benefits, Dan Ciampa at the Harvard Business Review talks about the power of "sitting quietly in a room alone with your thoughts" and how journaling creates that much-needed opportunity for leaders. 

4 minute read

Could your volunteers solve most of your fundraising problems?

  • As an Engagement Expert, I know first hand the connection between donors and volunteers (and I'm not just talking about board members). And often we far, far undervalue volunteers universally, but even moreso when we're talking about donor potential. 
  • With a quick list of statistics you'll want to know, Gregory Warner at MarketSmart gives you a few things to think about to consider volunteers more than just "free labor". 

1 minute read

How to Add Urgency to Your Fundraising Appeals Without Being Pushy

  • Your fundraising asks need to be compelling and clear, but they also often need to be direct and timely. Donors need to donate now! Your mission doesn't sleep, donors can't either. But how best to relay that message?
  • Answering the question "Why now?", John Haydon will engage and entertain you with 6 fantastic tips and tricks and a few gifs and solid examples thrown in along the way. 

4 minute read

Mindful News Consumption Tips for Nonprofit Professionals

  • No matter if it's real, fake, pressing, live, or historical, news can become overwhelming when you're trying to stay highly informed, while also trying not to let it consume you these days. 
  • Giving you some amazing and thoughtful tips on being a wise news consumer, If you're not following or reading Beth Kanter, you're not really living your best life as a nonprofit professional. 

3 minute read

Nonprofit Engagement Professionals Run the World

  • Your nonprofit is run and ruled by the successes and efforts of your Engagement Professionals. They take your mission and passion and make them relatable, engaging and investment-worthy. 
  • But do you know who they are? And are you investing in them? Because I have some ideas and solutions to help. A little piece by me

3 minute read



"It takes a little bit of mindfulness and a little bit of attention to others to be a good listener, which helps cultivate emotional nurturing and engagement." 
Deepak Chopra