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Building a Strong Foundation. Through and Effective Board and Sound Practices. What is the Nonprofit Assistance Center (NAC). NAC’s mission is to build strong communities by strengthening the organization with them. What is NAC.

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Building a Strong Foundation

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Building a strong foundation l.jpg

Building a Strong Foundation

Through and Effective Board and Sound Practices


What is the nonprofit assistance center nac l.jpg

What is the Nonprofit Assistance Center (NAC)

  • NAC’s mission is to build strong communities by strengthening the organization with them.


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What is NAC

  • NAC provides culturally competent training mentoring and technical assistance to nonprofit board members, staff and volunteers as a means to enhance organizational infrastructure, leadership, and capacity needed to achieve their mission

  • Targeted are nonprofit in the human service arena, particularly those that are led by and serve low income communities and communities of color.


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What is NACWhat is Threefold:

  • Providing community based organizations with a continuum of accessible and culturally competent TA and training that will build organizational capacity;

  • Creating and documenting best practices that are effective in helping nonprofit, particularly smaller nonprofits and grassroots organizations that traditionally have not accessed mainstream resources;

  • Being a Catalyst for change.


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Background

Many communities create change and address community problems through the formation of nonprofits. Despite the dedication and passion for community work, many nonprofits struggle with a number of issues that threaten the viability of their organization. The founder(s) and board often have great insight and expertise to address needs with in their community. There is often a very strong mission, however, many groups frequently lack expertise in nonprofit management


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  • New organizations and boards, in particular, are not always familiar with minimum requirements and obligations to sustain an organization as a nonprofit. They are not familiar with principles of financial management including labor and IRS laws/requirements related to hiring, taxes, accounting of funds, 990 reporting and allowable use of funds.


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Key Factors for Building a Healthy Organization

  • Strong Board of Directors

  • Good Planning

  • Being true to the organization’s mission vision and values

  • Strong Infrastructure including fiscal and management systems.


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Key Factors for Building a Healthy Organization

  • Strong Service Delivery

  • Sustainability

  • Good Communication

  • Clear roles and responsibilities


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Building an Effective Board

  • Shared Vision, Mission and Values

  • Range of skills and expertise

  • Representation from community

  • Commitment

  • Clear roles and responsibilities


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Building an Effective Board

  • Who is on board?

  • What are the skills and attributes each board member brings?

  • If your board is comprised of “community members,” do you have other needed skills to manage your organization?

  • Is there a check list of board member skills and expertise?


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  • Board Development and Leadership - Are the same people being asked to serve on boards because of their time availability and/or knowledge?

  • Is there a plan to develop and train younger, new community leaders to prepare for the way for the next generation?

  • Are there staggered terms as board members transition as terms start and end?


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As nonprofits pass through various phases of organizational development, they face different and new challenges including changing and evolving roles for both staff and board


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Communication

  • Is there a good network of community within the organization among management/department heads and between line staff and between director and the board


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Fiscal Management Systems

  • Does your organization have it’s own 501c3 or equivalent.

  • Do you have an accountant who is familiar with nonprofit management?

  • Are key management staff familiar with OMB circular A 122 Cost principles for nonprofit management or A 87 Cost principles for state, local and Indian Tribal Governments


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  • Fiscal Controls - Are there adequate fiscal controls, e,g., internal check balances.

  • Balanced Budget - Do you have projects that are operating in the red? Or cost that exceed projected sources of revenue


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Planning and Evaluation

  • Evaluation - Is there a system to evaluate program services and effectiveness.

  • Planning - Is there a coordinated plan or strategy for fund raising and applying for grants so that program fit with the organizational mission and are sustainable


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Other challenges facing nonprofits include:

  • Funding and resources - Lack of resources to pay for core staff or activities. Funding does not support administrative overhead or match the agency’s core mission

  • Sustainability - Funding if often limited. Organizations struggle with the need for on-going funding and how to prioritize the expenditure of existing funds.


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  • Funder norms - Lack of familiarity with the principles of government and/or foundation funding including the basic requirements for fulfilling the responsibilities as a grantee and integrating these with the organization's values and operational protocol


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  • Language and culture - Some community based organizations face language and cultural barriers as they interface with mainstream systems. In addition, they sometimes face internal community conflicts, often stemming from struggles within their ethnic community that impede community building efforts.


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