Have you read any of the recommended books, or do you have a suggestion for a book we ought to read? Let us know!
Archive for ◊ May, 2011 ◊
Search for 50 Startups with High-Growth Potential Begins with Launch of 2011 Startup Open Competition
Startup Open applicants will have until Sept. 15 to submit their startup moment. For more information on how to enter and the 2010 winners, please visit www.startupopen.com.
THE STRATEGY SESSIONS: Does Your Business Have a Disaster Plan (part 2)?
1. What the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency is doing to aid disaster planning efforts
2. The new terrorism alert program
3. The best approach to creating and implementing a disaster plan for business
4. Resources to help businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups with disaster planning
5. Disaster planning for families
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Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) hosted the 2nd Annual Nonprofit Forum in Silver Spring, MD yesterday, drawing nonprofit executives, corporations, foundations, and community-based organizations.
Rep. Edwards opened the session, saying that she hoped the nonprofit leaders in attendance would gain guidance and prepare for the next successors within their organizations, alluding to the challenges that many nonprofits face: shutting down when a plan is not in place to deal with internal and external challenges.
The first plenary featured representatives from the federal government, who shared their perspectives on obtaining, maintaining, and sustaining grants. Moderated by Chuck Bean, Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, panelists included Michael Robbins, United States Department of Education; Acacia Salatti, United States Department of Health and Human Services; and, Marvin Turner, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Robbins’ takeaways: Spending and support of educational initiatives rests in the hands of community based organizations; partnerships are the “new normal,” and developing collaborative initiatives will help nonprofit organizations maximize services.
Salatti’s takeaways: Focus on what your nonprofit does well; ensure that your mission, capacity, resources, materials, and served constituency are in alignment.
Turner’s takeaways: Nonprofit organizations should deliver what they promise in the grant proposal; decision makers and granters are “impressed by accountability and integrity”
A snapshot of breakout sessions includes:
- Writing a Successful Grant Proposal: Jennifer Jones (moderator), Prince George’s County Commission for Women, Eric Brenner, Maryland Grants Office, and Patricia Pasqual, Foundation Center
- Nonprofit Advocacy: Melissa Bondi (moderator), Think Twice Before You Slice, Hope Gleicher, Nonprofit Montgomery, and Lee Mason, Human Services Coalition of Prince George’s County
- Succession Planning: Glen Ogilvy (moderator), Center for Nonprofit Advancement, Heather Iliff, Maryland Nonprofits Consulting, and Raphael Lopez, Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Youth Partnerships: Luisa Montero-Diaz, Maryland Latin American Youth Council, Nat Chioke Williams, Hill Snowden Foundation, and Pandit F. Wright, Boys & Girls Club
- Education and Literacy Partnerships: Brenda Mitchell, Prince George’s Community College, Mary Mulcahy, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and Nancy Nuell, Montgomery College
The closing plenary session, moderated by Dennis Serrette of the National Urban League, focused on survival strategies for nonprofit organizations, including a discussion on funding priorities for 2011 and beyond. Curtis Etherly, Coca-Cola; Karen Campbell, Verizon; and, Craig Muckle, Safeway all agreed that nonprofits need to do extensive research about the companies they approach for funding.
Top takeaways from the closing panel discussion:
- Pay attention to grant submission guidelines
- Find out the best way to communicate with decision makers, i.e. email or phone calls
- Requests are often reviewed by a number of people, so ensure that submissions are concise and succinct
- Even if a company denies financial support for programs and events, reach out to appropriate company contacts to purchase a ticket to your event
- Do not take rejection personally; more often than not, the issue is about limited resources the company has to distribute among a growing number of organizations
- Take advantage of where your organization is geographically located – in the nation’s capital
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Free Webinar: Know Before You Go
Networking can be a pretty intimidating, and sometimes baffling, concept. How do I network? How do I know if I am doing it right? What should my ROI (return on investment) be for my efforts?
I, and several networking professionals, lend strategies for effective networking in the recently published Biggest Tip for Effective Networking? by Michelle Villalobos.
In an effort to dig a little deeper into the notion of effective networking, we are hosting a FREE webinar that delves into the Three Rs we talked about in Villalobos’ article: Research, Rehearse, and Remember, all key topics we cover in our popular seminar, The Strategic Meet and Greet.
Join us so that we can help you put your game face on before you meet and greet.
FREE WEBINAR: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - 3 Networking Tips to Master Before You Meet & Greet
WHEN: Thursday, May 12, 2011
TIME: 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EST
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
1. Register for the free webinar at www.ksgsc.com/webinar
2. Receive confirmation of your registration, which includes webinar access info
Who Should Attend?
- Anyone seeking to improve networking skills
- People who want to develop the perfect elevator pitch
- Entrepreneurs who want to re-tool how they interact with potential clients
- People who are re-entering the world of work after a long period of unemployment, stay-at-home parents, and retirees
- Recent college graduates
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Tune in for The Strategy Sessions on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. EST
What is a disaster plan?
Who should have a disaster plan?
Key areas to consider when developing a disaster plan, including employees who telecommute
Strategies to get you started on your company’s disaster plan
LISTEN to the show: http://tobtr.com/s/1814489
CALL-IN with questions: (805) 285-9841
Tweet your questions: www.twitter.com/KesiStribling
Disaster planning resources will be posted on www.ksgsc.com after the show concludes.
The Strategy Sessions: www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions
Missed the show? Listen to the podcast below.
Better to Own It
With the revelation that Aaron’s furniture rental company allegedly uses spyware to track customers who rent computers, it inherently brings up another question: is the cost of instant gratification too high?
For many who opt to rent household items, such as furniture, computers, and washing machines, it may be a matter of convenience to pay a seemingly small amount to rent items, and then own it outright once the contract has concluded.
This seems like an easy, breezy approach for those with limited resources who need the items to effectively run their households. The reality is that it’s probably better to own it, as the poor folks who filed the lawsuit against Aaron’s is likely thinking at the moment.
To underscore my point, consider this true story: a used, two year old 36″ television costs $25 per week to rent from a nationally recognized rental company (not Aaron’s), and ostensibly to own. The contract period is one year, at which time, the renter has spent more than $1,000 on the TV.
Had the customer waited until a little cash was freed up buy a television outright, rather than rent-to-own, he could have saved at least half of what he ultimately paid to satisfy the instant gratification.
What are your thoughts? Have you committed to a rent to own company, but regret it? Share your comments.
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New York-based media conglomerate, Working Mother Media, honored twelve of the nation’s top employers for hourly workers at the Mayflower hotel in Washington, DC yesterday.
Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, recognized the efforts of the 12 companies honored, including: Best Buy, Bon Secours Richmond Health Systems, Inc., Carlson, Inc., Capital One Financial Corporation, Cricket Communications, Marriott International, Inc., McDonald’s Corporation, Sodexo, University of New Mexico Hospitals, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, USAA, and Valassis Communications, Inc.
The keynote speaker for the event was Hilda L. Solis, United States Secretary of Labor, who saluted the companies for providing tuition assistance, health care coverage, and training opportunities for workers.
For more details, including the honorees and and Secretary Hilda Solis’ keynote address, read my article on Examiner.com:
Today, I had the pleasure of being a featured presenter to a group of awesome women entrepreneurs visiting the United States for the International Visitor Leadership Program. During the session, Women & Entrepreneurship, twenty women from across the globe gathered to hear strategies and insider tips for business success.
Sponsored by the United States Department of State and Phelps Stokes, the program was a part of a three-week visit designed to:
- Provide examples of entrepreneurial efforts in the U.S, particularly those initiated by women;
- Illustrate the essential role of non-governmental and grassroots organizations in supporting and empowering the development of women-owned businesses; and,
- Highlight the social, economic, and political factors that influence and encourage the development of private enterprise in the U.S.
PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
Hailing from Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Gambia, Germany, Hungary, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, People’s Republic of China, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, and Venezuela, these women are focused and poised to become great forces in their home countries and globally.
BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE
Because so many of our ASK THE STATEGIST readers are entrepreneurs, or company and organizational leaders, I am sharing key tips on advocacy imparted to the women during my presentation. There are three types of advocacy every smart business owner should employ on a regular basis:
1. Individual Advocacy: The reality is that no one is going to be as excited, motivated and committed to your entity as you are. So, it is important to be a vigilant advocate for your business. Whether it is taking courses to learn more about your industry, researching potential funding, articulating your messaging, or mapping out your company’s overall strategy and operations, you are ultimately responsible for being your own cheerleader and motivator.
2. Collaborative Advocacy: As the old saying does, there is power in numbers. The adage applies to building businesses, as well. Strategic partners and alliances are a great way to increase your capabilities, develop ideas, raise funding and promote your products and services. Allies are great advocates, and can become vital cheerleaders on your company’s behalf. Collaborating to position your company in a favorable way, while increasing your branding and outreach is a good thing.
3. Legislative Advocacy: Advocating for your business or organization, and gaining strategic alliances will help you go a long way toward sustaining your entity. However, often calling upon our elected officials and legislators is a necessary action, especially if advocacy involves systemic issues, such as education, the environment, health, the economy, and community development. Know who your elected officials are in your community and where your business is located!
THE PERFECT PITCH
A special *shout out* goes to Nicole Joseph, founder of Ms. Brafit, who won The Perfect Pitch contest during the presentation. Congratulations!
The Perfect Pitch: Nicole Joseph-Chin, Founder of Ms. Brafit
Visit Nicole’s company website: www.msbrafit.com
Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MsBrafit