Friday, December 9, 2011

Five Keys to Financial Sustainability

As our dismal economic climate continues, focusing on financial sustainability has become essential for nonprofits. This means making sure your organization has the ability to provide services responsive to your community and generate the required resources to fund current programs without compromising the future.

Here are some key elements that can help you achieve financial stability:

  • Nonprofit business model statement: Having an explicit business model statement is a tool for defining your financial goals and strategies. This statement includes both revenue strategies as well as mission impact. Here's an example: We provide after-school enrichment programs for working parents, supported by fees and foundation grants, and supplemented by net income from fundraisers.
  • Diversity of income: Does your organization receive 30-50% of total revenue from one source? Do you have just one or two donors who make significant gifts? Dependence on one or two sources of funding is a dangerous path. Your revenues should include a healthy mix of earned income, contributed income, and grant funding. It is particularly important, given the current political climate, not to be dependent on government grants.
  • Overall profit: It sounds like a contradiction, but nonprofits need to make a profit in order to be sustainable - which means maintaining adequate working capital to do your good work. You may be surprised to know that nonprofits are not prohibited from having a budget surplus, though they are indeed restricted as to what can be done with that money - which is re-invest it in the organization and its mission. Note that it goes with the nonprofit territory that some of your activities will lose money while others will make money, but the system as a whole must be moderately profitable to keep up with cost-of-living increases, maintain competent staff, and allow program growth.
  • Adequate program reserves: Every nonprofit should maintain a liquid program reserve of at least three (but preferably six) months of operating expenses in case of an emergency and/or significant funding cuts. When you end a fiscal year with a budget surplus, plan to set aside a portion of this money to be placed in a designated reserve fund.
  • Active and knowledgeable Board of Directors: It is the job of your Board to see that your agency has the resources (revenue, equipment, facilities, supplies, staff) to do your work. Make sure your Board members know their legal responsibilities, understand agency fiscal reports, and are actively committed to fundraising.

All nonprofits need to make decisions, set goals, and define strategies that balance mission impact with profitability. Your programs are important - and financial sustainability will assure that those programs continue.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How to Deal with Difficult People

Do you regularly deal with difficult people in your nonprofit workplace - whether it be coworkers, supervisors, board members, volunteers, and/or clients? Here are some simple techniques to save your sanity as well as facilitate a more positive and productive work environment:
  • Breathe: This may sound simplistic but taking a deep breath before you speak helps you avoid the most common urge to get angry and defensive. This response may feel good at first yet it is rarely productive.
  • Resist: State your point of view clearly and calmly, but try to resist the very human urge to win the argument. Winning will not facilitate workplace cooperation.
  • Modulate: Pay attention to your tone of voice and body language. These often express more than actual words. Be sure your voice sounds neutral, pleasant, agreeable, and that your body language conveys a willingness to listen and understand.
  • Listen: Pay attention actively and carefully to what the other person has to say. Give them time to speak their mind without interruption. Be willing to understand the difficult person's frustration without blame of defensiveness.
  • Acknowledge: Offer your best assessment as to what he/she is feeling and ask for feedback. Here are some useful phrases to use: "It sounds like you feel; if I heard you correctly; so what you're really trying to say is; is there anything else?" Look for any kernel of truth in what they say. And focus on the positive intent; this can be as basic as a shared dedication to the organization and its mission.
  • Apologize: A simple apology, whether it is for an actual mistake or for the manner in which you have communicated, is a very powerful and healing act.
  • Appreciate: These days, with all the stress and economic challenges we are facing, folks often simply feel overworked and unappreciated. Remember to take a moment to appreciate the good work of your co-workers and clients, to thank your volunteers and board members. Simple gestures can make a big difference.
Above all, keep your eyes on the goal. The goal is not to be right; the goal is to further the work of your organization. Focus on the problem, not the person. Assume the best and give your difficult person the benefit of the doubt. Know that you cannot change another person's personality or behavior. You can change your own reactions. And in doing so, you may actually be able to change the dynamics of your working relationships.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Seven Basic Guidelines for Grantwriting

Looking for grant funding to help support your work? These guidelines will help you to use your time wisely as you evaluate your options:
  1. Do a comprehensive fundraising plan first. Have an approved case statement that includes mission, goals, objectives, target population, agency history and achievement, organization budget, and project budget. You can use this to cut and paste into every proposal. And be sure your agency fundraising plan includes a diversity of funding sources including individual contributions, earned income, and grants.
  2. Do your research. Your initial research and preparation are as important as the actual writing of the grant. You don't want to waste your time writing a proposal that has little prospect of being funded. Be sure that the foundation gives grants in your geographic area, has goals and objectives that are a match for your organization, accepts unsolicited proposals, funds at a level that is within an appropriate scale for your organization, and gives the  kind of funding you need (whether it be operating support, scholarships, or capital campaigns). You can search foundations databases at these places: CVNL -, The Foundation Center -, Volunteer Center of Sonoma County -
  3. Do a cost analysis. Weigh the benefits of receiving a project grant against the extra time and resources that will be required from you and your staff before you make your decision to apply. Sometimes grants end up costing more than they are worth.
  4. Do know that most grants are project-based. The majority of available grants are for defined, time-limited projects with identifiable goals and outcomes, rather than ongoing operating expenses - although you can budget a limited amount of money for administrative costs within project grants.
  5. Do assume any grant funding will be for one year only. It's a rare funder that provides continuing support over time. This does not mean you cannot apply again - in fact, you should do so, but never make presumptions that your project once funded will always be funded.
  6. Don't fabricate. Never fashion a grant specifically for a granting agency that does not actually reflect the work of your organization. It is counter-productive - and unethical.
  7. Do communicate effectively. Be precise and concise. Speak honestly and passionately. Use bullets, charts, and diagrams for readability. Find wording that is appropriate to the stated priorities. Match your goals to those of the funder. And be sure to have someone else read and edit before you submit.
Don't make the mistake of expecting grant funding to solve all your financial problems. Grants are a great way to fund specific projects, or to jump-start a new approach - but they only work well hand in hand with a solid financial plan that focuses on mission impact and the development of sustainable and diverse funding support.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The focus this fall in both Point Reyes and Petaluma is Greek, and I'm having a great time introducing new dances I learned while I was in Greece in August. I'll be teaching:
  • Zaramo - This dance from Greek Macedonia was done at every festival I went to during my sojourn. Done in shoulder hold in 2/4 rhythm with variations called by the leader, the name means "shoulder to shoulder."
  • Tsamiko Konitas - This lovely, elegant, 6-measure tsamiko (in standard 3/4 rhythm) is from Epirus.
  • Hora Samson - Hora Samson is a classic and very popular Pontic dance. It's danced close together, traditionally in a closed circle, with the small bounces in the feet traveling through the whole body.
  • Sofka - Another dance from Greek Macedonia, this one features a wonderful flowing pattern of steps moving first in line of direction and then in reverse line of direction.
  • Pontic Halay - The footwork for this dance is a simple pattern similar to a basic hora or Hassaposerpico but done very slowly, to a beautiful modern piece of music that talks about the expulsion of the Pontic Greeks from their homes by the Black Sea and their longing to return.
  • Paiduska - This fun Greek paidusko (in 5/8 rhythm) is similar to a classic Bulgarian paidusko, but with a twist.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tax Facts for Nonprofits

What's tax-deductible and what's not? Donors and supporters often make erroneous assumptions, usually in their own favor. It's important for nonprofit staff members to have accurate information. Here are some guidelines about a few common situations:
  • Donated services: Donated services and volunteer time are not tax-deductible for the donor/volunteer. A volunteer can deduct expenses related to his/her volunteer work, including parking expenses, mileage, or the cost of a book purchased to aid in the work. If you have a professional volunteer who really wants a tax deduction, your volunteer can bill you for the services, get paid, and then write a check back to your organization for that same amount.
  • Raffle tickets: In general, the amount you pay for raffle tickets is not deductible. Buying a raffle ticket is simply not a donation; it's a purchase of a gambling ticket (like buying a Lottery ticket), despite what may be said on the ticket itself or to what admirable charitable purpose the money is put. There's one exception: if you win something of significant value (cash, a car, a house), the cost of the ticket can reduce the gross amount of your taxable income from the prize.
  • Tickets to fundraisers: Similarly, buying a ticket to a fundraising event is also not considered a donation, but rather a purchase of an item of value. If the basic ticket is $25, and an individual purchases a special sponsor ticket for $250, then $225 can be counted as a donation for tax purposes. If a business becomes a sponsor in exchange for recognition on a program or poster (essentially, advertising), this is considered a business expense, not a charitable donation.
  • Auction purchases: Sorry to break the news, but when you purchase something in an auction fundraiser (live or silent), the amount you pay is not tax-deductible - unless you pay more than the actual value of the item, in which case the difference is considered a donation.
  • Thank you letters: Not all thank you notes are required by law - but you are legally required to send a receipt to a donor for any donation of $250 or more. Use this language: Organization is an IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) organization and your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. No good and services were provided in exchange for your gift.
  • Which brings us to membership perks: Small gifts, such as pens or post-it-pads or cheap cloth bags, are considered of negligible value by the IRS. However, if your member receives tickets to a performance (or an item valued at $20 or more), the value must be deducted from the charitable donation - and this needs to clearly stated in your acknowledgement letter.
For more fascinating facts about taxes, check out the fun tax quiz which inspired this article, on Blue Avocado (a nonprofit website definitely worth following):

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Good News, Bad News: Charitable Giving in 2010

This just in - a new report from Giving USA, the annual survey of charitable giving in the United States, indicates that donors remained cautious and wary last year, resulting in a minuscule increase of 2.1% (after inflation) over 2009.

The previous two years experienced the sharpest drops in giving ever recorded in the five decades Giving USA has been tracking charitable contributions - 7% in 2008 and 7.2% in 2009. These decreases easily beat the previous record of 5% during the 1974 recession.

Here's some more bad news:
  • Individual giving barely increased at all (a mere 1.1%) from 2009 to 2011.
  • Grant-making fell by 1.8% for an estimated $41 billion.
  • Environmental, animal welfare, and human service agencies all suffered declines varying from 1-2.3%
  • Human services would have experienced the biggest loss - an estimated 5.6% - if you subtracted all the money donated for Haiti disaster relief. This is especially concerning, as in all previous recessions giving for basic needs increased.
  • Giving dropped more over time than since the Great Depression.

And now the good news:
  • Charitable contributions continue to represent about 2% of the national's gross domestic product, despite the economic downturn.
  • Charitable bequests rose 15.9% up to $22.8 billion - the biggest growth in 2010 philanthropy.
  • Corporate giving, including both in-kind and cash support, rose 8.8% to $15.3 billion.
  • International nonprofits saw a significant increase of 13.5% in donations.
  • Arts and cultural organizations experienced a surprising increase of 4.1%

Individuals continue to make up most of the philanthropic pie. Of the total amount ($291 billion) contributed this year, 73% came from individual donors.

The message is clear: a continuing, personalized, targeted focus on building and sustaining relationship with individual donors remains the best way to raise money. Now is the time to continue communicating actively with your supporters. Present your case with passion and creativity, using both conventional and social media. Keep donors in the loop about what's going on financially and how you are continuing to do your good work. Let them know about your current strategies to balance your budget while protecting core programs. Be sure to focus on results achieved. Consider placing a greater emphasis on planned giving and strengthening your relationships with corporate givers, while decreasing your reliance on grants.

So what's the outlook for the future? After the Great Depression, it took 6 years for giving to return to pre-Depression levels, so we may be looking at several more difficult years. Certainly, the trend of ever-increasing charitable donations experienced in previous decades is not likely to return for a long time. Nonprofits need to get used to this new normal of a slow and cautious philanthropic climate. Take the time now to engage your Board actively in assessing programs, staff, and funding for long-term sustainability. Be innovative, entrepreneurial, and pragmatic as you develop an organizational strategy appropriate for these challenging times.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Eight Internet Tips for Nonprofits

The internet offers a dizzying array of sites and services for nonprofit organizations. Here are a few worth checking out:
  • SwipeGood rounds up debit or credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and allows your supporters to donate the difference:
  • eScrip is a resource for fundraising for nonprofits serving youth. Your supporters just have to sign up, choose your organization, and register any one or all of their existing credit, debit and/or grocery cards: 
  • Causes makes it easy for users to ask their friends (via Facebook) to donate to your nonprofit on birthdays and holidays:
  • eBay Giving Works allows sellers on the site to contribute to your organization. As well, eBay users can select a favorite nonprofit which then receives a $1 donation every time they make a transaction:
  • GreatNonprofits is an online "Zagat" for nonprofits; folks can find, review, and share information about great nonprofits on the site:
  • Yelp has become the place folks look for feedback on local businesses - and the site does indeed include nonprofits. Encourage your supporters to write a laudatory review:
  • Google for Nonprofits provides access to products and resources to help you expand impact and increase traffic to your website. It also includes a designated nonprofit channel on YouTube: 
  • Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the most-used browsers on the internet. Make sure people can find you there - search for "submit your site" along with the appropriate browser name and follow the directions.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the internet and all it has to offer, but strategic use of its resources can be powerful in increasing outreach and raising dollars for your work.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Jokes for Fundraisers

    Feeling like your fundraising work rivals that of Sisyphus, the Greek king who was condemned to rolling an immense boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down - and repeat this through all eternity? Then perhaps it's time to take a break and enjoy a few of my favorite jokes:

         A hurricane blew across the Caribbean. It didn't take long for the expensive yacht to be swamped by high waves, sinking without a trace. There were only two survivors who managed to swim to the closest island - the boat owner Dr. Eskin and his steward Benny. After reaching the deserted strip of land, Benny started crying. Dr. Eskin, however, seemed completely unperturbed as he relaxed on the beach.
         "Dr. Eskin, how can you be so calm?" cried Benny. "We're going to die on this lonely island. We'll never be discovered here."
         "Sit down and listen to what I have to say, Benny," began the confident Dr. Eskin. "Five years ago, I gave the United Way $500,000 and another $500,000 went to Stanford University. I donated the same amount four years ago. Three years ago, since I did so well in the stock market, I contributed $750,000 to each. Last year business was even better, so the two charities each got a million dollars."
         "So what?" shouted the frustrated Benny.
         "Well, it's time for their annual fund drives, and I know they're going to find me," replied Dr. Eskin.

         A visitor to Israel attended a recital and concert at the Moscovitz Auditorium. He was quite impressed with the architecture and the acoustics. He inquired of the tour guide, "Is this magnificent auditorium named after Chaim Moscovitz, the famous Talmudic scholar?"
         "No," replied the guide. "It is named after Sam Moscovitz, the writer."
         "Never heard of him. What did he write?"
         "A check," replied the guide.

         At a circus, the strongman Hercules startles everyone with magnificent feats of strength, lifting hundreds of pounds over his head and putting a fist through a solid wall. For his final act, he takes a lemon and squeezes it. At first, the juice dribbles out quickly, then it slows down, and finally not a single drop comes out. The circus manager steps forward and says, "I will personally give anyone who can squeeze even one more drop from this lemon two hundred dollars." Two large men step forward. Each one squeezes the lemon with all his might, but not a drop comes out,
         "Does anyone else want to try?" the manager asks.
         A short, slightly built man steps forward. People in the crowd snicker. The man picks up the lemon and squeezes. Juice gushes out. The manager is stunned. He steps forward with the cash, but as he hands the money over, he can't resist asking, "Who are you? What do you do?"
         "Seymour Goldstein," the man replies. "I'm a fundraiser for the United Jewish Appeal."

    Have any good fundraising or nonprofit jokes of your own? I'd love to add them to my collection! Email with your best at

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Fundraising Do's and Don'ts

    Fundraising isn't rocket science - but there are some very important guidelines to keep in mind as you work to build donor relationships and raise the funds necessary to support your nonprofit services.

    • Blindside your prospective donors. Most folks who care about your cause will be open to a fundraising ask - but not if you make a cold call, invite them to a donor party without telling them its purpose, or shanghai them unexpectedly in the supermarket. A serious and ethical fundraising ask will be preceded by a thoughtful process that includes getting to know the donor, establishing rapport, and sending a well-written solicitation letter, all prior to arranging a personal phone call or meeting.
    • Bombard donors with endless appeals. You've all had the unfortunate experience of receiving constant and repetitive solicitations via phone, direct mail, or email. Besides being irritating and intrusive, it often results in the loss of donor support, even when the donor actually believes passionately in your cause. Nonprofits can - and should - regularly ask for donations, but you need to develop a reasonable schedule that will not drive people away.
    • Ignore their expressed wishes. Pay attention when donors specify how and when they wish to be contacted. And when a donor requests anonymity, be meticulous in honoring his/her privacy. Organize your database to track this information and be sure to carry information forward when there are staff changes.
    • Know your donors. Do your homework! Find out which of your services are closest to their hearts; keep track of events they attend; know their giving history.
    • Communicate honestly and efficiently. Stay in touch with important news and updates about your clients, programs, and services - not just through solicitation letters. Let them know about your achievements, but also let them know if your agency is experiencing serious financial difficulties, significant staff changes, and/or re-thinking its mission. Invite their feedback as you work to improve services and plan for the future.
    • Thank them promptly and often. Always thank a donor immediately for all donations with a letter including the approved IRS language, plus a person note, sent via first class mail - and proofread to be sure you have the correct salutation, amount, and method of payment. But don't just stop there; continue to thank and communicate with your donors throughout the year using email, newsletters, letters, postcards, published donor lists, thank you phone-a-thons, and an annual donor appreciation event.
    Ethical fundraising is not just about money; it's about developing long-term partnerships in support of your nonprofit mission. Just as you would with a business of life partner, take the time to nurture these important relationships. Treating your donors with care will pay off both for your organization and yourself.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Common Sense Performance Review

    Does your nonprofit do an annual performance review of the Executive Director? Or has your Board of Directors consistently managed to dodge this task? If you do have a process in place, are you satisfied with the format and your results?

    Many nonprofits, especially those with small budgets and staff, simply fail to do an annual assessment of the organization's leader. Yet an annual review can be one of the very best tools to keep your nonprofit in running order, as well as to promote a continuing positive relationship between board and staff. And it is important to note that every nonprofit Board has a legal obligation to provide prudent management, which includes oversight of the Executive Director's work.

    A well-conceived, annual ED performance review will help:
    • Ensure that your nonprofit programs and services align with your mission statement
    • Monitor your progress in achieving organizational goals and objectives
    • Provide support for your ED by acknowledging work that has been well-done as well as brainstorming how to make improvements
    • Provide a written document for the future as a basis for salary increases - or for probationary action and firing.
    It doesn't have to be complicated or tortuous. You'll need three basic tools: an up-to-date job description, a list of basic goals and objectives for the year (both in program and finance), and a committee to oversee the process. This committee could be your standing Personnel Committee, your Executive Committee, or an ad hoc committee specifically designated for this purpose.

    Here are some guidelines:
    1. Keep it simple: Base your evaluation forms on the existing ED job description. Break it down into clearly defined sections (program, finance, fundraising, management, etc.) and provide a place for comments about both achievements and improvement opportunities. There is no one correct format; find one that works for your organization.
    2. Make it a two-way street: Be sure to create a similar self-evalution form for your ED. This form should include a section for the ED to note achievements and improvement opportunities for the Board of Directors.
    3. Keep it personal: Don't just use numbers or grades - include thoughtful written comments. Make sure the ED gets a chance to read the document beforehand, and that the process includes a personal meeting.
    4. Keep it positive: One of the biggest mistakes nonprofits make is seeing a performance evaluation as a time for criticism. Talking only about mistakes and problems is counter-productive. Be sure to acknowledge good work, and suggest potential improvements in a supportive manner.
    5. Make it annual: Put the annual performance review on the Board calendar, and stick to it. Once your have all your systems and forms in place, it will become much easier.
    Above all, approach the ED performance review as a valuable and welcome opportunity to take stock, set new performance objectives, evaluate the board/staff relationship, and improve not only your chief executive's performance but the work of your organization.

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Is the Fundraising Cup Half Empty or Half Full?

    Predictions about current nonprofit fundraising efforts keep ranging from optimistic to gloomy and back again - even within the same reports. A new survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy indicates that 62% of those polled raised more in November and December 2010 than at the same time in 2009. Almost 70% said their 2010 numbers would exceed 2009, and over one-third raised more in 2010 than they did before the onset of the global recession.

    At the same time, another one-third reported that their contributions decreased, and 10% said giving remained the same. And almost half reported that their donated income for the year was less than the amount they had been able to raise prior to the economic downturn.

    In the midst of all this fundraising uncertainty, it is both useful and encouraging to hear some success stories. Here are some of the strategies that helped those nonprofits that were effective in increasing donor contributions:

    • More frequent (but shorter) appeals. The Foundation for Jewish Culture in New York more than doubled its year-end giving by asking more often, setting dollar goals to reach within short timelines.
    • Expanded options for earmarked giving. A Volunteer Center in California found people responded positively to appeals that offered several specific options to choose from for their donation's impact.
    • More email appeals in November and December. Ramapo for Children, a New York camp for young people with special needs, discovered that folks who received three email appeals at the end of the year were more likely to give than those who got just one.
    • Publicizing loss of government income. The Elizabethtown Public Library in Pennsylvania made sure their community knew the extent of state cutbacks for library services. In the current climate, folks are very aware that government funding is being slashed - and they are sympathetic. Making sure your donors and members know that your agency has been directly affected can be an effective strategy.
    • Increasing the number of total donors. The New York Council for the Humanities was able to double the number of donors. People may not be able to give as much as in the past, so a strategic focus on expanding outreach and increasing numbers can really pay off.
    • Coordinating online and direct-mail efforts. The Trust for Public Land in San Francisco focused on making sure their online and direct-mail appeals complemented each other. The result was that their donors increased by 29%. For next year, their goal is a 45% increase.

    Effective marketing, strategic use of both conventional and online tools, clear communication about the value of each donation, a diversity of giving options; all of these go hand-in-hand with the most basic tenets of fundraising - stating your case articulately and passionately, working hard to build and sustain donor relationships, and using all the appropriate methods available to ask for people to participate in furthering your mission.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    To Committee or Not to Committee

    Are you feeling frustrated about your organization's committees? Are the meetings chaotic, unproductive, or simply non-existent? Do you struggle to find enough volunteers to reach critical mass? Does the fundraising committee fail to raise money, the nomination committee fail to recruit, and the personnel committee fail to effectively evaluate your executive director?

    If so, stop wasting time and start streamlining your committee structure:
    • Eliminate most of your standing committees. Maintaining inactive and unproductive committees is foolish, time-consuming, and can lead to staff and volunteer burnout. Use committees only when it is clear the issues are too complex or too numerous to be managed by the full board.
    • Creative specific time-limited task forces and ad hoc committees. Your board members and volunteers will feel much more motivated signing up to work on projects with defined goals and deadlines, rather than on a standing committee with a vague purpose and no end in sight. Tasks can include evaluating programs, reviewing marketing plans, updating personnel policies, and planning special events.
    • Make fundraising a job for the full board. Providing adequate resources is first and foremost a board responsibility; effective fundraising is an important measure of the board's capabilities and commitment. Yet most board members shy away from soliciting donations, and few are willing to join a fundraising committee. The best way to get every board member to fundraise is to make this a core function of the whole board.
    • Recruit skilled volunteers who are not board members. Each committee should have a critical mass of at least five people: two board members, the appropriate staff member - and committed non-board members with relevant expertise.
    • Schedule effectively and efficiently. Use email and online bulletin boards for progress reports; schedule meetings for strategic planning, decision-making, and assignments. Establish a timed agenda, stay focused, and make sure your meetings last no longer than two hours - after that, no one attending will be paying much attention or at their best.
    Two permanent committees are essential:
    1. The Finance Committee is charged with ongoing financial oversight. This includes developing projected budgets, tracking actual spending vs. the budget, looking at cash flow, overseeing insurance coverage, assessing salaries and benefits, and reviewing financial policies.
    2. The Governance Committee is responsible for the health and functioning of the board, as well as maintaining a good board/staff relationships. This includes determining what skills are required on the board, recruiting new board and committee members, recommending a slate of officers, orienting new members, reviewing and updating organizational policies, assessing the board's work, organizing board retreats, and conducting an annual executive director performance review.
    There is no one correct model for a nonprofit committee structure. What your organization needs to further its mission is dependent on your organizational culture, its size and budget, and how long you've been around. Plus your needs will change as your nonprofit grows and evolves. Be thoughtful and creative as you assess what functions and what doesn't, and establish a committee structure that will truly work for your organization.