The Center for Nonprofit Advancement honors and reflects on the achievements of women throughout history and in contemporary society during Women’s History Month.

The Women’s History Month 2023 theme of “Women’s Resilience and Resistance” underlines the challenges that women have faced throughout history and the qualities that empowered them to overcome them. These women exemplified steadfast determination and strength, championing causes such as the suffragist movement, equal pay and reproductive rights. This theme is especially relevant today, as policies that affect women continue to be up for debate. It highlights the ongoing fight for gender equality and reminds us of the importance of unwavering resistance in the face of adversity.

To meet the moment and find the spark that allows us to continue the fight, we can look to the past and follow the example of those who refused to give up. We can channel the spirit of Susan B. Anthony, who played a pivotal role in securing voting rights for women as a suffragist; We can learn from the legacy of Sylvia Rivera, a trans rights activist who fought for the rights of LGBTQ+ communities; We can share the vision of Dolores Huerta, a labor leader who championed workers’ rights. 

As we near the end of March, we hope everyone found a way to celebrate and reflect on Women’s History Month. Many events were held in the DC area during Women’s History Month, including the 5th annual HerStory 5K run and the prestigious “Women Making History Awards” gala at the National Women’s History Museum. We trust that our members participated in all the events they were able to attend to honor the rich history of women.

 

Share This Page:


The Center for Nonprofit Advancement recognizes and celebrates the significant contributions of African Americans to our country’s history and culture during Black History Month.

Black History Month is an important time to reflect on the achievements and struggles of the black community throughout history. From civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to cultural icons like Maya Angelou and Barack Obama, African Americans have made immense contributions to our society. Recognizing and celebrating these contributions not only honors those who came before us but also serves as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve true equality and justice for all.

We hope that our members and the wider community had the chance to partake in the various opportunities around the DC area during Black History Month to honor African American heritage, such as taking the African American Heritage Tour of DC or visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

As we near the end of Black History Month, we’d like to remind our members to utilize the free classes offered as part of the Center’s commitment to DEIJ. These classes provide a valuable opportunity for nonprofit leaders to learn about the history and impact of systemic racism and how to effectively address and dismantle it. The Center recognizes that creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society requires ongoing education and action. As such, this initiative represents one of our efforts towards that goal.

Share This Page:


The Center recently hosted our 43rd Annual Celebration. Many aspects of our preparations for the event went incredibly well – we had great numbers for registration, we landed an excellent speaker and the celebration packets for our guests containing our cookbook, the Nonprofit Agenda and other goodies arrived in time for the day of the event. It felt like everything was going to go swimmingly – until the virtual platform crashed in the middle of the event. Cue an awkward, sad trombone sound. Luckily, the Center team handled everything with grace and transparency. And, because our mission is to support and advance our member nonprofits’ ability to perform and achieve their mission, we thought we’d share what we did to work it out. This way, if your organization ever needs to solve for how to make an event happen when things are going haywire, you can keep these tips in mind to guide you through it.

  • Stay calm. The Center team noticed some AV issues prior to the event even starting. Instead of spiraling and panicking, a note was immediately sent to all Center staff members informing them that we were working to address the technical difficulties. In addition, when the event did start, the members of our team went around to different tables and let people know we were delayed in a calm & collected manner. We stayed at the virtual tables beyond that to network and carry on the event because, as they say, the show must go on.

  • Have humor. Jokes can make people feel at ease when they sense something is off. During the rather large delay, the Center’s leaders were able to infuse some levity into a tricky situation by making some jokes. Our COO, Taylor, suggested that our guests pretend that they were waiting for a delayed metro train while they were waiting to get into the event. Anyone that knows what that’s like could apply their patience and sense of compassion.

  • Pivot, don’t cancel. When outdoor weddings experience inclement weather, if there’s a tent or a serviceable form of shelter, people use it! And guests remember the wedding with an affection reserved for moments where people have made the best out of a tricky situation. All of our guests had arrived and we wanted to continue the celebration. When it became apparent the virtual platform had all together crashed we made the decision to switch everyone over to a platform that’s been relied on since the beginning of the pandemic – Zoom. A silver lining of the whole situation was getting to see the pages and pages of engaged faces as they re-joined us. This event was about celebrating the resiliency of the nonprofit sector, and our guests continued to embody this quality as they endured the transition with flexibility and understanding.

  • Get creative. To accommodate the virtual platform we switched to, we had to find different ways to go about things. Normally, we would’ve gotten a composed screenshot of our competition winners all together to post on our site and use in communications materials that go out after the event. Instead, our Communications Associate, Ellie, got individual shots of the winners and photoshopped them together in a composition that utilized Center colors, creating a potentially superior looking end product.

In the end, we had a successful and unique 43rd Annual Celebration. You can check out the highlights here for all the juicy details. 

Share This Page:


In the Month of November, the VitalHealth team hosted the Keep it Up Wellness Challenge encouraging our Members to be active 30 minutes a day. 18 of our members participated and in total together we achieved 22,349 minutes of exercise together. The first-place winner was Sean Sweeney from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement meeting the goal each day of the challenge. In second place, we have a tie between Maria O’Sullivan from the Neighborhood Legal Services Program and Peggi McGovern, the director of Arts of the Aging. Maria and Peggi reached the goal 26 times! Thank you to all who participated in this wellness challenge!!!

Share This Page:


Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., Anirban Basu is one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s leading economic consultants. He provides strategic analytical services to government agencies, law firms, nonprofits and medical systems, among others.

Dr. Basu has taught at several universities, most frequently at Johns Hopkins University. He is the Distinguished Economist in Residence at Goucher College and holds four graduate degrees, including a JD and a PhD.

During Dr. Basu’s presentation, guests had questions about economics, particularly inflation. See the answers to their questions below:

Q: “I’d like to hear more about the real world impact of government spending on inflation rates.  Much of the political discourse in the Midterm elections focused on that but there are so many other factors.

A: Many factors have driven excess inflation.  We talked about a few during the webinar — money supply increases, ultra-low interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and rapid economic recovery.  Another factor was massive federal stimulus packages.  For some reason, though there were massive packages passed during the end of the Trump administration and at the onset of the Biden administration, there are some who claim that President Biden is the primary inflationary culprit.  Obviously, many voters disagreed during the midterms.

Q: “I’m not sure I understand how low unemployment causes higher inflation or makes it harder to recover so a bit more of an explanation on that would be helpful. Thanks.

A: When unemployment is low, competition for workers between employers is more intense.  That drives wages up farther and faster.  That’s inflationary.  By weakening the labor market, there are more workers available per job opening, which produces less rapid wage increases and lower inflation all things being equal.

For additional questions, attendees of this year’s Annual Celebration may contact Taylor Strange. We will continue to publish answers as we receive them.

 

Share This Page:


The Center honors and acknowledges the rich history and invaluable contributions of this nation’s first people, Native Americans. Their fight to achieve sovereignty since our founding era asks that we recognize Native American history and take action to better serve the contemporary movements of today’s world.

Critical figures in Native American movements include activists Dennis Banks, George Mitchell, and Clyde Bellecourt, who formed the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968. The protests AIM organized helped direct nationwide attention toward their goals of ensuring treaty commitments and the protection of Native American religious freedom and cultural integrity. While progress has been made, remembering the triumphs is not enough. Continued action today is crucial.

There are multiple ways to get involved. Pushing for education that includes teachings centered around Native Americans, learning about treaties and pressuring government officials to fulfill treaty obligations can help advance protections.

The Center recognizes the efforts of all who work today to achieve equity for Native American communities, including these outstanding individuals: Audra Simpson, a scholar and professor of Anthropology at Columbia University; Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, the youth director of Earth Guardians; Winona LaDuke, a leader in the hemp revolution.

If you know of other organizations and individuals who should be highlighted, please reach out to eleanors@nonprofitadvancement.org.

Share This Page:


National Hispanic Heritage Month is annually celebrated from September 15 to October 15 to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.

In line with the mission of our Center for Race, Equity, Justice and Inclusion, during National Hispanic Heritage Month the Center celebrates leaders and organizations that pursue justice, inclusion and equity for Hispanic communities, particularly one of our member organizations: the Latin American Youth Center.

Share This Page:


Adanech Devenouges joined our team on August 1. In addition to her wide-ranging work experience, Adanech brings a strong passion for volunteering. She is excited to interact with our entire community as she coordinates the Center programs, partnerships and memberships. Please feel free to contact Adanech here.

Share This Page:


In 2020, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and consulting firm Brighter Strategies collaborated on a study to assess the impact of the convergence of Covid-19, incidents of racial injustice, and multiple environmental challenges on the nonprofit community at that time.    The survey included 255 organizations representing a cross-section of our region’s nonprofit sector, and the research resulted in significant changes to government partnership priorities, targeted philanthropic investments, and the Center’s work.    As we continue to address the impact of the pandemic and the shifts in our work, Brighter Strategies and the Center are embarking on a follow-up study.  While we recognize that there are many interesting questions to explore, we decided to focus on those questions that would best help us all understand our area’s current and expected capacity-building and funding needs.

With this data, we can prepare to serve you better, and will also analyze the data to understand trends by specific industry or region (county, state, ward, etc.). We intend to share the results widely.   We hope you or a leader at your nonprofit will give us a few minutes of your time to complete this survey, which should only take about 10 minutes to complete. We thank you in advance for your time in this important effort.

Begin Survey

Share This Page:


Find out in our guest blog provided by Fern Hernberg from Brighter Strategies

(A version of this article appeared on the Brighter Strategies blog in July 2022.)

Low pay, little opportunity for advancement, and a lack of employer respect are the main reasons employees quit their jobs last year, according to a February 2022 PEW Research Center survey. Childcare issues, little flexibility, and a lack of good benefits followed closely behind. 

Indeed’s February 2021 findings corroborate these trends. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their jobs:

  • Needing more of a challenge
  • Looking for a higher salary
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Wanting to feel valued
  • Seeking a better management relationship
  • Searching for job growth and career advancement

Second, to wanting more money, a need for connection is the most common driver of employee attrition. This blog article will explore ways to help employees feel connected to the organization in the post-pandemic workplace.

Time is of the essence

Several years ago, HR trends showed a dip in employee engagement and an increase in attrition around 18 months post-hire. Much has changed since the pandemic, and although we’ve yet to see the longer-term impacts on the workforce, one new trend is emerging: Employers have less time than ever to engage employees. 

In years past, employers assumed that once they had a new hire hooked, that employee would stick around for at least a year or so to build their resume. The pandemic taught the workforce that time is precious. Today people will leave a company at any time if they believe the fit is poor. Some employees abandon roles weeks and even days after their start dates, and some never even show up on their first day!

Considering these employee attrition trends, consider the following tactics for engaging and retaining new talent today.

Retain employees differently from how you attract them. What secured your new hire is not going to keep them. Employers are attracting employees through flexible work, competitive salary and benefits, and claims of work-life balance. Employees will choose to stay when they feel connected to their peers, manager, organization, and work.

Start engaging employees at recruitment, not onboarding. Show candidates how your organization is one worth their investment even before they accept a new job. In a world where many HR processes are automated, organizations that take a personalized approach to hiring will make a strong impression. For example, automating tax form completion is efficient, but having a personal conversation about an employee’s start date elevates the connection experience. Handwritten notes, phone calls to check in, and introductions to fellow employees are ways to draw them in before they start.

Consider connection above all else. Retaining employees is not complex; it’s about getting the basics right. Building connection means ensuring new employees feel a tie to their work, understand how they contribute meaningfully to the organization’s mission and have a sense of belonging among their peers. People must feel these connections the second they walk in the door. And in the virtual workplace, employers must work harder to make and keep relationships. Often this means entirely revamping onboarding for greater effectiveness.  

Elevate empathy throughout the organization. Understanding and empathizing with others is part of developing a genuine connection with them. What do they care about most? What are they committed to outside of work? While many organizations talk about providing work-life balance, how empathy shows up on the job is often a different story—and one that matters. 

Show employees their future. The connection goes beyond the here and now of a current role. Employers must help candidates, and new hires see their future at the organization. Professional development opportunities are integral to an employee’s choice to remain in their role. If individuals understand how the job provides career advancement opportunities beyond their current work, they will be more motivated to stay.

Final thoughts

People today are looking for work that will be more satisfying to them in the long run—they are looking for meaning. More than half of employees who quit their jobs in 2021 did so to change careers, explains Bill Murphy in his recent Inc.com article. As your organization increasingly picks up career-switchers in the coming months, help these people know the connection in the first moments of their new career with you. Be willing to support them through the transition and connect them to that deep purpose they are seeking.

Why Creating Connection Is the Most Important Factor in Employee Retention

Fern Hernberg, Managing Director People Strategy, Brighter Strategies

Note: A version of this article appeared on the Brighter Strategies blog in July 2022.

Low pay, little opportunity for advancement, and a lack of employer respect are the main reasons employees quit their jobs last year, according to a February 2022 PEW Research Center survey. Childcare issues, little flexibility, and a lack of good benefits followed closely behind. 

Indeed’s February 2021 findings corroborate these trends. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their jobs:

  • Needing more of a challenge
  • Looking for a higher salary
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Wanting to feel valued
  • Seeking a better management relationship
  • Searching for job growth and career advancement

Second, to wanting more money, a need for connection is the most common driver of employee attrition. This blog article will explore ways to help employees feel connected to the organization in the post-pandemic workplace.

Time is of the essence

Several years ago, HR trends showed a dip in employee engagement and an increase in attrition around 18 months post-hire. Much has changed since the pandemic, and although we’ve yet to see the longer-term impacts on the workforce, one new trend is emerging: Employers have less time than ever to engage employees. 

In years past, employers assumed that once they had a new hire hooked, that employee would stick around for at least a year or so to build their resume. The pandemic taught the workforce that time is precious. Today people will leave a company at any time if they believe the fit is poor. Some employees abandon roles weeks and even days after their start dates, and some never even show up on their first day!

Considering these employee attrition trends, consider the following tactics for engaging and retaining new talent today.

Retain employees differently from how you attract them. What secured your new hire is not going to keep them. Employers are attracting employees through flexible work, competitive salary and benefits, and claims of work-life balance. Employees will choose to stay when they feel connected to their peers, manager, organization, and work.

Start engaging employees at recruitment, not onboarding. Show candidates how your organization is one worth their investment even before they accept a new job. In a world where many HR processes are automated, organizations that take a personalized approach to hiring will make a strong impression. For example, automating tax form completion is efficient, but having a personal conversation about an employee’s start date elevates the connection experience. Handwritten notes, phone calls to check in, and introductions to fellow employees are ways to draw them in before they start.

Consider connection above all else. Retaining employees is not complex; it’s about getting the basics right. Building connection means ensuring new employees feel a tie to their work, understand how they contribute meaningfully to the organization’s mission and have a sense of belonging among their peers. People must feel these connections the second they walk in the door. And in the virtual workplace, employers must work harder to make and keep relationships. Often this means entirely revamping onboarding for greater effectiveness.  

Elevate empathy throughout the organization. Understanding and empathizing with others is part of developing a genuine connection with them. What do they care about most? What are they committed to outside of work? While many organizations talk about providing work-life balance, how empathy shows up on the job is often a different story—and one that matters. 

Show employees their future. The connection goes beyond the here and now of a current role. Employers must help candidates, and new hires see their future at the organization. Professional development opportunities are integral to an employee’s choice to remain in their role. If individuals understand how the job provides career advancement opportunities beyond their current work, they will be more motivated to stay.

Final thoughts

People today are looking for work that will be more satisfying to them in the long run—they are looking for meaning. More than half of employees who quit their jobs in 2021 did so to change careers, explains Bill Murphy in his recent Inc.com article. As your organization increasingly picks up career-switchers in the coming months, help these people know the connection in the first moments of their new career with you. Be willing to support them through the transition and connect them to that deep purpose they are seeking.

Share This Page: