Monday, October 27, 2008

Nugget - Week of 10/27/08

As noted earlier, each week I will feature a "nugget" that I have dug up from the cushions of our nonprofit leadership couch. This week's nugget, in the communication vein, is as follows:


Elevation is a socially conscious, web solutions firm dedicated to helping non-profits harness the power of the Internet. By allocating need based assistance, Elevation is fulfilling the web needs of non-profits throughout the nation.

For each dollar your non-profit spends on web design, programming, or other media related work, they will match that dollar with a dollar of their own.

In 2007, they allocated approximately $150,000 worth of assistance to 55 non-profits in order to help them with web design, programming, and media work. In 2008, they will allocate $400,000 to non-profits on a first come, first serve basis.

Elevation is a web development firm that has one basic goal: to help organizations take advantage of the Internet. Their 20 member team of web consultants, creative designers, copy writers, software engineers and marketing professionals offer organizations a number of media solutions.

Elevation specializes in web design, database & application development, software solutions, flash multimedia, branding, search engine marketing, and consulting services. You can learn more about them by visiting

There is no deadline.

Kissing Babies: Nonprofit Leadership and Political Campaigning

I was recently at a luncheon with an Executive Director who leads a homeless organization in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a state very much in flux, being that it is one of the fastest growing states in the union but also is suffering the most from the the recent economic downturn. In addition, the state is a highly visible ground battleground state in the presidential election. She began talking about the similarities between her work and that of a candidate, in which she rattled off like a 100 examples ranging from giving speeches to kissing babies. She stated that these examples often left her tired and overworked.

As I looked at her examples I noticed that all of them related to communication. From talking to a group of donors to visiting program participants, most of this work is in displaying and packaging the leader and therefore the organization. Political campaigns are similar and they are experts in kissing babies!

Finally on this point, if communication is one of the central foundations of nonprofit leadership, then why is so little time dedicated to it. I am not talking about the marketing of nonprofits (which a great deal of time is spent on) but I am talking about the communication coming from its leaders. Academia and other nonprofit training mostly miss this important area. If nonprofit leadership is similar to a political campaign as my colleague suggests then maybe more resources should be devoted to how leaders communicate.