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Your top questions about the Fundraising Intensive Program, ANSWERED!

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Thursday, April 28, 2016
Have you been wondering whether the Fundraising Intensive Program is right for you?
Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.


1. What is the Fundraising Intensive Program?
The Fundraising Intensive Program is a eight month training program that combines group learning and individual coaching to help bring your nonprofit's fund development to the next level.

During the program, participants meet once a month for a discussion on a shared topic and receive tools and homework assignments related to that topic.  Following this, participants also receive a 90-minute individual coaching session and 30-minute follow-up phone call each month to help them to apply that topic to their own unique organization.  
There are two goals of the program: to help your organization to raise immediate funds, and to help you develop lasting skills and habits that allow you to raise more money for the long haul.
Course Curriculum:
June- Creating your Fundraising Plan
July- Telling your Story
August- Individual Donors
September- Fundraising Letters and Emails
October- Review month
November- Fundraising Events: House Parties
December- Major Donor Development
January- Staying on Track

Program description and application
2. Why do you have both group and individual sessions?
Combining group and individual learning means that participants can learn from each other in a safe, trusting environment while also getting support from a professional to trouble-shoot issues specific to their own organization. 

Program description and application



3. What are the sessions like?
The group sessions are discussion-based; there is no PowerPoint and no lecture.  Program members largely work together in small groups, doing practice exercises, reviewing case studies, and sharing lessons learned from personal experience.

The individual sessions allow program members to receive guidance and support implementing ideas from the group sessions at their own unique organizations.  The focus is on making monthly homework assignments meaningful and productive and on monitoring progress towards the goals each participant has created in their personal fundraising plan.

Program description and application
4. Why do you make us do homework?  I thought I was done with school!
The Fundraising Intensive Program uses the saying, "Use it or lose it."  It's not just learning about fundraising theoretically; it's about actually making real change in your nonprofit's fund development program.  The homework assignments are all practical and designed to help you truly ingrain the skills we discuss into your own actions and habits.

In addition, the program is designed to help you raise money as you go.  For example, in the month dedicated to fundraising letters and emails, the homework is to write and send a fundraising letter and email.  This means that, if you do your homework, you are actually raising money while the program is happening.

Program description and application


5. I've already been to a bunch of The Funding Seed's workshops, and it seems like a lot of the topics you cover in this program are the same.  What would I get out of the Fundraising Intensive Program that I wouldn't get from the regular workshop series?
About half of the people who have participated in The Fundraising Intensive Program's first three graduating classes have participated in one or more of The Funding Seed's regular workshops.

The Fundraising Intensive Program provides an entirely different way to learn.  Because participants receive a special individual coaching session every month, you have the opportunity to take the ideas and tools from the group session and work with a professional to help you implement them.  This added accountability means you are more likely to actually do the things you need to do to make real progress.

In addition, because the same participants meet every month, you become a part of a genuine learning community, a group of people who are comfortable sharing ideas and experiences to help everyone fundraise better.

Program description and application



6. This seems pretty expensive.  Can I justify spending the money for this program?

The Fundraising Intensive Program is an investment, both in terms of time and money.  However, the $250 per month tuition (a second member from the same organization may also participate at a 50% discount) covers more than 40 hours of group and individual coaching, which is significantly less than the cost of similar coaching outside the structure of the program.  In addition, remember that part of the intention of the program is that you will be actively working to raise funds as you go, not just spending money for something you may not ever get around to doing.

Program description and application
7. I'm not in New Orleans.  Can I still apply?

You don't have to be based in New Orleans to apply for this program.  However, please be aware that the sessions take place in New Orleans, so you must be able to travel to your sessions every month.


Program description and application



8. Bottom line: Why should I consider doing this program?
If you are ready to make a real leap forward for your nonprofit's fund development efforts, The Fundraising Intensive Program is for you.  Every nonprofit needs to know how to raise money.  Whether you're an Executive Director, development staff,  a board member, a program manager or a volunteer, having the skills to fundraise successfully and sustainably makes you an asset to your organization, and allows your nonprofit to serve your community even more effectively, making the world an even better place for the future.

Have more questions? Email or call (504) 307-7220.
Or you can read the full program description and apply today!

For more on workshops and other services offered by The Funding Seed, visit

Tags:  board  board of directors  development  donations  donor management  donor retention  donors  events  foundations  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  fundraiser  funds  grant  grant writing  grants  grantwriting  How-To  leadership  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit sector  non-profits  online fundraising  setting goals  social fundraising  social media  sustainability  training  volunteers  workshop  workshop. grants 

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Charitable Donations: The World of Quid Pro Quo

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Thursday, April 28, 2016

A contribution to a charity isn't always a tax-deductible contribution for the donor, as in the case of "quid pro quo" donations. This exchange of one thing for another happens when a charity receives a payment that includes a contribution and, in return, provides the donor with goods or services valued for less than the total payment.

For example, a person might make a donation to the fictitious Parakeet Rescue Association of America by buying tickets to the group's charity ball. But he or she gets something back in the form of a "free" gourmet dinner and top-notch entertainment. Only the amount over and above the value of the dinner and entertainment is considered a charitable contribution.

Acknowledgment and Disclosure

Quid pro quo arrangements create an obligation for the charity: You may ignore payments of less than $75, but if your organization receives more than $75 and provides a benefit to the donor, you must advise the donor that it's a quid pro quo contribution.

With such contributions, donors can deduct only the amount in excess of the value of the goods or services they receive in return. And the charity must put in writing:

  • That the amount of any tax deductible contribution is limited to the excess of the contribution over the value of the goods and services provided in return, and


  • A good faith estimate of the value of the goods or services provided in return.

    The written acknowledgment must be provided when the donation is solicited or when it's received. For example, if you're holding a charity dinner each ticket sold should disclose the tax-deductible portion of the ticket price.

    Additionally, the disclosure must be in a readily visible format — in other words, no small print. Examples can be found in IRS Publication 1771, "Charitable Contributions — Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements."

    Your organization could be penalized for failing to furnish the proper acknowledgment and disclosure. Fines are $10 per contribution, not to exceed $5,000 for the fundraising event.

    The Quid Pro Quo Amount

    A key task for the charity is to value the goods or services. Let's say your organization takes a group of supporters to a high—end restaurant and pays for their meals. The supporters then make large donations. Determining quid pro quo is fairly simple in such cases: The amount your organization paid for the meal would be considered the fair market value, and only the amount of the contributions in excess of this value would be a tax—deductible contribution for the donor.

    It's not as easy when some of the items given away have been donated to your organization. What would happen, for example, if your charity put on a gala dinner with live music, and the banquet facility charged you a reduced amount for the food as its contribution, and the band performed at no cost?

    To establish the value to be reported to the donor, you must determine what it would cost someone to attend a similar event. In this instance, you'd need to research comparable costs at local restaurants or hotels for a dinner with entertainment. Or you could ask the banquet facility and the band to provide you with the value of the food and services they provided at no cost.

    Charity Auctions

    All items auctioned at a charity auction (silent or regular) must have a value placed on them. The charity should ask the donor to put a value on the item unless it's readily apparent, such as with a $50 gift certificate. The value should be the amount that a willing buyer would pay for the item in an "arm's length" transaction — that is, in the marketplace.

    The charity can then publish the item's value on bid cards or in a catalog of auction items. This serves as the acknowledgment, and the buyers will be entitled to a deduction for the amount paid in excess of that value.

    When Reporting Is Unnecessary

    There are a few instances when quid pro quo reporting isn't necessary:

  • Token exception. The contribution is for $52 or more and the goods cost less than $10.50, or the value of the benefit to the donor doesn't exceed 2% of the donation or $105, whichever is less,


  • Membership exception. Membership benefits (such as free admission or free parking) are provided, but the annual membership fee is $75 or less, and


  • Intangible religious exception. Religious benefits, such as religious services or classes, are provided by an organization operated exclusively for religious purposes (excluding travel, education and consumer goods).

    In other situations, it's safer to report quid pro quo than not.

    Crossing All the Ts

    Holding fundraising events is a sure-fire way to supplement your organization's income. But you need to understand your reporting obligations if you're providing goods or services in return. Talk to your tax adviser about your specific events and how you should disclose the details.

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Don't miss our author webinar on firing lousy board members

Posted By Kris H. Rutledge, CausePlanet, Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Find out about all the steps to take before firing a board member. And if they don’t work, how can you best fire someone?

Webinar with Simone Joyaux

Join CausePlanet founder Denise McMahan and Simone Joyaux Wednesday, May 18, at 11:00 Central Time at a webinar interview at your desk.


Joyaux will touch on the following topics:

  • How can you monitor board members?
  • How can you fire "lousy board members"?
  • What is your governance committee's role in firing and keeping members?
  • How can you craft high expectations to prevent firing people in the first place?
  • How can you recruit quality board members?
  • How can a nonprofit staff empower its board members?



Register now for this FREE interview for all LANO members. (The link requires LANO network sign-in to register.)


See more


See more with the Page to Practice™ summary of Joyaux’s book:


·      Simply log in at the top right corner of CausePlanet’s home page ( and fill in your registered email with LANO and “Password1”.

·      Click on “Summary Library” to see Firing Lousy Board Members and more titles.



Tags:  author webinar  CausePlanet  Page to Practice 

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Expand your Network with LANO CONNECTS-New Orleans

Posted By Tasha L. Cooper, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, April 25, 2016

​Please join your fellow nonprofit organizations, volunteers and supporters at LANO Connects: New Orleans at Urban South Brewery

on Tuesday, May 10th from 4:30-6 p.m.

Come out for fine food, fellowship and refreshments!



To register, click here!

For more information, please contact Emilie Bowman at 225-929-5266 or

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Tags:  Member Event  networking  NOLA  Non Profit  nonprofit sector 

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Nonprofit Workshop: Fundraising Events 101

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Friday, April 22, 2016

May nonprofit fundraising workshop:

Fundraising Events 101
Tuesday, May 10
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans

Details and registration

Learn to create events that raise money
for your non-profit!  


This fun, hands-on workshop covers:

* choosing what kind of event is best for you

* working with volunteers

* identifying event sponsors

* and much more!

Attendees will receive a Certificate of Participation for completing the workshop.


Click to register 

Discounts available for students, for AmeriCorps members and for organizations registering two or more people.

For discount codes or to reserve your space and pay at the door, email
To learn more about workshops and other services from The Funding Seed, visit

Tags:  board  board of directors  boards  development  donations  donors  events  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  fundraiser  Fundraising  funds  leadership  louisiana  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  sustainability  training  volunteers  workshop 

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LANO Awards Scholarships to National Nonprofit Leadership Conference

Posted By Tasha L. Cooper, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Tuesday, April 19, 2016

LANO, through a partnership with the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and Southwest Airlines is pleased to announce Babara Auten and Joyce James as the winners of our first National Nonprofit Leadership Conference Scholarship!

Barbara Auten is the Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association of the Capital Area and Joyce James is the Founder and Executive Director of The Middleburg Institute. Both will serve as representatives for Louisiana and LANO at this year's conference.


The scholarship included flight provided by Southwest Airlines and free admission to the National Nonprofit Leadership Conference in McLean, Virginia on April 20-22, 2016. The National Nonprofit Leadership Conference brings together nonprofit leaders and experts from across the nation.  You can review the conference agenda by clicking here.


If you have questions regarding LANO benefits or membership, please contact Tasha Cooper at 225-929-5266 or





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Tags:  conference  nonprofit  partnerships  training 

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Top 7 Business Take-Aways from The Boss

Posted By Eunice McCarney, Friday, April 15, 2016

Today I went to the movies and saw The Boss with four fabulous women.  A movie that passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors, it is hilarious and at times far-fetched, however, it is chockfull of invaluable business lessons wedged between the Melissa McCarthy’s physical comedy.  As a female entrepreneur, who has gotten a lot of support from other women, I truly appreciated some of the messages portrayed.  


The following are the lessons I picked up from The Boss, and I promise no- spoilers.


  1. Find your motivation.  Entrepreneurism and business is hard work and you will need to find what motivates you to keep going. 
  2. Have the courage to get off the corporate treadmill.  It’s smart to keep the “real” or “stable” job while you figure out if your side hustle is going to work out, but you are going to get to the point where you will be faced with a choice- stay where you are (the job) or venture into the unknown (your own business). Nothing is guaranteed- you could get laid off or your business can fail.  Either way, give yourself permission to try. 
  3. Relationships matter.  It’s very hard to get to the top by yourself.  Surround yourself with the people who are going to bring out the best in you and who will push you.  Ask for help when you need it.Be willing to give it when asked.  Humility is key.  Also, you never know where on the journey you are catching someone- on the way up or on the way down.  Either way, the Golden Rule always applies.
  4. Always get back up no matter how you were knocked down.  Resilience is so important not just in business but also in life.  As the song goes- “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.” 
  5. Reach into an untapped audience/ market.  This is Business 101.   Pay attention to who your audience is and market to them.  Figure out who is being left out, they maybe your new source of business. 
  6. Provide something of value.  Know what motivates your customers and your advocates.  If you are promoting certain qualities, actually provide it. 
  7. Have a sense of humor.  Humor can be a unifier, a mood lifter, a tension breaker.  It makes hard days easier.  It can keep you sane.  Don’t discount it.  Humor is not a sought-after relationship trait for nothing.  



What lessons did you learn?  What other movies have valuable business or life lessons that you apply?

Let me know- you can email me at

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Louisiana Nonprofit Salary Survey- We Need Your Input!

Posted By Tasha L. Cooper, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, April 11, 2016

Louisiana Nonprofit Salary Survey Opens April 11, 2016


The Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) has partnered with publisher Columbia Books & Information Services to conduct a large scale nonprofit compensation survey for Louisiana nonprofits. Participation is FREE and members of LANO ("Friends of LANO" excluded) are eligible to receive a free copy of the report if you participate in the survey.  Members who do not participate in the survey can purchase a copy of the report at a discounted price. To register to participate in the 2016 survey please visit


  • If you are unsure whether your organization is a member of LANO, please contact us at 225-929-5266.


What is The 2016 Louisiana Nonprofit Salary Survey?

Prepared and produced by experts with over 30 years of experience conducting compensation reports, this annual salary survey is designed specifically for nonprofits. It is the fastest and easiest-to-use salary survey available. With over 100 job descriptions, a quick and easy interface and a robust support team behind it, taking the survey is easy, and the resulting report will be a tremendous help to your nonprofit.


Why participate?

         It’s fast, easy, and FREE. Clear job descriptions make matching your positions simple and straightforward.

        The survey is specific to nonprofits like yours.  You can compare your organization’s staff salary levels to those of similar organizations.

        The more participants we have, the better the data will be. High participation produces robust results, benefiting both nonprofits and those seeking to work in the nonprofit sector in our state.

        The results will help you and your organization set fair and competitive compensation – the key to hiring and maintaining valuable employees.


What will the final report include?

         Hard data to use to analyze your nonprofits’ salary structure

         Specific market salary information for over 100 positions. Easy-to-read charts include median     salaries, average salaries and more

        Changes in nonprofit pay levels from one year to the next

        Salary differences by non-profit type, budget, and staff size

        All-new enhanced benefits section


Your Questions Answered:

        Who fills out the survey? Primarily HR or finance executives at associations and nonprofits, but if you don’t have a dedicated HR or finance staff person, your executive director would be the most appropriate person to complete the survey.

        Is it difficult? No. The user interface is designed for easy input of compensation information. A support team will be available for troubleshooting.

        Is it secure? Absolutely. The user interface is encrypted and password protected.

        What if I filled this out last year? If you participated since 2014, the survey will “remember” your responses from the last time, which will make filling the survey out much easier!

        Is there a cost? It is 100% free to fill out the survey, and as a member of your State Association you will receive a free copy of the report.

Here is what other participants have said about the survey:


"As a participant I found the survey was easy to take and didn't consume a lot of my time. The resulting report is going to be a valuable tool for myself and our board of directors"

-          Linda Elliot, President, Hawaii Wildlife Center


"The survey contained so many options under job positions - it was easy to find and list our staff salaries"

-          Bryce Chitwood, Director of Operations, Central Christian Camp



We hope that you will contribute to this vital study. Participation is free and all results are confidential. We encourage you to forward this information to other organizations you think might be interested.


When will the report be available and how much will it cost? The report will be available in June from LANO. The full report is free for any participating members, $75 for members who did not participate, $75 for non-members who participated and for $150 for non-members who did not participate.


To register to participate in this year’s survey, opening April 11, please visit


Feel free to contact Tasha Cooper, Director of Member Services at 225-929-5266 or with any questions.



Tags:  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits 

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Board Success: Fire the Lousy Members and Find the Right Ones

Posted By Kris H. Rutledge, CausePlanet, Monday, April 11, 2016

How can you prevent your board from keeping toxic people? How can you help your good board members succeed? These important, difficult questions are crucial to your board's success.


Simone Joyaux, author of Firing Lousy Board Members, guides you with specific examples on how to move your board toward excellence.


Webinar with Simone Joyaux


Join CausePlanet founder Denise McMahan and Simone Joyaux Wednesday, May 18, at 11:00 Central Time at a webinar interview at your desk.


Joyaux will touch on the following topics:

  • How can you monitor and fire "lousy board members"?
  • What is your governance committee's role in firing and keeping members?
  • How can you craft high expectations to prevent firing people in the first place?
  • How can you recruit quality board members?
  • How can a nonprofit staff empower its board members?




Register now for this FREE interview for all LANO members. (The link requires LANO network sign-in to register.)



See more


See more with the Page to Practice™ summary of Joyaux’s book:


·      Simply log in at the top right corner of CausePlanet’s home page ( and fill in your registered email with LANO and “Password1”.

·      Click on “Summary Library” to see Firing Lousy Board Members and more titles.


Tags:  Author webinars  Page to Practice 

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Expand your network with LANO Connects-Lafayette!

Posted By Tasha L. Cooper, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Please join LANO Wednesday, April 13th at the Community Foundation in Lafayette as we host our annual networking event,

LANO Connects-Lafayette!


Eric Guidry, COO of  the Community  Foundation of Acadiana will welcome our guests as our evening of fellowship begins. LANO members, friends of LANO, nonprofit supporters and guests are welcome to attend.  Cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres will be served. Attendance is free.


When: Wednesday, April 13, 2016
4:30 PM
Where: Community Foundation
300 Main Street, Suite 100
  Lafayette, LA 70508







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Tags:  events  LANO  nonprofit  nonprofit sector 

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