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Sharing the news, tips, press releases, special offers and upcoming events posted by LANO members. Share your good news here! Feel free to cross post the blog links to your Facebook or other media pages, or to email them directly to friends.Please allow 1-2 business days for your blog to appear on the network.


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Six Smart Reasons to Keep Scrupulous Records

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Your organization must keep good records for tax filing purposes, but you may not be aware that good recordkeeping is important in other areas too. Here are six basic reasons to maintain an iron-clad system for maintaining financial receipts and documentation.   Click here for full article. 

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Connect with your Nonprofit Community at LANO Connects- Baton Rouge!

Posted By Tasha L. Cooper, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, February 15, 2016

"The Opposite of Networking is NOT WORKING!"- Someone Smart


In this digital world where business is done with a click of the mouse, we forget that our phones,computers and tablets can never take the place of a real, meaningful conversation.


Please join us Tuesday, February 16th at The Old Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge as we practice some face-to-face networking with LANO Connects!


Former Louisiana State Senator and current East Baton Rouge Mayoral Candidate Sharon Weston Broome 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: Tuesday, February 16, 2016
4:30 PM
Where: The Old Governor's Mansion
502 North Blvd
United States
Contact: Emilie Bowman

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Blue Cross Foundation: “Help Us Find the Angels Around You”

Posted By Tasha L. Cooper, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, February 15, 2016
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2016 Angel Awards through Friday, April 8, 2016. Now in its twenty-first year, The Angel Award® program recognizes Louisiana volunteers who perform extraordinary work for children in need. The Foundation will also make a $20,000 grant to the Louisiana-based charity represented by each honoree.

If you know an Angel, you can find more information – including rules and guidelines –and a nomination form online at<>.
Nomination packets are also available by calling toll-free 1-888-219-BLUE (1-888-219-2583) or by emailing<>. Nominators are encouraged to send supplemental information in support of the nomination, including testimonial letters, brochures, news articles, photos and videos. (Please note: These materials cannot be returned.)

Tags:  Angel Award  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana  Blue Cross Blue Sheld  nonprofit 

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Applications DUE March 1, 2016! Don't Miss Your Chance to be a Part of the 2016 LA SCCC.

Posted By Robin Taylor, Louisiana Association of United Ways, Friday, February 12, 2016

Louisiana is already gearing up for the 2016 State Combined Charitable Campaign! Once again, state employees will be given the opportunity to contribute, through payroll deduction, to approved health and human service non-profit organizations.


All qualifying health and human service non-profits operating within the state of Louisiana are encouraged to apply to be a participating charity. The application is available at  and is due by March 1, 2016. All charity applications will be reviewed and notified of eligibility no later than June 30, 2016.

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A different take on storytelling: how you can use your personal stories to inspire your staff, engage donors and influence stakeholders

Posted By Kris H. Rutledge, CausePlanet, Wednesday, February 10, 2016

LANO members:


A different take on storytelling: using your personal stories

"Despite decades of pretending our work isn't to be taken personally, storytelling proves that if it isn't personal, it doesn't matter." So, how do you choose your organization's personal, powerful stories and deliver them to your donors? How can you tell inspiring personal stories to motivate your nonprofit staff?


Annette Simmons, bestselling author of Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, guides you on how to use your own stories to influence, persuade and inspire.

 Author webinar

Join CausePlanet founder Denise McMahan and Annette Simmons Friday, February 26, at 11:00 Central Time at a webinar interview at your desk.


She will cover these areas among others:

  • What kinds of stories can you draw from to make an impact?
  • How do you inspire trust with your stories?
  • How do you craft your stories with sensory details, point of view and more?



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 Simmons’ 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 Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins and more titles.

Tags:  author webinars  CausePlanet  Page to Practice 

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Not Funded…Again!

Posted By David Kiviaho, kiisa Corporation, Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Many of our organizations are vital. Most of our projects are critical. The majority of our staff work diligently to ensure organizational and project credibility. Then, why is it so difficult to be granted funding?


Do you relate? Have you worked so hard on a grant application that when you clicked the submit button, you just knew those funds were going to be awarded? Or, when you submitted that application did you know that you had not completed all of your due diligence, which, if you are being honest, decreased the probability of receiving funds to about 50/50? Well, most grant writer’s fall into these two categories. And, neither one is the right place for any grant writer. Why? Because, both discredit the real art in grant writing, which is due diligence. And, due diligence is the defining factor of success within any funding opportunity.


In the grant writing world, the words most feared are, “due to a large number of applications we were unable to fund each…” Or, “we will not be able to fund your request at this time due to the following determination…” Other denial statements exist, but you get the picture. A successful grant writer does not want to see the fruits of their writing and passion be diminished by a few lines of denial. So, how do we get to the grant award, or the funding stage? It takes hard work, more passion, and the acceptance that failure is part of the process. In other words, even the most stellar of grant applications do not get awarded. But, there are always steps you may take to improve your odds.


The very first thing you must do is remove the fear. It is a waste of time and energy. Replace fear with determination. And, again, learn that failures will lead you to improving grant award odds. Let’s review some flaws grant writers may possess.


Five Flaws to Fail You!


●Inappropriate Budget – Not providing enough financial information to illustrate how the money for your project will be spent. Also, not reviewing the funder guidelines on the appropriate financials to present within your application. Finally, your budget must also be addressed within your narrative. Remember, you are simply telling a story to the funder. However, the story must illustrate why, how, when, and why requested funding is critical, and how each dollar will be utilized.

●Not Addressing Sustainability – If you do not have a financial plan for raising dollars outside of the grant you are applying for, or do not have funding already in place for your project, stop the grant application. You will need to partially fund your own project, and be able to prove to the funder how this is occurring, and will continue once the funds they provide (if you are awarded) are spent down.

●Down Playing Significance of Evaluation – Every project must be evaluated. Every funder wants to know what that process looks like. Every organization should expend suitable staff talent, and resources, to ensure evaluations, with measurable outcomes, are in place for each project/service provided to the community.

●Unclear What You are to Achieve in Project – Being too vague is a grant application’s death sentence. Be precise, be concise, and know who your target populations are as well as social trends. Be able to wrap all of this data around the requested focal areas of the funder. What will be the impact to your community when this project is launched, when it reaches midpoint/endpoint, and what will be your outcomes?

●Not Following Funders Grant Guidelines – Being too busy or not having the proper personnel to properly read and follow all funder guidelines is not acceptable. Be sure and timeline all grant application deliverables, most importantly the due date and submission requirements, then follow all of these to the letter.

It is very important to be honest with ourselves in business, most especially in grant writing. If you understand the possible failures before putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, you will find yourself strategizing more about gaining that competitive edge where potential grant awards are concerned. Let’s now review some project thoughts.


Project Processing:


●Project Application Lacks Detail: Did you spend time making sure the narrative speaks to the budget? In an effort to prove you were the only agency providing your type of project or service, did you forget to illustrate just how vital your project/service really is to the community?

●Project Does Not Align with Funder Values: Every funder has focal areas. These areas are those sections of the community where the funder has their greatest interest. The funder’s focal areas are always in line with their organizational or corporate values. It is the grant writer’s responsibility to create their application in synergy with the funder’s focal area (s).

●Projects SROI (Social Return on Investment) is not Well Articulated: Focal areas of the funder are social in nature. Knowing this, the grant writer should reflect all social outcomes the project desires to achieve, and illustrate how these outcomes will change the community for not only the targeted population, but with the social values of the funder in mind as well. The funder always wants a return on their investment. In this case, that return is social change.

●Project Budget Request is High: Just because you need $100,000 to complete the work of your project, does not mean the funder has that to give. It is imperative for a grant writer to speak to the funder and know how much money is available. Then, determine from the funder how much of that you should actually request within the grant application.

●Project Data Is Not Sufficient: We are a high technology society. No excuse exists any longer for a grant application to be deficient in data. That data proves why the project is significant and gives meaningful voice, with the appropriate back up data, to why the project will succeed and bring about social change.


Grant writing is an art; one that may be mastered. Having said that, it is also a technical journey that requires the writer to not only be the voice within the application, but also the illustrator of community change. Also, the writer will wear many hats in the areas of organizational representative, funder liaison, community ambassador, technical director, and data researcher to name a few.


kiisa corporation founders have spent over twenty-five years in the grant writing world. Within this journey, we have learned that nothing can ever be assumed or taken for granted. This is serious business, one that you will realize failure, and success. Fear is not a partner. The only real commodity that is tangible is determination. Just remember, never give up! Should you wish to learn more about successful grant writing, register for one of our courses with LSU Continuing Education. Please click below to register or to learn more information.


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Tags:  grant writing 

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Time Management and Board Meetings by Kay Irby, LANO Director of Organizational Development

Posted By Tasha L. Cooper, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, February 8, 2016

Over the last ten years of working for LANO, I have heard the same comments from Executive Directors and Board Chairs about their board meeting.  “I hate getting ready for board meetings! My monthly panic attack is always the day before a board meeting.”  “It is a waste of time every month, no one ever comes to a meeting prepared and only a few people at the table are engaged.”


So…how do we set new expectations for board engagement?  As we start a new year, let’s get rid of some old habits.  Start with a better understanding of what it means to govern.   Good governance is not about protecting your board and setting or accepting low expectations.  Good governance does not ask board members to check their brain at the door so they can be fed a “rubber stamp” buffet of board reports to approve. Executive Directors believing that they need to come to board meetings with all the answers is not good governance, and neither is being afraid of hearing differing opinions at the board table.  Good governance can be messy! 

By calendaring the important fiduciary responsibilities of our work, there is more time for board member engagement.  We reframe a listening board into a conversational board, discussing the challenges and opportunities to further the mission of our organization. Board members become problem solvers.  Organizations need their brain power to consider new possibilities, identify new constituents, and help solve complex problems. That is good governance! Well planned meetings provide good stewardship of our board members’ time, and we find they have new respect and renewed interest in their commitment at the board table.  That is good governance! 

What if you walked out of the next LANO training session with a calendar of topics and committee tasks for the next year?  LANO’s Board Calendaring session will invigorate your meeting planning woes.  I promise you will not be disappointed! 


Kay M. Irby

Director of Organizational Development


Tags:  boards  nonprofit  training 

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Don't miss your chance to be part of the 2016 LA State Combined Charitable Campaign (LA SCCC) - Applications DUE March 1, 2016!

Posted By Robin Taylor, Louisiana Association of United Ways, Tuesday, February 2, 2016

All qualifying health and human service non-profits operating within the state of Louisiana are encouraged to apply to be a participating charity. The application is available at  and is due by March 1, 2016. All charity applications will be reviewed and notified of eligibility no later than June 30, 2016.

Tags:  applications  campaign  fund development  fundraising  nonprofit 

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Fundraising workshop: Creating and Managing an Individual Donor Program

Posted By Nora Ellertsen, The Funding Seed, LLC, Friday, January 29, 2016

Fundraising workshop: 

Creating and Managing an Individual Donor Program

Tuesday, February 16

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

 Ashe Cultural Arts Center

 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, New Orleans

Details and registration at



Individual donors give three quarters of all private charitable donations- more than foundation grants and corporate gifts combined.

How can your nonprofit find individual donors to support your work?  What can you do to ensure that your individual donor program is as successful as possible? 

Registration $40 per person.  Discounts available for students, AmeriCorps members and organizations registering two or more people.

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

For questions, to inquire about discount codes, or to reserve your space and pay at the door, email

To learn mmore about workshops and other services offered by The Funding Seed, visit

Tags:  board of directors  boards  development  donations  donor management  donor retention  donors  events  fund  fund development  fund raising  funding  Fundraising  funds  Member Event  New Orleans  nonprofit  nonprofit sector  non-profits  social fundraising  sustainability  training  workshop 

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Are You Protected for 2016 ?

Posted By Cindy Bishop, Checkmate Strategies, Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Are You Protected for 2016 ?

Non-Profit Organizations are essential to Louisiana in that they allow citizens to have a voice in the public policy arena. Unfortunately, Louisiana is facing a tremendous budget deficit and all state funding will be on the table.  Checkmate Strategies is here to work with you, to insure that your monies stays safe, so you can continue to provide high quality services and products to the citizens of our great state.  We understand the vitality of non-profits and believe that everyone should have the fairest chance possible to make a difference. Please look over some of the services we offer for your protection.  We love to fight for noble causes and to share our clients’ passion and commitment.  Checkmate Strategies can also help you put new public policies into place or change old policies.  With a new Administration comes new opportunities, but with a tremendous budget deficit looming ahead, we know the importance of putting a process in place now to protect your mission.

Legislative Bill Tracking, Monitoring and Communication:

During 2016, not counting special session(s), the Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature will last for 85 days.  One of the utmost important items to guarantee protection is information. Checkmate Strategies will commit to giving you a weekly update on legislation impacting your Non-Profit organization. In this weekly enewsletter, we will include information on the status of legislation, how legislators voted on these bills and a schedule of when legislation of interest will be considered by the Louisiana Legislature. What you don’t know can hurt your organization.

Advocacy 101 Training:

Knowing the players is one thing. Knowing how to effectively influence their decisions is a whole other ball game. Checkmate Strategies has the ability to travel to your Association, or your conference to conduct an Advocacy 101 training seminar. This will teach your members how to influence the Louisiana Legislature.   Additionally we can conduct this training electronically through a webinar.

Lobbying Services:

What better way to guarantee success than having a lobbyist at the State Capitol every day looking out for you and your best interests.  Checkmate Strategies offers to be on retainer to your nonprofit organization to protect your interests.  With Checkmate Strategies, realize that you are investing in a team that has great personal relationships with those who directly impact the legislative process. We have advocated issues and successfully protected the interests of over 50 companies and nonprofit organizations in the last 20 years.

We would love to conduct a complimentary assessment for your nonprofit organization.

To schedule or if you have any questions, please contact Cindy Bishop:  (225) 933-5435 

Tags:  advocacy  communications 

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