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The Four Point 'Communications Plan'

Posted By Matt Mullenix, Mission Media, Friday, July 11, 2014
Your board chair just asked for your communications plan, a perfectly reasonable request.  

You have a gala scheduled in three months, an annual campaign in full swing and the press has been calling her about an unrelated national issue that nonetheless might negatively impact your organization's reputation.

Of course you have a plan for that!  It's right here, somewhere...

If you can't find it, don't panic.  It probably doesn't exist.  

No one plan can possibly cover every communications need.  But with a framework of basic principles, you can create one quickly and revise it as necessary to meet the ever-changing conversation that is nonprofit public relations.

Learn the simple principles behind building your communications plan in a new blog post from LANO member Mission Media.

Mission Media, a Division of Matthew Mullenix LLC, is a Louisiana company providing nonprofit promotion and communication at an affordable, predictable price. Visit our page or download the attached file for more information. 

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  communications  marketing  mission  planning  public relations  strategy 

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BRAC's Signature Speaker: A Scientific Approach to Helping Companies Design a Better Way of Working

Posted By Rebecca Harris, Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Featuring The Energy Project’s Andrew Deutscher and presented by Taylor Porter and BancorpSouth Insurance Services / Wright and Percy

The Energy Project is a specialty consulting firm that guides organizations and individuals to achieve optimal work performance. According to Deutscher, "we are all living and operating in the most difficult era to work in throughout our history.” Recently the partnership between Baton Rouge-based Albemarle, a multi-billion dollar chemical manufacturing company, and The Energy Project was featured in a New York Times article entitled "Why You Hate Work.” Albemarle partnered with The Energy Project to assist the organization in fueling sustainable high performance.

Research conducted by The Energy Project revealed that 70 percent of workers are disengaged or actively disengaged. In its "State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders,” The Energy Project found that workers today are "exhausted, emotionally depleted, unfocused, and lacking in purpose.” By focusing on four energy needs – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual – employees can build capacity.

  • Date: Tuesday, August 12, 2014
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. registration (Jones Walker Foyer), 11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. lunch (Hartley/Vey Theatres and Gallery at Manship Theatre), and 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. program (Manship Theatre)
  • Location: Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge
  • Parking: A parking garage is located at Convention Street and Third Street
  • Cost: $35 for BRAC investors, $45 for non-investors (includes lunch provided by Ruffino's Catering)
  • Information: Contact Lauren Hatcher at 225-381-7132 or
To Register please go to

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An IRS Magnet: UBIT Expense Allocations Draw Scrutiny

Posted By Celeste Viator, Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The IRS pays attention to how non-profit organizations calculate the tax they pay on unrelated business activities. The agency is concerned that many non-profits may be improperly reporting losses related to these activities and thus may not be paying unrelated business income tax (UBIT).  The focus on the reporting of unrelated business income comes in the wake of an IRS compliance study of 400 public and private colleges and universities which resulted in 30 IRS audits. 

Click below for the entire article.

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Now Recruiting Shreveport Community Leaders Class of 2014: Nonprofit Board Training

Posted By Kay Irby, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Thursday, July 3, 2014

Over the last nine years, LANO has facilitated a board training program for young professionals in the Shreveport area .

This year, fifteen young professionals will be selected for the program, and we will be opening the class to seven nonprofit organizations. Expectations for participation include mandatory attendance of four sessions for the Executive Directors and Board Chairs, and five sessions for young professionals. The class will mix both groups of leaders together in hopes to create a more interactive learning environment for everyone.

There will be an information session on Thursday, August 7th at 5:30 pm. Click here for details.

The 2014 program will begin in September.  Each year 30 applicants are accepted. 
Application deadline is August 14, 2014. 

Organizations that are chosen will be required to pay $600 for four sessions. Session times are 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm with dinner served.  

September 18, 2014 - Governance

October 2, 2014 – Fundraising

October 16, 2014 – Change Fund (No organizations present only leaders)

October 30, 2014 – Conduct of the Board

November 13, 2014 – Financial Management

If you are in the Shreveport area and are interested in the 2014 

 community leaders
apply here

organizational leaders apply here 

This program is made possible by the generous support of

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Charity enforcement bill reminds you to exercise transparency

Posted By Erica Crenshaw, Execute Now!, Thursday, July 3, 2014

The state of California recently joined only two other states, Florida and Oregon, in the fight to stop fraudulent nonprofits from misusing donations. The California Assembly unanimously approved legislation last week that it would authorize regulators to use the registration fees paid by nonprofits and professional fundraisers to crack down on charities that spend little of their money on their mission. The unanimous vote sent the measure to the state Senate.

Assemblyman Travis Allen, the bill's sponsor, said this legislation will help regulators target groups that spend most of their money on fundraising. The state's attorney general could create 13 staff positions to handle administrative and court proceedings related to suspect nonprofits, help unregistered charities comply with paperwork requirements, and review charities' applications and financial reports.

"It's unacceptable when people are tricked into giving money to one of these scam charities where only three percent of the donation goes toward helping people," Allen said...

Read more at the Finance Fundamentals Newsletter

By Erica McGeachy Crenshaw, CEO of Execute Now!

Tags:  Execute Now! Finance Fundamentals 

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Propeller is recruiting social innovators! (Deadline: July 17th)

Posted By Andrea Chen, Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, Thursday, July 3, 2014

 is seeking entrepreneurial solutions that will make a big difference for underserved communities and the environment.  Early-stage for-profits, nonprofits, and existing organizations with new ideas are encouraged to apply for the​ 10-month​
 2014-15 Social Venture Accelerator.  Application Deadline: July 17, 2014 at 11:59pm.
Interested but not sure if you are the right fit?  Contact Andrea at​
The Propeller Accelerator offers free co-working space, mentorship from successful entrepreneurs, including Mike Eckert, founder and former CEO of The Weather Channel, experienced strategy consultants, pro bono assistance (legal, accounting, graphic design), increased visibility, and access to networks.  Propeller Accelerator ​Fellows have been featured in the NY Times, WIRED, Forbes, GOOD, TechCrunch, and the LA Times.  

Apply Here
Learn More Here
Deadline: July 17, 2014
​Accelerator Program Benefits:​

  • ​Executive Mentors: Get one-on-one time with s​uccessful entrepreneurs​, including Michael Eckert, Founder & former CEO of The Weather Channel​,​
     and John Elstrott, Chairman of Whole Foods Market​.​
  • Accelerator Consultant: A paid consultant at the top of his/her field who joins your team in an area of greatest need to work one-on-one with you throughout the program for 27 hours/month. ​ Strategy sessions with Lead Consultant Kevin Wilkins.​  Check out  past Accelerator Consultants​.​
  • ​Free Space: A co-working office and meeting space (with Wi-Fi, printing and coffee) in our vibrant Incubator facility
  • ​Networks and Visibility: ​Propeller staff who make key introductions to potential investors, funders, customers, advocates, ​media, ​and policymakers.
  • ​Community: ​A collaborative peer community of Fellows.  Past Fellows have launched new collaborative products, shared arable land, purchased services or contracted with each other, and volunteered for each other’s ventures.
  • For Water Fellows: $5,000 grant/Fellow for seed project funding.​
​What kinds of companies have we accelerated?
  • The Healthy School Food Collaborative (‘12) administers over $9.8mm/year in federal reimbursements/year to bring healthy school meals to 39% of all public schools in New Orleans.
  • Jack and Jake’s food hub (‘11) secured financing to become operational during the Accelerator, serves public schools in the Healthy School Food Collaborative, and recently secured financing to begin construction on their 23,000 s.f. facility on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
  • Justice & Accountability Center of New Orleans (‘12) has served over 1,000 clients for non-violent criminal record expungements to facilitate successful societal re-entry and reduced recidivism.
  • The Fine Arts and Wellness Center (‘12) has secured $2.16mm in capital to build out an arts and health incubator in the Broadmoor neighborhood.
  • TrueSchool (‘13) has garnered over $200,000 in national contracts to reach over 200 teachers through its innovative applied research, design and professional development studios.
  • Griffin Law Group (‘13) has won over $300,000 in benefits for disabled children.

​Early-stage for-profits and nonprofits or existing organizations with new project ideas​ are encouraged to apply​.  ​Early-stage is defined as no more than 2 years with full-time paid staff OR no more than two full-time employees.
Selection Criteria:

olutions within 
Healthy Food Access/Local Food Economy​, Public Health, Water Management, and Public Education.
 Priority will be given to solutions within 
target ​
sectors. Alternative ideas outside of these sectors are still encouraged to apply.

2) Potential for Significant Social Impact
The challenge is clear; your strategy is sound; scalability is possible.

3) Financial Sustainability
​. ​
We expect reasonable and validated market analysis that supports your business model. Ventures with earned revenue streams receive priority.

4) Leadership & Dedication. ​You have the vision to motivate, the experience to guide you, and the grit to get it done. ​Fellows ​must devote a minimum of 20 hours per week towards their venture.
​Questions?  Interested in applying?  Contact Andrea Chen, Executive Director, at​

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  accelerator  incubator  propeller  social entrepreneurs  social innovation 

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Parents: Learn About Common Core State Standards, July 29 in Baton Rouge

Posted By John Smith, 100 Black Men of Metropolitan Baton Rouge, Saturday, June 28, 2014




(click image to download PDF flyer...Please share!)

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No-Fee Fundraising Site CommitChange Lures Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban

Posted By Jason Nicosia, CommitChange, Friday, June 27, 2014


Billionaire investor Mark Cuban of ABC’s "Shark Tank” now backs LANO member CommitChange, a new online fundraising platform that refuses to skim profits from charitable donations.

LANO member CommitChange, a new online platform for nonprofit fundraising, has closed a $700,000 seed round led by Mark Cuban of the popular ABC television show "Shark Tank.”

Cuban, along with prominent investment firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, 500 Startups and others, looks to reinvent digital philanthropy with an innovative suite of free fundraising tools that focus heavily on the donor experience.

As a comprehensive fundraising tool for nonprofits, CommitChange seeks to unseat dominant industry player Blackbaud (BLKB - $1.7B), along with a host of existing online donor portals that earn revenue by keeping as much as one tenth the amount of each processed donation.

According to Roderick Campbell, CEO and Co-Founder of CommitChange, the company is dedicated to "eliminating donation skimming as a business model and . . . will never profit by taking a percentage of donations."

The site’s core technology is available for free to all 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

After a brief registration process, the site accepts and routes online donations to participating charities and manages fundraising campaigns through a private dashboard. Event ticketing and donor management features will be released later in 2014. Larger nonprofit organizations can access advanced versions of these tools and other services for a fixed monthly subscription, the company’s planned strategy for generating revenue.

Already in use by nonprofits and their supporters across the country, the platform is well reviewed and performing better than competitors in several categories.

CommitChange cites the following current figures:

• Average donor gift of $162 (vs $146 national average)

• Average recurring gifts of $44/mo (vs $19/mo national average)

• 11.7% of all donations are recurring

• 32 second average donation time

For more information about CommitChange, visit, subscribe to the company blog at its LANO member profile or contact Jason Nicosia at


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“Charter School 101” Workshop To Be Held July 19 in Baton Rouge

Posted By Michael Eskridge, Advance Innovative Education, Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Advance Innovative Education is proud to host a one-day workshop specifically designed to assist new charter school applicants in submitting successful charter school applications and planning for future success.


When:Saturday, July 19, 2014

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Where:Louisiana Resource Center for Educators (LRCE)

5550 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA70806



In addition, this workshop offers a vendor fair for participants to network with charter school vendors and explore their support services.


The registration fee of $100.00 allows participants to bring a team of four individuals and lunch is provided.


For vendor and participant registration information go to our website or contact Dr. Michael Eskridge at or 225-301-8141.


Click image (above right) to download flyer.







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Good news for nonprofits seeking operating grants

Posted By Erica Crenshaw, Execute Now!, Thursday, June 19, 2014

Few of us have the chance to ask program officers or foundation board members to tell it like it is. And if they do, how often must their answer be filtered to protect their foundations and positions?
If you don't have a foundation officer you can ask to be a truth teller, Foundation Source's recent annual report on private foundations is your next best thing--especially if you're a nonprofit seeking elusive operating support. Tune in to some interesting and encouraging statistics...

Tags:  Execute Now! Finance Fundamentals 

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