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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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Monday Messages from Execute Now!

Posted By Erica Crenshaw, Execute Now!, Monday, October 3, 2011
LANO member and benefit provider Execute Now! offers tips each Monday that will help you plan and execute an exceptional financial plan for your organization... [see LANO's member benefit section for exclusive discounts offered by Execute Now!]

One Reason to Establish a Finance Team: Proper Financial Controls.

A finance team provides stability to an important function in all organizations. It also helps the company establish a strong financial foundation through implementing strong internal controls.

[Read More at Execute Now!'s Member Blog]

For more information, please visit:

Tags:  accounting  bookkeeping  controller  Execute Now!  finance  member services 

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Financial Services Provider Wants to Connect

Posted By Erica Crenshaw, Execute Now!, Thursday, September 29, 2011
LANO's member nonprofits expressed a desire for quality finance and accounting services at a discounted price through their membership. We heard you!

LANO's new member benefit provider Execute Now! (see our member profile!) invites you to become a fan of our Facebook page and to follow us on Twitter and Linked In, as well as connect with us through your LANO member profile.

Execute Now! helps LANO members fulfill their missions by implementing the same solid financial systems used in prosperous businesses.

We'll make every effort to help you understand the financial drivers of your business, learn how to stretch your dollars, thwart financial pitfalls, and get your questions answered.

For more information, please visit the following link:

Tags:  Execute Now! 

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Your prospect has four sets of ears: Are you speaking to them?

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Thursday, September 29, 2011

This month we are featuring Tom Ahern's recent book, How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money (Emerson & Church 2011).

Despite our lack of Tom Ahern's vast communications credentials, we find ourselves fully entrenched in writing tasks. No matter how you communicate, whether you are a social media fan or a champion of direct mail, your understanding of effective donor communications will be essential to nonprofit success.

While it's widely accepted that no two readers are alike, we continue writing to them as if they are. Your donors are not target markets or segments; they are people with different motivations for giving to your nonprofit. No matter how well-intentioned your messages are, the reality is that you are still an intrusion. So we must raise the bar in writing donor-centric messages to inspire action.

Donors have special interests, and here's a short list of what they care deeply about... Read more

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Learn About Available Funding from the Coastal Communities Fund

Posted By Ryan Crespino, The Greater New Orleans Foundation, Monday, September 26, 2011

Resources Available for Nonprofit Organizations Providing Services to Those Affected by the Oil Spill in the River Parishes

Learn more at the information session to be held on Monday, October 10, 2011 from 9 to 11AM in Norco

The Greater New Orleans Foundation is hosting an information session for nonprofit organizations serving populations in Assumption, St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist parishes to determine if they are eligible to receive funding from the Coastal Communities Fund.

Through the Coastal Communities Fund, the Foundation will be awarding grants to nonprofit organizations providing services to those directly affected by the Gulf Coast oil spill. The information session is intended for nonprofit organizations focusing on mental health & wellness; social services & financial stability; and youth resiliency. This session is for the above mentioned parishes only.

River Parish Information Session
Monday, October 10, 2011
9:00AM to 11:00AM
La Maison Magnolia Reception Hall
950 First Street, Norco, LA

The Coastal Communities Fund was created after an anonymous donor established the $20 million fund for Gulf Communities through the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to assist people living in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas who are still struggling in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill. The Greater New Orleans Foundation is responsible for granting $5 million of the $20 million to nonprofit organizations providing services to residents within Louisiana’s coastal communities.

# # #

About the Greater New Orleans Foundation
The Greater New Orleans Foundation is the community foundation serving the 13-parish Greater New Orleans metropolitan area. We design and lead initiatives that improve the region, connect donors to community needs, identify and support great nonprofits, and strengthen civil society. For more information, visit

Tags:  coastal  funding  grants 

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TechX 2011 in Just 8 Days

Posted By Claude Bethea, Transformyx, Monday, September 26, 2011
Conference from October 5-7, "LIVE" at the
Baton Rouge River Center

Registration is now FREE to all, thanks to LANO member Transformyx!

Nonprofit professionals in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Northshore Regions: Sessions are nearing capacity seating, so ACT NOW to assure your place at TechX 2011. Everything you need to provide for your organization's sustainable IT, social networking, mobility and communications needs can be found or learned about at the TechX 2011 conference and expo.

Onsite registration will be available all day Wednesday, October 5 and Thursday, October 6, but there will be no guarantee of session seating for walk-in registrations. To secure your spot you must register online before 12 noon on October 4th. Once registered and confirmed by our system, your seats are guaranteed!

Tags:  Information Technology  techX 2011  Transfomyx 

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Is your nonprofit worth saving unconditionally?

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Saturday, September 24, 2011

I can only think of one time you promise for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. And it's never applied to a nonprofit organization, let alone a business. If your nonprofit has sickly or feeble programs and is in a poor financial state, is it worth saving unconditionally? Should nonprofits rise above our treatment of failing businesses simply because they have a worthy mission?

This week's article by Raylene Decatur, called "Should we strive for sustainable organizations?” is a must read. She and I recently discussed the occasionally misguided goal of sustainability, and I'm delighted she put pen to paper for a larger discussion. Raylene addresses the issue we as nonprofit leaders continue to orbit but rarely touch. Decatur says ... Read more

Tags:  alliances  mergers  sustainability 

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BCBS Foundation Announces $10 Million in Challenge Grants to Fight Obesity in Louisiana

Posted By Karen Boles, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Thursday, September 15, 2011
"Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana” will help communities to support healthy living...

LANO member, The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is issuing a challenge, backed with several million dollars in grant funding, to communities across Louisiana to address the staggering rise in obesity rates.

"The Blue Cross Foundation is committed to improving the health of our state, and this is a major public health concern,” said Mike Reitz, President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. "Obesity contributes to a long list of chronic conditions—such as heart disease and diabetes—that diminish the quality of people’s lives in Louisiana while pushing healthcare costs higher.”

The company is partnering with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, noted for its work to combat childhood obesity and recognized as the foremost academic nutritional research center in the world, to administer the grant program, called Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana. 

Announced September 14, 2011, at Pennington’s fourth annual Childhood Obesity Conference in Baton Rouge, the grant program will offer matching financial assistance to nonprofit organizations for projects that promote healthy eating, active living and environmental change.

"This represents a great example of a private–public partnership that can benefit all Louisianians,” said Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, associate executive director for population science at the Pennington Center.

Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana aims to improve statistics like these released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and the Louisiana Obesity Council:

• Our state ranks fifth highest in the country for obesity
• Nearly half of Louisiana’s schoolchildren are overweight
• Almost one third are classified as obese

The Foundation’s website at offers resources for applicants, including ways to reach out to potential partners in each local area.

Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana is looking for projects that address the causes of obesity through changes in policies, practices, social support and the physical environment. Projects should incorporate several of the following efforts:

• Encourage healthy lifestyles

• Include/promote physical activity

• Promote fitness and nutrition education

• Support parental involvement in children’s lives

• Provide access to safe facilities and neighborhoods for physical activity

• Directly support adequate and healthy nutrition

The Blue Cross Foundation will award grants ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. 

Applicants must provide at least a one-to-one match in funding, which may come from various sources. Up to half of the matching funds may be in kind. Those interested can find detailed information about the grant requirements and application timeline at

Download File (PDF)

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Don't "blandify" your communications, be bold

Posted By Denise McMahan, CausePlanet, Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I read a blog post today called "Why Steve Jobs and I Hate Charity” by one of our featured authors, Joe Waters, who has generated a lot of mixed responses with this post, some even angry. I can't help but be happy for him. Call me crazy, but this month I have author Tom Ahern backing me up on this one. We're currently featuring his new book, How to Write Fundraising Materials That Raise More Money at CausePlanet.

"Content that interests your reader is mandatory,” says Ahern. He says we should ask if our message is bold and passionate. (Not bland, predictable or boring.) I would say Joe Water's post meets these requirements on all counts.

One of Tom Ahern's chapters in particular had me jumping out of my seat because it's so rarely discussed, much less overcome in the workplace. The chapter is called "On the delicate subject of committee and board approvals.” Tom's remarks in this chapter further support the priority we must all put on preserving communications that are bold, controversial and surprising. Tom argues that your board and committee's instincts and good intentions aren't enough. Effective communications are, in Ahern's opinion, 99 percent science and one percent art. You are a professional. You've done the research and understand what makes communications effective. Committees tend to "blandify” the piece and scrub away the bold, the controversial and the crazy surprises you've worked hard to incorporate into your piece, says Ahern.

I was so enthusiastic about this opinion after having survived numerous direct mail pieces written by committee over the years that I asked more about the subject in our interview and here's what Tom had to say:

CP: We love chapter eight about how to mitigate the influence of committee or board approval on the written appeal. How liberating! Would you say the same rules apply for management?

TA: There are two kinds of bosses: those who trust their employees and those who don't. The trusting boss says to the fundraiser, "Look, this is your area of expertise. And it's your neck on the line. Do what you think is best." If that's not your kind of boss, start looking for a new job.

Tom explains his book that there are seven ways you can guarantee poor results. I would argue that number seven needs to added as I've done below. Then again, he did dedicate an entire chapter to the subject.

1. You don't target your audience narrowly enough: You must sharpen your message by grouping your constituency by donors (at least two gifts), prospects (shown some interest or lapsed donors) and suspects (might yield a gift but show no proof yet of interest). The second layer of grouping is segmentation by demographics (age, sex, income, educational level, number of children or zip code) and psychographics or "lifestyle traits” (values, beliefs, attitudes and interests).

2. You don't know what your BIG message is: Choose one message for each target audience and beat that message to death for a few years. That's how you get results, says Ahern.

3. You don't repeat your messages often enough: Marketers cite the "rule of seven,” which means you must bring the same message to a target audience at least seven times in an 18-month period in order for that message to penetrate.

4. You don't have real goals: Every goal should be concrete, measurable, achievable and worth doing.

5. You think "bland” is a safe choice: You have to be BOLD to capture a person's attention in today's hyperactive messaging environment. Bold always outsells bland.

6. You have unreasonable expectations: You hope for blockbusters. Instead, have patience with the slow trickle of interest. It will soon amount to a river of support, says Ahern.

7. You use a committee and board approval process: Your board or committee's instincts and good intentions aren't enough. Effective fundraising communications are, in Ahern's opinion, 99 percent science and one percent art. Professionals on staff have done the research and understand what makes a communications piece effective. Committees tend to feed each other's doubts; they "blandify” the piece and scrub away the bold, the controversial and the crazy surprises you've worked hard to incorporate. (See # 5.)

Thanks, Joe, for the great post and keep your readers guessing. You have Tom and me in your court. Visit for more posts.

by Denise McMahan

Don't forget to register for Joe Water's upcoming webinar hosted by CausePlanet, "Establish, grow and deepen your business partnerships” on Thursday, September 29, 4 p.m. Eastern. LANO members get a 20% discount. Visit

A portion of this blog post was excerpted from a Page to Practice book summary at LANO members can subscribe to our summary library with a 20 percent discount—only $7.95 per month. Visit for more information.

For more information about Tom Ahern's book and more expert advice, visit You can also research more books published by Emerson & Church Publishing at

Tags:  direct mail  fundraising  newsletters 

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September News from the Community Center of St Bernard

Posted By Ann Juneau, Community Center of St. Bernard, Friday, September 9, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 9, 2011
The latest newsletter from the Community Center of St Bernard  is available online at Top news includes our food pantry distributing its 1,000,000 lb of food, our Executive Director Iray Nabatoff being named one of 5 finalists for the national 2011 AARP Hunger Hero Award, and much more!

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Louisiana Spirit Counseling Services at the Community Center of St Bernard

Posted By Ann Juneau, Community Center of St. Bernard, Friday, September 9, 2011

Louisiana Spirit team members will now be at the Community Center of St Bernard, 1111 LeBeau St, Arabi, every Wednesday from 10AM – 3PM to provide the following services:
Listening and emotional support
Information, referral and education services
Help with rebuilding social networks and natural support systems
Assist with developing your personal recovery

Louisiana Spirit's Coastal Recovery Counseling Program targets special populations in Southeast Louisiana including Children and Schools, Senior Citizens/Elderly, First Responders: Police Officers, Firefighters, EMTs, Oil Spill Clean-Up Workers, Physically Disabled Citizens, Fishermen, Oilfield Workers, Homeless Citizens, Unemployed Citizens, and Business Owners.

For more information about Louisiana Spirit programs and services, please phone 1.866.310.7977 or 504.224.2918.

Tags:  community center of st bernard  louisiana spirit  st bernard louisiana 

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