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Below is a series of links for Compassionate Ministry Centers to help them reach their communities more effectively. We have links on a broad range of ministries, and it is our hope that your ministry will find help and guidance through these resources.

Note that many of these links go to outside websites not affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene.

Table of Contents

How to Start a Non-Profit
Legal Documentation
Mission/Vision/Values/Strategic Planning
Board Development
Financial Accountability
Nonprofit Fund Development
Human Resources
Program Development

How to Start a Nonprofit

Nonprofit or For-Profit? Basic Considerations - This short article explains the different types of nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, and the strengths and weaknesses of both.

Hurwit & Associates State-by-State Filing Requirements Tool - The law firm Hurwit & Associates has a small, state-by-state tool for quickly finding your initial & annual filing requirements, and your state statuses.

CMC Toolkit - This invaluable resource was developed as a "Best Practices" guide for Compassionate Ministry Centers. Topics covered include boards, homeless ministries, fundraising, accounting, staff development, and grants. Developed by USA/Canada Regional Office staff and other contributers.

Legal Documentation

Annual Filings - Helpful advice and instructions for annual federal filing requirements.

A Board Member's Guide to Nonprofit Insurance - An informative Q&A with Pamela Davis, president and CEO of Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group.

State Liability Laws for Charitable Organizations and Volunteers - Beginning with an overview of the liability environment, this 4th edition of State Liability Laws for Charitable Organizations and Volunteers provides a state-by-state review of the evolving landscape of charitable immunity and volunteer protection laws. - A website created by the IRS with tutorials to help non-profit organizations maintain their exemption.

Mission/Vision/Values/Strategic Planning

How to Write a Non-profit Mission Statement Lists the benefits of a well-defined mission statement, and tips for writing a good one.

How to Avoid Non-profit Mission Creep - Good mission statements keep an organization focused. This article delineates the 7 steps of writing a mission statement that will be useful in guiding a nonprofit through changing circumstances.

Basics of Developing Mission, Vision, and Values Statements - A short article about creating vision, mission, and values statements, useful for non-profits at the beginning stages of planning.

Ten Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders - An outline of the basics of successful strategic planning, including the creation of an empowered planning committee, and realistic assessment of an organization's goals.

All About Strategic Planning A detailed guide to help your organization with strategic planning.

Quick and Painless - A short article that gives several reminders for strategic planning sessions.

Board Development

Basic Board Roles & Responsibilities - An outline of the roles and responsibilities of an nonprofit board.

Best Practices: Non-profit Corporate Governance - An article for non-profit boards, including advice for smaller organizations and large ones.

Tips for a Smooth Non-profit Board Meeting Practical advice on conducting meetings, including frequency, discussion, and the details of minutes.

Boards of Midsize Non-profits: Their Needs and Challenges - A summary of survey results from The Urban Institute. This included questions about what CEOs think of their boards, the most common mistakes of nonprofit boards, and using research to improve effectiveness.

Building an Effective Board of Directors A comprehensive guide that outlines board responsibilities, talks about committees and challenges of boards, common pitfalls, and guidelines for meetings and activities.

Financial Accountability

Bank Accounts for Nonprofits - An article offering advice for nonprofits on setting up checking accounts.

Banking for Nonprofit Organizations Advice for nonprofits on obtaining loans, including a discussion of financial viability and internal controls

Guide to Basic Bookkeeping - An introduction to bookkeeping: assets, liabilities, balance sheets, and much more.

Seven Ways to Reduce Your Audit Cost This article gives methods to save money when auditing your financial system.

Notes from Annual Budget Planning - Keynotes from the 2008 Annual Budget Workshop from the Nonprofits Assistance Fund. Advice includes why budgets fail, faulty steps and assumptions, how to budget for a surplus, and working with the board.

Lessons for Boards, from the Nonprofit Overhead Cost Project Details how organizations can improve financial controls, financial reporting, financial staffing, and organizational effectiveness.

ECFA Standards and Best Practices - A guide from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

The Board's Fiscal Responsibilities - Written by ECFA President Dan Busby, this article highlights the ways in which a board should be involved in the financial matters of a nonprofit.

Quality Financial Reporting: What is the Board's Responsibility? - Another piece by Dan Busby, this time outlining how a nonprofit can maintain excellence in financial reporting.

Nonprofit Fund Development

How Electronic Newsletters Can Help Charities Further Their Missions Without Creating Virtual Junk Mail How to create a successful e-mail newsletter, including examples.

Boards That Love Fundraising: Specific Responsibilities - An excerpt from Zimmerman Lehman's book lists four fund-raising responsibilities of board members, with accompanying tips on how to make them happen.

My Twelve Principals of Fundraising Some tips to keep in mind while searching for donors, and how to keep them.

Top Ten Tips for World-Class Donor Relations - Simple one-sentence rules for donor relations, adapted from Ken Burnett's book, The Zen of Fundraising.

Sample Donation Thank You Letter - A sample letter to show the proper way to thank donors and to encourage future giving.

Donor Loyalty: The Holy Grail of Fundraising - Data and advice on donor retention.

Ten Nonprofit Funding Models - A discussion on funding for non-profits, and how to focus on a funding model

Diversify, Diversify, Diversify - This article talks about doing a fundraising audit and community assessment to successfully plan for and sustain a new fundraising strategy.

Twelve Bright Ideas to Grow Your Direct Mail Campaigns - Advice for direct mail drives, reinforcing especially the integration of mail and internet to give the donor options.

Ten Common Mistakes Made in Nonprofit Direct Mail - A short list of things to avoid in direct mail campaigns.

Tips for Successful Direct Mail Marketing - Practical advice on direct mail design, to save money on postage and streamline your letter. This article explains the nuts and bolts of getting the letters out the door and into the hand of your potential donors.

RFM: A Formula for Greater Direct Mail Success RFM is a numbers-based formula for achieving maximum efficiency in direct mail fundraising. This whitepaper explains how saving money makes sense in the nonprofit world as well.

The Well-Organized Grant Writer - A specially-developed feature from about writing grants. Includes information detailing each section of a proposal, and the information needed to begin the process

Human Resources

Volunteer Management Practices and Retention of Volunteers - Nine practices that most large nonprofits adopt to recruit, train, and retain volunteers, to great success. Recommended practices include screening of potential volunteers and job descriptions for volunteers.

Successful Strategies for Recruiting, Training, and Utilizing Volunteers - A guide from the Faith-Based and Community initiative of the department for Health and HumanServices. Detailed explanations of the systems required for successful engagement of volunteers in your organization.

Sample Job Descriptors for Members of Boards of Directors Short job descriptions for chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, treasurer, and committee chair on the board of trustees.

How to Keep Boomer Volunteers Coming Back - With education, civic sentiment, and experience, baby-boomers are the backbone of most volunteer programs. This article explains what organizations can do to keep their skilled boomer volunteers challenged and involved.

Providing A Sense of Control to Volunteers - This article explains the importance of building in "resistance" to your volunteer program, giving them enough leeway for independent thought and action.

Co-Workers and Change Makers - This 6-page article explains the why and how of building a corporate volunteer program.

Best Practices for Executive Directors and Boards of Nonprofit Organizations A list of best practices for nonprofits, including human resources management.

Sample Employee Handbook - A sample handbook that can be adapted for personal use.

Developing & Maintaining Employee Documentation This article discusses what should be documented, how to set up a three-strike disciplinary system, and the importance of "always writing it down."

Management and HR Resources - Some sample personnel policies for a nonprofit to use as a template. Covered areas include harassment policies, sick leave, and performance reviews. Also included are some sample evaluation forms for employees.

How to Discipline & Document Employee Behavior - This is a concise HR resource prepared by an attorney, that highlights the importance of a written disciplinary policy, explains how to create a written discharge procedure, demonstrates how internal investigations should be run, discusses proper disciplinary actions that avoid discrimination and retaliation claims, and tips on getting your employee job descriptions just right.

Nonprofit Layoffs and Furloughs: Do Them Right - A guide for planning your personnel policies for layoffs and furloughs.

The Nonprofit Board's Role in HR An article detailing the role of a nonprofit board in human resources issues.

Nonprofit Organizations, and Human Resources Management An article explaining the importance of recruiting, screening, hiring, and orienting new employees. It also discusses compensation issues.

Program Development

Needs Assessment Strategies for Community Groups and Organizations - The site discusses 5 techniques and lists their advantages and disadvantages.

Various Approaches to Building Programs - This article lists the different ways a new program can be built and launched. "Build-it-and-they-will-come" approach, "seat-of-the-pants" approach, and more.

What is Needs Assessment and Why Do I Need One for a Nonprofit? - A brief Q&A to discuss Needs Assessment

A Basic Guide to Program Evaluation An article confronting some myths about program evaluation: that it wastes time, that its always suppose to prove whether a program "succeeded" or "failed", and that proving a program works is a highly complex and esoteric process.

Making Nonprofit Partnerships Effective - An article about ways to maintain close, mutually beneficial partnerships that aid an organization in meeting its mission, with special emphasis on the board's responsibility in the partnership.

Ten Tips for Writing a Great Annual Report - An article discussing the specific challenge of writing effective, eye-grabbing annual reports.

The Secret to a High Impact Annual Report - Presents some innovative ideas for making a report that will stick in the minds of the trustees.