Last week the Governor’s Conference on Service and Nonprofit Capacity Building hosts participated in a Twitter chat and shared their insights on nonprofit best practices. Did you miss attending the Twitter chat?Not to worry! We’ve captured it here so that you don’t miss out on any valuable information.
The Storify stream includes a transcript of the Twitter Chat. We encourage you to skim through it in its entirety, but here’s a quick recap of some of the key topics.

Questions for SAVI

I. Why don’t more nonprofits use data in their planning process?

1) it can be overwhelming

2) they’re unaware of free and valuable data resources

3) they feel they can simply use anecdotal evidence as a replacement for data

II. Why is data so important?

Because it’s completely accurate and honest. Knowledge derived from data leads to higher performance and gives organizations that all important edge they need to be competitive.

III. How can nonprofits begin using data?

1) Understand your service area’s demographics, needs, and assets.

2) This data is easy to find in SAVI and will help to identify areas of greatest need as well as areas where there are gaps in resources.

Questions for Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

I. Once nonprofits identify areas of greatest need, how can they rally volunteers to help meet these needs?

1) The data will help to identify the skills and numbers of volunteers you need. Then you can connect with an OFBCI center to recruit.

2) Try hosting a launch party or similar fun event to attract volunteers.

II. How can nonprofits develop a stronger volunteer base?

Train your staff to properly interact with and manage volunteers. Empower your staff to positively connect with volunteers and act quickly if issues arise.

III. How can nonprofits get (and keep) volunteers with the skill sets they need?

1) Develop a skill-building aspect to volunteer training to benefit shared goals. Everyone wins when volunteers learn new skills.

2) In fact, volunteers have a 27% higher chance of finding a job!

Questions for Indiana Attorney General

I. As organizations become more strategic and add volunteers, do they run the risk of more compliance issues?

Any time an organization increases its capacity, it adds complexity, which potentially means added compliance issues. But consistent training of volunteers will help to ensure compliance.

II. What is the biggest compliance mistake you see nonprofits make?

A sole focus on the nonprofit’s mission with a failure to familiarize with state and federal compliance regimes. The mission should be a priority, but nonprofits still must operate within state and federal law.

III. Do you have any quick tips or easy steps for improving compliance with fundraising laws and other rules?

Seek accounting expertise to implement internal controls and fund tracking. Fundraising consultants and solicitors can help.

We hope you find this Twitter chat summary helpful. Make sure to register for this year’s Governor’s Conference on Service and Nonprofit Capacity Building to learn more about key nonprofit strategies.

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