The most common cause of childhood lead poisoning is the dust that comes from lead based paint. While lead paint was banned for NYC residential use in 1960, and nationwide in 1978, Read More »
If you read our first article in the series “Managing Insurance Claims First Reports Can Have Big Impact for Schools & Non Profits” then you know that it’s a two part process, Read More »
Why is a Facebook “like” important; because every like means another person receiving your status updates in their newsfeed. Every like means another person who can share a story with all of their friends. This is why likes grow exponentially, especially with non profits. People love to help, or at least feel like they are helping a great cause. This could be through donations or through awareness. To put it simply, with every like there is a greater chance of donations, participation, and ultimately exposure for your non profit all done on the cheap as it costs nothing but your time.
If you are still reading this then you agree that likes are important; but how do you get them? As I mentioned it’s a much easier feat for a non-profit than a for-profit business. Here are a few strategies to get lots of likes.
1. Email campaign – Simply ask your current contacts to “like” your page. If you’re new to using a mass email service, consider utilizing Mail Chimp’s “Forever Free Plan.” They say you get up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month for free.
2. Run a contest – To be eligible to win people must like the Facebook page. Give away an item or an experience to the lucky winner. We’ve seen groups raffle free ipads, but anything from t-shirts to water bottles could help.
3. Ask someone to match a donation – For every “like” the non-profit receives Person X will donate $1. Or maybe to put it differently, “If the Facebook page reaches 1000 followers Person X will make a $1000 donation.”
4. Create Interesting content that people will share – This is the most important thing you can do. Post photos of the great work you are doing. Write articles that your followers can share all over the web. Put videos on Youtube. Your work will spread naturally.
5. Write press releases – Media sources are always on the lookout for content, and non profit work is often an easy sell. Ask to include a mention about your Facebook page at the end of the article.
These were just a few ideas to get you started. Be creative, think outside of the box and be genuine. Good luck!
Every Non Profit business should be utilizing Facebook to some extent. It is a great tool to help with fundraising whether you collect your donations through it or not. The major benefits Facebook brings to your business are increased awareness and efficiency. In this article we will get those of you who do not currently utilize Facebook for fundraising started. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Step 1. Obviously step one is to create your Facebook page. Under “Company, Organization, or Institution,” make sure to categorize yourself as a “non profit.” Add a description about your cause, and start inviting employees, friends, family, etc. Gaining followers or “likes” is an exponential process so invite as many as you can to start out. Periodically ask for your fans to invite their friends to “like” your page.
Step 2. Setup a Paypal account if you don’t already have one. There are no startup, cancellation, monthly or annual fees.
“PayPal has partnered with FundRazr to bring you an app that helps raise money and awareness for causes you care about. Reach out to your friends on Facebook, your Website, blog and more. Get the FundRazr app now
It’s Shareable – Your friends can share your FundRazr with their friends. Before you know it, your cause can go viral.
It’s Easy to Donate – Friends can donate right from their Facebook News Feed, your Website, your blog-wherever they view your FundRazr.
It’s Flexible – You can personalize app content, colors and payment options. Add a picture or a video. FundRazr works for personal causes, groups and other organizations.
Pricing – No setup or monthly charges-there’s a fee per transaction. (Click the image below)”
You could skip the PayPal badge if you’d like and direct people to your website, or other methods that you currently use. This will avoid the transaction fees which can add up over time (See above). For example an employee of mine recently ran a charity hockey event for wounded veterans. Since it was just a one time event they created a Facebook page, invited hundreds and hundreds of people over time and directed most donations to at the door ticket sales, in game events, and old fashioned checks. They ended up raising over $12,000 in just about 1 month! They did sell some tickets and collect some donations ahead of time by using a site called ticketriver.com. Worth checking out if you plan to have an event where tickets are needed. They also take a transaction fee, but a smaller one than Paypal. The Facebook page became the source of information for media outlets and the hub for people to find out what was going on.
Step 3. Now that you have your page and possibly a means of collecting donations, the hard stuff is done. If you plan to hold charity/fundraising events, make sure to create a Facebook event (hosted by your business page) for EVERY event you are planning. To spare the length of this article here is a great resource on setting up a Facebook event.
Step 4. Continue to update your timeline with comments, LOTS of pictures and videos, and track your metrics. Finally, send a friendly email to your contact list asking for people to “like” your page.
We hope this is a good starting point for you if you haven’t yet thought about using Facebook for fundraising. We will add a few more articles on the subject. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions.
Although we use this space to speak mainly about risk, we suggest that not being forward thinking and taking advantage of opportunities in turn may put your business at risk as you may cede market share to your nearest competitor whose resources continue to grow while yours stagnate.
Yeah that was a classic run on sentence but the points made are still spot on. I know that in the New York City & outlying suburbs there has been tremendous growth & shift into different neighborhoods and outlying areas. What strikes me square on the little forehead wrinkles is that in many of these areas there are no great choices for daycare or pre k nursery school programs. In a NY Times article written by Soni Sangha entitled The Pre K Underground, she makes a great point that in under served areas parents are taking matters into their own hands as they develop in home schooling alternatives due to lack of availability, affordability or both.
In some areas like Harlem , neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn an amazing amount of new affordable housing units have come on line. Similar opportunities exist in New Rochelle , Mount Vernon, and White Plains, all located in Westchester County NY where much of the infrastructure hasn’t caught up with the new arriving families. For our purposes I am speaking directly to nursery school & day care owners as it relates to infrastructure.
Did I get your juices flowing? If I did here’s where you may start. I would try to nail down statistically where the most growth occurred over the last 2 to 3 years. There is an interesting site called ESRI that for a small fee you can do most of your demographic mapping to figure out what neighborhoods have had outsized growth. You can also check your county web site or State Government web site for new housing developments and projects that just came on line. Any housing development that was funded with public money probably has a blizzard of press releases surrounding the funding, groundbreaking and topping off of a particular project.
Once you have identified the high growth areas then you try and drill into the population demographic, i.e. young families, and correlate that into potential facilities that can offer programs. Find the holes and find the opportunities. Hopefully you will think of us when you need to insure those new opportunities as we have a myriad of nursery school insurance programs and options offered in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania , and Connecticut. Helping you put other first through competitive nursery school insurance.
If you liked this article, like us on Facebook so we keeping pumping out these little diddies. It helps us keep going! Thanks for swinging by.
New York based Sea Change Capital Partners can help! On February 28th the organization announced the launch of a $1 million dollar NYC Merger Acquisition and Collaboration Fund to ease the path for charities to combine their efforts.
In a Wall Street Journal article published on February 28th, 2012 John MacIntosh, Partner at Sea Change Capital, was quoted as saying “We are looking to remove obstacles so that natural things can happen.” The pool of money is to be used for grant making for important expenses that are critical to knitting two non profits together. The expenses typically include: legal and accounting services, real estate changes, severance for outgoing executives, and meeting/travel expenses.
If you are considering merging with another Non Profit, or may consider coordinating a benefit or service to your constituents we suggest that you reach out to Sea Change Capital Partners directly to help make your vision a reality.
In speaking with several insurance claims adjusters and underwriters of insurance carriers who write Nursery School Insurance and Daycare Insurance, playgrounds yield consistently the highest injury rates. Makes sense right? Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes on a playground has certainly been witness to a “near miss”.
As someone who underwrites insurance coverage for many types of nursery schools , day cares, and community centers we think it’s critically important to remind folks who own and manage these facilities of some of the basics. In fact we encourage you the reader to pass this article around your facility to boost playground safety awareness.
We found a great site entitled www.brainline.org whose whole mission is to provide information to families and care givers who have had an experience with traumatic brain injuries. We offer these tips so your kids could avoid this terrible fate.
Playground Injury & Death Statistics
Over 200,000 children visit emergency rooms each year due to playground injuries.3
Every year 15 children perish due to incidents involving playground equipment.4
79% of ALL playground injuries involve falls.
Playground Falls account for 90% of the worst playground injuries.5
58% of playground fatalities are due to strangulation.6
Playground Injuries Occur When….
62% of organized sports injuries occur during practice, and 75% of all school-related spinal cord injuries happen during sports activities.7
Football is responsible for the highest injury rate among school-organized sports.8
Home injuries on playground equipment account for 23% of the annual injury rates.9
76% of all injuries take place on public playgrounds.10
Who Is Most Likely to Incur This Type of Injury?
Males account for 62% of all playground deaths.11
Males are three times more likely to incur a school-related injury.12
46% of school-related injuries are to those ages 10-14.13
49% of injuries to the head and face are to children age four and under.14
The High Cost Of Playground Injuries
School-related medical costs for children age 14 and under account for more than $2 billion in medical spending each year.15
The total annual cost of school-related injuries to children ages 14 and under exceeds $74 billion, which includes medical spending, loss in quality of life and future earnings.16
Playground Injury Safety Tips
Playground equipment is designed for children of various ages and groups. Be sure your equipment is age appropriate.
Equipment under four feet tall is suitable for children under 5, equipment under eight feet tall is typically designed for those ages 5-12.
Never EVER leave children unsupervised. Basic but often forgotten.
Ban cell phone use for aides, teachers, or supervisors that are on playground duty so they are not distracted.
To better absorb shocks from falls, make sure at least 12 inches of loose fill like wood chips, gravel, shredded tires, double shredded bark mulch, fine gravel or sand covers the entire playground floor.
Make sure any “S” hooks , or other hooking related hazards are closed as much as possible. We want to avoid anything a child may become caught, eliminating the threat of strangulation.
Place a bar at the top of a slide so children will have to sit before going down.
Make sure guardrails protect children from unintended falls from elevated platforms.
Consistently inspect the equipment. Institute a strict maintenance schedule and have sign offs that the equipment has been inspected.
Maintain inspection and repair logs for the equipment.
Inspect children’s clothes for hoods or drawstrings that may catch on equipment. Remove them prior to letting the children on the equipment.
5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13 www.safekids.org/tier3_cd.cfm?content_item_id=342&folder_id=177
Like most everyone else in the country you can’t help but get wrapped up in the Penn State scandal. As a long time fan of Penn State Football , and a parent of 3 young children I am horrified, disappointed, and angry all in the same potent elixir. I have yet to speak to anyone who doesn’t share at least some point of view.
What strikes me most when viewing this situation from the prism of my own profession (risk management & insurance broker) are a few very interesting observations that jump out at me which I feel compelled to share.
RISK MANAGEMENT TAKEAWAYS :
1) Sandusky would have passed most if not all of the State run, or vendor purchased background checks any responsible Non Profit or teaching institution would have conducted before entrusting their resources and most precious treasure their children. He had no history of child abuse or being a sexual predator. My takeaway here is that background checks, while a critical safety net and an important tool are not the end all be all in protecting any business , institution or non profit from the perils of a poor hire or rogue employee. Your responsibility and the continuity of your organization goes far beyond an initial background check. Background checks are step A in the responsibility alphabet.
2) You can’t buy enough insurance to cover the Board of Directors or the Non Profit itself of Second Mile. The potential net income loss on their financial statements is enormous, further the potential litigation each Board Member may encounter that may pierce the corporate veil and into their personal assets is a potential nightmare scenario. As of this writing according to the NY Times the Board just decided to begin the process of shutting it’s doors. The result of poor risk or any other form of basic management.
3) When your work product is children, seniors, or the disenfranchised you must be vigilant every single day in watching, monitoring and training your staff. Having a systematic set of protocols, making sure your staff is aware of the red flags and how to respond to a query or red flag is critical. Failure to do so kills your “brand” and your work product which is not covered by insurance. It’s not uncommon for a Nursery School to lose 80% of their clientele if abuse is asserted. There is NO insurance for that.
4) There is no substitute for “Awareness & Communication”. We are strong proponents of properly educating both parents and children on what is appropriate and what is not. Keeping the lines of communication as open as possible between child, parent , and facility. A child’s safety is the mutual responsibility of everyone not just the facility. Share that responsibility thru education and communication with ALL stakeholders. If your systems fail, which invariably they can, creating a culture of “Awareness” and Communication” can stop a predator dead in their tracks preventing further damage. The survival of your organization and business will then depend on the actions or in actions taken after the knowledge an “event” had taken place.
5) Have a very clear reporting policy consistent with your goals and values as an institution; share it with staff, and parents. Be open about it, scream it from the hills. If a predator sees that your facility is aggressive and vigilant about child safety they may pick an easier target. Set up the protocols in advance to take the emotion out of it. Make it a check list so no one has to think. We strongly advocate retaining the services of a specialist labor attorney who can help you craft a policy that strikes a balance between legal compliance , your goals and values. If you don’t know a good one, please let us recommend Jackson Lewis LP which specializes in this arena and has offices all over the country. Richard Landau is attorney we have had great results with for a number of our clients.
I can drone on here however I will spare you . There are so many rich discussion points when a tragedy like the Penn State Scandal occurs. I will post further on this topic as I believe it so important. The perils and the strategies for being a best practices facility, non profit or business can really dictate both continuity of care for your constituents as well as helping attract future donors and board members. We hope to have in the future examples of best practice action plans, steps to take, guest speakers and panelist that will add substantive value , assisting our clients, and readership in avoiding being a target of a Sandusky like predator.
There is no substitute for being proactive about creating a culture of awareness and communication in your organization. A child’s safety is our mutual responsibility so let’s treat it that way to achieve the best possible outcome because you just can’t buy enough insurance if you fail!
In case you didn’t know, 501(c)(3) organizations are not obligated to pay unemployment taxes. Non profit organizations typically are not aware of this option since the state unemployment office rarely provides this information. Nonprofits can choose to protect themselves by participating in a private unemployment trust such as The Nonprofit Trust. Funding unemployment obligations this way can help nonprofits substantially reduce their costs, especially if the organization has over $1,000,000 in payroll.
- Nonprofit employees often make less in wages yet nonprofit employers are still charged just as much, if not more, than private sector employers.
- Nonprofit employers tend to have more part-time labor which actually increases unemployment tax expenses.
- Nonprofits usually have lower unemployment claims than private sector employers.
- Due to the economy, unemployment taxes increased in 29 states last year. (Increases were as high as 161% in certain states).
- Over 25 state unemployment departments are now insolvent and borrowing money from the Fed. just to pay claims, increasing the need to increase tax rates. This number is expected to climb to nearly 40 by the end of 2011!
- States are overpaying claims in error by more than $1,000,000,000 per year!, and the problem is increasing due to the sheer volume of claims being processed due to the economy.
- Savings average between 40% and 50% EVERY year.
- Claims administration handles all communications with the unemployment office including initial notifications, claims protests, hearing representation, etc., reducing staff time spent on unemployment, driving claims costs down by winning more cases than employers do on their own (94% vs. less than 50% for employers) and by auditing every single claim processed, catching overpayments made by the states and they are corrected.
- Free Human Resources Hotline that assists with any type of HR issue, not just unemployment related issues, which can save the nonprofit time and money in getting the answer they need.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA recently awarded $10.7 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to 37 new and 32 returning recipients! These grateful recipients include nonprofits, community & faith based groups, business & trade associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, and colleges/universities.
What are Susan Harwood grants?
Typically these grants are awarded with the goal that no man or woman should be forced to risk injury or death for a paycheck. Awarded by the federal government, they provide tools for workers and employers in some of the most dangerous industries in America to identify and eliminate hazards. The money goes towards education and training that will help ensure that every worker returns home safely at the end of their work day.
Who is eligible?
The program awards grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis.Target audiences include under served, low-literacy, and workers in high-hazard industries. Workers that are otherwise vulnerable, and small business employers, are also a primary audience. Since 1978 almost 2 million workers have been trained through the program.
In an analysis conducted by Metropolitan Risk Advisory we see an average of 37% cost savings on workers compensation insurance and other related costs that are there for the taking. The problem is that many small businesses and non profits lack the staffing and knowledge to deliver a substantial portion of that savings thus they stay within that escalated cost spiral perpetuated by the insurance carriers. These Susan Hayward grants help fund that discovery process that incorporates training and other resources to help struggling small businesses and non profits reduced cost in perpetuity.
- “$3.2 million in Capacity Building Developmental grants to 20 new organizations that will develop their expertise and capacity to provide occupational health and safety education to their constituents”
- “$400,000 to five organizations for pilot grants to lay the groundwork for a self-sufficient safety and health education program.”
- “$1.3 million to 10 organizations to provide Targeted Topic Training grants”
- “$100,000 to two organizations for Training and Educational Material Development grants which must address one of the occupational safety and health topics designated by OSHA.”
- “$5.7 million in returning or follow-on funding to 32 recipients of prior year Capacity Building Developmental grants that had demonstrated satisfactory performance.”
Visit the OSHA Web site for a complete list of the 2011 Susan Harwood grant recipients. A simpler and equally cost effective way to achieve the 37% savings is to speak to a risk advisor who can analyze your data and help you develop a strategy to capture this savings without paying a fee! In addition please make sure that your employees are protected with a sound and cost effective workers compensation insurance policy. Please contact one of our risk advisors at Metropolitan Risk Advisory with any questions or concerns that you may have.