Grants Available; Text Messaging Use; Graffiti Attack

September 1, 2020 — Community Consulting Teams offering $100K consulting grants… Nonprofits are increasing their use of text messaging… Harriet Tubman House hit by graffiti.

Community Consulting Teams Offering $100K Consulting Grants

Community Consulting Teams (CCT), a Boston-based nonprofit that helps Boston area nonprofits address strategic business and management challenges, recently announced it is accepting applications from nonprofits for free consulting support valued at $100,000 for each organization.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most if not all of the project work will be performed virtually, the organization said.

To be eligible for the program, nonprofits must have 501(c)(3) status, an annual budget between approximately $500,000 and $5 million, a full-time executive director, a minimum of three full-time staff, and at least one staffer who will be assigned to the project.

Typical projects include growth strategy, benchmarking analysis, marketing planning, financial modelling, or help with some aspect of a strategic plan. Consulting projects are performed by teams of experienced MBA-alumni volunteers from major business schools.

Deadline to apply: Oct. 16. Details.

Nonprofits Are Increasing Their Use of Text Messaging

Text messaging volume by nonprofits grew by 14% last year, over the year before, outpacing growth in use of social media or email, a new study has found.

Nonprofit text messaging audiences grew by 26% in 2019, more than six times the 4% increase in Facebook audiences. During the same time, email list sizes reportedly declined 2%.

"It’s a sign that users are incredibly comfortable using mobile devices as their primary means of staying in touch with the causes they care about,” according to the 2020 M+R Benchmarks Report, reported in The NonProfit Times.

The analysis was based on 8.7 million gifts, totaling $476 million raised online, made to 201 nonprofits.

Other key findings include the following:

  • Peer-to-peer message recipients received 1.4 messages per month in 2019.
  • The monthly opt-out rate, defined as the percentage of individuals who opt out each month, was 2%.
  • Mobile fundraising saw a click-through rate (CTR) of 4.2%, down 9.5% over the previous year.
  • The unsubscribe rate for mobile fundraising was 0.7%, up 54% over 2018.
  • CTR for fundraising messaging was 4.2%, much higher than the 0.56% CTR for email funding messages.

How effective text messages were at driving response is difficult to say, The NonProfit Times noted. According to the study, “Limited integration between mobile messaging and donation processing platforms means that we are not able to provide a reliable response rate for fundraising efforts.”

Harriet Tubman House Hit by Grafitti

United South End Settlements (USES), a nonprofit community services organization that serves several Boston neighborhoods, reported that vandals recently defaced the Harriet Tubman House with graffiti near a mural is intended to be preserved after the building is replaced with a condo development.

USES provided images showing spray paint covering a partial wall in front of the mural, which depicts the history and people of the South End, The Boston Globe reported.

“We respect free speech. We respect difference of opinion. We also believe that vandalizing the public view of the mural and defacing a building is not only shameful, but also destructive and disrespectful,” the paper quoted from a USES statement.

"The planned demolition of the Tubman House has sparked a debate over gentrification and development in the South End," according to The Globe. "United South End Settlements sold the property to the development company New Boston Ventures in what it described as a desperate measure to shore up its finances and ensure that it can continue to pay for the programming it provides in the neighborhood.

"Critics of the planned demolition have said the Tubman House is a critical resource for lower-income residents in a neighborhood that keeps getting wealthier, and that the property should remain in service to communities that are being pushed out."