My Dutch Uncle is ready to be your business partner. Call 415-625-2942.
The “Aha!” Moment
“Not long ago, a wonderful performing group whose board I served on came close to disaster. For three years, they had received an indispensable $30,000 operating grant from a major community foundation. The next year, their application was turned down—the presentation of their financials was just a mess. The foundation did extend a bridging grant earmarked for a forensic accountant to put things in order. But the whole experience upset everyone in the organization, and it didn’t have to happen. Though I’d seen similar stumbles, something clicked this time. Things were getting tougher for small nonprofits, and I knew we could help on the business side.”
John Golenski, CEO
Why Dutch Uncle?
“Did you have a favorite aunt or uncle who helped set you on your path? My Dutch Uncle does have roots in Holland, but we chose the name for other reasons. To some people a 'Dutch uncle' means a counselor who is by turns benevolent and stern. We can be a little of both! More important, we see our relationship to clients as similar to one you might have with the best kind of uncle, or aunt. Not like a parent, on whom the young person totally depends. But a relation at one remove, guiding fledgling nonprofits into mature adulthood with timely advice and assistance. ”
Edgar Brenninkmeyer, President
Or at least its own community. You know it’s true because you’ve seen the impact a committed group of people — even just one woman or man on a mission — can make. Your organization was born from your own world-shaking dreams.
But just about all nonprofits face a fundamental dilemma: How do you focus heart and soul on your mission while taking care of business? Put another way: How do you take the essential steps toward stability and independence so you can keep carrying out your mission?
And these steps are essential — as we’ve learned over decades of work with nonprofits. Fledgling organizations falter because they don’t know how to recruit and direct board members, or run an annual fund campaign, or assemble a persuasive grant application backed by solid financial reporting. My Dutch Uncle crystallized around one such “aha!” story.
How many times have you thought, “If we just had more money….” (we could hire a fulltime accountant, buy that software, lease the perfect space)? But making those big investments may not be your best move, even if possible. Your nonprofit should operate professionally on all fronts. Foundations and corporate funders, besieged by pleas from deserving groups, look for sound business practices in making choices. And in a tough economy, careful minding of your donor base has never been more important.
My Dutch Uncle will raise your profile. Our firm exists to help small nonprofits grow to confident maturity, by providing sound guidance and a full range of business services and training vital to their success, but often just beyond their reach.
Our clients are organizations and leaders committed to taking the critical steps. Our staff and associates are experts in the business operations most vital to nonprofits: managing donor relationships and data, accounting and financial reporting, board development, fundraising, and marketing. We get to know clients, target their needs, design customized services, and implement them in an integrated way. This enables us to keep fees as lean as possible.
Getting an edge with funders is one reason to work with My Dutch Uncle. Staying sane is another. Leaders of nonprofits stress about keeping too many balls in the air, or surviving until the next infusion of cash. In that state, you can’t think clearly or far. Lunging for the next lifeline isn’t a viable long-term business model. My Dutch Uncle can get you out of crisis mode, your systems in sync, and your craft on course.
Plenty of management consultants cater to big, established nonprofits. My Dutch Uncle is committed to helping small groups take care of business and tap their vast potential. We know your unique challenges, and how to guide you through them step by step. When you’re ready to grow your organization, we’re ready for you.