#Aging: Is The Job Part-Time, Or The Retirement?

Carol Simpson's Cartoon About Living On A Fixed Income

Click on Carol Simpson's Cartoon To Purchase A Copy

Whatever political position you hold on the TARP of George W. Bush or the bailout of General Motors carried out under Barack Obama, the fact is, a great deal of money, not wealth, was pushed into the economy. ‘Inflation‘ is the result of putting in more money into an economy than the economy is worth: as dollars are pumped in that to do not reflect the perceived value of the market, each person will demand more of those cheap, common, dollars for his or her goods and services.

No one is hurt more by inflation than those on a fixed income that does not respond with the economy; Namely, the retired. When a retiree’s Social Security Check check arrives in the mail, the note on the check might be for $100 (to keep my brain clear with simple round numbers), but the groceries that used to cost $100 might cost $110 with 10% inflation. Those in the labor force can work an extra hour or two to make up the difference. Those who are retired (or unemployed), are stuck $10 short a month. How will they cover the shortfall?


| Category Affordable Housing, Aging, Community, Independent Living, Low-Income, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off on #Aging: Is The Job Part-Time, Or The Retirement?

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Event: Growing Season Kicks Off With GreenFest in Howard County

Though we are still being teased by a spring that has not quite broken the last of winter (at least not in the Chesapeake Bay region), we have entered the early days of the growing season and green festivals throughout the region. MKCREATIVE will be highlighting regional festivals through the spring, summer, and early fall of 2011, and we encourage our readers to contact us at with information about such events in your area.

GreenFest LogoThe season gets under way in Howard County – between Baltimore and Washington DC – with its free “GreenFest,” this Saturday, April 2nd from 10:00am to 4:00pm on the campus of Howard County Community College. Though the festival was launched by the county’s administration in 2007 as a hastily-developed local workshop to tie in with Earth Day, it has steadily grown under the care of co-chair Lindsay DeMarzo, Environmental Planner and Sustainability Projects Manager for the Howard County government, into a full-fledged festival in just four years. She took time away from the busy run-up to the festival to speak with us.


| Category Conference/Congress, Environment, Events, Greening, Interview, Local/Maryland, Measurement, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter | | Comments Off on Event: Growing Season Kicks Off With GreenFest in Howard County

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#Development: Survey – Donors Concerned About How Money is Spent

Sophie Hudson, a writer for, summarized a recent FRSB survey which found that many donors were concerned that their donations went on administration and fundraising, rather than on programs and outreach. The FRSB is the independent self-regulatory body for UK fundraising.

Sophie states that, “more than two-thirds of donors say they are concerned about how their donations to charities are spent, according to new research commissioned by the Fundraising Standards Board.

A survey carried out by the research company TNS OnLineBus, which polled more than 1,000 nationally representative donor adults aged between 16 and 64, found that 68 per cent of respondents were concerned about how donations were spent.

Fifty-nine per cent said they were concerned that charities spent donations on administration and fundraising.

Older age groups were more likely to have a higher level of concern about charity donations. Resondents aged from 16 to 24 were particularly concerned about charities not respecting the people who supported them, with 57 per cent citing this as a concern.

Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said it was crucial that charities made more effort to communicate with donors.

“Donors need to understand how it all works: where the money goes, that it costs money to raise money and that that is all right,” he said.

“If we are to alleviate donors’ concerns and build trust and confidence, we need to educate the public, conveying just how committed charities are to best practice, professionalism and accountability.”

| Category Development, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Grants, Major Gifts, Resource, Study | | Comments Off on #Development: Survey – Donors Concerned About How Money is Spent

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#Fundraising: Japan Relief & Creative Strategies to Motivate Giving

Maria Lilly of MJLilly Associates

We welcome back Maria Lilly, who is discussing the ways many businesses are giving to relief efforts in Japan.

The crisis in Japan has caught the attention of the entire world. As the Japanese search for survivors, struggle to control nuclear plants, and face the daunting challenge of reconstruction, governments around the world are trying to determine the potential impact of radiation on their own shores while corporations address manufacturing supply chain concerns. The global capital markets have also been on a roller-coaster ride since the earthquake and tsunami struck, creating worries that the global economic recovery could be further stalled.

But what has also been most striking is the humanitarian response — and how it has differed vastly from other recent tragedies.


| Category Community, Cross-Post, Environment, Fundraising, Major Gifts, News and Current Affairs | | Comments Off on #Fundraising: Japan Relief & Creative Strategies to Motivate Giving

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Fundraising: Reminder Of Wednesday Online Seminar text logoWelcome back to Monday!

We want to remind our readers of the timely, convenient, and free text/chat seminar this Wednesday at The seminar entitled “Turning Your Volunteers Into Fundraisers.” It is free to register and the seminar runs 1:00pm to 2:00pm. The event is entirely text/chat based (no audio), so one could easily enjoy one’s lunch and participate as well.

Two guests will be online to answer our questions. The first is Amy Eisenstein, Principal and Owner of Tri Point Fundraising, a full-service consulting firm for nonprofit organizations and foundations. She has written a book on fundraising meant to sharpen focus and improve the outcomes for smaller and mid-sized nonprofits entitled Fifty Asks in Fifty Weeks.

The second is Val Porter, the director of Foundation Center Atlanta. As director, she served on the executive team of the City of Atlanta’s branding campaign and overseeing the largest public funding program for the arts in the State of Georgia as the agency’s Deputy Director.

| Category Advice, Communications, Development, Fundraising, Nonprofit, Web and Print | | Comments Off on Fundraising: Reminder Of Wednesday Online Seminar

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#Tech: The Apple Mac Mini Server – Part 1

Scott Caldarelli shares some of his insights about setting up a Mac Mini Server, a stable and inexpensive way to allow your organization’s computers to share files, schedules, and projects, even when some colleagues are not in the office.

Scott CaldarelliHappy (Tech.) Friday. In my last story, I briefly mentioned the Mac Mini Server as a good option for the small business or for any not-for-profit that wants to keep costs as low as possible while still utilizing the many capabilities of a server.

The Mac Mini Server is priced at $999 and comes standard with Apple’s own Snow Leopard Server operating system and software. There is only one version of Snow Leopard Server – the unlimited client version. This convenience alone is a great cost savings over a Windows server and client licenses. What that means is, once you have your server set, you don’t have to worry about buying a new user license if you’re adding someone to your organization. You simply add the new user to the server’s list of names and passwords.


| Category Apple, Communications, E-Mail, Hardware Review, Resource, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off on #Tech: The Apple Mac Mini Server – Part 1

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#AGING: Diagnoses of Alzheimer’s Grow With Aging Population

The Alzheimer’s Association of the US has just published a sobering report on the growing presence of Alzheimer’s among the growing number of retirees and older Baby Boomers. Those who suffer from the disease require, in the early stages, expensive drug therapies and constant care throughout their later lives. The report discusses the economic, social, familial, and personal tolls that Alzheimer’s imposes on the community.


| Category Aging, Health, Publications, Resource, Seniors Life, Study | | Comments Off on #AGING: Diagnoses of Alzheimer’s Grow With Aging Population

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Social Media: Twitter Turns 5 & Tries Advertising

Jack Dorsey's First TweetOn Monday Twitter’s programmer and users celebrated five years of the micro-blogging service. The first human tweet, sent famously by co-founder Jack Dorsey, dreamed only of “inviting coworkers.” Not exactly Samuel Morris’s “What hath God wrought?“, but the stunning vagueness of that statement could work in a Twittersphere of some half dozen colleagues.

Jump to January 2010 and, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, the San-Fran-based company was up to 130 employees. As of today, that number has jumped to 400 – a growth of three-fold in just 14 months.

What is the state-of-Twitter in the commercial and non-profit communities? Twitter is trying to change it tack toward greater advertising potential, but its status as a social hive of shared non-corporate information remains paramount. At least for users.


| Category Advertising, Development, Marketing, Media Review, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Public Media, Social Media, Twitter, Web and Print | | Comments Off on Social Media: Twitter Turns 5 & Tries Advertising

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Media: Defunding Public Media Would Stifle Digital Innovation

Jessica Clark argues that it’s time to change the conversation about public media from “one of scarcity to one of abundance.” A fixture on the webspace, MediaShift, Ms. Clark suggests that ” if not a single dollar ends up being stripped from public broadcasting appropriations, the current battle threatens to strangle innovation in a sector that was just gaining new media sea legs.”

Click here to read the full article.

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Fundraising: Resources and Seminars

macro pixels url cliche

(Photo credit: Cubosh)

One of the services we periodically try to provide our readers is a timely compendium of resources about fundraising and the skills thereof. In this installment have some online resources to find and to apply for grants from the federal government and from private sources.

To start off your spring drive, get some tips and inspiration from a free webinar: this Wednesday, is sponsoring an online text/chat seminar entitled “Turning Your Volunteers Into Fundraisers.” It is free to register and the seminar runs 1:00pm to 2:00pm. The event is entirely text/chat based (no audio), so one could easily enjoy one’s lunch and participate as well!


| Category Banking & Finance, Communications, Conference/Congress, Development, Donor Acquisition, Events, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Major Gifts, Resource, Seminar, Web and Print | | Comments Off on Fundraising: Resources and Seminars

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#Sustainability: Keeping Families In Homes Keeps Neighborhoods Alive


Bernell Grier, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City

Bernell Grier, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC

We welcome Bernell Grier, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc. to the growing list of Contributors to the MKCREATIVEnonprofit Blog. Ms. Grier was appointed CEO in May of last year, having been COO of the housing organization since 2004. She is writing about proposed cuts in government funding to community-development programs.

Each day Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City and its affiliated Neighborhood Offices (NHSNYC) assist homeowners that are facing the potential loss of their homes through foreclosure. Government, at every level, has been the primary funder for many of the foreclosure prevention and intervention programs over the past three years.

Now, despite the fact that the foreclosure crisis continues, government funding that has been effective is threatened to be completely cut at the federal, state, and local level.


| Category Advocacy, Affordable Housing, Banking & Finance, Civics, Community, Low-Income, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics | | Comments Off on #Sustainability: Keeping Families In Homes Keeps Neighborhoods Alive

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Tech: iPad 2 Might Encourage Old-Fashioned FaceTime

Steve Jobs Presenting The iPad 2The features and influences of Apple’s iPad have periodically shown up on our blog. Now that the iPad 2 has been out for a few days, we wanted to give our readers a feel for what people are saying about it.

For openers, the iPad 2, like the iPhone 4, can be had for either the AT&T or Verizon cell networks. The two networks are not compatible in hardware or software, though, so by buying a model for one network will not give you the opportunity to sample the other, or even attempt software hacks (usually described as ‘jailbreaking‘) to change between these particular providers.

But what else puts the 2 into the name, and what do the experts have to say about the changes?


| Category Apple, Communications, iDevice, iPad/Tablet, Reviews, Technology | | Comments Off on Tech: iPad 2 Might Encourage Old-Fashioned FaceTime

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#Aging: Hearings On Fed Aid For Assisted Living

The passage of Health Care Reform last year hardly ended the debate about health care reform. Since the Republican takeover of the House in November, symbolic efforts have been made to repeal the law. Though repeal will go nowhere unless or until President Obama leaves the White House, hearings and committees have sprung up to find ways to de-fund or curtail the original statute. Indeed, Democrats seemed capable of explaining and defending the bill only after they gave the opposition a three-month head start on attacking it.

Today, two sets of hearings will focus on funding the Affordable Care Act, in particular its provisions concerning assisted-living services for older Americans.


| Category Aging, Assisted Living, Conference/Congress, Healthcare, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nursing Home, Politics | | Comments Off on #Aging: Hearings On Fed Aid For Assisted Living

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Communications: Why Some Stories Work Better Than Others

Andy Goodman, a highly regarded communications consultant, reflects on the principle of “the golden theme” that runs through all great stories – then demonstrates how nonprofits can use this principle to best effect. Download “Freerange” — his monthly newsletter on best practices here.


Guest blogger Don Akchin writes frequently about marketing and philanthropy at

| Category Communications, Cross-Post, Fundraising, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Writing | | Comments Off on Communications: Why Some Stories Work Better Than Others

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Social Media: Twitter Clips 3rd-Party Developers’ Wings


twitter logo map 09

(Photo credit: The Next Web)


On Monday of this week, Twitter reiterated its demands that third-party developers of software interfaces and/or added features to the enormously popular ‘micro-blogging’ site hold development on their products. As Juan Carlos Perez points out in an article published on, those third-party developers are neither happy nor stopping their development.



| Category Communications, Geo-Location, iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Social Media, Twitter | | Comments Off on Social Media: Twitter Clips 3rd-Party Developers’ Wings

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Nonprofit: Job-Seeker Resources

LogoWe’re subscribers to the NonProfit Times and have always been impressed by their nonprofit job-seekers database and online tool found here.  In addition to being able to search by category, job-type, state, city, etc. one can also download annual salary surveys and job-trend reports to aid in one’s job-search. is another favorite destination of ours as it lists jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, and more.

We’ll be posting a comprehensive compendium of nonprofit job-seeker resources in the next week or so, so be sure to re-visit the MKCREATIVE blog once the Tweets and Facebook postings appear on the MKCREATIVE “InterWeb”.

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#Communications: The Value of Digital Annual Reports to Nonprofits

Recycling old annual reports

As we have switched our clocks this past weekend and approach the vernal equinox next weekend, many nonprofits are also preparing their annual reports for 2010. In the last couple of years numerous charities and fundraising groups have been moving their ARs online and into digital spaces. Though the flexibilities and advantages are many, the process of moving your organization’s reports to digital distribution can appear daunting at first glance. One important trade off to appreciate, though, is that though initial costs might not seem to produce much savings, a digital AR grows less expensive after a couple of iterations and it allows an ongoing conversation with your constituents well beyond the initial flip-through of a published report.



| Category Communications, Environment, Fundraising, Marketing, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Publications, Storytelling, Technology, Web and Print | | Comments Off on #Communications: The Value of Digital Annual Reports to Nonprofits

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#Tech: WWII Outreach Program Meets WWW

After World War II, a group of charities, with support from the US government, established the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe, which sent supply packages to civilians throughout western Europe in an effort to help them rebuild. The CARE packages were successful not only in helping millions of Europeans survive the immediate aftermath of the war but also in creating a wealth of goodwill toward the US that survived at least into the upheavals of the Vietnam War.

Now that program, which was renamed “Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere” in the 1990s, is using the ubiquity and flexibility of the internet to customize its service and support.


| Category National/International, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Politics, Web and Print | | Comments Off on #Tech: WWII Outreach Program Meets WWW

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#Aging: Marketing To Retiring Baby Boomers

Interior of remodeled CVS Pharmacy

Have you noticed the lower shelves and softer lighting in CVS pharmacies?

This past weekend, Rita Braver gave a report on Sunday Morning With Charles Osgood on how industries from drugstore chains to auto manufacturers are taking the ever-expanding senior population into account when designing their markets and products. The transcript of her report was put online earlier this week.

Companies are looking for ways to market to the retiring Boomer population without either patronizing them with references to their age or mobility or turning off younger consumers with an over spin toward seniors and retirees. According to Ms. Braver’s report, achieving these goals with the products and presentations has proven easier than the marketing of those products and presentations.


| Category Advertising, Aging, Design, Health, Independent Living, Marketing, Research, Retirement Living, Technology, Wellness | | Comments Off on #Aging: Marketing To Retiring Baby Boomers

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Communications: Words That Doom Press Releases to Oblivion

Take it from veteran reporters. Your press release goes directly to the trashcan if the headline includes the words “anniversary,” “award”, “fundraiser,” “benefit,” or “annual,” among others. If you think these types of events are newsworthy, you’re not thinking like a reporter.

Guest blogger Don Akchin writes frequently about marketing and philanthropy at

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Sustainability: Corporate Responsibility = Sustainability?

Maria Lilly of MJLilly AssociatesThe MKCREATIVE blog welcomes Maria Lilly, principal of MJLilly Associates LLC, to our blog. She is a communications strategist who develops positioning programs that unite corporate, marketing and financial messages to create and support a company’s brand.

As I canvas the business marketplace, I am thrilled to see the ongoing emergence of corporate responsibility and sustainability as a critical piece of the business lexicon.

Ironically though, there appears to be some confusion about the connection between these two terms.  Nomenclature issues and old definitions continue to confuse people – even some professionals working in the space.  Let me connect these dots.


| Category Advocacy, Banking & Finance, Cross-Post, Environment, Greening, Public Relations, Sustainability, Volunteerism, Wellness | | Comments Off on Sustainability: Corporate Responsibility = Sustainability?

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Development: Charities Encouraged To Write A Poem To Get A Check

If writing yet another grant proposal during this time of year, as the days grow longer yet the cold winds still catch us unawares, then you might want to try your hand at writing poetry. ‘Community TechKnowledge‘ (CTK) has offered up some $25,ooo in support to those who write winning poems about their projects. The poem can be written by staff and/or clients of your organization (though, of course, it must be original).

Still more opportunities for your poem and your registered charity are available through the CTK’s expectation-bending appeal, entering its fourth year of the challenge.


| Category Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Storytelling, Writing | | Comments Off on Development: Charities Encouraged To Write A Poem To Get A Check

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Public Policy: Federal Debt Not So Divisive Outside DC

Book of the 2011 Federal Budget (not passed by Congress)The news is full of stories about tensions among Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Party Freshman Congresspeople about how to deal with the federal deficit. The heat generated by the debate in the nation’s capital should be of special concern among nonprofits and charities, as the quick political response has been to cut deep into the annual ‘discretionary spending’ budget, rather than the long-term and structurally significant costs of defense, national security, and Medicare/Medicaid. Many charities depend on some government funding, and thus a small cut of federal spending means a huge gash out of a local organization’s budget.

With all the bickering evident in the news, one might assume that our representatives are, well, representing our divisions. A couple of fascinating studies reported in The Fiscal Times show that the divisions about dealing with the budget are not as tidy, or as deep, as the news coming out of Capitol Hill suggests.


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Tech: The Value of an IT Partner for Nonprofit Organizations

My Apple Technology consulting company, scott caldarelli consulting limited, has been supporting MKCREATIVE and its clients for some time now, so it’s a thrill to be able to share some of the lessons I’ve learned and the insights I’ve developed over the last few years, especially when it comes to supporting consultants and community-based organizations.

Specifically, I’m going to be exploring technology — hardware, software, troubleshooting tips, how-tos —  over the next months. My focus will be what you can do to maximize your organization’s infrastructure reliability and minimize procurement and maintenance costs.

A bit about myself first. I became interested in computers and in Apple’s Macintosh computers as an audio engineer. At that time, the best recordings were made on analog tape that held 24 tracks, each reel could record about 15 minutes and each reel cost $150-$200.  Then I saw someone edit a stereo master track on a computer. He just highlighted what he wanted to go away, hit delete and it was done. I was a convert.


| Category Advice, Apple, Communications, Cross-Post, Database, E-Mail, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Tools | | Comments Off on Tech: The Value of an IT Partner for Nonprofit Organizations

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#ProAging: Federal Budget Cuts Senior Housing & Programs

National Debt Between 2008 and 2011The fierce debates about the federal deficit, its origins, and how (quickly) to pay it down have affected almost every sector of the US population. The short-term problem of a government shut-down seems to have been pushed down the calendar by a couple of weeks, but only by pressing a host of cuts to the short-term/hold-over budget of Fiscal Year 2010-11.

Even some conservative pundits are unhappy with the proposed cuts, and the outcry has only grown as details about cutting programs for older Americans come to light.


| Category Affordable Housing, Aging, Community, Low-Income, National/International, Politics | | Comments Off on #ProAging: Federal Budget Cuts Senior Housing & Programs

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