Marsha Wallace on the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle, 3 things you need to know about our December featured program, upcoming hangouts and more in The Dish for December.
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The Starvation Cycle

Can nonprofits survive donor demands?

By Marsha Wallace
DFW Co-Founder

What images are conjured up when you hear the word starvation? You probably picture emaciated bodies, vacant stares and an aura of despair and hopelessness. In the case of a “starving” organization, you may picture non-functioning computers, inadequately trained staff, and a constant fight against insolvency due to lack of funding.

It might surprise you to learn that there is a pervasive and insidious disease afflicting nonprofits of every size and type. It’s called the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle. Ann Goggins Gregory and Don Howard described the cycle in three steps in an article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2009.

Read more of Marsha's post on the starvation cycle and why organizations like Guidestar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau are asking donors to look beyond the bottom line. 

Featured Program for December

Women's Microfinance Initiative

Women’s Microfinance Initiative (WMI) is run entirely by women who identified a need and found a smart microfinance solution that transcends the pitfalls of more traditional approaches. WMI eliminates middlemen, provides loans without collateral or interest, and provides training and support to ensure women stay in business. With its approach, WMI gets 100% repayments on loans. Repaid loans return to the loan pool for the next borrowers, thus making the loan process self-sustaining.

DFW’s grant of $45,000 will support a permanent, revolving loan fund that will provide loans to 320 women, but after two years when the women graduate and repay their loans, the funds will become available to another 320 women. The cycle will continue indefinitely.
Learn More

3 things you need to know
(about Women's Microfinance Initiative)

More than 5 million women in rural Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are self employed but with no access to financial services. WMI works in small agricultural villages. Village women are extremely hard working, have strong entrepreneurship instincts and leadership qualities, and work cooperatively together. Though not formally educated, they are natural businesswomen: intuitive, innovative, market savvy and able to adjust quickly to changing market conditions and opportunities. Learn More.
The DFW grant of $45,000 is being given for one year but its impact will be felt for years to come. It will seed a loan fund to support 320 women. The women will pay the loan back over a two-year period. When the loan fund has been repaid, another 320 women will be offered loans. The cycle of success and support can continue indefinitely. Learn More.
In Uganda, Christmas is called Sekukkulu and it is not about giving things, but about giving of yourself. Presence, not presents, is what matters the most. The emphasis is on sharing: food, family and some new clothes. Hospitals discharge patients so they can be with family, work stops, everyone — even those who are not religious throughout the year — go to church together. Learn More. 

13th Month: We're halfway home!

We are halfway through the campaign and close to halfway to our donation goal. So far, we've received $60,000 from generous members and donors like you, Friend. 

Coming up next week, it's Giving Tuesday  — a day dedicated to get us out of holiday shopping mentality and get us thinking unselfishly about others. We urge you to use the #GivingTuesday to be part of the national conversation on the importance of supporting nonprofit organizations. 
Of course, we hope you'll support us and we'll have some extra incentive next week when we announce a matching grant challenge that can double the impact your donation. Watch for an email on #GivingTuesday. 
OPEN MIC NIGHT: If you missed the Google Hangout with co-founders Marsha Wallace and Barb Collins answering questions about our 13th Month Campaign, you can still watch it on demand. That event along with every program hangout, our Day of the Girl panel discussion and the Nicholas Kristof interview are all available for you to view whenever the mood strikes you. Just go to To see all our upcoming hangouts and other online events, check out our Google Plus events page where they are all listed. Say "I'm Going" and you'll get emailed as soon as the live hangout link is available for you. 

Springfield (IL) chapters meet

The three chapters in the Springfield area got together on Nov. 5 to hear Susan Koch, the chancellor at the University of Illinois Springfield, talk about international students and studying abroad. Chancellor Koch is a supporter of DFW and said she would love to see a student chapter started at UIS.

Springfield-1 Chapter Leader Anne Capestrain (also a DFW board member) is a big proponent of these kinds of collaborations that feed our desire to advance education, our need for connections and an expanded opportunity to expand our social and community circles. 

Upcoming Events

Join us at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, for a conversation with Robyn Kieter, President and founder of the Women's Microfinance Initiative. Register now on Google Plus and get notified as soon as the Hangout link goes live. Or watch on demand whenever you're ready.
Missing your meeting this month? No worries, the Virtual Chapter meeting is Dec. 2 at 7:30 ET.  Join online for the live meeting, or watch it on demand later. Check out the Virtual Chapter on Facebook to get the link to the recorded meeting. 

On-Demand Events

If you missed our conversation with Jessie Cronan, executive director of Gardens for Health, you missed a great talk about the path to good nutrition in Rwanda. But you can watch it on-demand whenever you're ready. Right here.


Great Barrington (MA)

The home chapter of Regional Leader Leslye Heilig had so many members at its November meeting, it couldn't squeeze them all in this photo. The guest speaker Jessie Cronan, executive director of Gardens for Health, made it in the picture. Thank you, Leslye for sharing.

Herndon (VA)

The Herndon chapter celebrated its seventh anniversary last month. Congratulations.

In Memoriam

Waynesville (NC)

Chapter Leader Jane Alexander passed away from terminal cancer. But she left a legacy as powerful and inspirational as the life she led. She worked to complete a cookbook and gave all publishing rights to a nonprofit in North Carolina that works to help victims of domestic violence. Read more about Jane's last project (note: this story is protected behind a paywall).

Ready to Lead?

We are currently looking for a new Regional Leader in the Southwest, an area that includes Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The Regional Leader volunteer position provides an excellent opportunity for members to deepen their involvement in Dining for Women, while serving a vital role in our organization.  
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please contact Wendy Frattolin, Member and Volunteer Director.

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This month's Dish

The Ugandan Luwombo served in a bouquet of banana leaves looks great and I think easy enough for even me to do it. Recipe Curator Linda McElroy has put together a menu for your Ugandan-themed table. So check out the Proven Platter for more. Has your chapter got great food on the table? We are sure you do. Send us a photo of a single dish with a bit of a description and you may be the first dish in The Dish for 2015. 

Board of Directors

Barb Collins
Co-founder and board chair
Susan Stall
Marsha Wallace
Anne Capestrain
Susan Garrity
Colleen Murphy
Barbara Wagner
Sandy Ward

About this newsletter

The Dish is written by Laura Haight, DFW Communications Director. We welcome all suggestions, comments and proposed content. If you have photos or Milestone items, please use our communication form to submit them (you can attach photos there as well). The form is in the LEAD section on the chapter resources page under Communications. 

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