Those of us who work day in and day out in the nonprofit sector know it is all about the passion. If you aren’t passionate about the cause for which you are working, whether it’s addressing food insecurity, making great art available to all, or making nonprofits stronger, you won’t find professional and personal satisfaction working at that organization. Pretty intuitive, right?
Those who don’t work in the sector on that regular basis don’t seem to understand this. In fact, in a blog I recently came Read more
The job of executive director, particularly of the “typical” nonprofit — budget under $500,000, which is nearly ¾ of all nonprofits; to 6 employees; a board of between 12 and 19 – is a constant balancing act with no safety net. It is amazing that anyone wants this job at all!
While there are many elements to this balancing act, three seem central to job retention and, therefore, worth pointing out. Any one of them handled improperly or poorly could mean the death knoll for an Read more
The headline was what set me off: “Young Bankers Seek ‘Good Yield’ With Their Own Nonprofits.” Bloomberg, like so many others, even educated others, don’t understand: no one owns a nonprofit. Not a founder. Not an executive director. Not a wealthy smart-kid.
Nonprofits serve the public—not the personal needs of any one or group of individuals. Nonprofits serve others, not a personal need to feel good by thinking you are doing good. Needless to say, I was already beyond annoyed by the arrogance of it all, Read more
Recently, we got a query from someone wanting to know the statistics on how many executive director tenures last 25 years. “Too many,” I thought. But that was a knee jerk reaction and not totally fair. Given, however, that the question fed into one of those items on my “to blog about sometime” list, I thought the stars aligned nicely.
Actually, what I wanted to blog about is a corollary to the idea of a quarter century executive directorship and that is: should you even be Read more
Some expressions still have traction after a couple of hundred years, case in point: the old English aphorism of “Penny wise and pound foolish.” It’s applicable to a trend I’m seeing in today’s nonprofits of eliminating development staff and replacing it with consultants.
Certainly there are aspects of fundraising work that can be done just as well (and sometimes even better) by consultants. Grantwriting is one of those things. There is so much art and science that goes into good grantwriting, that hiring that expertise on Read more
While preparing to do some capacity building work with a client, I was enthusiastically told about the capacity building workshops that had already been provided to the organization’s members.
The key presenter of these prior workshops was a renowned expert within this organization’s mission specialty. One of his messages was that everyone on the board must find their own replacements before they can leave. That’s just so wrong as a practice and sends some of the worst messages possible about board functioning and performance. But what Read more
The history of nonprofits has always been about helping individuals, but was equally about holistic change–changing systems and community. Somewhere along the way, have nonprofit gotten caught up in the cult of “me, forgetting the us and focusing solely on my organization, my work, my goals.
One key consequence of this attitude is the unnecessary expansion of the sector that results from individuals insisting on starting their own new nonprofit to put into practice their idea. Except rarely is the idea new. Even more rarely does Read more
Even as you’re still processing your year-end appeal donations, it’s past time to be thinking about next year and just how well you are really doing in the area of fund development. Can you state that you fully understand the long-term implications of your fund development position?
A staggering fact brought to us by the Nonprofit Finance Fund: nearly 50 of nonprofit organizations do not have sustainable funding models and are heading for extinction in the next three years.
In fact, the end of the year dollars Read more
Rusty Morgen Stahl, director of the Talent Philanthropy Project at NYU, wrote an article entitled “Talent Philanthropy: Investing in Nonprofit People to Advance Nonprofit Performance.” The article is a good one with an invaluable end goal of persuading donors of the righteousness of the article’s subtitle: investing in people improves performance. But the title diverted my attention for the first five plus pages until I finally got to the author’s definition of talent philanthropy.
It is—drum roll, please—“intentional philanthropic investment in grantee and nonprofit talent to Read more