Leading with Purpose

Are all nonprofits, by definition, social justice organizations?  This is a question that I pose to students in the Masters in Nonprofit Leadership program.  It is followed by questions like:  given that our purpose is to work on behalf [of some portion] of the public good, does that mean we should all also be working for social, environmental, civil, etc., justice?  Or, is the job of working for justice in whatever area fall only to those organizations with that explicitly in their missions?

Now, think about Read more

Model Missteps

Recently, a dear friend (who is both beautiful, charming and witty, all of which I promised to say whenever I reference her in a blog), asked me if we should have a female model for fundraising. She had been talking with another friend about fundraising for women’s organizations and causes and had begun wondering whether we weren’t using a male model for fundraising, akin to our earlier understanding of heart attacks, built solely by studying males.

I had two immediate reactions, though seriatim. My first was, Read more

Losing faith in the nonprofit sector

For most nonprofits, it’s either the beginning, or the last quarter, of the fiscal year.  Either way, it’s the time when we’re thinking even more than usual about our money.  Surplus or deficit?  When will it come in and from where?  How can we use it wisely to deliver on our mission promises and still sustain the organization?

Here are some interesting research findings to inform your thinking and your work around finances.
But so we are clear:  I’m not reporting on results from the hot-off-the-press GivingUSA Read more

No Leftovers Please

I don’t like being considered second best.  Yet, when I hear people looking to the nonprofit sector as the top choice for their “encore career” (don’t even like that term!), that’s what I hear.

Oh, now that you have done the real work of your life, go to the nonprofit sector.  Forget that thinking!  We are not second best.  Not good enough for the first choice of a career, but okay for the encore—the light, flip, “everyone can do it at the drop of the conductor’s Read more