The Best Of Nonprofit University Blog

We’ve compiled some excerpts from the most provocative and hard-hitting recent Nonprofit University blogs, so if they didn’t hit home the first time, maybe they’ll will hit a nerve on second read.

What goes up, 3/1/13
Every nonprofit can now be viewed by the exact same population of donors as their peers, collaborators and competitors.  And while we know philanthropists have their favorite causes and missions, these sites expose philanthropists to options they otherwise never would have known existed.  Now, that philanthropist sitting in the most remote Read more

No Way to Treat a Partner

There are some great funders out there.  I hope you know who you are and can discern the sycophantic “You are wonderful.  Thank you so much,” from the true valuation as a great partner.  And then there are the rest.  And it is about time that you, too, know who you are and see about changing things.

The truth is, philanthropy doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  It exists in partnership. Is a person a philanthropist if there is no organization to which to give?  And yet, Read more

February 15th, 2013 2 Comments

Charity vs. Philanthropy

Two recently read quotes got have me thinking about the current relationship between nonprofits that serve and nonprofits that fund—the “charities” versus the philanthropic organizations.

Almost 125 years ago, Andrew Carnegie wrote:  “It were better for mankind that the millions of the rich were thrown in the sea than so spent as to encourage the slothful, the drunken, the unworthy.  Of every thousand dollars spent in so-called charity today, it is probably that nine hundred and fifty dollars is unwisely spent—so spent, indeed, as to produce Read more

October 5th, 2012 0 Comment

Waking up the Brain Cells


Today is your day.

You can learn what is right

And be off and away!

 You have brains in your head.

Yet dumb stuff you say.

You can do yourself harm

You can steer yourself

Any direction you choose.

But you might crash and burn 

If your mouth leads your brain.


The stupid things smart people say!

 Thank you, Dr. Seuss and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

One of the things some professors do as a semester draws near its end, and they are immersed in grading papers and exams, is to share “would you believe” Read more

As Seen from the 52nd Floor

I’ve no idea whether funders read this blog or not, but I think I might be about to find out!

It is time for nonprofits—and I’m speaking of those nonprofits that seek funding, not the nonprofits that give out the money—to “take back the night,” so to speak.  These direct service nonprofits that seek funds and in return provide a service or an opportunity– need to drive what the sector and their organizations need instead of funders deciding what needs to be done.

I’d been thinking about Read more

Who needs a bailout?

This week, The Nonprofit Center held its first grantmakers panel of this academic year.  As the moderator, I got to ask a number of questions up front before opening it up for questions from the floor. 

And even though I knew what the elephant in this room looked like, I intentionally held off asking about it until I made sure that the audience had heard what it needed to hear:  what are the strategic priorities of the particular funders represented on the panel, how do Read more