At the start of this year, I was invited to speak at a philanthropy conference slated for late spring. I entitled my presentation, “Understanding the Philanthropic Zeitgeist.”
Of course, the original event was cancelled, replaced with a virtual conference last week. As I prepared my presentation, I gathered my thoughts on the elements of our current zeitgeist and those that particularly related to philanthropy, I was not short on relevant subject matter, including community, Zoom (and other virtual platforms), DEI, erosion of trust, and uncertainty. While Read more
The news has dominated by the coronavirus and what to do about it. Allow me to offer up a spin on this global crisis, unique to nonprofits. My message isn’t one of hopelessness, but rather pertains to best practices that should be followed at all times, especially in times of uncertainly like we are currently experiencing.
It is a message of preparedness, something too few
nonprofits do as they tend to be reactive rather than proactive. To the extent any organization can be
proactive, it will be Read more
After years of false alarms, baby boomer executive directors are actually leaving their jobs. Delayed due to the Great Recession, but the promised exodus that began last year is picking up steam. I have had three conversations in as many days with executive directors who are planning their departures within the next two years. That is great news—planning so far ahead. Or is it? After all, it is the executive directors planning their departures, not the boards and the executive directors working together.
This is the Read more
One of the most frequently asked questions I received during the Great Recession was, “Should we tell staff that ____________?” You may fill in the blank with such things as, “we have spent down our reserve” or “we are going to have a cut a program” or “we are going to have to lay off staff” or similar disquieting scenarios. I’m reminded of these times for two reasons.
First, more and more folks are already likening the current development climate for nonprofits to those starting in Read more
People tend to look for the easy answers. For example, I’m asked all of the time, “How long should an executive director stay in her/his position?” Simple question to ask; complex question to answer, as it isn’t a functions of years (the answer folks are looking for), but rather a function of the person’s actual performance of the job, the continued interest in doing the job and the interest in, and willingness to, push the envelope in order to be the best possible and not Read more
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