I am not a fan of the rating systems on which many charity watchdog groups have built their reputations, which means I’m not a fan of those kinds of watchdog groups. In 2014, the big three (Charity Navigator, BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Guidestar) published their joint letter to the “donors of America” decrying the “overhead myth” of using overhead costs as a measure of nonprofit effectiveness. However, they failed to acknowledge their role as a driving force behind popularizing overhead ratios as a measure Read more
This was the headline BoardSource used to introduce Candid’s latest compensation survey in its SmartBrief: “Report: Midrange nonprofits are making headway on gender pay gap.” Anyone who knows the sector would never think that “midrange nonprofits” referred to organizations with budgets between $25 and $50 million. That might be a mid-range organization in the for-profit sector, but not in ours. Not when the vast majority of organizations have budgets under $750,000. I’d expect BoardSource to understand its audience a little better than that headline suggests?
I’m Read more
There is little doubt in my mind that the greatest challenge facing every nonprofit is not whether it is sustainable, but if it is viable. Many nonprofits that aren’t viable have proven their ability to be sustainable—defined as the ability to be maintained at a certain level.
Sustainability makes no judgment as to the quality of the level at which the organization is maintained, simply that the level is maintained, month after month, year after year. Thus, we can easily describe an organization that regularly operates Read more
In March 2013, Dan Pallotta’s iconic TedTalk, “The way we think about charities is dead wrong,” was released; since that time, it has received over 4 million views. If you aren’t among those four million, and nor are the staff and board of your organization, correct that oversight immediately.
In June of that same year, the three nonprofit watchdog groups (GuideStar, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator), released the first of their two letters trying to debunk the overhead myth—the very thing that they Read more
Though my preference would be to not know anything, I am grateful that I seem to be catching Donald Trump on the reruns. It wasn’t until I was driving into work post-debate that I learned that Mr. Humble had the audacity to comment on Carly Fiorina’s face. Never having paid much attention to her, I couldn’t imagine what he had to say about her face—or why. Here we are in 2015, and it is still tough times for women.
View image | gettyimages.com
I don’t know whether Read more
Perhaps it is only natural that in the nonprofit sector, we forget that some words have multiple meanings. We might, therefore, be forgiven for the unidimensional understanding of legacy that so many in the nonprofit sector seem to hold. In so doing, we lose what may be the more important and valuable meaning of the word.
The first, and, so we are taught is, therefore, the more common, definition of legacy is the one that so many in our sector embrace: a bequest—a gift of money Read more
“Do more. For more. With less.”
Sounds like a slogan supporting the war effort. I can see it under a picture of Uncle Sam or Rosie the Riveter or Grant Wood’s American Gothic. It could be powerful! Unfortunately, it is not a war slogan, unless you mean a war on nonprofits.
The fact that it is the current mantra of the head of a large nonprofit (and a funder of other nonprofits), is, at a minimum, insulting to all who toil in those direct service nonprofits trying Read more
Recently, the IRS published the list of the 279,595 nonprofits which had their nonprofit status revoked for failure to file a Form 990 for at least three consecutive years, a requirement put forth in the Pension Reform Act of 2006. Taken in the larger scheme of things, 280,000 out of a total of approximately 1.6 million nonprofits is about 18%. Since that release, newspaper headlines around the country have been reporting the local numbers, which vary depending upon whether reporting on a town, county or Read more
Americans always seem to be looking for a quick fix: meals all in one box; the all-in-one dusting and polishing; matching services that find you the love of your life. Maybe these work; I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that they take individual responsibility out of the equation.
Let’s look at what could be used as a quick fix in the nonprofit sector. With somewhere between 1.4 million to 1.8 million nonprofits in the United States, how do you Read more
What makes a nonprofit a nonprofit? There are so many ways that people answer this question, most of which are incorrect. There is, however, little argument that for many, it is the IRS 501(c)(3)designation is the determinant. Technically speaking, I’d agree: IRS approval is essential in announcing yourself as a nonprofit. But does that really make a nonprofit a nonprofit? I’d have to say no. All it means is that you have passed the paper review by the IRS. Theoretically, in Read more