The first textbook read by my students in my Masters class in governance is on the history of governance in this country. Several students were surprised to learn that the roots of modern day nonprofit governance go all the way back to colonial days, with the establishment of the board for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first American Board.
Institutions of higher learning came next, most notably Harvard (founded in 1636), William and Mary (1693) and Yale (1701). But all of the students seemed equally Read more
As a sector, we are not:
Granted, none of us chooses to work in this sector because we are looking for thanks, appreciation or recognition. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t accept any of it or be pleased to receive any of it. But that is, without doubt, not our motivation.
Reading Sandra Day O’Connor’s public letter explaining her need to leave public life was yet another admonition from a long-serving public figure on the importance of appreciation of our democratic history, of Read more
Recently, I heard a tiger expert in India interviewed about the controversy surrounding the suggestion that the tiger that has killed 13 people in two years should be killed. The expert was asked whether India could learn things from other countries and how they handle their tiger population. Without a moment’s hesitation, the expert responded that India was not humble enough to learn from others. And there it was: my missing link in understanding why seemingly smart people repeatedly do stupid things: they aren’t humble Read more
Ever since I started teaching graduate students (something I totally spurned for my decades-long career teaching undergraduates) the traditional sadness at the end of summer has been somewhat mitigated. Grad students, with their different perspectives, their confidence, deserved and otherwise, their willingness – no desire – to explore new ideas, and, yes, often their naiveté about the sector, is inspiring and energizing and oh so welcome.
We’ve started out exploring leadership—characteristics of a successful leader, differences between management and leadership, leadership as position and leadership as Read more
Even after decades, whenever a client learns that my doctorate is in criminology, there’s always a comment and I’ve heard them all. A common one is: “There are a lot of criminals in nonprofits,” followed closely by, “Give me some time and I’ll figure out the connection.”
The move away from criminology—it has been a good 15 years since I taught my last criminal justice class—to immersing myself in the broader world of all nonprofits—was not gradual. One day I was a full-time criminal justice professor Read more
In a comment on a recent discussion board post, a master’s student of mine commented that the three signers of the well-known “Overhead Myth” letters had taken a great risk and made great progress in doing so. I delicately questioned just what she thought the risk was and just what she saw as the progress made. I pointed out that the first letter was written in 2013, the second in 2014. Here we were, three years after the second letter hit the airwaves, and more Read more