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

Doing more, For More, With Less

While I cannot do anything about our country’s obsession with the belief that bigger is always better, I can take umbrage with folks who prefer the maxim “bigger is better” over that of “quality, not quantity.”  Those who prefer the former over the latter may do well in the for-profit sector, but certainly do not serve the nonprofit sector well.

I was reminded of my dismay when reading a study released this past October by Community Brands.  “Nonprofit Finance Study:  The dynamics and challenges of growth,” Read more

Giving by Generation

Conflicting data about fundraising is, unfortunately, nothing new.  It is akin to the data on drinking alcohol:  don’t do it; do it in moderation for certain health benefits.  Nor is it new to feel overwhelmed by all the data, even when it isn’t conflicting.  So when three different sources predict that 2018 donations will fall because of last year’s changes to the standard deduction, people pay attention.

The American Enterprise Institute, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Tax Policy Center have all said that Read more

Mind the Gaps

Earlier this week, the only male student in the class I’m teaching this summer did a presentation on the gender wage gap in the nonprofit sector.  And though, according to the Pew Research Center, millennials seem to be kicking it, such that in 2012, the gender wage gap in newly hired millennials was only 93%, it appears that this was but a temporary kick in the rear.

Sadly, indications are that the gap begins to return to the larger disparity of the whole (84%) as millennials 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

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