Genius grants for nonprofits- what a trend this could be!

15 Mar

I recently wrote about the MacArthur Foundation’s “Awards for Creative and Effective Institutions” for the Nonprofit Quarterly. Applications aren’t accepted, but what a great aspirational ideal for our sector!

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What’s your organization for?

6 Feb

On the shelf of my favorite books is one by rural advocate and poet Wendell Berry called “What are People for?” I love the direct, fundamental and not wholly answerable question, and we ought to be regularly asking the same of our organizations. “What are we for?”

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Cheesy initiation rites have value for nonprofits

22 Jan

I’ve served on many Boards of Directors doing “serious work”, but the experience of joining a new Board has sometimes been less than welcoming. As a result, the organizations are less than effective in engaging new Board members. Being welcomed into a local nonprofit recently really opened my eyes to the value of formal welcoming ceremonies that “serious” groups may disregard as silly.

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Project updates: tourism, collaboratives, sustainability, crowd-funding, more!

12 Jun

In a departure from our usual blog mini-essays, here’s an overview and links for some of the fabulous projects and groups with whom we’re working now.

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What is “good” philanthropy?: Three recent articles from NPQ

19 May

Quite unintentionally, my three most recent articles for the Nonprofit Quarterly newswire all focus on the implications of how we focus our impulse to be generous. The characters include Goodwill Industries, Bill Gates, Judeo-Christian theologians and a ticked off Chicago social worker. Yes . . .

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Recent Nonprofit Quarterly Articles: A Valentines Day Connection

14 Feb

“Bringing Sexy Back” is the theme of my most recent article for Nonprofit Quarterly. Yes, it relates to nonprofits,and yes, there’s more!

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Could you use a thinking partner?

30 Sep

What if you had a trusted nonprofit peer with whom to test new ideas, explore strategy options or troubleshoot challenges?

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Nonprofit Assets: New Articles for Nonprofit Quarterly

20 Sep

The three latest articles I’ve written for the Nonprofit Quarterly newswire all deal with assets related to the nonprofit sector: the rise of web-based philanthropy in China, the uniquely shared nature of nonprofit leadership, and business ventures as a source of nonprofit revenue.

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Outcome-based pay, transparency, innovation: New NPQ articles focus on these trends

20 Aug

My most recent contributions to Nonprofit Quarterly focus on three forces shaping public perception of nonprofit performance: outcome based payment models, financial health and transparency, and capacity for innovation.

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Latest nonprofit buzzword of the year: Resilience

30 Jul

“Resilient” may be the new “sustainable” aspiration for the nonprofit sector. We can learn much about how resilience works from other disciplines such as biology, engineering and psychology. Here are some key transferable concepts.

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