Nonprofit evaluation, funding challenges, Peace Corps: Four new NPQ postings

30 Sep

Though I can’t find a unifying theme in my most recent news wire posts for the Nonprofit Quarterly,the stories from which they draw are all interesting! This batch includes a retrospective look at the Peace Corps, financial challenges at two different nonprofits for two different reasons, and highlights from a new book on nonprofit evaluation.

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“Wrong” words rock!

16 May

Why Being Wrong is Good for You, by Kathryn Schultz. Back in the day, I would have clipped this article out of a magazine, copied it, and stuffed envelopes to everyone I know. Today, it’s easier to share!

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It takes a village to raise a school

30 Nov

For years, the people of Coburg, Oregon (population 1,080) have heard that their elementary school will close because it’s not economically viable. This past June, 4J regional school district officials again warned that Coburg School would likely close within the year. City leaders and parents were once again discouraged about the future of their school. A small group of parents started strategizing. By November, when 4J Superintendent George Russell confirmed the closure as one of his recommendations to address a gaping budget deficit for the 2011 school year, something remarkable had happened in Coburg.

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Ashoka “strong communities” innovation competition; Be inspired!

28 Sep

Though I’m ambivalent about using web voting to drive investment in nonprofits (all the pluses and minuses of a middle school student council election/popularity contest), I love web-based competitions as platforms for disseminating promising new ideas. Ashoka Changemakers and the CommunityMatters network are hosting a competition for “Strong Communities: Engaging Citizens, Strengthening Place, Inspiring Change”. Read about the eight finalists here.

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Conversations that inspire action

31 Aug

You know the difference between a conversation that energizes you and one that saps you. What makes the difference?

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Telling the untold

17 Aug

Driving to Portland yesterday, I heard a news story about “untold casualties” from monsoon flooding in Pakistan. In contrast to the highway unwinding straight and flat before me, the concept of “untold” twisted and turned in my head. I’d heard the term many times before, but hadn’t paid attention to what it actually means.

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The power of seeing what isn’t planned

13 Aug

I took lots of pictures at the wedding of a good friend this past weekend in Northeast Oregon. My absolute favorite picture, however, was totally unplanned. I didn’t realize I had taken this picture at all until I reviewed the set. In fact, I didn’t realize I had even seen this particular vignette. Discovering this hidden gem in the rough hay of shots, I’m reminded that when we can see what we didn’t plan to see, we’re richly rewarded. Two specific community leadership applications come to mind

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Creativity is the most important leadership skill, say 1500 global CEOs

15 Jul

To better understand emerging global business trends, IBM has conducted extensive personal interviews with chief executive officers every two years since 2004. According to the 2010 report, CEOs cite “creativity” as the most important leadership quality for business success in the next five years. Drawing on their insights, here’s my take on what makes a creative leader for communities and nonprofits as well.

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First followers, second fiddles, third places

6 Apr

Here are links to three great web posts about recurrent themes in this blog: leadership, the intersect between nonprofit and business practices, and community building.

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On battles and transformation

19 Mar

While few people say they seek out or enjoy battles, many people say they’re transformed by battles in a positive way.

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