Tag Archives: featured

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 . . .

Read more...

Project Update: An Oregon Timber Town Reinventing Itself

2 May

How are the people in Oakridge, Oregon reinventing their community? Prepare to be inspired!

Read more...

Remembering how not to know it all

18 Jan

We are just back from a wonderful trip to Europe, thanks to the magic of frequent flier miles. We visited Istanbul, Prague, and Lisbon, all for the first time, not knowing anything of the local languages except for “please” and “thank you”! We awoke to morning prayer calls rolling one over the other (at 6:16 […]

Read more...

Watching for orcas

23 Jul

Moving from orca watching to orca seeing is a journey of the senses. While I believe this story relates to nonprofit strategy and planning, I’ll let the reader draw that part out. This is just an experience on the ocean worth sharing for its own sake.

Read more...

The importance of consistent nonprofit character

17 Jan

I’m not going to name the charity that I’ve long supported but am now reconsidering. I wish I could say I’m wavering because something big and concrete happened. But really, nothing big happened, and that’s the big lesson.

Read more...

Evaluating to learn: workshop materials

10 Jan

Here is information from a new nonprofit evaluation workshop I’ve delivered in different forms recently. The workshop features a particular kind of evaluation called “performance improvement”, which focuses on evaluating your work in real time for the purposes of learning how to do it better so that you can achieve your goals.

Read more...

An extraordinary conversation about building community

22 Nov

I recently facilitated a conversation with members of the “consumer council” for a local organization that serves people living with with serious mental illness and brain injury challenges. I didn’t know what to expect. I was inspired by what I experienced.

Read more...

Five mindsets for nonprofit innovation

30 Dec

Whether or not you consider yourself creative, you’ve undoubtedly contributed to innovation. This is because innovation is largely a social, iterative process of developing, building upon and testing ideas over time. Here are some great examples of mindsets for innovation in the nonprofit arena.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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

Read more...