At a recent meeting with four other people, participant remarked about how we all had jobs that were 24/7. Internally I bristled. With one exception, not one of us runs a shelter, hotline, hospice or other medical facility, residential program, etc. Yes, we are all professionals who do important work and take that work very, very seriously. But, again, with that one exception, our jobs neither demand nor require a round the clock commitment. If something happens on Thursday and we don’t respond until mid-day Read more
We’ve compiled some excerpts from the most provocative and hard-hitting recent Nonprofit University blogs, so if they didn’t hit home the first time, maybe they’ll will hit a nerve on second read.
What goes up, 3/1/13
Every nonprofit can now be viewed by the exact same population of donors as their peers, collaborators and competitors. And while we know philanthropists have their favorite causes and missions, these sites expose philanthropists to options they otherwise never would have known existed. Now, that philanthropist sitting in the most remote Read more
Recently, a colleague reported hearing a speaker say the following: “Boards can decide if they want to fundraise or not.” Blasphemy. For a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, it is not a choice. All board members must be active participants in fundraising. Again, no choice, but reality is that too many boards fail, with impunity, to fulfill this obligation.
Instead, they think they have found an out by jumping on what appears to be a small but growing trend: creating another 501(c)(3) organization to do the fundraising. Read more
Lean In, the book on women and work by Sheryl Sanberg, appears on track to become to the current population of women in their late teens, ‘20s and ‘30s what the Feminine Mystique and Ms. magazine were to my generation at that age. The media is abuzz—to a much greater degree than it was when the writings of Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer and Gloria Steinem hit the world. And, there is much more media to buzz today!
One of Sandberg’s points—and laments—is the paucity of women Read more
Whenever I talk about executive director succession planning, one of the things that I always stress is the importance of the outgoing executive director to do just that: go out. Leave the organization. And this is regardless of the individual (founder, long-serving, short-serving) and the reasons for the departure. Naturally, if the experience with the exiting executive has been a good one, then you want that departure heralded with the proper fanfare.
There is one exception to this hard and fast rule and it only involves Read more
Chickenpox wasn’t much fun as a kid and I understand that shingles is excruciating. And, contrary to the myth, you apparently can get shingles more than once. After chickenpox the virus goes dormant; after round one of shingles it goes dormant; round two comes along, you get the picture.
I’ve been thinking a lot about these illness that inflict our bodies, respond to treatment, yet never really leave us and thus, given the right set of conditions, attack again. Why, you might ask, am I Read more
My niece recently asked me for some examples of nonprofits that, seeing the handwriting on the wall, scaled back, refocused, got strong, and then let the phoenix rise again. I had numerous examples of nonprofits that had plenty of warning, didn’t heed the call and closed down, leaving no ashes from which the phoenix could even attempt to rise. She’s working with an overseas client who is on the road to demise and her efforts and those of her colleagues to convince them to shrink Read more
Recently, I was interviewed by a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer doing a story about the possibility of bringing PILOTs – voluntary “payments in lieu of taxes” made by nonprofits to their local government – back to Philadelphia. PILOTs in general (and resurrecting them after having let a program lapse, in particular), are not unique to Philadelphia. In fact, I’ve noted in several posts the correlation between the length of our current economic recession and the popularity of PILOTs: the longer the recession has gone Read more