Thursday, December 17, 2009

What would you do with ONE million dollars?

Lately I've had the song "If I had a million dollars"
in my head and been thinking what I'd do with a million dollars. Nope..I wouldn't buy a house, or a car! I would DONATE it all, every last cent to the wonderful charities I have worked for over the years. Without them I wouldn't be the HAPPY, nonprofit lovin, blogger, and PhD student that I am today.

If I had a million dollars, I give part of it to:
  • Establish an American Humanics certificate program at Cottey College in order to equip students to become skilled professionals and leaders in America's nonprofit organizations (approx. $8,000 per year).
  • Fund scholarships for Christian leaders from emerging world countries to study in the United States (approx. $15,000 per scholarship).
  • Empower low-income parents to determine, pursue and achieve their goals for education, employment and economic security.
  • Provide leadership training and opportunities for young women and serve people in their journey through grief. (approx $2,500 for a young womens leadership event & $1,000 for a bereaved family).
  • Fund research to create a statistically sound (and replicable) survey to study the impact and use of nonprofit masters students' projects on the nonprofit organizations for which the projects were developed. (approx. $50,000 to design survey, collect and analyze data, and write report). Ok, I admit, this one is selfish because this is research I really want to conduct and share with other nonprofit programs, but I don't have funding to do it...yet. :)
What would you do with one million dollars, what charities would you donate it to?

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

ARNOVA: Wrap up and Future of the Nonprofit Sector Discussion

The 2009 ARNOVA conference was a social networking success. There were approximately 10 of us tweeting and blogging throughout the conference. A compilation of our tweets can be found on the ARNOVA Ning site and blog posts from the conference can be found here, here and here. Guest blogger Taylor Peyton Roberts put an amazing Woordle (word cloud) together with the conference program and also wrote a post about one on the sessions she attended. Graham Dover, John Ronquillo, Debra Beck, Carrie Sosbe and Julia Craig wrote posts about the conference as well on their blogs.

During the conference newcomers also came together to network and discuss the future of the nonprofit sector, more specifically the future of nonprofit research as it relates to these topics: Accountability & Evaluation, Advocacy & Civic Engagement, Fundraising & Philanthropy, Leadership & Governance, Issues in Nonprofit Management, Intersectoral & Networked Relationships, and The International Arena.

Here are the notes from these table discussions. The future of nonprofit research will provide:

Accountability and Evaluation

  • Increased transparency – accountability by uniformed observers. Comparatives between for-profit and nonprofit.
  • Tensions between press for accountability and possible efforts of nonprofit to deceive.
  • Robust theory (ies) of the “product” for specific programs.
  • Accountability literacy.
  • Affordable evaluations.
  • Increased resources – human software etc.
  • Access to cost benefit analysis
  • A move from simple input/output measures to outcomes and meaningful data.
  • Further theory development to make evaluation more affordable and feasible and applicable to a wide variety of evaluation needs.
  • Application of for-profit methods to nonprofit orgs.
  • More ways of communicating accountability.
  • A focus on organizational mission and values (not just $).
  • Formative evaluations (useful to organizations).
  • Program/management performed by 3rd party evaluators versus in house top-down or bottom up strategies.
  • Evaluation tied to strategy (Action oriented).
  • Peer accountability versus mandatory evaluation.
International Arena
  • International giving
  • Cross cultural research
  • Global civil society
  • South-south collaboration
  • More gladiators, fewer lions
  • Trend of local ngo/npos moving towards transnational work/engagement/collaboration/diffusion of practice
  • Competence
  • Competition
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Increased research of foundations
  • Farm labor groups
  • Trainings to college students in philanthropy and giving.
  • What is the value of informal giving? Specifically in communities of color?
  • Cross cultural paradigms of giving? How do we capture it?
  • What is the impact of remittances? Remittances across states?
  • Assuming slow-rebound, jobless recovery, without living wages, what are the implications? Will nonprofits be able to adapt?
  • Mid-sized organizations/local organizations that depend on donations?
  • How to give individuals confidence to continue to be donors in times of uncertainty?
  • How to accommodate shift to volunteerism?
  • How do we increase public confidence that the money they give to charity goes to charity rather than for profit, and professional support used for legitimate purposes?
  • Civic engagement – the internet is still a new way to engage – does it spark long-term commitment or is it an impulsive action?
  • Accommodation of generational differences in our fundraising tactics – how to appeal to those differences using new media to maintain existing relationships.
  • Preparation of professional staff for significant increase in bequest giving as baby boomers age.
  • Creation of more robust websites as informational and accountability tools.
Intersectoral and Networked Relationships
  • Alternative associations – egalitarian, collective
  • Research on the effect of commercialization on nonprofits
  • A move to public sociology
  • A spread of nonprofits to for-profit sector
  • More bottom up evaluation from community viewpoint
  • Funding opportunities so that nonprofits don’t have to cozy up to foundations
  • Increased training
  • Depends on direction of government
  • Is survival of the sector necessary (represents government failure)?
  • Attraction of funds-accountability
  • Can we afford professionalization?
  • Social media as a new outlet for nonprofit promotion
  • Less inequality between the have and have nots
  • A definition of the role of civil society
  • A change in demographics
Advocacy and Civic Engagement
  • More advocacy and civic engagement
  • Theory: The relationship between national service and 1. Co-opting participants 2. Nonprofit Careers 3. Advocacy
  • How technology has changed the definition of civic engagement.
  • An increase in trust among communities and overall increase in civic engagement.
  • Research: Measuring the impact of volunteering.
  • How technology will impact 1. Generational/civic engagement 2. Forms of civic engagement 3. Awareness and participation 4. Globalization of civic engagement
  • Practice: Impact of civic engagement on communities
  • Increased participation by gen y
  • Blurred line between for-profit and non-profit social responsibilities concerning engagement.

Nonprofit Management
  • Image of nonprofits in a market society
  • An understanding of the unique aspects of management in nonprofit organizations
  • Emphasis on cross sector skills and theory
  • Methods: qualitative, process oriented, case studies
  • Theory building: case studies, new models of governance
  • Empirical research: Rethinking governance, leadership, and relational governance
  • Internal: group relations
  • External: social capital
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with these ideas and statements?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ARNOVA: Fund for our Economic Future

David Abbott, CEO of the George Gund Foundation spoke during Thursday evening's plenary session about the Fund for our Economic Future, a collaboration of over 70 philanthropists & organizations in Northeastern Ohio created to revitalize businesses and bring new jobs to the region. This collaboration has been going on since 2004 and has raised over $90mil.

David's speech was inspiring and honest. He spoke about how the fund is working balance its collaboration efforts and mission fulfillment of of supporting business growth, talent development, and inclusion activities. David explained how the fund is growing and changing rapidly including in this stage of the work it is:
  • showing signs of traditional foundation behavior
  • working to balance group decision-making & personal egos
  • interacting in meaningful ways
  • holding a real mirror to itself
This fund truly exemplifies a learning organization. I hope it has many successes as it continues to support revitalization in Northeastern Ohio. As David said during his speech, "[successful] collaboration is striking a balance between individual and collective action."

ARNOVA: The state of nonprofit education

I spent most of Thursday and Friday of the ARNOVA conference in the "Blossom" room for all the nonprofit education focused sessions.

Since I'm studying what impact and use experiential learning components (e.g. applied projects, internships, practicums, capstones) have on nonprofit organizations, I enjoyed learning about what other nonprofit education scholars are studying in the field. Here's a synopsis:
  • Melissa Gaeke from the University of Southern California assessed what types of civic engagement and activities that students do on campus. They she surveyed students participating in these civic activities to assess if their motivation (ability, interest, and utility) changed over time and if their participation in these activities influenced their future civic engagement. She found that students were different before they participated in civic activities, and that participation in civic engagement influenced their motivation and interest in current and future civic engagement.
  • Anita Frederick and Judith Milleson from Ohio University shared about the process their University took to integrate project based learning into three different Masters programs in the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs. They also spoke about the time that faculty spend with students in order to present stellar projects to the clients. There are many teachable moments for the students and opportunities for students to integrate theory and practice in the work that they do.
  • Kathleen Fletcher from the University of Francisco surveyed 117 of her current students and alumni from the University of San Francisco's nonprofit masters and certificate program about the impact that the downturn in the economy has had on their job and nonprofit organizations. Here are some of her interesting findings:
    -21% were laid off or furloughed from a nonprofit job in the last 12 months.
    -50% of the organizations had not cut back on services or laid off staff.
    -Over 50% of the respondents had seen a decrease in funding from individuals,
    corporations, and foundations.
    -55% had their job role partially or entirely changed as a result of the economy
    -43% were concerned about future of their job.
    -Many mentioned their degree/certificate program was helpful in getting and keeping
    their jobs.
  • Jennifer Alexander and Jeffrey Brudney from Cleveland State University shared about a pilot study they had conducted with nine hospital HR directors about the competencies that managers should posses across sectors. The developed a list of competencies from MBA, public admin, and nonprofit curriculum. Many of these managers expressed the importance of soft-skills, team skills, and skills for specific jobs. They also found that financial management skills was an important competency for managers to possess.
  • Roseanne Mirabella from Seton Hall University and SueAnn Strom from American Humanics reviewed undergraduate nonprofit course syllabi and weekly course content. They compared these syllabi to the American Humanics competencies and NACC undergraduate guidelines. This study has important implications for the American Humanics certificate program in determining how much certain competency are being taught and which competencies should be covered more in the course syllabi.
  • Connie Campbell from CV Interventions, Scott Helm from University of Missouri, Kansas City and SueAnn Strom from American Humanics discussed a two part study. They surveyed the participants of the American Humanics Next Gen internship and the impact that internship had A) on the nonprofit employers and B) on student success. American Humanics is located at 63 campuses, and the next gen internship has placed 600 interns so far. I did not write down the survey response rate, however, out of the x# of respondents 52 interns were currently employed. Scott and Connie discussed how the internship provided signaling (one party conveys some meaningful information about itself to another party) to employers that Next Gen interns were more prepared for the job that other candidates. On the student side, interns felt their internships made them more prepared to work in national affiliate organizations (e.g. Red Cross, YMCA, Volunteers of America) rather than local unaffiliated agencies. Scott also spoke about where the American Humanics certificate program was housed, whether it was in a specific department or spanned across many departments.
  • Roseanne Mirabella from Seton Hall University and Mary McDonald from University of San Diego also assessed nonprofit masters course syllabi and weekly course content. They compared these syllabi to the NACC masters degree guidelines. The competencies listed the most were Fundraising, Nonprofit Management, and History and the competencies listed the least were Economics and Technology. Roseanne and Mary also expressed the importance of the relationship between each competency as well as the relationship of the competencies across Universities.
  • Jennifer Wade-Berg from Kennesaw State University and Judith Weisinger from New Mexico State University also looked at how diversity was being taught in the nonprofit masters course curriculum. They spoke about the importance of looking a diversity within the context of students becoming a global citizen and being culturally competent individuals. They encouraged programs to assess students' Intercultural Competencies when students enter the program and create diversity initiatives and opportunities for students to build up their intercultural competencies, more specifically, their perceptions, thoughts and actions.
My brief notes about these presentations do not do justice in explaining the importance this research has on the field of nonprofit management education as a whole. American Humanics just launched the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership and I hope these studies will be included in the journal soon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Take-Away Points from Colloquy: “Challenges of Developing New Theory in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Studies”

Guest Blog post from Taylor Peyton Roberts, University of San Diego.

Chair: Margaret Harris
Presenters:Jeff Brudney, Bob Donmoyer, Angela Eikenberry, Paul Kabalo, Lucas Meijs, Laurie Paarlberg, Jo Anne Schneider, Nidhi Srinivas

Although this session was so rich with discussion that it would be impossible for me to do it justice in a blog, the meeting was such a thought-provoking treat that I have been inspired to collectively summarize some key highlights:

• In nonprofit research, borrowing from theories of other disciplines requires accurately interpreting the languages of those disciplines.

• There is great value in adopting a pluralist view in the field, as opposed to a positivist view.

• Leave open the possibility for interpretation. Meaning is constructed.

• Include qualitative studies in your lit reviews, not just quantitative studies.

• The nonprofit sector may lack evidence-based practice for four reasons:
  • much atheoretical work exists,
  • many studies are disconnected geographically,
  • qualitative studies (i.e., those that examine process) are lacking, and
  • academic work needs to be more accessible to practitioners.
• Attempts to develop a theory before historical research is examined are pretentious.

• Three challenges to nonprofit theory are:
  • disciplinary chauvinism,
  • the gap between nonprofit theory and practice
  • the failure for US scholars to pay attention to work from other countries.
• Theory is general, but practitioners must make situation-specific decisions.

• For practitioners, theory must be used as a tool for thought.

• We should create theory that addresses practical problems. Two possible approaches could be:
  • the use of thick descriptions (anthropology),
  • relying more on logical reasoning and case-studies (law).

2009 ARNOVA-Goers: Meet Your Wordle.

Guest Blog post from Taylor Peyton Roberts, University of San Diego.

If you haven’t already spent enough time perusing ARNOVA’s 38th Annual Conference Program today, here’s a colorful twist on the program’s content.

For those of you who are not familiar with Wordle, it is an online application that allows users to transform text into word cloud graphics. In the final product, the most frequently-appearing words are largest in size.

I couldn’t resist the temptation to discover the Wordle-flavor of ARNOVA’s detailed conference program this year. Check out the snazzy result!

Wordle: ARNOVA - 38th Annual Conference

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ARNOVA: What’s in a name? Involving the community in research.

Tonight during the teaching section workshop we learned about Research Service Learning that was defined as “a collaborative teaching and learning strategy designed to promote academic enhancement, personal growth, civic learning, and the development of research capacities. Students render meaningful service—which include research activities—in community settings that present them with experiences related to academic material” (Clayton & Metelsky, 2009 Arnova Handout).

Many people may know this type of research by a different name “Participatory Action Research.” This type of research is different than traditional research and involves community members as co-researchers. I’ve been a fan of this type of research for sometime.

In order to create this pedagogy, a nonprofit-focused degree program would need “intentional design” for this type of research. This design would help address the challenges associated with community-based research. Clayton & Metelsky recommend the following components.

1) Students’ educational level (Undergraduate, Masters, etc.)
2) Scope of project
3) Partner involvement (Student, Faculty, Community partner)
4) Impact on issue(s)
5) Impact on partners (Students, Faculty, Community Partner)
6) Level of research capacity required

Deb Beck also covered this workshop over twitter

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Countdown to ARNOVA

I'll be blogging at the ARNOVA Conference from November 19-21st in Cleveland, OH and will be joined by:
and guest bloggers Taylor Peyton Roberts, Alice Walker, and Debra Weiner

Additionally, we have several conference attendees who will be tweeting about the conference using the #arnova09 hashtag.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Way to go ARNOVA!!

Next week I'll be attending the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization and Voluntary Action ARNOVA annual conference in Cleveland, OH and I am super excited!! This year I'll be part of ARNOVA's social media team so stay tuned for updates via this blog, the ARNOVA website, and twitter #arnova09.

I have to say ARNOVA has made amazing progress this past year to connect with younger nonprofit scholars and to establish a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Ning. This mostly due to the efforts of John Ronquillo, way to go John!

Stay tuned for live posts about the conference from John, Lindsey McDougle and myself. If you're planning to attend the conference and would like to join our social media team please let me know. Additionally, this year I (along with Jennifer Shea) have organized a dynamic networking event for conference newcomers on Friday evening of the conference. It's shaping up to be a fun and informative event!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Advice for moving from a regional nonprofit job to a national nonprofit job

I recently received an e-mail from someone looking to get a marketing position at a national nonprofit. I'd like to think I know a little about this since I have worked for several national nonprofit organizations during my career and I have been active in the national nonprofit sector for some time now.

Here is the advice I provided to get a national nonprofit job:
  • Get involved in some national nonprofit committees and attend national conferences to get your name out there and build your reputation. Network, network, network.
  • Revise your resume to target the national nonprofit that you would like to work for.
  • Get a graduate level certificate or degree in nonprofit management if you want to expand your nonprofit management skills.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

Yesterday was a normal day of work for me until my friend and colleague posted a U Tube video on Facebook. Normally I ignore politics and political shows because I usually get stuck in the middle of a political tug of war between family and friends. This time was no different because Glen Beck was complaining about TV's service campaign (IParticipate) and how Obama's pushing of volunteerism is equal to communism.

I immediately called my husband who watches every possible political show out there liberal and conservative. I was frustrated. How could Glen Beck state that volunteerism equals communism?? My husband assured me I was viewing the video out of context and Glen Beck was frustrated because Obama is refusing to be on any TV network that disagrees with him. He said that the TV networks had no choice but to create the TV service week (IParticipate). I thought that's frustrating too. TV networks should be allowed to have free speech even if people don't always agree with them? Right?

I don't mean to get upset but I'm sad, I'm sad that our nation the left and the right side of the political schema cannot come to an agreement that volunteerism is good. Volunteerism is such integral part of the nonprofit sector and it is such a shame that politics have to get in the way of something I think is really cool - IParticipate.

I try to shy away from the controversial issues on this blog, but I feel like these political tug of wars have got to the point where we forget what matters anymore -- a life of love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the meaning of volunteerism -- an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life

Monday, October 12, 2009

Introspection on Life, Love, and Nonprofits

As many of you read in my post last month I had quite a transformational summer and I've being doing a lot of introspection lately. Last week when I arrived in DC for the Nonprofit HR Conference and sat down for a delightful dinner with my dear colleague Rosetta Thurman, she inspired me and reminded me that I can still blog even if my posts are more introspective.

So here it goes, here are some of the things I'm reflecting on right now.
  • I've spent so many years trying to prove myself and get a ton of work experience, I've often sacrificed my personal needs in the process. I am starting to take care of myself and take time to reflect and think through activities and projects I take on or say yes to. This is really difficult for me because my passion for nonprofit work is my strength and my weakness. I often do too many things at once.
  • My husband and I would like to start a family. This is something we've put off for years because my career has been more important to me. Even though many working mothers have paved the way ahead of me, I am still worried about how I'll be able to balance it all. I still want to be a tenure track professor or a full-time nonprofit employee along with being a mom. I've read numerous books on working moms, (some can be found here, here, and here) yet this still feels like the biggest decision of my life.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Attending Cottey College changed my life

Last month I attended and volunteered at the PEO international convention here in San Diego. Over 3,000 women traveled from all over the US and Canada to come to this convention. Being a part of this convention made me reminisce about all the wonderful support I have received from PEO over the past twelve years.

P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.

I became a member of PEO when I was 18 years old before I attended Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri.

When I started at Cottey I was amazed by the small classes and all the faculty were accomplished PhDs in their respective fields. I joined numerous extra curricular activities including the Student Government Association, Phi Beta Lambda (the business club), Golden Key, the Handbell Choir and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.

I made long lasting friendships with my suitemates and my coworkers in Cottey dining services. I'll never forget the amazing financial and moral support I received from California PEOs. I loved receiving microwave bags of popcorn, postcards, and other goodies to keep me going when I felt homesick.

While at Cottey I pursued both the Associates of Arts and the Associates of Sciences degrees. I took all the business classes that were offered and my adviser and mentor, Dr. Anne Bunton told me how I could pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. It was through her encouragement I started my nonprofit career journey.

When I completed my two years at Cottey, I was accepted to quite a few schools but chose to attend San Diego State University (SDSU). SDSU is the complete opposite of Cottey. It has over 30k students and co-ed dorms. But because of my experience at Cottey, I was able to hold my own. I spoke up in my classes of 50+ students as well as followed up with my professors after class if I had additional questions.

While at SDSU I further pursued my goal of working in the nonprofit sector and I earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from American Humanics along with my Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.

Although I have attended many Universities since Cottey, Cottey still remains near and dear to my heart. Attending that school inspired me, encouraged me, and truly changed my life.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nonprofit HR Conference: The Future of Nonprofit Recruitment

I love discussing the future of the nonprofit sector because the sector is going through a shift. James Weinberg CEO of Commongood careers and Gretchen Anderson from On-ramps Recruiting Firm shared the future of nonprofit recruitment and hiring.

They said:

1. Recruitment in the future done with social media. Yeah!!! LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, etc.

2. Organizations will take full advantage of ALL the people that apply for a job. Organizations will add these candidates to their database and newsletter. These candidates are future donors, volunteers, and supporters of the organizations.

3. Organizations will orient new employees on their first day, week, month (also known as onboarding).

4. Staff will receive professional development opportunities within the organization. For example, career planning, career ladders, mentoring, Peer-to-peer learning, and brown bag lunches.

Nonprofit HR Conference: Communication in the Nonprofit Workplace

Many nonprofits do not engage in communication planning or implementation. This means most nonprofits do not communicate with their staff when any sort of change is going to occur. Communication is so important and key for developing a positive culture within an organization.

The LEA consulting group explained five key steps to integrate communication in the change process.

1) No matter how large or small the change is, create a visual representation of the change. This visual helps communicate the change/change process.

2) Explain the prospective change to employees before it actually happens. Explain what is changing, why it is changing, what it is not changing and who is guiding the change. Then discuss that change with employees. Get their input and response. How do they feel about the change?

Also, if the change is long-term, the change needs to re-communicated to the staff 6months and 1 year into the process.

3) Develop targeted messaging for the change.

4) Then test the targeting messaging in conversations among different constituents in the organization (e.g. advisory groups, online blogs and posting).

Many leaders don’t want to communicate something to their staff until it is perfect. However, change needs to be discussed before it actually happens. The MEMO method will not suffice. The change process described above gets leaders away from perfection to a focused change process with purposeful feedback from employees during the process.

5) Evaluate results of the change and redirect if necessary.

Nonprofit HR Conference: You can work in a flexible workplace

A few months ago I spoke to a group of parents and caregivers that were really struggling to find flexible or part-time nonprofit work in their geographic region. I had mixed feelings about their comments because there is nonprofit research that states, many people (working mothers, part-time workers) are attracted to work in nonprofits because of the flexible work environments.

Today the keynote-Robin Robin, Director of Human Resources of Girls Inc. at the Nonprofit HR conference shared real stories of nonprofits that offer flexible workplaces.

Many nonprofits are shifting from the mindset of "productive employees are those who are in the office" to "productive workers are those that get their work done wherever they are."

 This flexible workplace requires a culture shift for many organizations. Organizations need to reassess how to keep employees engaged and how to help employees stay focused in their work. For some employees this means either working from home or taking a morning to go to their child’s’ doctors appointment. Most importantly, organizations need to create a culture where employees can stay home when they are sick.

In order to make this change to a flexible workplace, managers need to evaluate their staff in new ways. Case in point--younger workers--Robin said that younger workers see results and goals and often do the work when they want to, which may be at 10pm at night or 7am in the morning.

I am excited that many nonprofit organizations are making the shift to provide more flexible work environments. With that said, I’m sad this is not the case with all organizations. Too many employees are working 60 hours a week and are getting burned out. The majority of us cannot do this for very long.

As Robin Robin said “People that have flexibility in how they work will work more efficiently and effectively.”

Friday, September 25, 2009

Independent Sector Conference & Future Lab

Last year I attended the Independent Sector's annual conference and had a blast! This year the IS Conference is offering a wide array of opportunities for emerging leaders and established leaders alike.

The fab staff at IS e-mailed me this description to put up on my blog to promote the conference.

Our society is changing rapidly and in unexpected ways, and we need young leaders to be part of an open conversation to help us all shape a more desirable 2020 for our organizations and the communities we serve.

Check out two new opportunities from Independent Sector to join that discussion:

  • Independent Sector has just launched FutureLab: An Online Challenge for the Nonprofit Community to Chart a Vibrant 2020, a forum to share big ideas and identify common goals that will strengthen our organizations and expand our individual and combined impact. Join the online challenge to offer your ideas and get feedback from peers while contributing to the sector’s collective thinking. The ideas generated by FutureLab will be further explored at the IS Annual Conference, held in partnership with the Council of Michigan Foundations November 4-6.
  • The NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now program, free to those attending the conference, provides an exceptional opportunity to enhance your professional networks, build your leadership skills, and contribute to these expansive conversations about future of the nonprofit community. Add your voice with more than 150 talented under-40 nonprofit leaders who will attend the conference in Detroit this year. Visit the IS website to view the NGen schedule, learn more about this diverse group of leaders, and register for the conference.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Its not that I don't want to write....but

I always look forward to the summer. I plan on that being a time to rest, rejuvenate, and get a lot done. However, what actually ends up happening is I take on way too many projects and I get very overwhelmed and burned out.

This is exactly what happened to me this past summer. However, something else happened too, I learned about my limits and my true values. For many people that are in tune with themselves this might seem trivial but for me it was huge. It was hard for me to realize that as much as my nonprofit work is my passion, I can't have it be all consuming.

So this fall as I move into the busy season, I'm actually relieved that it is shaping up to be calmer than the summer because I'm saying no to things for the first time in my life. I'm spending more time with my family and I'm actually taking days off.

This is what brings me to my blog. In the past my blog was very much a part of my overachieving nature. I worked hard to write posts on a regular basis and keep up with the latest nonprofit trends. I just can't do that any more.

My family, school, and work are taking precedence right now. I'll continue to write posts but on a sporadic basis and I hope that you'll continue to utilize the resources and links on this site.

Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tactical Philanthropy Launches Tactical Philanthropy Advisors!

I am swarmed with work right now so I've been slacking on my blogging, but I wanted to share an awesome new initiative happening over at Tactical Philanthropy. Tactical Philanthropy is one of my all time favorite blogs and I am excited to share Sean and his team are launching Tactical Philanthropy Advisors. Here's the press release:

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, Serving High Net Worth Donors, Launches Today

Burlingame, CA – August 31, 2009 – Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, an advisory firm working with wealthy individuals and families, launched today. It is headed by Sean Stannard-Stockton, co-founder of a wealth advisory firm focused on philanthropists, a columnist for the Chronicle of Philanthropy and author of the industry leading blog Tactical Philanthropy.

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors has established working arrangements with Schwab Charitable, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund®, Calvert Giving Fund and Foundation Source to provide administrative, back office services to Tactical Philanthropy Advisors’ clients. Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will provide comprehensive, ongoing advisory services for clients with $1 million to $50 million or more in philanthropic assets.

“Having worked in the wealth management industry for the past decade, I know firsthand that the most effective way for wealthy donors to obtain advice is as part of an ongoing relationship with an experienced advisor,” said Mr. Stannard-Stockton, founder and CEO of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors. “The old model of philanthropy consultants who offer outsourced staffing services or bill by the project is not well-suited to the needs of most major donors. Individual donors give $250 billion a year to charity, making up 82% of all charitable giving. A growing number of these donors want to be sure that their philanthropy is actually making a difference.”

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors launches three years after Mr. Stannard-Stockton founded the Tactical Philanthropy blog, one of the industry’s most popular destinations.

“Tactical Philanthropy has emerged as an important platform for some of philanthropy’s most critical debates,” said Jacob Harold, a philanthropy program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “Sean Stannard-Stockton absorbs the range of viewpoints across the field and then offers his own. But, importantly, he also has welcomed dissent and conflict, allowing Tactical Philanthropy to serve as a place for productive disagreement across philanthropy—all with the goal of increasing our shared impact on critical social and environmental issues.”

Building on the success of the Tactical Philanthropy blog, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors hopes to bring the vibrant, innovative approach to philanthropy that Mr. Stannard-Stockton discusses on his blog to wealthy individuals and families who want to ensure that their philanthropy is effective.

Greg Miller, former director of philanthropic affairs at, said: “Working at I had an opportunity to be exposed to some of the most innovative ideas in philanthropy. Sean always stays abreast of cutting edge issues and fosters debate and learning with his Tactical Philanthropy blog. For donors plugging into the latest philanthropic trends and tools, Sean’s firm Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is a great match.”

Ken Berger, CEO of leading nonprofit evaluator Charity Navigator, said: “Sean Stannard-Stockton has emerged as a leader in helping people understand what makes for good philanthropy. He is one of the most passionate, motivational and strategic thinkers in the field. By working with Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, I think most donors can become good social investors by improving the way they approach giving.”

One of the core services of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is to act as a trusted intermediary between major donors and the professional field of philanthropy. The firm is in the process of launching the Tactical Philanthropy Knowledge Network, a network of professional grantmakers who are committed to the idea that knowledge sharing leads to greater social impact. Philanthropy thought leader Jed Emerson has agreed to act as Chair of the Network. In addition, the design firm IDEO will be involved in designing the Network and facilitating Network gatherings.

In addition to working with individual and family philanthropists, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will also help leading wealth managers, tax accountants, family offices and estate planners ensure that their clients’ philanthropic plans are as robust as their financial plans. Unlike many other firms, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will offer comprehensive services for both private foundations and donor advised funds, making them an objective source for donors and client advisors seeking advice on structuring their charitable giving.

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors is committed to creating social impact through advancing the field of philanthropy. In addition to working directly with clients to achieve this goal, the company has committed to support the work of the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, a public charity that helps donors of all levels of wealth to engage in creative philanthropy. Philanthropic Ventures Foundation is led by maverick grantmaker Bill Somerville, author of “Grassroots Philanthropy.” The firm has also engaged the services of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and Bill Somerville to design grassroots philanthropy solutions for Tactical Philanthropy clients.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Philanthropic Ventures Foundation to collaborate with Tactical Philanthropy Advisors and bring together a diversity of talents and knowledge for serving donors,” said Mr. Somerville. “This is a unique offering to donors, and one which will add to the significance of personal giving. Tactical Philanthropy Advisors will give Philanthropic Ventures Foundation a national audience for its brand of creative philanthropy while at the same time committing itself to the growth of the Foundation and allowing it to broaden the services it offers.”

The financial crisis has forced wealthy families to ensure that their financial plans are in order. Major donors are undergoing the same sort of reassessment of their giving plans. “Major donors already seek out professional advisors to help them with their financial accounts, their tax planning, their business planning and legal issues,” said Mr. Stannard-Stockton. “We offer a similar advisory role for donors who do not want to ‘outsource’ their giving, but want to maximize the impact of their giving by working with an expert advisor who acts as a guide to the field of philanthropy.”

About Sean Stannard-Stockton
Sean Stannard-Stockton is CEO of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, a philanthropy advisory firm that serves individual and family philanthropists. Sean is the author of the Tactical Philanthropy blog, writes a monthly column for the Chronicle of Philanthropy and is a former columnist for the Financial Times. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on Philanthropy & Social Investing and has been quoted or referenced in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times and many other media outlets. Prior to founding Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, Mr. Stannard-Stockton co-founded Ensemble Capital Management, a wealth management company focused specifically on serving the needs of philanthropic individuals and families.

Journalists and bloggers interested in more information should contact Tactical Philanthropy Advisors at 888-521-2555 or 650-581-2180, by email at or visit the Tactical Philanthropy Advisors website:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

American Express NGen Fellows Application Deadline Nears

From the Independent Sector:

The new American Express NGen Fellows Program will offer 12 under-40 professionals from Independent Sector member organizations a rare opportunity to magnify their impact and accelerate their careers. Based on the recognition that the leaders we need tomorrow are poised to contribute today, this program will build the capacity of emerging leaders through tailored online and in-person programming and special networking opportunities, and includes complementary registration and lodging for the 2009 Annual Conference.

American Express NGen Fellows will be a diverse and talented group selected from under-40 staff at IS member organizations. Visit the IS website to learn more about the benefits of participation in the fellows program, the selection process, and how to apply. Applications are due August 14.

This program enhances NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now, which is designed to expand and improve the nonprofit talent pool by developing the leadership skills and networks of emerging leaders. Free to all under-40 conference attendees, NGen offers targeted workshop sessions addressing topics important to emerging leaders and opportunities for rising young professionals to connect with leaders of all ages. Register for the IS Annual Conference today!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Being a Nonprofit Researcher in the 21st Century

I was working on one of my many research reports last week and my colleague said, "Isn't it great we have Microsoft Word and we can easily move around sections of your paper? I used a typewriter when I was doing my dissertation and it was a pain."

Wow, I thought to myself, I really take for granted all this modern technology. I utilize a variety of technology tools on a daily basis while I'm conducting research.

1. I use RSS feeds to track academic articles from my nonprofit focused journals.

2. I search for articles and books on topics using google scholar and USD's library databases.

3. I keep a detailed list of all the articles and books I'm reading in Zotero, which allows me to sort articles by topic and creates reference lists using any style (e.g. APA, Chicago).

4. I create and maintain survey's using survey monkey.

5. I use SPSS to analyze survey data.

6. (This is a given) I use Word to create and edit my documents. Thank goodness for track changes!

What tools do you use while conducting and writing research reports?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nonprofit Blog Carnival: Nonprofit Leadership

This months nonprofit blog carnival focuses on nonprofit leadership. With nonprofit leaders struggling to make the right decisions for their organizations, (e.g. budget cuts, mergers, close dissalution, or alternative funding sources) this month's carnival submissions provide key insights and solutions for leading nonprofits during these tough times and ways to look to the future for solutions.
  • Change matters understands these struggles all too well. The post Moving from Start up to What.explains what leadership decisions organizational founders must make in order to strategically move the organization forward.
  • Jeff Brooks (at Donor Power blog) in his Hope for Struggling Nonprofits post gives us all hope by sharing about a nonprofit that was able to turn their organization around.
  • This relates to Melanie Schmidt's (of Moving Missions Forward) post that provides suggestions how nonprpfot leaders can to handle things during times of uncertainty.
  • Trina Isakson writes in Leading from the Outside also explains how nonprofit employees can cope with the current leadership in their organizations by either: leaving your current nonprofit, starting your own nonprofit, or sticking with your current nonprofit.
In this time of econmic uncertainity many organizations are looking to the future for answers. For example. La Piana and Associates recently launched the Nonprofit Next initative which asks nonprofit leaders "What trends will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector's future?"(see previous post). Additionally, the Independent Sector recently gathered over 50 leaders in Colorado Springs, to discuss the future of nonprofits through their Strategy Lab initative. Neel Hajara writes about his experiences participating in the Strategy Lab.

As nonprofits struggle during this time, where will they turn? To current leadership and strategies or to future leadership trends and solutions?

Next months blog carnival will be hosted by Jason at A Small Change Fundraising Blog.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alliance Conference: Nonprofit Next & Conference Wrap Up

I had a fantastic time attending the Alliance for Nonprofit Management conference last week. The main themes of the conference were capacity building, nonprofit sustainability and the future of the nonprofit sector.

LaPiana and Associates, through their initative, Nonprofit Next, are exploring what nonprofits will look like in the future. Their research coincides nicely with the NP2020 report by Grand Valley State University.

The LaPiana team interviewed nonprofit staff and thought leaders accross the US and asked:

  1. What trends will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector's future?
  2. How is your nonprofit adapting to these trends in innovative ways?
  3. What will characterize successful nonprofits in the future?
The common themes that emerged were:
  • Rise of Virtual Workspaces
  • Blurring of Sector Boundaries
  • Organizing work via networks as well as organizations
  • Rising interest in civic engagement/volunteerism
  • Growing diversity
  • Generational Shifts
  • Technological advances
The nonprofits that will survive are the ones that "can think creatively about: partnerships, networks, organizational structure, business models, alternative financing, crowdsourcing, mobalizing, decentralized action, transparency, diversity and inclusion."

In order for nonprofits to truly sustain themselves into the future, they need to:
  • Embrace adaptive leadership;
  • Put people first and build human-friendly culture;
  • Think and plan on a systematic level;
  • View technology as an accelerator;
  • Move away from traditional power structures, and;
  • Move beyond the culture of scarcity.
Stay tuned, La Piana will soon be releasing a full report about this research on their website.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Alliance Conference: Performance Management remixed

I have a confession to make. I'm not a fan of performance management. Reason being, performance management (in general) has to do with producing numerical outcomes and does not take into consideration measuring the performance of an entire organization.

Given my dislike of a performance management, I was hesitant to attend a session by Ingvild Bjornvold of Social Solutions Software and Andrew Niklaus of First Place for Youth about performance measurement. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this workshop.

First Place Youth
explained how they engaged in organizational change process to plan and implement a new database and performance management software system within their organization.

They created a theory of change and involved their ENTIRE staff and board in the process. Before implementing this new system, they couldn't explain what factors made their clients successful. Now with the new system, they know and have proof about how are affecting change and know what their clients need to succeed. They can also tell what is or what isn't going well in the program. They are now more effective in their work and they are data driven!

For example, last year they were able to produce a variety of reports about how they located 239 youth and 97 children into housing. They showed that 92% of their clients maintain safe affordable housing and their caseworkers spend X number of hours with their clients. First Place Youth now knows at what level their clients are working, going to school, and staying in affordable and safe housing.

Ok, so this story doesn't sound that exciting in this brief blog post, but it is a really amazing story to me!! So many organizations just implement a new pience of software without taking into consideration the strategic and change implications within the organization. It is A LOT of work but so IMPORTANT to involve the entire organization in the performance management change process.

Alliance Conference: Capacity Building

It's the final day of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference and I'm excited to be in the presence of some amazing bloggers. Check out their posts about the conference here, here and here.

Paul Connolly from the TCC group, an expert in the nonprofit capacity building arena is leading a breakout session this morning titled, "Partnering with funders to develop capacity building programs." Paul Connolly and his business partner Peter York have written numerous articles about nonprofit capacity building. These articles are available (for free) on their website.

He and his co-presenter explain there are four types of capacities nonprofit organizations have:
  • Leadership Capacity: Advancing the mission of the organization;
  • Adaptive Capacity: Monitoring what is going on inside and outside of the organization;
  • Management Capacity: Understanding organizational system, and;
  • Technical Capacity: Day-to-day work of the organization.
Unfortunately many nonprofits want to address technical capacity issues (e.g. building a database, implementing an accounting system) and do not focus on leadership and adaptive capacity issues.

The goal of capacity building should be to improve all four capacities!

Funders generally help nonprofits with a variety of capacity building issues, but generally this funding and support is very specific and only addresses one of the four capacities areas listed above.

This session explains how funders can plan and implement a comprehensive capacity building program for their grantees. This comprehensive program can then ripple beyond the nonprofit organizations themselves into the community, sector, and beyond.

The goal is to purposefully plan what the capacity building program will look like:
  • program length
  • level of support provided to nonprofits
  • those involved in the process (e.g. consultants, trainers)
  • how nonprofits are selected to participate in capacity building program
  • level of support provided to the nonprofits
  • measuring program success
  • follow up after the program is concluded.
In sucessful comprehensive capacity building programs funders provide grants, consulting, coaching, peer exchange, training and convenings to nonprofits.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Alliance Conference: Build Your Business or Your Brand

I'm a huge fan of Laura Gassner Otting of the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group. Laura wrote the book Changing Your Career: Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector and runs the nonprofit executive search firm Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group.

Laura and Todd Owens from Dewey & Kaye are presenting the workshop: Growing your practice in tough times. I'm not trying to build my business, however I'm really enjoying this workshop because Laura and Todd are providing really helpful tips to build your business &


1. Identify what are you great at

What's your reputation?
What's holding you back?

2. Assess and re-assess your business model

What's working, what's not?
What do you want to spend your time on?

3. Increase your visibility

Do research.
Seek out writing, speaking, presening opportunities
Get published!
Be the convener.

4. Create and Utilize referrals

Utilize your network -- LinkedIn
Spend time building relationships.
Share your abilities with national vendors/statewide associations.
Get connected with the decision-makers.
Recognize and reward referrals.

5. Look bigger than you are

Web & collateral prescence
Cross post
You decide what you want to say, how you want to say it

6. Make Technology work for you
Google Alerts -- sends you e-mail alerts on any topic (e.g. your name), a subject (e.g. nonprofit management, fundraising).
Social Media
LinkedIn Groups (there are groups for everything like Alliance for Nonprofit Management,
Twitter check out tweets from the Alliance Conference #allianceconf

Alliance Conference: Nonprofit Sustainability Planning

Nonprofit sustainability is a hot topic right now! Recently the TCC group recently released the report:

The Sustainability Formula: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Thrive in the Emerging Economy.

This report states, sustainable nonprofits have:
  • "clearly articulated and effectively communicated mission and vision statements;
  • strong financial management systems;
  • development and active maintenance of long-term relationships with funders, and;
  • a willingness to revise strategic plans and upgrade programs and services."
If you're like me, you're probably wondering, how do I get my nonprofit on the sustainability path?

Brian Talcott from the Center for Civic Partnerships workshop provided 10 steps any nonprofit can take to become sustainable.

I really like these ten sustainability steps because they incorporate EVERYONE in the sustainability process (e.g. staff, board, funders, clients, and community members).

The ten steps include:

1. Create Shared Understanding
Is there goal alignment about the future of our organization?

2. Position Your Effort
Who are your marketing and program champions?
What does our organization do well?

3. Plan to Plan
What will the planning process look like?
Whose involved in the planning process?
How long will the planning process take?

4. Review current picture.
This reminds me of the strategic planning SWOT analysis (strenghts, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).
How are we doing in our current programs?
Does our income meet our expenses?

5. Develop criteria to help determine what to continue
Create a criteria in which to evaluate our organization
(e.g. level of impact, resources/capacities, need in the community, support by the community)

6. Decide what to continue and what to prioritize
Make program and operations adjustments.
Shut down a program or combining programs with another organization.
Share back office operations with another organization.

7. Create options for maintaining priority efforts
What logic models do we need to create?
Funding models, and ways to continue programs.

8. Develop a sustainability plan
This plan involves Executive Summary, Situational Analysis, Criterial to Determine Value-Added Benefits, Sustainability Goals, Sustainability Strategies, Action Plans, Evaluation

9. Implement your sustainability plan
This involves getting the word out and celebrating successes.

10. Evaluate your outcomes & revise as needed

These steps involve extensive planning and anticipating what is to come and help get your nonprofit on the sustainability path.

Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference - Amazing Resource

I finally made it to the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference! I've wanted to attend this conference since I started working in the nonprofit sector. There are so many amazing organizations in the room, I am eager to meet everyone!!

As a recap: The Alliance for Nonprofit Management is the professional association of individuals and organizations devoted to improving the management and governance capacity of nonprofits - to assist nonprofits in fulfilling their mission.

The attendees at this conference consist of national Management Support Organizations (MSO) like CompassPoint, TransitionGuides, LaPiana & Associates to local management consultants.

This morning was the Alliance's annual membership meeting followed by a yummy networking lunch. At lunch the Alliance presented their annual Community Impact award to the Hawaii Community Foundation for their innovative work with Hawaii community organizations. I just started following HCF on twitter, awesome updates!! HCF is going strong even during this economic downturn.

This afternoon I'll post notes from the break-out/professional development workshops I attend. In the meantime check out Virginia of Volunteer Vancouver post about yesterday's Management Support Organization (MSO) workshop day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blogging the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference

This week I'll be blogging at the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference July 15-17th in Palm Springs, CA. I'll be joined by fellow bloggers:
Stay tuned for our posts about the conference. Also, follow our updates on twitter #allianceconf.

Scott Bechler-Levin @IdeaEncore will also be tweeting the conference.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

American Express NGen Fellows Program

From the Independent Sector:

Are you an accomplished young professional already serving as a nonprofit leader?

Are you ready to magnify your impact through dynamic collaboration with your peers?

Recognizing that the leaders we need tomorrow are poised to contribute today, Independent Sector is pleased to introduce the American Express NGen Fellows Program. This exciting new program will offer 12 young professionals from IS member organizations a rare opportunity to magnify their impact and accelerate their careers. The program, which includes complementary registration and lodging for the 2009 Annual Conference, will build the capacity of these emerging leaders through tailored online and in-person programming and special networking opportunities.

American Express NGen Fellows will be a diverse and talented group selected from under-40 staff at IS member organizations. Visit the IS website to learn more about the benefits of participation in the fellows program, the selection process, and how to apply. Applications are due August 14, 2009.

The American Express NGen Fellows Program enhances IS’s NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now program, which is designed to expand and improve the nonprofit talent pool by developing the leadership skills and networks of emerging leaders. Free to all under-40 conference attendees, NGen offers targeted workshop sessions addressing topics important to emerging leaders and opportunities for rising young professionals to connect with leaders of all ages. Register for the IS Annual Conference today!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New to Running a Nonprofit: Here's an Overabundance of Resources

As many of you know I've run a few nonprofits over the course of my career. While running these organizations, I collected best practice resources that were very useful to my organization. The problem is I haven't known how to share these useful links with other nonprofits...until now.

In the past:
  • I posted resources about starting and running a nonprofit on my website.
  • I tagged nonprofit management, nonprofit education, nonprofit workforce and nonprofit technology resources on my delicious account.
But now I can post and share ALL the resources, templates and reports in one place on IdeaEncore!!

I learned about Idea Encore a few weeks ago when the founder and CEO (Scott Bechtler-Levin) attended a workshop I presented at. IdeaEncore allows people to share best practice nonprofit templates, links and resources. I love it!! Also, since I don't get a lot of traffic on my website or on delicious, I can share on IdeaEncore ALL the best practice nonprofit resources, templates, and reports I've used over the years, including all the resources listed below.

I hope that you will join with me in sharing the best practice resources, templates and reports on IdeaEncore.

Planning Resources
Annual Planning Tips for your Nonprofit from Hildy Gottlieb
Sample Business plans
Basic steps to a Strategic Plan
Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations: A Practical Guide and Handbook
Developing Your Strategic Plan
Finding a strategic planning consultant through

Governance Resouces
BoardSource - Building Effective Nonprofit Boards
Board Member Job Descriptions
Free Complete Toolkit for Boards
Sample of a Board of Directors Committee Work Plan
Developing and Supporting a Board of Directors
Board Café
Nonprofit Board Matching Website

Human Resource Management Resources
Human Resource Policies and Procedures for Nonprofit Organizations by Carol Barbeito
HR Management Toolkit
Nonprofit Human Resource Management Center
Society for Human Resource Management
Salary Management for Nonprofits by Jerry Jensen
How to conduct a Salary Survey by Jerry Jensen
Innovative Compensation Practices in Nonprofit Organizations
ADP Payroll ADP’s HR/Benefit Solution
Wells Fargo Payroll
Paychex Payroll
Intuit Payroll
Human Resources AppExchange on
Behind Closed Web Sites: A Look at Three Nonprofit Intranets by Laura Quinn
• Social Source Commons HR and Volunteer Management Software Tools

Risk Management Resources
Nonprofit Risk Management Center
Nonprofit Law, Tax Exempt Organizations Law Advice
Nonprofit Law Blog
What Basic Insurance Coverage Should a Nonprofit Consider?
Free Computer Based Risk Assessment Tool for Nonprofits
My Risk Management Plan
Disaster Preparedness Today
NPower Disaster Preparedness Guide
Exit Interviews
Sample Exit Interview Form
Taming Turnover: Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Nonprofit Employees by Lee Mizell
Independent Sector Checklist for Accountability
Better Business Bureau Standards for Charitable Accountability
Charity Navigator

Finance and Accounting Resources
Nonprofit Unified Chart of Accounts
Financial Leadership for Nonprofit Executives
Internal Accounting Control System
How do we interpret our financial statements?
The Cash Flow Management Book for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide for Managers and Boards by Murray Dropkin and Allyson Hayden
GSA - Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Mileage Reimbursement Rates
GSA - Domestic Per Diem Rates
A Few Good Accounting Packages by Laura Quinn
• Social Source Commons Accounting Software Tools
Small Business Accounting Software Review - 2004 ( Publication Archives)
Accounting and Bookkeeping Links Page — American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers
Sarbanes Oxley Information from the Independent Sector

Other Nonprofit Operations Resources
Organizational Systems Checklist for Nonprofits
Free Nonprofit Management Library
• Nonprofit Capacity Building Links
Nonprofit Genie
Nonprofit FAQ

As a caveat--IdeaEncore is not paying me to write wonderful things about their site. I just like it and think its useful. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hosting Nonprofit Blog Carnival this month!

This month I'll be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival which is a monthly round up of blog posts on a certain topic. My topic is nonprofit leadership. I am looking for best practices, research reports, and theories about nonprofit leadership. Get your thinking caps on, tag these items in delicious, and submit them to me by Monday, July 27th.

You can submit posts in two ways: (1) Go to and use the form or (2) send an email to Include your name, your blog’s name and the URL of the post (not your blog homepage).

In the meantime check out the Nonprofit Blog Carnival - Nonprofit Technology Edition, hosted by Wild Apricot.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can we strive for mutuality in philanthropy?

After taking an action research course this summer from renowned scholar Bill Torbert where we learned to strive for mutuality in our relationships, I was struck by Philantopic's most recent blog post titled "Women are bright spot Amid Economic Gloom" which spoke of the mutuality embodied by women's philanthropy. The post stated:
  • The report holds up this new, more democratic model of philanthropy as a beacon for all, re-imagining philanthropy as a horizontal collaboration of trusted equals.
  • Too often over the years, philanthropy was dispensed top-down and vertically, and was not informed by the wisdom of solutions cultivated at the grassroots.
  • Women's funds, like no other area of philanthropy, have for three decades pioneered and developed a democratic model of giving, with donors and grantees sharing grantmaking decisions.
Why is it that only women's philanthropy strives for mutuality? If we are truly trying to change the world, wouldn't it be best if all of philanthropy strives for collaboration and mutuality? I look forward to a day when we can put our egos aside, see the best in each other, and strive for mutuality in philanthropy.