The Good Counsel Blog


May

17

2012

Impact Measurement – Part Three of Three

 A Post by James V. Toscano Measuring impact of nonprofit programs is clearly an important element in determination of benefit to society. It has also become a proxy to demonstrate return on investment to governments, foundations, corporations and other donors. The state of the art and science of such impact determination is largely work in progress. Certain nonprofit sectors, namely healthcare and education, are well advanced in such measurement compared to other sectors. Epidemiological methodology, such as used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has important elements that are available to be adopted/adapted by other sectors. Using such tools…

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May

10

2012

Impact Measurement – Part Two of Three

 A post by James V. Toscano There is currently considerable buzz about performance, outcomes, results and other measures of impact in the nonprofit world. Foundations and corporate funders are now interested in what the results of the inputs of their grants are. Individual donors are told that they should also be very interested in what their gift dollars produce. In the Part One, questions on the uses of epidemiological variables and the need for standardized measurement and agreement on those measures were raised. In Part Three, the necessity for empirical testing to really determine causality will be explored in some…

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Apr

30

2012

Impact Measurement – Part One of Three

 A post by James V. Toscano The Wall Street Journal Report on “Innovation in Health Care” of April 16 has a number of articles on directions  in the way health care is moving, with constant referral to the mountains of data routinely collected on the multitude of variables considered important in measuring outcome. Having spent over thirty years of my career in nonprofit health care organizations managing research and education, I am most familiar with data, its collection, analyses, and uses. Modern medicine is built on empirical studies which determine significant directions in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients….

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Apr

20

2012
Why I’m going to Twive & Receive on June 14th

Why I’m going to Twive & Receive on June 14th

 Post by Dania Toscano Miwa This year on June 14th I’m participating in Twive and Receive which is one day where over 100 cities mobilize their donors to give to a single nonprofit in their community. I have chosen the Animal Humane Society of the Twin Cities. I chose AHS because every dog and cat I’ve ever had growing up came from there. For example, Samson was a German Shepard who was rejected by the police academy for being too nice. He was the smartest dog I’ve ever known and his favorite treats were peanuts. Venus is the Siamese mix…

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Apr

09

2012

Social Impact Bonds

 A post by James V. Toscano A new report sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, A New Tool for Scaling Impact: How Social Impact Bonds Can Mobilize Private Capital To Advance Social Good, gives an interesting boost to the British idea of infusing private capital into projects that have a societal return, with repayment based on the success of the project. In the introduction to the report, Judith Rodin, Rockefeller Foundation president states: “Social Impact Bonds have the potential to substantially transform the social sector, support poor and vulnerable communities, and create new financial flows for human service delivery by offering…

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Apr

03

2012

Nonprofit Board Search

 Announcement from Dania Toscano Miwa Here at Toscano Advisors, we’ve been thinking about what an amazing sector we work in, especially in Minnesota. As we were discussing this and brainstorming ideas to add even more value to this already vibrant sector and we think we’ve found one! We are very excited to launch Nonprofit Board Search which is a free service from Toscano Advisors, allowing nonprofits to submit their open board positions on this site. Now, I realize this may sound like a rather self-serving, even a shameless self promotion post. However, we know most, if not all, of our…

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Mar

26

2012
Guest Post – Dealing With the Fear of Fundraising

Guest Post – Dealing With the Fear of Fundraising

 A post by Jim Thalhuber The March 5 blog headline reads, “We’re all development officers now!”  As one who has worked in and with hundreds of nonprofits organizations over the past three-plus decades, I could not agree more with this proclamation. Unfortunately, I have not always found this to be the case in the nonprofit sector.  Why?  For many nonprofits, it stems directly from CEOs and Executive Directors who suffer from a profound fear of the “F” word – Fundraising.


Mar

14

2012
Nature Conservancy: Cavorting in Sea, Surf and Deep Manure

Nature Conservancy: Cavorting in Sea, Surf and Deep Manure

 A post by James V. Toscano Certain specific demographic cohorts flock to the annual swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated each year, presumably to experience nature and the environment up close. Some of our friends at Nature Conservancy were intrigued with the demographics of these readers, clearly holding the prospect of adding to NC constituency and donors, so they entered into a three-pronged sponsorship of this year’s swimsuit edition with the magazine and a high-end luxury website.


Mar

05

2012
We’re All Development Officers Now!

We’re All Development Officers Now!

 A post by James V. Toscano A much emailed and referenced article from McKinsey Quarterly by Tom French, Laura LaBerge and Paul McGill, “We’re all marketers now,” stresses the need for commitment from everyone in an organization to fully engage customers. The authors advocate a total organizational approach to marketing. Quoting the article: “…customers no longer separate marketing from the product—it is the product…In the era of engagement, marketing is the company.”


Feb

22

2012

Does the Slippery Slope Start with Trash?

 A post by James V. Toscano Once upon a time, there existed a fairytale love fest between nonprofit organizations and the municipalities in which they operated. Reciprocity was the rule, encouragement the standard. Access to tax-exempt municipal bonding had to be one of the great added benefits of this relationship, especially to those high budget, capital-intensive groups such as hospitals, colleges and museums. Cities and towns recognized the major contributions made to their citizens by nonprofit organizations. Health, education, and culture are necessities for any growing region trying to attract investment, business and an educated work force, with many other…

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