The Good Counsel Blog


Mar

03

2014
Are There Too Many Nonprofits, or Too Few?

Are There Too Many Nonprofits, or Too Few?

We read and hear volumes about the growing number of nonprofit organizations, now approaching one million nationally, with consequent warnings of imminent disaster for many. The causes of the disaster vary, according to source of commentary. Competition for resources is big: there just isn’t enough charitable money to pay for it all. Too many groups asking foundations, corporations and individuals for much more than is available makes difficult choices. Then there is the claim of overlapping service or uncoordinated outreach, followed by lack of efficiency, thus reduced effectiveness. Underpaid staff almost exploited by mission and rapid turnover of personnel complete this analysis….

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Feb

20

2014
I {Heart} Nonprofits

I {Heart} Nonprofits

Reposted from YNPN.org Seriously, what’s not to love? Organizations working to make social change, fix big hairy problems and impact change, both locally and globally. Staff who dedicate their careers and purpose to a mission and to improve our world.Plus, of course, our volunteers and supporters, both in and out of the boardroom, who give away their time, talent and resources in support of what we do. It all adds up to a commitment, a values statement, an ideal.Again I say, what’s not to love?For me, growing up with two parents working for nonprofits, I never really even thought about it….

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Jan

30

2014
Ten Essential Nonprofit Job Interview Question Areas

Ten Essential Nonprofit Job Interview Question Areas

A Post from James V. Toscano Many questions that should be answered by finalists for a nonprofit position are never even asked.  Given time, number of interviewers and the variation in job descriptions, there are still ten essential  areas that should be woven into any interview session. These basic areas, or verbal variations thereof, should be covered with each candidate interviewed for consistency and comparison. Verbal answers should be noted, along with modes of expression and body language. All should contribute to the overall assessment of the candidates, along with such other factors as resume, experiences, references, compensation, potential and…

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Jan

17

2014
The Seven Deadly Nonprofit Sins

The Seven Deadly Nonprofit Sins

 A Post from James V. Toscano As it is the darker time of the year,  it’s time to review the other side of our work. Certainly the satisfactions and successes of our sector are what keep us motivated and eager to get to work each morning, and will inevitably always be the case. Nevertheless, there are dysfunctions, negatives, hindrances of which we need to be aware and upon which we can continuously strive to improve. Not included are those illegalities and ethical lapses for which society has prescribed remedies. Our seven “sins” are those we need to deal with for…

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Jan

09

2014
Guest Post: All Corporations Should Be a Benefit

Guest Post: All Corporations Should Be a Benefit

 Guest Post by Steve Boland, Next in Nonprofits Secretary of State Mark Ritchie joined a panel of experts to discuss proposed legislation (which he says will pass in 2014) to create a new class of business in Minnesota. The “public benefit corporation” allows for businesses with shareholders to set a community purpose as a primary business driver, abrogating the perceived risk of a shareholder lawsuit if the publicly held company chooses to emphasize social good over shareholder value – though of course the purpose of a benefit corporation may well be to achieve both things. Where nonprofit corporations must provide…

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Dec

30

2013

Nonprofit 2014: The Year Ahead

 A Post from James V. Toscano Change for nonprofits is constant. Yet, the nonprofit world will see certain changes accelerate in 2014. A number of forces building over the last decade will reach tipping point and will come to dominate aspects of the sector. With nearly a million nonprofits, variation is enormous. What are focused on here are the modal factors that will have significant impact on the sector. We will list only ten, plus one speculation. There are many more, and your comments and additions will make this a much better attempt to characterize our sector in 2014. The…

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Dec

19

2013

The Top Ten Posts of 2013

These are the ten most read articles on the Good Counsel’s blog in the last year. 1. Twelve Elements of a Nonprofit’s Business Model 2. Ten Questions to Ask a Director of Development Candidate 3. 10 Questions A Development Director Candidate Should Ask Once Offered But Before Accepting the Position 4.  Why Does a Nonprofit Board Need Young People? 5.  Guest Post by Jon Pratt – Flaws in the Social Impact Bond Craze 6.  The Ten “Must” Agreements between Board and Executive Director 7. The Ten Requisites for Conducting a Capital Campaign 8. Ten Things Every Nonprofit Board Member Should Know 9. The First 100 Days: Ten Things…

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Dec

10

2013

Nonprofits 2013: The First State of the Sector

 A Post from Jim Toscano As the end of year approaches and before our annual predictions for next year, it might be useful to summarize the current status of the nonprofit sector. Where are we, the near-million current nonprofits in the nation? Clearly all over the lot, but are there reportable milestones and trends that may characterize nonprofits? Twelve complex factors comprise major parameters that are prominent in 2013, part of the constant change that we all experience. Over the years, our nonprofit sector has attributed our strong societal standing to American exceptionalism, while we have also heard from various…

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Nov

28

2013

Nonprofit Thanks

 A Post from Jim Toscano We, as nonprofits, have so very much for which to be thankful. This is the appropriate time to list the many things for which we are thankful: Our patients and clients for their faith in our service; Our fellow employees for their decision to work with us; Our board for their guidance and support; Our donors for their confidence in our mission; Our prospective donors who give us hope; Our volunteers for their enthusiasm and work; Our social media friends for their constancy; Our special events participants for their loyalty; Our government for our exemption from…

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Nov

18

2013

The Million Dollar Charitable Gift Givers

 A post from James V. Toscano Building on their annual Million Pound Donors Report, the Coutts Institute in Britain, in combination with Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy have issued a report covering million dollar charitable gifts from six geographic regions: the US, UK, Russia, the Middle East, China and Hong Kong. Gifts of one million or more totaled $19 billion in these six areas in 2012. The lion’s share came from the US: $13.96 billion; Britain, £1.35 billion; Russia, $239 million; Middle East, $727 million; China, $1.18 billion; and Hong Kong, $877 million. Estimates go from relatively accurate…

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