Category Archives: Leadership


Jan

05

2021
photo by Mohamed Nohassi

2021: Ten Trends for Significant Nonprofit Survival

Written by James V. Toscano and Dania Toscano Miwa 2021 will be a year of transition for nonprofit organizations as well as for the rest of society. Transition does not mean heading back to the business as usual of 2019, but movement toward a blending of what was, what has been learned, what has changed and what is needed for a more equitable and just society. The Pandemic taught us many things and reminded us of things we knew, but were easy to push to the back burner.  It changed patterns of thought, behavior and action. Our culture, society, economy,…

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May

19

2020
 2020 1/2  In the Time of the Virus, Ten Trends for Significant Survival

 2020 1/2 In the Time of the Virus, Ten Trends for Significant Survival

Essay By Jim Toscano with additions by Dania Miwa. As we typically do, we released our 2020 predictions in December of last year.  Then, in March all bets were suddenly off, as the infection and death rates started climbing and we began to realize the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for nonprofits. This is our attempt to re-forecast based on what we are telling clients, experiencing first hand and as we are seeing some national trends emerge. Leap Year 2020 did occur in February as did so many more events. We celebrated many of the anniversaries:100 years of women having…

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Mar

30

2020
Pay it FWD

Pay it FWD

To say it’s been a hard couple of weeks seems such an understatement, that it’s almost comedic. We don’t know what’s in store for the foreseeable future, and we don’t claim to have the answers or even to fully understand the scope of the current situation we are in. What we hope is that we can add to the conversation, to create safe space to come together, to be vulnerable and to ask the really tough questions and as a sector to find a positive path forward. To that end, we have launched a Wednesday Zoom call to hold space,…

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Dec

14

2019
2020: Ten Trends Affecting Nonprofits

2020: Ten Trends Affecting Nonprofits

Leap Year 2020 will see a tumultuous Presidential election, $10 billion in election spending, the decennial Census, 100 years of women voting, the summer Olympics in Tokyo, hotly contested Oscars, a thrilling World Series, a Rose Bowl with our new state of Oregon represented and substantial underlying changes in the nonprofit world. Here is what we see coming. 1. Rapid Underlying Change. Underneath a seeming stable overall sector, with slow growth over inflation, there are, and will be substantial underlying changes going on, with many organizations struggling to maintain this outward stability. Major flux will be the norm for many,…

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Dec

19

2018
2019: Ten Trends Affecting Nonprofits

2019: Ten Trends Affecting Nonprofits

Article by Dania Miwa and Jim Toscano.   Transition was the name of the game in 2018 for nonprofits, anticipating changes in government policy, especially in tax law, and trying to decide what directions should be taken. More than ever, large nonprofit organizations’ fundraising focus was on the top of the donor pyramid with programming focused on expansion. Almost everyone else tried to just hold on, with some nonprofits attempting to fill gaps caused by changing societal, economic, environmental and government trends through alternative funding strategies. Here’s what’s in store for 2019: Enlargement of the Civil Benefit Sector. With increases…

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Aug

04

2018
Ten Behaviors: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Ten Behaviors: Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

The idea of creating a culture of philanthropy is hot right now, either a fad or a real commitment by nonprofits to envelop boards, staff, volunteers and constituency (visitors, members, clients, patients, volunteers, staff, committee members, board members, donors, legacy leavers, etc.) in deep recognition of the overall importance of philanthropy in the life of the organization. (See my earlier posting on the Culture of Philanthropy) There are many websites talking about it, listing what to do in training, offering training, listing qualities to be achieved, selling packages, offering consulting and on and on. We know it takes years, often,…

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Jan

11

2018
2018: Ten Nonprofit Trends

2018: Ten Nonprofit Trends

By Jim Toscano and Dania Miwa What a year 2017 was! Many of the trends outlined here prevailed through the year. Now, prepare for an even more unsettling, disruptive one. Change in individual donor strategy as the tax laws change. With fewer individuals expected to itemize under the provisions of the new tax law, new strategies will guide resource developments attempts to renew and expand previous donations. Donor retention and stewardship will take on new messaging emphasizing the donor. Donor cultivation and solicitation will also need to be more substantive, more-values based and more outcomes oriented. Change in donor assessment…

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Apr

11

2017

Eleven Ways to Increase Nonprofit Revenue

Dania Toscano Miwa and Jim Toscano For many nonprofits the current revenue situation is undergoing change, especially those seeking growth. With increasing numbers of nonprofits, higher competition, changes in individual giving, more narrow focusing of many foundations and corporations and impending loss of some government funding, where do we look for stability and growth of revenue? Here are eleven options. Many work together. Not all, or any, may fit specific nonprofit organizations. Hopefully, out of these possibilities, will come some opportunity for increased revenue or a stimulus for creative new options. Overall, the first step is to build a culture…

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Feb

07

2017
Trump Tectonics

Trump Tectonics

Just like the plates in earth’s crust, the three major sectors of our society– for-profit, nonprofit and government–are slowly but continuously shifting in terms of responsibility for various elements in the society. In the last century, government grew exponentially in terms of percentage of the GDP for which it was responsible. Nonprofits also grew, benefitting from the large economic growth of the nation, increase in civil need, growing private philanthropy and support from government through grants, contracts and other forms of subsidy. Since the presidential election and inauguration, we have something different, a phenomenon that is starting to produce earthquakes…

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Sep

22

2015
What Should We Look For When Hiring a Nonprofit CEO?

What Should We Look For When Hiring a Nonprofit CEO?

Now that the 401Ks have bounced back, the stresses of running nonprofits are at record highs and many CEOs are in their sixties, we are witnessing a rather disproportionate CEO vacancy rate in nonprofit-land. Clearly the headhunters are doing well running high-paid searches. Their stock in trade is experience, wide networks, skill in interviewing and negotiating, finding out what is really needed and socio-metrics. The last item involves asking around about people who are potential candidates. We’ve all gotten those calls. The real question for the pros and for those agencies that are doing searches themselves is what should we look…

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