Category Archives: Leadership


Nov

07

2012

Plus Ça Change

plus ça change A post by James V. Toscano Well, the long drawn out election process is over, with everything pretty much the same, albeit with early hints of a desire to get something done. President Obama returns for four more years, hopefully no more than one as a lame duck. Congress remains essentially the same, with the Democrats picking up one, possibly two, seats in the Senate while they have three more votes in their minority status in the House of Representative. Could we reverse the old saw and predict: “ Plus la même chose, plus ça change?” Pardon…

Read More


Oct

24

2012
The Revenue Crisis

The Revenue Crisis

 A post by James V. Toscano The traditional nonprofit revenue model is broken.  Revenue formulas are out of date. Contributions just don’t flow in the same way. Some revenue taps have dried up. Others, such as government, are fading. Traditional methods don’t work as well. It’s time to reimagined the nonprofit revenue paradigm. Attention and concern lately have focused on measuring results and impact. However, if we lack the resources to do the work, we get no results. Revenue always precedes results in priority. And if revenue sources demand results but do not pay to evaluate and obtain results, we…

Read More


Sep

10

2012

Moving the Needle

 A post by James V. Toscano In an article in Nonprofit Quarterly, “Strategic Philanthropy: Who Wins and Loses?” Prentice Zinn, using a variety of reasons, outlines the argument against funding sources alone deciding where to focus their grants as part of their version of a  strategic initiative, often involving outcomes measurement and scaling up service. In a trenchant major point, he states: “Today, the field of philanthropy is seeing a relative explosion of conversations, debate, and reflection about how it can be more effective. Add to this rich exchange of information a dose of organizational narcissism, careerism, and peer pressure…

Read More


Jul

23

2012

Donor Stewardship Mnemonics

 A post by James V. Toscano mne·mon·ics: the process or technique of improving or developing the memory.  The Four R’s:  Retention = Reporting, Rewarding, Renewing Donor retention is one of the most important tasks in the development responsibilities of a nonprofit organization. After substantial effort in terms of time and resources, translating suspects into prospects and prospects into donors is one of the great accomplishments in fund-raising. Cultivation and solicitation of new donors are among the great skills of the fund-raising community. To retain and upgrade the donor becomes the significant ongoing task, and many organizations fail in this essential activity….

Read More


Jul

12

2012

Advanced Fundraising Mnemonics

 A post by James V. Toscano mne·mon·ics: the process or technique of improving or developing the memory.  In this outing, we go from alliterative letters, e.g. WWW, PPPP, to catch phrases to capture more complex fundraising concepts. We often use catch phrases to provide the key to lists or formulations, e.g. “”My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas,” gives us the clues we need to list the planets in order from the sun, at least the old order of planets before Pluto got thrown out!  The Roles of the Board Prince Paul Favors Fresh Oranges  There is frequent…

Read More


Jul

05

2012

Board Selection Mnemonics

 A post by James V. Toscano mne·mon·ics: the process or technique of improving or developing the memory Let’s trot out the old chestnuts, those alliterative mnemonics often quoted in training and articles about the type people who should be on a nonprofit organization’s board. Governance is always one of the leading topics of discussion and controversy in nonprofits, both in sector and academic circles. One sometimes hears three prescriptive letters summarizing desired qualities of prospective board members, sometimes not understood, sometimes dismissed, sometimes used cynically, and sometimes followed with insight. A variety of “schools” e.g. Carver, Benevan, cite specific roles…

Read More


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…

Read More


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…

Read More


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…

Read More


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…

Read More



Page 4 of 6« First...23456