Category Archives: Nonprofit Management


Feb

12

2013

Doing Development Differently

 A post from James V. Toscano In a rich and thoughtful study, UNDERDEVELOPED: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising, authors Jeanne Bell and Marla Cornelius report on a study done electronically among nonprofit senior development staff and executive directors.  A small number of focus groups were also conducted that included board members along with development people and executive directors. CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund jointly sponsored the study.  Approximately 1850 senior development staff responded to the survey as well as 870 executive directors. The results document the instability in development in many of our…

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Feb

07

2013
Guest Post – In Defense of Taxes—Even If They Might Cut into Charitable Giving

Guest Post – In Defense of Taxes—Even If They Might Cut into Charitable Giving

 A post by Andy Robinson This article was originally published by the Nonprofit Quarterly on January 4, 2013 In recent weeks, nonprofit organizations mobilized against the threat that Congress would limit tax deductions for charitable gifts. Because charitable deductions provide an incentive for giving, many nonprofit leaders fear that scaling them back will make it harder to raise money. Following the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, the charitable deduction remains more or less intact—at least for now. As we consider the broader implications of tax reform and government spending and gear up for legislative fights to come, I am concerned that many…

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Feb

01

2013
Guest Post – Flaws in the Social Impact Bond Craze

Guest Post – Flaws in the Social Impact Bond Craze

A Post from Jon Pratt, Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Social Impact Bonds is a concept that is definitely at a taking-off point, with some big money and very well-known supporters (Rockefeller Foundation, Kennedy School of Government, McKinsey, New York Mayor Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, etc.). However fast growing the Social Impact Bond promotion, there are several reasons to closely examine and question the claims made for SIBs: First, it’s easy to see why this idea is attractive — if it could deliver more resources and better results, what public official or taxpayer wouldn’t be for it?  It is also…

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Jan

29

2013

Guest Post – Is It Time For New Terminology?

 A post by Jim Thalhuber In a recent Harvard Business Review posting (HRB Blog Network, January 14, 2013), author Deborah Mills-Scofield argues that the historical distinction between “social” and “non-social” businesses, and “purpose” vs. “profit” is artificial and antiquated.  Ms. Mills-Scofield cites several examples of companies that “profitably and purposefully balance doing well and doing good,” including Patagonia, Virgin and Cemex. Right on, Ms. Mills-Scofield!  And I would add to your list the terms “nonprofit” and “for-profit.”


Jan

21

2013

Twelve Elements of a Nonprofit’s Business Model

 A posting by James V. Toscano What are the various elements of a nonprofit’s business model? Most nonprofit executives answer “What business model?” Nonprofits don’t often think about business models. If we probe, we hear about Mission and Vision, perhaps the elevator speech. And, maybe, that’s one of the problems. Yet, we really need to start thinking about business models, especially if we wish to have the resources we need now to do our jobs well. We need to stretch, to find alternative revenue sources to join our diminishing traditional sources, to become more efficient, more “business-like.” Analysis of our…

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Jan

14

2013
To B or Not to B?

To B or Not to B?

 A Post by James V. Toscano The B Corp is emerging as an innovative way to use the power of a business model and the market to help impact the major societal problems of our times. The B Corp may emerge as an alternative or a complement to much of the work being done now by the nonprofit sector. Time will tell how they are perceived, although both options are obviously important and both should prosper. There is room for both and more. The idea is certainly welcome. For years, I have been railing about our sector calling itself  “non-profit,” one of…

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Jan

02

2013
A Recap – The Most Popular Posts in 2012

A Recap – The Most Popular Posts in 2012

Happy New Year! In looking back over last year, Jim and I were interested to see what resonated with our readers the most and are eager to hear what topics our readers wished we’d written about. (The comment box below is a great place to let us know what you’d like to read more about, or if you’d prefer, send me an email at Dania(@)ToscanoAdvisors.com.) These are the top five most read posts of last year. 1.  5 Myths about Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations 2. Why Does a Nonprofit Board Need Young People? 3. The Ten “Must” Agreements Between…

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Dec

07

2012
How Many Board Members Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

How Many Board Members Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

  A Posting from James V. Toscano How many times have we read, heard or said something like, “Board Members Must Not Only Give, They Must Get” or one of the variations of that message? I have read it, heard it, said it, taught it, written it a few thousand times in my fifty years in nonprofit management and consulting. And who listens? Apparently not a lot of board members In the latest BoardSource survey of nonprofit CEO’s on their boards’ performance (see the distribution in the map below), a consistent pattern emerges. Sampling both BoardSource members and nonmembers on a range…

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Nov

26

2012

Is the Honeymoon Over?

 A post by James V. Toscano Is the long honeymoon between government and nonprofits winding up on a particularly sour note? In my last posting, Plus Ca Change, the role of nonprofits in advocacy with government was discussed. Here the effects of changes  in public policy and efforts of nonprofits to find new sources of revenue are discussed. A recent Christian Science Monitor story. “A Political Chill for Charities?” details a number of moves made by cash-strapped government units on the  governance, operations and, especially, finances of nonprofits. Journalist Jeremiah Hall writes: “Perhaps the greatest threat is to a charity’s finances. Nonprofits…

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