Category Archives: Nonprofit Sector


Oct

23

2017
The Big Shift in Fundraising

The Big Shift in Fundraising

Note: This guest post is from Andy Robinson, a terrific fundraising trainer and consultant who works across North America. On November 15, Andy will be in St. Paul, leading a workshop for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits: Mobilize Your Board to Raise More Money. I hope you can join him!  -Dania Like many fundraisers, I always anticipate the annual release of Giving USA, which offers a thorough overview of trends in U.S. philanthropy. I’ve also been reading Ruth McCambridge of the Nonprofit Quarterly, whose cogent analysis of the Giving USA data is really helpful – and inspired this post. Thanks,…

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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

30

2016
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New Twists on Philanthropy

Last week saw an interesting development in the world of philanthropy, usually defined as giving money to good causes. Often there is also an assumption that it’s done as a donation to a charity, with a tax deduction for the gift. Now we have two examples where that isn’t the case, or almost not the case. Variants on the impact investments of foundations and greater flexibility allowed private business, these new efforts have a much more defined focus. When the examples are provided by George Soros and Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, other philanthropists take notice. George Soros’ Focus on…

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Sep

08

2016
Let’s Prove Howard Buffet Wrong!

Let’s Prove Howard Buffet Wrong!

Here’s what Buffet believes: “Charity doesn’t solve a long-term problem. It addresses an immediate situation, but it won’t solve anything.” He still gives money philanthropically, but prefers to be part of the movement to achieve impact through entrepreneurial solutions. Yet, we in the nonprofit world, certainly up to our eyeballs in immediate situations, also know a considerable amount about longer-term solutions. Take homelessness. Much of the resources that are available are spent in the day-to-day task of sheltering and feeding those experiencing homelessness. Yes, true, although we do know that first obtaining secure, long-term, safe housing in an environment where…

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Dec

15

2015
2016, silhouette of a woman standing in the sun, blue sky

2016: Ten Nonprofit Trends

Change is accelerating in the non-profit sector to a degree that the following trends will become highly visible and important in the new year: Sector Shift: Very slowly, over 50 years ago, the government sector began shifting social services to the nonprofit sector, resulting in much of the responsibility for this area being privatized. Certainly, government is still funding significant portions, along with the added foundation, corporate and individual donors. Now, with social impact investing, for-profit companies, including B-Corps and others, fueled by foundation corpus investments, social impact bonds, mutual funds and individual donor/investors, are taking on low-hanging fruits to produce…

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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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Apr

07

2015
A New Collaboration?

A New Collaboration?

Foundations must spend at least 5% of their corpus each year, under a federal requirement governing their activities. Imagine what could be done if all of their corpus–spending and investments-were directed at their missions? What about their staffs—those substantive and technical experts they hire—could they work cooperatively as truly equal partners with nonprofits and for-profits in the formulation of the very projects they all want to see succeed? For many years, a handful of foundations have been making program-related low interest loans to further their mission; others have been managing investments away from certain areas, e.g. cigarettes, fossil fuels, gambling…

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Mar

23

2015
Organizing for Success

Organizing for Success

As consultants, we are engaged for many reasons: an organization has a great mission, but needs help to operationalize its program; or an organization has a need for funding, but doesn’t have a plan; or the Executive Director micromanages and needs help in sorting out what she/he should actually be doing. One thing every organization needs is time. Time to plan. Time to think about the how’s, who’s and when’s. Planning is key to operational success. Yet, we hear clients tell us they feel reactive or they are constantly trying to get ahead of the work, ahead of funding deadlines, ahead…

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Dec

29

2014

2015: Ten Nonprofit Trends

The new year will be a better year all around for the nonprofit sector, part of the post 2008-09 recovery. Many variables are in play, as always, with the following ten standing out for special attention in 2015. 1. The Growing Disparity within the Nonprofit Sector Similar to the growing disparity in family household incomes, there is and will continue to be a growing gap between the well-established large nonprofits and the smaller less stable mass. In terms of percentage growth, in terms of income growth, in terms of program growth, the larger organizations are thriving while the others are, in…

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