Category Archives: Nonprofit Sector


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

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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Oct

02

2013

The Qualities Needed in a Nonprofit Organization’s CEO

 A Posting by  James V. Toscano & Dania Toscano Miwa The latest surveys report between 20-40% of CEO/EDs of nonprofit organizations are thinking of leaving in the next few years. Is this a disaster or a remarkable opportunity to improve leadership? In addition to management degrees, e.g. MBAs, MNPM, MPAs, and good track records, what else should we be looking for in the next generation of nonprofit CEOs? Here is our collective baker’s dozen on those qualities that will help bring nonprofits to a new, more productive, innovative position. Some who are next in line at these organizations may have many…

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Sep

26

2013

Philanthropy as Corporate R&D

A Posting by James V. Toscano In the current issue of McKinsey’s Voices on Society, Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup Company and current chair of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, writes that corporate philanthropy, in addition to helping individuals, “can help reduce business risk, open up new markets, engage employees, build the brand, reduce costs, advance technology and deliver competitive returns.” To Conant, philanthropy is a “discovery phase in investment in a social issue….Much like R&D, philanthropy allows companies to make thoughtful investments in sectors where the return profile is typically more speculative.” In his thinking, philanthropy is…

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Aug

28

2013

The Qualities Needed in a Nonprofit Organization’s Board Chair

A Post from James V. Toscano and Dania Toscano Miwa This post dedicated to Amir Gharbi. With a million nonprofits now extant in the United States, we could assume that there may be almost a million unique individuals in the role of chair of the Board of Directors or Trustees. Given the diversity of the nonprofit sector, are there common qualities that all of these groups should be searching for in the individual who will serve as chief volunteer? Clearly, there are. Doing a Google search alone will produce hundreds of descriptions of what a chair does, should be and…

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Jul

29

2013

The Charitable-Industrial Complex

  A Post from James V. Toscano In a provocative op-ed piece in Saturday’s New York Times. Peter Buffett, Warren Buffett’s son, takes on the present system of philanthropy with deep insight, passion and some outrage. Buffett focuses on the growing inequality in the society, with the consequent increase in philanthropy by the rich, and the corresponding rise in the number of nonprofits to help “solve” the problems created by the inequality. He points out: “As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to “give…

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