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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Feb

02

2015
A New, Old Fear

A New, Old Fear

Since the great recession of 2007-2010, gifts to charities have changed in subtle ways. Not only was there a temporary reduction in overall totals, but the mix has also changed. The interior and shape of the gift pyramid have changed. Donor behavior has changed. There are many bright spots as we emerge from the crisis. We hear many accounts of increases in digital giving, often in small amounts, although in larger numbers. Certain “days” resound with increasing totals, such as the Give to the Max and Giving Tuesday. Crowd-funding may be a new avenue, or a temporary fad. We also…

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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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Jul

14

2014
Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

Everyone these days appears to be using the concept of a “Culture of Philanthropy” to get the point across that nonprofit organizations rely on resources and relationships for their sustenance, if not their existence. When googled, the concept receives 461,000 entries, seemingly mostly from consulting firms seeking business. The phrase is a great summary of what nonprofits are all about, especially in a procedural way. Substantively, we research, we teach, we feed, we exhibit, we heal, we preach, we tinker—we do many things benefitting civil society. Procedurally, we’re being told that our culture—our beliefs, opinions, values, orientations, relationships, and interactions—needs…

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Jan

30

2014
Ten Essential Nonprofit Job Interview Question Areas

Ten Essential Nonprofit Job Interview Question Areas

A Post from James V. Toscano Many questions that should be answered by finalists for a nonprofit position are never even asked.  Given time, number of interviewers and the variation in job descriptions, there are still ten essential  areas that should be woven into any interview session. These basic areas, or verbal variations thereof, should be covered with each candidate interviewed for consistency and comparison. Verbal answers should be noted, along with modes of expression and body language. All should contribute to the overall assessment of the candidates, along with such other factors as resume, experiences, references, compensation, potential and…

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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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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

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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