A Venture Philanthropy Mindset for Nonprofit Leaders

I had the privilege of being one to the speakers at the 2012 Willamette Valley Development Officers 4th annual Regional conference and spoke on the topic of Venture Philanthropy from the perspective of nonprofit leaders. The session that I facilitated grappled trend in philanthropy and venture philanthropy thinking from a “nonprofitcentic” point of view. I have embedded the slides…

A Strategic Response to Threats in the Nonprofit Sector

A Strategic Response to Threats in the Nonprofit Sector

I was cleaning my office the other day and came across a hand-sketched overhead transparency that I used as the basis for a keynote address to a conference of youth mentoring nonprofits that I delivered some seven or eight years ago. The conference theme was nonprofit sustainability and in the presentation I referenced five “Environmental Threats” facing nonprofit organizations. The list of threats predated the last economic earthquake (and ongoing aftershocks) and it scary to see how relevant and magnified these threats continue to be…

Leading with Strategy – Even in a Crisis

At the heart of the work that I do with nonprofits, philanthropy and government is to help organizations find the connection between facilitation and process.  Most often that connection is at the point of strategy.  Strategy is the critical element for, among other things: a) strengthening the core of social sector agencies, b) thinking creatively […]

Fostering a Nonprofit Culture of Courage

When working with nonprofit agencies on strategy, I often find myself making four principle statements — Be authentic, be intentional, be large, and be radical.  I find myself repeating these principles because in this continuing anemic economic climate, many nonprofits are still operating out of a conservative posture.  Strategy is often focused on preserving core […]

The Critical Need for Program Accountability & Evaluation

The Critical Need for Program Accountability & Evaluation

Program accountability and evaluation demonstrates a nonprofit’s commitment to excellence. As nonprofit agencies continue to look for ways to innovate in a resource-constrained environment, building and implementing strong strategic plans, resource plans, and evaluation plans will position agencies well to effectively meet compelling community needs.

Facilitating Beyond the Crisis in Thinking

Typically, my posts try to capture original thoughts related to facilitation and process.  This week, however, has been one of rich discovery and learning from the words of others.  In this post, I am lacing together the knowledge of others in a synthesis of ideas to reinforce my practice foundation of process design and facilitation.  […]

Advancing Capacity of Organizations: A Strategic Conversation

In one of the early posts to this blog I offered a taxonomy to help nonprofits think about organizational capacity, resource development planning and fundraising.  In that post I described capacity development as the practice of developing and maintaining staff skills, organizational systems and intellectual and physical resources required to meet your organizational mission. In […]

Socially Responsible Growth & Strategy

In the last 15-20 years the concept of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) has grown from an abstract investment concept to a mainstream practice.  According to the Social Investment Forum’s 2007 report on SRI Trends, over $2.71 trillion in total assets are being managed using one or more of the three core SRI investing strategies. This […]