Executive Issues

Bragging About Program-to-Admin Ratios Is a Destructive Practice that Needs to Die
December 29, 2016 at 9:15 am

I know that many of us have sent out our year-end appeal letter, or are in the process of doing so. Some of us are pouring our blood, sweat and tears into these letters, sometimes literally, with the paper cuts and the occasional weeping over the hundreds or thousands of letters that need to be…

Nonprofit Communications Budgets: How Big Should Yours Be?
December 16, 2016 at 8:00 am

I know many of you are working on your 2017 budgets now, so rather than make you wait until mid-January to get the budget information from our 2017 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, I’m sharing it with you today. I hope you can use this data to make the case for increasing your budget! Here’s how…

5 (More) Small Tips for Big Nonprofit Growth
December 16, 2016 at 8:00 am

The vast majority of nonprofits may be small, but even the big guys had to start somewhere. And it’s no accident they got so big. Growth is attainable—especially if you know where to start (and you’re willing to get your hands dirty). Here are five more ideas for growing your nonprofit...

Will Your Next Development Director Be Your First? Or Your 10th?
December 13, 2016 at 11:41 am

Small shop fundraising is a tough job, and its difficulty is often underestimated or ignored entirely. Is it really any wonder that the turnover rate is highest among small shop fundraisers? Far too often, an organization’s board and executive director are focused on the right here and right now. But a smart development director is focused on the long-term sustainability of the organization...

Wanted: More Curiosity
December 9, 2016 at 9:52 am

Curiosity has arguably been the catalyst for virtually every significant discovery and innovation known to man. Curiosity led one man to a new world. It was the motivation behind another man’s decision to fly a kite during an electrical storm. And it was a curiosity for typefaces that resulted in one of the most innovative…

5 Fundraising Trends That Aren't Going Away in 2017
December 8, 2016 at 8:00 am

I’ve never been strong at prediction—I suppose just keeping up with what’s happening today consumes all my brain capacity. But recently, I’ve been thinking about five things that are impacting fundraising in specific and nonprofits in general. These aren’t going to go away no matter what happens in Washington, D.C., so I challenge you to think about them as you plan how you will make 2017 your best fundraising year possible...

New York Leads All States in Number of Nonprofit Jobs
December 8, 2016 at 8:00 am

New York ranked No. 1 in nonprofit jobs and organizations in 2012, and the sector withstood the recession in 2009, a report Wednesday said. In 2012, the most recent data reviewed, 18 percent of all private-sector employment in the state was from the nonprofit sector, the report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. That year,…

Is Nonprofit Journalism the Answer to the Media's Woes?
December 7, 2016 at 9:39 am

With public distrust in the news media at an all-time high and a president-elect who heavily criticizes flagship media outlets as biased and corrupt, it may seem like dark days are ahead for American journalism. But even as journalism looks ahead to regain the public’s trust, there's some hope. Many outlets, including The Washington Post,…

10 Interview Questions for Hiring an Executive Director
December 5, 2016 at 11:05 am

Over the past year, I’ve coached several gifted individuals who interviewed for executive director positions, and I can tell you that many nonprofits handle these interviews poorly. They don’t ask the right questions or they don’t really know what they’re looking for. Frankly, it’s not surprising. Usually, board members conduct executive director interviews, but most…

5 Small Tips for Big Nonprofit Growth
November 22, 2016 at 9:31 am

The vast majority of nonprofits may be small, but even the big guys had to start somewhere. And it’s no accident they got so big. Growth is attainable—especially if you know where to start (and you’re willing to get your hands dirty). Here are five ideas for growing your nonprofit...