Executive Issues

What Happens When a Nonprofit Leader Steps Down?
November 18, 2016 at 9:24 am

Thirty years is a long time to devote to any pursuit, and Karen Cragnolin, the oft-honored founding mother of RiverLink, can attest to that. During that time, she says she held every job in the organization, and was planning to finally move on this year when, during surgery, she suffered an aneurysm that robbed her…

Know What You Don't Know: 7 Things Problem-Finders Do
November 18, 2016 at 9:10 am

Because many nonprofit leaders do not take the time to thoroughly examine their organizations' management, small mistakes happen often—and large disasters are just around the corner. Here are some skills and techniques to help us recognize problems before they occur, and build a culture to address them...

What Does the Election Mean for Nonprofits?
November 9, 2016 at 11:04 am

No matter your politics, one thing is certain: The role of philanthropy in education, social services, health care and nonprofits across the board will be greater than ever. It will take years to see where government is headed and if that direction is effective. And in the meantime there remains significant challenges and issues to address...

Motivate Nonprofit Board Members to Play 'Follow the Leader'
November 9, 2016 at 8:00 am

Human beings are, first and foremost, social creatures. We use the brains of others to think for us, and as storage space for our knowledge about the world. For folks considering whether and how to get involved with any nonprofit, what leadership is saying and doing will have a big impact. That's why you need to motivate nonprofit board members to be influencers...

The Right Way to Run Meetings
November 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

I asked a few readers to tell me why they hated meetings. Here’s one: I have a quarterly meeting with a funder. I travel 250 miles to get there. When I get there, it’s clear that no one has read the report I spent hours putting together. I essentially recite the report and then travel…

Fake Check Scam Returns to Target Charities
November 4, 2016 at 9:20 am

Back in February, BBB Wise Giving Alliance alerted the charitable community about a fake-check overpayment scam. It appears this scam is continuing using different names and affiliations, but the same scenario. Charities receive an email from an individual expressing interest in making a five-figure donation, and the individual then sends the gift using overnight mail.…

The Nonprofit CEO: Collaborator-in-Chief
November 3, 2016 at 10:49 am

Our sector seeks to achieve impact at scale on some of society’s greatest and most persistent challenges. For today’s nonprofit CEO, the key to success is collaboration—striking a balance between making decisions from the middle and leading from the front. Nonprofit CEOs who do this effectively see their organizations accomplish their missions. We need more CEOs like that...

The Wealth Gap in Philanthropy
November 2, 2016 at 10:16 am

As wealth has become much more concentrated among the rich, it appears that the kinds of charities wealthier people prefer are seeing disproportional growth. A report this summer from Indiana University found that, last year, donations to education and arts-and-culture causes grew more than for nearly any other category, with a researcher noting that those…

The Key to Grabbing and Keeping a Donor’s Attention
November 1, 2016 at 10:20 am

When was the last time you were confused? Yeah, I know. For some of us, it’s a daily occurrence. And it’s not fun. I don’t know anyone who likes being bewildered. I want you to really get this: Imagine you’re listening to someone who is trying to explain something. You’re just not following it and,…

5 Myths That Perpetuate Nonprofit Burnout
November 1, 2016 at 10:06 am

I have worked in nonprofits for 15 years—longer if you count volunteering throughout high school and college. I’ve been powering through burnout with full awareness for my entire career. But this year, at age 35, something snapped. I literally found I couldn’t work anymore—physical symptoms, compounded by stress, forced me to take medical leave. Reading…