Executive Issues

Are Small Businesses America's Most Overlooked—and Valuable—Charity Case?
January 11, 2017 at 8:00 am

In late 2016, the New Economy Initiative, which is the largest philanthropic funder of regional economic development in the country, announced that it would be distributing half a million dollars to 32 small businesses around Southeastern Michigan. Two winners received $100,000, while 30 others got $10,000 each. The awards came out of the group’s third…

The Keys to Building a Sustainable Nonprofit
January 10, 2017 at 8:00 am

It’s one thing to come up with a great idea that may serve a need within the community. It’s quite another to build a sustainable nonprofit organization that will grow and thrive well into the future. Local standouts in the nonprofit sector say a sound strategy, a dedicated staff, a healthy infrastructure, educated board members…

Shifting Philanthropy From Charity to Justice
January 9, 2017 at 8:29 am

Historical injustices—perpetuated by racial and cultural conflicts, and exacerbated by a lack of empathy—are at the heart of America’s growing economic, social, and political inequalities. Nowhere is this gap of authentic empathy and justice more pronounced than in the American philanthropic sector, where often well-intentioned people make decisions for communities they do not come from,…

MD Anderson Cancer Center to Cut 1,000 Jobs
January 9, 2017 at 8:00 am

MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston's second-largest employer, is eliminating about 1,000 jobs as the elite medical institution continues to wrestle with losses that exceeded $100 million last quarter. The center's leaders announced Thursday that 800 to 900 employees will be laid off and another 100 to 200 jobs will be reduced through retirement and attrition.…

What Does Resiliency Really Mean for Nonprofit Leaders and Their Organizations?
January 6, 2017 at 10:53 am

I declared that resilience was one of my themes for the new year. And, in writing a guest post about it over at the Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effective Blog, I shared the story of the boiling frog. If a frog is dropped into cold water in a sauce pan and brought to a boil slowly,…

The Bizarre Saga Playing Out at a Florida Bird Sanctuary
January 5, 2017 at 10:37 am

A seabird sanctuary founder is continuing to seek donations for his nonprofit, even after being fired and replaced by his son. Now the two generations are heading to court. Ralph Heath, 71, founded Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in 1972 as a not-for-profit corporation. Located in Indian Shores, Fla., Suncoast hit some turbulence recently when Heath’s children…

San Diego Nonprofit Goes Broke Celebrating Fleet Week
January 4, 2017 at 10:17 am

The nonprofit foundation that runs San Diego Fleet Week is out of money, and its board has been negotiating with creditors to settle its debts, according to a report. A San Diego Union-Tribune analysis published Saturday found the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation's deepest deficits are tied to its cornerstone event, the Coronado Speed Festival,…

How Social Service Nonprofits Are Getting Employees to Stick Around
January 3, 2017 at 10:45 am

Staffers at Lawrence Hall spend long days working with Chicago's most troubled young people. For their efforts, they're paid not much more than a supervisor at Home Depot. "It's about $14 an hour to do the most acute work in the United States," says Kara Teeple, CEO of Lawrence Hall, a social services agency with…

Even in the Nonprofit World, Average Americans Are Getting Squeezed Out by the 1 Percent
December 30, 2016 at 9:38 am

The majority of philanthropic giving has always primarily come from the rich, given that they have most of the money. As inequality has risen in the U.S. over the last several decades, the share of charitable giving coming from the wealthy has grown, too, worrying some people who fear the increasing power of these big…

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…