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For organizational resilience and impact, focus on business model not overhead

October 21, 2020

It has always been a source of angst for ambitious not-for-profit organizations: how to ensure they can sustain and scale up impact while also building resilience to weather financial or other shocks. Often the focus is on increasing core or... Read more

5 Questions for Walter Katz, Vice President, Criminal Justice, Arnold Ventures

October 19, 2020

After beginning his career as a public defender in Southern California, Walter Katz spent the next three decades in public service, serving as an independent police auditor in San Jose, California, and as deputy inspector general for the County of... Read more

The role of offline and online behavior in advancing social causes

October 15, 2020

In May, when George Floyd, a Black man, was killed while in police custody, igniting protests across the country decrying police brutality against African Americans, the research team I lead at Cause and Social Influence was already tracking the response... Read more

Evaluation has a key role to play in racial equity work

October 13, 2020

As a woman of color, evaluator, and nonprofit leader for more than ten years, I am encouraged to see a growing number of foundations and nonprofits embrace efforts to advance racial equity and justice. At this uncertain moment in our... Read more

America is ready for a more equitable economy and society

October 12, 2020

The social ferment we're seeing in Louisville, Kenosha, and many other parts of America is fueled by more than a legitimate revulsion over systemic racism as manifested in discriminatory policing. It has broader underpinnings, led by widespread frustrations with economic... Read more

Why don’t nonprofits have the tech they need?

October 08, 2020

The world had big challenges — even before a global pandemic arrived. According to the Social Progress Index, we were on pace to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 no sooner than 2094, more than sixty years too... Read more

A conversation with Mari Kuraishi, President, Jessie Ball duPont Fund

October 06, 2020

Mari Kuraishi came to prominence as president of GlobalGiving, which she co-founded with her husband, Dennis Whittle, in 2002. During her time there, the crowdfunding platform facilitated over $514 million in giving by more than a million donors to twenty-seven... Read more

What’s at stake with Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: health care and civil rights

October 05, 2020

Senate Republicans' rush to fill the vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat before the election is a terrible blow to Black people's civil rights and the health of our communities. In her twenty-seven years on the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader... Read more

Why playgrounds matter in rural America: insights for rural donors and funders

October 01, 2020

The neighborhood playground is a critical asset that helps make communities resilient places where kids can thrive and residents can connect. But in many rural communities across the country, factors like physical distance, countywide recreation policies, and the lack of... Read more

How to achieve brand consistency for your nonprofit

September 29, 2020

You've got a dynamite logo, a compelling tagline, and great messaging, but most of the time your staff goes about its business as if it none of that existed. What to do? Consistent application of a unified visual identity and... Read more

[Review] Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

September 23, 2020

Five years ago, antipoverty activist and nonprofit CEO Wes Moore found himself in Baltimore for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young man from the "wrong side" of the city who had made eye contact with a Baltimore police officer... Read more

Mexican president targets U.S. philanthropy, but it’s Mexican civil society that could take the hit

September 22, 2020

On Friday August 28, 2020, four days before I officially became the W.K. Kellogg Chair for Community Philanthropy at the Johnson Center, I knew what the topic of my inaugural blog for this platform would be. That day, Mexico’s president,... Read more

[Review] The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future

September 16, 2020

Published in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic and national protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd grabbed the world's attention, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells provides an utterly disturbing picture of the many ways in... Read more

Remote Onboarding: Set Up New Hires for Success

September 11, 2020

What was once unthinkable — hiring someone over Zoom without ever interviewing him or her in person – is, like so much else in our lives in 2020, becoming the norm. At Koya Leadership Partners, we noticed in April and May that many of our clients were uncomfortable with video-only interviewing processes but by June and July were plowing ahead, fully aware that there really wasn't any other option. Read more

To help communities survive crises, trust and invest in their leadership

September 08, 2020

Amid multiple ongoing crises, foundations are struggling with how best to support the nonprofit sector — in particular, community-based organizations working to address a raging pandemic, police violence, and systemic racism. Led by people with a wealth of lived experience,... Read more

5 ways to use your donor data for #GivingTuesday

September 04, 2020

#GivingTuesday is a global day of generosity that usually takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2019, $1.97 billion was raised on that Tuesday alone. And this year, nonprofits have an opportunity to build on that success and generate even... Read more

Leading and succeeding during a crisis

September 02, 2020

In the summer of 1999, Michigan State University launched the Campaign for MSU with the aim of raising $1.12 billion, the most audacious fundraising campaign in its history. A few months in, I was recruited to lead fundraising efforts for... Read more

What we can learn from the Sierra Club's moment of self-reckoning

August 31, 2020

The Sierra Club, that paragon of environmental activism, just did something unusual: it admitted it has a problem. In July, the nearly hundred-and-thirty-year-old organization released a statement in which it acknowledged the racial prejudices of its founder, environmental icon John... Read more

5 Questions for...Monique W. Morris, Executive Director, Grantmakers for Girls of Color

August 24, 2020

Launched in 2015, Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC) has since grown from an online platform into a grantmaking organization focused on addressing the structural inequities faced by girls and young women of color and centering their voices in philanthropy and movement building. Based on focus groups and surveys of girls and young women of color, the organization's 2019 report Start from the Ground Up: Increasing Support for Girls of Color identified nine types of structural barriers to the success ... Read more

Donors have an opportunity to build on last year's strong giving

August 17, 2020

According to Giving USA 2020: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2019, charitable giving increased 4.2 percent in current dollars, to $449.64 billion, in 2019, making it the second highest year for charitable giving (when adjusted for inflation).... Read more

5 Questions for...Rajasvini Bhansali, Executive Director, Solidaire Network

August 14, 2020

Launched in 2013, Solidaire Network is a collective of donors and foundations committed to ending the legacy of racism and anti-Blackness. Through programs such as Movement R&D, Rapid Response, and the newly launched Black Liberation Pooled Fund, network members have... Read more

International grantmaking during COVID: a focus on equitable access to education in Latin America

August 12, 2020

It’s safe to say that no person or organization is having the 2020 they expected. At the Tinker Foundation, the pandemic has caused us to shift course significantly as Latin America, the region central to our mission, struggles with a... Read more

Nonprofits: it’s time to redefine your corporate relationships

August 11, 2020

Nonprofits are looking at one of the best opportunities in decades to redefine their corporate partnerships for the betterment of their constituents. The public's expectations with respect to the role business should play in addressing social inequities has shifted dramatically... Read more

[Review] The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America

August 06, 2020

Despite the frequently repeated claim that higher education in the United States is a meritocractic system, college is not the great equalizer it’s touted to be. Indeed, long-standing inequities in the United States are often reflected in and perpetuated by... Read more

Report or vote? Young BIPOC journalists can (and should) do both

August 04, 2020

Years ago, when I was a reporter for a well-known daily, a colleague of mine noticed my "I Voted" sticker. "You vote?" she asked, adding that she had not voted since starting her journalism career. "Aren't you afraid that if... Read more

Washington mascot change is a reminder why you should learn about Native communities

July 31, 2020

Recently, the NFL team in Washington announced that it is retiring the R*dsk*ns name and logo. We are encouraged by the announcement and remain cautiously optimistic as we wait for the the franchise to select a new permanent name and... Read more

Women and the changing face of philanthropy

July 29, 2020

As the current global public health crisis galvanizes people to give, women are well positioned to accelerate changes in the philanthropic landscape that are already in motion. According to Giving USA's recently published Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2019,... Read more

Students still need emergency aid. Funders must step up to fill the gap.

July 24, 2020

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, colleges, nonprofits, government, and philanthropy moved quickly to disburse emergency aid to students, many of whom found themselves without reliable access to food, housing, and technology after their campuses were forced to close. And... Read more

Addressing domestic violence by preventing homelessness

July 22, 2020

Over the last four months, we've witnessed the dangerous coalescing of domestic violence and homelessness — both of which were problems before the pandemic but have become more urgent since the arrival of the virus. Elevated stress levels have led... Read more

What grantees need most — a partner

July 21, 2020

For better or worse; for richer, for poorer; through sickness and health. You may not associate this vow with your typical funder — unless you've had the good fortune to partner with New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI). Among the many... Read more

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."


    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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