23 posts categorized "author-Laura Cronin"

Want Results? Funders Should Pay to Ask the Right Questions

August 07, 2013

(Laura Cronin is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic. In her previous post, she spoke with Sharna Goldseker, managing director at consulting firm 21/64, about the priorities of millennial donors and what makes them different from their parents and grandparents.)

Performance_measurementGrantmakers have always been able to manage their inputs. Each year private foundations provide a list of their grants to eligible 501(c)(3) organization via the Form 990-PF. Foundation boards, fundraisers, and anyone with access to the Foundation Center's site or a GuideStar account can quickly access this baseline data.

But just as the charges on your monthly credit card statement are only one indicator of your personal financial health, foundations don't learn a whole lot about their overall effectiveness by only tracking the size of their grants budget. After years of debate about the need for better evaluation -- on both the funder and grantee sides -- measuring outcomes and gauging the results of foundation grantmaking is still a work in progress, especially for small and midsize foundations and their nonprofit partners.

While reporting to funders has always been a requirement for smaller nonprofits, the data collection and evaluation they tend to do for funders is not always integrated into other organizational planning efforts. Indeed, most small to midsize nonprofits cannot afford to hire a full-time evaluation officer, and in a time of constrained budgets, few executive directors are willing to prioritize data collection over service delivery. And even when organizations are willing to devote resources to performance measurement, there often is a disconnect between the questions frontline managers are interested in asking and the kind of data foundation program officers and executives are looking for to prove the effectiveness of a given program to their boards.

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How Will Millennials Give? 5 Questions for Sharna Goldseker, Managing Director, 21/64

July 23, 2013

Earlier this year, Sharna Goldseker and her colleagues at 21/64, a nonprofit consulting practice, in partnership with the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, released the findings of a study of high-capacity donors between the ages of 21 and 40. In publishing those findings, Goldseker and her colleagues hoped to reflect back to these Millennials donors what they were saying about themselves so as to help them become more proactive as both donors and agents of social change, encourage and inform conversations about philanthropy among multiple generations, and help those who seek to engage and assist these next-gen donors to do so in more effective and productive ways.

Laura Cronin, a regular contributor to PhilanTopic, recently spoke with Goldseker about the priorities of this new generation of philanthropists and what makes them different from their parents and grandparents.

Headshot_sharna_goldsekerLaura Cronin: Your consulting firm, 21/64, specializes in next-gen and multi-generation philanthropy. How did you get involved with generational issues in philanthropy, and how does a generational approach help both experienced and younger donors be more effective?

Sharna Goldseker: In my previous job as a program officer at a multi-family foundation office, I discovered that the quality of the grantmaking conversation often relied on family members' ability to communicate with one another. So, in addition to researching and assembling dockets, I began to work with the executive director to prepare trustees in advance of board meetings. Typically, she would meet with the older trustees, and I would meet one-on-one with younger family members. It was through that process that I first learned the value of understanding an issue from the vantage point of everyone around a board table -- even next-generation family members who might not be expected to have a voice in the decision-making process.

When we established 21/64, we held core this idea that every family member involved in a family foundation should be empowered to bring his or her own values, experiences, skills, and voice to the table. And since then, we have found that when everyone is involved in the deliberative process and listening well, the whole is more effective than the sum of its parts. One of our goals is to help families establish that kind of healthy communications process and put systems in place that will keep it going long after our involvement with the family has ended.

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Nonprofits and Disaster Response: 5 Questions for Gary Bagley, Executive Director, New York Cares

November 26, 2012

(Laura Cronin is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic. Recently, she asked Gary Bagley, executive director of New York Cares, the city's largest volunteer organization, about the organization's work with local nonprofit partners in response to Superstorm Sandy.)

Gary_bagley-headshotLaura Cronin: City workers -- first responders, firefighters, transit workers, sanitation workers -- labored around the clock to restore critical systems in New York City that were overwhelmed by the storm surge created by Sandy. Alongside them were thousands of residents who provided volunteer support to victims of the storm and chipped in to clean up affected areas. Creative responses such as Occupy Sandy's  online registry and local groups like the Red Hook Initiative were part of a rapid, largely decentralized nonprofit response to the storm. Your organization has a long history of rallying volunteers and partnering with the leading nonprofits in the city, in ordinary times as well as in times of crisis. What did your Sandy response look like?

Gary Bagley: New York Cares has a Memorandum of Understanding with the New York City Office of Emergency Management through which we are responsible for mobilizing volunteers in response to disasters. So beyond the eight thousand volunteers who signed up to help, we had three full-time staff members stationed at the OEM as well as other staff fielding calls and e-mails from organizations and individuals that needed assistance. But because many nonprofits, schools, and faith-based organizations were as hard hit as residents of low-lying areas, we had to go beyond our traditional collaborative program delivery model. In the hardest-hit locations in Staten Island and Queens, we had teams of New York Cares staffers assessing -- on foot and by car -- local needs. At the same time, our volunteers canvassed neighborhoods, distributed food, and started on the debris cleanup. Now, a few weeks into the recovery, we see that much of the work will be about providing social services, from reading programs at libraries to adult education programs, in the most heavily impacted areas. Helping neighborhoods thrive again will be about much more than cleanup efforts.

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Emoti-Con!: Digital Learning Comes to NYC

July 12, 2012

(Laura Cronin is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic. In her last post, she chatted with Kimberleigh Smith, board president of the New York City-based Paul Rapoport Foundation, about the foundation's decision to spend down by 2015 and what the foundation is doing to help grantees navigate that transition.)

Elearning_imageWhat if a bunch of nonprofits and funders found ways to work together on new projects that furthered their respective missions while also creating outcomes that were larger than the sum of the new parts?

Productive collaboration among organizations is one of those textbook goals that funders love to promote. Many an executive director has heard from a major funder about some like-minded nonprofit she should find a way to work with, sometime in the future. But too often, such suggestions lead to circular conversations, mission drift, and/or wheel spinning.

Lately, however, several New York City nonprofits have discovered that young people's interests are a key that can unlock the secrets of successful, mission-driven collaboration.

Hive Learning Network NYC is a coalition of youth-serving organizations that encourages young people to explore their interests and further their learning through the use of digital media and technology. Fueled by grants from the New York Community Trust, MacArthur Foundation, and others, students from all five boroughs participate in a lively system of out-of-school time (OST) programs that use digital tools to help them dig deeper into subjects they're passionate about, from science and art to creative writing and filmmaking.

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5 Questions for…Kimberleigh J. Smith, Board President, Paul Rapoport Foundation

June 12, 2012

(Laura Cronin is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic. Recently, she chatted with Kimberleigh Smith, board president of the New York City-based Paul Rapoport Foundation, about the foundation's decision to spend down by 2015, what the foundation is doing to help grantees navigate that transition, and Smith's advice for other foundations that may be considering spend-down scenarios. In her last post, Cronin wrote about the Disability Funders Network's efforts to make access to arts and culture a central focus of their education and convening efforts.)

Kim_Smith_headshotPhilanthropy News Digest: As a founder of two of the most important nonprofit organizations in New York City -- the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center and Gay Men's Health Crisis -- and as the donor who created one of the first foundations to make grants in support of LGTB communities of color, Paul Rapoport left not only a financial legacy but a substantial legacy as an innovator in the nonprofit sector. How has that legacy shaped the Rapoport Foundation's giving program?

Kimberleigh J. Smith: Unfortunately, I never knew Paul, but from what I've been told, he was sharply intelligent, funny, and a generous human being who sought to give to and support communities that were marginalized, including the LGTB and queer community. That has always been at the core of PRF's giving and it has not changed in the years since Paul's passing. But the foundation has adapted with the times, and today we pursue this vision in a slightly different way in order to continue to reach those least likely to access resources from mainstream sources -- those being communities of color, young people, seniors, and gender-non-conforming folks. This shift in the foundation's mission is, in and of itself, a reflection of Paul's original innovative spirit. Furthermore, we don't just confine this legacy to our giving. Our board of directors, for example, reflects the racial diversity we promote in our giving. I wonder whether Paul could have ever imagined that one day his foundation’s board would be led by an African-American lesbian! We're very proud of how Paul's life as a gay, Jewish, attorney, lover of culture and the arts, and philanthropist has impacted our foundation and its giving today.

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The Art of Inclusion: New York Funders Mobilize to Make the Arts More Accessible

April 24, 2012

(Laura Cronin is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic. In her last post, she spoke with Douglas Bauer, executive director of the New York City-based Clark Foundation, about the foundation's efforts to build the capacity of its grantees.)

Disability_symbolsIf a person with a serious vision, hearing, or mobility impairment came to your office on business or joined your organization as an employee, you would do whatever you needed to to accommodate that person so he or she could do his or her job. Indeed, most people would be embarrassed if their employer failed to create an accessible work space for such a guest, while failure to do so for a new employee is illegal.

But what if everyone at the office gathered around the virtual water cooler on a Monday morning to share their excitement about the latest blockbuster exhibition at the local art museum or the holiday performance at the local concert hall? Would your colleague have been there on Saturday along with everyone else? Would the museum or concert hall have been equipped to accommodate a patron who is blind or hearing impaired? Would any of their foundation grant dollars have been dedicated to figuring out how to make it possible for that potential audience member to enjoy its offerings?

Gains won as a result of the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are now so familiar -- curb cuts, kneeling buses, signs in Braille -- that it is tempting to assume that issues of concern to people with disabilities have been embraced by the field of philanthropy. Unfortunately, the data tell a different story. According to the Disability Funders Network (DFN), of the $45.7 billion in foundation grants awarded in 2011, only $559 million -- less than three percent -- was directed to disability issues.

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Five Qs for...Douglas Bauer, Executive Director, Clark Foundation

March 26, 2012

(Founded in 1931, the Clark Foundation focuses on helping individuals lead independent and productive lives and supports nonprofits and programs in New York City and Cooperstown, New York. In addition to his duties running the foundation, Doug Bauer is board chair of Philanthropy New York and an adjunct faculty member in the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School and the Urban Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Laura Cronin is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic.)

DBauer_headshotPhilanthropy News Digest: How tough is it out there for nonprofits? And what can the foundation community do to inform itself about the financial challenges confronting the sector?

Doug Bauer: We're entering what is now the fourth year of reduced funding for nonprofits, with continued cuts at the federal, state and city levels, and it is taking a toll on the sector, especially in human services and the arts. If there's any good news, it's that the state of New York is looking at a $2 billion gap in the coming fiscal year, not the $10 billion previously forecast. That's a better situation to be in than predicted, but it still means cuts are coming.

Another concern is that some of the performance-based contracts that are being issued, like the ones New York State has put in place, mean that, for example, a senior daycare program that was expecting $1 million for a certain number of slots will not be getting all its funding. They might get 93 percent and then the last 7 percent is a "private match." What we are seeing, in other words, is the emergence of an expectation -- implicit or explicit -- that private philanthropy is going to start filling some of these gaps. We all know, however, that the resources available to private philanthropy pale in comparison to what the public sector is able to do and it's not philanthropy's job to try to fill these gaps.

Also, If you are working on issues related to poverty, especially in the human services area, some of the change around contracts with private matches and no overhead are going to have a major impact on the financial condition of nonprofits that are working to address those issues. The financial condition of a good chunk of the nonprofits we work with continues to deteriorate. And, by the way, these are not low-performing nonprofits. All of which is to say, funders really have to pay attention.

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One Year Later: Rebuilding After the Great Tōhoku Earthquake

March 09, 2012

James Gannon is executive director of the Japan Center for International Exchange/USA, which works to strengthen U.S.-Japan cooperation across a range of fields. Recently, Laura Cronin, a regular contributor to PhilanTopic, spoke with Gannon about the progress of rebuilding efforts in the quake- and tsunami-affected Tohoku region of the country.

James_gannon.jpgPhilanthropy News Digest: The earthquake and tsunami affected a four hundred-mile region along the northeastern coast of Japan -- an area roughly comparable to the BosWash corridor in the United States. What are conditions in the region like now, a year later? And how have people in the affected region, and the country at large, been changed as a result of the disaster?

James Gannon: Even now, some communities are still disposing of rubble, while things appear almost normal in other, less-hard-hit areas. Compared to the scenes of utter devastation we saw a year ago, there has been extraordinary progress. But if you spend any time in these communities, you realize the depth of the wounds. More than three hundred thousand people are still without homes, and that is weakening traditional community ties. Many of the jobs in the fishing industry, agriculture, and small business have not returned, resulting in high unemployment and all the social problems it brings.

Meanwhile, women who lost family members, men who are ashamed that they can no longer support their families, and children traumatized by the disaster are grappling with mental health issues. The stoicism of the people in the Tōhoku region is stunning -- even by Japanese standards -- but most acknowledge that the road to recovery will be long.

On the other hand, there has been a resurgence of ambition and a sense of mission in the country. Seeing what's at stake, many people -- especially young people -- are losing patience with the status quo, and that is bound to affect politics, business, and society in general. In particular, many young people are searching for ways to contribute to the recovery by seeking out careers in the nonprofit sector, partly because Japanese nonprofits have played such a visible and indispensable role in helping the nation recover from the disaster. It is not entirely accurate, but some people cite the 1995 Kobe earthquake, when thousands of volunteers streamed into the city to help, as the birth of civil society in Japan. To extend the analogy, the 3/11 disaster is likely to be seen by historians as the coming of age of Japanese civil society.

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Geena Davis Institute Asks: Where Are the Good Roles for Women?

February 24, 2012

(Laura Cronin is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic. In her last post, she wrote about the Wikimedia Foundation's first Public Policy Initiative.)

Seejane_250As we get ready for the Academy Awards on Sunday, it's interesting to think about the relationship of pop and celebrity culture to social change.

The average foundation manager working to move the needle for a cause can only envy the ways in which celebrities are able to generate attention for their favorite issues. A short speech from a prominent figure on the red carpet is a surefire route to getting your cause trending on Twitter.

This year's Academy Award-nominated films are packed with issues that foundation and nonprofit people are concerned about: inequality, children and families, race, gender, sexual violence, politics. And I'm not just talking about documentaries.

Unfortunately, good roles for strong women are rare. That depressing fact turned Oscar (The Accidental Tourist) and Golden Globe (Commander in Chief) winner Geena Davis into an advocate. Watching television and movies with her young daughter a decade ago, Davis became concerned about the representation of women in most children's media. In 2004, the actress founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media and commissioned a study by Dr. Stacy Smith of the USC Annenberg School of Communications & Journalism which found a huge, 3:1 gender gap in roles for men and women. The study also concluded that even G-rated films transmit negative messages about girls -- messages which not only affect children in the U.S. but, given Hollywood's global reach, are exported to the rest of the world. The institute raises money for research, advocates for change, and develops educational materials that schools can use to help children think beyond stereotypes, including a recently piloted video learning series about gender and the workplace called Guess Who?

It also believes that pop culture is not just a mirror of our world but a driver of attitudes, and that positive gender portrayals break down stereotypes and broaden children's aspirations. According to the institute's executive director, Madeline Di Nonno, what children see on a screen truly matters. It shapes their emotional and social development and their beliefs. The more they see female characters who are hyper-sexualized, sidelined, or not present at all, the more boys and girls will think that's the way it's supposed to be.

So whether you stay up all night with Billy Crystal to see who gets to bring home a golden statue or turn in early, the Geena Davis Institute hopes you'll spend a few minutes thinking about how women and girls are portrayed on the silver screen.

-- Laura Cronin

Wikipedia Goes to College

November 29, 2011

(Laura Cronin is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic. In her last post, she chatted with Karen Brown, vice president of programs at the Fairfield County Community Foundation, about the foundation's capacity-building efforts.)

Wikimedia_FdnSince 2003, the Wikimedia Foundation has been quietly going about the business of operating the fifth most visited site on the Internet without trumpeting its own story as one of the most successful volunteer organizations in the world.

With 20 million volunteer-authored articles in over 282 languages, the foundation has taken the old-fashioned volunteer effort online and achieved a scale for Wikipedia, its biggest and most successful project, that few people in traditional nonprofit circles would dare to imagine. For those in the sector focused on impact, the numbers are impressive. According to a Pew survey, 53 percent of adult American Internet users visit Wikipedia regularly, and the site boasts more than 400 million user visits a month (the strategic plan calls for topping one billion in 2012). Let's face it, is there any other nonprofit organization in the world that can help you find Lady Gaga's real name (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ) or tell you how to properly categorize Pluto within seconds of firing up your smartphone?

While the Wikimedia Foundation has grown in recent years, it is still primarily a volunteer enterprise. Headquartered in San Francisco, the 501(c)(3) organization has only 73 full-time employees and, despite a very sophisticated technology infrastructure, an annual operating budget of under $30 million. To maintain and improve its financial position, the foundation has become more aggressive this year about raising additional funds. Like its volunteer efforts, these initial forays into the world of fundraising have been models of efficiency and innovation. Indeed, the foundation's first online fundraiser last year netted some $15 million in just fifty days.

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Funding for Capacity Building: 5Qs for Karen Brown, Fairfield County Community Foundation

November 14, 2011

(Karen Brown is vice president of programs at the Fairfield County Community Foundation, where she is responsible for overseeing grantmaking and providing philanthropic advisory services to donor-advised fundholders. Laura Cronin, a regular contributor to PhilanTopic, interviewed Brown recently.)

Karen_Brown Philanthropy News Digest: Nonprofit executives have been managing against a backdrop of economic turmoil for three years years now. What have the most successful Fairfield County groups been doing to keep it together during these difficult times?

Karen Brown: One key element of navigating this economic climate is transparency. Funders need information from grantees in order to make the case internally for all the grants in their portfolio. One exemplary executive director in our area has done something very simple and smart along these lines. After each of his board meetings, he sends a synopsis to us and to his other funders. It doesn't include every single detail of the meeting, but it gives a full picture of what transpired, and when I read it I feel as if I was there. It keeps me in the loop, and it's probably a document he needs to create anyway, so it's efficient. It's just an example of how communicating with funders and donors can be managed in a cost-effective way that gives them the information they need to make informed decisions.

PND: While great management is no substitute for a robust economy and a healthy fundraising environment, what kind of strategies should nonprofits pursue to ensure that they have the capacity to manage through tough times?

KB: We've been urging grantees to continue to invest in staff and professional development and not to look at those kinds of investments as frills. Employee morale and team building are crucial in a difficult economic climate. And funders need to consider supporting these programs in order to help organizations hold the line on their budgets without sacrificing effectiveness.

Other groups we fund are asking for support for short-term strategic planning -- looking two years out instead of the traditional five. This gives them something to focus on and a set of near-term goals that can keep them on track.

Funders can also be helpful by providing support for organizational assessments. We've assisted several grantees in hiring outside experts to come in and take a thorough look at all aspects of their operation, from leadership to fundraising to their business systems. That kind of thorough organizational assessment can help a grantee focus more attention on its key strengths and identify areas in need of improvement. The key is finding the right third-party help.

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Geeking Out With the New York Community Trust

October 05, 2011

(Laura Cronin is a frequent contributor to PhilanTopic. Her last post was about the metrics individual donors use to make giving decisions, and she has also written here about the role of technology in K-12 education.)

Digital_media There is probably no more familiar outlet for foundation, corporate, or individual giving than educational television. We are reminded of the medium's appeal to donors each time we watch the closing credits on a favorite PBS show. But it wasn't always thus. Before the late '60s and the research-based programming of the Children's Television Workshop, television rarely was seen as a grant-worthy vehicle for donors concerned about education or children.

These days, donors and parents might be forgiven for thinking about digital media in the way critics thought of television before the arrival of Joan Ganz Cooney, the Carnegie Corporation, and Big Bird. Beyond Google and Wikipedia, how educational is the Internet? What happens when young people go online? What does it mean for a 14-year-old to have eight hundred friends on Facebook? How good is the content they find while hanging out in cyberspace?

Few educators and other experts would hazard a guess as to where we will be forty years from now, but many are eager to find ways, right now, to use digital media for learning.

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BBB Wise Giving Alliance: Helping Grantees Measure Up

August 17, 2011

(Laura Cronin is a frequent contributor to PhilanTopic. In her previous post, she provided an update on rebuilding efforts in tsunami-ravaged Japan, with a focus on the arts.)

BBB_Wise_Giving Because so many high-profile charitable gifts in the United States come from institutions that ostensibly know what they're doing, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that individual donors still give far more than foundations, corporations, and estates -- combined.

Of the $290.89 billion donated to nonprofit organizations in 2010, some 73 percent ($211.77 billion) came from individuals. That figure includes more than a few "mega-gifts" from wealthy individuals who employ philanthropic strategies similar to those of professional grantmakers. Still, most charitable giving is done by individuals who don't think a whole lot about theories of change, logic models, and giving strategies.

Through its Wise Giving Alliance and local BBBs, the Better Business Bureau is working to extend its outreach to individuals who come to the charitable marketplace without the benefit of a philanthropic advisor or a well-informed board. Last revised in 2003 by a panel of nonprofit experts (with extensive input from the charitable sector), the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charitable Accountability suggest guidelines and minimum requirements in four key aspects of nonprofit management: governance, effectiveness, finance, and fundraising/communications.

According to Claire Rosenzweig, president and CEO of the BBB of Metropolitan New York, "[T]he Charity Accountability Standards are intended to help create a more informed charitable marketplace and to give prospective donors a framework they can use to make their own decisions about where to give." Rosenzweig believes nonprofits should use the standards as a sort of checklist to remind staff of the things they need to do to keep an organization operating ethically and in compliance with regulations. More broadly, says Rosenzweig, they can be used to improve an organization's accountability and transparency.

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The Art of Rebuilding: A Japanese Earthquake Update

July 07, 2011

(Laura Cronin is a frequent contributor to PhilanTopic. Her last post was a Q&A with Don Crocker, executive director of the Support Center for Nonprofit Management.)

Dream_Gong The economic importance of the arts has been well documented, and funders with an interest in community development have long recognized that artists and nonprofit arts organizations are essential to community revitalization.

More recently, in the wake of several large-scale natural and man-made disasters, funders have focused on support for arts and culture as a part of the larger effort to help people rebuild their lives. Award-winning television producer David Simon even made the idea that culture can help heal a devastated city the premise for his critically acclaimed HBO series Treme.

In the United States, the Coalition for Artists' Preparedness and Emergency Response, a task force of more than twenty arts organizations, arts funders and individual artists, has been working to build a nationwide safety net for artists and the arts organizations that serve them before, during, and after disasters.

In the months ahead, this approach will cross the Pacific when the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) -- whose mission is to support international dialogue through cultural exchange -- launches Arts in Action, a grant program to support artists working in communities recovering from natural disasters.

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5 Questions for...Don Crocker, Executive Director/CEO, Support Center for Nonprofit Management

May 25, 2011

(The Support Center for Nonprofit Management is dedicated to improving society by increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit leaders and the organizations they lead. Focusing on three key areas -- organizational change consulting, executive search and transition management, and professional development for nonprofit managers -- Don Crocker and his team have been helping foundations support their grantee investments in the tri-state (NY/NJ/CT) area since 1986. Laura Cronin, a regular contributor to PhilanTopic, spoke with Crocker recently.)

Crocker_don Laura Cronin: While foundation endowments have started to come back and giving trends aren't as bleak as we might have predicted two years ago, the uneven economic recovery has been difficult for most nonprofits and the people they serve. It seems clear that nonprofit executives will be navigating very rough waters for the foreseeable future. How do things look from where you sit?

Don Crocker: It's not a pretty picture. Although it appears that foundation assets may be stabilizing, many organizations have had their foundation funding cut back and are scrambling to replace it. In addition, many of the organizations we work with rely on gifts from individuals, state or federal funding, and federal reimbursements, and we've seen major cutbacks in each of these areas. If you're an organization that relies on these sources, you probably feel like you're in the middle of a perfect storm: you have less money to meet growing demand for your services. At the same time, we do see many foundations that are fulfilling commitments to their current grantees, even if they don't have the resources to be open to as many new grantees as they might like.

In this environment, nonprofit organizations can't assume that their past funding strategies will support future needs. In fact, we need to raise our game, focusing on the core programs that most benefit our communities and clients, demonstrating that we are well run and have strong, engaged boards, that we are efficiently staffed, and that we have healthy fundraising and revenue-generating capacities.

Many of our best and most critical organizations are working hard to adjust to the new reality and could benefit from capacity-building support from their funders. But funders who have not traditionally given in this area are sometimes slow to see the need. More grantmakers need to see investments in building organizational infrastructure as an integral part of their funding priorities -- to understand how strengthening an organization's management and governance will lead to a greater return on investment from their grants.

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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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