Strategic Planning’s Unjustified Bad Rap

We get it; the phrase “let’s start this year’s strategic plan” doesn’t inspire excitement in everyone. Some people have shared that they may even prefer exploratory dental work. We do not believe we understate the situation when we call this a “missed opportunity.” Strategic planning can be as dull as the same conversation, again, with …

Ensuring Happily Ever After: Successfully Managing the Ties That Bind Boards and Executive Teams

One of the most important functions of Nonprofit Boards is, of course, fundraising. Board members want to be set up for success when they join a Board, and generally, all is well and good when Board members are financially able to make donations, are comfortable talking about money and their charity, confidence in management is …

Understanding the Importance of Storytelling in Philanthropy

One of the challenges in American philanthropy, broadly speaking, is its “stuckness” at about 2% of disposable income annually. The concept of financial “stuckness” is not a new problem; in fact, we humans demonstrate consistent financial behaviors – good and bad – in many ways. Economists and psychologists have been studying this for a while …

The Evolving Impact Investing Landscape

In the not-too-distant past, what we now know as impact investing was pretty much confined to de-selecting “bad” publicly traded securities from portfolios and investing in securities that were selected because of factors deemed to be positive – board diversity, nascent social impact industries, and so on. Private impact investments were generally funded by individual …

Cause Fund 2017!

Join us for a brief and to-the-point interview with Astrid Hendren, Executive Director of Cause Fund, Inc., an important new MA fundraising platform that provides Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programming to K-12th grade public and private schools while supporting health causes. Cause Fund launches this school year in more than 200 public and private MA K-12th grade schools …

The 360 Degree Donor Engagement Model

The generally accepted model for nonprofit fundraising goes something like this. If there is the luxury of staff, there are multiple people assigned to each task, if not, there is a single (very busy) person performing multiple duties. Work includes Events, Major Donor solicitation, Individual Giving, Planned Giving, Grant Writing, Corporate Relationships, the Annual Fund, …

Give and Get Set Up for Success

We hear often about the opportunity for Boards and nonprofit executives to work even more effectively together to consistently raise money and resources. Nonprofit executives cite the “usual suspects” as trouble spots, including buy-in and engagement, and challenges in achieving give-and-get success. While these are certainly valid concerns, there are other stumbling blocks, including the comfort …

The Tradition Continuum

In some things, tradition matters more than almost everything else. Family recipes, for example. In other things, how much tradition we incorporate into our work is ideally understood – like so many things – along a continuum. In an organization that delivers services primarily using technology, or develops apps, for example, we can see intuitively …