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7 Reasons Nonprofits Flounder or Fail

7 Reasons Nonprofits Flounder or Fail

A group of our friends led a wonderful start-up that was trying to bring new perspectives to theenvironmental cause, to reach faith-based constituencies who were not traditional supporters of these concerns.  They had the plan worked out on paper, and even had a foundation to underwrite the effort for a couple of years.  But although there were many who cheered from the sidelines, very few people were committed enough to provide significant financial support.  When the grant money ran out, the c...

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IRS approvals, Red Cross problems and top stories from the nonprofit sector

IRS approvals, Red Cross problems and top stories from the nonprofit sector

  Nonprofit Tax-Exemption Approvals Double, Thanks to Simplified Form.  The Internal Revenue Service approved 94,365 applications from organizations seeking 501(c)(3) designations in fiscal year 2014, more than double the number approved in the previous two years. 4 Options for Targeting Donors.  You have four options when evaluating how you might compete in the nonprofit world, using ammunition distilled from what your organization knows about itself and about which potential donors repre...

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Top 25 Nonprofit Management Tools and This Weeks Other Leading NPO Stories

Top 25 Nonprofit Management Tools and This Weeks Other Leading NPO Stories

Leaders  Weigh in on 25 Nonprofit Management Tools For nonprofit organizations to realize their potential for social impact, they need more than a good program and ambitious leaders to expand it. They need good managers who adopt approaches that make the most of opportunities, anticipate threats, develop talent, and produce strong results.  The nonprofit Bridgespan Group is collaborating with The Chronicle of Philanthropy to establish a resource to help nonprofit leaders tackle these challenges....

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This Week’s Business & Management News from the Nonprofit Sector

This Week’s Business & Management News from the Nonprofit Sector

Buzzwords to Watch in 2015 What will catch the ear of nonprofit and foundation leaders in 2015?  Perhaps Internet of Things, Smart Cities and a dozen other, one keen observer postulates. The Ups and Downs of Charity at the Checkout Counter Research indicates that, in general, checkout-donation efforts do not drive sales. But that’s not to say they don’t do good or have merit. 5 Basic Steps to the Truth Ah, how much simpler life would be if we could always get to the truth right away. Cutting thr...

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‘Giving Tuesday’ phenomenon and other nonprofit stories of the week

‘Giving Tuesday’ phenomenon and other nonprofit stories of the week

What is #GivingTuesday? We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world came together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. #GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. With a team of influencers and founding par...

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Fascinating News from the Nonprofit Sector

Fascinating News from the Nonprofit Sector

Venture Philanthropy:  $3.3 Billion Investment Payout for Cystic Fibrosis.   The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) cashed in on one of its biggest venture philanthropy efforts, selling future royalty rights for $3.3 billion — 10 times the revenue that the charity typically generates in a year. “This is a transformational moment for the foundation and the entire CF community,” Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., CFF’s president and CEO. CFF helped to fund development by Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals, In...

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Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

Reversing the pervasive loss of trust in American life Who do you trust? In the public square, that’s a more troubling question than it should be. There isn’t enough trust to go around and nearly every institution—government, media, business, sport, and even churches and charities--are responsible and suffering the impact. All of these institutions have one thing in common.  They are all human institutions. Government doesn’t violate laws, the people who should act as our public servants do. Tel...

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The 7 Most Valuable Assets of a Nonprofit Organization

The 7 Most Valuable Assets of a Nonprofit Organization

When you turn to the financial statements of a nonprofit organization, one of first reports is titled Assets and Liabilities.  I know this an important report, but as a longtime non-financial manager of NPOs, I’ve always been less interested in this report than the statement of annual revenues and expenses and the break out of these results. However, as important as any of these corporate financial assets may be, for the nonprofit organization millions of dollars worth of buildings and cash rese...

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Choosing Gelato and the Value of Values

Choosing Gelato and the Value of Values

I tried a new gelato café that opened riverside in my town in the Fox Valley this weekend and had to make a difficult choice from about 35 amazing flavors. Do I take a risk, venturing into some new area of taste, or do I stick with the familiar, with something that begins or ends in chocolate or peanut butter? Choices like this, the trivial choices that fill our lives, are made according to taste or curiosity or whim, but even they can be directed by values.  For instance, risk aversion or taste...

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“Your young men shall see visions”: Importance of a nonprofit vision

“Your young men shall see visions”: Importance of a nonprofit vision

As an organizational leader, do you have a vision? Is your organization focused on a clear and broadly understood vision of your corporate purpose and future? “If there is no vision,” a 1599 version of Proverbs 29:18 reads, “the people decay.”  Without a vision, missions can stagnate or waste away. A vision is an answer to the question: “What can and should we accomplish?” Scott, Jaffe and Tobe in their book Organizational Vision, Values, and Mission, write: “Establishing a vision is picturing e...

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