Category Archives: nonprofits

The “Power & Influence” of Social Media in Philanthropy

(Update: The Nonprofit Times emailed me to point out that I should have disclosed that I write for the Chronicle of Philanthropy when I wrote this post. They’re right, I should have. I write a monthly column for the Chronicle of Philanthropy.) The Nonprofit Times has released their annual Power & Influence Top 50 list […]

Tax Protection for Social Results, Not Social Missions

Lucy Bernholz had another though provoking post last week in which she suggested there should be some sort of “consumer protection” oversight of nonprofits and social businesses. “From the donors’ perspective we need something more than metrics and annual reports that cements the organization’s commitment to social good. Nonprofits have typically relied on (been given […]

How to Evaluate a Charity

Over the holidays I wrote a blog post about how to pick a great nonprofit to donate to with extremely minimal work. That post spurred Lucy Bernholz to write two posts (part one and part two) about her effort to help a 10-year-old pick a nonprofit to support. Lucy’s posts were great because out of […]

Join the Tactical Philanthropy/Social Edge Conversation

SocialEdge is an online community for social entrepreneurs run by the Skoll Foundation. Today, they are hosting a Tactical Philanthropy facilitated discussion about nonprofit analysis. The conversation is a sneak peak of the Beyond Metrics SoCap panel. Click here to join the conversation. Nonprofit Analysis: Beyond Metrics One of the holy grails of nonprofit evaluation […]

Nonprofit Shares Failure & Looks Great

No company, nonprofit or for-profit, likes to tell customers and investors when they’ve screwed up. The natural instinct is to hide failures. But research shows that when people and organizations admit mistakes people trust them more. Talking candidly about challenges increases the listener’s trust that positive statements are true. One of the reasons that the […]

Nonprofits Are Businesses

One of the most bizarre criticisms of the Giving Pledge is the idea that it will hurt the economy. For example Forbes columnist John Tamny writes: “But while it’s exciting to contemplate the giving nature of Gates and Buffett, if their true desire is to help their fellow man, they should hoard every penny of […]

VolunteerMatch Launches Cool Annual Report

You don’t often see the words “cool” and “annual report” in the same sentence. For the most part nonprofit annual reports are either “compliance documents” or highly polished brochures that donors flip through and then put in the recycling. But a few nonprofits have been playing with new formats for annual reports that help donors […]

Nonprofit Creates its Own Competition

One of the sessions we’re going to be having in the Tactical Philanthropy track at the Social Capital Markets conference is: Replication vs. Diffusion: Does scaling social impact require scaling organizations? A successful for-profit organization must maintain ownership of its concept while it scales in order to capture profit. But social impact accrues to the […]

The Nonprofit Institutional Imperative

Warren Buffett is known to warn investors away from companies who have fallen prey to the Institutional Imperative. The Institutional Imperative is the phrase Buffett uses to describe the way that many management teams, generally for reasons of greed, manage their company to the benefit of the institution rather than for shareholders. The Institutional Imperative […]

Nonprofit Survey 2010

Last year, the Nonprofit Finance Fund released a survey of the financial state of America’s nonprofits. Among other things, the survey focused on nonprofit finance, what organizations expected in 2010 in terms of funding and demand for services, and what steps they were taking to weather challenging economic conditions. The survey received a staggering amount […]