Stay the Focus for 2018

It’s been a universe-altering year. And immediately ahead? More opacity. Pending changes in the tax bill have some degree of identifiable impact, even as our sector works hard to fight them back. The Law of Unintended Consequences suggests that we can also expect many more unknown unknowns. With so much ambiguity, we could simply dwell …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Get Your Board Past Stuck on “Give and Get”

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 …

#Sustainability Means Sometimes Taking Chances

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 …

Connecting Impact Investors and Companies

As impact (responsible) investing has become increasingly mainstream in the public markets - mutual funds, ETFs, 403(b) plans, and so on - a parallel market for private investment has naturally emerged. The number of channels and mechanisms for connecting financing with companies - platforms, as it were - is significant and looks at this point …