Month: July 2016

The undercover act only goes so far — CEOs may go to the ground floor, but they, and the Undercover Boss producers, have no desire to expose what goes on in the basement. Most of the companies are retail-based; rarely do we get a look deeper down the supply chain. While the CEO of Fatburger is willing to see what life is like on the grill, how about life picking the tomatoes that garnish his patties? While Modell is floored by Angel’s struggle, does he explore the source of the sneakers she slings on the sales floor? To do…
Recently, I came across two critiques of a common saying: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” One of those critiques was in the video below (hat tip to James McGrath and Ross McKenzie) The other was in a post by Vu Le at Nonprofit With Balls that I linked to earlier: The teach-a-man-to-fish paternalism. This philosophy, so ingrained in our culture, is patronizing and often ineffective, sometimes harmful. It assumes one person is a fount of knowledge while the other is an…
In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share…
First of all, I am vegan, so I NEVER expect cake and ice cream ANYWHERE. My usual dessert at fundraising events is a blueberry garnish. Second of all, none of us are expecting the work to be easy, but spending 15 hours trying to figure out how much of $1,864 in office supplies and printing the XYZ Foundation paid for last fiscal year is probably not what any of us should be putting our energy into. Vu Le: We Need to Stop Treating Nonprofits the Way Society Treats Poor People FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
Joan Garry recently wrote about a big question in nonprofit circles: what to do with executive salaries? Or, as she phrases it: Is it inappropriate for nonprofit leaders to be well paid? This is a question that comes up a lot. On the one hand, donors and nonprofit employees are trying to solve big problems, and there’s a risk that paying the executive director a large salary will pull money from other critical areas. On the other hand, nonprofits are competing for talent and a large salary can help attract the kind of executive who will increase the amount of…
The fine folks over at ideas42 recently did a three-part series called Three Myths About the Underbanked and connected to a recent white paper called Reimagining Financial Inclusion. I highly recommend that you head over there and read part one, part two, and part three. Because there are so many misperceptions of how finances work for low income households, and because this issue is so important to how we think about poverty and addressing poverty, I’m going to offer a single summary post of their findings. Myth #1: Low Income Households Don’t Want to Save Read the original article at ideas42….
In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share…
We now write because we are alarmed about a major new force that has entered the field of charitable giving. It has so far been hardly noticed by the general public. But now it is threatening to undermine the American system for funding charity. This force is the commercial “donor-advised fund,” the fastest-growing, but still largely unknown, charitable vehicle. Donor-advised funds (or DAFs) give donors all of the tax benefits of charitable giving while imposing no obligation that the money be put to active charitable use. The New York Review of Books: The Undermining of American Charity FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
Every day, some huge number of nonprofit organizations is looking for a new donor database solution. I know this because they come to forums I frequent and ask, “What donor management system should my organization buy?” It’s an impossible question to answer. Every organization is different and has different needs. And there are a lot of donor management systems out there. Playing matchmaker – without knowing a lot of organizational details – isn’t an option (and wouldn’t be ethical). But there are steps that every organization can take to separate the wheat from the chaff and make the right…

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