Have Outcomes Become Passé?

In 2012 GuideStar and Hope Consulting issued a landmark report on giving.  One of the most important findings was that 71% of individual donors said they wanted information on organizations’ effectiveness.  However, only 33% said they actually did any research before giving, and a minuscule 6% said they compared nonprofits. Recent evidence suggests that this [...]

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GuideStar’s new effort is laudable; but could be flawed.

GuideStar has announced the coming availability of a new level of participation for nonprofits, something called the Platinum Level.  The intention behind it, the creation of a tool to bust the Overhead Myth, is laudable. For too long, the notion has dogged the sector that anything a charity spends beyond “program expenses,” assumed by most [...]

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The Giving Dilemma Part 6: Hot Button Nonprofits Misleading the Public

It is unfortunate, but over the years the American public has had to become increasingly alert to solicitations by scammers and scoundrels who take advantage of both the calendar and current events in their effort to exploit the generosity of donors. They try to capitalize upon the December holiday giving season. They try to profit [...]

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A Q&A About the Outcomes and The Toolbox

On March 21st I will be appearing at the  Vermont Nonprofit Conference 2013.  My host, Common Good Vermont, asked me to answer a few questions ahead of time on the importance of using outcomes and about my book, The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox. You can read the answers here: http://blog.commongoodvt.org/2013/03/nonprofit-outcomes-toolbox-penna/    

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Words matter.

Words matter. They contain nuances, shades of meaning, and implications.  Far more importantly, however, they often bespeak a mindset, a perspective, and even a course of action. It is for this reason that I repeatedly urge client organizations in the nonprofit space to change some very basic terms they use –especially in this era where [...]

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The Giving Dilemma; Part 5

As so often happens, the request came from someone we knew.  I am on the board of a local cultural foundation and our landscaper sent us a passionate note on his letterhead asking us to make an organizational donation to a nonprofit that he not only supports, but admires to the extent that he incorporated [...]

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The Giving Dilemma; Part 4

So my aunt needed a relatively routine in-patient operation; routine, that is, for someone not 89 years of age.  Because of her advanced years, the doctors played it safe, ran numerous tests, and kept her in the hospital for a total of ten days; and then released her to a convalescent home for several weeks [...]

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The Giving Dilemma; part 3

It is a combination as old as the Age of Celebrity, the coupling of a well-known name and face with a seemingly good cause.  In some cases, the celebrity -an entertainment or sports figure- lends his or her name to an already established organization; in some cases, the celeb founds an organization to work on [...]

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Espada trial grinds down to a (partial) end

After months of speculation and the defendant’s posturing, six weeks of stunning revelation followed by stunning revelation during the trial, and eleven days of acrimonious jury deliberations, former New York State Senator Pedro Espada was finally found guilty of charges that he looted the nonprofit he founded, ran, and kept alive with a steady stream [...]

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The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox wins 2012 AFP Research Prize

I am pleased to share the official announcement that The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox has won the 2012 Association of Fundraising Professionals/Skystone Partners Research Prize Each year since 1990, the AFP Research Council awards the Skystone Partners Prize for Research to the author of a book that contributes substantially to the knowledge and understanding of fundraising [...]

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