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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NY Attorney General Announces New Nonprofit Initiatives

Another small step toward tighter control over how nonprofits operate in New York was taken yesterday when the state’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, announced a package of initiatives intended, according to his press release, to “revitalize and reform” New York’s nonprofit sector.  This is no small matter, given that the report contains the eye-opening facts [...]

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Cuomo and the Nonprofits

Well…it has, I admit, been a while since I’ve written in these pages; and for that I apologize.  I plead two contributing factors. The first is that I have been (thankfully) busy, mostly in Texas where Barry Silverberg, the president of the Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations, has had me traveling to the Lone Star [...]

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Head vs. Heart Based Giving

Ken Berger and I respond here to a piece Ruth McCambridge had in the Nonprofit Quarterly…. Ruth McCambridge’s December 5th article on the Nonprofit Quarterly’s Nonprofit Newswire page, “Donors Give LESS When More Analytic Say Researchers,” is certainly provocative; but it misses a serious point and could give donors, both large and small, the wrong [...]

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