Don’t Do It: Don’t Start a Nonprofit

Posted by Dahna Goldstein on Jul 14, 2017 12:37:06 PM

Do you want to make a difference? Great. Please do. But don’t start a nonprofit.

Are you concerned about what is currently happening to vulnerable populations, the environment, and media freedom? I am, too. Are you afraid it’s only going to get worse? You’re probably right. But don’t start a...


Topics: Fundraising, starting a nonprofit

Learning, Knowing, Doing

Posted by Katha Kissman on Jun 20, 2017 1:48:24 PM

Remember when you were young and heard an older person say, “Oh I wish I knew then what I know now?” Now that I’m older, I understand and find myself thinking the same thing!  

I started down this path of thought as I was offering my niece (a Michigan State University senior) some tips on how to...


Topics: Roles and Responsibilities, Orientation & Education

Build it or buy it? Effective investment program oversight

Posted by Angie Santo-Walter on Jun 7, 2017 11:05:48 AM

A few years ago, my family and I moved to a small town, across the country from where we were currently living, and we were having a hard time finding a home that fit our needs and budget. So, we started talking about building. That presented a whole new set of challenges — finding the right...


Topics: financial oversight, investments

The Challenges and Opportunities of Family Foundation Governance

Posted by Emily Davis on May 31, 2017 11:01:30 AM

Family foundations are such a critical part of the philanthropic community. Originally set up as tax havens for philanthropists, they are now much more than that and making considerable, positive changes in our local and global communities. This is due in large part to an increased focus on...


Topics: Board Diversity & Inclusivity, Foundations, Family Foundations, Orientation & Education

Fundraising Effectiveness: Hunches Aren’t Enough

Posted by Linda Wood on May 10, 2017 2:07:33 PM

Nonprofit board members are reminded again and again to think of our role in terms of the “three Ts” — offering time, treasure, and talent to the organizations we serve. There is no question that nonprofits and society are well served when boards are ably and enthusiastically fulfilling these...


Topics: Strategic Initiative, Fundraising, Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness

What does 2017 have in store for your investment program?

Posted by Rob Balkema on Apr 27, 2017 10:10:48 AM

There’s a famous scene in the Mel Brooks movie Young Frankenstein where Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (played brilliantly by Gene Wilder) realizes that his assistant Igor gave him “Abby Normal’s” brain to put into his monster. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues. Today, we’re once again talking...


Topics: financial oversight, investments

Want to Improve Board Performance? Take these Five Steps

Posted by Hardy Smith on Apr 13, 2017 4:00:00 PM

With his personal finances spinning out of control, Steve Carell’s character in the television series The Office gathered everyone around and announced, “I declare bankruptcy!” His co-workers then explained that using bankruptcy as a path to deal with financial difficulties involved more than a...


Topics: Culture, board engagement

In Times of Change, Board Members Must Be Advocates

Posted by Anne Wallestad on Apr 4, 2017 11:21:03 AM

This article first appeared Jan. 19, 2017 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website, It is reprinted here with their permission.

As the country prepares to inaugurate Donald Trump as our 45th president on Friday and leadership at all levels of government takes shape...


Topics: Advocacy

Creating a Culture of Innovation with Employee Health Care

Posted by Mike Wurtsmith on Mar 15, 2017 2:26:20 PM

The critically important role nonprofit boards play in employee health insurance purchasing


Topics: Health Care

Take the Fear out of Financial Statements

Posted by Stephanie Cory, CFRE, CAP on Mar 10, 2017 12:15:00 PM

If you serve on a nonprofit board, you’ve probably seen those fellow members who look like a deer in the headlights when presented with financial statements. Maybe that’s even you. While everyone is recruited to serve because of a unique skill set, it’s important for all board members to...


Topics: financial oversight