Posts by admin

Supporting Innovation to Tackle Poverty

Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 in Articles, Blog

What was it that wise person once said about expecting different results from doing the same thing over and over again? Well, what would happen by coming at a particularly challenging issue like poverty from another angle? What would happen if you took a page from the handbook on entrepreneurship, injected the spirit of innovation and mixed it up with funding and coaching support for smart folks who bring new ideas? The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland did just that with the launch of the Innovation Mission: Fighting Poverty with Big Ideas. Foundation President Susanna Krey talked with me about what they, the social entrepreneurs and the community are...

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Compensation Approaches When Long-Serving Chief Executives Transition Out

Posted by on Apr 2, 2019 in Articles, Blog

Compensation Approaches When Long-Serving Chief Executives Transition Out

I recently assisted a small-staffed, private foundation in a planned leadership transition of their chief executive who had a tenure of 20-plus years. To get a sense of how other foundations approached creative retirement/transition packages for long-serving foundation chief executives, I posted a list-serv inquiry with Exponent Philanthropy, 21/64 and Philanthropy Ohio. With the permission of the foundation, I’m sharing some of what we learned. I have edited the comments to ensure the privacy of the respondents and organizations. We have a local private foundation work with us as a community foundation to establish a named endowed fund in honor of their former staff...

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Learning Organizations

Posted by on Feb 28, 2019 in Articles, Blog

I’m always interested in finding out how different organizations pursue a learning agenda. I talked with Connie Hawk, Director of the Licking County Foundation in Newark, Ohio, who oversees a staff of six. Here’s how Connie inculcated a learning culture inside this community foundation.   Q: I understand the Licking County Foundation (LCF) has a team approach for staff professional development. How did this approach develop – intentionally or organically over time? A: It was a bit of both! There’s a culture of learning, sharing, curiosity, and openness to trying new things at LCF. Our team approach helps a small staff take advantage of the many and varied...

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Who Do You Turn To?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Articles, Blog

Who do you turn to when navigating board, staff or community dynamics?   I’ve served as executive and senior staff for several foundations and been an advisor to dozens of grantmakers and nonprofit organizations around the country.  It’s not unusual to find myself in a coaching role with a chief executive or board chair in these assignments.  They place great value on having a trusted, experienced voice to provide objective and reliable guidance through the twists-and-turns of their work. I asked two foundation chief executives that I’ve coached to share their stories.  I always conduct such work on a confidential basis so am not including their names or affiliations....

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The Sunk Cost Fallacy – 5 Red-Flags That Tell You It Might Be Time to Move On

Posted by on Aug 14, 2018 in Articles, Blog

I recently read an article on behavioral research about the sunk cost fallacy (The Economist, 6-2-18)and it got me thinking about how much of this goes on in philanthropy. As many economists and writers have described, the sunk cost fallacy is irrational decision-making driven by emotion and based on past investments – and which disregards actual data and experience. Put more succinctly, it’s the proverbial practice of throwing good money after bad. I’m not talking here about the hard work of tackling significant problems that take years of focus and commitment to have an impact on. I am talking about foundations and nonprofits that continue to invest...

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