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3 Reasons to Plan for Leadership Succession Now

Posted by on Mar 29, 2018 in Articles, Blog

Research tells us that most foundations and almost half of nonprofits nationally do not have written leadership succession plans in place. Here are three reasons to start succession planning in your organization now.

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Advocacy – Yes, you can!

Posted by on Feb 22, 2018 in Articles, Blog

“I thought nonprofit organizations weren’t allowed to participate in advocacy.”  “Foundations can’t fund advocacy efforts…can they?” Well, actually, nonprofits can advocate and foundations can (and should) provide support for them to do so! One of the best resources for both foundations and nonprofits on the topic is Bolder Advocacy, an initiative of Alliance for Justice. If you are a nonprofit, check out their Advocacy Capacity Tool to benchmark your advocacy skills and help determine resource allocation for your efforts. If you are a foundation, look into the Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook to get your questions answered on legal rules and how to leverage your...

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What’s Your Giving Style?

Posted by on Jan 27, 2018 in Articles, Blog

The flurry of year-end activity has subsided and the 2017 book is closed.  Now is a good time to reflect on your strategy for philanthropic giving – and not only because new tax deductions are on the horizon! Did your philanthropic strategy fulfill your goals? The folks at WiserGiving have created a simple 7-question quiz that reveals insights into what you are trying to accomplish through your charitable contributions. In this free, online survey, you will learn about your personal Giving Style and how to align your core beliefs with philanthropic strategies to effect meaningful change. You may find your current giving is “spot-on” with your Style, or you might have an...

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Small Foundation – Big Impact

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Articles, Blog

I met Mark Gunther at last month’s Exponent Philanthropy CONNECT conference in Denver. He is Managing Director of the Eva Gunther Foundation in the Bay Area. Mark and The Eva Foundation were instrumental in creating the Alliance for Girls, the largest regional alliance of girls’ organizations and champions in the country. I asked him to share his story about how a small funder can achieve big impact. Tell me about the history of the Eva Gunther Foundation. The Eva Foundation was founded to honor the memory our oldest daughter, Eva Leah Gunther, killed in 1997 by a drunk driver. We, her parents and grandparents, wanted to share Eva’s love by giving other girls...

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What Funders Can Learn From Flipping Burgers

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Articles, Blog

I recently watched “The Founder” (2016) on a cross-country flight – the story of how Ray Kroc transformed the McDonald brothers’ restaurant into a global business. Through the entire movie, I kept thinking this should be required viewing for business majors everywhere. But I realized that foundation and nonprofit leaders should also see this movie! Here are three lessons that stuck out for me. (PS: We’ll leave the issues of buying your food through a window and Mr. Kroc’s business ethics for another time.)   If it doesn’t work the first time out, try and try again…and again. Richard and Maurice McDonald had an idea, or actually several. They went through numerous...

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Greater Giving through Giving Circles

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Articles, Blog

The Giving Back Gang, a Cleveland-based giving circle, recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.  It has engaged over 70 individual participants and generated in excess of $275,000 in grants benefitting more than two dozen nonprofit organizations. Here are highlights on the Giving Back Gang story from my interview with founder Hank Doll – philanthropist, foundation board member and civic leader.   What motivated you to start this giving circle 15 years ago? I was talking about my passion for philanthropy to a group of folks at my church.  I mentioned how intrigued I was with the idea of a giving circle, and afterwards two people came up to me and said, “if...

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