Entries for July 2014

Your Nonprofit Is In Competition

Melissa Mendes Campos // Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Your Nonprofit Is In Competition

As beneficial as it has been for nonprofits and foundations to embrace collaboration, it has also made it difficult for the sector to have open conversations about competition. But the fact is, nonprofits are in competition on numerous fronts and on an ongoing basis, not just at grant time.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Business Planning, Strategic Planning
Tags: competition, market awareness, strategy

Resets, Balance, and the Future of Philanthropy

// Thursday, July 24, 2014

Resets, Balance, and the Future of Philanthropy

In a recent article for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Barr Foundation’s Jim Canales challenges fellow foundation leaders to reset their default attitudes. Touching on key issues such as data and metrics, and the tension between being a leader and being part of something bigger, he encourages funders to consider new ways of thinking, doing, and being. We saw similar themes emerge in a project we undertook with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, where we found that the philanthropic sector must master the art of balance, as they are increasingly challenged to manage two seemingly contradictory ideas or approaches simultaneously.  

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Categories: Foundations, Change Management, Trends
Tags: organizational culture, philanthropy

Making Decisions or Making Nice?

La Piana Consulting // Thursday, July 17, 2014

Making Decisions or Making Nice?

What are some of the barriers to getting past just making nice and instead making a decision to partner? And how can nonprofit leaders recognize and overcome these obstacles?

We have worked with a number of groups of organizations seeking assistance in identifying collaborative opportunities. Usually, there is no overt funder pressure or acute crisis involved, so the benefit is that the potential partners can approach collaboration in a proactive way, rather than being compelled to it. The problem is that an alliance is then seen as "nice," but not "necessary," and the tendency is for the conversation to focus on low-risk collaborative ventures where none of the organizations has any real skin in the game and there is little hope or expectation of real impact. 

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Categories: Nonprofits, Change Management, Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring
Tags: decision making, strategic restructuring

In Appreciation of the Interim ED

David La Piana // Tuesday, July 08, 2014

In Appreciation of the Interim ED

An interim executive director can be a great idea for an organization whose incumbent leader has departed, or is planning to retire, and the board is considering whether to merge with another organization or to recruit its own next CEO. There is a natural rush to find a new leader in this situation, but the interim solution can give the board time to explore a partnership.

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Categories: Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring, Leadership
Tags: executive transition, mergers