Foundations

How to Get What You Need from an Organizational Assessment

La Piana Consulting // Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How to Get What You Need from an Organizational Assessment

Organizational assessment is a critical component of capacity building, but different approaches present different advantages and limitations. Before investing time and resources, it is important to consider these relative to your specific needs. Here, we compare three common types of organizational assessment to help you in your decision making.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Foundations, Change Management
Tags: assessment, capacity building, funders, organizational learning

Five Quick Reads to Give Your Nonprofit a Midsummer Boost

Melissa Mendes Campos // Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Five Quick Reads to Give Your Nonprofit a Midsummer Boost

A collection of resources to spur fresh thinking for nonprofits, federations, and foundations.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Foundations, Trends
Tags: business models, innovation, resources, social sector, strategy, vision

Funder Initiatives Open New Doors to Nonprofit Collaboration

La Piana Consulting // Thursday, May 11, 2017

Funder Initiatives Open New Doors to Nonprofit Collaboration

How foundations and other capacity builders are using a three-phase process of education, assessment, and exploration/negotiation to support nonprofits in implementing collaborative strategies.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Foundations, Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring
Tags: capacity building, collaboration, mergers, philanthropy, strategic restructuring

Ear to the Ground, Eye on the Horizon: Notes from the Field

La Piana Consulting // Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Ear to the Ground, Eye on the Horizon: Notes from the Field

Over the past six months, we’ve had the good fortune to partner with more than 100 client organizations of all sizes, located across the nation, and serving a diverse array of social missions. Although each engagement is unique, a few common challenges and opportunities have surfaced that we believe are influencing the sector more broadly.

 

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Categories: Nonprofits, Foundations, Commentary, Trends
Tags: capacity building, diversity, implementation

A Timely Topic: Perpetual or Limited-Life Philanthropy?

La Piana Consulting // Wednesday, April 06, 2016

A Timely Topic: Perpetual or Limited-Life Philanthropy?

The past week has seen a flurry of dialog about foundation life spans, highlighting the choice between permanence and planned spend-down. In this post, we've gathered an array perspectives and resources on the topic, and invite you to voice your own thoughts. 

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Categories: Foundations, Trends
Tags: donors, funders, grantmaking, philanthropy, resources, strategy

Six Strategies for Sustaining a Collaboration

La Piana Consulting // Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Six Strategies for Sustaining a Collaboration

We often talk about the essential elements of forming a strong nonprofit partnership, but what about the important work of sustaining a collaborative effort, once established?

In this post, we suggest six strategies to maintain momentum and institutionalize the collaboration beyond its initial group of champions so that it delivers lasting value over time.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Foundations, Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring
Tags: collaboration, networks, joint programming

Build Better CEO/Board Chair Relationships (Book Preview)

La Piana Consulting // Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Build Better CEO/Board Chair Relationships (Book Preview)

Some time ago we posted a blog on how nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs can partner more effectively, and learned that there’s a real appetite for resources on this topic. That’s why we’re looking forward to this weekend’s launch of John M. Fulwider’s new e-book Better Together: How Top Nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs Get Happy, Fall in Love, and Change Their World. Read our mini-review here, and be sure to check it out for yourself.

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Categories: Nonprofits, Foundations, Governance, Leadership
Tags: resources, social sector

When Foundations Exit the Field

David La Piana // Thursday, August 07, 2014

When Foundations Exit the Field

Whether shifting away from funding in a specific program area or looking toward a total spend-down and closure, foundations face the dilemma of how to make a graceful exit. This blog shares a few observations about how funders can navigate these shifts in partnership with their grantees. For more on this topic, watch for the fall issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, featuring an article I’ve coauthored with Christopher Oechsli on The Atlantic Philanthropies’ limited-life strategy. 

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Categories: Foundations
Tags: capacity building, funders, philanthropy, 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

Diversity in the Social Sector: How do we get there from here?

Lester Olmstead-Rose // Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Diversity in the Social Sector: How do we get there from here?

Any understanding of how organizations become truly different leads me back to my own inadequacies. I’ve been in positions to help organizations make this change before. Where I’ve seen changes take place, that change often is not characterized by wide-ranging openness to diverse people. Instead, it looks like a change from one group of people to another. In other words, the group is still not truly diverse. In most other cases, very little true organizational change took place at all.


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Categories: Nonprofits, Foundations, Commentary, Trends
Tags: demographics, diversity
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