Strange Math

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[A version of this piece appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on July 13, 2017.] Here’s the world’s simplest math problem. My wife Pat and I often meet a pair of friends…
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No Sale

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Contributing to charity is a unique transaction in our society: people give money and receive nothing tangible in return. I think of this when individuals who have spent their careers…
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Collateral Damage

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People keep asking me: How is the current political upheaval going to affect nonprofits? My first answer: I don’t really know. We’re in unprecedented political times. Who really can predict…
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Navigating the Evaluators

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I recently gave a keynote address for a conference of nonprofit leaders in Oregon. At one point, I asked people to raise their hands if they thought that the evaluation…
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Wall Street 9, Charity 0

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The news last week was stunning, but at the same time utterly unsurprising: When The Chronicle of Philanthropy compiled its annual Philanthropy 400 list of the nonprofit organizations that had…
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Starvation Diet

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A friend who serves on a nonprofit board asked me whether her organization was drawing enough from its endowment each year. “Probably not,” I answered. Then she described her organization’s…
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Lonely At the Top

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{Note: This post has been co-published by the Maine Association of Nonprofits.} It’s not easy being a nonprofit CEO. People expect the CEO to have all the answers. The ideal CEO…
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Philanthropy, Weaponized

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In a recent series of articles, The New York Times detailed how nonprofit think tanks are rife with conflicts of interest. The Times reported how corporations made charitable donations to certain think…
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