Live Oak

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[Note: A version of this article appeared in Philanthropy Daily on December 21, 2017.] I’m fascinated by what makes someone an effective nonprofit leader. Yes, leaders should be inspiring and visionary, setting…
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Charity, Incorporated

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It seems that every time I set out to write about topics other than donor-advised funds, fresh news explodes on the scene that requires my attention, and yours. This week…
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Do More

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[This article was co-published on October 4, 2017, by the Maine Association of Nonprofits] When I was a 27-year-old, freshly promoted, and utterly under-qualified executive director (back in 1985 we didn’t…
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Peak bagging

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As someone who likes to be taken seriously, I probably shouldn’t begin this post by publishing such a goofy picture of myself. But here I go, happily sharing this photo,…
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Incomplete Pass

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It’s reasonable to think that when you make a donation to a particular charitable organization, the funds will be used in a way that supports that organization’s mission. But as…
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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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