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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Partial Score

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The late comedian George Carlin had a shtick back in the 1970s where he played a television sports anchor. With mock seriousness, he’d stare at the camera and say, “Here’s…
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Nice Work If You Can Get It

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[This post was later published, with some small adjustments, as an op-ed for Inside Philanthropy on May 3, 2016.] Presidents of large private foundations get paid too much. I don’t say that…
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Better Than Endowments

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[Note: This essay is based upon my presentation of the same title at the International Conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, delivered March 21 in Boston.] Charitable organizations are always…
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Anticipating the Worst

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People make dumb decisions. Sometimes the decision isn’t really a decision at all, but simply a momentary loss of focus, like locking yourself out of the house when you take…
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