Al is not afraid of taking on controversial issues in the nonprofit world, including the impact of the widening wealth gap, the inefficiency and misdirection of major foundations, the disruption brought by donor-advised funds, the ethical and financial implications of Wall Street’s growing influence in the charitable world, and the power imbalance between funder and charity.
But Al offers more than criticism: he proposes solutions and new frameworks, and he does this with color and humor. In other words, hard truths need not be hard to read.
Al is an op-ed contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Harvard Business Review, and other national journals. (See the links below for a sampling of his published articles.) His blog has attracted a diverse national audience, and he has been cited as an expert on charitable issues in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Atlantic, ProPublica, Vanity Fair, and National Public Radio.
Al’s effectiveness as a writer carries over to his public speaking. Al has a reputation as a dynamic keynoter and presenter who can break down complex issues and connect with audiences. Nonprofit leaders, academics, and philanthropists call Al provocative, memorable, and stimulating.
Interview by Forbes Magazine
Sample recent keynote addresses
- Adjusting to a Vastly Changed Philanthropic Landscape. In recent decades, seismic shifts in wealth, taxes, and the economy have upended traditional expectations about charitable giving. How should nonprofits change strategies to accommodate the new realities?
- Investing in Mission; Investing in Staff. Over 80% of most nonprofit budgets are devoted to salaries and benefits. Those staff members are the people who deliver the program impact. Why, then, are organizations (and funders) so reluctant to invest in its people?
- Keeping Strategy (and Fun) Front and Center. Nonprofits invest significant time in strategic planning, only to see the resulting plans sit on the proverbial shelf. Meanwhile, board meetings are painfully tedious and consumed with trivia. How about aligning meeting agendas with strategy? It’s really not that hard. And the results are fun and exciting — two words usually not connected to board service.