[News] Preparing for the Unexpected and other Nonprofit and Leadership News

news-roundupWe’re living in an era of uncertainty. It’s really not a new thing. Every age and time has a hint of uncertainly. And we’ve likely all heard the old saying that the only thing constant is change. So really, the advice in several of the articles included in this roundup are important at any time.

The recent election took everyone by surprise. The changes that appear to be coming towards us, especially in the nonprofit sector, could seem scary. Government funding, which is a significant portion of funding for the sector, could drop significantly. It’s something the leadership of most nonprofits should take a look at (and quickly). Two must-reads (yes, forward these to your board members) are the recap of the elections / potential impact from the Council of Nonprofits and the 10 Questions for Boards to Ask Now from the Nonprofit Quarterly.

I don’t believe fear is the best response to change, but preparedness to the extent we are able is essential, at any time, but especially at this time.

That said, this is Thanksgiving week in the US. I can’t remember where I heard it, but someone shared with me that fear and thankfulness cannot co-exist. So I suppose a season where we remember what we’re thankful for is very appropriately timed.

May your light of hope and thankfulness shine for those who find it in short supply this season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Keep hope alive. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leadership and Nonprofit News Roundup


canstockphoto7867487The Traits of Leaders Who Do Things Fast and Well | Harvard Business Review

The group this research focused on preferred a faster pace but also had a quality focus. Is this really possible? And what does it take for a leader to have both high quality and fast pace? The analysis identified seven unique factors that appear to identify what it takes to combine these two seemingly contradictory critical leadership goals.

How to Negotiate After a Staggering Defeat: A Playbook for Democrats (and anyone else negotiating from a point of weakness) | Harvard Business Review

While “hopeless” probably describes how many Democrats are currently feeling, this article is not about political affiliation. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, a business owner or a factory worker — there will come a time when you are negotiating from a position of weakness or in the shadow of defeat. This post covers five principles that are broadly applicable for difficult negotiations…


canstockphoto17662095 (1)The 2016 Elections – Impact on the Work of Charitable Nonprofits | Council of Nonprofits

Actions by Congress on issues like healthcare, such as altering the Affordable Care Act, will directly affect state finances – and impact the work of nonprofits beyond just those providing healthcare. State and local ballot measures on minimum wage and other policies will put pressure on Congress and other states to adjust employment laws– and affect the work of nonprofits as employers. The spread of trifecta government at the state level – as in one party controlling the governorship and majorities in both the state House and Senate – may escalate a trend among states to adopt austerity budgets and tax plans that undermine their long-term fiscal stability.

Turbulence Ahead: 10 Questions for Nonprofit Boards to Urgently Ask and Answer | Nonprofit Quarterly

Boards must take these next few weeks and months to consider the what-ifs—not in a fright-filled way, but as an organizational stress test. Is this organization fit enough, self-knowledgeable enough, foresighted enough, and connected enough to make it through an obstacle course with as yet unknown threats? The only way to gauge that is to begin the self-questioning now…


FPDecisions leadership must make for fundraising to grow | 101Fundraising

One of the key recommendations in the Great Fundraising research was ‘whole organisation fundraising’:  those that succeeded in multiplying their income were the ones where the whole organisation was proud of fundraising; and all departments contributed to making the organisation ‘fundraisable.’ Encouraging such unity requires particular behaviours from senior leadership: board, executive team and, pivotally, the CEO or general secretary. There are two precise decisions which must be made by senior leadership for fundraising to flourish: A decision to prioritise investment in fundraising to drive growth; A decision on the messaging the whole organisation uses to drive growth.

Donor-Advised Funds Nearing Double Digits | The Nonprofit Times

The 2016 Donor-Advised Fund Report, released Tuesday by National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), revealed that DAF grants to nonprofits grew 17 percent in 2015, from $12.42 billion to $14.52 billion. Contributions hit another all-time high of $22.26 billion – making up 8.4 percent of the $264.58 billion in charitable giving by Americans last year.

Corporate Impact Investing Estimated At $2.4B | The Nonprofit Times

A third of companies globally are “somewhat” or “highly” active in impact investing with large corporations investing $2.4 billion annually – a level that’s expected to grow over the next decade. Total giving by companies that are active is almost twice as much as those who are not active, according to a new pilot study released this week.

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