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Dear Charity Navigator, please move forward thoughtfully

Last November, Charity Navigator’s board approved a plan to scale up operations, planning to double the number of charities it rates by the end of 2016. In April, when its CEO Ken Berger suddenly best online casino resigned, the California Association of Nonprofits – an organization of 9,400 member nonprofits — thought it time to […]

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Nonprofits lose an average of $15,000 a year due to spam filters, study says

Nonprofits annually lose an average of nearly $15,000 because of fundraising solicitations intercepted by spam filters, according to a new study. Donations made in response to emails accounted for about a third of online fundraising revenue in 2013, but one in eight emails never reaches an inbox — a percentage almost as high as the share of emails […]

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Cooper Union inquiry puts nonprofits on notice

By James B. Stewart, New York Times | In what should be a ringing alarm for nonprofit boards across the country long accustomed to minimal scrutiny or accountability, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York has signaled that the laissez-faire approach to nonprofit governance is over. Mr. Schneiderman’s office has sent letters to the […]

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From projects to people

By Ken Banks, Ashoka fellow, Stanford Social Innovation Review | Bill Siemering was about to jump in his cab to make an airport pickup when his home phone rang. It was the vice president of the MacArthur Foundation. “I was shocked,” said Bill, “when he told me I was being awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.” That […]

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Eight common innovation traps

By Gabriel Kasper & Justin Marcoux, Stanford Social Innovation Review | Innovation, it seems, is easier said than done. Despite growing interest in applying innovation methodologies to social sector challenges over the past decade, more often than not, philanthropic efforts to support innovation fall short. That’s because the processes, strategies, and structures that funders need […]

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Building trust with donors

by Andy Canada at Johnson Grossnickle Associates | One of the most important things an organization can do to guarantee long term success and support from donors is to instill and cultivate trust between the organization and its donors. Millennials in particular value trust with an organization, with 84% saying they will only donate to […]

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A guide to nonprofit overhead

By Jan Masaoka & Steve Zimmerman, Blue Avocado Calculating overhead rates and managing overhead expense are important staff roles. Board members are not required to know how do staff accounting work, but we do need to bring an informed perspective to oversight: Harvard’s indirect cost rate is 68% while Iowa State’s is 48%. Should the […]

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The nonprofit starvation cycle

By Ann Goggins Gregory and Don Howard, Stanford Social Innovation Review | Organizations that build robust infrastructure—which includes sturdy information technology systems, financial systems, skills training, fundraising processes, and other essential overhead—are more likely to succeed than those that do not. This is not news, and nonprofits are no exception to the rule. Yet it […]

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A brand new approach

By Lynn Sygiel, editor, Charitable Advisors The name was direct and to the point — Independent Residential Living of Central Indiana – and it served the Greenfield-based nonprofit agency well for over 20 years. The organization referred to itself as IRL. When the agency moved to Indianapolis in the mid-2000s, Chief Executive Officer Connie Dillman […]

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Working locally, thinking globally

 By Lynn Sygiel, editor, Charitable Advisors Charity may begin at home, but charity’s reach is often felt thousands of miles away in far corners of the world. According to an Indiana University survey, there are nearly 100 organizations based Indianapolis that work overseas, and each provides unique opportunities for individuals here to share their time […]

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