The Hard Work of Measuring Social Impact

Donors are placing nonprofits on the hot seat to measure social performance. Problem is, there is little agreement on what those metrics should be. Professor Alnoor Ebrahim on how nonprofit managers should respond.


Recent studies raise an uncharitable question: Is nonprofit accounting off track?

Enterprising Nonprofits: Revenue Generation in the Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit managers who develop social purpose ventures to generate revenues to support a social mission have limited opportunities to share their experiences with others in the field or to learn from the experiences of others. Many nonprofit managers also have modest business backgrounds. Yet, despite these challenges, the movement toward income generation by nonprofits continues to grow. Some of these ventures succeed, yet many more … [ Read more ]

The Dynamic Nonprofit Board

Corporations aren’t alone in focusing on governance; rigorous oversight of management and performance is increasingly important for nonprofits too.

The Invisible World of Association

We have business and we have government. For too many intents and purposes, we have nothing in between. This distinction has framed the great social debate for more than a century: capitalism versus socialism, markets versus controls, individualism versus collectivism, privatization versus nationalization, “free enterprise” versus “democracy of the proletariat.” The debate features no cooperatives, no NGOs, no not-for-profits, no volunteer organizations, not because they … [ Read more ]

Helping nonprofits do business

Business plan competitions are a powerful way to help nonprofits turn ideas into sustainable commercial ventures.

Nonprofits: Ensuring that Bigger is Better

The federation structure remains a viable model for nonprofit organizations – if managements transform themselves and affiliates collaborate more closely.

Organizational Lessons for Nonprofits

Teach For America learned the importance of building organizational capacity the hard way.

Not-for-profit management: The gift that keeps on giving

Nonprofit organizations should focus on building a lasting organization and on developing effective performance metrics. To make this possible, donors must change their approach to philanthropy.

Philanthropy, Self-Fulfillment, and the Leadership of Community Foundations

The usual question echoing in the hallways of nonprofit organizations is, What do donors want? The more pertinent question is, What do donors need? One way to answer this question is to examine the remarkable success and consequent challenges of one of the fastest growing sectors of American philanthropy: community foundations.

Editor’s Note: this article applies Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to the nonprofit world. … [ Read more ]

Savior To The Stars

Marc Pollick runs the Giving Back Fund, an umbrella nonprofit that manages foundations of athletes, entertainers and others. Pollick’s pitch is simple: quick startup, low overhead and no scandal. And he guarantees noncharitable overhead will be no higher than 5% for the minimum donation of $250,000, down to 1% for a $5 million gift.