Social Velocity

Social Velocity

Do Your Programs Contribute to Mission AND Money?

There is a tool that I think is incredibly helpful to nonprofit leaders trying to figure out where to focus their resources and how to plan for the future. Indeed it is typically one of the first activities in the strategic planning process I use with my clients. The Program Matrix helps a nonprofit board…

Social Velocity

7 Questions to Move Your Nonprofit to Financial Sustainability

Financial sustainability seems to be the Holy Grail of the nonprofit sector. Everyone wants it, but few know how to find it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I firmly believe that financial sustainability is attainable for any nonprofit, as long as board and staff are willing to ask the right questions and do…


Social Velocity

Putting Wealth to Work for Social Value Creation: An Interview with Jen Ratay

In this month’s Social Velocity interview, I’m talking with Jen Ratay. Jen is executive director of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund – SV2, a community of families and individuals who come together to learn about effective giving and impact investing while pooling their resources and skills to support promising social ventures. Prior to taking…

Social Velocity

How Effective Is Your Nonprofit Leader?

In an ideal world, one of the things a nonprofit board of directors does is annually evaluate the performance of the executive director. But let’s be honest, how often does that actually happen? I once had an executive director so desperate for feedback about her job performance from a board who refused to evaluate her that she hired me to…


Social Velocity

Can Philanthropy Lead In These Challenging Times?

Last week I was in Boston for the Center for Effective Philanthropy conference. It was an amazing gathering of leaders talking about how philanthropy should respond in these difficult times. If you couldn’t make the conference and want a run down of the three days, CEP’s Ethan McCoy recapped Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3…

Social Velocity

10 Great Social Innovation Reads: March 2017

March offered lots of insight about how philanthropy should respond in the age of Trump. From investing in social movements, to getting involved in advocacy, to strengthening local communities, to giving more than the required 5%, there was much advice. Add to that a growing interest in how to combat “fake news,” steps to creating a digital marketing strategy,…


Social Velocity

Goodbye to a Mentor and a Friend

I have a heavy heart today. I found out yesterday that my first boss, long-time mentor, and most influential teacher of all things nonprofit management died over the weekend. Mary Jubitz was the CEO of SMART (Start Making a Reader Today), a statewide early literacy nonprofit in Portland, Oregon. I met Mary when, as a…

Social Velocity

Why Nonprofits Need Both Leaders and Managers

In the nonprofit sector the words “leader” and “manager” are sometimes tossed around interchangeably. But the fact is that they are two very different, and equally necessary, elements to an effective and sustainable nonprofit organization. A leader provides an inspiring, motivating big strategy for staff and board to get behind. She asks hard questions and constantly pushes…


Social Velocity

Nonprofit Capacity Building Works: An Interview with Kathy Reich

In this month’s Social Velocity interview, I’m talking with Kathy Reich. Kathy leads the Ford Foundation’s BUILD initiative both in the United States and in 10 global regions. BUILD is an essential part of the foundation’s strategy to reduce inequality, a strategy arising from the conviction that healthy civil society organizations are essential to driving and…

Social Velocity

What Is Nonprofit Sustainability?

Last week I led a planning call among the panelists on the “Supporting Nonprofit Sustainability” session I am moderating at April’s Center for Effective Philanthropy conference (which I described in an earlier post). One of the panelist suggested that we start the session by defining what we mean by “nonprofit sustainability.” As we started to discuss…