Social Velocity

Social Velocity

What Nonprofit Sustainability Looks Like: An Interview with Hilda Polanco

In this month’s Social Velocity interview, I’m talking with Hilda Polanco. Hilda is the founder and CEO of FMA – Fiscal Strength for Nonprofits, a consulting firm that helps nonprofits and foundations develop the fiscal capacity they need to fulfill their missions, including stronger operations and fiscal management, improved foundation grant-making capacity, and increased staff financial knowledge. In addition…

Social Velocity

Nonprofit Leaders Have More Power Than They Think

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on a controversial topic, “How to Remove a Troublesome Board Member.” As I wrote in the post, Of the many taboos in the nonprofit sector, the taboo against asking bad board members to resign is one of the most destructive. Instead of encouraging ineffective or meddling board…


Social Velocity

How Funders Can Help Overcome the Overhead Myth

Note: In April I will be moderating a panel at the Center for Effective Philanthropy Conference about what funders can do to support nonprofit sustainability. To promote that panel and the conference, the Center for Effective Philanthropy asked me to write a post for their blog, which is reprinted below. You can see the original post…

Social Velocity

Is Your Nonprofit Stuck In Rut?

The other day I was talking with a nonprofit leader and was suddenly struck by how much his story echoed so many of the stories I hear from nonprofit leaders. See if your nonprofit fits some or all aspects of the scenario he faces: His board is passionate about the mission and wants to be helpful, but they don’t really contribute…


Social Velocity

10 Great Social Innovation Reads: January 2017

In January it seemed as though we moved into social change hyper drive. With the inauguration of a new president, a litany of controversial executive orders, numerous efforts to block or minimize them, and advice for or frustration with the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors’ responses, the world of social change moved at warp speed. Add to that…

Social Velocity

Speak Out and Be Counted

I had an ache in the pit of my stomach all weekend long. I get a stomach ache whenever something is very, very wrong. Friday’s Executive Order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries is so very wrong, and so fundamentally un-American. I am an American because my ancestors at one point or another immigrated to this country because they thought it…


Social Velocity

How to Remove a Troublesome Nonprofit Board Member

One thing that most nonprofit leaders have in common is that they often have at least one (or more than one) challenging board member. You know — the one who doesn’t show up for board meetings, or doesn’t do what she says she’ll do, or never makes a contribution, or derails meetings with his own agenda….

Social Velocity

Will the Women’s March Usher In a New Era of Civic Engagement?

Perhaps like many of you, I participated in the Women’s March on Saturday. In my hometown of Austin, Texas I stood with my husband and two teenage sons amid a sea of 50,000 other people, and I suddenly wondered whether we are witnessing the birth of a new era of civic engagement. Saturday was to me an…


Social Velocity

5 Questions Nonprofit Leaders Should Ask About Money

One of my predicted “5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2017” is that we will see “More Analysis of What Nonprofit Financial Sustainability Requires.” In other words, I think (hope) in this new year that nonprofit leaders and their funders will work to figure out how to make nonprofits more financial sustainable. Financial sustainability means that both…

Social Velocity

Now is The Time for Bold Nonprofit Leaders

Nonprofit leaders tend to err on the side of caution. But these times call for something quite different. These times demand that you overcome the fear and risk-aversion that sometimes cripple your work. You no longer have the luxury of sitting by and waiting for “permission” to do what you have to do. This is the time…