Social Velocity

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…

Social Velocity

Guest Post: The Rebirth of Nonprofit Advocacy

Note: With a current political climate which is arguably more challenging for many nonprofit social change efforts, I believe (along with many others) that now is the time for nonprofits to move more actively into advocacy. But many nonprofit leaders don’t know how to get started. So I asked the expert on all things nonprofit…


Social Velocity

10 Great Social Innovation Reads: Feb 2017

Whew, are you as exhausted as I am? As I said last month, with the January inauguration of President Trump, it seems we moved into hyper drive. And February didn’t slow down a bit. From debates about the right political role for nonprofits, to advocacy in new areas like science, to efforts to reinvent journalism,…

Social Velocity

Nonprofit Leaders, Get Outside Your Walls

It amazes me how many nonprofit leaders form their organizational strategy, their fundraising pitch, or their program model inside their nonprofit’s own walls. In order to be successful, you must understand the market in which you operate. And in order to understand it, you must go investigate it. It is a simple fact that nonprofits must compete…


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…