Strategy

Will the Real Nonprofit Sector Please Stand Up?

November 13, 2009

Where are the spokespeople for the nonprofit sector’s distinctive value?
Where are the people who will stand up and take issue when Jack and Suzy Welch write, as they did in their BusinessWeek column in 2007, "In most nonprofit situations, as long as you don't screw up, you're pretty much guaranteed lifetime employment." (Not so at the three nonprofits where I have worked, but true of some of the companies I consulted to in a past job as a corporate management consultant.)

Undermining Ourselves

November 12, 2009

In subtle ways, those of us in the nonprofit sector contribute to the lack of appreciation for its strength when we act as though every good idea came from outside it and simply import the language and frameworks of business. Worse, doing so often leads to poor management choices and reduced effectiveness, because the sector needs frameworks that are responsive to its distinctive context and purpose.

The Attack from Within

November 11, 2009

Yesterday, I argued that the nonprofit sector is under attack and discussed the critiques of those on the outside who promise that “business” and “market” thinking is the secret to greater effectiveness. But those of us within the sector also do ourselves a disservice by playing into the critiques, and failing to speak with a loud and clear voice about the nonprofit sector.

Designing Efforts and Charting Courses of Action

October 20, 2009

If philanthropy is an active effort to promote human welfare, how do we design our individual or collective efforts and chart a course of action to promote the welfare of our communities?
At Joyce, we begin with the premise that we have a vested interest in shaping the region where we work and live. We are fortunate to work with a host of issue experts, policy makers, and community leaders to develop workable solutions for many challenges throughout the Great Lakes region. But, collaboration is only one of the tools we use to further our mission. Other tools include:

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