Nonprofit Sector

The Story of PROTECTA: Trying to Reconcile Organizing and Service Delivery

February 17, 2010

Two years ago, Mladen Jovanović, one of three founders of PROTECTA, a Serbian NGO, took my online executive program on strategic frameworks for NGO leaders. His analysis of the organization’s strategic challenges reflected the mission struggle many good organizations that start out focusing on advocacy have as they grow and gain donor support.

Elements of a New Paradigm: Evaluation

February 11, 2010

The shift away from a philanthropic paradigm based on demonstration projects and government-sponsored replication has also fundamentally altered the role of evaluation in philanthropy.
In the past, evaluation may have been the lynchpin to scaling social impact by proving the effectiveness of a particular intervention and thereby providing the justification for large-scale funding from government or other sources. (Although it has never been clear exactly who those “other sources” might be!)

Video of Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the Knight Foundation

February 9, 2010

Last Wednesday the Center had the honor of hosting Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as he presented before the Foundation Impact Research Group.
Mr. Ibargüen's talk centered on the changes that have occurred at the Knight Foundation over the past several years. Included on the video (total time approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes) is the lively question-and-answer period that followed the talk.
Check out the video here.

Quote of the Weekend

February 5, 2010

King Gama's Song
(from Princess Ida, music by Arthur Sullivan, libretto by W.S. Gilbert, 1884)
If you give me your attention, I will tell you what I am:
I'm a genuine philanthropist—all other kinds are sham.
Each little fault of temper and each social defect
In my erring fellow-creatures, I endeavour to correct.
To all their little weaknesses I open people's eyes;
And little plans to snub the self-sufficient I devise;
I love my fellow creatures—I do all the good I can—

Should Civil Society Be Reduced to a Subset of the Market?

January 25, 2010

Over the past few years it’s become almost an article of faith that civil society—including philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector it supports—should operate on business principles, like rates-of-return, competition to weed out the weak, close supervision of the organizations you support, financial data as measures of success, and paying corporate salaries to the CEO.


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