Blog Archives

Strategy Maps for the Mission Driven Organization

Posted March 24, 2008 3:14 PM by Ted Jackson

For years management frameworks from the business sector have been forced upon mission-driven organizations from the public and non-profit sector; many of them not appropriate for an organization which is not driven primarily by a financial "bottom line." How then can the Balanced Scorecard management system have proven so successful for mission driven organizations?

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The Business Challenges of Running a Nonprofit

Posted March 24, 2008 7:45 AM by Ted Jackson

There was a great article in the Wall Street Journal on March 20, 2008 highlighting the challenges that food banks are running into during this recession in the US. In today's environment, these food banks have a real business challenge on their hands. Demand is up, but supply is down. This demand and supply situation would make a for profit very rich, but it is extraordinarily challenging for a nonprofit.

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Preparing Young Managers to Take Over

Posted March 17, 2008 4:37 PM by Ted Jackson

The cover article in "the Chronicle of Philanthropy" (March 6, 2008) identifies a key sector challenge of 75% of executive directors planning to leave their job in the next five years - and the critical need to prepare the next generation to take on these roles.

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Managing Non-Profits in a Recession

Posted March 17, 2008 10:15 AM by Dylan Miyake

A few weeks ago, Christopher Penn blogged about his "Top 5 Non-profit strategies for severe recession." Today's news, about the run on Bear Stearns, oil at $112, and the Euro costing $1.60, made me stop and think that the recession that we've been worried about for the past few months is now actually upon us.

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Why Measure? Part 2

Posted March 13, 2008 6:15 AM by Dylan Miyake

This discussion of measurement in the non-profit world has been going on for some time now. In an article in the Summer 2004 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Katie Cunningham & Marc Ricks argue that major donors aren't really that interested in performance measurement. In fact, the note in the article that "only four of the 22 interviewees were strongly interested in getting better data on the performance of nonprofit organizations. Much to our surprise, the rest expressed skepticism – or even outright disapproval of the concept."

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For Good, Measure

Posted March 10, 2008 10:20 AM by Dylan Miyake

The New York Times Magazine dedicated the entire issue yesterday (Sunday, 9 March 2008) to "Giving it Away" -- about the "new business" of philanthropy in the 21st Century. The issue covered, Public Education, the "Celebrity-Philantrophy Complex," and, most interestingly to us, "Can Good Works Be Measured?"

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2007 State of the Nonprofit Industry

Posted March 7, 2008 1:36 PM by Dylan Miyake

I recently came across the Blackbaud State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey 2007. There are a number of interesting factiods in this survey, which was conducted late last year.

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Capacity Building in a Down Market

Posted March 5, 2008 4:30 PM by Dylan Miyake

Rosetta Thurman has a great blog post over at the Stanford Social Innovation Review where she's talking about the real risk to non-profits during an economic downturn. The issue, as she correctly points out, is that when funding dries up, staff gets cut back, and organizations that are making a real difference are at risk.

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Why Consider the Balanced Scorecard?

Posted March 4, 2008 3:22 PM by Ted Jackson

The Balanced Scorecard is a management tool that's becoming very popular in the non-profit and government markets. Why? Because the Balanced Scorecard allows mission-driven organizaions to clearly state their strategy and gives them a measurement framework that shows if they are acheiving their strategy.

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Cross-Sector Collaboration

Posted March 2, 2008 3:10 PM by Dylan Miyake

At Ascendant, we're very interested in how organizations in the not-for-profit space can work together to acheive mission results. And we're especially interested in how we can facilitate connections that would not ordinarily be made.

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