Sunday, April 26, 2009

Report on Next Generation of Board Members

A new report is available from BoardSource, which focuses on the next generation of board members and their impact and benefit on board governance. The report found that the next generation often display strong passions that inspire other members, have a drive to produce results, open doors to new networks and donors, and provide a fresh perspective on old problems, according to a new BoardSource report based on interviews with 50 nonprofit chief executives and senior staff leaders

The report, part of BoardSource's Next Generation and Governance project, is designed help nonprofit leaders explore the benefits of and strategies for including members of Generations X (born 1965-1979) and Y (born 1980-2000) in nonprofit governance. View the complete report.

There are four common ways younger members benefit organizations, according to the report:
  • Passion for the mission. “Our younger board members are passionate about what we do and it gets the rest of us excited,” said Sandra Timmons of A Better Chance. “They are bringing energy, enthusiasm, and freshness to our work. It’s inspiring to our other members.”
  • Results-oriented thinking. Younger board members go beyond being motivated by the mission. They connect passion with a need for real outcomes.
  • Access to new networks and donors. Chief executives say younger board members are not hesitant about asking for money on behalf of the organization — particularly when they use online tools.
  • Fresh perspective on old problems. Generation X and Y members are not afraid to ask why or challenge assumptions. Their perspectives and experiences often serve as a reality check for boards and lead to more informed decision making.

The report also covers the following questions:

  • In the past, what has kept your organization from adding younger generations to its board?
  • How did you know it was the right time to add younger generations to your board?
  • Once on board, do you prepare or orient younger generations differently?
  • What are the top three to five skills or qualities necessary for a young person to add value to your board?
  • If younger generations were added to the board, what three to five skills or qualities would the board need in order to work well with them?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blumner: Fat cats of the not-for-profit world should go on diet

The following editorial by Robyn Blumner appeared in the The St. Petersburg Times. Blumner relates that:

Everyone knows that Wall Street financiers and the nation's corps of CEOs are paid too much. We see CEO pay at 275 times that of average workers, and executives on Wall Street awarded seven-figure bonuses even when their investment firms are dead men walking.
But what has been bothering me recently, as the economy has soured and more people are in need of charitable services, is the pay of a different sort of CEO. The people who run many of our nonprofits, such as hospitals, educational institutions and social service charities, are also hugely overpaid.

These leaders run organizations that reap substantial tax savings because they engage in socially valuable enterprises. But too many of the dollars they raise seem to be going into their own pockets. Read more here.

Is this kind of reaction a growing trend? How can the majority of nonprofits, who don't have this level of compensation work, to address the perception issue raised here? Share your opinon here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

States Slashing Social Programs for Vulnerable

The NY Times featured an article about how a large majority of states are slicing into their social safety nets — often crippling preventive efforts that officials say would save money over time.

President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package is helping to alleviate some of the pain, providing large amounts of money to pay for education and unemployment insurance, bolster food stamp programs and expand tax credits for low earners. But the money will offset only 40 percent of the losses in state revenues, and programs for vulnerable groups have been cut in at least 34 states, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a private research group in Washington.

New York State is using stimulus money and a tax increase to avoid most of the large cuts in child care, nurse visits to inexperienced mothers and other services that were originally proposed. But if revenues keep falling by the billions, “all bets are off,” said Karen Schimke, president of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy in Albany, which studies child and family issues. Read more here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The New York Council of Nonprofits wishes to extend its sincerest sympathies to the victims and families of the recent tragedy in Binghamton, NY. We commend the Binghamton nonprofit community for their immediate and compassionate response to this event. To learn more about the nonprofit and community response in Binghamton and how you can help, please click here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

MCF media coverage summary

Minnesota Council of Foundations offered the following roundup of media coverage of the world of philanthropy and nonprofits.

Financial Safety Net of Nonprofit Organizations is Fraying, Survey Finds
The New York Times: Only 12 percent of nonprofits surveyed expect to end the year with an operating surplus.

Foundation Giving in ‘08 Defied Huge Asset Decline
The New York Times: Foundation giving for 2008 fell by just 1 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis.

Downturn Thinning Ranks for Charity Walkathons and Other Events
The Chronicle on Philanthropy: Pledge-based fundraising events are attracting fewer participants who fear they won’t meet pledge-collection commitments.

Silver Lining of Downturn: Pro Bono Aid
onPhilanthropy: Many law firms are increasing pro bono legal programs, which is good for nonprofits.

As Detroit Struggles, Foundations Shift Mission
The New York Times: Faced with declining resources and exploding need, foundations are picking winners and losers.


National-Service Bill Clears Final Major Hurdle, Winning Senate Approval
The Chronicle of Philanthropy: U.S. Senate adopts Serve America Act.

Analysts: Giving by Wealthy Would Decline Slightly Under Obama Budget Proposal
The Washington Post: Under Obama’s proposal, the tax deduction for those with incomes over $250,000 would be capped at 28 cents on the dollar.

Senate Measure Seeks to Spur Foundations to Give More
The New York Times: Senators introduce legislation encouraging foundations to give away more of their money.

Giving Less but Leading More
onPhilanthropy: It’s vital to showcase foundations’ value beyond dollars and cents.

Community Foundations Increase Funding for Human Services
Dayton Business Journal: Fifty-one percent of community foundations are increasing funding for human services assistance in 2009.

Council Tells Lawmakers 28% of Donor-advised-fund Grants Went to Social Services
The Chronicle of Philanthropy: More than a quarter of grants support basic social services.

Pay at Nonprofits Gets a Closer Look
The Wall Street Journal: Nonprofits bracing for scrutiny of their executive pay practices.

YouTube Ads Earn Nonprofit $10,000 in a Single Day
Watching TV Online: YouTube launches “Call to Action” feature.