Member-Run Consulting Collective Launches To Help Mission-Driven Businesses and Business-Savvy Organizations Do Well By Doing Good

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Social Intrapreneurs was founded this month by a consortium of social-venture contractors, consulting firms and investor members across the United States and Canada, who are improving their services to social entrepreneurs end expanding their reach globally by banding together and sharing resources and creative synergy. From legal structuring to launch, the collective […]

Why Are Charities Tax-Exempt?

Charitable organizations are eligible to be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This is based on a common belief that giving to charities is good for society. However, with ever increasing reports of corruption and fraud, very large amounts of monies tied up in endowment funds of universities and foundations, and cries of unfair competition by taxable for-profits, some […]

For-Profit or Nonprofit or Hybrid Business?

Traditionally, the divide between a for-profit or nonprofit organization was clear: for-profit businesses would engage in revenue generation and nonprofits would engage in charitable work to solve social issues and would largely stay away from revenue generation. The rise of social enterprises in recent years, however, has made that distinction less and less clear. Social entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to challenge the […]

Seven Strategy Questions: Nonprofit Edition

Seven Strategy Questions by Harvard b-school professor Robert Simons is a good guide to keeping boards of directors focused on strategy and planning. This is critical because the primary value a board provides is strategic direction.

His book is understandably focused on the for-profit corporate world, so I thought it would be useful to pose his seven questions and provide my […]

Tips for Cross-Sector Collaborations

Hi everyone. If I seem smarter and more attractive in the past couple of weeks, it’s because I just came back from Harvard Business School. Well, technically, I was sent as part of Seattle’s delegation to the four-day Young American Leadership Program (YALP). But whatever, I feel smarter already; and since it is technically true, I am telling all my […]

When You Don’t Disclose Salary Range on A Nonprofit Application

Hi everyone. Today, while driving past a pizza place, I noticed something: The dude who normally stood at the corner wearing a toga and spinning a giant arrow sign pointing the way to the shop had been replaced by what looked like a cardboard cutout. It was holding the giant arrow, but the sign was hooked to a spinning machine. And I […]

I’m Founding A Nonprofit: Should I Pay Myself?

Some leaders want to get their organization off the ground, demonstrate impact, and validate their worth without draining resources during the critical early stages. Others may believe that the organization’s ultimate success (and their ultimate payoff) will increase if they hold off and leverage all resources toward growth.

But sometimes even after an organization has stabilized, founders take no funds or […]

Wal-Mart Tapped Charity Critics Complain

A collection of labor and community groups filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s charitable foundation of violating its tax exempt status by using donations in an attempt to facilitate store openings in urban areas.

In the complaint, dated Monday and addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the group claims the Walmart Foundation made donations to […]

Leading Together for Greater Impact

Philanthropy is demonstrating leadership by coming together, pooling resources and capitalizing on our own institutional strengths. I call this process Leading Together.

By organizing around a foundation’s core strengths and by embracing the best thinking from the nonprofit sector, scholarship, science and business, we will be able to have a much greater impact as a community of funders than we will […]

The Red Cross Raised Half A Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes.

Today, not one home has […]

New York Coffee Chain Blends Business And Charity For Success

It’s not unusual for a small business to work with community nonprofit groups, but a New York-based chain of coffee shops is taking that partnership further.

Coffeed operates six cafes in New York, plus a restaurant in Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan and a new location in Seoul, South Korea. The company partners with a different charity at each location.As Inc. […]

Practical Strategies for Building a Bigger Tent

Our nation feels more divided than ever. From political gridlock in Washington, D.C. to a fragmented media landscape, more Americans are forming opinions and consuming information from niche sources and polarizing points of view. The social change sphere is not immune from this splintered and siloed way of thinking. Nonprofits and philanthropies also have limited bandwidth at both the organizational […]

Explaining The FIFA Corruption Arrests

The world awoke Wednesday morning to the news that a number of high-ranking FIFA officials had been arrested by Swiss authorities in a Zürich hotel, and were facing extradition to the USA on charges of racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud.

And there’s more. A few hours later, the Swiss announced that they had also been busy with their own investigation, […]

Miley Cyrus’ New Nonprofit Helps Homeless, LGBT Youth

When Miley Cyrus wears pasties or posts photos of her pink armpits, it’s not to be a provocateur. The 22-year-old says she’s just being herself, and she wants all young people to have that same opportunity.

That’s why she’s launching the Happy Hippie Foundation to help homeless and LGBT youth, adding that not all her past relationships were “straight, heterosexual” ones. […]

How To Achieve Staff Diversity

In order to make the widest impact possible, your organization needs to appeal to a wide audience. This audience should include people from all backgrounds, including race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, income level, and so on. Otherwise, it may appear that your organization is being exclusive with one particular group and perhaps even discriminatory toward others. In order to create […]

Women Are Naturally Suited To Social Enterpreneurship

Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, founder of Uncommon Union wrote in Forbes, “The new field of social entrepreneurship is ideally suited to women, who have always had to meet complex demands that pit community against individualism. In short, we understand the necessity of seeing the economy and the world as an interconnected and interdependent system.”

Social enterprises are organizations that apply commercial strategies […]

When Is In-Kind Giving Tax-Deductible?

The IRS regulations when it comes to gifts in kind can be confusing.  But they’re well worth leveraging.  As noted by Brian Mittendorf, Professor of Accounting and MIS at The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, “The IRS rules are such that a company is likely to see greater tax benefits from donating inventory than from donating cash.”

With that […]

Conflict of Interest in Nonprofit Engagement

Given a nonprofit’s purpose to fulfill a community need, it is essential to remain in touch with evolving needs of the community.  The most direct touch point is engagement with clients and constituents. But experience has taught that this is easier said than done.

Is the nonprofit looking just for information? For engagement? For partnership? For ownership and control? It is […]

The Nonprofit Branding Bandwagon

I first wrote about the branding bandwagon back in 2007, when it seemed that every large nonprofit I knew was  spending serious money — and I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars —  for corporate style tag lines, logos, commercial partnerships and strategies that they thought would attract media coverage and recognition from potential donors. At the time I complained […]