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Main » Funding/Philanthropy » 
Challenges facing non profits
  Links Category: <br>Challenges facing non profits<br>
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Dan Pallotta campaign to change how NPOs funded, and more
This link points to a set of blog articles by Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC which each point to work by Dan Pallotta and others who seek to revolutionize how non profits, social benefit activists, and similar organizations are supported. Look at the comments section on each blog where links to other articles are posted.

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Drowning in Paperwork. Distracted from Purpose
From the web site of Project Streamline: "Drowning in Paperwork: Distracted From Purpose examined grantmakers application and reporting practices and their impact on grantmakers and grantseekers. This report formed the basis for Project Streamline and continues to be used by grantmakers to better understand the flaws in the current system, barriers to change, and principles that grantmakers can adopt to improve their practices."

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Ideas on effective philanthropy, from Center for Effective Philanthropy
As foundations and consultants write about how philanthropy can help solve complex problems, the articles from this site, and the links the articles point to, should be recommended reading.

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Shortcomings of Modern Strategic Philanthropy and How to Overcome Them
This is one of many articles on the web site of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy which focus on challenges facing social benefit organizations focusing on complex social problems.
Hits:  60 Report Broken Link
State of the Non profit Sector - 2014 survey
From the web site: "Key Findings of the 2014 survey:"

* The economic recovery is leaving behind many nonprofits and communities in need: Only 11% expect 2014 to be easier than 2013 for the people they serve.
*41% of nonprofits named "achieving long-term financial stability" as a top challenge, yet:
* More than half of nonprofits (55%) have 3 months or less cash-on-hand.
* 28% ended their 2013 fiscal year with a deficit.
* Only 9% can have an open dialogue with funders about developing reserves for operating needs, and only 6% about developing reserves for long-term facility needs.

Respondents said that more than 70% of their funders requested impact or program metrics. Only 1% reported that funders always cover the costs of impact measurement; 71% said costs were rarely or never covered.

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State of the Non profit Sector - 2013 survey
This 2013 Non Profit Finance Fund Survey shows condition of the non profit sector. Among the key findings: * 42% of survey respondents report that they do not have the right mix of financial resources to thrive and be effective in the next 3 years.
* 1 in 4 nonprofits has 30 days or less cash-on-hand.

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Strategic Philanthropy - 2014 debate
As a CEO of a small non profit during the 1993-2011 period described in this article, the frustrations expressed by the fictional CEO are very real. One topic not included is the inconsistent flow of operating dollars that makes complex work even more difficult, and frustrating. I recommend you add this article to your reading.

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Strategic Philanthropy for Complex World
This is one of an on-going set of articles on the Stanford Social Innovation Review intended to stimulate creative thinking about philanthropy, collective action, impact, etc.

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What Social Sector Leaders Need to Succeed - McKinsey & Co.
This 2014 McKinsey & Co report illustrates challenges facing social sector organizations.
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UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising
From the web site:
"The newly released study (2013) UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising reveals that many nonprofits are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed. A joint project of CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the report found high levels of turnover and lengthy vacancies in development director positions throughout the sector. More significantly, the study reveals deeper issues that contribute to instability in the development director role, including a lack of basic fundraising systems and inadequate attention to fund development among key board and staff leaders."

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Charities and The Compassion Gap - article
This article illustrates one of the challenges charities serving the poor have in attracting consistent financial support.

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CompassPoint - research on non profits
Daring to Lead 2006 is available on the CompassPoint web site. The link to the PDF is
Three surprising findings from CompassPoint's new national study on executive directors:
a) 30% of executives leave their jobs involuntarily (either fired or forced out); b) Executive directors plan to leave their jobs but will stay active in the nonprofit sector; and c) A key driver of executive burnout is frustration with funders.

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Creative ideas from FSG Social Impact Advisors
Social Impact Advisors is addressing some of the most important issues in social problem solving, with in-depth research and though provoking articles. Browse the various sections of the site, read the blogs, add your own feedback.

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Distribution of charity dollars to poor - article
This is a thought-provoking article from the New York Times, showing how the majority of charity dollars don't actually get to the poor.  This is an issue of great importance to non profit tutor/mentor programs who serve youth in high poverty urban areas.

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Getting Foundations to Look at Your Work -
This article points to a growing challenge of smaller social benefit organizations who are not part of the "in circle" of grant makers. The solutions proposed are overwhelming challenges in themselves.

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Next Generation of Community Revitalization: A Work in Progress
This report by The Bridgespan Group points to challenges that must be overcome for collective efforts to achieve long-term social impact:
a) short term funding
b) overstretched leaders; gaps in organization capacity
c) uneven commitment to resident engagement (stakeholder involvement)
d) unrealistic expectations about how much can be accomplished how soon
e) limited access to knowledge
f) silo-ed thinking as initiatives work separately from each other
These are challenges Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC focus on.

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Non Profit Capacity Support; The Quite Revolution
This link points to an article written in 2003. It's part of The Open Society Institute Information Program, which "works to increase public access to knowledge, facilitate civil society communication, and protect civil liberties and the freedom to communicate in the digital environment."

Visit the web site to learn more of its resources.

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Non Profit IPO - selling shares?
This SSIR shows how one non profit launched an IPO to generate revenue. It builds on the thinking launched by Dan Pallotta in his TED talk showing challenges of the Non Profit Sector. Worth following.

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Non Profit Overhead and other issues. Re-Charity blog
The author writes about the ideas of Dan Pallota and the issues that limit effectiveness of a larger number of organizations depending on philanthropic giving and charity for support of their work.

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Non Profit Starvation Cycle - The Bridgespan Group
Without supporting the infrastructure of non profit organizations on a consistent basis, few will achieve the long-term impact and results expected of them. Make this one of the topics you keep referring to as you discuss ways to solve social problems.

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Outcomes Measurement for Non Profits: Who does Analysis?
Deborah Elizabeth Finn raises some important questions about outcomes measurement and analysis in this 2012 blog article/survey.

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PhilanthroMedia - Lessons for donors
From the web site: "PhilanthroMedia was established for discerning donors who want to increase the impact of their giving. A project of PhilanthroMedia, Inc, it provides syndicated daily content to 70 community foundations via RSS feed."
This link points to a series of articles under the topic of "Ten Things We'd Like to Tell Every New Philanthropist"

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Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out
A skilled, committed, and diverse pool of next generation leaders would like to be nonprofit executive directors in the future, according to a new national survey of nearly 6,000 next generation leaders. However, the survey also finds that there are significant barriers: work-life balance, insufficient life-long earning potential, lack of mentorship and overwhelming fundraising responsibilities which may prevent many younger nonprofit staff from becoming executives
Visit the web site and download the report.

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Recommended reading for EDs and grant makers
The Gift Hub blog has numerous links and many articles that are worth reading. I linked to this one because it's kind of a laundry list, with many links to other sites that are recommended reading. Take your time. Read some of these every week and over the course of a year, you've expanded your knowledge, and your network.

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Reducing Turnover of Chief Development Officer (CDO)
This 2013 study, titled "CDO Confidential: What CDOs Want You to Know about Retention" reveals that unrealistic expectations set by management have reduced the average Chief Development Officer (CDO) tenure to one to two years." Read the full report and recommendations on the Campbell & Company web site.

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