Month: November 2015

5 Ways Foundation CEOs Stress Their Program Executives (and How to Fix It)

Foundation CEOs carry a huge responsibility. They are charged with achieving mission, but doing so in a way that is as cost-effective as possible. Naturally, they depend heavily on their senior program staff to make sure these things happen – but in doing so they often end up making both mission effectiveness and cost effectiveness …

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Want to Change Your Organization? Start with Yourself

I recently had breakfast with an old friend who is nearing the end of a five-month sabbatical from her job as a nonprofit executive director. It has been time well spent. She’s taken advantage of being away from a very stressful, time-consuming and labor-intensive job to relax, explore her creative side with writing and painting, …

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Let’s Bring Sanity Back to Grantmaking

Too Hard, Too Soft, or Just Right? Remember the story of Goldilocks and the three bears? At every turn, the blond-haired trespasser was confronted with choices, and in every case she picked the middle ground. Not that I condone breaking and entering, but there is something to be said for the idea of being neither …

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13 Questions To Learn From Your Grantmaking

Most philanthropies seek to be strategic and have an impact. Yet few build their own internal capacity to be strategic grantmakers. In particular, most funders forget to intentionally learn from their initial piloting and testing of strategies so that they can make early modifications and course corrections. Learning isn’t hard to do, but it must …

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Want Feedback? Give It A Minute

My colleague was lamenting the other day about how difficult it often is to get more than a one-word answer from her 9-year-old son when he comes home from school. “How was your day?” she’ll ask. “Fine,” is the reply. “What did you do today?” “Stuff.” “Didn’t you do anything interesting?” “No.” It’s not that …

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6 Mistakes Philanthropists Make During a Crisis (And What They Can Do Instead)

Don’t let delusional altruism hinder your impact! Learn valuable tips to improve your giving during tumultuous times.