Charitable Plutocracy: Bill Gates, Washington State, and the Nuisance of Democracy

This article dealing with a central question of philanthropy is being run as the Council on Foundations holds its annual conference. The question is, can we maintain the integrity of the democratic process when multibillionaire philanthropists like Bill Gates and the Koch brothers are able to shape policy without input from the public in a way ordinary citizens cannot?


An Unfunded Self-Mandate

I wanted to remind all of our readers that we will be running a special and very important series of articles this year from nonprofit leaders under the age of 40.


Nonprofit Finances for Dummies and the Rest of Us

I was listening to someone on the radio this morning talking about how few of us would even think twice about a friend or family member confess to “not being good with math,” while if the same person were to confess to “not being good” at reading, we might be more concerned. So it goes: Innumeracy is a kind of sanctioned illiteracy that no manager or trustee or nonprofit can afford. When people are uncomfortable talking fluently about financial matters—not the numbers themselves, but the conceptual framework of how numbers relate and are moved by one another and other aspects of our enterprise—we may have a problem in managing nonprofit budgets, beset as they are with a variety of revenue streams with wildly different transaction costs, margins, and fluidity, etc.. That’s why NPQ tries hard to break down the concepts you must work with on a day-to-day basis in ways that allow you to communicate with others. That is, after all, the only way that shared governance can work properly.