Welcome | Winter 2003

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Dear Reader:

Don’t you agree that the cover for this issue feels apropos for the times we are in? It is certainly reflective of the motley collection of articles in this issue. “Something going on in every ring, ladies and gents!”

You will find many stories here—of organizations struggling with cutbacks, of organizations finding new ways to work with technology and of funders gone astray. The Nonprofit Quarterly owes a deep debt of gratitude to the organizations interviewed for the latest installment of the Spinning Straw into Gold series. Their willingness to be watched and learned from nationally as they adjust incrementally to waves of budget cuts is admirable. Their stories bring this issue to life in a way that would not otherwise have been possible. We are grateful to them.

We also offer a number of articles on which we are requesting reader response. Paul Brest of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has chosen the Nonprofit Quarterly to float his thoughts about what he sees as a nonprofit planning deficit. Frances Kunreuther, director of the Building Movement into the Nonprofit Sector Project, housed at Demos, suggests that formalizing voluntary efforts into 501(c)(3) corporations may sometimes be their ruin. Geri Mannion of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Curtis Gans of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate urge us to think more deeply and act more aggressively on voting and election-related issues.

Additionally, we have a special offering in an article on organizational adaptability by Carl Sussman. This piece has been excerpted from a larger paper commissioned by the Barr Foundation in Boston, and we think it is one of the better things we have seen on what it takes to run a powerful nonprofit.

As always, talk back to us. Disagree or agree—tell us what we should pay attention to next. We are nothing without your voice, and we always learn a lot from you.

Finally, we’d like you to know that Molly Weis has decided to leave the Nonprofit Quarterly. Making the transition from a small regional trade publication to a mature, national standard-setting journal took vision—but, almost more important, untiringly principled and painstakingly vigilant execution. Most of all it took a deep concern that we would be of real use to our readers. Molly has been, in her six years here, a champion of all of these qualities. In her role as editor, Molly was the co-founder of NPQ’sambitious national vision. She has also been master of the deadline, accompanying many an anxious author through the dark night of authorship while vigilantly monitoring the thousands of critical details in the production of each issue. Her stellar work has helped to create a well-tested, robust framework for the accomplishment of our vision and leaves us extraordinarily well girded for the future, and for this we will always be grateful.