New Clara Miller on Enterprise Capital

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Over the years NPQ has published some real classics in the realm of nonprofit financial management, and a number of them were from Clara Miller, head of the F.B. Heron Foundation, who at the time headed the Nonprofit Finance Fund. She had a real talent for cutting to the chase where some of the more confounding aspects of nonprofit finance were concerned. Many of the more frequent conundrums faced by  leaders were visited upon nonprofits by their funders, sometimes individually and almost always collectively: the demands regarding overhead; the dangers of too much dependence on a single source, and then again on too much diversity of revenue; the scourge of restricted funds and single year support; and on and on. She often suggested that funders focus more on the support of the enterprise itself and stop designating where money should be spent.

As president of the F.B. Heron Foundation, Miller is now in “Capital, Equity and Looking at Nonprofits as Enterprises”, bringing her experience to bear on the way that foundations think about grantmaking. So here is the third NPQ installment of four on philanthropic capital, first published in NPQ’s blockbuster summer 2013 edition on the new gatekeepers of philanthropy.

Once you have read Miller’s piece, you will want to take a look at “Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot: A Bold Philanthropic Experiment” and “Second-Stage Growth: How Major Grants Transformed our Institutions.” And keep an eye out for our last installment on Monday—an interview with Nancy Roob, president of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

And, as always, please chime in with your thoughts!

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