July 10, 2014

Fall 2006

Financial Independence: Six Approaches

FinancialIndependence

Are nonprofits and resource dependency inextricably linked? In this classic NPQ journal article, the insightful and grounded Jon Pratt says “not necessarily!” and then he walks us through six ways to limit or eliminate the degree to which you must do a master’s bidding.

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Asking the Right Person for the Right Amount

RightWe are heading into a heavy fundraising season, how do you make every ask count to the utmost? In this article from our archives, the guru Kim Klein reintroduces us to wrong and right ways to make “the ask.”

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How to (Unwittingly) Perpetuate Class-Based Power

These 14 practices are object lessons to convince organizational development consultants to do no harm to the communities served by their nonprofit clients. And if they inspire some greater ability to laugh at ourselves along the way, so much the better.

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Silver Linings: Poverty Growth Creates Fulfilling Middle Class Occupations

Phil takes a ride he'll never forget and learns that some people's good works are other people's "sheltered workshops."

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Good Intentions: The Dilemma of Outside-In Help for Inside-Out Change

EyePhilanthropic attempts to become more “strategic” may come at a price. Last week we printed Printice Zinn’s provocative “Strategic Philanthropy: Who Wins and Loses?” and we thought that we would follow that up with this classic article from the NPQ archives on a related topic. Who decides how money should be used to better a community?

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The Buffet Gift - Now What?

Philantrhopist Lewis Cullman encourages others to extend the power of their money for social change through active peer influence.

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Class Consciousness Matters

Despite our national self-delusions, it is clear that class matters—just as race, gender, and other accidents of history matter—in shaping the opportunities and life experiences of Americans.

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The Question of Class

The way nonprofits uphold monied influence is, unfortunately, by replicating hierarchies of elite influence and decision making. In so doing we short-sightedly gut our own populist power bases and, as a result and not coincidentally, provide unimpeded avenues for the domination of public policy by class-based power.

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The Third Sector as a Protective Layer for Capitalism

One reason capitalism does not collapse, despite its many weaknesses and valiant opposition movements, is the nonprofit sector.

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Battered Agencies

Bat“Battered agencies” is a term that can describe local or indigenous agencies striving to serve low-income communities that are hindered by the same types of risk factors facing the families they seek to help. Although this article was first published by NPQ in 2006, it seems even more relevant today as social safety net organizations are stressed by the demand for service and the demands of regulators.

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Diving into the Power Pool

Floyd Hunter developed a discipline for mapping who might be in these pivotal roles, and published his findings in the 1953 book Community Power Structure: A Study of Decision Makers. It and other work that flows from it provide a way for nonprofits to study their own environments to identify power actors.

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