About ‘What Happened’: Bill Schambra’s Take on “Illiberal Reformers”

In this article, Bill Schambra says when you ask what happened, take a moment to look in the mirror: “With the rise of think tanks, research universities, and advocacy foundations and nonprofits—the vast, interlocking, insulated complex we’ve constructed to formulate, advocate, and execute public policy—we have only reinforced the barrier between the everyday voter and governance.”

Software Eats the Nonprofit World

This thought-provoking talk by Bill Schambra was given at the annual conference of the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence. Are techies trying to reshape the social sector in their own image, based on their supreme faith in advanced technology?

Is Strategic Philanthropy Yesterday’s News?

Anyone who deals with philanthropy understands that part of the price of admission to the coffers of some foundations is a willingness to deal with philanthropic fads that are absolute one day and obsolete the next. Sometimes the constructs change with top leadership and sometimes they just wear themselves and us out, and wither away. Here Bill Schambra takes on the recent article, “Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World” as one example of this syndrome.

The Tyranny of Success: Nonprofits and Metrics

In this article, the director of the Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal at the Hudson Institute raises questions about how an obsessive focus on outcomes and insistence on proof of “success” threatens to gut the work of the sector.

The Problem of Strategic Philanthropy (According to Bill Schambra)

Here is a speech on the shortcomings of strategic philanthropy given last Wednesday by Bill Schambra to the Hewlett Foundation. Please watch NPQ for a response next week from Paul Brest, the former president of the foundation and current professor at Stanford Law. In the meantime, we welcome your own commentary.
It is rare to have such straightforward criticism invited and given to a large foundation. We congratulate all involved.