July 14, 2014

Innovation

Humanitarian Crisis Deepens in Gaza Due to Warfare

GazaConditions have always been difficult in Gaza, where supplies barely if ever get through crossings controlled by Israeli and Egyptian authorities. Now, with daily bombardments, the humanitarian aid challenge in Gaza is deeper and more difficult.

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A Common Picture: Two Philadelphia Arts Organizations Struggle with Debt Come Due

DebtNPQ has been chronicling the struggles of too many arts organizations which were affected by the recession in a very particular way. Here is what the pattern we have seen looks looks like.

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The Philanthropic Problem with Hillary Clinton’s Huge Speaking Fees

ClintonsThe lucrative six-figure speaking fees being paid to Hillary Clinton for speeches at universities have attracted much criticism—too high, too much money being paid to a presidential candidate. Our concern is different: The speaking fees being paid to Clinton (which she says she turns over to the Clinton Foundation) constitute the “repurposing” of donations and tax payments to colleges and universities for the Clinton family’s own philanthropic agenda and might in some cases be purchases of recognition and face time with an expectation of future favors should Hillary Rodham Clinton become the second President Clinton.

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Glenn Greenwald Reveals NSA/FBI Surveillance of Muslim-American Activists’ Emails

newsMore Edward Snowden/Glenn Greenwald revelations: The U.S. government monitored the email accounts of five Muslim-American activists in apparent violation of FISA standards for email surveillance.

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Congressional Hearing Exposes Horrendous Treatment of VA Whistleblowers

125A truly sad congressional hearing gave the platform to four VA staff people who had been whistleblowers about abuses in VA hospitals—and then bullied, harassed, and defamed as a result of their revelations. The whistleblowers are heroes and heroines in our democratic system, as are nonprofits like POGO and the IAVA that stand up to protect them from a system of vicious retaliation.

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NYC Political Funding Shenanigans with Hispanic Federation and City Council Speaker

Mark-ViveritoThe much-criticized practice of discretionary political grantmaking by New York City political leaders is unfortunately alive and well, though dressed in new clothing and sold with a new spin. The latest example involves a long-respected Latino organization, the Hispanic Federation, earning some criticism of its reputation in the process.

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12 Reasons Why You Should Gracefully Resign from a Nonprofit Board

ExitWith all of the talk about the need for good trustees, there are a number of excellent reasons to NOT sit on a particular board of directors. Gene Takagi lists a dozen.

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The “People’s Opera” May Rise Again, But It’s a Waiting Game for Buyers

POThere are potential buyers waiting to be given the chance to buy and resuscitate the New York City Opera, and one of them thinks the board, grinding its way through bankruptcy proceedings, is dragging its collective feet!

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Mikey Likes It! CEO Faces Questions about Big Compensation in Small Nonprofit

Money“Mikey” Weinstein’s salary as CEO absorbs nearly half of the revenues of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit he founded in 2005.  Combative and generating virulent critics from the religious right for his dogged advocacy for church/state separation, Weinstein might be well advised to change some of the financial and governing practices of the organization free of nagging questions about his compensation and the board’s oversight. 

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Two Men Die and Two Nonprofits Teeter

GoodbyeFor those organizations lucky enough to have an angel – either as a donor or as the glue that makes the organization run, it is important to plan for the moment when that person is gone – for whatever reason. Here are two situations that exhibit why.

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Mismatched Expectations: Leadership and Staff on the New Reform Package at the World Bank

NewsNonprofit Quarterly often writes about the challenges of changing organizational culture.  It’s tough enough to reform small or medium-sized nonprofits, but imagine trying to reform the World Bank. 

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Moneyball Philanthropy – Is the Work of the Nonprofit Sector Like Baseball?

MoneyballShould charitable contributions be tied to a metric system similar to the one often used to build baseball teams?  Are we moving from strategic philanthropy to “Moneyball Philanthropy”?

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Boards and Magical Thinking

TreeWild ambition to create change and good governance can easily coexist, and NPQ believes that working for the impossible to become possible is what this sector is all about. Perhaps that requires some thinking beyond the most practical of bounds, but we don’t know how many times over this past year we have written the phrase, “But where was the board?” in relation to an enterprise that failed much to the surprise of its governing body. Here, Kathy Ridge discusses what she has found working with organizations on the brink.

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Nevada Drug Court Sets Up a Nonprofit to Do What It Can’t

SolitaryDrug Court says an independent nonprofit that helps offenders deal with the stresses and strains of life could cut recidivism and reduce costs to society.

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The Potential and Perils of International Volunteering

WaterOpportunities for international volunteering have increased over the years, but do these opportunities benefit the host country as much as the volunteer?

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Public Private Partnership with NGOs Will Tackle India’s Water Supply Problem

waterIndia’s perennial social problems continue to challenge public authorities. In Delhi, the Indian capital region, the supply of clean water is one of the most pressing.

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UN Declares Detroit Water Shutoffs Violate Human Rights

FaucetThe United Nations and Congressman John Conyers believe that the plans of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to cut off water to 150,000 customers are inhumane and, according to the UN, a potential violation of human rights. Will we “save” Detroit from its bankruptcy, $5 billion of which is DWSD indebtedness, and ignore a potentially serious violation of the human rights of many of its poorest citizens?

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Who Knew There Were So Many Socially Conscious Ways to Repurpose Old Buses?

lava maeA new nonprofit in San Francisco will soon offer a measure of relief to the city’s more than 6,000 homeless residents by converting old buses into mobile shower facilities. What may be most surprising here is that repurposing old buses appears to be a trend that has some traction in the nonprofit sector.

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Color Guard at the NYC Pride March Will Be Boy Scouts

ScoutHow long will the BSA hold out on its regressive exclusionary policy excluding openly gay scout leaders? Parts of their operation are beginning to peel off, as is exemplified by the color guard for the 44th Annual NYC Pride March, scheduled for this coming Sunday, which will be made up of contingent of openly gay and allied Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts, and volunteers.

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Convictions of Al Jazeera Journalists: An Issue for Nonprofits

Al JazeeraThe now elected, formerly military government of Egypt just topped its mass death sentences for hundreds of protesters with verdicts sentencing three Al Jazeera journalists to prison terms between seven and ten years. Even though Al Jazeera is hardly a nonprofit, this judicial travesty, abetted by the Obama administration’s announcement that it will resume military aid to Egypt, should be condemned by nonprofits worldwide.

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At Renovated Museum, Interactivity Is the Name of the Game

Cooper HewittWhen the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum reopens this December, visitors will have every opportunity to immerse themselves not only in history and artifacts, but also in the design experience. Innovative technology—developed through a collaborative industrial design process—is at the heart of the newly reimagined museum.

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Fundraising Costs Queried Down Under

appcoA fundraising company is being investigated by a state government regulatory agency in Australia.

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Attention to Refugees Ever More Important as Numbers Rise

WRDWorld Refugee Day was observed last week. It is amazing to think that last year, the refugee population of the world jumped to 51.2 million and, as a result of the chaos in Iraq, may have increased another by another million in just the past few months.

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Pittsburgh Suburb Tries to Restrict Door-to-Door Solicitors

SolicitorsA lot of people don’t like people who solicit door-to-door, whether they are commercial solicitors or representatives of nonprofits. But to restrict nonprofit, charitable, or religious solicitors, as the Pittsburgh suburb of Baldwin is trying to do through a local ordinance, runs counter to a bigger law—the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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What Can We Learn from New York’s Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013?

NYCAs the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 takes effect in New York, is there anything we can learn from it, or are there any trends we should watch out for?

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US Patent Office Cancels Trademark Protection for DC NFL Team’s Name

RedskinsHam-handed, tone-deaf, smug, hardhearted, callous—the potential terms one might use to describe Daniel Snyder hardly compare to the racist name he deploys and defends for the Washington, D.C. NFL franchise that he owns. The decision of the U.S. Patent Office to withdraw trademark protection from his use of the term “Redskins” doesn’t force him to change the team’s name, but it’s not hard to see that the clock is ticking before quarterback RGIII and other players take the field for a team without a clearly racist team name that doesn’t use a caricature of Native Americans as its mascot.

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When PR Ensures the Buck Never Stops

MCIt is very difficult to find examples of people in responsibility actually taking responsibility for the crises and failures of the organizations they lead. In the wake of the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Mary Barra’s recent announcement of the results of an internal probe of automobile recall problems at General Motors, it may be appropriate to ask where the buck stops in those large entities—and in our own.

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Big Capital Campaigns – Do They Crowd Out Other Fundraising?

CrowdWhat, if any effect, do mega-sized capital campaigns in cities like Cleveland have on the local giving economy?

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First Nations and Corporate CSR: In Need of Shared Assumptions

First NationsCalgary’s Impact Society helps corporations create working relationships with First Nations based upon new and different fundamental assumptions.

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Eight States Reduce Recidivism without Social Impact Bonds

JailEight states are implementing system-wide policy changes to reduce prison recidivism and witnessing positive results statewide. Would they do better if they had access to the private investment of Social Impact Bond or Pay for Success financial structures?

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