July 14, 2014

The Cohen Report

  • Rick Cohen | February 28 2014

    Let Us Now Praise Famous Nonprofit and Public Consumer Advocates

    ConsumerThe contours of nonprofit advocacy have been changing in recent years. This issue of the Cohen Report talks about three current issues in consumer advocacy—consumer advocates helping make government programs work, helping create new and crucially important regulatory and oversight functions, and the problem of phony consumer advocates created and funded by corporate interests.

  • Rick Cohen | March 28 2013

    A Tale of Two Federal Budgets: A Primer for Nonprofits

    ApplesIn House and Senate budgets, we see two very different visions of America’s future, and by extension, diverging visions of how the nonprofit sector will function. What role will government play in helping and protecting vulnerable people?


In the
  • Exit Agreements for Nonprofit CEOs: A Guide for Boards and Executives

    Work party This groundbreaking article on the topic of exit agreements for nonprofit executives discusses when such agreements are appropriate and what should be considered.


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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.

Searching for Juneteenth: The State of Black Museums — Part II

AAThis is the second of a two-part series on how African-American museums in the U.S. are faring amidst the competition for foundation, charitable, and governmental resources. Part I was an overview of the issues and challenges facing black museums; this piece examines the sources of funding and the strategies that some museums are using to survive and thrive.

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.

Eight Sobering Thoughts for Social Impact Bond Supporters

8Among some promoters of social impact bonds, one might find a tendency toward irrational exuberance. They’ll slip into language that suggests the market discipline purportedly inserted into social programming by private capital is much more broadly applicable to a range of social problems than experience so far bears out. We have some enthusiasm-tempering considerations that SIB advocates and critics might reflect upon.

The State of Black Museums—Part I

WrightIn the midst of debates over Detroit’s future coming out of an unprecedented big city bankruptcy, the fate of cultural institutions rose to the forefront, largely focused on the future of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Would foundations, would the community rally around an equally important Detroit cultural institution, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History? The future for the Wright Museum reminded us that there are numerous African-American museums throughout the nation facing challenges but playing important roles in their communities and for arts and culture nationally. This is the first of a two-part review of the conditions, challenges, and prospects of African-American museums.

Social Responsibility or Marketing Ploy? The Branding of L3Cs

ElephantWhat exactly are L3Cs, how are they currently operating, and what potential problems do they pose for the nonprofit sector?