Focus on the Core Business

As sources of capital, funders can unintentionally contribute to the systematic under-capitalization of the sector–encouraging the growth of programs without providing for a commensurate growth in capacity. Clara Miller offers advice for reversing this trend.

Welcome | Spring 2003

Legendary humorist Rube Goldberg rates an individual entry in Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary (4th Edition): “U.S. cartoonist of comically involved contrivances; designating any very complicated invention, machine, scheme, etc., laboriously contrived to perform a seemingly simple operation.”
One of our favorite Goldberg “inventions,” a Modest Mosquito-bite Scratcher, is a device employing springs, levers, an inebriated bluebird, and a cannon to soothe that annoying itch. There are times when developing a nonprofit organization’s budget is a little like creating a Rube Goldberg construct–picture a contraption able to juggle flaming torches, carving knives and bowling balls . . . 
We hear a lot about nonprofits struggling to decide whether to fold or to carry on despite near-catastrophic funding situations. The thing about budget cuts is that they tend not to respect core programs and mission priorities.

The Numbers Game: How Important Is It?

In a frank and clearheaded introduction to this issue, the authors explore the economic challenges that lie ahead and offer guidance for negotiating the various conundrums of nonprofit financial structures.

Is Grant Proposal Writing a Fundraising Expense?

Author Mark A. Hager presents a detailed examination of how U.S. nonprofits are reporting–and often underreporting–grant proposal writing expenses, arguing that a more accurate accounting would benefit both individual organizations and the sector as a whole.

Know Your Ratios? Everyone Else Does

Many nonprofit rating agencies use financial ratios as a means to evaluate organizations, posting their findings online for all to see. Learning the lay of the ratings agency land will help you make the best of this information–and make sure your story is told a completely as possible.