Cautionary Tales (Aug 07)

I was having one of those “ain’t it awful?” conversations with an old friend the other day who is a big advocate of economic justice issues.

Welcome to Spring 2005

Welcome to the Spring 2005 issue. This issue’s feature section was fun to put together and, we hope, will be just as much fun for you to read. We think of it as Nonprofits: the Reality Show, because it takes real life stories of six organizations and presents them as snapshots in time—warts and all—although names have been changed to protect the innocent. Each story is accompanied by commentaries by people who have had occasion to look at a lot of nonprofits in their time. Many have also led nonprofit organizations themselves, so they understand the humbling depth of practical and emotional content in each story.

Patterns, Stories, and Systems: The Stuff of Our Work

Understanding where we want our organizations to go depends greatly on understanding where we are and how our organizations behave under different conditions. The case studies in this edition are an opportunity to look at patterns of organizational behavior and apply them to our own situations.

The Story of Christian Family Services

With a board that that has drifted from the staff and community over time, the new leadership at CFS is facing the challenge of renewal of its faith-based roots amid financial challenges and systemic changes.

The Story of United Neighborhoods

UN is part of the fabric of its community, but an increasingly difficult funding environment and a budget that is “tight as a drum” has forced cutbacks and eroded the organization’s programs and morale.

The Story of the Membership Association for the Deaf

As a defining organization for the deaf, the Association faces a dramatically changed field since it was founded thirty years ago. It must consider whether it is still relevant and whether it should close or forge a new direction.

The Bush Budget Disaster

According to Cohen, “What we have all worried about has come to pass . . . the Bush Administration is actively substituting charity and philanthropy for government programs and government funding.”

Responding to the “Shrink, Shift, and Shaft” Tax Cut Agenda

A highly partisan and successful agenda to cut government by cutting taxes has left taxpayers with meager gains and communities with an increasingly unmanageable burden. Some affected are organizing to roll back the disproportionate burden that falls on the disadvantaged and those in need.