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. You may recognize many of the commentators as some of your favorite NPQ authors; they are: Paul Light of the Brookings Institution and NYU; Clara Miller of the Nonprofit Finance Fund; Deborah Linnell of Third Sector New England; Ricardo Millett of the Woods Fund of Chicago; Margaret Leonard of Project Hope; and Kristen McCormack, director of the Public and Nonprofit Management Program at the Boston University School of Management. The commentaries provide an analysis of what has occurred in each particular situation and what steps might be taken next to ensure the best possible outcome.
Other people who contributed to this section include Jonathan Spack, Janis Foster Richardson, Nancy McGee, Heather Harker, and all of the organizations who allowed us to tell their stories to contribute to the learning of others. Lissette Rodriguez did the lion’s share of the editing on this section.
We would love to hear what you think about this special section. NPQ is considering including this kind of story accompanied by commentary as a regular feature.
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Meanwhile, we publish an article we have been trying to get for some time, “The Looking-Glass World of Nonprofit Money” by Clara Miller. Clara has a wonderful way of making the murky waters of nonprofit finance clear. In this piece, she takes on the essential differences between the way money works in nonprofits and in for-profits. It is another eye-opening must-read for your boards and funders, as well as yourself.
We are also fortunate to have a pair of very timely articles about the federal budget—on both sides of the ledger. First, Chuck Collins of United for a Fair Economy has graced us with a powerful article on the state of tax “reform.” This piece is paired with a frightening article by Rick Cohen of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy on the administration’s proposed new budget. Both are full of critical information and analyses, and ways to get involved. Finally, don’t miss Phil Anthrop’s satire on the hottest new fundraising fad in his article entitled, “Busted: Raising More Moola® vs. the Law of Diminishing Returns.”
And once again, NPQ provides our readers with its annual listing of nonprofit education programs at colleges and universities, along with an article about what students are getting from their participation in these programs.