Building Nonprofit Networks--Part One

I've been reading NetGains: A Handbook for Network Builders Seeking Social Change by Peter Plastrik and Madeleine Taylor and I think it has some interesting things to say about building networks. One of the most important is the notion that there are three kinds of networks "that form a progression that a network's evolution is likely to follow." While networks may not move through all stages of the progression, we... Read more →


Building Nonprofit Networks--Part One

I've been reading NetGains: A Handbook for Network Builders Seeking Social Change by Peter Plastrik and Madeleine Taylor and I think it has some interesting things to say about building networks. One of the most important is the notion that there are three kinds of networks "that form a progression that a network's evolution is likely to follow." While networks may not move through all stages of the progression, we... Read more →


Building Nonprofit Networks--Part One

I've been reading NetGains: A Handbook for Network Builders Seeking Social Change by Peter Plastrik and Madeleine Taylor and I think it has some interesting things to say about building networks. One of the most important is the notion that there are three kinds of networks "that form a progression that a network's evolution is likely to follow." While networks may not move through all stages of the progression, we... Read more →


Playing To Your Staff's Strengths--Help them Develop a Career Plan

Yesterday, we talked about some great resources for identifying employee strengths and using them for more effective management. Today I want to follow up with some thoughts about how career planning can be used to make that process even more effective. Why Should My Organization Care About My Employee's Career Plans? When individuals prepare a career plan, they must start with an understanding of themselves. What are their values, passions... Read more →


Playing to Your Staff's Strengths

Last week I did a training/planning session with one of my Job Corps clients. This group is responsible for attracting applicants to Job Corps and then helping them through the admissions process. These two aspects of the job require very different skill sets. The outreach piece is essentially sales--staff must be able to go out to a variety of applicants and organizations and "sell" Job Corps. The admissions component of... Read more →


Volunteerism in America at a Thirty-Year High

New report from the Corporation of National and Community Service states that volunteerism is at a 30-year high! Twenty-seven percent of Americans are volunteering. The report found that older teenagers (ages 16-19) have more than doubled their time spent volunteering since 1989; that far from being a “Me Generation,” that Baby Boomers are volunteering at sharply higher rates than did the previous generation at mid-life; and that the volunteer rate... Read more →


Fast Company's 2007 Social Capitalist Awards

On the long flight home yesterday, I was finally able to spend some time reading the latest Fast Company, which features their 2007 Social Capitalist Awards: Our fourth annual Social Capitalist Awards honor these leaders, who combine savvy business models with solutions to pressing social needs in ways that challenge our assumptions about making a profit and making a difference. . . On these pages, you'll find evidence of a... Read more →


How Do We Learn in the 21st Century?

Kathy has an interesting post on why the U.S. is falling behind in preparing math and science workers for the future. Her point is that the educational system we've set up doesn't teach people the skills that they actually use as mathematicians, scientists and engineers. There's a focus on a rote/drill and kill, problem-solving by recipe approach that has nothing to do with the kinds of right-brained, holistic, design and... Read more →


Time vs Money

All organizations are constantly battling the cost issue. I am often struck by how much we waste in order to save a little. This is especially true in government, my home base. Whether we are government, non-profit, or for-profit we live by budgets and the image of how we manage them. Let me illustrate. In government today, there is a constant pressure to cut spending especially around election time. We... Read more →


Loyalty Can Work for Your Organization

Non-profits state that competing with corporate America for talent is difficult. I think that's because non-profits try to act like corporate America. Recently, I listened to Executive Directors of multiple non-profits lament their inability to offer competitive salaries. I think this is limited thinking. Competitive salaries are an important part of the equation, but a non-profit that really makes a commitment to a strong organizational culture that engages in "high-commitment"... Read more →