Organizational Heartbeat

I am working on a book about agency, and the power and requirements for transformational change. This comes out of about a decade of writing about philanthropy – both for effective donors and the sector as a whole.  Today, Eugene Kim posted to Facebook a link to a groupaya post, How Can We Make Nonprofit Consulting[…]

5 Changes I Want to See in Philanthopy

1. Big Lever Funding I am currently participating in the Illinois Task Force for Social Innovation. And working on ci2iglobal, and transitioning Inspired Legacies. Having worked in or around nonprofits and philanthropy for a decade, I have seen the field changing. I remember the first budding of Mission Related Investing, when there were basically 3[…]

Adventures in New Giving

I am super excited to see Adventures in New Giving And perhaps a bit jealous. If I could focus the time and energy, I think Nathaniel is doing what I would do. (see his video here: ) For years, I have lived a double life working in traditional progressive philanthropy to pay rent while[…]

Financial Thrivability

I have had google alerts on “thrivability” for three years now, and I was very excited when a recent alert sent me to a press release: The Patterson Foundation Invests in Partner’s Thrivability. When the Patterson Foundation uses the term thrivability, they mean financial thrivability. Our collaborator Kevin Clark has also been working with nonprofits[…]

Nurturing Change: Metrics Matter

Summary: We live in a complex emergent world. When you put energy into nurturing a larger space – one beyond your control and possibly even your influence, be wary of assuming causal connections. Look for probabilities and correlations. When looking for metrics: use multiple perspectives to help develop measures that go beyond your assumed (and[…]

Why the optimism?

In the face of all the catastrophe thinking and story-telling, why the optimism of thrivability? photo credit: h.koppdelaney This optimism is not blind idealism or the search for some dreamy utopia. A thrivable world will exist (and has existed) in a strange balance and tension where there is more health and generativity than illness and[…]

Fiscal Futures

This evening I attended (with a brand new twitter friend) the MacArthur Foundation and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s America’s Fiscal Future: Making Difficult Choices event. Oh, I have lots of thoughts to share, but sharing them usually only gets half done… so I am shifting modes and sharing with you just a light dose[…]

Catastrophe Thinking

I am pretty sure my entire life has been lived under the hovering cloud of the apocalypse. Sure there were moments of possibility – the fall of the wall, the election of Obama, the end of apartheid in South Africa. But mostly the global events we hear about focus on the end of civilization as we[…]