Fall 2009 Article Reprints

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The Nonprofit Ethicist | Fall 2009
A nonprofit questions whether the conduct of an organization with which it may merge is too suspect to move forward.
Lessons Learned—or Not
This new feature offers a heartbreaking lesson about understanding the sensitive cultural touch points in organizations.
Mission, Message, and Damage Control
Kim Klein explores the delicate business of articulating the state of your organization to various stakeholders in the midst of difficult times—whether the situation involves declining revenue, scandal, or even organizational closure.
Is Bigger Better? The Case for Small Nonprofits
In the for-profit world, the dynamism, agility, and engagement of small nonprofits would be characteristics to aspire to and paragons of good practice. So why are small nonprofits getting overshadowed in the third sector? Fran Barrett makes the case for the vitality and essential role of small nonprofits.
Alive and Kicking: Nonprofits in Late 2009
The economic downturn has created the need for nonprofits to monitor, reorganize, and get creative. Several capacity builders and nonprofit leaders weigh in on exactly what they have experienced and what they see as avenues forward.
Advocacy in the Age of Obama
Today advocacy organizations are enormously important, with state and federal policy and funding in flux. This third installment of the “Nonprofits in the Age of Obama” series focuses on the work and challenges of state-based advocacy organizations in Arkansas and New Mexico and on the network of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill.
Secret Code: The Message to Nonprofits in the Federal Budget
Savvy nonprofits are attentive to the semantic cues in the Obama administration’s new budget. As detailed in this article, the budget’s language reflects the administration’s and legislature’s values and expectations.
The United Way: Missed and Missing Goals
In tracking news stories about local United Way Campaigns, NPQ editors discerned some trends, including a growing number of organizations that have not set cash goals. This piece details some of the locales in which that has occurred, what it might mean, and how campaign goals are connected to unemployment rates.
Foundations Invest in For-Profits
Foundations may have birthed a new philanthropic fad: making program-related investments (PRIs) to for-profit entities. This trend may be related to the concept of philanthropic “sector agnosticism,” as described by Ralph Smith of the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the Winter 2008 issue of NPQ. Do PRIs threaten the already small “capital market” of the nonprofit sector?
Government and Nonprofits: Turning Points, Challenges, and Opportunities
In this article, Steven Smith, co-author of Nonprofits for Hire, traces the historical connection between the government and nonprofit sectors and cautions nonprofits to carefully examine the potentially changing direction of that relationship.
Nonprofits and Journalism: An interview with Mark Jurkowitz
Mark Jurkowitz of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism provides an overview of the state of journalism in the United States. He looks at its future and its options for existing with integrity in the nonprofit sector.
Shotgun Mergers amid Financial Crisis
With fewer dollars to go around, funders have advocated nonprofit mergers to prevent nonprofit failures and consolidate organizational power. But funders should consider whether shoring up nonprofit networks rather than simply merging disparate organizations is a better approach.
Collaboration or Competition in the National Nonprofit Infrastructure?
NPQ’s early-2009 research on nonprofit infrastructure discovered some unproductive behavior at play on the national scene among groups that are supposed to provide support and resources to nonprofits. This article examines various collaborations and their results.
A Table for Two: Founders and Successors in the Same Shop?
An executive transition is a pivotal moment in the life of a nonprofit. Some nonprofits have navigated these periods by retaining outgoing executives to provide continuity and support for incoming leadership. But this arrangement can work only when the circumstances are right. This article discusses some key variables for success.
Dr. Conflict | Fall 2009
Dr. Conflict advises a new executive director who can’t manage to shake the organization’s founder.
Does the End Justify the Middleman?
A project designed to cut out the middleman in the nonprofit sector may succumb to the very problem that it strives to combat.