Scott S. Smith – The Value of Knowing History

– Scott S. Smith   American philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Even those who do know the facts of history may misunderstand the lessons or believe their talents will enable them to transcend the lessons that apply to lesser mortals. Charles XII of Sweden…

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Philip B. Auerbach – Achieving Diversity through Language

– Philip B. Auerbach   No hablo inglés. Je ne parle pas anglais. Yeong-eo-reul mothamnida. Talking slower and louder simply isn’t the answer to the language gap that you are likely to find when you encounter one of the 72% of the world’s people who does not speak English as a primary language. That number…

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Leah Eustace – Philanthropy: From Diversity to Inclusion

– Leah Eustace   A few months ago, Blackbaud came out with a report called “Diversity in Giving: The Changing Landscape of American Philanthropy.” It’s based on a survey of just over 1,000 adults and looks specifically at the giving traditions, attitudes and values of African-American, Asian, and Hispanic donors. One of the statements in…

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Devin Thorpe – Giving for Impact: the Parable of the Star Thrower

– Devin D. Thorpe   Most people are familiar with Loren Eisley’s story of The Star Thrower. At least they think they are. Most of us have heard a saccharine version of the story. The original version differs from the familiar version in some key ways, teaching us important principles about giving for impact. In…

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Rob Sheehan – Creating Vision in an Ever-Changing World

– Rob Sheehan   “Some people see things as they are and say ‘why?’ I dream things that never were and say ‘why not?’” – George Bernard Shaw [Editor’s note: Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy often concluded his speeches with this quote, a slight variation on the words from a George Bernard Shaw play.] Most…

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Adam Grant – Givers, Takers, Matchers, and Reciprocity Rings

– Adam Grant   The nonprofit world has largely been built on the importance of giving to accomplish real needs in communities across the globe. Yet, oftentimes giving (or more correctly in my research, Givers) get a bad rap. The fact that we, in our communities, are surrounded by Takers (see below) makes us a…

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Rob Touchstone – Doing Well and Doing Good! The Well Coffeehouse

– Rob Touchstone   Typically, when we think about giving to a cause, we see it as one-sided, that we’re making sacrifices for the sake of others. That’s what giving is: you’re giving to someone else. At The Well Coffeehouse, and at many organizations across our country, we are reframing that sense. We’re showing you…

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Jeffrey Magee – One-Degree Trajectory Change for Monumental ROIs

– Jeffrey Magee   To attain a higher ROI (return on investment) in everything you do, understand the Trajectory Code Model. We all start at point A in route to our individual and collective goals known as point C. Far too often, individuals and organizations get off track and mired in point B dead-end behaviors.…

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Wayne Elsey – Nonprofits: Stay Ahead of the Curve

– Wayne Elsey   Nonprofits today need to be thought leaders to raise more money. Some strategies that enable them to successfully fundraise in today’s environment, where everything changes at lightning speed, combine a mix of old-school principles and new techniques. Since the beginning of time, humans have communicated with each other by telling stories,…

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Amanda Babine, Hannah Jacobson – Use Background Data for Funding

– Amanda Babine and Hannah Jacobson   Using Data to Make Your Case for Funding   Not all nonprofits are good, and many are just mediocre. What is more frightening is that many organizations are unsure which they are. This uncertainty often comes from a lack of tracking and evaluating outcomes for their programs. There…

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