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ARTS JOURNAL BLOGS
January 6, 2014 by Diane Ragsdale
Happy New Year! This is a condensed and slightly adapted version of a short talk I gave in October at an event called Blowup: Innovation in Extreme Scenarios, hosted by a hub organization called V2, located in Rotterdam.
INNOVATION TO WHAT END?
I predicted in an article I wrote in 2005 that “innovation” would become the next buzz word to emerge in US funding applications and I was right. Predicting the rise of innovation hardly required super human insight. The whole world was striving to innovate—even before the great recession. And over the past few years the hunt for the next great product for the as yet untapped market has become ever-more-desperate.
Speaking of the recession, in 2008, Paul Light, a professor of public service at NYU wrote an article in which he speculated four possible futures for the subsidized sector in the US arising out of the recession:
Here is an interesting discussion…
By Nell Edgington - Social Velocity
Yep, it’s true, the nonprofit sector doesn’t have enough money. There are lots of reasons for that, but part of it stems from the taboos the nonprofit sector (and the staffs, boards and donors within it) perpetuates. But perhaps if we lay them bare, we can start to break free from them, which is the topic of today’s installment of the ongoing Financing Not Fundraising blog series.
If you are new to this series, the idea is that nonprofit fundraising is broken. Instead of continuing to hit their heads against the fundraising brick wall, nonprofit leaders must take a strategic approach to financing their work. You can read the entire Financing Not Fundraising blog series here.
Nonprofit taboos are so insidious because they are unwritten and unquestioned. But that has to stop. If we want to move the nonprofit sector forward, we must uncover certain taboos and determine whether they are really unacceptable anymore.
Here are the five most egregious taboos in the nonprofit sector:
Photo Credit: wheat_in_your_hair
- See more at: http://www.socialvelocity.net/2013/10/financing-not-fundraising-5-taboos-nonprofits-must-get-over/#sthash.sHLmOnop.dpuf
Stanford Social Innovation Review, By Curtis Chang | 1 | Aug. 1, 2013
The board meeting. Members secretly check their email on tablets while pretending to review documents. Those calling in offer only silence, their phones on permanent mute. Everyone feels the heaviness in the room as someone recounts minutes from the last meeting, another issues a plea to serve on the fundraising committee (yet again), and the treasurer tediously recites financial figures.
But the most important casualty of this boredom is not the time that board members spend at meetings. Unexciting board meetings are deadly because they sap the vitality of the mission.
Something is boring when nothing meaningful is immediately at stake. Yet meaning and urgency supply the oxygen for nonprofit efforts. An organization is alive when it throbs with the sense that lives are hanging in the balance. To stay alive, it must constantly renew this feeling in everyone involved.
Dull board meetings suck out this life-giving air at the very top. The board is the governing authority; when its meetings lack excitement, this dullness eventually pervades the rest of the organization. If board members are not passionately debating whether the organization is making enough progress, then the executive director must generate urgency by herself (a recipe for burnout). If board members aren’t imagining what doubling the budget could do—and throwing down the gauntlet before the others, based on their own fundraising efforts—it usually translates to staff members not feeling like they can dream big.
So how can executive directors and board chairs inject more passion into board meetings? Here are some ideas and resources to help make things interesting.
Canopy Arts Desk
Tammy Hampel (Isaacson)
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