Blog

CJ Callen
July 16, 2013

how can we build organizations that can turn on a dime? How can we build in our board cultures a reverence for power combined with dizzying control? These are the true moves needed to ensure meaningful systemic impact. And just to be crystal clear, when I say to my fellow nonprofits, “Be the cheetah,” I don’t mean be predatory but, rather, use your skills in surprising ways for far superior results. Work in ways that build your “flex” muscles. 
 

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Shannon Ellis
June 4, 2013

In this first of two blog posts on organizational strategy, CompassPoint Project Director Shannon Ellis considers the changing social and operational environment nonprofits are working in, and the shifts in orientation these changes necessitate. In Part 2, Shannon lays out how getting clear on strategy can help an organization move through turbulent waters. 
 

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Shannon Ellis
June 4, 2013

Last week, in “Think Like a Surfer: Part One of a Two-Part Series on Organizational Strategy,” Shannon Ellis wrote about the powerful and turbulent waters we’re navigating as nonprofits, and reflected on some of the leadership capacities it takes to harness that power to effect lasting change. This week, in Part Two, she discusses the five practices she sees in common among organizations that are successful in surfing through these changes.
 

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Amy Benson
May 29, 2013

Avoidance. What a cowardly escape from conflicting interests or opinions! Avoiding looks like an ostrich with its head in the sand, deluding itself into thinking its body is out of danger just because it’s not looking at the threat. Avoiding sounds like a kid with her hands over her ears, singing “la la la” to keep the unwanted truth out of her head. I know these things. I am an avoider.
 

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Margi Clarke
May 3, 2013

We know that the social justice sector is not funded as well as the overall nonprofit sector. Just 14% of grant dollars go to groups addressing the root causes of economic, social, and environmental injustice. We also know that many social justice groups suffered large budget cuts due to the recession and most are still facing reduced or stagnant income trends.
 

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Shannon Ellis
March 23, 2013

Over the past week I’ve watched Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk, “The way we think about charity is dead wrong” ripple throughout the nonprofit sector and beyond.
 

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Kim Klein
March 21, 2013

“I would love to give to the Film Festival, but I really have to devote all my giving to my children’s public school.” This sentence, said by a long-time donor in response to a request for funding renewal from a board member at a local Film Festival, helped to start a project called “Nonprofits Talking Taxes." 

 

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CJ Callen
February 26, 2013

Recently I found myself chatting with someone with roots in philanthropy about my current effort to lead my organization in a process of re-imagining our future to increase our social impact. That person provided her insights and support; she recognized that my “big idea” for my organization sounded like it built on our organization’s history and strengths. She also understood that I was doing this as a process of co-creation involving all our stakeholders.
 

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Erin Scott
February 8, 2013

Erin Scott, Associate Director of the Family Violence Law Center, participates in the Blue Shield of California Strong Field Project Leadership Development Program. CompassPoint delivers this customized program for leaders from California domestic violence organizations.
 

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Monica Arrambide
January 28, 2013

Sometimes leadership roadblocks are created by your own hands, I know this firsthand.  For 15 years I have been unaware I was climbing a ladder and building a glass ceiling over myself in my off hours as a social justice activist.  
 

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