Upside Down Thinking: Funders should be Rebels

Funders should apply to community agencies to fund them. Can you get your head around that? What would that look like? Why would that approach be more impactful and cost-effective than current practice? Would this upside down version of funders foster more partnerships? Would there be a transformative power-shift? One of my favorite upside downContinue reading “Upside Down Thinking: Funders should be Rebels”

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About Collective Impact: Types of Problems, Degrees of Change, Learning Loops, and Methods of Thinking

Collective Impact is multi-sector approach to large-scale collaboration that is authentically inclusive of citizens in its development and implementation – in particular citizens who have life-experience with the big problems or issues being addressed, such as poverty, climate change, family violence, and so many more. Collective Impact is not an approach aimed at creating programContinue reading “About Collective Impact: Types of Problems, Degrees of Change, Learning Loops, and Methods of Thinking”

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About Crowd Funding

Posting #2 in a series on Resource Development See # 1, Five Elements of Strategic Resource Development First, a definition from the Oxford Dictionary: Crowdfunding (a form of crowdsourcing) is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via Internet-mediated registries, butContinue reading “About Crowd Funding”

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Five Elements of Strategic Resource Development

Posting #1 in a series on Resource Development It’s tough out there for non-profits and social causes when it comes to raising money, especially money for core operations and services. All of the seed grants, innovation grants, or target specific project grants are fine and dandy, but the growth in sustainable funding is not growing,Continue reading “Five Elements of Strategic Resource Development”

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Thinking about the Charity Model and Systems Change Debate

There has been a movement afoot for the past 15 to 20 years that evolved out of a growing dissatisfaction with the charitable sector or more to the point, the Charity Model. Critics of the sector are nothing new, of course. And these criticisms are often based on unproven perceptions (e.g. there are too manyContinue reading “Thinking about the Charity Model and Systems Change Debate”

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Let’s Take a Break from Doing Good

Let’s forget our worries and our doubts and walk together unencumbered by the need for a destination. Let’s close the big books of plans and studies and turn down the volume of all that best practice noise. Let’s prefer to have faith in something less predictable and confining. Let’s agree to never again meet in board rooms,Continue reading “Let’s Take a Break from Doing Good”

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Mega-Charities: the 100 Largest Charities in Canada

I am working on a major paper currently entitled, Mega-Charities and All the Rest: Money, Power, Folk Lore, and Transformation. It will include research and data about the revenue sources of charities in Canada and, drawing upon CRA data will provide a comprehensive look at all the ways charities fund raise. The paper will include revenueContinue reading “Mega-Charities: the 100 Largest Charities in Canada”

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Premier Prentice – My Two Cents about the Budget

UPDATE… at the request of the Edmonton Journal, I rewrote the piece below and the EJ published it HERE. Dear Premier Prentice: We met west of Edmonton at a BBQ when you were campaigning for your position. I appreciated your speech and remember thinking you could be a strong Premier and move our Province forwardContinue reading “Premier Prentice – My Two Cents about the Budget”

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The Charity Slam: Enough Already

It’s been going on for quite some time to be honest. Often it’s just subtle derision producing comments like “charities need to be more business-like” or “My goodness, how many charities do we really need?” Other times the charity slam manifests as a rant against “poverty pimps” or a rail against artists who create thingsContinue reading “The Charity Slam: Enough Already”

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Let’s Stop Assuming Non-Profits Should Just Be Run Like a Business.

It is not uncommon for business leaders or entrepreneurs to suggest that charities need to behave more like business. Of course non-profit operations should be based on sound financial and management principles and practices, but I suggest blanket statements like “be more like business” ignore some fundamental differences between private and non-profit sector organizations. OftenContinue reading “Let’s Stop Assuming Non-Profits Should Just Be Run Like a Business.”

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Let’s Play Pretend

Let’s play pretend. Pretend you run a business that sells widgets that are critical to a buyer. The price of each widget is $1000.00 and the buyer needs 100 of them. That’s $100,000. Now let’s pretend the cost of each widget (materials, labour, reasonable marketing costs, equipment maintenance, transportation costs, etc.) makes up 80% ofContinue reading “Let’s Play Pretend”

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