Guidestar’s Guide to Good Practices in Foundation Operations

In June 2017, Guidestar released A Guide to Good Practices in Foundation Operations. The practices outlined cover the following areas: transparency;  due diligence; responsive communications; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Transparency Although not a guarantee of effectiveness, we believe transparency in general correlates with excellence in foundations. Which makes sense—the...

Representing Nonprofits: Traps and Tips

Representing nonprofit organizations can be incredibly rewarding but challenging on many levels. Last month, Gene shared the tips and traps of representing tax-exempt organizations regarding corporate, tax, and other issues in a podcast hosted by West LegalEdCenter.  Here is a summary of his many enlightening and constructive points:   Traps...

Nonprofit Law on Facebook

  We started posting daily to our Facebook Nonprofit Law page in March 2013 and just reached 2,000 likes. Check out our mix of articles and posts of relevance to nonprofits here. From the last seven days:   8/27 - Sector-Switching: Two Groups Make the Change From For-profit to Nonprofit...

Waiting for ‘Superman’

Davis Guggenheim, director of An Inconvenient Truth, addresses another thought-provoking topic—American public education reform—in his recent documentary, Waiting for ‘Superman’. Waiting for ‘Superman’ follows the stories of five young children who despite entering different grades, being of different backgrounds and attending different public schools throughout the country, all find...

Foundations for the Common Good

Caring to Change, an independent project conducted in collaboration with the Aspen Institute's Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, earlier this year released Foundations for the Common Good, a report written by Mark Rosenman on how grantmaking can be more effective if focused on the broader goal of advancing the "Common Good."...

You’ve Gotta Have Heart

I recently skimmed You've Gotta Have Heart: achieving purpose beyond profit in the social sector by Cass Wheeler, former CEO of the American Heart Association (1997-2008).  Wheeler's stated goal of writing the book:  "to increase your organization's or your operation's effectiveness by 5 percent (or better) over your current...

Review: Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker

Grassroots Philanthropy:  Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker by Bill Somerville* with Fred Setterberg is a book with a clear message to foundations:  accomplish more through grassroots grantmaking.  Somerville, President and Founder of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and former longtime Executive Director of the Peninsula Community Foundation, suggests that this...