Ten Habits of Highly Effective Nonprofit (and Other) Leaders

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in leadership, nonprofit, Uncategorized |

In my work as a nonprofit consultant, I have the privilege of working and interacting with a variety of organizations.  While there are many factors that go into what makes an organization successful, it is apparent that effective leadership (at all levels) is one of the most critical.  It’s not easy leading a nonprofit, juggling lots of balls, usually with a scarcity of resources.  Recently one of my favorite blog posts, the Blue Avocado,...

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Launching a Neighborhood Network

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in community development, community engagement, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Since I attended the Communities for a Lifetime meeting over a year ago (which I wrote about in a previous blog), I’ve been meeting with Jess Luce, Supervisor with the Communities for a Lifetime (CFL) Initiative, part of Dakota County Public Health, about ways to get involved locally in the initiative.  I jumped at the chance to help start a “Neighborhood Network,” a pilot project to try to bring a neighborhood together to strengthen social...

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Texas Tackles the Graduation Gap

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in achievement gap, education, research, social policy, Uncategorized |

I’m a geek, I admit it.  I like data, facts, information. Not for itself but for what it teaches us and how it can help us plan and improve social programs, policies and conditions. Case in point:  I just read a fascinating article about an ambitious experiment the University of Texas at Austin is embarking on to increase 4 year graduation rates. UT’s data team sifted through decades of student data looking for patterns associated with...

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The Arts Take Center Stage

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in arts, community engagement, creative arts, foundations, grants, nonprofit, philanthropy |

While most of the work I do focuses on social services and health, I have a soft spot for the arts.  I truly believe that participation in the arts has the potential to energize people, promote physical and mental health and ultimately improve communities.  I couldn’t say it better than this: “The arts are the highest form of human expression. They describe beauty, speak to our soul, engage and enrage. They celebrate our community’s diversity...

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Social Innovation Labs: An Experiment in Combining Elements for Change

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in community development, community engagement, nonprofit, Uncategorized |

Over the last couple of years it seemed that almost every meeting I attended included some kind of structured “conversation”.  There are several organizations facilitating these types of conversations – Art of Hosting, Open Space Technology, World Café, Heartland.  It was never clear to me what makes these conversations different from or more productive than any other conversation where group members seek to solve a problem or address an issue...

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