Food for Thought

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in foundations, global health, health disparities, nutrition, obesity, philanthropy, public health, Uncategorized |

Food is big. There is widespread concern about hunger and malnutrition; obesity, in particular among children; access to healthy food; food waste; lack of healthy food options in schools, neighborhoods and restaurants; affordability of fresh produce; overconsumption of sugary drinks. The list could go on and on (as this one did). These issues don’t effect groups of people equally. Issues of food and nutrition are often seen through the lens of...

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Prospect Research Tips for Nonprofits: Tax Forms

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in foundations, fundraising, grants, grantwriting, nonprofit, philanthropy, research, Uncategorized |

Today I’m going to talk about the exciting topic of tax forms.  Recently, the Star Tribune published a piece about why it is important for nonprofit organizations to do a good job in preparing their 990 form because it provides information to funders, donors, the media, charity watchdog groups.  (http://www.startribune.com/for-nonprofits-the-990-is-more-than-just-another-tax-form/339051401/) The 990 document can give either a positive or...

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Tips for Working with Consultants

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in consultants, consulting, grants, grantwriting, nonprofit, philanthropy, Uncategorized |

As an independent consultant who helps nonprofits secure grants and in my former career as an in-house lawyer, I’ve worked with a variety of clients. As an in-house lawyer, my clients were employees of the business (as was I), while currently I consult with organizations as an independent contractor.  I’ve found that in both situations, similar considerations contribute to a good working relationship, better value and best results. Here are a...

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Big Challenges, Crazy Ideas

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in community development, evaluation, foundations, global health, international development, nonprofit, philanthropy, research, social policy, Uncategorized |

The Charities Review Council couldn’t have brought in a more appropriate presenter than Michael Faye to speak at its recent conference on Disruptive Philanthropy.  Michael is one of the founders of GiveDirectly, a private international development organization that gives cash to the poor in Kenya and Uganda via cell phone technology, no strings attached.  As Michael observed, giving cash to poor people-what a crazy idea! This is in contrast to...

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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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Thoughts on an Innovative Approach to Grantmaking

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in community engagement, foundations, grantwriting, nonproft, philanthropy, Uncategorized |

Through my work, I help nonprofits seek and secure funding, often from private foundations.  It’s a challenging process, for many reasons.  Most important, there is not enough money to go around.  Tough choices have to be made.   In order to make those tough choices most effectively, foundations sometimes experiment with new approaches to philanthropy. I mentioned in any earlier post that I had participated in a novel process called the Connect...

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