Books

My Library Card

My Library Card

We were on a staff retreat and the facilitator had asked us all to produce one thing that was on our persons or in our pocketbooks or wallets that was meaningful to us. She asked us each to share with the rest of the group what item we had chosen and why it was important to us.

Others on the staff had chosen their wedding rings, pictures of their children, lockets or charm bracelets passed down from grandmothers. I felt a little sheepish and silly, like I hadn’t really gotten the point of the exercise, when it was my time to share because I had picked…

The Nonprofit Sector Band Aids, Treatments, Healing, and Cures

The Nonprofit Sector Band Aids, Treatments, Healing, and Cures

I’ve just finished reading Wayne Elsey’s new book The Rise and Fall of Charities in the 21st Century: How the Nonprofit World Is Changing and What You Can Do To Be Ready (2015). 

The argument Elsey makes—that nonprofit organizations (in general) have failed, are failing, or are being forced by competition from new philanthropic models like social enterprise to innovate or close is not a new argument, nor is it an argument that Elsey makes alone.  See, for example, my discussion here of Paul Klein’s call in the Stanford Social Innovation Review earlier this year for an end of corporate social responsibility because, he asserts, corporations can do philanthropy better than nonprofits . I’d like to respond to a couple of common criticisms running through the arguments of Elsey, Klein, and others.