Hold Firm to Your Vision, Mission and Values During Crisis

“Don’t Waste a Good Crisis” – Source disputed, see note below* By now, we’ve all gotten a lot of advice to help nonprofit and philanthropic leaders like yourselves make it through this tough time. I’ll share a few recent tips I’ve especially liked. Focus on What Really Matters Focus on your organization’s vision of a … Read more

The Difference A Theory of Change Makes: Ways The Tough Process Reaps Big Rewards

Theory of change planning is hard work; there’s no question about this. It challenges leaders to question why they do what they do and have been doing for a long time. The process forces the leaders to make tough decisions, decisions they may have avoided making for some time. For instance, it is not uncommon … Read more

October 2015 Newsletter

I just finished teaching a 2-evening Program Evaluation course at California State University East Bay. This month, I engaged students in a quasi-debate fueled by a 2-part SSIR essay arguing that nonprofit service providers should NOT evaluate their own program outcomes. Because they lack social science research expertise and face conflicts of interest in reporting … Read more

How Strategy & Theory of Change Converged to Strengthen a Nonprofit

Several years ago, a social justice organization in an underserved low-income community solicited significant stakeholder input and developed a strategic plan that laid out a vision and broad goals for long-term positive social change. The planning team did not create an implementation plan to operationalize its ambitious goals, however. A few years later, a funder … Read more

January 2015 Newsletter

How Linking Strategy to Theory of Change Built A Stronger Organization Several years ago, a social justice organization in an underserved low-income community solicited significant stakeholder input and developed a strategic plan that laid out a bold vision and broad goals for long-term positive social change. The planning team did not create an implementation plan … Read more