Peak bagging

As someone who likes to be taken seriously, I probably shouldn’t begin this post by publishing such a goofy picture of myself. But here I go, happily sharing this photo, as a way of illustrating a point about goal-setting. This picture was taken on July 2nd atop Mt....

Think Before You Endow

I was recently asked at a public forum why I don’t like endowments. I answered: “It’s not so much that I don’t like endowments. It’s that nonprofits and their donors like endowments too much.” Endowments have become the default destination for major gifts and...

Scale, For Better or For Worse

Nonprofit trends – and their associated jargon – seem to come in waves. Given the disparate and atomized nature of the sector, it’s striking that new notions and terms fall into place so rapidly. I think of that viral video of starlings flying in unison. Somehow,...

Stories, Not Bullet Points

We all tell stories, though not necessarily well. I like to think I’m better at it than most, but my too-deliberate-and-full-of-detail style doesn’t work with everyone. It particularly bugs my friend Mary. On more than one occasion she’s interrupted my meandering...

Nothing To Be Afraid Of

I became much more comfortable with public speaking when I realized that the audience was rooting for me. Think about it. Someone stands up to address a group. It may be professional conference or a Rotary Club or a high school graduation. The people in the audience...