Never Can Say Good-bye

There’s an old proverb that it takes one person to throw a stone in a well, but ten to get it out. I think the nonprofit equivalent is that it’s vastly easier to start a program than to end it. Here’s what I mean. Let’s imagine a small community-based social services...

Budget Resolution

It happens all the time. A private-sector businessperson takes over as board treasurer and meets with the nonprofit staff to go over the new budget. In that meeting, the new treasurer finds that nonprofit accounting is a wee bit different from the for-profit world....

Accretion Happens

So why does your organization hold a charity golf tournament? Probably because it’s something you’ve always done. My guess is that if you looked into it, you’d find that fifteen years ago you had a board member – now long passed from the scene – who loved to golf, and...

Small Potatoes

Back in the Soviet Union, you had to stand in three lines to buy potatoes. I know: I stood in those lines. I spent a semester in 1980 as an exchange student in what was then Leningrad (since rechristened St. Petersburg). I have a lot of memories from those days, none...

Sand Trap

A riddle: Q. “What are the three scariest words in the English language?” A. “Charity golf tournament.” I confess that I have a deep aversion to golf. I expect that when I’m buried I’ll have the distinction of being the world’s only fundraising professional never to...