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Thomas McLaughlin

Thomas McLaughlin's Articles

  • On The Dotted Line

    By Thomas McLaughlin — January 31, 2014

    The newly hired executive director seemed promising at first. He was the first full-time person in that position and had a year, more or less, of similar experience. It seemed like a good fit.

  • CEO Survival

    By Thomas McLaughlin — December 31, 2013

    It’s the first commandment of nonprofit CEO survival: thou shalt not get ahead of thy board. At least, not too far . . . But you do need to be a little ahead of them . . . Just not so much that they notice and get offended.

  • A Fresh Start

    By Thomas McLaughlin — December 2, 2013

    It’s time; time for change, that is. The old cliché that change is constant is still accurate. The changes seem to be coming at a faster pace than usual. Some of the biggest changes have already begun in many parts of the nonprofit sector and promise to continue for the better part of the next decade. Much of it is structural in nature — which makes it easier to predict — while at the same time the initial slow pace makes it easier to deny.

  • Certain Words Can Be Very Specific, Or Not

    By Thomas McLaughlin — November 5, 2013

    There are a few words that leave little ambiguity. Ouch is such a word. Another of those words is “subsidiary” as it is used to describe a type of corporate structure. Here the word “subsidiary” seems to embody a subordinate position.

  • The Subsidiary

    By Thomas McLaughlin — November 1, 2013

    There are certain words that seem to practically cry out their message. One of those words is the term “subsidiary” as it is used to describe a particular kind of corporate structure. Here the word “subsidiary” seems to embody a subordinate position.

  • What Time Are You?

    By Thomas McLaughlin — May 1, 2013

    In the professional world, there is no more powerful determinant of individual style, effectiveness, or influence than one’s orientation to time. The topic was touched upon in the Sept. 1, 2012 issue of The NonProfit Times, (Time, Task, and Turf), but this time the powerful construct will get a full airing.

  • Financially Frozen Nonprofit Ice Sculptures

    By Thomas McLaughlin — April 15, 2013

    Are you frozen, financially, that is? Does it feel as if your organization’s financial portrait is covered in ice? Does every building-related expense seem to go out in agonizingly slow motion? Does the message from your financial statements seem inevitably chilling?

  • Magic Hamper Executives

    By Thomas McLaughlin — February 1, 2013

    At some point in their development, most children learn about Magic Hampers. These are containers of some sort that the adults in the family put in a kid-friendly location. The formula is simple – put dirty clothes in the thing and eventually, like magic, those clothes reappear neatly folded and clean. The child thinks: How did this happen? That evolves into: Who cares?

  • Big Bird Whacking, Cuts And Inflation

    By Thomas McLaughlin — December 3, 2012

    Now that the election is over it’s time to look at the realities of federal decision-making and how those choices are likely to affect nonprofits. The federal government’s budget process is enormous, complicated, and intensely political. But there are a few central trends that even now can be discerned in the fog. Others are not yet clear, but seem inescapable.

  • Why It’s Hard to Grow

    By Thomas McLaughlin — November 1, 2012

    There is a notable lack of attention paid to growth in the nonprofit sector, and it’s not because we’re just starting to come out of The Great Recession. There is a larger structural reason why growth is so difficult in the nonprofit sector no matter what the economic outlook. Being able to recognize that reason is the first step in overcoming this structural locked brake.

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