Episode 10: Executive Teams + Income Inequality

Part 1: Libbie Landles-Cobb

Only about half of nonprofits surveyed agreed that their executive team communicates to others. Two-thirds agreed that their teams focus on the right work or use their time effectively. Now, that’s not Michael Scott-level executive management but it could use some work.

The Bridgespan Group has come up with what it calls the first comprehensive study of effective executive teams. “Increasing Nonprofit Executive Team Effectiveness” was written by Libbie Landles-Cobb, a partner in the San Francisco office, is co-author, along with Henry Barmier and Kirk Kramer.

The results draw on a diagnostic survey of more than 360 nonprofit executive team respondents and dozens of interviews with nonprofit CEOs, coaches and consultants.

Bridgespan created a sequence of five steps, formulated as questions, that executive teams can implement as a guide to increase their overall effectiveness:

    • Is the CEO effectively managing the executive team?
    • Is the executive team focused on the most important work?
    • Does executive team composition support its ability to do the work
    • Do meeting and communication processes support superior decision and execution?
  • Does the team’s dynamic foster the right conversations and results?

Part 2: Nicolas Duquette

Nicolas Duquette, an assistant professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC), recently published “Inequality and Philanthropy: High-Income Giving in the United States 1917-2012.”

The paper looks at giving and income of top income groups over the past 95 years, including giving versus inequality and giving versus tax rates of the top 0.1 percent of tax returns. He found that giving by high-income households has moved inversely with income inequality and talks about some other observations from looking at different periods of time within the past century. He also discusses some theories on what impact the changes from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act might have on charitable giving this year and next.

Episode 17: Are Millennials Really So Selfish?...

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Millennials often get blamed for killing entire industries, from cars and diamonds to malls, fast casual restaurants and cable television. Apparently, they spend so much on avocado toast that they can’t afford a mortgage (or that could be the result of their crushing college debt and coming of age in the Great Recession). But Millennials […]

Episode 16: M+R Benchmarks Study...

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The 13th annual M+R Benchmarks Study is chock full of data almost as far as the eye can see. That’s what happens when you analyze 4.4 million emails sent to 37.5 million email addresses, more than 7 million online gifts and $376 million raised, all from a variety of 135 nonprofits of all shapes and […]

Episode 15: Reciprocity Decays Over Time...

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Waiting a month to ask for a gift decreases the likelihood of a donation by 30 percent. That’s according to research on positive reciprocity that looked at more than 18,000 donation solicitations by a university hospital system. “Field study of charitable giving reveals that reciprocity decays over time” was published by Judd Kesssler, associate professor […]

Episode 14: Donor-Advised Fund Grants During Recessions...

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Donor-advised funds (DAF) have become one of the fastest-growing vehicles for philanthropy in the past decade. They also have become a lightning rod in the debate about charitable giving, described by skeptics as a “Wall Street takeover of charity.” Other critics argue that that donors can receive a tax deduction for contributions to their DAF account but the […]

Episode 13: Anatomy of a Mega Merger...

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Two of the two largest data and information nonprofit organizations in the United States announced a merger on Feb. 1. The Foundation Center and GuideStar will become Candid after almost two years of discussions on a merger that has its origins at least a decade in the making. Brad Smith, president of the Foundation Center, will be president of Candid, […]

Episode 12: Gilded Giving + Giving Circles...

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More charitable giving than ever is coming from high-income households while the donor universe has been shrinking for years. Those are some of the concerns identified in “Gilded Giving 2018: Top Heavy Philanthropy and Its Perils to the Independent Sector and Democracy.” Chuck Collins directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the […]

Episode 11: Volunteer Rates + The Philanthropic Closet...

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Part 1: Robert Grimm & Nathan Dietz Where are America’s volunteers? That’s literally the question posed, and answered, by a new study from the Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy: “Where Are America’s Volunteers? A Look At America’s Widespread Decline in Volunteering in Cities and States.” Robert Grimm, director of the Do […]

Episode 10: Executive Teams + Income Inequality...

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  • News |

Part 1: Libbie Landles-Cobb Only about half of nonprofits surveyed agreed that their executive team communicates to others. Two-thirds agreed that their teams focus on the right work or use their time effectively. Now, that’s not Michael Scott-level executive management but it could use some work. The Bridgespan Group has come up with what it calls […]

Episode 9: Nonprofit Overhead + Global Trends in Giving...

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Your browser does not support the audio element. Part 1: Jason Coupet and Jessica Haynie Nonprofit overhead seems to be the most popular way to evaluate nonprofits, although even watchdogs that made program and expense ratios a focus are trying to come up with other ways to measure an organization’s effectiveness. Jason Coupet, assistant professor […]

Episode 8: Too Many Nonprofits? + Nonprofit Collaboration...

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Your browser does not support the audio element. Part 1: Rebecca Nesbit and Laurie Paarlberg Hardly a day goes by when someone isn’t questioning whether there are too many nonprofits in the United States. True, there are more than 1.5 million organizations, twice as many as two decades ago, but a group of researchers looked […]

Episode 7: Giving in Retirement + Effective Altruism...

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Your browser does not support the audio element. Some 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day for at least the next decade, and those older than 65 already represent about 15 percent of the total population. With that in mind, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) released “How Women & Men Give Around Retirement” to help the […]

Episode 6: Donor Retention + Diversity In Nonprofit Tech...

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Your browser does not support the audio element. Online fundraising trends continue to point to growth within mobile, so it’s not a surprise to see another study confirming what’s been happening of late. “The State of Modern Philanthropy: Examining Online Fundraising Trends,” from San Diego, Calif.-based Classy,  examines data from more than 3,500 organizations and more than […]

Episode 5: New Giving USA Numbers + Diversity In Nonprofit Leadership...

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Your browser does not support the audio element. A flurry of natural disasters, a booming stock market and strong economy, and more mega gifts all contributed to another record year for charitable giving in 2017. Charitable giving in the United States hit another record, cracking the $400 billion level for the first time ever. Giving […]

Episode 4: Mobile Trends + Jewish Philanthropy...

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Your browser does not support the audio element. The M+R Benchmarks Report has become one of the most anticipated studies of the year. For more than a decade, it has tracked trends and data for nonprofits, ranging from email open and response rates to social media and mobile fundraising. This year’s study collected data from 154 nonprofits about […]

Episode 3: Founder Transitions + Studying Millennials...

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Conventional wisdom has always suggested that a nonprofit make a clean break from its founder, to avoid the dreaded "Founder's Syndrome" but according to research by Jari Tuomala and Donald Yeh of The Bridgespan Group, organizations can benefit when they carefully plan an extended role for founders who step down. The largest generation since the Baby Boomers has finally come of age, with the oldest now approaching 40 and the youngest in their mid-20s. Derrick Feldmann has been studying millennials for almost a decade. He's founder of The Millennial Impact Project, which puts out an annual study of millennial cause engagement that examines "the subject through a new lens each year since 2008." The latest research is the 2017 Millennial Impact Report: "An Invigorated Generation for Causes and Social Issues."

Episode 2: Nonprofit Digital Teams + Baby Boomer Retirements...

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Digital leaders on senior nonprofit management teams can make a huge difference. So why doesn’t every organization do it? That’s part of the discussion with Jason Mogus, principal strategist at NetChange Consulting, and Austen Levine-Coon, digital organizing director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. They surveyed 80 advocacy organizations about their digital teams and programs. Some of the results may surprise you and there are a few new trends since the 2014 results.