News & Views

A blog for those interested in what affects, motivates and drives the New York City Nonprofit Sector — written by CRE’s crackerjack consulting team. We hope you use this space to share your thoughts, ask questions and engage in conversations about our city, social justice and the nonprofit sector.

5 Questions Driving Organizational Effectiveness

By Louisa Hackett - What makes an organization effective? Sure strong managers, high performing staff, visionary leaders, sufficient resources and up-to-date technology all play a part. But a critical element, maybe the most critical, is clarity of purpose. Without knowing fundamentally what an organization is striving to accomplish and for whom, the chance to have the most effective programs is lost and muddled, diffuse programming can follow.  Read more >>

HR Without HR, Part 4: Employing Fair, Consistent, and Rigorous Practices

By Pavitra Menon, Senior Consultant - Organizations must develop systems that promote fairness and consistency in all decisions related to people because without them productivity and morale will plummet. In addition, ensuring fair and consistent practices will most likely keep organizations from unintentionally breaking the law.

What gets in the way of being fair?

  Read more >>

Using Nonprofit Interns and Volunteers Effectively

By Ximena Rua-Merkin, Senior Consultant - I recently had an opportunity to work with a youth-led organization that is managed by a bright group of college students, including four part-time employees in their early twenties. In working with this group of “twenty-somethings,” I was reminded of the incredible talent, passion, energy, and resourcefulness college students bring to the table. Unfortunately, nonprofit organizations often times miss the opportunity to engage young people in meaningful volunteer opportunities or leadership roles for fear of their abilities or lack of ideas on how to work with them.  Read more >>

HR Without HR, Part 3: Putting the Right People in the Right Place Doing the Right Things

By Pavitra Menon, Senior Consultant - One very important aspect of a nonprofit leader’s job is to align the organization’s resources in service of the mission. And critical resources in this regard are the people, the staff. When staff’s professional needs are met in meeting the organizations mission, it’s a perfect fit! When an organization is structured to accommodate people, it often spells disaster! This is not to say that people don’t matter – in fact because they matter so much, it’s important to place them within the organization doing the things they are most capable of and motivated to do.   Read more >>

Looking Beyond the Obvious as You Select Your Next Board Treasurer

By Jeff Ballow, Senior Consultant - Recently I met with a client, an executive director of a small youth development organization, who was concerned about an impending leadership transition on her board of directors. The long-time treasurer, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), was set to leave the board, and this ED did not see any natural replacements among her current board members. “I guess I need to go find an accountant who can immediately step into this role,” she said glumly.  Read more >>

My Board Member Wants to Work for me. What Should I Do?

By Jeff Ballow, Senior Consultant - You have just posted a new position on a variety of job sites, circulated the position description to colleagues near and far, and among the initial wave of inquiries is an e-mail from a current member of your board of directors expressing interest in the position. You stare at your computer monitor and wonder, “How should I handle this situation?”  Read more >>

HR Without HR

By Pavitra Menon, Senior Consultant - When nonprofit organizations are created, the emphasis and focus resides on getting the work done, fulfilling the mission by providing programs, and/or services that serve the needs of the clients and communities. Hiring program staff to do the work is priority and, when resources permit, staff expansion happens in the form of hiring fundraising personnel and maybe someone to manage finances. Most nonprofits do not have the capacity to hire a staff person dedicated to the HR function (with the training and skills necessary to manage this critical function well).   Read more >>

How Answering a Few Questions Can Make Your Organization More Effective

By Louisa Hackett - The following is a continuation of a previous blog post introducing the Five Questions Driving Organizational Effectiveness.

Strategic plans come in many shapes, serve a variety of purposes and always take time.  Read more >>

5 Questions Driving Organizational Effectiveness

By Louisa Hackett - What makes an organization effective? Sure strong managers, high performing staff, visionary leaders, sufficient resources and up-to-date technology all play a part. But a critical element, maybe the most critical, is clarity of purpose. Without knowing fundamentally what an organization is striving to accomplish and for whom, the chance to have the most effective programs is lost and muddled, diffuse programming can follow.  Read more >>

Three Key Issues In Succession Planning

 By Jean Lobell - The talk about succession planning tends to be fraught with some anxiety, some confusion, and some misconceptions. My experience is that this can be avoided or at least minimized, if we got clear about three things:   Read more >>

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