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.

Accountability Versus Effectiveness

By Valyrie Laedlein, CRE Co-Director - Nonprofit leaders are hard-wired for accountability.

The tax-exempt sector was structured to assure accountability to the public since its very beginning. Nearly all the leaders whom CRE has had the privilege to work with drive themselves to be sure they are doing right by their communities. And in this moment of terribly constrained resources, all of us are conscious of how important it is that we make every dollar matter in terms of its rightful and effective use.   Read more >>

The Broken Machine

By Rashid Littlejohn, Program Assistant/Public Ally - My name is Rashid Littlejohn, a Public Allies Fellow and Program Assistant for Community Resource Exchange (CRE). Public Allies is a nonprofit organization that develops new leaders who are focused on strengthening communities, by partnering us with other nonprofit organizations advocating for social change. I started a nonprofit social justice and environmental leadership group called GCAMP (Genuinely Care About My Planet) in mid-2010 in Brooklyn, NY, which led me to Public Allies. Partnered with CRE for the next ten months, I’ll learn more about the nonprofit sector as Program Assistant and will also blog about some experiences at CRE. This first post, “The Broken Machine,” is a reflection of my first two weeks with CRE.  Read more >>

Every Vote Counts: Stepping Up Your Nonprofit's Role in Civic Engagement

By Louisa Hackett, Senior Managing Director - Community Resource Exchange is joining hundreds of other nonprofits across the country to promote National Voter Registration Day on September 25th. We support nonprofit civic engagement activities because we believe participating in our democracy furthers our mission of fighting poverty and advancing social justice.  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 >>

The Power of Collaboration and Why Evaluation Stinks Part II

By Michael Hickey, Independent Community Development Consultant - Just recently I attended a very compelling conference put on by The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, and my alma mater the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, entitled The Power of Collaboration. The title of the event comes from the very engaging article “Collective Impact,” published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Its authors make the argument that only through collaborative efforts can funders and nonprofit providers rise above the fragmentation of their service niche. The lay out a helpful framework include the following four components of effective collective action:  Read more >>

Why Evaluation Stinks

By Michael Hickey, Independent Community Development Consultant - Ask anybody, and I mean anybody, about evaluating the effectiveness of nonprofit service providers and you will be greeted by winces, whines, shrugs, groans, gnashing of teeth, sighs, and the burying of faces in flattened palms. And by anybody I don't just mean any nonprofit service provider - I mean as well our beloved philanthropic leaders and public sector partners. After all, we're talking about an industry that in 2009 paid 9% of all wages, contributed 5.4% of GDP, reported revenues of $1.4 trillion, and held some $2.56 trillion in assets. Why can't we find a way to tell how effective this industry is with our money (both public and private dollars)? How hard can it be?  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 >>

Succession Planning and Performance Evaluations: Two Sides of the Same Coin

 By Jean Lobell - In an earlier post, I outlined Three Key Issues in Succession Planning. Today’s post is a continuation of the insights I shared on the key elements of a successful succession planning process.  Read more >>

What's An ED To Do?

 By Valyrie Laedlein, CRE Co-Director - I’d been looking at data from the Daring to Lead 2011 study about how Executive Directors spend their time – and how they THINK they should be spending their time – and was preparing to write a blog about what prevents us from focusing on “what matters.” Simultaneously, of course, I was reading articles and analyses about the debt ceiling agreement that has been reached in Washington and finding myself increasingly incensed by how the decisions being made by every level of government are impacting our communities, the nonprofits that serve them, and the impossible quandary about just what should get our attention as nonprofit executives.   Read more >>

Becoming a Strong Board Chair

by Valyrie Laedlein

Have I got a job for you?

Role:To lead a group of under-available, over-committed volunteers responsible  Read more >>

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