Tag Archives: leadership

What Nonprofits Can Learn from Entrepreneurs (reblog)

Very apt comparison between nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs. Nonprofit organzations – while ‘not for profit’ – are still businesses, and their leaders are quite often (and necessarily) risk-takers. The most successful are often the most entrepreneurial in their approaches.

Fundly Blog

While the definition of entrepreneur is “an enterprising individual who builds capital through risk and/or initiative,” I consider many nonprofit leaders to be a type of entrepreneur who sacrifices the known to reap a harvest of the betterment of humanity. Risk and initiative are certainly characteristics of every philanthropic leader that I know, and the investment that they commit to a cause surpasses any dollar amount a checkbook can hold. However, there are a few things that nonprofit leaders can learn from successful entrepreneurs; after all, business acumen is the crux upon which social good can be performed.

Is There a Market for Your Product?

While most nonprofits aren’t selling a product in the traditional sense, they are selling their ideals, their burden for a cause, and methods for solving a problem. First of all, does the community you are seeking to help in fact want your help? As a nonprofit, focus…

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Philanthropy Doesn’t Fund The Status Quo

I was at a dinner recently with a group of educators and administrators – high school principals, school district superintendents, a college dean – and the discussion, as one might expect, veered into the tremendous challenges facing public school districts in the current budget climate in California.  While we all lamented the fact that in public education all are being forced to do more with less – less staff, less resources, more demands – there are no easy solutions to this dilemma.

As the old saying goes, challenges present opportunities. As we sat around the table, the discussion started to focus on how schools and districts might work together, on how higher education and K-12 districts in the same area could partner to sustain programs, provide vital services to students and teachers both, perhaps even seek external funding for such ideas.

As the discussion turned to fundraising, the first comments focused on the need for private funding just to sustain what schools are already doing. There was disappointment in the fact that corporate partners and philanthropic foundations did not seem to have interest in contributing funds to the region despite doing so in other regions. And there were no clear answers as to how or why this “oversight” was occurring. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Philanthropy

“It takes a noble man…”

Dr. Tommy Tucker

Dr. Tommy Tucker

It’s rare that you get the opportunity to appropriately honor and thank a mentor later in life who had a major impact on your formative years. Thanks to the impressive generosity of a fellow UCSD alumnus, former Associated Students President David Marchick ‘88, and the leadership of UCSD Alumni Director Armin Afsahi ’90, a group of former student leaders and administrators were able to do just that last week. Continue reading


Filed under Education, Philanthropy