All posts by David Greco

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Bankruptcy Isn’t a Solution to Nonprofit World’s Woes

The grim economic news of the past week underscores why life in the nonprofit world isn’t going to get better anytime soon. Economists agree that this will be another “jobless recovery” where the gross domestic product will continue to improve but employment figures will stagnate.

At the same time, we seem to be ready as a society to tighten our belts and go down the path of “all cuts, no new taxes” to balance state budgets as well as to trim the burgeoning federal budget deficit. It sounds good…

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Nonprofits Need to Stop Begging for Scraps

Over the past few months, the Nonprofit Finance Fund has had the opportunity to work with several foundations and regional associations of grant makers across the nation on efforts to rethink how they can better use their grant dollars to achieve more and better results in their communities.

Time after time, I have been struck with the deep desire by foundation program officers and staff members to change what many understand is a flawed system. Too often, foundations bear the brunt of the blame…

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Let’s Change the Way Nonprofits Find Money to Grow

For those who believe in the notion that the nonprofit model is broken and that we need to create new approaches based on business strategies, let’s step back a moment.

We need to ask a simple question: Are we dealing with the cause of the problem or simply a symptom?

To find an answer, let’s start with what we know:

  • Nonprofits exist for a commercial reason—to address a market failure and fill a need where for-profits can’t or won’t.
  • The “rules” that allow many corporations to succeed simply do…
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For-Profits Should Drop the ‘We Know Better’ Attitude

Over the past few years, we have seen a rapid acceleration of business strategies being applied to work traditionally done by nonprofits.  This is certainly nothing new—Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize-winning founder of Grameen Bank, and others have been at this for decades. But we seem to have reached some type of inflection point.

A number of blogs and conferences are now devoted to social entrepreneurship. Foundations and philanthropists—not to mention whole consulting firms—are also rush…

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Nonprofits Can’t Always Borrow From Business

The seemingly sudden decision of Unitus to exit the microfinance field has raised many interesting questions about the rise of social entrepreneurship.

Unitus—a Seattle organization founded by venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs to use innovative, private-sector strategies to fight global poverty—this summer dismissed its entire staff and saw three board members resign as it declared victory and exited microfinance.

Donors, meanwhile, were left wondering what the heck had just happened.

T…