For most nonprofit organizations, financial success depends on building a board of directors that is generous in helping to contribute and raise the "venture capital" to launch the enterprise, and strategic in working with the CEO to help establish and achieve a financially sustainable revenue model. It's nearly impossible for a CEO to maximize an organization's financial potential without a highly effective board. And where there's no money, there's no mission.
Worst story ever: no venture capital from the board
The U.S. state of Iowa is an agricultural superpower, simultaneously eclipsing Canada in grain production and challenging China in soybean production. No, these are not mathematical errors.
Last year Iowa’s farmers harvested 55 million tons of grain while Canada’s farmers harvested only 45 million tons. Over the last five years, Iowa has averaged 57 million tons a year to Canada’s 49 million tons.
Many countries are facing dangerous water shortages. As world demand for food has soared, millions of farmers have drilled too many irrigation wells in efforts to expand their harvests. As a result, water tables are falling and wells are going dry in some 20 countries containing half the world’s people. The overpumping of aquifers for irrigation temporarily inflates food production, creating a food production bubble that bursts when the aquifer is depleted.
I read CausePlanet.org’s book reviews and articles on a regular basis for their wisdom and to follow the conversation. In preparing to write this post, I perused many recent pieces for inspiration. Brilliant stuff…. if perhaps a bit head-spinning for most nonprofit CEOs when taken in large doses. Fundraise this way, establish your culture that way, create a sustainable business model this way, connect with social media that way. And change sure is hard, but here’s how to do it (from my personal favorites – the Heath brothers). Woah!
I was asked twice yesterday for my penny's worth of reaction to this story, about whether extremely obese children should be put in foster care:
It has happened a few times in the U.S., and the opinion piece in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association says putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.
Our inefficient, carbon-based energy economy threatens to irreversibly disrupt the Earth’s climate. Averting dangerous climate change and the resultant crop-shrinking heat waves, more-destructive storms, accelerated sea level rise, and waves of climate refugees means cutting carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020.
The latest report from ecoAmerica is titled "upstart with people." The report states that the environmental community has not been successful at wining the hearts and minds because they have focusedmostly on government regulation and intervention. The non-profit sees more success being had by those in the movement who are focused on social solutions that are built around people.
During the years when governments and the media were focused on preparations for the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiations, a powerful climate movement was emerging in the United States: the movement opposing the construction of new coal-fired power plants.
After the earth was created, soil formed slowly over geological time from the weathering of rocks. It began to support early plant life, which protected and enriched it until it became the topsoil that sustains the diversity of plants and animals we know today. Now the world’s ever-growing herds of cattle, sheep, and goats are converting vast stretches of grassland to desert.
Good-b CEO Monika Mitchell is the co-author of the upcoming book: Conversations with Wall Street: The Inside Story on the Financial Armageddon That Was and How to Prevent the Next One.
So here we are again, in economic LaLa land, waiting for the life raft that will save us from ourselves. The financial news this week is bittersweet for both Wall Street and Main Street. We are told the economy is getting “better,” yet the reality experienced on both sides of the Street reveals the truth.
Part I featured books with pirates, philosophers, and innovative solutions for a better world. Here are more summer reading ideas from leaders in nonprofits, social impact investing, business, and corporate social responsibility.
Every several months, I crowdsource book recommendations from my friends and colleagues and share them here with my readers. The book selections are quite eclectic. Here are a few, and I'll post more recommendations in Part II tomorrow. Happy reading!
Corporate Social Responsibility begins with self-responsibility. If not, social responsibility can’t sustain. When we aren’t self-responsible, we drain personal energy needed to power our social mission. We punch a hole in our energy bucket, limiting our effectiveness. Social responsibility is not an entity that survives with people feeding it only when they have energy to do so. It is an expression of who we are, individually and collectively. There is a consciousness shift going on, and part of the shift is realizing that the end cannot justify the means.
In 1904, Italy’s Prince Piero Ginori Conti became the first person to use thermal energy from within the earth to turn on the lights—five of them, to be precise. Now, more than a century after his experiment, 24 countries are using geothermal power. The 10,900 megawatts of capacity installed worldwide generate enough renewable electricity to meet the needs of more than 6 million U.S. homes.
If you are a CSR / Sustainability professional you will most likely face the challenge of making most of the budget you have available for the year. Especially in bad economic times, budgets are likely to be cut and keeping your budget for your CSR / Sustainability projects and practices is not always as straight forward as it might seem.
Here are some tips I would like to give you from when I was in charge of the CSR / Sustainability budget working as the CSR Manager for a multinational.
Late last year, the annual Barkley cause survey made a big discovery - men do have a heart. We talked to male consumers all over the USA and found out that men are impacted by cause marketing in nearly the same numbers as women. We also found out that only 3 out of 10 chief marketing officers were contemplating targeting men with a cause program. Sounds like some fertile ground for the right brand and nonprofit doesn't it?
A new scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and India have descended on fertile plains across the African continent, acquiring huge tracts of land to produce wheat, rice and corn for consumption back home.