Penalties for Charities: Government Oversight or Not

There has been a lot of conversation about charities that are not charitable. This conversation is forcing state governments to create regulations to ensure that charities are doing what they are supposed to be doing. For instance, the state of Oregon’s Governor signed legislation that would penalize charities that spends less than 30% on programs verses fundraising and administrative expenses and California has increased penalties for the misuse of funds by charitable organizations.

I am opening the floor for a spirited debate: Should our state governments provide oversight on charities’ operations or do you think that the …read more

The Delicate Dance Between Minutiae and The Big Picture

Objective (Photo credit: Pedro J. Ferreira)

One of the biggest problems that I have with most organizational development tips is that they focus too much on tactics and not enough on strategy. Or they focus too much on strategy and not enough on tactics. While you don’t want to get mired in a marsh of minutiae, you also don’t want to drift unfocused in a big picture sea.

As entrepreneurs and social change agents we all have work responsibilities that require us to dive deep in the minutiae to get stuff done, but in order to be achieve organizational …read more

A Problem that SHOULD NOT Exist

Our communities, government and the human population are becoming desensitized to the homelessness and the disenfranchised. Everybody deserves a place to sleep and something to eat. This video was recorded in Chicago by Andrew Messer and Nicole Malovany with the help of DePaul University in Chicago. Homelessness is prevalent in the United States and even more so in urban areas.

I live in Baltimore City and almost every day I see someone asking for change or food. If I have it to give I do. I watch others who will do the same and more often than …read more

Wealth Inequality: The One Percent & The 99 Percent

Wealth inequality in America is a major issue for those who do not have wealth. It is reported that 99 percent of American wealth is held by 1 percent of the American population. This wealth is generated through inheritance and capitalism. When someone inherits massive wealth, he or she has a variety of investment and capitalist opportunities that would not be available to someone like me. The more wealth you have the more wealth you can generate. True capitalist sell things by taking their wealth, buying equipment, materials and inventory, creating something, adding a markup price and begin distributing. …read more

Crowdmapping for Social Change


In 1854, John Snow plotted cholera deaths on a map of London’s Soho district to determine the cause of a deadly epidemic sweeping the community. By mapping the geography of the outbreak, Snow was able to successfully pinpoint the cause; argue for public action to disengage the source, and stop the epidemic.

Today, nearly 160 years later, communities don’t need to wait for the external intervention of an expert like John Snow. Social media, mobile technology, and free and open source tools such as CrowdMap, Ushahidi Platform, and Open Street Map have made it possible for anyone to map …read more

Avoid Fundraising Rejection with “Keep the Change Programs”

Change happens (Photo credit: adam*b)

Fundraising can be quite a daunting task considering that – in most cases – there is a 5:1 rejection ratio. Well, I am here to let you know you don’t have to do it alone, and you don’t have to hear rejection!

Doing a local “Keep the Change Program” with neighborhood commerce can help any fundraiser tap into otherwise untapped resources just waiting for you. “Keep the Change Program” is a fundraising strategy that involves vendors who will solicit donation on the behalf of nonprofits from their customers. As customers pay for goods and …read more

The Introvert Leader

I’m recommending a fairly newly published book for everyone to read. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain challenges the commonly held view that extroverts, not introverts, make the best leaders.For a long time, the less garrulous of the world, namely introverts, have been quietly suffering. We have tended to associate leadership with extroversion and attach less importance to thoughtful judgment, vision and character. We praise leaders who are eager talkers over those who have something to say. Cain’s book reveals that introverted leaders often possess qualities that may be more valuable …read more