Are You TED Talk Ready?  The Importance of Conceptual Capital


Marie And Donny Osmond

It used to just take two. Those days are over.

In the callow youth of the nonprofit sector, you needed two kinds of capital: (1) financial capital, because money does, after all, grease the wheels of change, and (2) social capital, because proving you could fill the courthouse steps or get the Governor to answer your call was a way to make up for not having enough money.  But the NPO sector is burgeoning, the capacity for evaluation is still limited, and the power of social media has grown.  Now there’s a new kind of resource you need: conceptual capital.  It’s the stuff that drives your visibility in a crowded marketplace.  So what is it, why do you need it, and where do you get it?

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What do LISC, Enterprise, NFF and CSH Have in Common with the Dodo? Nothing. (Part VI of VI)


All that’s left of the Dodo. Luckily, CSH, NFF, Enterprise and LISC are all still around.

Dear reader, as part of a special report for Shelterforce I sat down with the heads of four of the largest community development intermediaries in the country and asked a simple question:  Are you still relevant?

This six part series looks at the evolution of their role in the community development sector and their strategies for the future.

To binge-read the full reportclick here. Continue reading

What do LISC, Enterprise, NFF and CSH Have in Common with the Dodo? Nothing. (Part IV of VI)


The Dodo hangs with Alice in Wonderland. LISC, Enterprise, CSH and NFF are not building affordable housing there.

Dear reader, as part of a special report for Shelterforce I sat down with the heads of four of the largest community development intermediaries in the country and asked a simple question:  Are you still relevant?

This six part series looks at the evolution of their role in the community development sector and their strategies for the future.

To binge-read the full reportclick here.

Click on the following links to read Part IPart II or Part III. Continue reading

It Came from Chicago


Reposted from by guest blog on Rooflines.

It Came from Chicago

Let’s just come right out and say it:  New York City is the best.  At everything.  We are the smartest, the hardest working, the most creative, and the best-looking.  If you trace every social innovation of the past century back to its roots, you’ll find some determined, no-nonsense, big-hearted denizen of the Big Apple looking up from their work with a twinkle in their eye.  The settlement house movement?  Yo!  The community development corporation?  Booyah!  The artisanal industry incubator?  Hoo hoo hoo!

Pro bono service provision to the public sector?  Oops, wait.

Chicago’s better at it.  And it’s coming to town. Continue reading

How to Hire a Consultant


Reposted from my guest blog on Rooflines.

Did you ever feel like you need a consultant to help you figure out what you need your consultant to do?  Believe me, you are not alone.  As a recovering executive director (and boy is that going to make a juicy blog post one of these days), I’ve employed many consultants to help with everything from designing the company logo to dreaming up structured finance solutions for distressed homeowners.  Dear Man About Town, you ask, how ever did you do it?

Well, now a consultant tells all:  here’s how to hire someone like me.

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