The nonprofit sector is filled with waste and duplication, and things are getting worse, not better.
Think of any cause and chances are that multiple organizations are tackling it. Innumerable groups work a big area like education, the environment, or democratic reform—jockeying for funding and attention. But even more specific issues such as gun control, animal rights, or science education can also be crowded with different nonprofits pursuing roughly the same mission.
To be sure, each of the groups can tell you exactly why they are different than other places, and often the diversity of groups really does ensure that every angle of an issue is covered. Multiple groups can also feed an echo chamber that helps move an issue, or mobilize different donors and serve different constituencies.
But the waste along the way is simply staggering. That’s because each nonprofit needs a certain level of organizational capacity to get anywhere—starting with an executive director and including staff to handle administration, finance, communications and development. Oh, and don’t forget office space, legal fees, insurance, subscription services, IT systems, and so on. As somebody who helped build a national think tank from scratch, I can attest to just how expensive and time consuming it is to build any sort of basic infrastructure—to say nothing of doing actual programwork.
Meanwhile, the sad fact is that most nonprofits never reach the necessary scale to have the impact they desire. Many reach a level where they’re able to do some good work and sustain operations, but never develop the capacity to break out. The nonprofit sector has too many small organizations that are just getting by, and too few big ones that can really solve problems.
Unfortunately, there aren’t natural incentives in the sector toward consolidation.
In the private sector, entrepreneurs with small businesses have an incentive to sell out to bigger companies, which is a driving force in consolidating markets and creating large corporations that can exploit economies of scale. And an unforgiving bottom line weeds out many smaller, less competitive outifts.
In the nonprofit sector, the incentives are the opposite: No executive director wants their group to merge with another group if it means losing their job, taking a cut in income, or having less autonomy. Which is why few nonprofits merge, except when faced with extinction.
And because metrics of effectiveness are often fuzzy or nonexistent, weak nonprofits can often survive for many years, plodding along doing mediocre work and pulling in just enough money to get by.
Which brings us to the funders, who are deeply implicated in this mess. Foundation grantmaking strategies tend to fuel duplication and fragmentation in the sector. Why? Because many funders dole out their money in scores or hundreds of program grants, and many are terrible at saying “no.” Instead of pushing similar groups to consolidate, some big foundations just fund all of them.
I’m constantly amazed, looking at grants lists, how thinly foundations slice their grantmaking dollars, spreading the money to an absurdly large number of grantees. And I’m not just talking about large foundations; many smaller funders do the same thing, divvying up, say, a $5 million grantmaking budget among 100 groups—with none getting six-figure grants.
Now, if you ran an orphanage, you’d want to stretch your food budget to make sure that every kid gets fed. But if you run a foundation, you want to have impact—even if that means some nonprofits die of starvation.
The good news is that we’re seeing more foundations that understand this, and which make a relatively small number of big grants every year to a handful of organizations they believe can have impact. Many of these foundations are run by living donors with business backgrounds, but not all of them.
I hope that more philanthropists arriving on the scene emulate this model. I’m also hoping that reform will come to big legacy foundations, and they’ll get better at saying no and focusing their money more narrowly and strategically.
One other thing foundations can do is incentivize more mergers by laying out enough money to offset the downsize and, in effect, compensate the losers in such situations.
There will be no revolutions, press conferences or town hall meetings. The Twin Cities black leadership, mostly in the nonprofit sector is chasing a payday. Expected leadership engagement is folly.
By Don Allen, Founder – The Independent Business News Network
It’s business as usual in the Twin Cities black community. With all the structural violence against people of color in the areas of education, wealth accumulation, new business start-up and the mass wrangling and lock up of black low-level non-violent drug offenders, you would think Minneapolis’ black leadership would stand up and stand out…wouldn’t you?
What gets me is the complete silence. It’s so quite out there, you can hear a rat poop on cotton.
According to the Star Tribune and local sources, an early-morning burglary Saturday led to the shooting of officer Jordan Davis. Davis was shot in the shoulder while walking back to his cruiser after responding to a domestic violence incident at an apartment in the 1100 block of 24th Avenue North. He has since been released from the hospital.
The well wishes of good health and a speedy return to duty for Davis have been derailed by Neal’s (the alleged shooter) role as a police informant. Police informants are not new to Minneapolis’ black community. Sources tell IBNN there have allegedly been several working on behalf of law enforcement for over 30 years. A few of these informants ran successful nonprofits, churches and outreach facilities meant to identify illegal activities and people who were involved. The next time you think about meeting in the basement of “that church,” think twice.
Sources tell IBNN that black police officers are a little ticked off at the lack of support and leaderships lack of public outcry for Davis. It seems some community wack-ta-vists are more concerned about Neal and what he knows. The psychology of these bargain-basement mental behaviors by some local leadership is astonishing. Some of our leaders have forgotten the teachings of Dr. Carol Gilligan and her theory on the “Ethics of Caring” (1982).
The Ethics of Caring states that individuals focus on self-interest to moral reasoning based on commitment to specific individuals and relationships, and then to the highest level of morality based on the principles of responsibility and care of all people.
This means that maybe one of the local black agencies can call a press conference, have a fundraiser for Davis and his family or support the chief in her efforts for diversity and inclusion in her police force versus trying to force ones self onto a committee where it is obvious the usual suspects are not qualified in the least.
When black leadership wants black police officers to support their missions, they expect the black police to be there at the drop of a hat. When our community leaders stay silent, secluded and ineffective, I think the black police officers should not give a damn.
Securing the funds needed to attend college can be challenging. Luckily for the majority of students, they can rely on financial aid experts for guidance. Regrettably, not all students are so fortunate: An Idaho community college administrator stands accused of offering scholarships to students in exchange for sex.
Idaho police arrested Joseph Bekken, 36, the head of financial aid for North Idaho College, on suspicion of procurement of prostitution and other charges in connection with ads he posted on Craigslist offering “grant money” in exchanges for sexual favors from students who attended the two-year college in Coeur d’Alene, according to authorities. Bekken told police no federal funds were involved in his propositions and that he had not been involved with any other students. In a statement Wednesday, NIC President Joe Dunlap said the college “has worked alongside law enforcement from the very beginning of the investigation. I am grateful for the knowledge and training of our staff, which resulted in a swift and decisive response to this incident.” Bekken also faces charges of bribery and using a computer in a scheme to defraud. (For the full story, head over to Reuters.)
What do you think Bekken’s penalty should be for using his position to solicit students for sex? Share your thoughts in the comments section. And don’t forget to conduct a free college scholarship searchon Scholarships.com, where you’ll be matched with scholarships, grants and other financial aid opportunities that are unique to you!
If Black and Native American Minnesotans cannot be positioned for the education of our children, stick a fork in us we’re done
The Minnesota Department of Education and the MN Board of Teaching do not want people that are not affiliated with their liberal parties to have a voice on committees, panels or work groups. This is something I have witnessed in real time…I have the emails. The excuse is always, “The meetings are open to the public. You are welcomed to attend,” that’s not good enough anymore. The data tells us black and Native American public school children in the Twin Cities and around the United States are failing a record rates. If white America were in this situation…well they would have eliminated it at the first sign of a “gap.”
by Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief, OurBlackNews.com
There is a wide gap. A gap that tells us something is wrong inside a system originally meant to teach…white children. Lets get it straight from the beginning; public schools were never expected to teach children of color. President Abe Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and planned on teaching former slaves to read and write…we know what happened to him.
The statistic tell us public schools have evolved to a point of K-12 day care centers for children of color with little to no cognitive stimulation. Author James A. Baldwin said, “The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.
Before I move forward, I need to explain. This will deflect any whisper campaign that I am “attacking” anything but the issue of education for black children and the need for black male educators in the public schools.
I am a life-long resident of the Twin Cities. I was born in the Como neighborhood of Saint Paul. Like more than a million other bloggers and lay journalists across the United States, I use my work as an editor-in-chief of Minnesota’s largest online black-owned and operated news network as a vehicle of free expression (www.ourblacknews.com).
I speak out of my passion and convictions to address what I believe are the grievous woes that continue to plague the minority ethnic populations of the Twin Cities, and to seek solutions to them. On my news network, I have addressed neighborhood violence, high rates of unemployment, and the misappropriation of funds by governmental and non-governmental agencies – civil rights and the challenges facing our schools. At the top of any urban agenda, I believe, must be securing the right to a high quality education and providing stable, well remunerated jobs to those adults who are willing and able to work.
Let’s look at the facts:
In reviewing the Minneapolis Public Schools District 1’s 2013 MCA-II and MCA-III Reading by Ethnicity test scores, we see disheartening numbers. African American proficiency in reading is at 22 percent, Native Americans are at 21 percent, Asians are at 40 percent, Hispanic-Latino are at 22 percent and Caucasian students pass at 75 percent. The scores for math are similarly alarming. Only 22 percent of black children met or exceeded the Department of Education standards for their grade level in 2013.
These dismal scores portend bleak economic and social prospects for an astounding number of members of our future workforce, more specifically the black workforce
Another thing missing from education here (Minneapolis) and around the country are black male teachers.
Author Toni Morrison said, “Black people are victims of an enormous amount of violence. None of those things can take place without the complicity of the people who run the schools and the city.” The absence of African American males as teachers and role models in the public schools is, I believe, a type of violence routinely perpetrated against young students of color. University campuses as well suffer from a dearth of black male professors. At each stage of the educational process, from kindergarten through college, black children, especially black males, will rarely see others who look like them leading their classrooms and imparting knowledge.
But it is not just black students who suffer from this designed absence. As United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan stated to the American Thinker, “I think all of our students benefit from having a black male in the classroom.” And in another story titled “Duncan calls on black men to become teachers,” published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Secretary Duncan stated, “Teachers should look more like the people they serve.”
While more than 35 percent of public school students nationwide are Black or Latino, less than 15 percent of the teachers are, and fewer than 2 percent of the nation’s teachers are black men. This is a systemic, societal challenge that must be addressed. Hamline University’s School of Education will equip me with the tools to do my part to meet the need.
School administrators are aware of both the alarming racial gap in academic achievement and the dearth of Black male teachers in the classroom. Yet not enough has been done. The motto of the Minnesota Alliance of Black School Educators is, “Education is a civil right.” If this is true, then the African American and Native American children of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are violently penalized in our public schools, year after year.
As a product of the Minneapolis Public School system (1971-1979), when our public school system was among the nation’s best, it troubles me greatly that it is now among the worst. In the last several decades I have witnessed the dismantling of what used to be a thriving and successful public school system. I have also witnessed the Abe Lincoln Syndrome, “Kill them before they learn.”
There’s an old axiom that says, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I would like to modify that to say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher,” and that’s exactly what must happen now that the Corporate/GOP Alliance has taken over congress if we’re going to save America.
By David Stokes – Guest Columnist, OurBlackNews.com
(Yale Study Shows that Many, Particularly Conservatives, Give Ideology Priority Over Truth). We can see that tendency at work in the conservative claim that, “President Obama is un-American – he’s engaged in a socialist plot to insure my family against catastrophic illness.” That assertion sounds ridiculously funny to most of us, but to FEELERS who feel a desperate need to hate Obama, it represents perfectly sound logic, and the failure of progressives to recognize that fact, and act on it, is what led to the 2014 midterm disaster.
In my article, “The 2014 Midterm Election – A Towering Testament To Monumental Stupidity,”, I allude to a letter that I sent to President Obama back in February in an attempt to avert this midterm disaster. In the letter I point out the following:
“So while I think you, personally, should continue in the mode that you’ve established, at the same time, you should create a staff – housed right next door to the Oval Office – whose sole purpose is to debunk Republican disinformation. Then, whenever any Republican appears on the news to distort reality, he or she should be able to look forward to the next day’s news cycle being flooded with information not only debunking his or her words, but also, examining every action that he or she has engaged in during their career that tends to be in conflict with their current position. In short, you should parade their hypocrisy before the American people.
“If you would take that simple action, Mr. President, you would not only drive home to the people the GOP’s hypocrisy, but you would cause individual Republicans to run away from the cameras instead of stumbling all over one another to be the first one to present the latest Republican assault on reality. In addition, it would appease the thirst for blood among the people in your base, provide writers like myself with grist for our mill, and also give us an indication of what areas of investigation would bear the most fruit.”
I go on to point out that “Since much of the GOP’s popularity and success is based upon the complete ignorance of a sizable percentage of the American electorate, I’m convinced that if the President would have followed my advice and educated the American people to what they’re actually dealing with in the GOP, he could have done an end run around what we witnessed last night.”
But the President didn’t choose to take my advice, and since, for some reason, our Democratic politicians don’t see fit to confront GOP lies and disinformation, as progressives, WE’VE got to become the staff that I spoke to the President about establishing. WE can use the internet to do the research, and WE can, and MUST, go on a single-minded mission to debunk GOP lies, and push TRUTH down America’s throat. If we don’t, the Corporate/GOP Alliance is going to attack, and try to reverse Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, unemployment insurance, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the minimum wage, the Voting Rights Act, and everything that’s been put into place to protect the poor and middle class America since the New Deal. That, is their agenda – to enslave the American people by leaving us totally dependent upon Corporate America.
Please start your research with the issues presented in the articles. The information therein represents many hours of research, and provides posters that makes the information easily digestible. They’ll give you much perspective, and will allow you to hit the ground running. Providing sound and irrefutable facts and knowledge is the key to getting America to open its eyes – and this may be our last chance to do that. Consider this. If the Corporate/GOP Alliance wins both the presidency and both houses of congress in the next election, the American experiment in democracy, is over.
On Feb. 19, OurBlackNews.com founder Don Allen was given the opportunity to stay in his lane and talk about what he knows. Allen did just that…Damn!
Don Allen LIVE at 8 a.m. on Twin Cities Talk AM 1130 on Up and At Em with host Jack Tomczak…Minneapolis’ Bourgeois Capitalism
“Talking about racial diversity is not enough. We need to experience It.” ~D. Allen
The Miracle of Minneapolis - No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well. What’s its secret?
If Minneapolis is so great, why is it so bad for African Americans? – The Atlantic this month heaps praise on Minneapolis, marveling at the city’s seemingly contradictory accomplishments of high employment, prosperity and affordable housing.
By Barthelme Gottlieb – Press Relations Director, IBNN News
Minneapolis, Minn…By now everyone has heard the interview with Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges in regards to a story in a national magazine. MPR posted, “There’s something happening in Minneapolis that seems to defy the trends of the rest of the country, making it one of the best cities for young people to live and work, according to The Atlantic. The magazine called it ‘The Miracle of Minneapolis’ in their latest issue, but Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said it doesn’t mean the city isn’t facing major challenges.”
Educator, author, political/community activist, blogger and corporate social media genius Don Allen will be on Twin Cities Talk AM 1130 at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 the Up and At Em with host Jack Tomczak. Allen said, “I will critique Minneapolis’ Marxist cronyism because I am a careful reader and viewer who keeps in mind issues of power and money.” To listen LIVE, click here.
The NAACP as the United States once knew it is dead.
By Don Allen, Founder – OurBlackNews.com
On Feb. 16, a long-time Cincinnati NAACP member Jim Clingman wrote, “During the past month I have spoken to many people who are very disenchanted with the NAACP, not for the same reasons we hear all the time from young folks and others who feel the organization has served its usefulness, but for a much worse reason: Corruption. Members who have worked tirelessly within their local branches for years are now speaking out about how the venerable organization is destroying its image by allowing, participating in, and turning a blind eye to member voter suppression, fixing local elections, and lack of accountability of funds. I don’t think that’s the image desired by most NAACP members.”
It’s been almost two months since I renewed my membership with the NAACP in Baltimore, MD on behalf of the local Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP. Unfortunately, the Minneapolis NAACP has no meetings, at least announced to members, and the president uses the NAACP acronym like an athlete uses a jock strap; close and tight like a shield of protection.
Today I went to the mailbox and pulled out three letters containing membership cards, all with my name on them. If this does not represent the death of a once great organization, I cannot tell you what does.
R.I. P. NAACP…
Interviews with Council on Black Minnesotans executive director Ed McDonald and board chairman Patwin Lawrence – LIVE on The Ron and Don Show…Wednesday!
On Wednesday, Feb. 18, the Ron and Don Show uses one of their many platforms to get the truth to the people. To listen, click here at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. Phone lines will be open at (347) 426-3904
Post by Ronald A. Edwards – Co-host, The Ron and Don Show on #BlogTalkRadio
The Ron and Don Show is in the business of bringing our listeners nothing but the truth. We do not read from pre-written questions provided to us by elected officials.
Recently, Council on Black Minnesotans board chairman and community stakeholder Patwin Lawrence was interviewed on a local radio station. The host of the program, who we attest had marching orders from the bottom of the barrel insisted on an attempt to belittle the COBM chair and imply the council, “wasn’t doing nuttin.” Now the tables are turned.
On Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 8:30 p.m. the Ron and Don Show is welcomed to have two very special guest from the Council on Black Minnesotans to set the record straight about how the COBM has changed and what the council is working on for the people of Minnesota. Join COBM executive director Edward McDonald and board chairman Patwin Lawrence as we take a real look at the Minnesota State Legislature, the process of a bill and why it is important we all work together in 2015.
University of Minnesota’s Office for Business & Community Economic Development announces reception for new executive director
Contacts: Anitra Cottledge, Office for Equity and Diversity, firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 625-5445
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (2/13/15) – Darryl Peal has been named the University of Minnesota’s new executive director of the Office for Business and Community Economic Development (BCED), and began his time in the role on December 29, 2014.
Peal, the former president and CEO of the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council, brings extensive leadership experience in supplier diversity and higher education administration. The Office for Business & Community Economic Development will host a welcome reception for University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and community partners and stakeholders on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, at 4:00 p.m., with a short program to begin at 4:30 p.m. The reception will be held at the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research & Outreach-Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave North, Minneapolis, MN 55411.
Peal succeeds Craig Taylor, who left the University in August 2014 to assume the role of director of the Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) Department for the City of Minneapolis.
THE OFFICE FOR BUSINESS & COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The purpose of the Office for Business & Community Economic Development is to leverage and extend the assets, resources and knowledge of the University to help find innovative solutions to real-world socioeconomic problems in urban communities. BCED facilitates community collaborations between the University and nonprofit, corporate, and public sector partners that focus on enhancing the human condition and building community capacity. Learn more about BCED here.