5 Ways To Be An Even More Effective Foundation CFO

By Aaron Lester on 01/03/2018

More Effective CFO.jpgThe most basic job description of a CFO is to manage an organization’s finances. But the simplicity of this description belies the complexity of the role, especially when it comes to understanding day-to-day responsibilities or big-picture goals at a charitable foundation.

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Tackling a Political Sea Change: 2017 Signals the Importance of Faster, More Flexible Philanthropy

By Aaron Lester on 12/18/2017

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Despite – or perhaps, because of – the unexpected results of the 2016 presidential election, giving trends for last year were overwhelmingly positive. According to Giving USA, charitable donations increased yet again, topping $390 billion in 2016. 

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Program Managers: Do You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Data? It's time to fix that.

By Aaron Lester on 11/22/2017

iStock-629960008-816889-edited.jpgAs a program manager and subject expert, you’ve always believed in the importance of capturing information and stories that articulate the impact of your work. Until recently, however, you may not have had the time, resources, or expertise to take your data practices to the next level.

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Grants Managers: How to Think Like a Data Scientist

By Aaron Lester on 11/10/2017

Think Like a Data Scientist Blog.jpgChances are, if you began your career as a grants manager 10 or 15 years ago, you didn’t consider yourself a tech pro, or a data wizard. You probably used a computer every day. And you became adept at office applications like Excel and Word. But still, there probably was a whole lot of paper in your life.

How times have changed.

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Why Foundations Should Play a Collaborative, Connecting Role in Environmental Funding

By Aaron Lester on 10/19/2017

environmental_funding_blog_edited.jpgAlthough the environmental sector only accounts for 3 percent of total giving in the U.S., environmental issues, particularly climate change, remain among the most pressing and intractable problems of our time.

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4 Tips To Becoming A Data-First Grants Manager

By Aaron Lester on 09/07/2017

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As a grants manager, you’ve always understood the importance of data, even if you don’t always consider yourself a tech guru. As the quarterback of the grantmaking process, you regularly collect critical pieces of information and synthesize it for future use. You’ve always known you needed data. But until recently, deep dives into the world of data were rarely expected from you due to a perceived lack of expertise, time, or mandate from leadership.

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That Nagging Question: Is Philanthropy As Effective As It Can Be?

By Jason Ricci on 08/07/2017

panel_picker_blog.jpgAmericans gave nearly $400 billion to charitable organizations and individuals last year – to make education work better for our children, put food on the tables of our most vulnerable, and to create safer and healthier neighborhoods and communities for everyone, to name only a few of the causes supported by philanthropic giving in 2016.

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Ignite! 2017: The Fluxx Community Inspires for 2 Days in San Francisco

By Aaron Lester on 05/17/2017

community_blog1.jpgWe are right in the middle of the 2017 Ignite! Grantmaker Summit and I couldn’t be more energized and inspired. It is great to see so many good people gathered in one place, learning new skills and gaining a renewed focus on their missions. 

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#GiveOUTDay 2017: Funding Equality and Justice for the LGBTQ Community

By Aaron Lester on 04/20/2017

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When Give OUT Day was founded in 2013, it rose out of a sense of urgency and acute need. Its mission – to bring the LGBTQ community’s nonprofits and allies together across the country on a single day dedicated to giving – remains as critical today as it was five years ago.

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3 Ways to Become an Exceptional Foundation Board Member

By Aaron Lester on 04/11/2017

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Foundations and other nonprofit organizations are a powerful force of good in the world, but without a steady backbone of leadership and guidance from high-quality board members, they risk losing focus and becoming far less effective.

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