Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Tag: Leadership Development

What Race is Your Organization?

Race is often a hard thing to talk about, especially in increasingly multicultural nonprofit organizations where there may not be an obvious numeric majority; and it can be especially difficult to figure out what interventions to make. So I was lucky to have a conversation recently with three other nonprofit...more

Feeling Triggered Over “Diversity”

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by a trio of social psychologists raised fresh doubts about whether corporate diversity initiatives really work. To be sure, this isn’t a new concern. Various advocates for civil rights and greater workplace diversity have critiqued many diversity programs as really...more

Coming Home Again

Growing up, I was part of a number of youth programs designed to help me and other kids of color in our predominantly low-income neighborhood to strive for academic, career, and other life opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. While these programs were certainly successful in connecting me...more

The Scale of the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap

I started my career working for organizations led by people of color. I never thought this was a remarkable thing, but lately I’ve become more aware of how rare people of color are at the top levels of leadership in the nonprofit sector. This spring, a few members...more

Reflection on Movement Leadership

Most of the time, we talk here about the leadership of organizations related to age, race, gender, style, outcomes, and social change. We think about leadership pipelines and transitions, and what structures help people lead with the most impact. But in the midst of the funeral for Michael Brown in...more

Tools for Reflecting on Leadership

With each new report BMP produces, we try to capture new and emerging data and share it with leaders in order to help spread learning and ideas for building strong organizations led in sustainable ways.  Sometimes, however, it’s not always easy to put those ideas into practice....more

Independent Sector’s NGen Program

This past year, I’ve been a part of the advisory committee for Independent Sector’s NGen pre-conference.  I’ve also been an attendee for the past 5 years.  More and more I’ve seen associations such as Independent Sector try to increase programming for...more

Detroiters Reclaiming Voice and Power

On July 18 of 2013, Kevin Orr, the appointed Emergency Manager for Detroit, announced that he was filing for bankruptcy on behalf of the city.  Subsequent media coverage has focused on whether that means the Detroit Institute of Fine Arts will have to sell its most famous works, or whether more...more

20th Anniversary

This weekend I will be in Baltimore to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellowship . In 1997, I left my job as the executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute and arrived in Baltimore at the Casey Foundation. It was total culture shock. I went from working with LGBT youth at a time when homophobia and HIV/AIDS were rampant to being a Fellow at a major national foundation that was showering us with training, travel, and new opportunities. During my tenure at Hetrick-Martin, we had buried the Institute’s co-founder Damien Martin and lost youth to disease, poverty, and neglect. But we also had many wins and the fact that the Annie E. Casey Foundation  (AECF) recognized someone working on behalf of LGBT youth was a boost to our field which in those days was barely recognized.

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Learning to Lead

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld denounces the popular view that some people are just "natural born leaders" by reflecting on how influential the church was in helping him develop leadership skills, and how two service organizations profiled in our recent Developing the Leadership of Recipients report put concrete systems and programs in place to help empower clients and youth involved with their agencies.

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