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We Need to Collect More Data During COVID-19 (and Believe It!)

Written by Tessa Constantine Last week, learning of the news of President Trump saying during a press conference that light, heat, and injecting disinfectants could cure the coronavirus, was, unfortunately, less than shocking. In these times of crisis when science, medicine, and data are so crucial, we find ourselves met with an onslaught of conspiracy […]
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Race Equity Is Essential Work

Why Organizations Cannot Postpone It Even In Times of Crisis Written by Gerald Mitchell (Consultant, BMP Organizational Race Equity Assessment) UPDATE 5/14/2020: We’re interested in hearing examples of what your organization has done to successfully push forward race equity. Take a moment to fill out this short survey so we can share recommendations with our […]
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The Nonprofit Sector and the ‘Shake Shack Effect’

Written by Deepa Iyer and Frances Kunreuther This article is cross-listed on the Philantopic blog. These days, we’re hearing a lot about how federal legislation passed in response to the coronavirus public health emergency is bailing out big businesses at the expense of small restaurants, mom-and-pop shops, and immigrant-owned stores. When big chains like Shake Shack and universities with […]
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Three Takeaways: Our Conversation with Grassroots and Movement Leaders on COVID-19

Written by Deepa Iyer On April 14, 2020, Building Movement Project and Solidarity Is hosted a webinar with four women of color who work with Latinx, Asian, Black, and Native communities around the United States. Our goals for the webinar were to shine a spotlight on how COVID-19 affects communities of color and immigrants; to […]
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Mapping Our Social Change Roles in Times of Crisis

Written by Deepa Iyer. This article is cross-listed on Medium.com. I am a rapid responder but over the past few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has spread across the world, I have felt disoriented and lost. In the wake of 9/11, I built my rapid response muscle, and over the past twenty years, I’ve relied […]
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Spaciousness and Solidarity in the Time of a Pandemic

Written by Deepa Iyer The past few weeks have seemed like one interminable day, and perhaps you, like me, have been moving through periods of feeling disoriented, confused, outraged, and determined. The coronavirus pandemic is, many say, an equalizer because it can affect anyone regardless of status or privilege. At the same time, the virus […]
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A Message from Building Movement Project: Sustaining Non-Profits in a Time of Crisis

Like all of you, here at Building Movement Project, we are grappling with the sudden changes affecting our workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. These are times of uncertainty and confusion. At Building Movement Project, we are centering ourselves in our communities, networks, and partnerships. For 20 years, BMP has been deepening our understanding of non-profit leadership, […]
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New Release: Collaboration Across Race in the Reproductive Movement: A Case Study of the Reproductive Health Equity Act in Oregon

We are pleased to announce the release of our most recent publication, Collaboration Across Race in the Reproductive Movement: A Case Study of the Reproductive Health Equity Act in Oregon, which focuses on the successful passage of the 2017 Reproductive Healthy Equity Act (RHEA) and the cross-movement building efforts that made it possible. Recognized as […]
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Interview with Zeenia Junkeer: RHEA and the Work of Coalition Building

Written by Catherine Foley Our newest report, Collaboration Across Race in the Reproductive Movement: A Case Study of the Reproductive Health Equity Act in Oregon, focuses on how advocates passed one of the most comprehensive reproductive health bills in the nation. The report highlights how, after failing to pass a similar bill in 2015, the […]
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Interview with Linda Campbell: A People’s Atlas of Detroit

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld A new book titled A People’s Atlas of Detroit, co-edited by Linda Campbell, who directs BMP’s work in Detroit, narrates the lived experiences of people engaged in political battles central to Detroit’s future and that of urban America. The book features contributions by over fifty leaders from movement-building efforts in Detroit, […]
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Video: Learn More About Us!

For over twenty years, the Building Movement Project (BMP) has been working on issues related to movement building, service and social change, and leadership in the nonprofit sector. We conduct research, generate resources, and offer trainings so that organizations and individuals can work towards achieving progressive social and systems change. Check out the About Us […]
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Webinar Recap: #OurNeighborhoods Anti-Displacement Toolkit

The Building Movement Project (BMP) recently hosted a 60-minute webinar featuring Quinn Rhi of National CAPACD and Manisha Lance and Karimah Dillard of Raksha, Inc. Quinn presented the new #OurNeighborhoods Anti-Displacement toolkit, developed by National CAPACD to address gentrification and displacement, and walked us through the toolkit website. Then, Karimah and Manisha introduced us to […]
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Congratulations to Detroit Community Leader, Linda Campbell

On February 21, 2020, the Mary Turner Center for Advocacy honored Linda Campbell and the Detroit People’s Platform with the Nida Donar Social Justice Award. Linda has worked for over forty years in the nonprofit and governmental sectors. Her career began in public health and social services, working at the Center for Disease Control in […]
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Squads, Spaces, and Sustainable Movements

Written by Deepa Iyer Over the past three years, I have participated in the Solidarity Summit, a space for movement leaders working on racial justice issues. We meet regularly to build relationships, sharpen our political analysis, and learn about each other’s communities. Not surprisingly, our conversations often come back around to a similar question: How […]
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WEBINAR—Tools2Engage: #OurNeighborhoods Anti-Displacement Toolkit

Join us on Thursday, February 13th 2020 at 1pm EST for a FREE webinar on one of our newest Tools 2 Engage resources: the #OurNeighborhoods Anti-Displacement toolkit. This toolkit was created by the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), a coalition of organizations working together to fight for the needs of low-income […]
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Reflections on the 2019 NJ Nonprofit Diversity Report

Written by Catherine Foley The Center for Non-Profits just released the 2019 New Jersey Non-Profit Diversity Report, which is based on their 2018 NJ Non-Profit Compensation and Diversity Survey. While the report applies to one specific state, its findings reflect what is taking place on a larger scale in the nonprofit world, particularly the lack […]
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Beyond Hashtags and Slogans: When Solidarity Becomes Transformative

Written by Deepa Iyer Reflect for a moment. Have you attended a protest, a rally, or a march in the past year? Have you used a hashtag online to indicate your support for a social movement? If you have, you’re not alone. More and more, people around the world are expressing their solidarity for causes […]
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Introducing Solidarity Is

Written by Deepa Iyer I am excited to join Building Movement Project where I will be supporting BMP’s movement building initiatives and leading Solidarity Is, a project that I have been shaping for over three years. Solidarity Is generates tools, trainings, and narratives to facilitate transformative solidarity practices for movement building organizations and activists who […]
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More Than Food: How Service Providers Engage Their Communities and React to Policy

Written by Helga Garza The Common Good Action Project is a cohort-based program that BMP developed to support nonprofit leaders in New Mexico to learn how to align their direct service work with their social change values and mission.  In the current iteration of the project, CGAP 2.0, BMP is working to help groups such […]
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Webinar Recap: Census, the Citizenship Question, and the Community and Organizational Response

Recently, the Building Movement Project (BMP) hosted a 60-minute webinar featuring XP Lee (Program Manager for Policy & Special Projects with the Minnesota Council on Foundations), Joseph Shoji Lachman (ACRS Civic Engagement Program Manager with Asian Counseling and Referral Service), and Raima Roy (Program Associate, Census and Civic Engagement with Asian Americans Advancing Justice). These speakers […]
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Organizing for Communities to Be Counted in Census 2020

Written by TC Duong For the 2020 Census, the Trump Administration proposed adding the following question to the form:  “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” Fortunately, the Supreme Court ruled that the citizenship question should be left off the 2020 Census on June 27, 2019 and on July 11, the Trump administration […]
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Take the 2019 Race to Lead Survey Today

In 2016, the Building Movement Project conducted a national survey on race and leadership in nonprofits. The data from that survey led to the development of the popular Race to Lead report series. This summer, the Race to Lead survey is back! By participating, survey respondents will contribute to one of the largest existing data […]
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Webinar Recap: Engaging Constituents, Addressing Root Causes: Food Banks and Beyond

Recently, the Building Movement Project (BMP) hosted a 60-minute webinar featuring Randi Quackenbush and Lyndsey Lyman of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier (FBST) and Alicia Swords, Associate Professor at Ithaca College. Alicia shared some history and insights from her experience working with the University of the Poor and the Poor Peoples’ Campaign to root our conversation […]
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Building Movement Project Releases Report on CEOs in Nonprofits

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2019 For the nonprofit sector to achieve more diverse leadership, it must not only commit to increasing the number of leaders of color, but also to more effectively supporting those who reach executive roles. (New York, NY) – The Building Movement Project (BMP) today released a new report, Nonprofit Executives and the […]
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Launching Discussion/Working Groups in Response to WOC Race to Lead Report

In April, the Building Movement Project hosted a webinar featuring a presentation and discussion of findings from our Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector report.  During the webinar, participants shared their email addresses in the chatbox and expressed a desire to stay connected on a variety of topics: Arts and Culture, Navigating the C-Suite, […]
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Webinar Recap: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector

Last week, the Building Movement Project (BMP) hosted a 60-minute webinar featuring a presentation of our latest report– Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector. This report takes an intersectional approach to analyzing BMP’s data of over 4,000 staff in the nonprofit sector. The study reveals the systemic barriers women of color face as they ascend […]
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Stories Behind the Data: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector

Written by Ofronama Biu and Noelia Mann At Building Movement Project, we believe that the qualitative data we gather about individuals’ personal experiences, whether they reinforce or challenge our findings, are just as valuable as the quantitative data we compile. For this reason, our free, upcoming webinar exploring the findings of Race to Lead: Women of Color in […]
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WEBINAR—Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector

Join us on April 18th at 2 pm EST for a FREE webinar on our latest report – Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector. This report takes an intersectional approach to analyze BMP’s data from over 4,000 staff in the nonprofit sector. The study reveals the systemic barriers women of color face as […]
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Women of Color and Leadership – Intersectional Tides Lift All Boats

Written by TC Duong As a man of color who has spent much of my career working in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations at the national level, addressing sexism within communities of color is not just about equity but effectiveness.  I have served under several female leaders in AAPI nonprofits and benefited from […]
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Webinar Recap: How Social Change Happens, the View from Detroit

Written by Noelia Mann On Feb. 26, the Building Movement Project (BMP) hosted a webinar designed to help listeners explore how service providers and organizing groups work together to shift power. During the 60-minute webinar, we heard from partners working in the context of a food pantry in Detroit about how they challenge narratives about individual shortcomings, turning […]
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The “How” of Social Change

In the late 90s and early 2000s, one of the Building Movement Project’s founding members, Linda Campbell, was working with service providers struggling with shrinking budgets and increased need in her own hometown of Detroit. Linda watched as public funding for services to people living in poverty was cut. At the same time, the City […]
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Building Movement Project Releases Report on Race and Gender in Nonprofits

For Immediate Release: Feb 5, 2019 Report finds that racial and gender biases, not lack of experience or talent, blocks advancement for women of color (New York, NY) – The Building Movement Project (BMP) today released a new report, Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector, which examines the impact of both race and […]
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What’s in a Name: Shifting Language and Mindsets about Public Assistance

Written by Noelia Mann Illustration: Rob Dobi It’s been about a month since Jazmine Headley’s son Damone was ripped from her arms in the Human Resources Administration building in Boerum Hill, where she had gone to try to get her child-care benefits reinstated.  You may have seen the disturbing video of what happened, and you wouldn’t be alone- […]
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2018: The Year in Review

2018 has been Building Movement Project’s busiest year ever! We’ve been crisscrossing the country talking about the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap, documenting how groups are working across boundaries to create movement for social change, and supporting important place-based work in Detroit and New Mexico. Check out these highlights: Race to Lead: This year, BMP presented more than 30 times on the “Race to Lead” series, including […]
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Webinar Recap: Racial Wealth Learning Simulation

Written by Noelia Mann This piece is a follow-up to a recent Tools to Engage webinar hosted by the Building Movement Project. The Building Movement Project (BMP) recently hosted a webinar designed to help listeners gain a deeper understanding of the root causes of hunger and the connections between racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. In an interview with simulation […]
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Data: What is it Good For? Learning (with you) from Race to Lead

Written by Frances Kunreuther and Ofronama Biu The Nonprofits, Leadership, and Race Survey – the basis for the Race to Lead reports – was developed to learn more about why so few people of color head nonprofit organizations. The findings were clear and powerful. The assumption that the problem was located in people of color was simply […]
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Bridging Differences and Movements

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Recently, I was in Detroit for a community summit organized by our partners at the Detroit People’s Platform and led a workshop on coalitions and alliances. Since the power imbalances between Detroit’s community members and the city’s corporate and elected leaders are so big, local groups turn to collaboration as a strategy for […]
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Webinar Recap: A Deeper Dive into Advocacy

Written by Noelia Mann This piece is a follow-up to a recent Tools to Engage webinar hosted by the Building Movement Project. Now, more than ever, direct service organizations are being called upon to advocate for individuals as well as for policy change. By integrating service and social change, organizations can continue to effectively provide needed services, […]
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Resisting Nonprofit Complicity in Family Separations

Written by Noelia Mann Family separations at the US/Mexico border have been at the forefront of the national conversation over the last several months, with good reason. Amid daily reports of terror and trauma at the border, many of us are asking “What can we do?” For nonprofits, this question takes on special significance as we face the potential for […]
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The Trumpification of the Gen Z Workforce

Written by Megha Patel Generation Z, considered the most diverse generation and the last to be majority white, is already beginning to transform the American workforce. Pew Research defines Generation Z as individuals born after 1996 who have never experienced lack of access to technology. For the nonprofit sector, this generation is an opportunity to implement […]
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Why Family Definitions Matter

Written by Sean Thomas-BReitfeld As Pride month came to a close this year, LGBTQ people were reminded that the struggle continues to have our lives and loves be valued equal to straight people. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same sex couple. […]
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Webinar Recap: Systems Change with an Equity Lens

Community Interventions that Shift Power and Center Race Written by Natalie Bamdad from MAG and Noelia Mann from BMP This piece is a follow-up to a recent webinar on systems change and equity developed by the Building Movement Project and Management Assistance Group. Today, in a time of heightened attention to racism, xenophobia, police brutality, sexual harassment, […]
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The Power of “Duh”

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Nearly a year ago, I started traveling around the country to present to a variety of groups on the findings from BMP’s survey on nonprofits, leadership and race. I quickly noticed two contrasting responses to our data showing that the nonprofit racial leadership gap was not a result of any lack of […]
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Confronting Our Complicity in Racial Inequity

GEO Guest Post Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld If Monday’s plenary inspired us to dream about GEO’s 2038 vision, the discussion during Tuesday’s lunch snapped us back to the fierce urgency of now. When John Funabiki – a Professor of Journalism at San Francisco State University and Executive Director of Renaissance Journalism and Storytelling Center – interviewed […]
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A Better Match: Nonprofit Boards and Community Representation

Written by Ofronama Biu Image: This graph depicts responses to the CGAP survey question regarding Board member-community match. Nonprofit boards exist to ensure organizational viability.  Board members help guide organizations in fundraising, financial management, program strategy, and more.   But does the composition of the Board matter?  That answer is “yes.” There is evidence that Boards […]
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Strong Families New Mexico: Building the Common Good by Building Alliances

Written by Alicia Lueras Maldonado This entry continues our series highlighting the work of our allies in New Mexico and the common good in action. Click here to read the previous entry. In New Mexico we are not distant from the common good. We have a deep understanding of how we are connected,” says Adriann Barboa, Field […]
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BMP Returns to the Boston Foundation to Present MA Race to Lead Report

Written by Megha Patel On April 2nd, Building Movement Project (BMP) co-directors Sean Thomas-Breitfeld and Frances Kunreuther presented the most recent installment of the Race to Lead report series at The Boston Foundation, returning to the community foundation that hosted their first Race to Lead forum almost a year ago. While BMP’s first Race to Lead event at The […]
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Think Integrating Clients Onto Your Board is Impossible? Think Again!

Service providers know the value of integrating client voices more actively, but often face a variety of barriers in doing so. The idea of including current or former clients on the Board of Directors might seem like an out-of-reach gold standard, but join our webinar on April 17th to hear how an organization did just that. The Barrett […]
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Integrating Civic Engagement for Nonprofits

A Session with UndiosUS Affiliates Written by Noelia Mann On a snowy second-day of Spring, I facilitated a workshop with BMP Co-Director Sean Thomas-Breitfeld at the UnidosUS Leaders in Action Summit in Washington DC. UnidosUS, formerly NCLR, was established in 1968 to serve the Hispanic community through research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts, as […]
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The Golden State Difference

New Report Says CA Leads When It Comes to Diversity in Nonprofit Leadership, But Barriers Persist Written by Frances Kunreuther and Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Following its groundbreaking national report on why America’s nonprofit sector has so few leaders of color, the Building Movement Project (BMP) released California’s Race to Lead: The Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap in the […]
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Millennials and the State of Race in America

Written by Noelia Mann Interest, scholarship, and opinion pieces focused on the Millennial generation have increased in recent years, as Millennials have finally overtaken Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living population, according to Census Bureau population estimates. Just last week, the New Yorker ran an article entitled “Where Millennials Come From And Why We Insist on Blaming […]
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UPCOMING WEBINAR on Tools to Engage: Resources for Nonprofits

Hear from Maria Mottola, Executive Director of the NY Foundation Our new website, Tools to Engage: Resources for Nonprofits is up and running! Based on the structure of the popular NICE Guide, Tools to Engage helps organizations learn how they can meaningfully engage their constituents and community. Go to www.tools2engage.org, where an interactive, multi-level search portal connects users to […]
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Tools to Engage: Resources for Nonprofits

Building Movement Project’s new resource database Tools to Engage: Resources for Nonprofits is officially LIVE! Loosely based on the structure of the popular NICE Guide, this website is an interactive, multi-level search portal that connects users to the best tools, research, and resources from across the social sector about how – and why – organizations can meaningfully engage […]
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New Survey of Boards Backs Up Race to Lead Findings

Earlier this week, BoardSource released Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices. BoardSource provides nonprofit leaders with tools, resources, and research to increase board effectiveness and strengthen organizational impact. Leading with Intent 2017 is the ninth in their series of reports focusing on nonprofit board composition, practices, performance, and culture. This new report reiterates key […]
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Katrina, Sandy, Harvey: Centering Race and Class at the Eye of the Storm

Written by Noelia Mann We’ve seen this before. Natural disasters strike and communities of color and those affected by poverty are hit the hardest. As with the storms named Katrina and Sandy, it’s already clear that Harvey’s path of destruction will fall along racial and socioeconomic lines, and will also be felt long after the […]
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Second Report in Race to Lead Series Launches 7/11!

On Tuesday, July 11th, the Building Movement Project launched a new report, Working at the Intersections: LGBTQ Nonprofit Staff and the Racial Leadership Gap, and media platforms from across the nonprofit sector took notice. The Race to Lead website was also updated with a special section featuring key findings from the report. See below for links to prominent […]
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New Report Cites Racial Discrimination As Primary Barrier for LGBTQ People

Systemic racial bias, compounded by anti-LGBTQ bias, prevents qualified LGBTQ staff of color from ascending to leadership positions in the nonprofit sector Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Today, the Building Movement Project released a new report, Working at the Intersections: LGBTQ Nonprofit Staff and the Racial Leadership Gap, analyzing the experiences of people who identify as Lesbian, […]
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Race to Lead Launches Successfully

On Tuesday, June 6th, the Building Movement Project launched a new report, Race to Lead; Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap, and a corresponding website, racetolead.org. We’re pleased to see that the sector is taking notice. See below for links to prominent coverage of the launch, the report, and key findings: Chronicle of Philanthropy Nonprofit Quarterly New […]
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New Report and Website Highlight Lessons from Nonprofits, Leadership, and Race Survey

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld The Building Movement Project launched a new report — Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap— and website – www.racetolead.org –  based on data from more than 4,000 survey respondents. The report provides both evidence of the structural barriers that perpetuate the racial leadership gap and recommendations for the nonprofit sector to address […]
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Briefings in New Mexico Reaffirm the Importance of Strong Partnerships

Written by Alicia Lueras Maldonado During the first week of May, the Building Movement Project team gathered in Santa Fe and Albuquerque with local partners and community members to share and discuss the findings of the 2016 New Mexico Nonprofit Survey. We gathered at the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Albuquerque and at the Santa Fe Community Foundation to hear […]
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Sustaining the Movement for Sustainability

Written by Noelia Mann At the Climate March last weekend, over 200,000 people took to the streets of DC, again. This time, they gathered in the name of environmental justice. Thoughtful planning ensured that the “Protectors of Justice”- indigenous, frontline environmental, and climate justice communities- led the march, just as they serve as the vanguard of the fight […]
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How to Think Differently about Diversity in Nonprofit Leadership: Get Comfortable with Discomfort

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld It would be an understatement to say that the past few months have been uncomfortable. The national election was downright ugly, and it exposed just how naïve those pundits were who “dared ask whether the United States had finally begun to heal its divisions over race” after President Obama was elected. The resistance […]
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When Community and Labor Join Forces

Parent, Student and Teacher Partnerships that Yield Systemic Change Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld On March 31st, I sat down for a fast-paced webinar with two veteran organizers, and I knew our conversation couldn’t come at a more crucial time. With labor regulations under attack at the national level and community groups increasingly under-resourced, people’s movements face new challenges to […]
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The “Common Good” in Action

Written by Alicia Lueras Maldonado and Leah Steimel Last week, a cohort of organizations addressing homelessness in Albuquerque came together for a peer learning session on client engagement. Among the participants were two individuals that had experienced homelessness and now sit in leadership positions at a local homeless services clinic, Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless (AHCH). […]
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Permanently Affordable: The Community Land Trust Model

Written by Noelia Mann As anyone who has ever lived (or tried to live) in New York City knows, rent price tags are no joke. In NYC, chronic disinvestment in communities of color, and rampant gentrification are just a few of the issues that keep driving prices sky high and forcing long-term residents out of their homes. City […]
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Reflecting on the Women’s March on Washington

Written by Frances Kunreuther The day after Trump’s inauguration, I was one of the 500,000 or 1.2 million who marched in Washington, D.C.  I was glad to be there, even with the flaws. There was a feeling of optimism reflected in the pussy hats, homemade signs, different issues that were represented, throngs of people, and general good will. That feeling […]
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Detroiters Changed the Narrative to Push for Community (not just corporate) Development

Written by Linda Campbell Detroit, Michigan, recently became the first city in the nation to pass an ordinance designed to give community members a voice in negotiations with big developers. Large-scale developers often receive financial support from taxpayers in the form of grants, tax abatements, and land transfers. In exchange, they sometimes promise community members […]
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Job Announcement- Research Associate

About the Building Movement Project For over a decade, the Building Movement Project has been advancing the potential for nonprofit organizations to have an impact on building movements for progressive social change. We learn by listening to groups and leaders about what it takes for organizations to align their social justice principles with their operating […]
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2016 New Mexico Nonprofit Survey Launch

We are excited to let you know that the 2016 New Mexico Nonprofit Survey is online, and your input is more critical than ever. This survey will provide valuable information on the key issues that nonprofits are working on, the opportunities and challenges we face, and how we can continue to work together to ensure the well-being […]
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Building the CBO Movement in Detroit

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld with artwork by Sean Bieri, courtesy of www.metrotimes.com Detroit and many cities across the country that experienced disinvestment, white flight and redlining a generation ago, are now grappling with economic “redevelopment” efforts that notoriously and blatantly bypass communities of color. Since redevelopment so often means removing long-time residents to transform neighborhoods […]
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Embracing a Diverse Sector by Pushing Past Diversity

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld This blog post  was written for Independent Sector‘s blog for their New Frontiers Conference to be held in Washington, DC from Nov 16-18. To read the full post, click here.  Over the past few years, racism has been a major topic in the news and on social media. But are nonprofits connecting the discussion about […]
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Ask Questions, First to Learn but Then to Act

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld This article was written for the Stanford Social Innovation Review as a part of their “Putting Grantees at the Center of Philanthropy” series, produced in partnership with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. To read the full article, click here. “When grantmakers go looking for feedback from their grantees, they can ask a lot of questions. But […]
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Webinar Recap: Feedback Loops vs Constituent Engagement

Thank you to all of those who registered for and participated in BMP’s recent interactive webinar: “Feedback Loops vs Constituent Engagement.” It was a resounding success full of conversation and insights by BMP’s Co-Directors – Frances Kunreuther and Sean Thomas-Breitfield – independent consultants Judi Sherman and Leah Steimel, as well as Ana LaDou, Executive Director […]
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New Life for Reproductive Rights and Justice

Written by Frances Kunreuther Last week, the Supreme Court struck down abortion clinic restrictions in Texas. The Court’s ruling has given organizers, activists, movement builders, and supporters the opportunity to pause and celebrate. After so many battles at the national level and across so many states, it is a relief to have some positive news. […]
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The #BMPRaceSurvey Closes with Over 4,000 Responses

Written by Noelia Mann We are pleased to announce that the 2016 Nonprofits, Leadership and Race Survey has officially surpassed its goal of 4,000 responses! When we launched the survey on March 1st, we set a goal of 2,000 responses, but we received such wonderful support from our partners and colleagues in the field, that we […]
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The Land of the Common Good

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Tourists fall in love with New Mexico because of the food, culture, and natural landscapes. But over the past three years of BMP working with a variety of nonprofit partners, I fell in love with the Land of Enchantment for a completely different reason: the collaborative spirit of the people making […]
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Why Race and Leadership?

Written by Frances Kunreuther We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to the Nonprofits, Leadership, and Race survey. Over 2,500 surveys have been completed, representing all 50 states except Wyoming and North Dakota (we’re working on it!).  We hope you will fill out the survey and keep sharing the link – bit.ly/BMPRaceSurvey –  with your nonprofit friends/networks. The idea […]
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Understanding Movements for Social Change:

An Interview with Sean Thomas-Breitfeld This interview was conducted by Nell Edgington and reposted from Social Velocity. To read the full interview, click here. Nell: What is the role of leadership in movement and network building? How do you balance the need for organic and distributed power with the need for someone (or multiple someones) to provide […]
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Part II: One for the Money, Two for the Show…

…Three for Effective Nonprofits, Way to Go! Written by Noelia Mann Last week, I wrote a blog post questioning some of the conclusions that were presented in the Stanford Social Innovation Review series of articles focused on increasing voter turnout. My central critique of these works is the lack of focus on (or even acknowledgement of) the 16 new restrictions, aimed at […]
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One for the Money, Two for the Show

Why SSIR Analysis of Low Voter Turnout Just Doesn’t Cut It Written by Noelia Mann With election season in full swing, things are getting pretty hairy: metaphorical (and not so metaphorical) punches have been thrown, a projected $10 billion will be spent and the circus has comfortably settled down in town. But are the players going “full out” for a meager […]
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Stay Just a Little Bit Longer

Written by Frances Kunreuther This weekend I will be on a panel with three amazing women – Katherine Acey, Trishala Deb, and Krystal Portalatin at the Barnard’s Scholar & Feminist 41 conference. We will “share strategies for building meaningful multi-generational relationships that sustain individuals, communities, and political movements for transformative social change.” In a call to prepare for the conference, […]
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What Race is Your Organization?

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld 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 directors […]
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Emergency (Mis)Management and the Silencing of the Black Voice in American Democracy

Written by Noelia Mann In mostly poor, mostly black areas of Flint and Detroit, children were poisoned with lead, parents were infected with (and killed by) Legionnaires’ disease and schools were closed rather than having their leaky roofs, rodents and toxic black mold attended to … all just to save money. Due to the city’s financial crisis, and […]
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A New Report (with Tools) For Deciding on Extended Executive Transitions

Written by Stephanie Clohesy Download your copy of the report and its tools here. I have a friend who has a hard time leaving any gathering…a meeting, a party, the restaurant, the office. She stalls, complements the host, promises to reconnect, pulls a thread for a new conversation, sets up the next gathering…anything that averts what […]
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Feeling Triggered Over “Diversity”

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld 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 just “window dressing.” Moreover, legal […]
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On Executive Orders and Movement Building: Immigration Reform and Gun Control

Written by Jesse McGleughlin President Obama recently announced new executive action on gun control. According to a White House fact sheet  published on Monday, the executive orders would expand background checks, increase mental health services and reporting, and shape the future of gun technology. Obama’s call for an executive order comes on the heels of his […]
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Getting Out of Poverty Takes More Than Grit

Written by Jesse McGleughlin Jesse is a recent graduate of Brown University and a 2014 Fulbright recipient. Earlier this month, Aisha Sultan wrote an article for the Atlantic titled “The Limitations of Teaching ‘Grit’ in the Classroom.” In it, Sultan critiqued the idea that if low-income children just transform their mindsets—develop perseverance, a good attitude, […]
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The Difference Between Feedback and Power

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Recently, the nonprofit sector has been buzzing about the idea of feedback loops. Nonprofits are adapting customer feedback models from the private sector in their desire to listen to constituents and beneficiaries. There are initiatives by foundations looking to listen and learn from grantees. But while some claim that we’re in the midst of a “feedback movement” it […]
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BMP Hits The Road: Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Earlier this month, Frances and I went to the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s annual conference, held at Portland State University. We’re partnering with the Alliance on the Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement project, which focuses on helping organizational development consultants work with nonprofits – especially social service organizations – to integrate the voice of community members […]
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Are We All Intersectional Now?

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Frances wrote earlier this year about our struggles to tease out “intersectionality” the buzzword from intersectionality as an analytic approach that moves beyond single-issue organizing and advocacy. The release of our latest report The New Now  is based on interviews with organizers and activists in New Mexico and Ohio who are bringing an intersectional approach […]
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Organizations and Leadership

Written by Frances Kunreuther Recently, we have been getting a lot of requests to talk about two of our reports that came out a few years ago, Structuring Leadership: Alternative Models for Distributing Power and Decision  and What Works: Developing Successful Multigenerational Leadership. Both reports focus on the way organizations operate and the role leadership plays in the […]
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Collaborating for Social Change: 5 Lessons from a Collective Effort to End Homelessness in CT

Written by Tina Law According to its most recent study in 2013, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness estimates that more than 600,000 individuals experience homelessness across the country. In Connecticut, advocacy organizations, government agencies, and community providers are coming together in a campaign to end homelessness in their state. In our latest report, Coordinating Collaboration: A Mid-Point Learning Assessment […]
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Black Love in Cleveland

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld This past weekend, I had the honor to attend the Movement for Black Lives convening in Cleveland. It was a historic gathering of more than a thousand black organizers, activists and families from around the country. Given the justified outrage over people being pepper sprayed by cops after the conference ended and the media’s bias in reporting on the […]
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Winning: Rights and Respect

Written by Frances Kunreuther In reproductive justice circles, the victory of the Respect ABQ Women campaign received a flurry of attention in the fall of 2013  when Albuquerque voters defeated a ban on late-term abortions. The Building Movement Project  went back to talk to five leaders in that Campaign to understand why they won. The Respect ABQ Women report points out […]
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Beyond the Wedding Cake: The Fight Continues

Written by Alex Nguyen In its monumental decision this past Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a 5-4 decision that same-sex marriage is a legal right protected by the Constitution. The Obergefell v. Hodges ruling effectively reverses bans on same-sex marriages in states where these laws have been enacted while also fully legalizing these unions throughout […]
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Detroit: The Inequality Landscape

Written by Linda Campbell I experience inequality when my 40 year plus near perfect driving record causes my insurance rates to be 3x that of my suburban peers. I experience inequality when the police respond to an accidentally tripped house alarm in less than 5 minutes at my daughter’s midtown condo. I experience inequality when […]
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Reflections from the 3rd Detroit People’s Platform Annual Meeting

Written by Murphy Austin “We have worked out a system to deal with the system.” These words, spoken by Detroit People’s Platform member Jocelyn Harris at our annual meeting, stand as a testament to the growing enthusiasm behind our method for social change in Detroit. Since its very first meeting on June 1st, 2013, the People’s Platform has […]
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Funding Needed for Black Organizing

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Around the country funders are coming together to support community organizing in black communities. Earlier this month, I moderated a panel discussion at the North Star Fund’s “Let Us Breathe” forum, which served “as a call to community members, donors, grantmakers, activists, organizers, and all New Yorkers to support the movement against […]
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Public Protest Molds Public Opinion

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Earlier this month, a new poll revealed that there was a “deep divide” between blacks and whites on race and the criminal justice system. I’m not sure that this news was all that surprising since, as Alvin noted in his blog about the unique brand of millennial racism , there are lots of polls revealing that race […]
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The Role of Nonprofits in Increasing Income Mobility

Written by Tina Law Last week, The New York Times released an interactive dataset comparing what income mobility looks like in different neighborhoods across the country. This dataset, which comes from years of research conducted by The Equality of Opportunity Project, is remarkable in a lot ways. But what struck me the most about this dataset was how […]
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Millennials and Racism

Written by Alvin Young Three weeks ago my friends and I, all men of color in our twenties, took a trip to Davenport Park in New Rochelle, NY. We pulled into the empty parking lot and noticed a white van parked across from us. I remember getting out of the car, looking over to the […]
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#BlackWorkersMatter

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld This blog was originally posted on DEMOS‘ PolicyShop Blog. Two weeks ago, New York City joined ten other states and municipalities in banning the use of credit checks in hiring. Like most forms of 21st century discrimination, weighing the credit histories of job applicants seems innocuous and race-neutral at first glance. But, as […]
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New Mexico Student Protests and the Common Good

Written by Julie Radoslovich Creating a safe space at a school contributes to the common good in ways that reverberate throughout a community. South Valley Academy, a public charter school in Albuquerque’s South Valley, is continually working to align values with action, and the reaction to the walkouts in protest of the PARCC (The Partnership for Assessment […]
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Sharing the Hard Decisions: How Co-Leaders Can Do More Together

Written by Frances Kunreuther This blog post is due to the courtesy of NCRP  NCRP’s new report, Cultivating Nonprofit Leadership, is an important addition to the philanthropic sector, making the case for why social change funders should invest in leadership development. At the Building Movement Project, we have written about generational shifts, what makes a good workplace across generations and […]
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Happy Tax Day!

Written by Alvin Young In celebration of tax day, we at Building Movement Project wanted to present two informative links to understanding tax policy. First, the latest blog post by Kim Klein and a link to Nonprofits Talking Taxes, a workshop focused on lifting common good principles and understanding the role of tax policy. In her latest commons blog […]
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Who’s in Charge of Transforming Detroit?

Written by Frances Kunreuther This blog post is due to the courtesy of openDemocracy. Bill and Billie Hickey live in Brightmoor, a neighborhood about twenty minutes away from the gentrified Midtown area of Detroit. Most people in Brightmoor live in poverty (50 per cent of residents have an annual income of under $25,000) , and the community has the largest […]
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Mapping an Emerging Network of Nonprofits in New Mexico

Written by Tina Law There is growing recognition among nonprofits and funders that networks can play a distinct role in advancing social change. As noted by Network Impact and Center for Evaluation Innovation in their recent co-authored paper, networks may be uniquely equipped to tackle challenges that are too complex for individual organizations to address alone, reduce duplication, and spur […]
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Detroiters Stand up to Tax Foreclosures

Written by Alvin Young Faced with the possibility of displacement, Detroiters filled the Detroit City Council on Tuesday, March 24th, to demand that they pass a resolution urging the Wayne County treasurer halt tax foreclosures. As part of an effort to prevent the displacement of 100,000 residents, the Detroit People’s Platform and local partners turned in a petition with […]
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Predatory Lenders Crush the Common Good

Written by Ona Porter This entry continues our series highlighting the work of our allies in New Mexico and the common good in action. Click here to read the first entry. Politics before governing is an operating policy that has allowed a tiny minority to continue rigging the American Dream for their own benefit.There is no better evidence […]
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SouthWest Organizing Project: Lifting up the Common Good in New Mexico

Written by Alicia Lueras Maldonado Over the next few weeks, the Building Movement Project will highlight the work of our allies in New Mexico and how they are contributing to the common good. This is the first blog in our series focused on the common good in action. So often we hear about the struggles […]
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#BlackLivesMatter: It’s More Than a Hashtag

Written by Alvin Young This week, I had the opportunity to join the Progressive Technology Project’s webinar on #BlackLivesMatter. BLM Co-Founder, Alicia Garza, explained how #BlackLivesMatter is a tool to address the dehumanization of black people throughout the United States. Armed with a robust social media strategy, #BlackLivesMatter provides a platform for the voiceless, and the millions oppressed […]
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BMP Welcomes New Staff Member, Alvin Young

My name is Alvin Young and I am excited to be joining Building Movement Project as its new Program Assistant. I look forward to fulfilling the BMP’s administrative needs, external communication, and development and implementation of new and ongoing projects.  Prior to joining BMP, I had the opportunity to serve Impact Network as a Program Implementation Officer. […]
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Considering Structure and Bias on Oscar Sunday

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld I’m a fan of movies and the award shows that honor them. So I was upset – like much of the rest of the twitterverse  – that Selma was snubbed when the Oscar nominations were announced last month. Entertainment experts claimed that for Selma’s director, Ava DuVernay, being shut out of the Oscar nominations was […]
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Intersectionality: Beyond the Hype

Written by Frances Kunreuther Sean and I have been grappling with how to talk about the (frequently overused) concept of intersectionality. For years, we have admired the pioneering work of Kimberlé Crenshaw, who is credited with coining the term, and of Cathy Cohen, who helped apply the idea of intersectionality to the LGBT community. But it has […]
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A Snapshot of the State of Nonprofits in New Mexico

Written by Tina Law Today, we are releasing, “Working Towards the Common Good: A Preview of Findings from the 2014 New Mexico Nonprofit Survey.”  This brief provides a preview of data gathered from the 2014 New Mexico Nonprofit Survey, an effort that was led by BMP in partnership with many local nonprofits such as Albuquerque Health Care […]
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Detroit People’s Platform, Reclaiming Martin Luther King for Detroit

Written by Aaron Handelsman Below is a speech given by Aaron Handelsman, on behalf of the Detroit People’s Platform, during the 29th Annual Martin Luther King Day Symposium at the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center. Detroit People’s Platform is a membership organization that was birthed through the labor of several hundred people across Detroit who recognized the need to amplify […]
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Donations Remind that Crises in Detroit Continue

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Last week, two Muslim groups donated $100,000 to help Detroit residents whose accounts are past-due with the city’s water department. The announcement from the two organizations – The Michigan Muslim Community Council and Islamic Relief USA – focused on the act of charity as an expression of their faith, and the money will certainly help […]
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Looking Back to 1965, Looking Ahead to 2015

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld This weekend, the movie Selma opens nationwide. The film’s release doesn’t just launch the latest awards-season buzz; it connects directly to the movement moment we’re in, and kicks off a year where we’ll be marking several 50-year milestones that harken back to the movements of the 1960s. The actual history of movements is always […]
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Blame and Forgiveness

Written by Frances Kunreuther It is striking to me that in all the tension and cacophony we are experiencing here in New York City and around the country – from the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict the police involved in the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and so many other young men of […]
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Reflections on the Penas for the Common Good

Written by Alicia Lueras Maldonado As the year comes to an end, it’s a good time to reflect on the past year and think about the work ahead of us. Our last Peña for the Common Good was the perfect opportunity to gather our thoughts and share ideas and reflections about the common good, and […]
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Detroit: The City vs The State – Another Round

Written by Frances Kunreuther Residents must be gaining some power in Detroit. Because each time they start to organize something, the state tries to intervene to usurp their gains. This time it is the Community Benefits Agreement ordinance. The Detroit People’s Platform introduced the need for a Community Benefits Agreement ordinance to ensure that developers – who are […]
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Lessons from Detroit

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Many commentators have taken to calling Detroit the canary in the coal mine, as a warning to other cities facing de-industrialization, unemployment and other “urban” woes. But in this era of the city’s bankruptcy “crisis” and supposed comeback, what we see from Detroit is a warning about the cost of transferring governing power to […]
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Coming Home Again

Written by Tina Law 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 to […]
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Common Good in New Mexico

Written by Frances Kunreuther This Halloween I was in New Mexico presenting at the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers conference with my colleagues Andrea Plaza executive director of Encuentro, Jenny Metzler head of Health Care for the Homeless and Alicia Maldonado (our Building Movement consultant). We were there to talk about the role that New Mexico nonprofits can […]
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Post-Election Wake-Up Call

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld In the wake of Tuesday’s elections, I was left wondering how many nonprofits had registered and turned out voters. This year’s midterms will probably be remembered for the apparent contradiction of progressive ballot measures winning alongside conservative legislators. But this election should be remembered for the sad fact that voter turnout was far lower than […]
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The Scale of the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld 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 of our project […]
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Help Us to Tell the Story of New Mexico Nonprofits

Written by Tina Law Today we are launching the 2014 New Mexico Nonprofit Survey. This survey effort is being led by BMP, in partnership with many New Mexico nonprofits such as Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, Inc., Encuentro, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, New Mexico Voices for Children, and SouthWest Organizing Project. This short, confidential survey will ask all nonprofit organizations in […]
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Understanding “Hong Kong People!”

Written by Tina Law Growing up, my dad often introduced himself as being “Hong Kong people.” The first thing he wanted you to know was his name; the second thing was that he was from Hong Kong. Being from Hong Kong was an enormous source of pride for him, and he frequently spoke about the […]
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BMP Welcomes New Staff Member, Tina Law!

Written by Tina Law My name is Tina Law and I am excited to be joining the Building Movement Project as its new Research Associate. BMP has been an invaluable resource to social justice organizations and advocates for many years, and I look forward to helping to expand our research capacity so that we can […]
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BMP Conference Sessions on Community Engagement

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Austin may be famed for the South by Southwest music festival, but from September 17 to 19, it was the gathering place for nonprofit leaders, capacity builders and consultants from all over the state of Texas, and across the country. The Alliance for Nonprofit Management held its 2014 national conference there, in partnership […]
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Update from the 3rd Peña for the Common Good

Written by Alicia Lueras Maldonado As we sat in the community room behind the St. Martin’s Coffee Shop on the corner of Lomas and 2nd Street listening to Mark Allison, former Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico, give a bit of history on the building I was filled with hope and possibilities. It was […]
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Persistent Poverty, New Roles for Service Providers and Advocates

Written by Tina Law This week, the Census Bureau released its annual data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the U.S. On the whole, little change occurred in 2013: the poverty rate declined slightly by half a percent; there was no significant change to the actual number of Americans living in poverty; and median household […]
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Surprise! Boomers are Aging

Written by Frances Kunreuther Even though we’re not going back to school, we at the Building Movement Project have entered the fall thinking about the year ahead. We are meeting on leadership, service and social change, and movement building; and like everyone else, our plate stays full and we only wish we could really do […]
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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 Ferguson and the Staten Island […]
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Just Bread

Written by Aaron Handelsman The Capuchin Soup Kitchen (CSK) used to be called The Charity Guild. It first opened its doors in Detroit in 1929 with a mission of feeding the poor.  After feeding people in poverty for the better part of a century, the CSK leadership wanted to do more, but weren’t sure how. To figure […]
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The Debate About Boards

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld I recently attended the biennial conference of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT). This year, GIFT held the Money for our Movements conference in Baltimore, and more than 500 social justice fundraisers and organizers came together to learn, connect and take action. One of the highlights of this conference is always the debate […]
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Boards: A Historic Relic?

Written by Kim Klein This entry by Kim Klein was first published on July 19th as part of her monthly advice column “Dear Kim” for the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT). BMP’s Co-Director, Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, will moderate the debate on boards at GIFT’s Money for our Movements conference. This issue of “Dear Kim” is focused on a topic […]
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Three Secrets of Effective Leadership I Learned from Linda Campbell

Written by Aaron Handelsman Four summers ago I was a frustrated community development officer for a large bank, venting in my living room to a friend.  As a third-generation Detroiter, I was (and remain) convinced that we have enough resources to ensure that all peoples’ needs are met and to address our area’s most pressing […]
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Detroit People’s Platform Calls on Public Health Officer to Take Action Against Water Shutoffs

Written by People’s Platform Water shutoffs in Detroit have been garnering media attention (this oped and this article). The People’s Platform, which Building Movement Project has been helping to coordinate this past year, put out the letter below to call for an end to water shutoffs. Vernice Anthony, DirectorDetroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion Dear Ms. Anthony, […]
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Update from the 2nd Pena for the Common Good

Written by Alicia Lueras Maldonado On June 12th, we hosted our 2nd Peña for the Common Good at the beautiful campus of South Valley Academy, a public charter school in the South Valley of Albuquerque. As we sat in that institution of learning – listening to parents, alumni and staff share their personal experiences – […]
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Detroit People’s Platform, A Year Later

Written by Aaron Handelsman What does it mean when even after a last-minute venue change over 100 overworked community activists across seven city council districts turn out to an event committed to bringing about social change? I think it means a movement is building. Tuesday, June 12th marked the second annual meeting of the Detroit People’s Platform (PP). The […]
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The Next Generation of Leaders We Really Need in Detroit

Written by Linda Campbell In addition to being on the BMP Project Team, Linda Campbell is a CSI fellow and has been a convener of the People’s Platform in Detroit. This blog was originally posted by the Center for Social Inclusion. Earlier this month, Crain’s Detroit published its annual list of “Twenty in their 20s”. This list of […]
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Tools for Reflecting on Leadership

A Vision for Change Written by Caroline McAndrews 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.  […]
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Wise Fools

Written by Frances Kunreuther I went with trepidation. It was the second convening of Wise Fools – convened by Ginny McGinn at the Center for Whole Communities and Akaya Windwood from the Rockwood Leadership Institute.  The first time we met was last summer in Vermont. I hadn’t hesitated to accept the invitation when Akaya called. But as I […]
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Announcing New Partnership with the Alliance for Nonprofit Management

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld The Building Movement Project and the Alliance for Nonprofit Management are excited to announce that we are joining forces to create the “Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement” project. NICE will work with organizational development experts, consultants and nonprofit staff to help service groups focus on client and community engagement as part of their everyday […]
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Planning for New Roles but Few Rules

Written by Frances Kunreuther It IS happening!  The older Boomers are starting to leave top roles in nonprofit organizations, and many more are thinking about what is next. Our latest report in the Life After Leadership Series, New Roles, Few Rules: Planning for Purpose Beyond Position is a much needed look at how these first wavers are creating pathways […]
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Reflecting on Your Readiness to Leave

Written by Caroline McAndrews Since releasing The Leadership in Leaving, BMP has received many different responses, but one that we hear again and again is, “How do I know when it is the right time to leave?”  As the authors of the report point out, “Ending a long-term position can be one of the hardest leadership […]
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Penas for the Common Good

Written by Alicia Lueras Maldonado On Friday, May 2nd, over 25 nonprofit service providers, advocates and community organizers joined together in what was the first of a series of “peñas” to honor and celebrate our work, build relationships and have a deeper dialogue about the “common good.” The idea of “peñas” came out of a […]
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Relationships Are (the) Work

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Lately, I’ve been thinking about relationships. Maybe it’s that my partner just proposed to me. Or maybe it was the time with our Project Team earlier this month working, laughing, and struggling together. Either way, it’s becoming clear how important relationships are in the social change sector. Relationship building was a […]
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Talking Taxes

Written by Kim Klein Today is commonly known as “Tax Day” in the United States. I am a partner in a consulting firm and we pay “estimated” taxes, so I have just returned from mailing them off. “Estimated tax” is the amount of tax we will owe this year if we earn the same amount as last […]
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Three Emergent Themes

Voice of the Poor, Trickle-Down Funding, Support for Leaders of Color Written by Frances Kunreuther Every six months, we spend four packed days with our Project Team to discuss the Building Movement Project work and direction, and to hear what our team members are seeing and thinking about in their everyday work. We always work hard in […]
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Feminist Answers to Nonprofit Questions

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld As Women’s History Month comes to a close, it seems like a good time to reflect on the debt that the not-for-profit sector owes to the leadership and courage of feminists. Sure, women make up nearly 75% of the nonprofit workforce, but that is not the reason that feminism is on my […]
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“5% Shifts” Series Featured in Working Strategies Magazine

We are excited to announce that a profile of our series, “5% Shifts to Social Change”, was featured in this year’s winter edition of Working Strategies magazine.   The profile, written by BMP Co-Directors Frances Kunreuther and Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, discusses how evaluating the success of our original Process Guide led us to the concept of […]
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Connecting Taxes to the Common Good

Written by Kim Klein This post originally appeared on the Bolder Advocacy Blog For at least the past 15 years, almost all nonprofits have experienced the effects of government funding cutbacks. Those organizations who were directly funded suffered immediately, but those who had no government funding found themselves competing with previously publicly supported institutions for the […]
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Team Member Linda Campbell Chosen for CSI Fellowship

We are happy to announce that our Project Team member Linda Campbell, who leads our work on the ground in Detroit, has been chosen as a 2013-2014 Field Fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion.  Linda’s fellowship focuses on developing a cohort of next generation leaders dedicated to transformative change in Detroit and facilitating a […]
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ACF Fellows Commit to Integrating Civic Engagement

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Earlier this week, I facilitated a meeting for the Alliance for Children & Families’ 2014 New Voices Civic Engagement Fellows. This year’s fellows, who are sponsored by Alliance member organizations, were chosen for their demonstrated potential to use civic engagement strategies to strengthen families, communities, and nonprofit organizations. The meeting this week served to […]
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Understanding Alignment and Scale through the New Bottom Line

Over the last few years, there’s been growing interest in – and analysis of – alliances. From the 2010 report by Manuel Pastor that Frances looked back at last week, to the current issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, more and more thought leaders are exploring collaboration between organizations as a key strategy for movement building. […]
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Alliances: Trust and Transformation

A few years ago, Manuel Pastor and his colleagues put out a report, Connecting at the Crossroads documenting the emergence and importance of alliances as a key movement building strategy.  Today, the interest in alliances has expanded, and we see more high-profile alliances being forged between organizations.   Looking back on this report, I’m struck that one of […]
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Detroit: Not as “Abandoned” as it Seems

Written by Caitlin Endyke There are two opposing narratives about the estimated 78,000 buildings that stand vacant and abandoned in Detroit.  On one hand, the “ruins” stand as captivating relics from a better time – inspiring “ruin porn” tourism and documentaries.  On another hand, the urban blight serves as a visual example of how far Detroit has […]
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Looking for Collective Stories in Black History Month

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld This past week, an article about Black History Month by Theodore Johnson in The Atlantic really moved me. Johnson writes that our focus on historical icons makes this month of celebration too disconnected from people’s everyday experience. I share his concern on a personal level but as someone with a particular focus on […]
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One Step Forward for Equality, But Long Road Ahead

Written by Caitlin Endyke Last summer, we released our report At the Crossroads: The Future of the LGBT Movement the same week that the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and Proposition 8. While we celebrated these momentous victories for the LGBT Movement, we also reminded folks of the long road ahead before LGBT Americans gain full equality.  […]
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Why Creating Change is So Different

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld What do Laverne Cox, Rinku Sen, Nona Hendryk, and Tarso Luis Ramos have in common?  It’s Creating Change 2014!  Frances and I spent last weekend at the 26th annual Creating Change conference in Houston, Texas put on by the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force. And I can say once again, this conference is a force of nature. The […]
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Featured Tool: Root Cause Analysis

One essential shift that organizations make as they embrace a social change perspective is to begin examining the underlying systemic and structural issues that are really behind the reasons that clients come to organizations for help and support. Our Root Cause Analysis Tool is designed to spark discussion and reflection about making visible the often invisible sources […]
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New Tools, Seeking Users

Launching anything on the ‘interwebs’ is a little bit like the riddle of whether a falling tree makes any noise: you never know if the work put in to crafting the research, video, slideshow, or whatever, will get any views, much less go “viral.” So it’s with a mix of trepidation and excitement that we […]
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Praise for Service and Social Change Tools

The Building Movement Project relies on the feedback, guidance and encouragement of other practitioners in the nonprofit sector. We are so thankful for all of our friends who have supported and advised us in developing the resources on the new tools page. Here’s what some of our advisors had to say: “I love the 5% Shifts […]
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Bettering Services, Saving Money

Written by Caitlin Endyke What happens when a conservative state reforms an entire social service program, with the goal of making it more cost-effective? Usually, you’d probably end up with a program that did little to better the lives of the people it served – or you’d have a group of nonprofit service agencies who’d […]
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What Nonprofits Can Learn from Community Organizing

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Last week, I participated in a great panel on the lessons that nonprofits can learn from community organizing. The other panelists were Julia Watt-Rosenfeld, the Director of Community Organizing and Advocacy at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation in Brooklyn, Prerana Reddy, the Director of Public Events at the Queens Museum of Art, Kady Ferguson, Brooklyn […]
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Sports: For the Greater Good?

Written by Caitlin Endyke I have a chalkboard in my apartment that counts down day-by-day until the next Olympics.  I love the Games.  I love the history, I love the pageantry, I love watching athletes who have trained their whole lives finally achieve Olympic Gold. Lately, It is hard for me to reconcile my love […]
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The Crucial 5% Shift: Building Relationships

Written by Frances Kunreuther In 2013 we released five mini-reports on 5% Shifts for service groups to engage in social change. We were able to draw on the work of organizations – large and small – that are figuring out how to integrate activities that build the voice and power of their clients. These groups are looking […]
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SNAP Cuts Hit Hard in New Mexico

Written by Caitlin Endyke In the lead up to, and during, the federal government shutdown late last year, we wrote a lot about how governmental cuts and shutdowns tend to affect America’s most vulnerable populations much more than they affect the proverbial middle class.  We used the delayed disbursement of SNAP and WIC benefits as one of […]
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Catching On

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld At BMP we have talked a lot – and for many years – about how service providers are the groups in the nonprofit sector with the greatest reach into low-income communities. They see the immediate problems facing their “clients” (or constituents, program participants, etc.), and they also know that structural barriers […]
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Kicking off 2014: Lessons from New Mexico

Written by Frances Kunreuther Starting a new year calls for optimism and hope.  Here in New York City we are looking forward to the work of our new Mayor, Bill de Blasio who promises to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. But we have also been learning what it takes to fulfill the promise […]
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A New Year

Written by Frances Kunreuther One thing that I learned in 2013 was how to blog! Okay, I know I am late to the field, but it is still shocking how much I like this medium. It makes me wonder what I will learn and do in 2014. We are excited about our work in New Mexico growing […]
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Playing with Democracy

Written by Caroline McAndrews Tomorrow, the Detroit City Council will be voting on whether or not to allow the expansion of the Detroit Development Authority (DDA), a move that would grant over $300 million dollars in public funding to developers to build a new hockey arena in the city. We’ve been focusing on the stripping […]
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Headshot of Sean Thomas-Breitfeld - Co-Director of Building Movement Project

On Learning How to Co-Lead

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld When I joined the BMP staff eleven months ago, it was accepted as a natural next step in my career. It certainly didn’t raise any of the awkward questions that Frances and Caroline were being peppered with. While Frances had to explain that bringing me on wasn’t part of a succession plan and Caroline had to explain […]
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Prosperity and Poverty During the Holidays

Written by Caitlin Endyke Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity […]
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So Long for Now

Written by Caroline McAndrews After nine years with the Building Movement Project, I will be leaving at the end of this month.  We’ve spent the last six months preparing for this as a staff and team and I couldn’t be more excited, although also sad to leave a place I love.  What many people I’ve […]
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A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Written by Caitlin Endyke An estimated 92 million shoppers took advantage of holiday deals on Black Friday this year.  Yet as those of us too full from Thanksgiving leftovers to brave the box-store crowds watched the usual reports of long lines and record sales on news broadcasts throughout the day, a few other stories stood […]
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Movements, Funders, and Making Change

Written by Frances Kunreuther Last week, Sean and I participated in the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference on supporting movements. We did an introductory session for funders on the basics of movement building, and were joined by Laura McCargar from the Perrin Family Foundation and Peter Bloch Garcia from the Marguerite Casey Foundation who both did terrific presentations on how they are supporting organizing and social […]
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Co-Directorship – What Does it Mean?

Reflecting on Ten Months of Shared Leadership Written by Frances Kunreuther It wasn’t by chance that Sean and I became co-directors, but it was good luck. It didn’t take long to see how two heads are better than one (thanks Joni Mitchell) and that having a partner in the work upped our game.  But it also brought a reaction from […]
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Building Unlikely Partnerships to Create Change

A Series of 5% Shifts Written by Caroline McAndrews Most communities have a wide range of groups aimed at addressing the needs of community members; however, due to both the complicated structure of government services and the tendency to focus on one issue area, it can often be challenging for organizations to work together to […]
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A Guaranteed Income for Everyone?

Written by Caitlin Endyke At Building Movement, we’ve been writing a lot recently about poverty in America and the importance of a strong social safety net. During the recent government shutdown, we turned our focus to those who would be affected most – folks who rely on government services for essentials like food and baby formula – and made […]
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Can We All Do Better if We All Did Better?

A Toolkit for the Common Good Written by Kim Klein “Set aside politics. Set aside competitiveness. Imagine what it would be like if there was enough money to go around. Imagine the powerful force nonprofits can be for the Common Good” – Renee McGiven, host of the Nonprofit Spark podcast In the nonprofit sector, we […]
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Detroiters Stand Up For Democracy on Election Day

Written by Linda Campbell Despite recent efforts by the state government to curtail the progression of democracy in Detroit, thousands of city residents made it to the polls on Tuesday, casting votes for mayor and city council among other ballot measures. Unfortunately most of the local reporters aren’t concentrating on how well those elected will govern the […]
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Detroit Leaders Create Space for Rejuvenation, Reflection, and Practice

On the evening of October 29, a group of Detroit youth leaders – all under 40 – gathered in the living room of an immaculate home operated by Sister Mary and four other progressive nuns in the Detroit metro area.  At 39, I barely made the age cut off.  But was happy to contribute to […]
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The Most Unequal Place in America

Written by Caitlin Endyke In 1994, Time Magazine set out to identify the poorest place in America.  They settled on Lake Providence Parish, a small community in rural Louisiana where they note that, “the median annual household income in Block Numbering Area 9903, which covers the southern two-thirds of Lake Providence and three-quarters of its population, […]
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Scaling and Ecology

Written by Frances Kunreuther Every couple of years, new phrases suddenly permeate the air. In the nonprofit sector right now there is “scale”, “collective impact”, “network”, “movement”, “evidence-based”, “transformation” and of course ”innovation.” These terms can be deeply meaningful or they can be maddeningly empty depending on the circumstances. But how they are adopted (and […]
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Report Back on “Making it Real with 5% Shifts”

Written by Caroline McAndrews On Tuesday, BMP Co-directors Frances and Sean led a webinar on 5% Shifts for Grassroots Grantmakers.  The webinar included what we’ve learned so far about how small shifts can create a ripple effect of change in organizations and throughout a community. Featured on the webinar was Melinda Lewis, Policy Director for the Assets […]
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Detroiters March for Transit Justice

Written by Caitlin Endyke It’s a tale of two cities when it comes to Detroit.  While certain pockets of the city that are home to entrepreneurs and the “creative class” continue on a path to revitalization,  the rest of the city gets left even further behind.  Few issues draw this distinction more clearly than that […]
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In Shutdown, Need to Remember Who Is Affected Most

Written by Caitlin Endyke As we enter the second week of the government shutdown, we’ve heard stories of its effect across the country – from the shuttering of national parks; to NASA’s website going dark; to certain congress people explaining why they still need to receive a regular paycheck, even when thousands of government employees remain furloughed.  Yet […]
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Shutdown Ends, but Suffering Designed to Continue

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld The 16-day government shutdown came to an end early this morning. Apparently the warnings that the U.S. would run out of the money needed to pay its debts, causing a widespread bank collapse, were enough to get the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives to break their rule against moving bipartisan bills without […]
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Making it Real with 5% Shifts

A few weeks ago, Building Movement Project released our newest report, “Advancing Community Level Impact”.  The report was the fourth in our series on how service providers can make small “5% Shifts” that can lead to big impacts in the communities they serve.  The response to this series has been great.  We’ve heard from folks across […]
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BMP at Independent Sector

Written by Caroline McAndrews This past week, staff at the Building Movement Project had the opportunity to present some of our recent work at the Independent Sector conference.  As is always the case, we learned so much from those who participated in the sessions and wanted to share a little bit of that here. Frances, […]
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Shifting Strategies to Advance Community Level Impact

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld When service agencies embrace broader social change and community-level work, it requires a shift in organizational strategy. By strategy, I mean both the motivating vision for the impact the organization will have in the world and also the practices, tactics and choices around staffing that will make the vision a reality. Our […]
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New Resources: Tools for Leadership

Written by Caroline McAndrews For the past several years, we have been researching and writing reports about how to work across generations and build leadership for social change in your organization and in the nonprofit sector.  Once we release each report, we spend months developing exercises and tools for people to use to apply the […]
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Reflecting on the Immigration Movement

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Today I’m in DC to attend the Center for Community Change’s annual Change Champions Awards dinner. Both Frances and I have long histories with CCC – she was a fellow there in the late 90’s and I was on staff there for nine years. And as an organization concerned with issues […]
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Celebrating Successes AND Failures of Occupy Wall Street at 2nd Anniversary

Written by Caitlin Endyke As we mark the second anniversary of the start of the first encampments in Zuccotti Park that sparked the movement now known as “Occupy Wall Street” (though its reach represented a much wider geographic area than downtown Manhattan), Rick Cohen at Nonprofit Quarterly reflects on the movement’s successes and failures thus far.  […]
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Happy Poverty Day!

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld You didn’t know Poverty Day was a thing? I kid, it’s not really something worth celebrating, but this is the one time a year when we can count on the media to focus on the economy as it is experienced by the millions who are struggling to make ends meet. Most […]
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Independent Sector’s NGen Program

Welcoming Newcomers into the Fold Written by Caroline McAndrews 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 younger and/or emerging leaders.  The NGen […]
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Obamacare: The Potential in Service to Social Change

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld This past week, the Building Movement Project Team had the privilege to hear from several leaders in Los Angeles about how the implementation of Obamacare is being leveraged by forward-looking organizations as an opportunity for movement building. We met at one of St. John’s Well Child & Family Center’s many clinics in South Los Angeles. […]
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Big Money for Nonprofit Navigators

Written by Caitlin Endyke Despite our recent disappointment with Michigan governor Rick Snyder (you might have seen our discussions of the governor’s passage of the Emergency Manager Law against popular vote this Spring), we are happy to see that a motion to expand Medicaid benefits was passed in the legislature yesterday, partly due to the governor’s […]
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Nonprofits Proven Effective in Getting Out the Vote

Written by Caitlin Endyke Here at Building Movement Project, we believe that nonprofit organizations should serve as robust sites of democratic practice.  Which is why we’ve promoted the work of our partners at Nonprofit Vote in the past.  At Nonprofit Vote, they also believe that nonprofit organizations are ideal sites for civic engagement, and they provide […]
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Detroit (Still) on My Mind

Written by Frances Kunreuther Last week, Linda Campbell wrote about her experiences in Detroit. In These Times has a terrific article, Detroit’s Downfall: Beyond the Myth of Black Misleadership, by Marilyn Katz that gives a different narrative on Detroit’s current woes. Though not as pointed, I read two other pieces about Detroit during the week that confirm Katz’s analysis. […]
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Is it a Crisis?

Written by Frances Kunreuther The Chronicle of Philanthropy has featured our new report publication The Leadership in Leaving in their article “Calling it Quits” (pdf). For years we heard that the leadership transitions in the nonprofit sector – the one from aging boomers to the next generations – would result in a mass exodus in experienced leaders and a […]
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Building Movement Begins Work in New Mexico!

Written by Alicia Maldonado Greetings from New Mexico! My name is Alicia Lueras Maldonado and I am happy to be working with the Building Movement Project to coordinate their work in the State to bring together organizers, advocates and service providers to work together for change. I am a native New Mexican and passionate about […]
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Detroiters Reclaiming Voice and Power

Written by Linda Campbell 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 […]
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Presenting at the Alliance Conference

Written by Frances Kunreuther Each year the people who provide you with technical assistance, organizational development, leadership training, transition management, and a host of other supports for nonprofits meet together at the Alliance for Nonprofit Management conference. This year it is practically in our back yard – in Newark, NJ – and Sean and I will be headed there […]
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The Nonprofit Leadership Crisis We’ve All Been Waiting For

Written by Caitlin Endyke Earlier this week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on an interesting phenomenon in Charlotte, North Carolina. It appears that nonprofit executives there are finally proving right the 2006 theory that a mass exodus of long-term nonprofit leaders was on the horizon, as 35 of the city’s nonprofits have changed leaders in the last year. The sector […]
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Webinar Recap: At the Crossroads: The Future of the LGBT Movement

Written by Caitlin Endyke Last Tuesday BMP hosted a webinar based on the findings of our recent report, At the Crossroads: The Future of the LGBT Movement.  Following the court strike-down of DOMA and Prop 8 late last month, we found the findings of our report- that movement leaders think marriage equality is but one […]
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20th Anniversary

Reflections on the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children and Family Fellowship Written by Frances Kunreuther 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 […]
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Evolving Beyond the Gay Marriage Agenda

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Although I am a gay man and an activist, for most of my career I have opted out of LGBT activism and organizing and instead devoted myself to the racial and economic justice issues that had loomed much larger in my own life. I felt ambivalent about the top policy issues […]
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Asking the Right Questions

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld There are many questions that nonprofit leaders ask of themselves, the communities they serve and the society at large. Often these questions are very big picture ones about the nature of the inequity that the organization tries to address. And sometimes in the daily work of providing services and administering programs, […]
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Breakfast in Detroit

Written by Caitlin EndykeSean Thomas-Breitfeld This piece originally appeared in Transformation, a new online publication from Michael Edwards and openDemocracy. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “Detroit?” Government bailouts for the auto industry, perhaps? A ruined city that has largely been abandoned? Or maybe the “cheap suits” from Chevrolet who shot Kenny […]
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The Long and Short of It

from Kim Klein and the Commons Written by Kim Klein This post originally appeared on Kim Klein and the Commons.  Last week, the Nonprofit Quarterly featured a piece announcing a large grant that the Skillman Foundation had awarded the Detroit Bus Company, an independent transit provider in the Michigan city.  The grant was for $100,000 and will support […]
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Court Rulings Must Lead to Broader Alliance Building

Written by Frances Kunreuther Our new report, At the Crossroads: The Future of the LGBT Movement, was conceived over a year ago. Little did we think then it would be released the same week that the Supreme Court would be deciding two cases on same-sex marriage and challenges to affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act. The SCOTUS […]
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For Full Inclusion and Equality, Must Look Beyond Marriage

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Like many other LGBT people, I’m eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex marriage. If the Court supports the right to marry, it will be very validating for me and my partner to be able to have our relationship legally recognized throughout this country. But beyond this huge symbolic value, winning on […]
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Learning How to ACT UP

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld I first saw the documentary United in Anger: A History of ACT UP a year ago. As I watched the film, I was engrossed in the story of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. I was inspired by the successes of this movement that made it possible for an HIV diagnosis to not be […]
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Keeping an Eye Out for Detours, While Staying on Track

Written by Caitlin Endyke We’ve written before about how much we try to integrate reading and learning into our work here at the Building Movement Project, as we try to stay abreast of current theories and trends in the nonprofit sector. Last month, Sean Thomas-Breitfeld wrote about a discussion on Neoliberalism and Marketization that we had with our staff and […]
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Detroit People’s Platform and Convention held at Marygrove College

Written by guest Patrick Geans is a reporter for the Michigan Citizen, a weekly local publication that focuses on economic and social development throughout Michigan’s urban communities.  This piece was written following the successful People’s Platform and Convention event, held on June 1st. Over 200 Detroit residents, community leaders and activists gathered for the Detroit Peoples Platform […]
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The Leadership in Leaving

By the Numbers Written by Frances Kunreuther I am astounded when I read that 10,000 people in the United States turn 65 every day. So I did a little math of my own. There are 1.3 million nonprofit organizations in the United States that have a budget of $25,000 or more.  Recent estimates suggest that over 75% of nonprofit leaders […]
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Learning to Lead

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Although it’s popular to think of a select few individuals as “natural born leaders,” people actually learn how to lead. And much like the other elements of social capital, leadership is more likely to be developed or crushed depending on one’s location in our social hierarchy. For me, my leadership developed through […]
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Webinar Recap: Vision for Change

Written by Caroline McAndrews Last week, Helen Kim and I hosted a webinar that reviewed the findings of Vision for Change: A New Wave of Social Justice Leadership.  The report was based on in-depth interviews with social justice leaders under 40, and we were lucky to have one such leader, Carlos Saavedra, join us on the call to […]
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Leaving Long-term Leadership

Personal Stories and Shared Experiences Written by Frances Kunreuther Our research on leadership started over a decade ago with a focus on the generational transfer between older and younger leaders in executive positions. That frame has kept evolving. When we published our book, Working Across Generations: The Future of Nonprofit Leadershipwe wanted to address how younger […]
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Small Shifts, Big Change

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld The idea for our new series of Service to Social Change reports came out of the blue. As part of my efforts to get up to speed on my new role at BMP, I read through a stack of transcripts from interviews with long-time partners who had taken steps to align their […]
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“Neoliberalism & Marketization” Revisited

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld By Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, Co-Director Last month, the Building Movement staff and project team discussed two articles on the connections between neoliberalism, marketization and the current realities of the nonprofit sector. Both articles reflected many of the frustrations expressed by colleagues and organizations on the ground about how budget cuts, competition for funding, and the focus on metrics can get in […]
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What do “Neoliberalism & Marketization” Have to do With the Nonprofit Sector?

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Posted by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, Co-Director Here at Building Movement, we often talk about the importance of devoting time for learning as the first step in the Transformation process of integrating social change values and activities into the work of service agencies. Our staff and project team are always trying to address tough questions facing the […]
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The Pipeline Project

Written by guest blogger MacArthur Antigua is Director of Alumni Engagement for Public Allies, where he has overseen both the growth of their national network to 21 cities and the highest numbers of applicants in their history.  Below he talks about his newest project as one example of how to tap leadership through alumni networks. Over […]
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Webinar: Vision for Change, A New Wave of Social Justice Leadership

Over the course of several months, the Building Movement Project interviewed seventeen US social justice leaders under 40 who serve as the executive or co-director of an organization to learn more about the experiences of younger leaders committed to large-scale change. The executive directors we talked with are an impressive group – creative, thoughtful and […]
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Call for Submissions: Uniting Detroiters People’s Atlas Project

The Uniting Detroiters Project is seeking submissions from current and former Detroit residents, activists, students, scholars, visual artists, poets, and cartographers for Detroit: A People’s Atlas. They are interested in critical essays, oral histories, timelines, neighborhood maps, poetry, photographs, and other forms of artwork that speak to social justice in Detroit, particularly in relationship to […]
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The Nonprofit Leadership Crisis We’ve All Been Waiting For

Written by Caitlin Endyke Earlier this week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on an interesting phenomenon in Charlotte, North Carolina. It appears that nonprofit executives there are finally proving right the 2006 theory that a mass exodus of long-term nonprofit leaders was on the horizon, as 35 of the city’s nonprofits have changed leaders in the last year. The sector […]
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“Five Percent Shifts” Series

A Series of Five Percent ShiftsOur research and experience shows that relatively small shifts in service provision can cause ripple effects; raising up constituent voice, fostering community cohesion and increasing engagement in advocacy efforts. This series highlights “5% shifts” – as we are calling them – that don’t rely on organizations completely changing course and […]
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Detroit Emergency Management and What it Means for Democracy

The City of Detroit has been in the news a lot recently, as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder decided to pass a controversial Emergency Manager law (a similar law was defeated by popular vote in November).  The Emergency Manager law gives Michigan state officials the ability to appoint one person to take over almost all of city operations, […]
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Sequestration and the Need for Movement Building

Written by Sean Thomas-Breitfeld In my first few weeks at the Building Movement Project, I’ve been doing a lot of travel to get up to speed on the work that BMP’s nonprofit partners are doing around the country. Just last week, I was in Washington and spoke with many of our sector’s advocates about the […]
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BMP Welcomes New Project Team Members!

The Building Movement Project is excited to announce the addition of two new members to our Project Team! Dushaw Hockett and Andrea Plaza will begin their tenures on the team this month, though they have already been contributing to Building Movement Project work.  Most recently, Andrea has been one of the leaders on a project […]
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Sean Thomas-Breitfeld Joins BMP as Co-Director

The Building Movement Project is happy to announce that Sean Thomas-Breitfeld will join the staff as Co-Director starting February 1, 2013.  Sean, along with the current director Frances Kunreuther, will be charting the direction for the Project as it continues its work strengthening the role of US nonprofits to advance progressive social change.  “I am […]
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BMP Study Featured in Chronicle of Philanthropy Article

Our upcoming study on younger nonprofit executive directors was featured in a Chronicle of Philanthropy piece about what it takes to be at the helm of an organization.  The report, written by Helen Kim and Frances Kunreuther, is based on interviews with 17 young executive directors about how they view their roles and what supports and skills […]
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Nonprofit Vote on Election Day

There’s less than 24 hours until Election Day kicks off tomorrow morning.  Since Building Movement Project believes that nonprofit organizations should serve as robust sites of democratic practice, we’re encouraging all our nonprofit friends to check out Nonprofit Vote for info on how you can help get members of your community to the polls tomorrow. […]
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UPDATE: Offices Open & Sandy Relief

As many of you are aware, the East Coast was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy this past weekend and we are still in the midst of recovering.  The BMP staff and team are all safe and sound in the wake of the storm, and as of Monday we are back in the office.  However, our […]
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Caroline McAndrews Featured on a Chronicle of Philanthropy Live Discussion!

Many nonprofit workers could succeed as leaders of their organizations, but they often need to improve their people skills or learn how to raise money. How can you judge if you are ready to become chief executive? How should employers screen candidates for the top job? On November 6th, the Chronicle of Philanthropy held a […]
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Building Movement Detroit Video: “People’s Atlas” Convening

This post originally appeared on BuildingMovementDetroit.org On August 10, 2012, Building Movement Detroit hosted the second Uniting Detroiters Convening at the Solanus Casey Center. Over 50 people gathered to discuss citizens right to the city, collective power, and new political geographies emerging in Detroit. These ideas were considered through the sharing of current maps of the […]
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New Resource: BuildingMovementDetroit.org!

Our partners in Detroit have recently launched an exciting new resource for the progressive movement in the city- BuildingMovementDetroit.org.  this new web portal seeks not only to capture all of the great work that the BMP Detroit team is doing, but also serves as a communal landing page for other organizations and activists who are working […]
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Independent Sector’s NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now

Independent Sector’s NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now is coming to San Francisco November 10 and 11. Register for this two day conference today and receive the rate of $150 before September 14. Programming will feature:• Networking events with 150 of your peers and established sector leaders• An 2 hour, in-depth workshop with Cambridge Leadership Associates  […]
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Detroit Accountable Community Governance Event

In July, 2012 William Copeland and Rayven Roberts represented EMEAC at the Accountable Community Governance Convening held by the South by Southwest Experiment in Jackson, Mississippi. This event, to be held at The Commons on Thursday, August 30th from 6-8pm, will serve as a community report back. But furthermore will be a discussion about what […]
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From Our Partners: RCLA’s Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service

Our friends at NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action is now accepting applications for its Emerging Leaders in Public Service Fellowship. The 2012 fellowship begins in November 2011 and ends in May 2012. Applications are due by August 29th. The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service is a seven-month development program for […]
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Uniting Detroiters Convening

The BMP team in Detroit will be gathering on August 10th as part of their Uniting Detroiters project, which seeks to bring together residents from across the city and unite them around common issues.  This meeting, the second in a series of convenings, will take place at the Solanus Casey Center (1780 Mount Elliot Street) […]
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BMP Detroit Uniting Detroiters Project Wins Scholar-Activist Grant

We’re pleased to share that BMP’s Uniting Detroiters team has received a Scholar-Activist Award Grant from the Antipode Foundation.  They were one of five projects who were selected out of 105 applications.  The Antipode Foundation Scholar-Activist Project Awards are intended to support collaborations between academics, non-academics and activists (from NGOs, think tanks, social movements, or […]
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Spotlight On: Nonprofits Talking Taxes

How many times have you heard someone at your nonprofit say, “We just have to do more with less”?  The recent financial downturn, cuts to government services and rising costs have led nonprofit organizations across the country into a state of crisis.  How do you continue to provide your much needed services when funding streams […]
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Featured Movement Builder: Center for Popular Democracy

Building Movement Project recently launched our Movement Building Portal– a series of resources for folks who end up on our site looking for information on social movement and how to build them.  Part of that project included highlighting some groups who we think are doing great work building movements and making social change in their communities.  […]
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BMP Detroit Partners Featured in Huffington Post!

The North End Woodward Community Coalition, a longstanding BMP partner in Detroit, recently made headlines by announcing that it will file a Title VI Civil Rights complaint against the Detroit Department of Transportation, alleging recent bus cuts came without proper notice or public hearings. The severe cuts to bus service in the city hit transit-dependent […]
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The Real Deal with Detroit Transit

Our Partners at Progress Michigan recently released this video where they interviewed every day commuters in Detroit about their experiences with the severe bus cuts that recently ravaged the city’s transit system.  Check out the video below to see what Detroiters have to say about what their daily commutes are like, now that bus service […]
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Updates from our Partners: Somos Mayfair

Somos Mayfair is a long-time partner of BMP on our work on Social Change for Service Providers.  They’ve recently started a new campaign to reverse education and health inequities in their community.  Check their project update below for more information: Major News from Somos Mayfair! The In Our Hands Campaign is an effort in the […]
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BMP Spotted at NYC’s first Participatory Budgeting Vote

Beginning in October of 2011 and culminating in a final vote a few weeks ago, New York City just completed its first round of participatory budgeting.  Four city council members, representing districts from all over the city, committed at least $1,000,000 of their discretionary budgets to be set aside for projects voted on directly by […]
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Really Talking About Taxes

Yesterday I participated in a workshop on Active Listening.  This is a way of listening that actually involves LISTENING instead of just waiting for your turn to talk.  One person talks for 3 minutes and the other person asks open ended, non-leading questions and repeats back what she or he has heard.  The topic we […]
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Catalysts for Change Podcast with the San Francisco Foundation Center

Frances Kunreuther, director of the Building Movement Project, discusses how service organizations can take part in activities beyond delivering direct services to address the systemic causes of issues affecting their communities. The Building Movement Project recently released a two-part report, Catalysts for Change: How California Nonprofits can Deliver Direct Services and Transform Communities, which offers a […]
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Movement Building Resources

At Building Movement Project, we work to strengthen the role of US nonprofits as they build a movement toward progressive social change.  While our focus is working with other organizations to help them integrate social change activities into their work, we have compiled a group of resources that may be useful for those coming to […]
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Current Movement Building Organizations

There are some groups we’d like to highlight that are currently building movements in their communities.  Head to their websites for more information about what they’re doing and how they’re achieving change.  For a more complete list of people who are doing great movement building work, head to our page on featured Movement Builders. Project SouthBased […]
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Key Readings and Other Resources on Movement Building

While the purpose of this page is mainly to give you a brief outline of social movements in the United States and point you to groups currently dedicated to movement building, below you’ll find some important texts on social movements and movement building theory that we think will be useful for more in-depth study. Key […]
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History of Social Movements in the United States

The history of the United States provides rich examples for social movements and movement building. Below are some resources that you might find useful for a historical outline of modern social movements in the US. Interactive timeline of US social movements, from SAALT The Labor MovementSee also: NPR’s history of the labor movementImportant groups:o     […]
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Theory and Definitions

At BMP, we generally use a 5-step process to outline the stages of movement building.  They are: 1) MAKING VISIBLE THE INVISIBLE– While issues that movements are built around are not invisible to those living with the effects, this stage is meant for raising general awareness about the problem.  2) RELATIONSHIP BUILDING- This is when different […]
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Nonprofits and Social Change

If you are associated with a nonprofit or service provider that is interested in increasing its social change work, you’ve come to the right place.  BMP works to help nonprofits extend their work beyond programs and direct service delivery to social change and advocacy on behalf of clients.  Below are some of our resources that […]
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NYU Wagner’s RCLA to Host Global Social Change Leadership Institute

Through this two-week intensive program, university and graduate students and recent college graduates from across the globe can gain the practical knowledge and skills to effectively advance social justice in their communities. Hands-on, interactive workshops and presentations by faculty experts and speakers at the forefront of policy reform and advocacy, coalition building, direct service, and […]
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Key Findings from What Works: Developing Successful Multigenerational Leadership

“With up to four generations at work, nonprofit leaders are now struggling to make room for the ideas and skills of newer generations, while figuring out how to support the continued presence of older, more seasoned workers” –What Works, 2010 In 2010, Building Movement Project released a breakthrough report on what creates successful multigenerational leadership […]
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Stories from the Field: Successes at St. Stephen’s

In this next installment of Stories From the Field, we bring you news from St. Stephen’s Community House in Toronto.  We first heard about the work at St. Stephen’s house 5 years ago, when they joined us for a training full of innovative service providers in Toronto looking to solve the systemic issues their clients were facing.  […]
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Key Themes from Catalysts for Change

In 2009, with the support of The California Endowment, the Building Movement Project launched an initiative to explore whether California-based health and human service providers engage in activities beyond direct services to address the causes of the problems facing their constituents.  Often focused on fixing individual problems, nonprofit services have been critiqued as an industry […]
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Women of SNCC: Passing the Torch, Preserving the Flame

On Sunday, January 15th more than 60 Detroit area women and girl activists and advocates representing a variety of causes and racial ethnic groups, gathered to celebrate the historic role of women in the fight for peace and justice.  Hosted by the Building Movement Project Detroit and the M.L.K. Day 2012 Committee, the event honored […]
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Podcast: NAMAC Structuring Leadership Telesalon

As the Baby Boom generation ages, there is more discussion about the future leadership of nonprofit organizations.  At the same time, many leaders have found their next steps limited or unclear, especially in the present economic climate.  Many organizations have been looking for alternative ways to share leadership and decision-making in their organizations in order […]
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Nonprofits Talking Taxes

A Common Conversation for the Common Good On December 8th, Project Team member Kim Klein hosted this webinar about how Nonprofits need to see themselves as a “common good lobby” to advocate for the ideas that people are more important than profit, that some things are simply not for sale, and that our job is […]
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New Report from YNPN

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network recently surveyed over 1,100 emerging nonprofit leaders across the country. Conducted in Spring 2011, YNPN’s National Voice Survey tested several interventions targeting leadership development in the nonprofit sector.  The full report was launched in the Fall of 2011 at Independent Sector’s NGEN conference. Head over to YNPN’s website to download the full report.
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News from the Detroit Food Justice Taskforce

The Detroit Food Justice Task Force is a group of Black and People of Color led organizations and supporters that share a commitment to creating a food security plan for Detroit that is sustainable; that provides healthy, affordable foods for all of the city’s people; that is based on best-practices and programs that work; and […]
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Building Movement Battle Creek

A few years ago, Building Movement Project traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan, where they helped nonprofit organizations in the community begin their transformation from standard service providers to agencies of social change.  Recently, the coalition put out a video that documents their group’s success. Watch as one man speaks to the benefits of community involvement, […]
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Part of the 99%

Here at BMP, we’re excited to be in New York at the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  We’ve been watching for two weeks now as protestors continue to camp in Zuccotti Park to demonstrate their frustration with the current American economic system.  While some are critical about the lack of a specific set […]
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Stories from the Field: Building Solidarity Across Silos

Two months ago we launched our Stories from the Field series with a case study about developing board readiness for advocacy.  This month’s submission takes us to the state of Illinois where a newly formed state-wide coalition is working together in unprecedented ways. Taking on new contracting regulations from the state, Illinois Partners for Human Service, took […]
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Trish Tchume, Director of Civic Engagement Moves On

BMP Director of Civic Engagement, Trish Tchume will be leaving to become the first National Director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network which has over 30 chapters and over 30,000 members around the country.  While we will miss Trish’s warm presence and invaluable insights, we look forward to partnering with her and YNPN as we […]
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Budget 101 and Other Great Resources from the Coalition on Human Needs

While congress may have reached a debt deal, many questions still remain about the federal budget and the impact that it will have on the social services that many of us either provide or rely on.  The Coalition for Human Needs has a host of resources to help service providers understand the federal budget and facilitate staff and community […]
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New Voices Civic Engagement Fellowships

The Alliance for Children and Families and United Neighborhood Centers of America have launched the New Voices Civic Engagement Fellowshipto support civic engagement leadership at the local and regional level. The fellowship is designed to recognize and fuel the leadership of individuals who are involved in civic engagement work at the local or regional level, and to embolden staff and […]
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Stories from the Field: Developing Board Readiness for Advocacy

If you’re familiar with our reports such as Making Social Change: Case Studies of Nonprofit Service Providers, you know that we here at the Building Movement Project love a good story – especially ones about how service providers are leveraging their relationships with constituents to make important systemic changes in their community.  Usually we’re the ones […]
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Millennials in the Workplace: BMP Guest Blog at Social Citizens

In the lead up to the Millennial Donor Summit, hosted by the Case Foundation on June 22nd, Director of Leadership & Communications, Caroline McAndrews was asked to guest blog over at Social Citizens.  Read her post about the evolution of the multigenerational workplace. Here’s an excerpt: There has been growing concern about the breadth and depth of new […]
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Couldn’t Make Our Call for EDs and Senior Staff? You Can Download the Audio Here!

On Wednesday, May 18th, the Building Movement Project hosted the second of our ongoing series of “cohort calls” that concentrate on the different roles/activities of service providers involved in social change work.  The purpose of the calls is to build connections and share information among staffers across the country working in service delivery groups that […]
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Webinar: Nonprofits Increase Voter Participation–New Research from the Field

Learn about exciting new evidence documenting the impact nonprofits have when they talk to their clients and constituents about voting. Professor Kelly LeRoux will discuss a new study that tracked the outcomes of nonprofit service providers that contacted their clients/constituents about voting. Conducted during the 2010 midterm election with assistance from Nonprofit VOTE and the […]
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Calling All EDs and Senior Staff of Service Organizations Doing Social Change Work!

You don’t want to miss this call! On Wednesday, May 18th the Building Movement Project will be hosting the next in our ongoing series of social service and social change “cohort calls.”  This month’s conference call will provide a space for learning amongst Executive Directors and Senior Staff of organizations that are integrating civic engagement […]
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Building Movement Project in Detroit

While the Building Movement Project is a nationally-focused organization, we’ve always had a very special relationship with Detroit.  Linda Campbell – long time Detroit resident and member of the Building Movement Project Team since its founding 10 years ago – has deep connections throughout this city and has always encouraged us to look to Detroit […]
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Background and Media Coverage of Detroit

According to most of the articles and reports published about Detroit since the census, the city is a wasteland that people are flocking from, but if you visit Detroit or read articles written by local organizers and residents of the city, Detroit is alive with hope and ripe for change. We want to share some […]
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Census Release: Hard-to-Count Populations Counted at Higher Rates than Expected

The most recent newsletter from Nonprofit VOTE (formerly the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network (NVEN) reports that the recently released 2010 Census figures show that members of the population deemed “hard-to-count” were included in this year’s census at significantly higher rates than expected.  The newsletter also points to the important role that nonprofits played last year in helping […]
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Missed our Call for Organizers in Social Service Organizations? Here’s the Low Down.

On Wednesday, March 16th, the Building Movement Project hosted the first of what will be an ongoing series of “cohort calls” that concentrate on the different roles/activities of service providers involved in social change work.  The purpose of the calls is to build connections and share information among staffers across the country working in service […]
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Bringing Food Self-Reliance to Impacted Michigan Communities

Congratulations to BMP partner Our Kitchen Table, who recently received a large grant to expand their food reliance projects throughout several neighborhoods in Michigan. Our Kitchen Table works in low-income communities to address food scarcity and diet-related health problems, provide access to healthy food, and build the power of families and communities to meet their […]
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Is the Charitable Tax Deduction Really Fair?

BMP Project Team member Kim Klein argues in this Nonprofit Quarterly article that if we really want to incentivize charitable giving—and create a more just tax code—then it’s time to eliminate the charitable tax deduction.
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BMP Project Team Member Kim Klein in Nonprofit Quarterly

Read Kim Klein’s piece Talking about Taxes from the Fall 2010 edition of the Nonprofit Quarterly.  Find out more about the nonprofit tax crisis, and why the nonprofit sector needs a unified identity and voice around these issues.  The article discusses the impact taxes have on nonprofit organizations whether or not they receive public funding, […]
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Engaging Community: A Toolkit for Building Healthy and Resilient Communities

BMP partner Neighborhood Centers, in partnership with the Berkana Institute, have combined a how-to guide on the use of Appreciative Inquiry as a method of engaging community with other materials in a boxed kit called Engaging Community: A Toolkit for Building Healthy and Resilient Communities.  The guide includes: * 12 Key Principles DVD – A presentation by Margaret Wheatley on […]
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Building Movement Project Featured in Nonprofit World

This month’s issue of Nonprofit World features both an article written by Building Movement Project Director, Frances Kunreuther, and another profiling BMP’s Director of Civic Engagement, Trish Tchume.  Frances Kunreuther’s article, Are You Prepared for the Multigenerational Workplace?, asserts that organizational success depends on taking true advantage of all that each generation offers. Later in the issue, in […]
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Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building

In an excellent article published by The Foundation Review, a peer-reviewed journal, Barbara Masters and Torie Osborn identify how foundations can support movement-building.  As they seek to catalyze broad-based social change, there is a need for greater understanding of what social movements are, how they evolve, and the unique challenges that movement building presents to foundations.  Social […]
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Team Member Robby Rodriguez discusses Bridging Generation Gaps at Nonprofits

BMP team member Robby Rodriguez recently took part in a live online discussion on how nonprofit executives can promote harmony among workers with different generational outlooks. The conversation was hosted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and also featured David Stillman of BridgeWorks, a California-based consulting company that focuses on multigenerational issues. Access the transcript of the discussion on the Chronicle of […]
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Suggested Reading on the Commons: The Value of Nothing

The latest book in our suggested readings on the Commons is Raj Patel’s The Value of Nothing: How to reshape market society and redefine democracy. This short, timely and inspiring book reveals that our current crisis is not simply the result of too much of the wrong kind of economics. While we need to rethink our economic model, Patel […]
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BMP’s Trish Tchume on Generational Leadership Panel hosted by American Express Philanthropy

The American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy is a nationwide program that supports the development of the country’s finest emerging nonprofit leaders through a weeklong workshop and training program and will be concluding its program with this discussion. This engaging panel will focus on the generational gap between emerging and current nonprofit leaders and will examine the critical […]
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Alliance for Children and Families Civic Engagement Survey

One of BMP’s partners, Alliance for Children and Families is looking to develop an evaluation tool to measure the impact of civic engagement and the first step in this process is asking nonprofit social service providers to complete this online survey in order to get a sense of knowledge and practices in civic engagement.  If that applies […]
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BMP Featured in ACOSA’s Fall Newsletter

Bob Feikema – Director of Community Initiatives at Family Resources in Pittsburgh, PA and participant in the Building Movement Project’s Social Service and Social Change convening this past June – shares his reflections on the convening and the role of service providers in social change work on pages 9-11 of the Association for Community Organization and […]
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A Powerful Tool to Get Low-Income Voters to the Ballot Box

Despite our successes in broadening access to the franchise over the past 200 years, troubling disparities in participation—including a large gap based on income—remain. In a recent article for Yes! Magazine our friends at Demos, Lisa Danetz and Scott Novakowski, look at how to bring low-income citizens into the political process this fall. Their conclusion is surprisingly simple: […]
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Mobilize.org Launches Target 2020

For the first time in the 21st century, the current generation of college-aged Americans will be less educated than our parents. Fewer than 46% of students at 4-year universities complete their degree within 6 years and only 3 out of 10 students attending community colleges complete their 2-year associate degree within 3 years. If the current student […]
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Become a Facebook Fan of “Show Me the Money!” – A Tax Workshop by BMP’s Kim Klein

Show Me the Money! is a fast paced workshop offered at no cost for nonprofit organizations in California seeking ways to talk about the state and local budget crisis and the key income solutions.Their new facebook page has news about upcoming trainings and information about registering. The two hour workshop will help your organization to thoughtfully consider […]
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Materials Available from BMP Presentations at CompassPoint Nonprofit Day

On August 31, over 500 members of the nonprofit community gathered in San Francisco for Nonprofit Day 2010. BMP Director Frances Kunreuther and Project Team member Kim Klein gave presentations on social change for service providers and Show Me the Money – a project on talking about taxes in California. Download their presentations, and continue […]
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Project Team Member Kim Klein Interviewed in Real Change News!

Real Change is a Seattle-based newspaper that seeks to create opportunity and a voice for low-income people while taking action to end homelessness and poverty. In this interview with Real Change founder Timothy Harris, BMP Project Team Member Kim Klein speaks about her work on the Commons, taxes, and nonprofit funding. They discuss public responsibility and public funding, and […]
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BMP’s Kim Klein wins the McAdam Book Award!

At last week’s Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference, BMP’s Kim Klein received the Terry McAdam Book Award for her recent publication Reliable Fundraising in Unreliable Times. The McAdam Book Award is awarded annually to the most inspirational and useful new book that makes a substantial contribution to nonprofit management.  Kim Klein is a member of the Building Movement’s Project Team. She […]
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BMP Team Members Featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The front page story in last week’s Chronicle of Philanthropy featured the staff of the SouthWest Organizing Project, along with their Executive Director, Building Movement Project Team member Robby Rodriguez.  The article addressed the potential negative effects of a growing generation gap, and can be accessed on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website by subscribers. In an accompanying piece featuring […]
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Kim Klein and the Commons

Follow Project Team members Kim Klein and Sean Thomas-Breitfeld (along with guest bloggers) at Kim Klein and the Commons.  Read their thoughts on immigration, taxes, nonprofits, and how to apply this frame to promote movement building and social change. To receive an alert when a new post is published (about twice a week), send your email […]
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Show Me the Money! BMP’s Kim Klein Offers Free Tax Policy Training for Nonprofits

How many times have we found ourselves saying “as a nonprofit, we do more with less?” If we continue this approach without challenging the status quo, we’ll end up doing very little with next to nothing. Show Me the Money! is a fast paced workshop offered at no cost for nonprofit organizations in California seeking ways […]
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Voter Participation for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network is hosting a special web training event: “Voter Participation for Nonprofits” Thursday, August 12th 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET This webinar will focus on principles and ideas for doing voter registration, voter education, engaging the candidates and getting out the vote – in the course of activities you already do […]
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BMP, PACE, and Innovation Network Present: The Emerging Framework for Civic Engagement Evaluation

On June 15th, the Building Movement Project and Innovation Network presented a webinar on “The Emerging Framework for Civic Engagement Evaluation” on behalf of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE). In response to the call for better tools to assess the progress and frame the impact of civic engagement, the BMP has partnered with groups […]
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USSF 2010: BMP Reports on our Sessions from the Forum

Over 15,000 organizers, activists, and social service nonprofits gathered in Detroit, MI at the second United States Social Forum to build unity around common goals of social justice, strengthen ties between organizations, and help build a broader social justice movement.  It was not a conference, but rather an open space for people and groups to blend their […]
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American Express NGen Fellows – including BMP’s Trish Tchume – Release Leadership Report

Independent Sector’s American Express NGen Fellows program gives emerging nonprofit leaders an exceptional opportunity to strengthen their capacity for future impact. Over the course of nine months, fellows collaborate with other talented under-forty leaders, interact with established mentors, and contribute to Independent Sector’s work on nonprofit impact and leadership. The inaugural cohort of the American Express […]
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Somos Mayfair Receives Over $1M to Fund Social Service and Social Change

It’s been a year since we published Making Social Change: Case Studies of Nonprofit Service Providers which featured five human service organizations that are integrating social change activities into their work.  The stories highlighted the tremendous strides that these groups have made towards transforming their organizations and their communities but also noted the associated challenges of taking […]
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USSF 2010: Another Detroit is Happening!

We’ve just returned from the US Social Forum in Detroit, where over 15,000 grassroots community organizers, activists, social service nonprofits, and individuals envisioned another US!  We will be sharing more pictures and report-backs from the Forum, and our two sessions (a workshop on Social Service and Social Change, as well as a People’s Movement Assembly on Reclaiming […]
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Grand Opening Event for Water Station on Pajarito Mesa

Recently, the New York Times covered the SouthWest Organizing Project’s efforts to deliver water services to the Pajarito Mesa in Albuquerque, NM. The SouthWest Organizing Project is directed by Building Movement Project Team Member, Robby Rodriguez, and works primarily in low-income communities of color to gain community control of land and resources. See a stunning photo/audio slideshow of the grand […]
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InterACT Column: Gates, Buffett, World Poverty, Nonprofit Staff

A Confession I have not taken a test in a long time, but, if memory serves, some tests have a series of words or images and you have to name what would be next in the series. The title of this essay is a like one of those test questions, and the word that should […]
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The Color of Change: Inter-ethnic Organizing and Leadership for the 21st Century

Building Movement Project Director, Frances Kunreuther and Project Team member Robby Rodriguezwere among the 50 participants at the The Color of Change: Inter-ethnic Organizing and Leadership for the 21st Century, hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The meeting was organized by Professor Manuel Pastor to discuss his paper on youth organizing among communities of color as a […]
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SWOP’s Community Organizing Efforts Featured in NY Times

For over 10 years, the Southwest Organizing Project in Albuquerque, NM has worked hard to deliver water services to the Pajarito Mesa.  A recent NY Times article takes a look at life on the Mesa, featuring SWOP organizer Sandra Montes who gave the Times a tour of the area and explained the organizing history, which has resulted […]
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Why Should Nonprofits Care About Tax Policy and Reform?

Building Movement Project Team Member, Kim Klein, has recently been featured as a guest blogger on the Women’s Foundation of California blog.  The piece focuses primarily on the critical role that the non-profit sector can play in creating and maintaining a democratic society, and that a progressive tax structure, including accountability for the use of tax […]
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Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times

Join Demos, the Building Movement Project, and Common Cause/NY for a special forum on April 8 in New York with author and activist Paul Loeb on the new version of his book, Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times. The book has become a classic handbook for budding social activists, veteran organizers, and […]
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Leadership Development and Beyond

In October 2009, the Ms. Foundation for Women led a collaborative 2-day leadership symposium focused on how to most effectively advance the leadership of young women of color, transgender and gender non-conforming people of color (TGNC POC) in movements for social justice. Held in collaboration with the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the New York […]
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USSF 2010: Register and Get Involved

Get involved in the US Social Forum (USSF)!  The national event, which will take place June 22-26 in Detroit, MI has officially opened registration for individuals and organizations and there are many opportunities to become involved in planning activities leading up to Forum.  Find out how you can participate, help organize, and promote this important […]
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Fundraising for Food: New Demands in the New Decade

Are you an employee or board member of a nonprofit organization in Southeast Michigan providing “food” programs for your community? Looking for more ways to approach fundraising in 2010 and beyond?  Join Building Movement Project Team Member, Kim Klein, for an information packed workshop on April 21 in Detroit, MI.  Fundraising for Food: New Demands in the […]
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Kim Klein and the Commons: Foreclosures

What is a commons solution to helping people keep their private property, particularly when the scale of foreclosure is so large? There are many creative solutions being proposed, but any solution must begin with the person affected at the center and not the bank. “What will help this woman and her dog stay in her […]
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Get Ready for USSF 2010!

At the upcoming US Social Forum (USSF) Building Movement Project will join an expected 15,000 people, including grassroots community organizers, activists, and social service nonprofits in Detroit, MI on June 22-26. The goal of the gathering, which is a follow-up to a 2007 USSF in Atlanta, is to build unity around common goals of social […]
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Kim Klein and the Commons: Reflecting on Haiti

Written by Kim Klein For obvious reasons, the celebration and glee of Carnival was suspended in Haiti this year. It’s as if the Lenten somberness of tomorrow’s Ash Wednesday started when the earthquake took such an unbelievable toll on Haiti. Just as religious reflection can lead people to a more commons-centered orientation, we saw people […]
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Working Across Generations’ Featured on SavannahNow

The Business of Nonprofits: New generation taking up nonprofit leadership mantle by Sarah Todd, manager for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, has featured Working Across Generations in a recent article that addresses inter-generational relationships within organizations.  Todd writes that: “Much has been written about how to approach the challenges of working across generational divides in organizations.  As the […]
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Suggested Readings on the Commons

We’ve had many requests for a list of articles that we’ve found to be the most helpful when trying to get a grasp on what the commons (and commons-based thinking) is, as well as how it applies to nonprofits, social justice and social change.  Below is a list of our favorite resources so far.  We’ll […]
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Where Do We Go? A New Career Narrative

Over the past decade, nonprofits have increased their interest in developing leadership as well as attracting and retaining a skilled work force. One motivator has been alarm that the aging baby boom generation will retire from the workplace during the next decades, creating a labor force gap particularly in leadership. But things have changed during […]
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Tools for Social Change: Assessing Your Work

Assessing Your Work *Evaluation Work for Racial Equity: This toolkit offers a comprehensive set of resources for groups “Who want to know more about how to do evaluation; Who are working on changing their communities; and Who want to be certain that their evaluations take into account issues of racism, power, privilege, and oppression…” It […]
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Tools for Social Change

This online resource center is a space to share and highlight practical tools that organizations can use to integrate movement-building and social change strategies into their everyday work.  Here you’ll find a growing collection of exercises, tools and civic engagement models that allow organizations to enter into this work at whichever point reflects their stage of development.  […]
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Tools for Social Change: Additional Tools and Resources

Building Movement Project Resources * Social Service and Social Change: A Process Guide: A guidebook that was developed for staff and board members of non-profit service organizations who are interested in learning how to incorporate progressive social change values and practices into their work.  It uses a step-by-step process to identify how to address systemic problems […]
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Tools for Social Change: Learning and Awareness Tools & Exercises

* Theory of Social Change: Many service agencies use some sort of theory of change to articulate their service provision goals.  This exercise uses this familiar framework to help organizations develop an analysis and clear goals around their approach to social change. (Adapted from Theory of Social Change exercise from the Power Tools Manual developed by SCOPE).  * Community Problems […]
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Tools for Social Change: Getting Started

* Why Nonprofits and Social Change Work? This excerpt from Social Service & Social Change: A Process Guide, makes the case for why nonprofits are well positioned to do social change work.  It also offers an overview of the process of incorporating social change values and practices into your work, and a useful classification of groups doing social […]
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Tools for Social Change: Frameworks for Determining Social Change Work and Civic Engagement

Frameworks for Determining Social Change Work and Civic Engagement * Features of Movement Capacity Building for Nonprofits: How do organizations develop strategies and structures to facilitate the process of building momentum towards social change, and when do strategies and structures hurt this momentum?  While both forms of capacity building are important, this tool points to some […]
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Tools for Social Change: Examples and Stories of Social Change Work and Civic Engagement

Examples and Stories of Social Change Work and Civic Engagement * M.O.V.E. Coalition (Family & Children’s Service, Minneapolis, MN) * Community Leadership Development Program (Family & Children’s Service, Minneapolis, MN) * The Family Project (Family & Children’s Service, Minneapolis, MN) * Newcomer Connection – Capacity & Leadership Training Program (North York Community House, Toronto, ON) * Popular Theater (Somos Mayfair, San Jose, CA) * Community Action […]
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NonprofitNext Report Quotes Dir. of BMP

A new report produced by NonprofitNext, a research initiative of La Piana Consulting that explores the future of the nonprofit sector, quotes Building Movement’s Director, Frances Kunreuther on the intergenerational workplace.  In approaching the topic of generational change within nonprofits, Kunreuther insists that, “It starts with dialogue and learning how to appreciate each other… but it is more than talking. […]
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Alliances for Change Featured in Jesse Smith Noyes Newsletter

Workers’ centers, youth-based action groups, and urban justice organizations are among those changing the face of traditional community organizing. Many of these groups engage a range of approaches beyond targeted campaign work—from service delivery to media ownership to voter engagement. Jesse Smith Noyes featured a piece about their grantees whose work was cited as examples of organizing […]
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BMP Leaders Featured on NCRW Big Five Blog

Frances Kunreuther, Director of Building Movement Project, and Project Team Member, Helen Kim, recently contributed to the annual Women’s Leadership Symposium in New York City.  Their contribution to the event as keynote speakers on leadership development has been documented by co-presenter, Kyla Bender-Baird, Research and Programs Coordinator for the National Council for Research on Women, on the organization’s […]
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Making Social Change Case Studies: Additional Web Resources

Resources available in PDF format and on the web: Queens Community House     * Visit their website    * Identifying Values: a step by step exercise used during a community building retreat.     * Community Building Orientation: a section from the pages of the staff orientation guide. Somos Mayfair     * Visit their website    * Social Movement Time-Line: presents the […]
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Retirement USA

Last week, the Building Movement Project signed on as a supporter of Retirement USA, a national initiative that is working for a new retirement system that, along with Social Security, will provide universal, secure, and adequate income for future retirees. Convened by five organizations – the AFL-CIO, the Economic Policy Institute, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and […]
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Kim Klein and the Commons: Financial Literacy is a Key to Reform

According to a study commissioned by the National Council on Economic Education, only 7 of the 50 United States require high school students to received financial education in the schools. This has led to an epidemic of financial illiteracy. For example, Braun Mincher, a financial literacy specialist reported these results from an online survey he […]
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Kim Klein and the Commons: Paying for Pollution

Today’s morning paper had this headline, “Fish Fail Mercury Test” with the subhead, “Toxin found in 100 percent of samples from streams across the U.S.; industrial pollution blamed.”  Basically, a federal study of mercury contamination released Wednesday described testing fish from nearly 300 streams across the country and finding mercury in EVERY SINGLE FISH of […]
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Canadian Fundraising & Philanthropy Interviews Kim Klein

In a recent online article of the Canadian Fundraising and Philanthropy eNews Project Team Member, Kim Klein, is interviewed on her valuable fundraising experiencing and strategy for the current economic climate.  Klein’s discussion highlights observations and trends in the nonprofit sector over the past decade and the value of intergenerational relationships in the workplace.  When asked to comment […]
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BMP Project Team Member is Featured on Huff Post

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld recently submitted a piece to the Huffington Post on the challenges that progressives still face with the new administration in paving the way for change.  Thomas-Breitfeld incites that the public’s ideology has not changed, “where our values (of equity and justice), principles (that good government is essential to securing the common good), and policies […]
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BMP Contributes to Open Government Dialogue

The White House has launched an “Open Government Initiative” in order to generate new ideas for creating a more participatory, transparent, and collaborative government. The first step in this process is the Open Government Dialogue, which is an online forum for public engagement in policymaking. So far over 900 ideas, including one from on BMP, […]
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Commons Blog from Kim Klein!

The commons is a short, simple phrase that describes all the resources a community has rights or access to. Read Kim Klein and the Commons to find out more about the issues facing the commons and how it can become a bigger part of our daily lives. Recent posts address how community gardening in Detroit has enabled neighborhoods […]
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Featured Movement Builder: David Bollier and the Viral Spiral

Check out this month’s featured movement builder!  David Bollier is an independent policy strategist, journalist, activist and consultant with an evolving public-interest portfolio.  His recent book, Viral Spiral: How the Commons Built a Digital Republic of Their Own, provides the first comprehensive history of the digital era as a global commons of techies, lawyers, artists, musicians, scientists, businesspeople, and […]
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ACCESS Project Participate in First Arab American Advocacy Week

The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services’ (ACCESS) project – the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) – came together for the first annual Arab American Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C. on April 22-24.  This historic event brought together Arab American organizations from around the country to present and exchange dialogue on […]
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Working Across Generations Authors Interviewed in the Grassroots Fundraising Journal

Pick up the current issue of the Grassroots Fundraising Journal to read an interview with Frances Kunreuther, Helen Kim, and Robby Rodriguez, authors of Working Across Generations.  Kim Klein talks to the authors about the process of researching and writing the book, strategies for developing trust between generations, generational influences in fundraising, the role of government and taxes, […]
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Kim Klein Featured on National Radio Project

In Tax Me, I’m Yours, Project Team member Kim Klein lends her expertise to the nation’s current tax structure and how it can be re-formatted to better serve the commons. Listen to the entire program as Kim weighs in on this important issue!
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Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network

NVEN says that, “communities served by nonprofits were the highest turn-out groups at the 2008 presidential election polls.”  The organization recently released a report titled, America Goes to the Polls: A Report on Voter Turnout in the 2008 Election, which provides a great analysis of voter turnout in the states and among various constituencies.  Visit their website to […]
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ROPE Bakers Invited to Inauguration Day

ROPE is a baking employment project of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, a human service organization in Detroit, MI that is sponsored by the Capuchins of the Province of St. Joseph.  Under the guidance of Brother Ray Stadmeyer, OFM Cap., ROPE bakes and sells goods, including bread, turnovers, pies and cookies, throughout the archdiocese of Detroit.  […]
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1+1=10: A New Equation for Social Change

The social change organization dilemma is, “we know we can’t do it all and yet what we do isn’t enough.” What is this dilemma? It’s that even if we executed our mission to perfection, it would not be enough to create the world we want to live in. So, some may say, then we have […]
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Project Team Members React to Obama’s Win

Frances Kunreuther – New York, New YorkWhat a stunning historic moment. Last night it all happened so fast that I could hardly believe it when they projected that Obama would be the winner. Our guests screamed, drank champagne, and then hit the streets where horns honked, people hugged, and there was dancing in the street.  Later, […]
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Kim Klein Featured in Foundation Center Philanthropy Chat

Listen as Project Team member Kim Klein shares strategies and insights on how nonprofits should approach fundraising during difficult economic times, including paying attention to taxes and tax policy and its effect on nonprofits and advocacy. Click here to listen.
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Half a Million Nonprofits Could Lose Their Tax Exemptions

An article by Suzanne E. Coffman, January 2009 Newsletter Did you know that in May 2010, half a million nonprofits could find themselves stripped of their exempt status? The IRS estimates that that’s the number of smaller organizations that have failed to file a Form 990-N. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires exempt organizations […]
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Philanthropy’s Leadership Gap – The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Read the transcript of a live discussion about whether charities are doing enough to prepare their next generation of leaders. Caroline McAndrews (Director of Leadership and Communications for Building Movement Project) and Regina Dull (28-year-old executive director of a Washington charity who has already made the transition to nonprofit leadership) answer questions posed by The Chronicle […]
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Citizen Engagement as a Force for Social Transformation

What does it mean to be an engaged citizen?  Paolo Friere, the great Brazilian educator, said that we have a vocation, a calling, to be fully human.  This is a good summary of engagement – I am citizen of the world – I have rights and responsibilities to myself and others.  As we see all […]
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Nonprofits and Democracy: Engage, Educate, Activate, and Assess

There has been a subtle shift in the last several years in the ways we talk about nonprofit organizations. The nonprofit sector is discussed as an important cornerstone of civil society, a site for civic engagement, a place to build social capital, and a measure of a democratic society. The emphasis on the blurring of […]
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The ABC’s of U.S. Tax Policy: An Historical Perspective

Amata Miller, IHM, 1990 revised by Catherine Pinkerton, CSJ, 1997 From the days of George Washington to that of the present Administration, taxes have been a subject of national controversy. In his farewell address to Congress in 1796, our first President put the issue starkly before the legislators of the heavily indebted new nation: “It […]
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Nonprofit Governance Models: Problems and Prospects

This article by Pat Bradshaw explores existing and alternative non-profit board structures. The authors present four possible models and the possibilities of developing hybrid models based on the needs on individual organizations.  Drawing on their experiences in developing a new governance model for the Canadian Health Network, they argue that there is currently no agreement […]
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Understanding the Next Generation of Nonprofit Employees: The Impact of Educational Debt

A study conducted for The Building Movement Project by Amanda Ballard. Educational debt rates have skyrocketed in the past decade, raising concern that educational debt will deter graduates from public service careers.  However, the findings presented in this report tell a remarkably different story about debt and graduates who choose to enter public service in […]
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