January 14, 2011
I’ve spent most of the nonprofit portion of my career as a communications professional supporting the programmatic core of organizations. But I have also worked directly in program departments, creating and growing grassroots initiatives in the field.
While both program and communications staff are passionate about their work – and the mission of the organization they serve – there are often times when the two groups seem to be operating in two different worlds. As a communications staffer, I used to think, Why don’t the program people get it.
Then I went to work as acting deputy director of programs. After a few months, when my former communications staffers came to me with excellent ideas for promoting program work, I thought to myself, Why don’t the communications staff members get it?
August 5, 2009
As part of the new lecture series, Conversations with …, the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of Third Sector New England hosted a presentation by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson for the region’s nonprofit community. The professor, CNN commentator, author and pundit spoke of the central role diversity and inclusion play in building cohesive and effective organizations - and strong communities.
He shared his insights on issues such as the politics of inclusion; the privilege of invisibility; institutional perpetuation of racism; challenging other “isms”; stereotypes and forms of bigotry; and rethinking the paradigm of race, bias, and class prejudice vs. concentrated poverty.
May 13, 2009
A recent Boston Globe article suggested that the nonprofit merger rate has increased due to the economic downturn. In a letter to the editor, TSNE’s Hez Norton, who oversees our new Organizational Transitions program, suggests that there are many other — and often more effective – ways for nonprofits to share resources to better serve constituents.
In “More nonprofits engage in mergers for survival” (April 15, 2009), The Boston Globe examines one way that nonprofit organizations are collaborating - through mergers. While this may be a viable alternative for organizations with compatible missions, it is important to understand that merger is just one of many ways nonprofits are collaborating across the sector.
Third Sector New England was privileged to play a role in the two merger situations profiled in the article. Through our Executive Transitions Program, we placed the interim executive director at Dorchester CARES, who supported that merger process. We also placed the interim executive director and helped lead the transition process with Concilio Hispano that led to merger.
It is critical that nonprofit organizations explore an array of options as they look to meet their mission and best service constituents, especially during these difficult economic times. These options include joint ventures, shared services, merger, shared administration, shared programs and fiscal sponsorship.
The bottom line: Nonprofits need always to be creative in serving their constituents effectively – while keeping mission front and center. Looking at new models of collaboration and partnership has always been important. Now it is more important than ever.
Hez Norton, manager
Executive and Organizational Transitions
January 5, 2009
The TSNE Capacity Building Fund has awarded Planning Grants to 16 networks for the 2008-2009 grant cycle. Projects will help the participating organizations and the network as a whole more effectively achieve a shared goal: collaborating to face a community challenge — while together learning new program management and administrative strategies.
Congratulations to the new grantees!