Dotting the “I’s” and Crossing the “T’s” When You Are in Negotiation for Possible Employment

check box

Organizations that are hiring new staff need to be very careful about the circumstances under which the employment discussions and negotiations are taking place. Let me illustrate this with the recent experience of a colleague of mine, Bob, who had been offered a position by a known and established nonprofit organization that has an excellent reputation. He was shocked when the professional position he was offered was withdrawn because of what the organization referred to as a technical problem. Here is some background. Bob was contacted by a colleague who suggested he contact Gimmel (not the real name), an organization serving the elderly at risk, because it was looking for additional staff in its department of marketing and communications (M and C). Bob immediately called the contact person at … [Read more...]

Transitions Are Challenging To Senior Staff Members

Transitions are usually very anxiety producing both for the new person who is coming into the organization and also for the senior professional staff that has been employed by the nonprofit organization. Many articles focus on the impact on the CEO who is leaving the position and on the new CEO who is coming into the organization. However, the key senior professional staff that may have been employed by the organization for a long time are not the primary concern when there is a change in the top leadership of the agency. It is generally assumed that people who have been engaged in their work for a considerable amount of time will aclimate themselves to the new CEO and the CEO will be wise enough to bring the present staff along as the change in leadership takes place. The process of changing … [Read more...]

The Added Value Provided by Creating a Council of Community Nonprofit Organizations

round table discussion

In most Jewish communities in North America the Jewish Federation acts as a convener of local Jewish organizations. In Jewish communities outside of North America this role may be assumed by the recognized central institution in each community. In Israel it is not uncommon for a municipality to either establish or coordinate with a council of nonprofit organizations. In some communities those Jewish organizations joining together include the synagogues and educational institutions, and in others only those organizations that receive allocations from the umbrella organization come together. This seems like a relatively easy concept that might be colloquially referred to as a no brainer. However, when community politics are involved simple ideas and issues can become very complicated. Unfortunately … [Read more...]

Is the Choice Really One of Judaism or Democracy?

An old issue - how does Israel define itself - has now been resurrected and has come to the fore in the Knesset. Is Israel a Jewish state? Is it a democratic state? Is it a pluralistic state that represents the plurality of its citizens and, if so, should it make any pronouncements as to its ethnic, cultural, or religious identity? How is Judaism defined in the state? What role does Turkish law, HaMaharah, play in the modern Israeli society? These are all questions that are being debated in light of the Cabinet’s recent approval of the “Jewish state” bill and its consideration by the Knesset. To some people these questions may reflect an exercise in semantics, and their response may be, “This is such a waste of time.” Yet, what they should realize is that both the body - the political borders of … [Read more...]

Choosing Your Funding Sources Carefully


Professionals engaged in resource development should also be cautious of the funders’ expectations once their gift has been secured. By Stephen G. Donshik Often nonprofits are so concerned about identifying funders, cultivating them, and securing their gifts that they forget that they should consider a number of issues when soliciting philanthropic gifts or accepting public support for programs and projects. It is better to consider these concerns before accepting a grant or closing the gift than having to deal with the challenges after the funding has already been received. Before seeking or accepting any gift or grant, nonprofits have to exercise due diligence. Receiving public funding for the provision of services to the community is very enticing. Such support is perceived as the … [Read more...]

Choosing Your Clients Carefully

Nonprofit organizations not only find themselves hiring staff and selecting board members on a frequent basis but also contracting out services to outside providers, such as cleaning services, or hiring consultants in public relations, fundraising, or organizational dynamics. There are many articles written about the criteria that the agency should use to select a particular service provider or consultant. However, we do not generally focus on what criteria the consultant (or service provider) should use when deciding to work with a specific client. It is important that consultants also use criteria when deciding whether to work with a nonprofit organization. In this posting I explore some of the issues that a consultant or consulting company should consider when deciding whether to engage with a … [Read more...]

Modesty is the Best Policy for Jewish Nonprofit Organizations

modesty is best policy

The executive professional leadership of a nonprofit organization - whether the CEO (chief executive officer), associate executives, assistant executives, or other members of the executive staff - must always keep in mind that they are representatives of the organization and that whatever they do reflects on the reputation and standing of the nonprofit in the community. Of course, executives want to be treated respectfully and receive what is due to them, but they must always be mindful of how their actions will be perceived by the community. I would like to share two examples with you. Recently a nonprofit organization that is well known in Israel embarked on a multi-million dollar capital campaign to fund the purchase and renovation of a building to make it appropriate for delivering services … [Read more...]

Implementing the Buffett-Gates Initiative in the Jewish Community

Two weeks ago I reported on a philanthropic initiative developed by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to bring together mega-wealthy people to join them in signing a Giving Pledge that they would set aside a majority of their assets for use in philanthropic ventures. I thought that their idea had relevance for the Jewish community. In response to the posting I received a number of inquiries that endorsed the idea and asked how could such an idea be implemented in Jewish communities. In response, let me suggest guidelines and steps for developing a philanthropic initiative that would involve the wealthiest people in our Jewish communities around the world. Obviously, these are not written in stone, and they would need to be adapted to the culture of giving in each of the individual communities. The … [Read more...]