Bruce Sievers & Nonprofit Identity
by pam ashlund
Every once in a while (I wish!) I find I’m guilty of a huge (unintentional) oversight; and last April was one of them. Specifically, it was March 21st & 22nd, at CAN’s Policy Day’s in Sacramento, CA. It was at that conference where I heard Bruce Sievers deliver the keynote address “A Tale of Three Cities: Government, Business, and Civil Society--a look into the increasingly fuzzy relationship between nonprofits, government, and business”.
It was after hearing his talk that I launched the NonProfit Eye and wrote my first post “Identity Crisis”. Since that day, I haven’t stopped struggling to address the ideas that sprang from that keynote. Bruce, on the understanding that I not use it in print, sent me his talk notes (which helped to re-inspire me long after the talk).
Today, I came across (yet another) blog (posted on 10/28) on the topic of Non-Profit Identity and I set out to track the coverage of that topic. I imagine that by the time CAN held it’s “Policy Days” event, that the topic had been in the public consciousness long before that. Without further adieu, here is a listing of posts on the topic (I’ve also created a Deli.cio.us tag: “NonProfitBusiness?”. Feel free to add to the tag topic):
- 11/2002 Find a way to make government more like a nonprofit --The Nonprofit Example
- 7/31/06 Act like a business? Why aim so low? -- The Artful Manager
- Feb/Mar 06 Running Your Nonprofit Like a Business -- Nonprofit Agendas
- 4/1/06 Identity Crisis -- Nonprofit Eye
- 4/27–5/3/06 The Nonprofit Motive -- The Stranger, Seattle's Only Features Section
- 8/11/06 Don't Be A Business in Nonprofit's Clothing 4Nonprofits
- 8/3/06 Non-profits operating like a business -- Arizona Business Gazette
- 10/26/06 Pressing our buttons -- The Nonprofit Consultant Blog
- 10/28/06 We're Flabbergasted -- The Agitator
- 10/26/06 I Couldn’t Disagree More -- Don't Tell the Donor
Speaking of giving credit where credit is due…Sometimes I read something that I tag as “Icouldn’tsayitbetter” and that was the theme of Andrew Taylor’s blog: The Artful Manager. In his intro he asks “…what if…we fundamentally misunderstood what it meant to be run "like a business"?” (note, unlike Sievers, I credited Taylor in a post on 9/5/06).
Afterward: Just when I thought we had a real force going, I came across this AICPA (CPE Self-study course): Managing Nonprofit Organizations Like a Business
Sievers, visiting Scholar at Stanford University, and former head of San Francisco's Walter and Elise Haas Fund, delivered the keynote address “A Tale of Three Cities: Government, Business, and Civil Society -- a look into the increasingly fuzzy relationship between nonprofits, government, and business”
Sievers also served as a panel member on the “Advisory Committee on Self-Regulation of the Charitable Sector”, Panel which produced a (now industry standard): Panel on the NonProfit Sector: Final Report (pdf, 740 kb).
I look forward to his forthcoming Book “Between Public and Private: Philanthropy, Civil Society, and the State of the Commons”
Technorati Tags: Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, Bruce Sievers, Civil Society, Nonprofit, Philanthropy