Bootstrap Philanthropy

Nonprofit organizations are increasingly turning entrepreneurial, not only to generate revenue to support their core mission activities but to obtain a measure of independence from unreliable public and private funding. While developing for-profit industries sounds like a risk, many groups have met with great success and have achieved a large amount of freedom from funders […]

A Helping Hand

With less foundation money available and dwindling interest on the part of the U.S. government, community-based organizations are finding fewer resources to assist them in start-up, expansion and technology. The battered economy has also taken a harsh toll on small businesses that can give financial boosts to impoverished areas that desperately need jobs and commercial […]

City Soil

Think of the typical small derelict vacant urban site. Chances are it is located in a middle- to low-income community where housing needs are great, and the site’s history includes factory or manufacturing use. It is also a good bet that the site is located in a neighborhood where residential and industrial uses are both […]

Beyond the Housing Headlines

True, the lowest mortgage rates in more than 40 years have helped lift the homeownership rate to record highs and dampened some of the impact of blistering home price growth on housing affordability. Also true, the same slide in interest rates has led to a wave of refinancing that has pumped more than $200 billion […]

The Black Organizer Blues

When I graduated from college armed with little more than a liberal arts degree and a penchant for fomenting campus protests, I moved back home to Central Brooklyn with visions of homespun revolution dancing through my head. My latest incarnation is that of a journalist, but the array of public identities I’ve traveled over the […]

Real Life

The latest variation in “reality” TV shows was announced this summer. Take a couple of privileged young women who are more familiar with charity balls and fashion shows and drop them on a farm in Arkansas – to live among real people who work for a living. Sit back and watch with glee as the […]

Shelter Shorts

WAKE UP!! HUD Secretary Mel Martinez got a wake-up call from National People’s Action (NPA) at his home on Sunday, June 1st. NPA and 1,100 grassroots community leaders gathered at the secretary’s home to demand a meeting to discuss critical housing issues plaguing the country. This most recent plea concluded a two-year petition for a […]

Nonprofit Partnerships With Corporations

While there is often a fundamental difference in values held by social change organizations and corporations, creating alliances with corporations does not mean selling out. It can be done with the highest standards of integrity. Here are strategies to help organizations advance their missions by working with corporations. Be Suspicious Ask tough questions to establish […]

Listen To Me

When Dolores Shaw first got involved with the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project (EPOP) eight years ago, she had two children entering school and a lot of frustrations. “The students [in our school] weren’t reading very well,” she recalls. “But parents were having a hard time trying to get a fix on just how well their […]

Community Control Without Tears

Organizing for Community Controlled Development: Renewing Civil Society, by Patricia Watkins Murphy and James V. Cunningham. Sage Publications. 2003. 360 pp. $42.95 (paperback). Reading Organizing for Community Controlled Development is like going to a carnival. It has its own coherence, especially from a distance. Once you go through the front gates, however, you realize the […]

Foundation Fury

Private foundations are roiled, agitated and mobilized about a tiny provision of the Charitable Giving Act of 2003. Section 105 of HR 7 would do two things. It would reduce and consolidate to 1 percent the two-tier federal tax private foundations pay on their net investment income, and it would exclude from private foundations’ required […]