Why this Blog? Information + Engagement = Effectiveness + Impact

by | Nov 3, 2015

This blog focuses on the Nonprofit Wisdom – the application of knowledge in a way that promotes and inspires good.  It promotes strategic thinking and strategic creativity – an act of imagination, an ability to think outside of established or conventional patterns.  The process of connecting the dots among seemingly disparate sources and disciplines and arriving at new insights and perspectives.  Knowing “the rules” and disregarding them when appropriate.

knotOur model is how Alexander the Great solved the challenge of untying the Gordian Knot.  He reframed the problem and cut through its middle.

Our focus is on fundamentals: sharing ideas and practices that contribute to organizational success.  We hold up and honor ideas and practices that we all intuitively know are important and even right, but which some ignore because they are on to the next nonprofit fad.

All data we cite will be sourced.  Small and mid-size nonprofits are our “sweet spot” – those whose challenges are mighty and whose resources are meager.

Our success depends on whether we meet our readers’ needs and address your interests; and getting your engagement through comments and submissions. Let us know what you need, your questions and your ideas for strengthening our nonprofit organizations and our nonprofit sector – mail bsilverb@austincc.edu.

Our first guiding principle is that all nonprofits – like people – have the right to exist.

We oppose “nonprofit social Darwinism” that posits that only the large, complex and currently strong should exist.  That all others should merge with or be acquired by those deemed strong.  The determiners often being those whose giving or funding gives them a disproportionate voice in matters in which they may not be expert; and those who have forgotten that they, too, were once small and vulnerable.

Size of Texas Nonprofit Sector


As this table – adapted from the National Center for Charitable Statistics latest data on Texas -shows: over 81% of all nonprofits in Texas have annual revenue less than $100,000.  Almost 95% have annual revenue less than $1 million.  Only 1.8% have annual revenue greater than $5 million.

For the most part our sector is comprised of small and mid-size entities whose impact far exceed their size and whose organizational flexibility – despite their organizational challenges – place them closer to their consumers and stakeholders than large organizations.

Our second guiding principles is that solid, verifiable information is essential.

All information herein will be sourced so readers can further explore topics as they wish.  When we speak of “nonprofit” we are herein speaking of Section 501 (c)(3) entities and are not including the 26 other types of IRS tax-exempt entities, unless we say we are speaking of that larger universe.

We should not forget how easily unverifiable “data” becomes commonly-believed facts upon which large and small decisions are made.

Our third guiding principle is honesty and straightforwardness
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Just as in Hans Christian Anderson’s The Emperor’s New Clothes,  we all “know” there are many sector-wide “myths” that have become “convenient truths”.  Organizational culture and individual behavior are often based on these.  Let’s challenge those assumptions and those “facts”.  Let this blog be a place where we all play the role of the child (in the Emperor’s New Clothes: Let’s speak the truth: respectfully, judiciously and without rancor or meanness.

And along the way, let’s have fun: cause a few giggles and a more than occasional, HARUMPH!


Barry Silverberg