Thought leadership

  1. 11 Steps to Producing a World-Class, Investment-Grade Business Plan for Your Nonprofit

    Unfortunately, most of the 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. live a hard life and struggle just to keep their doors open. There is a proven, practical solution to this.  read more »

  2. The 3 Gotta-Haves for Nonprofit Boards Seeking Impact and Scale

    Many of the entrepreneurial and organizational practices and frameworks found most frequently in the business world are finding increased adoption in the social sector…
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  3. The For-Profit and Non-Profit Sectors are Converging

    Writing in 1924, the brilliant British author Virginia Woolf made her now famous observation about rapid changes in human society during the early 20th century: read more »

  4. What it Takes to Achieve Broad Impact

    The highest-performing impact organizations—those with products or services that make a profound difference in the world, be it in health, human services, arts, the education, or the environment—possess two discrete characteristics: read more »

  5. The Power of Managing your Cost-Per-Dollar

    Most small to mid-sized non-profits have important, high-potential programs and skilled, dedicated staff, but the vast majority are in moderate to severe financial distress. read more »

  6. Beta Hatch: Next-Gen Food Tech

    The world needs more food. A lot more food. But arable land and water grow more scarce by the day, and many people are understandably concerned by current solutions. read more »

  7. The New Thinking in Nonprofit Revenue

    Having trouble with fundraising? Is your organization stuck, revenue-wise? If you look to ideas like development, strategic planning, capital campaigns, auctions, appeal letters and the like, your odds of getting off your bread-and-water diet are very low. These tools are old. read more »

  8. Do Auctions and Galas Hurt or Help?

    Auctions. Galas. Raffles. Car washes. Bake sales. Walk-a-thons.  If you are doing them to raise money, you may be missing a number of critical considerations:   read more »

  9. 10 Ways to Spot the Best Nonprofits

    There’s lots of talk out there about how to tell a non-profit performer from a pretender. And for good reason. The lack of transparency and accountability in this $1.5 trillion dollar sector– 10% of our economy– has reached crisis proportions. read more »

  10. Strategic Plans Done Right

    Do you have a “strategic plan?” If you aren’t very careful, this document could be an illusion. It talks about what you do, but will it guide your choices and the behavior of your team?  read more »

  11. Your Culture: Friend or Foe?

    I had lunch the other day with a brilliant woman who recently left her job as a finance VP at a major corporation to join a medium-sized non-profit as the new CFO. She was tired of the corporate grind and wanted more meaningful work, but things were quickly going south.

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  12. Let’s Combine What’s Great About For Profits and Nonprofits.

    Too often, the business and non-profit communities point out each other’s flaws. What they should be doing is learning from each other.  read more »

  13. An Alternative to the Risky Development Hire

    Hiring a Development Director is risky indeed.
  14. Holiday Gift Appeals Done Right

    Are you a charity gearing up for your holiday gift appeal? Read this first. read more »

  15. Our Secrets for Growing Nonprofits 25% a Year

    We are delighted to share the process that we’ve developed over a decade or practice with hundreds of nonprofits around the world read more »

  16. Required Reading for Nonprofit Leaders

    These are six books are essential “must reads” for anyone leading nonprofits:
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  17. Donor Analytics Done Right

    Time to tell the hard truth: fewer than 1% of nonprofit development offices measure the right things. And their orgs are suffering serious opportunity costs as a result.
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  18. The Seven Types of Nonprofits

    After working with hundreds of nonprofits over a couple of decades, helpful patterns emerge.
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  19. Freedom Project Commits to Serving Every Inmate in WA State

    The U.S. imprisons more of its citizens than any other country – 2.2 million people, the largest proportion in the world. While the total cost to taxpayers is $65 billion per year, the social and emotional cost of incarceration and life after prison is incalculable.
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  20. Business Plan Breakthrough

    A board member for one of our clients told us a great story… read more »

  21. What Are We Up to at Altruist?

    Our friends, colleagues and clients often ask us what we are working on here at Altruist. It’s not a simple answer. Altruist is a social enterprise and nonprofit accelerator that is program agnostic. In other words, we can help anyone who wants to scale up a socially beneficial program. read more »

  22. Big Progress with Impact Investments

    For over a decade, Altruist has helped clients accelerate their revenue in five revenue domains: individuals, foundations, corporations, government agencies, and earned income. Now, with a number of multi-million dollar wins under our belt, we can add one more: impact investing.
  23. Context Matters

    Don’t think “what can we do with what we have.” That is letting your limited budget drive your planning process. Instead, flip it around.  read more »

  24. Affording the Cost of Free

    At first glance, Hip-Hop and saving historic buildings might not sound like a natural match. Yet, in Seattle, two organizations were able to think outside the box to create a winning situation for both. read more »

  25. King County’s All Home Plan has Plenty of Room for Improvement

    King County has a growing homeless epidemic. In 2005 the Committee to End Homelessness was launched in King County with a grand goal of eradicating the county’s homeless problem in 10 years. The results? Today the homeless epidemic is even worse than when they started. read more »