Strategic Planning is Alive and Kicking

Over the past several years, our sector has been debating the design, relevancy and role of strategic planning as a core capacity building tool. Some say it is too time intensive and the final product too often ends up “sitting on a shelf.” Others deem planning to be a distraction from critical daily, operational and…

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Strategic Planning and Business Planning: What’s the Difference?

Kicking off a series of posts on strategic planning and how it continues to evolve, below is a blog post that I wrote a few years ago while I was a capacity building consultant. This post focuses on the difference between strategic planning and business planning. It is meant to provide some guidelines and understanding…

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Saying Goodbye Gracefully: Five Capacity Building Lessons from a Time-Limited Investment

From 2009-2016, the Packard Foundation engaged in an intensive effort to improve summer learning in California. Over seven years, we helped to support 12 high-quality demonstration programs with multiple sites, assemble a network of technical assistance providers for summer programs, and advocate for increased support for summer learning at the state and local levels Highlights…

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Supporting Cybersecurity for Nonprofits

Early in my career I taught a series of classes for UNIX system administrators, including a course in computer security. I guided people through password management, taught them about viruses and worms and showed them how to set-up a firewall. This was back in the days of the “world-wide-web” when the underground world of hackers…

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Are You Uncomfortable? You’re Welcome.

Early in my career I was working in Kampala, Uganda on a development project. One day I walked past a little girl, about age 3 or 4, sitting cross-legged on the street in tattered clothes under the hot sun, with her hand out for money, eyes closed, not moving an inch. A similar-looking slightly older…

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