Five reasons you should join a professional association
Students and colleagues who know me know that I am an advocate for joining professional associations. I am a member of several of them, ARNOVA, ASPA, SAJA, among others. As a grad student, I initially was reluctant and during my master’s program didn’t really see the value of joining one. But once I started my […]
How will the new administration and its policies impact the Nonprofit sector?
I recently attended the ARNOVA Conference, the annual conference of ARNOVA, a leading organization that is dedicated to research of the Voluntary and Nonprofit sector. As one of the most important convenings of its kind; this conference brings together both scholars and practitioners from around the world. This year, there were close to 1000 attendees, […]
Is the ‘American mythos’ in need of revision?
I am writing this on the second day of election results, that have shaken the country; rather badly. With the election of Donald Trump, Washington D.C., is in mourning. It looks and feels like almost all of the country is at the precipice of something. Mainstream media are still coming to terms with what this […]
If not for profit, for what?
I sat next to an older gentleman on my flight from D.C. to Atlanta, GA. While he was quite in the beginning and was absorbed in his newspapers, a quick smile and conversation started him talking. And despite his strong southern accent – he was from Alabama – we managed to discuss a lot of […]
An artist as philanthropist : Umm Kulthum as an exemplar
For those who know Umm Kulthum , the Egyptian singer and iconoclast, they are also familiar with her role in rallying the entire Arab world together, in times of great need. Her role as the ‘voice of Egypt’ is well known. Not so well known may be her role as a philanthropist. We recently […]
How to measure what matters : Nonprofit management 101
The nonprofit industry is obsessed with one thing : measurement. For those who do research or are involved in actual program delivery in the nonprofit sector, this desire to ‘measure spoons’ as Alnoor Ebrahim, a Harvard University professor calls it, can translate into a variety of things. There are a great many metrics that are […]
More Charity and less Philanthropy?
Do we need more ‘Charity’ (unorganized, personal giving) and less of ‘philanthropy’ (organized, scientific philanthropy)? While scholarship in the last 25 years of so indicates that there is a growing trend towards philanthropy, we are witnessing new arguments that what we need is really more ‘charity’. Bureaucratized and ‘scientific’ ways of giving don’t really work. […]
Should you give ‘Directly,’ for impact? Lessons from my mom’s charitable experiments
What is the best way to help people? Is it to let the market forces determine who should survive and who should sink, or should there be intervention from the state or other players? How should philanthropy be directed towards individuals and communities? These questions have neither clear-cut answers, nor a good way of being […]
Do we need accurate data about Nonprofits in the US ?
Last weekend, I attended a conference / brainstorm hosted by the American University, in partnership with the Urban Institute. Titled ‘Nonprofit Panel Data Symposium,’ the two day event attracted some of the top brains in the country, working in the nonprofit/ civil society sector. As a young scholar who is interested in the sector and […]