Author Archive:

Paul Penley

2 Paul Penley 18 July 2013

Measuring non-profit impact: Five questions determine if you can know a charity’s effectiveness

Peter Singer’s 2013 TED talk about effective altruism argues for the moral necessity of supporting effective charities. Since most of us would prefer to support charities we know, working on issues we care about, rather than …

1 Paul Penley 3 April 2013

Financial advisors: crucial to philanthropy’s growth

Why don’t the wealthy give more? Because they want the money, says a 2013 SEI Private Wealth Management survey of individuals representing families worth $10 million or more. The top two reasons for not giving …

Paul Penley 3 December 2012

The joy of generosity that fuels effective giving

Do you still enjoy your giving? In a world of professional philanthropy conferences, philanthropy journals and ‘giving gone wrong’ headlines, giving can become one more skill to master, or task to manage. My daily research …

Paul Penley 10 October 2012

Non-profit performance evaluation: impact (part 6 of 6)

Impact measurement has been dubbed the Holy Grail of all social enterprise. If non-profit and for-profit social enterprises could capture the lasting difference made from all the meetings, projects, programs, fundraisers, volunteers, budgets and staff, …

Paul Penley 29 August 2012

iPhone 5 model for charity annual reports

What if the once-a-year ‘reveals’ of a charity’s impact had the hype of iPhone 5? What if millions of people spent time blogging about program upgrades and the higher performance that the most dynamic charity …

Paul Penley 6 August 2012

Non-profit performance evaluation: strategy (part 5 of 6)

Recently a financial advisor asked: what has surprised you the most when evaluating charities? I did not have to think long about the answer. It’s an outstanding juxtaposition: I constantly find good intentions and big …

Paul Penley 2 July 2012

Non-profit performance evaluation: leverage (part 4 of 6)

A high-performing non-profit must be constantly finding ways to better leverage its human and financial resources. The same benefits that businesses derive from improved efficiencies apply to charities. You have to learn how to increase …

Paul Penley 23 May 2012

Non-profit performance evaluation: financial sustainability (part 3 of 6)

High-performing non-profits develop careful strategies for creating consistent revenue to sustain operations. Donors do not want to support an organization one year and see its programs collapse the next year from insufficient funding. Great organizations …

Paul Penley 3 April 2012

Nonprofit performance evaluation: financial management (part 2 of 6)

High-performing non-profits must understand how to manage their money. Charities cannot promise great things to supporters and run out of resources along the way. A delicate balance of maintaining healthy reserves, minimizing debt and sticking …

6 Paul Penley 5 March 2012

Nonprofit performance evaluation: Leadership (part 1 of 6)

Where do you start when evaluating the health of a non-profit organization? Incessant headlines about dishonest educational programs, irresponsible board governance, misleading cancer charities and corrupt first responder foundations remind us that a little assessment …