Stephanie La Loggia

Research Friday: Tracking trends in nonprofit benefit practices


Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing series, we invite a nonprofit scholar or practitioner to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. We welcome your comments and feedback.

postedby
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A.

Manager of Knowledge Resources, Research and Academic Affairs,
ASU Lodestar Center


As many of you know, we are now officially collecting data for the forthcoming edition of our Nonprofit Compensation and Benefits Report. This will be the ASU Lodestar Center’s fifth such publication; we released the first one (then entitled the “Wage and Salary Report”) back in 2001!

A lot has changed in the nonprofit world in the eleven years since our first report. The recent economic recession has been particularly challenging for nonprofits, bringing a tightening of resources coupled with an elevated need for services. And since nonprofit services are almost always provided and organized by people, these challenges and conditions affect organizations’ human resource practices — sometimes dramatically. So for this report, we’ve expanded our questions on nonprofit benefits practices, including questions asking how nonprofits are responding to various issues.


Research Friday: Take our fun quiz on the nonprofit sector in Southern Arizona!

posted by
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A
,
Manager of Knowledge 

Resources, Research and 
Academic Affairs, 
ASU Lodestar Center


Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert to highlight current research reports or studies and discuss how they can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

In celebration of the ASU Lodestar Center’s official expansion of programs into Southern Arizona, we have put together a fun 11-question quiz on Southern  Arizona’s nonprofit sector.  It is based on our newly released research report: Scope of the Nonprofit Sector: Southern Arizona.

Click here to take the short quiz.  At the end, you’ll find out your score and there will be a link back to this page. We’ll report the results in a future blog post.

Note: Southern Arizona, in this report and quiz, is defined as Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz counties. 

Research Friday: The Trouble with Pay Raises


Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit scholar or practitioner to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. We welcome your comments and feedback.

postedby
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A.

Manager of Knowledge Resources, Research and Academic Affairs,
ASU Lodestar Center


The research on how compensation systems affect employee motivation is both fascinating and surprising. The evidence flies in the face of some underlying, pervasive assumptions: namely, that people work primarily for money and that the best incentives to keep people motivated and productive are financial.1

It turns out that most people do their best work when they are motivated by something other than money. Things like purpose, achievement, recognition, and autonomy—to name a few. In fact, you can often muck it up—de-motivate people!—by directly tying financial incentives to their work. I can’t believe I’m about to back up this claim with a YouTube video, but here it is: Daniel Pink talking about the severe limitations of financial incentives and what really motivates people to do great work.

Saving the California Condor: A Collective Impact Story

postedby
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A.

Manager of Knowledge Resources
ASU Lodestar Center

Once upon a long time ago, North America was bursting with animals that were really big. Mammoths, mastodons, giant sloths — animals we only know about from their old bones and our good imaginations. The birds were over-sized as well, and when the huge animals died, giant vultures with 20-foot wingspans would swoop down to feast on their carcasses.

And then, they vanished. For reasons scientists still theorize about, most of these large animals went extinct rather quickly. The huge vultures, once plentiful, with all varieties of Eagles, Teratorns, and giant condors, were suddenly hungry. Their food sources gone, the giant vultures soon followed the animals into mass extinction.

Except one: The California Condor.

The California Condor is the sole surviving member of the Gymnogyps genus, a castaway from the Pleistocene epoch. It’s the largest flying bird in North America. If you see one sitting in a tree, you might remark that it is the ugliest bird you’ve ever seen. But when you see it flying, unfettered in the open sky, you’ll undoubtedly think it is one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever witness. It has a wingspan of nearly ten feet and can soar for miles without a single flap.

Research Friday: Don't Be Afraid to Ask

postedby
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A.

Manager of
Knowledge Resources
ASU Lodestar Center

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert from our academic faculty to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Recruiting volunteers is one of the most important jobs in most nonprofit organizations. But doing it right? That can be tricky. But, as it turns out, one of the most effective ways to reel them in is also the simplest: asking.In fact, the majority of people volunteer for an organization in response to being personally asked, as opposed to "walking in."[1]

A professor I know stated it beautifully: "I don't want to go to my HOA meeting because they will ask me to do something, and I might say yes." This is exactly why I avoided my daughter's school PTA meetings for months, despite a nagging little voice in my head urging me to go. Well, the voice eventually talked me into it (parental involvement is so important!), and I showed up for a meeting. You know how this story ends: Now, I'm the Treasurer!

Research Friday: Who grants the most? Who gets the most?

postedby
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A.

Manager of Knowledge Resources
ASU Lodestar Center

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert from our academic faculty to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Thanks to the 100 people who took our nonprofit sector quiz! In the quiz, we asked a few questions about Arizona's largest nonprofit organizations, in terms of assets, grantmaking, and donations. Some of the answers may have surprised you, so let's talk about a few of those trickier questions.

Who grants the most?

The term grantmaker typically refers to a nonprofit organization that grants money to other nonprofits. Most of the grantmakers in Arizona are private foundations. Even though they're nonprofits, private foundations are a little bit different, legally, than other nonprofits. They file a different 990 form (the 990 PF) and are also subject to additional rules and taxes.

Research Friday: Take our fun quiz on the Arizona nonprofit sector!

postedby
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A.

Manager of Knowledge Resources
ASU Lodestar Center

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert from our academic faculty to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. We welcome your comments and feedback.

It was a great week for learning and connecting, with over 500 people attending the Phoenix Business Journal's Fourth Annual Nonprofit Business Summit, which engaged nonprofit and business leaders in dialogue and educational sessions. And on April 29-30, nonprofit scholars came together at the 8th Annual West Coast Nonprofit Data Conference to share current research and discuss methodological developments in the field.

In the spirit of learning, we've put together a fun quiz on Arizona's nonprofit sector. Take this quiz to test your knowledge. We'll report the overall scores in a future blog post.

Click here to take the 10-question quiz! (This link will take you to a new page. At the end of the quiz, you'll find a link to get back to ASU Lodestar Center blog.)

Research Friday: Why Do People Stop Giving?

postedby
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A.

Manager of Knowledge Resources
ASU Lodestar Center

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert from our academic faculty to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. We welcome your comments and feedback.

As a charitable donor, I've become so fickle it's almost embarrassing. I like to be informed of what the organization is doing, but I don't want mail solicitations. I don't mind administrative spending, but I bristle at high fundraising costs. And I tell my students that I'll give to any of the worthy causes they pour their hearts into, but they have to ask me in person (not on Facebook)! That's my list, and you probably have yours — I say that because, as the research tells us, charitable giving is driven by a host of individual motivations and preferences.

When we investigate motivations for charitable giving, we aren't only concerned with what motivates a donor to write the first check to a charitable organization, but also what inspires them to become a regular, ongoing donor. An important aspect of this is the opposite question: why do people stop making donations?

In our recent Arizona Giving and Volunteering* research, we asked respondents if they could recall a decision to stop giving to an organization they had previously supported. A fairly high percentage — 30% — said yes. From a list of possible reasons, there was a clear number one answer: lack of connection. 65% said that the reason they stopped supporting the nonprofit was because they no longer felt connected to the organization.

Research Friday: "Executive Compensation"

postedby
Stephanie La Loggia, M.A.

Manager of Knowledge Resources
ASU Lodestar Center

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert from our academic faculty to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Oh, the high-wire balancing act of nonprofit CEO compensation. Pay your CEO too little, and you won’t attract a skilled leader. Pay too much, and you’ll raise the eyebrows (or ire) of donors, clients, volunteers, and anyone else who looks up your 990 in one keystroke. And should a nonprofit really go over the top with CEO pay, the IRS will come knocking at the door.

What’s an impact-driven nonprofit organization to do? Two things come to mind. First, consult the research and data available on nonprofit CEO compensation. Comparable compensation data helps recruitment and hiring, and protects against excessive compensation claims. For nonprofits in Maricopa and Pima counties, the latest issue of Nonprofit Research Abridged details CEO compensation across budget size and type.

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