survey

Research Friday: Your story matters. Please share it with us

posted by
Jen Talansky
Vice President, Knowledge
and Communications

Nonprofit Finance Fund


Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing series, we invite a nonprofit expert to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

Government funding hovers on the edge of a fiscal cliff. The economy and housing markets continue to tremble. And true natural disasters are sowing human tragedy across the globe.

We depend on the nonprofit sector to help alleviate these problems. Yet, in a time of so much uncertainty and such great need, many struggle to respond. How are our fellow nonprofits doing it? We want to know, and we want to share this knowledge with the world.

Nonprofit Finance Fund is conducting its fifth annual State of the Sector survey to find out what nonprofits and the communities they serve need most. This anonymous survey asks nonprofit leaders about the management and financial challenges they’re facing as they work tirelessly on mission. In a sector that often lacks data, this survey illustrates real-time financial and operational trends.

We share the aggregated results of the survey with foundations, government entities, media, associations, advocacy organizations and nonprofits themselves. The results improve grantmaking practices, help shape conversations on the needs of the social sector, and provide a rich source of data.

Research Friday: Why Take a Survey?

posted by
Jen Talansky,
Vice President, Knowledge
and Communications,

Nonprofit Finance Fund


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

In our professional and personal lives, we are all asked to take a dozen or more surveys every year. At work, I receive email surveys on everything from how we use social media to how we like the services of our vendors. At home, I get opinion questionnaires from organizations ranging from political parties to movie ticket vendors.

Being the recipient of so many surveys, I pick and choose which I respond to. No doubt you do as well. As the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) embarks on its fourth annual nonprofit State of the Sector Survey, I hope you will choose to spend a few minutes of your valuable and busy work time responding to ours. Here’s why.

Take our newsletter survey!

posted by
Travis Butterfield,
Project Coordinator
ASU Lodestar Center

We at the ASU Lodestar Center have been wanting to do a major overhaul of our newsletter for quite a while. As many of you are undoubtedly aware, the Lodestar Center Nonprofit News is a hugely useful newsletter with gobs and gobs of valuable information. It is one of our Center's "flagship" offerings, and we constantly receive positive feedback about it. However, it can be argued that the very things that have made the newsletter valuable to so many members of our community are paradoxically the things that can also make it seem overwhelming and inaccessible. In a word, the newsletter has outgrown its current format and needs some serious attention from Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition.

We have some exciting changes in store for the Lodestar Center Nonprofit News. For example, later this fall we are preparing to launch a new, interactive, searchable job board that will eventually take the place of the Job Opportunities section of the newsletter. We will still link to job postings from the newsletter, but the new jobs site will be much more user-friendly and effective than our current format.

So, in the spirit of collaboration and transparency, we would love to hear from you, our readers, about what kinds of changes you might like to see in our NEW newsletter. While we obviously will not be able to accommodate every request, we will do our best to acknowledge and implement the feedback we receive from our readers.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey below so that we can better serve you!

Research Friday: The Board Chair and the CEO: When is a Team Relationship a Team ... Really?

posted by Pat Lewis,
Senior Professional
in Residence
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.



"None of us exists independent of our relationships with others. In each of these relationships we are different, new in some way." [1]

The relationship between a nonprofit Board Chair and the CEO is an incredibly important one. I have found no studies that dispute this. In fact, it ought to be a fun, exhilarating, rewarding experience for both members of this important leadership team. So, are we accomplishing this goal?

ASU is a research university that puts significant effort into true academic research. However, there are times when simple surveys produce very meaningful information — and can provide the basis for deeper research projects. And it is a simple (and small) survey upon which this blog is based.

The Organization for Nonprofit Executives (ONE) recently performed a survey of its members to help gather information for my presentation on the Board Chair/Chief Executive relationship. Thirty-two CEOs responded, and the results were extremely informative, leading to the greater question of how often this relationship is fun, exhilarating, and rewarding. The answer? For the CEO, not as often as one might imagine.

When asked their feelings about this relationship, approximately 1 in 4 CEOs responded with very positive statements (paraphrased) such as:

  • Chair is supportive and helpful.
  • The challenge? Keeping up with the Chair.
  • Chair is very busy, but very accommodating.
  • Relationship built on mutual trust and respect.

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