ASU Lodestar Center Blog

Current nonprofit sector research and recommendations for effective day-to-day practice from ASU faculty, staff, students, and the nonprofit and philanthropic community.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020


Illustration by Jocelyn Ruiz

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Illustration by Jocelyn Ruiz

Friday, October 16, 2020


Illustration by Jocelyn Ruiz

Thursday, October 8, 2020


Illustration by Jocelyn Ruiz

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

posted by
Raymond Damm,

Nonprofits in Arizona are facing some terrifying scenarios when it comes to maintaining funding amid COVID-19. News stories continue to report on the loss of revenue to date throughout a variety of sectors, with some reports say as much as nearly $53 million. Nonprofits in Arizona are looking at a potential annual loss of over a quarter of a billion dollars, with over 90 percent of groups reporting a decrease in revenue, three quarters seeing a disruption of services and volunteers pulling back on their commitments. According to the ASU Lodestar Center, only 5 percent of nonprofits reported normal operations as the pandemic first unfolded.

All of the above points are concerning, and as Kristen Merrifield, the CEO of Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits said, “it is just the tip of the iceberg.” This statement is as foreboding as it is accurate.

Thursday, September 17, 2020


Illustration by Jocelyn Ruiz

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

posted by
Erna Dubravic,
Accounting and Assurance Manager, Beach Fleischman
Blog originally posted here

For the general public, the designation “nonprofit” is often correlated with donations. The thought of a nonprofit entity earning revenue and having customers can appear contradictory. However, these entities can earn revenue and have customers, so long as these transactions serve their mission and purpose.

Why, suddenly, is earning revenue and having customers an important topic for nonprofits?

As part of its convergence project to remove inconsistencies and weaknesses in existing revenue requirements, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606). This new revenue recognition standard is intended to improve the comparability of revenue recognition practices across entities, industries, jurisdictions, and capital markets, including nonprofits.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020


Illustration by Jocelyn Ruiz

posted by
Whitney Herr-Buchholz,
Fall 2019 Alumna, ASU Master of Nonprofit Leadership & Management
Director of Operations & Advancement | University of Arizona School of Dance

Performance measurement (PM) informs strategic decisions. It provides critical data for nonprofit leaders, board members and funders to understand the effectiveness of organizations in serving their missions. We are in a moment where PM has the potential to be more powerful than ever. However, those within the sector are realizing that PM has not lived up to expectations. Social problems still endure, despite PM’s prominence as a way to ensure accountability and inform strategic decisions since the 1960’s. Limitations exist because PM has created tensions, instead of bridges, between funders and nonprofit service providers. To truly move the needle towards ameliorating social challenges throughout the world, we must revisit the efficacy of what has been measured and how.


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