Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Some nonprofits do great work, and others don’t. Wouldn’t be it be nice to know which is which?

That’s the topic of a conversation I’ll be moderating a week from today, on Tuesday, September 29, at 6:30 pm., at Busboys and Poets at 1025 5th St (and K), in Washington. It’s sponsored by the DC chapter of Net Impact, a great organization of students and young professionals working for social and environmental change at work and in the world. (Disclosure: I’m on the Net impact board.)

We’ve put together four great speakers. They are:

Jacob Harold, the president & CEO of GuideStar. (See this blogpost, If not Overhead, then what? for more about Jacob and his work.)

Jennifer Lentfer, director of communications, IDEX. (See my blogpost, IDEX, and the tyranny of experts, for more.)

Victoria Vrana , senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who I’m looking forward to meeting. She’s in the thick of the foundation’s efforts to improve the practice of philanthropy.

Dennis Whittle, the co-founder of GlobalGiving and Feedback Labs, which I blogged about just the other day.

Should be a lively evening. Please join us if you are in DC. Details and tickets here. Dan Schiff, who leads the local Net Impact chapter, tells me the event will sell out in advance so make your plans soon.

4 thoughts on “A DC Net Impact event: What makes an effective nonprofit?

  1. Improve International says:

    Thanks for having this important conversation. Would love to know what you came up with. I would recommend something like the Accountability Forum (now Water for Life Rating), the brainchild of Marla Smith-Nilson at – it has been applied in Honduras and other countries. It brings peer organizations, independent evaluators and other stakeholders together to look at a random sample (including old projects!) of the body of work of an organization. The barriers, of course, are funding to do this and the resistance (passive or active) of international organizations to be evaluated in this way.


  2. Warren Goldstein says:

    looks like fun!


  3. Stephen Viederman says:

    Mark, I am always concerned that sessions like this are populated by people who look at the large institutions, and not community.

    Be well. Overdue for a longer conversation.


    Stephen Viederman 135 East 83rd Street, 15A New York, N.Y. 10028 (office) 212 639 9497 (home) 212 639 9496



    1. IDEX (@IDEX) says:

      We’ll be there, connecting the dots to the visionary, effective grassroots leaders in the Global South that are creating lasting solutions to their communities’ most pressing challenges.


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