Cindy Willard

Cindy Willard has worked for more than 15 years in the nonprofit sector, focusing on corporate and foundation philanthropy. She serves as a Philanthropic Advisor for foundations and individuals as well as teaching, training and coaching through her Full Potential Philanthropy consulting business. Before owning her own business, Cindy served as Vice President of Community Initiatives and Investments at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Senior Program Officer for the Johnson Foundation and Community Relations Manager at The Denver Post. Her nonprofit experience includes philanthropic investments, organizational development, multi-partner project management, governance and program development. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks!) and is a 2005 graduate of the Master of Nonprofit Management program at Regis University, where she is now Affiliate Faculty in the Global Nonprofit Leadership Department. When not at work spends as much time with her husband and dog as possible and loves international travel, hiking, yoga, gardening and reading. Contact Cindy via email =

Understanding philanthropic capital: How to invest in social causes and gain financial returns (Part 2)

In my first installment on this topic, I discussed why investors are combining financial and social goals and three social investment tools they could use to accomplish this union of interests: Pay for Success (PFS) or Social Impact Bonds (SIB), Program-Related Investments (PRI), and Mission-Related Investing (MRI)). In this final installment, I’ll explore two more... Read more

Understanding philanthropic capital: How to invest in social causes and gain financial returns

Combining financial and social goals   Being an optimist and a pessimist at the same time may seem contradictory. But, I believe we can make real progress on some of the big issues that face us today including poverty, the environment, education and equality among others. However, I don’t believe the way in which we... Read more

Five lessons board members can learn about leadership

As my friend Rich Male likes to say, “Leadership is one of the most talked about and least understood ideas in the nonprofit world.” There are volumes of books on leadership, seminars to take and discussions to have. But real leadership

An insider’s response to “The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Winning Foundation Grants”

Foundation grants are a key part of the revenue mix for many nonprofit organizations. Even though foundation dollars are only 14% of the total mix of charitable dollars (recent figures from Giving USA), they are important to organizations for a variety of reasons. However, the way foundation grants are made is often a mystery.

Agreement in the trenches: Less is more with foundation proposals

I consider myself to be an optimist, but I am also a skeptic. So when I read Martin Teitel’s article on foundation proposals and his assertion that the mediocre proposals are not funded, I wanted to check this against both my personal experience as a funder and the experience of a group of development professionals.

Collaboration award winner shares six success factors

What set the winning collaboration apart from the other 174 applications was the breadth and depth of commitment from all six organizations to full, unimpeded collaboration and the results this commitment had achieved in six years. From sharing funds to joint processes to group consensus on decisions, NCCHP functions in all capacities as a

Urban and rural nonprofits can learn from each other

Fundamentally, nonprofit organizations exist to meet a community need, but how they meet those needs varies widely. Urban and rural environments present different obstacles and opportunities that must be overcome and met. Neither locale

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