Denise McMahan

Denise McMahan is founder and publisher of CausePlanet. Since 2006, CausePlanet has connected budding and bestselling authors with curious readers through Page to Practice book summaries, leadership training, blogging and speaking engagements. Read her blog at CausePlanet.org or email her at Denise@CausePlanet.org.

Getting past the “meh” response to nonprofit evaluation

Today, nonprofits are increasingly faced with bridging the gap between urgent issues and the models to solve them. As a result, nonprofit boards, leaders and staff members need program evaluation to deliver on its on promise more than ever. But what is that promise and why does evaluation often get a “meh” response? One of... Read more

Interview with Steve MacLaughlin about Data Driven Nonprofits

The nonprofit sector has grown dramatically in the last two decades and part of that trajectory has involved the growing use of technology. However, author Steve MacLaughlin argues that nonprofits aren’t using data nearly as much as they could be to move their missions forward. His new book, Data Driven Nonprofits, focuses primarily on fundraising... Read more

[Podcast] Kathie Sorensen on culture: optimizing interactions and dispensing with outdated practices

“I have a foundational belief that business results start with culture and your people,” said, Douglas Conant, leadership consultant and former CEO of Campbell’s Soup Company. Conant speaks from direct experience since he’s credited with having reversed Campbell’s decline in market value, improved the company’s financial profile and enhanced its diversity and inclusion practices during... Read more

[Podcast] Get ready to update your assumptions about millennials

While the topic of engaging millennials as donors and volunteers seems to constantly bubble to the surface, unfortunately, the frequency of these conversations doesn’t equate to having all the answers. We decided it was time to have another chat with Kari Dunn Saratovsky and Derrick Feldmann about Cause for Change, a book they published in... Read more

[Podcast] Your best sustainability safety net: Create a culture of leadership development

When most nonprofits consider succession planning, they view the board working episodically when it senses a looming change on the horizon. Author Tom Adams argues that rather than experience abrupt changes in sustainability, organizations can, instead, create a culture of continuity through leadership development. What does that mean? Listen to his sound bites below and find out. CausePlanet: The... Read more

[Podcast] 4 strategies and 1 fundamental truth for standing out among other nonprofits

Differentiation is the one the best ways to set your organization apart from the rest. But how do we go about doing that in our donor communications when there are so many worthy causes? Last week, we interviewed fundraising expert Jeff Brooks about four great strategies for differentiation and he also shared one important fundamental... Read more

[Podcast] Commercial brands need not apply with nonprofit donors

Sometimes the best way to teach others how to do something is to show them what doesn’t work first. This rationale was at the root of our question about nonprofit branding for donor communications author Jeff Brooks last week. Nonprofits often look to the business world for inspiration and branding is no exception. Unfortunately, the... Read more

[Podcast] Avoid burnout by getting your people connected

I love it when the planets align. I was about to hold a podcast with Connection Culture author, Michael Stallard, when I read an article in Fast Company titled, “The Top Three Nonprofit Jobs of the Future.” One of those jobs is Chief Culture Officer. It’s been said that you have a culture whether you... Read more

[Podcast] Getting to the heart of a great ask

Despite the immense amount of focus we place on understanding the art of asking for support, it continues to keep us treading water and occasionally dipping our heads below the surface. We had the chance to speak with author Laura Fredricks recently about her book, The Ask: The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your... Read more

[Podcast] Need to clarify roles between your nonprofit staff and board?

Board leadership is an area that demands much of our attention and effort due to its critical role in helping an organization “thrive or dive,” says Jean Block, author of The Invisible Yellow Line: Clarifying Nonprofit Board and Staff Roles. Block decided the Invisible Yellow Line is a perfect metaphor for the working relationship between a... Read more

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