DECEMBER 20, 2013 21

What’s the most exciting thing happening
today in nonprofits? I am seeing more for-
profit executives in the later parts of their
careers (50 years old-plus) making the switch
to the not-for-profit industry and wanting to
use their talents and experience to make a
diference in people’s lives.
What’s your biggest concern about the
profession? Too many people believe
that, as long as you have strong passion for
the mission of your organization, that’s all
you need to be successful in the nonprofit
industry. Along with that, some people
surmise an individual is working in the
nonprofit industry because they weren’t
successful in the for-profit sector. Neither
of these could be further from the truth. A
not-for-profit career is just as competitive as
a for-profit career, and with all the seasoned
for-profit executives switching into the not-
for-profit industry, you need to bring your
“A” game to be a leader in the not-for-profit
sector today.
What would you change about nonprofits
in the U.S.? At the Furniture Bank, we believe
strongly that we should use “fee for service”
and “social enterprise” concepts to cover
our administrative and overhead expenses,
so that 100 percent of all donor dollars goes
directly toward making an impact in the lives
of the families we serve.
PEOPLE TO KNOW
What’s the most exciting thing
happening today in nonprofits? Innovative
organizations that challenge the traditional
nonprofit business model by seeking new
and creative ways to generate earned income
provide an exciting window on the future. It is
energizing to watch nonprofit leaders develop
social enterprises and test new ways to fund
programs and services.
What’s your biggest concern about the
profession? I worry about the human
resources that staf nonprofits. The traditional
business model where the organization must
raise all of its annual funding frequently leads
to staf burnout. With such significant staf
turnover in the development field, missed
opportunities for grants and setbacks in
advancing organizational mission occur too
often.
What would you change about nonprofits
in the U.S.? The nonprofit sector would be
stronger if there were more collaborations
and partnerships. In Columbus there are
impressive examples of mergers, shared
services and true collaborations that have
resulted in strong and efective programs and
services. Innovative ways of working together
will further strengthen our community.
LISA SCHWEITZER COURTICE
Executive vice president | Columbus Foundation
Calling for collaboration
JANET ADAMS
Lisa Schweitzer Courtice: Turnover in development offices leads to setbacks.
FILE PHOTO
Jim Stein: Fee for service and social
enterprise models work for nonprofits.
TRACY ROSS
Executive director | American
Diabetes Association
Why did you get into this
profession? Immediately out of
college I had an opportunity to
join a small nonprofit providing
services to women in crisis and
was bitten by the nonprofit bug.
Working at a nonprofit is truly
an extension of my personal
mission.
What’s the most exciting thing
happening today in nonprofits?
Social media and tools such
as Catapult, Gofundme, etc.
are making it very easy to gain
financial support from donors.
What’s your biggest concern
about the profession? Changes
in charitable tax deduction rules
as well as our limited recognition
of demographic shifts. The
most successful nonprofits of
the future will be those that
know how to attract donors and
leaders who reflect our country’s
diversity.
What would you change about
nonprofits in the U.S.? The
way we often view ourselves.
The nonprofit sector is the very
essence on which our country
was founded.
ROBERT BRISK
Head of school |
The Wellington School
Why did you get into this
profession? I received an
extraordinary and life-changing
education. I can still remember
overhearing two of my Latin
teachers arguing passionately
about a Horace poem. Observing
educators deeply committed
to the life of the mind and
collaborating as colleagues made
me want to help others discover
the very same joy in similar
moments.
What’s your biggest concern
about the profession? My
greatest concern in education
is legislative intrusion.
Unfortunately for students,
regulators have become
entrenched in high-stakes
testing, which tends to create
a one-size-fits-all mentality in
schools. Nonprofit, independent
schools such as Wellington often
are the targets of such legislative
intrusion. Rather, education
should be about creating
opportunities for students to find
passionate areas of interest.
ELAINE GOLDBERG
Founder | Melissa’s House
Why did you get into this
profession? Creating a
supportive, permanent, safe
haven for adults living with
mental illness is a personal
mission for me. Our daughter
Melissa struggled with mental
illness most of her adult life.
Despite my family’s tireless
eforts, we could not find an
environment for Melissa that was
safe, comfortable, welcoming
and supportive. Melissa’s House
will be that place.
What’s your biggest concern
about the profession? There are
so many worthwhile nonprofits
out there that all deserve
attention and funding. But that
means that sometimes we are
in competition for donations,
time and support. There is no
assurance a nonprofit will survive
and grow regardless of how
important the cause is.
What would you change about
nonprofits in the U.S.? The legal
requirements that nonprofits
must follow can be complicated.
There are regulations at the
federal, state and even local
level and if you are a layman, you
almost always will need outside
assistance to navigate the
system, which is expensive. At
times all the red tape gets in the
way of momentum and progress.
JIM STEIN
President | Furniture Bank of Central Ohio
Bringing your business A-game
COURTESY MELISSA’S HOUSE
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