• January 2011

The Future of Philanthropy

Happy 2011! This issue marks our second year publishing Be Inkandescent Magazine, so this month we look toward the future.

Philanthropy is our theme, and our three Entrepreneurs of the Month are the leaders of some the largest nonprofits in the country — The Nature Conservancy, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and The Humane Society. Scroll down to read about their strategies for 2011, and learn what keeps them up at night.

You’ll find an overview of what lies ahead in our Nonprofit column. Nonprofit consultant, and author of Give a Little, Wendy Smith shares donation trends for the coming years. We also talked to DC Central Kitchen founder Robert Egger, the author of “Begging for Change,” and our November 2010 Entrepreneur of the Month.

Egger believes: “In the coming years, it won’t be enough to train somebody and hope they get a job that pays a solid wage or offers benefits. We have to become employers ourselves. We have to build workforce housing. The reality is that we are the ones we have been waiting for.” Read more here.

In our 14 columns, you’ll find additional ideas on how your organization can do well by doing good in a multitude of areas — from bringing new ideas into your company with Hooks Book Events, to getting creative with fundraising as the International Finance Corporation did this year.

We also send condolences to this month’s Truly Amazing Woman, Kati Marton, who in December lost her husband, former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Our thoughts are with her.

Here’s to hoping 2011 is filled with courage, optimism, good health, and much success for you, your company, and your family.Hope Katz Gibbs, Be Inkandescent Magazine

Illustration (above) by Michael Gibbs Illustration & Design

How Will Nonprofits Face the Challenges of 2011?

JANUARY 2011 ENTREPRENEURS OF THE MONTH

By Hope Katz Gibbs

What does the future look like at three of America’s largest nonprofit organizations? Below you’ll read remarks from Mark Tercek, CEO, The Nature Conservancy; Terri Lee Freeman, president, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region; and Wayne Pacelle, CEO, The Humane Society of the U.S.

The nonprofit execs were panelists at the 2011 Nonprofit CEO Outlook forum hosted by Bisnow on December 16 at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in DC. The moderator was Richard Newman from the law firm Arent Fox, which sponsored the event.

They admitted that they have their work cut out for them this year, and for the foreseeable future. In addition to facing new complicated compliance and governance issues, the upcoming crop of donors (Generation Y, also known as the Millennials) is taking a different look at how they contribute their time and money. This, plus the flagging economy, is placing increasing demands on their organizations.

What’s the solution? From direct-mail campaigns, to social media outreach, education programs, and giving circles, the leaders say they are doing everything possible to encourage active donors to continue to open their hearts and pocketbooks, as they reach out to new donors — and avoid “mission drift.”

Following are excerpts from their conversation.

The Nature Conservancy’s CEO Mark Tercek was a managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he helped develop its environmental strategy before taking over the largest environmental nonprofit in 2008.

While his experiences give him an interesting perspective on the for-profit and nonprofit world, one of the biggest obstacles his organization faces is cuts in state budgets.

“They are making it difficult for The Nature Conservancy to operate one of its most lucrative services, the conservation buyer project,” he said, explaining that in recent years, The Nature Conservancy has bought land in critical conservation areas (including land that buffers and surrounds core natural areas), placed conservation easements on the land, and then resold the restricted property. “The government trend has been to match the money we raise, but that is dwindling. As a result, there is increasing pressure on us to raise funds through private donors.”

Partnering with big businesses is appealing, he said, even if some of those corporations have questionable environmental practices. For example, The Nature Conservancy works closely with BP, which is a member of its International Leadership Council and has been a major contributor to a project aimed at protecting Bolivian forests. BP also gave the organization 655 acres in York County, Va. And in Colorado and Wyoming, The Nature Conservancy has worked with BP to limit environmental damage from natural gas drilling.

“So long as you establish clear guidelines and make sure all of your work together is transparent, there isn’t a problem,” Tercek explained in December, reinforcing the comments he made in the days following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to The Washington Post when he said: “Anyone serious about doing conservation in this region must engage these companies, so they are not just part of the problem, but so they can be part of the effort to restore this incredible ecosystem.”

Although his viewpoint may be somewhat controversial, Tercek says that the thing that keeps him up at night is his concern that Americans are increasingly disconnected from nature. “It has been well-documented that kids today don’t venture into the woods nearly as much as our generation did,” he told the Bisnow audience. “If an entire generation is disconnected from nature, how will they feel connected enough to it to want to protect it?”

Read the advice Tercek has for other business leaders in our January 2011 Tips for Entrepreneurs column.

Terri Lee Freeman has been president of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region since July 1996. She has led the growth of the largest funder of local nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan Washington region from $52 million to more than $350 million in assets.

In late 2008, Freeman launched the Neighbors in Need Fund to help other organizations that provide the basics — food, clothing, and shelter — to thousands of families and individuals across the region. It is the largest fund of its type in the region, and one of the largest in the country.

With fewer people opening their pocketbooks due to the impact of the recession, Freeman’s organization and two of its nonprofit partners, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and the Nonprofit Roundtable of Washington, launched a “Think Twice Before You Slice” campaign — a clever phrase to encourage donors to stop before they cut funds that help the needy.

She realizes however, that she needs to dig even deeper to keep funds rolling in. “As the heat gets hotter with budget cuts, we’re going to have to find ways to leverage the local donor base. Younger people, older people — everyone who cares about the underprivileged needs to be engaged.”

The most important approach for a nonprofit today, she added, is the ability to show tangible results. “Donors want to know that if they are going to give you their money, you are going to make a difference with it. Nonprofits have had to sharpen their reporting skills, and I think that’s a positive development.”

Wayne Pacelle, CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, took over in 2004 after serving for nearly 10 years as the organization’s chief lobbyist and spokesperson. Since then, he has helped it become the nation’s largest animal-protection group in the United States, with a reported 11 million members, annual revenue of $135 million, and $200 million in assets.

He attributes the growth in part to successful mergers with other animal-protection organizations. Like The Nature Conservancy’s Tercek, Pacelle believes that it is important to band together with people and organizations — even when they don’t appear to share your mission.

Case in point: Last month, Pacelle announced that he believes Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who served prison time for his role in a deadly dog-fighting operation, should eventually have the opportunity to bring a dog home.

“What he did is terrible, there’s no question about that,” Pacelle told CNN last month. “But this is an issue of protecting animals in the future. Endlessly flogging Michael Vick is not going to save one animal. But putting him to work in communities to save animals and educate people about the problem of dog fighting — especially with at-risk kids — is the way to help the problem.”

The key to running a successful organization, he insists, is putting aside differences so you can accomplish something bigger than yourself. So what keeps Pacelle up at night? “I am increasingly worried about the dramatic partisanship that currently divides our country. If we don’t find a way to make amends and stand on solid ground, we won’t be able to solve the bigger issues of conservation, animal protection, and poverty.”

Click here for Tips for Entrepreneurs from the Nature Conservancy’s Mark Tercek.

A Look Inside Mark Tercek's Nature Conservancy

By Hope Katz Gibbs
Publisher & Editor
Be Inkandescent Magazine

Mark Tercek likes to be out in nature. Even when he was the managing director at Goldman Sachs, he played a key role in developing the firm’s environmental strategy. So when he heard about the opening at The Nature Conservancy, he applied.

“I figured it was a long shot, but I wanted to throw my hat in,” he told Be Inkandescent Magazine in an interview after the December 16 Bisnow event. “When I got the job I felt like I’d won the lottery.”

Merging his past and present

Tercek admits to being optimistic, but says we shouldn’t confuse that with being what he calls a “Pollyanna.”

With his Wall Street roots firmly planted in reality, he believes that there is a lot the nonprofit world can learn from its for-profit counterparts — such as maximizing their returns, holding people accountable, and investing in the leadership development of their staff members.

“When I got to The Nature Conservancy, I was used to having staff members participate in regular education and training programs,” he explains. “When I suggested that, my team initially said that they didn’t think there was money to support that effort. I disagreed. Investing in your staff is incredibly important because they are one of your biggest assets — especially at a nonprofit where re-training is expensive. Keeping people growing and engaged is essential.”

He admits, too, that nonprofit organizations have a leg up in several areas.

“Because nonprofits are always having to raise money, many are very disciplined about what they spend,” he says. “Fewer resources also require them to do a good job inspiring people internally and externally.”

Education is a top priority for Tercek.

Because Tercek is worried that not enough young people are spending time in nature, he has put a program in place to combat the trend.

In the last several years, The Nature Conservancy has partnered with the Toyota USA Foundation to expand its LEAF program (Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future), a comprehensive, environmental leadership program for teenagers and their educators.

Students from the inner city, among others, are being encouraged to become “the next wave of environmental leaders,” through the program that combines enriched environmental curriculum in high school classrooms with paid residential summer jobs for students on Conservancy preserves.

In 2009, a pilot program had eight students spend the summer in the Uplands Farm Preserve in Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. They monitored preserves, maintained trails, replaced signage, mowed grass, restocked shellfish, restored native plants, and monitored birds.

Last summer, the program supported 10 environmental schools in the New York metro area. In the coming years, Tercek hopes to engage more than 30 environmental high schools in urban areas across the country, ultimately serving more than 20,000 students.

“Today’s youth are more urban, more diverse, and more technologically advanced than any generation in history,” Tercek explains. “They are also more disconnected from nature than any previous generation. What we do today to engage a diverse array of young people in our work will ensure our conservation success in the future.”

Navigating the future

Tercek says that he believes that for nonprofits to continue to be successful in the future, there needs to be a better “charity navigator.”

“It’s important for donors to know how to pick which nonprofits to work with,” he says, including properly assessing the amount of money that the organization spends on overhead and staff. It’s important that we have enough people operate the organization. By simply saying that the overhead ratio is low does not indicate that the nonprofit is doing a good job accomplishing its mission.”

Leadership tips for entrepreneurs

Tercek outlined three areas that he believes are essential for leaders to be effective.

1. Put the right people in the right jobs. “Ask yourself: Are all of my employees doing their jobs well? If not, find ways to help them do their jobs better. If you focus on your employees and make sure they are well-trained, motivated, and happy, that investment will be your greatest asset,” he says.

2. Know what your mission is, and stick to it. “This clarity of vision and goals will keep you focused. Don’t spread yourself too thin or your results will suffer.”

3. Look ahead. Don’t get complacent about your current accomplishments. Always have an eye on the future, and stay on top of the trends.

About Mark Tercek

Before joining The Nature Conservancy in 2008, Mark Tercek was a managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he played a key role in developing the firm’s environmental strategy. He headed the firm’s Environmental Strategy Group and Center for Environmental Markets, which worked to develop and promote market-based solutions to environmental challenges.

Mark also headed various business units at the firm, including Corporate Finance, Equity Capital Markets, Consumer/Healthcare and Leadership Development. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1984 and was named a partner in 1996.

Since joining The Nature Conservancy in 2008, Mark has served as a member of the Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests and the Council on Foreign Relations Climate Change Task Force. He was a contributing author to the book Carbon Finance: Investing in Forests and Land for Climate Protection, published in 2009 by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment.

Mark is a member of many boards and councils, including “Resources for the Future.” In 2010, Mark was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to serve on the National Petroleum Council, through which he will provide advice, information and recommendations to Secretary Chu on environmental issues related to oil and natural gas.

Mark earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1984 and a B.A. from Williams College in 1979.

For more information, watch Tercek’s YouTube video to see what he had to say about the Gulf Oil Spill. And click here to learn more about The Nature Conservancy.

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

4oz tequila + 1oz TripleSec + 2oz lime juice + 1oz simple syrup (sugar=water), 1 cup crushed ice. Shake + dance around the kitchen.

– Avenida Margarita

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”

– Byron Katie

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.”

– Robert H. Schuller

‎The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

– Goldie Hawn

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

– Leonard Cohen

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more.
 If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

– Anais Nin

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

– Francesca Reigle

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

– Louisa May Alcott

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

– Buddha

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

– Erica Jong

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

– Mary Jean Irion

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

– Henry David Thoreau

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

The goal of Life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”

– Joseph Cambell

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity 
and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

– Indira Ghandi

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

Be Inkandescent Magazine's Back Issues

Don’t miss the great advice our entrepreneurs have offered in the past. Click below to view our back issues.