Pumpkins! Pumpkins everywhere!  Image courtesy Pixelbay.

Pumpkins! Pumpkins everywhere! Image courtesy Pixelbay.

There are only ten days left until Halloween. Do you know what you’re going as? We’re thinking of going as the terrifyingly rapid passage of time because there are only ten days left until Halloween. But we have not let our concerns about time stop us from scouring the web. Here are five intriguing reads from the world of nonprofits:               

1) In a carefully written and thorough piece, the blog Selfish Giving challenges conventional wisdom about breast cancer awareness month (aka “Pinktober”) and makes a case that the campaign has run its course. Selfish Giving points out that there are several other diseases worthy of our attention and dollars, and that the Komen Foundation—the primary organizer behind Pinktober—has spent over a million dollars needlessly pursuing other organizations that use its tagline “for the cure.” For the full argument, click here:

2) One of the important questions to ask before forming a nonprofit is if the would-be organization is able to generate enough funds to pay its employees. Nonprofit Quarterly has a story about Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando, Florida and several claims from actors, stage managers, and designers that it hasn’t been paying them regularly—or at all (and allegedly owes the city of Orlando over $300,000). Take this as an object lesson in what not to do:

3) Tax experts Ellen P. Aprill and Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer conducted a deep dive into the Trump Foundation’s ongoing tax issues and their connections to Donald Trump’s as-yet-unreleased tax returns. Aprill and Mayer illustrate many of the troubling underlying issues, including “assignment of income.” Ensure that an assignment of income doesn’t cause you issues with the IRS by reading their post here:


4) Mergers! When two nonprofit organizations merge with each other, it can get complicated—how do you handle management succession? What’s the best way to design a brand for the new organization? How can you ensure that the two different cultures align? Mission + Strategy Consulting and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management just released a study on 25 successful nonprofit mergers. Find out what made them so successful:

5) Finally, Marc Gunther, who blots at Nonprofitchronicles.com, brings us the inspiring story of Mauricio Lim Miller. Miller started the Oakland, California-based Family Independence Initiative in 2001 to enable poor people to share ideas and resources with each other, and the Initiative has expanded to Boston, New Orleans and Albuquerque. Miller deservedly won a MacArthur genius grant, but hasn’t let that slow him down; he’s determined to figure out how to scale the Initiative so it can serve more families. Hear about how he plans to do this: