Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change


John Brothers

SSIR_John_Brothers _headshot Dr. John Brothers (@cuidiu) is the principal of Quidoo Consulting and a senior fellow at the Support Center for Nonprofit Management. He teaches social policy at Rutgers University and nonprofit management at New York University; is the co-author of Building Nonprofit Capacity; and served as visiting fellow at the Hauser Center at Harvard.


Lessons of an SSIR Blogger | Mar. 8, 2013


A look back at government regulation, philanthropy, “social blank” movements, and third sector grit.

Advancing on Collective Impact Thought in Newark | 1 | Jan. 16, 2013


Community-led dialogue is critical to sustainable collaborative approaches.

The Poverty Credential | 1 | Oct. 30, 2012


Politicians' personal stories about overcoming poverty won’t fuel economic mobility.

Don’t Just Scale, Retrofit! – Part 2 | 2 | Jul. 17, 2012


Most nonprofits are more apt to benefit from retrofitting rather than scaling strategies.

Don’t Just Scale, Retrofit! – Part 1 | Jul. 16, 2012


Most nonprofits are more apt to benefit from retrofitting rather than scaling strategies.

The “New Vigors” of Sharing Nonprofit Sector Learnings | 2 | May. 8, 2012


The Power and Price of Kony-like Campaigns | 2 | Mar. 22, 2012


Personal relationship building and donor development is critical to the longevity of organizations.

United Way’s William Aramony and What We Missed | Jan. 17, 2012


The nonprofit sector could have learned from Aramony’s experience.

The Trajectories of Organizations in Growth and Decline | Dec. 22, 2011


An organization that attempts to do too much, too fast will almost certainly decline as quickly as it grows.

Government Nonprofit Policy—How Much More Can the Sector Take? | 1 | Oct. 6, 2011


Now there is a focus on nonprofit executive pay at the state level. Government has routinely picked battles with the nonprofit sector.

If We Could Build the Nonprofit Sector from Scratch, What Would It Look Like? | 11 | Aug. 29, 2011


Last year I had the opportunity of working with an NGO effort in Trinidad and Tobago to launch an organization that would build the capacity of NGOs.

How the Nonprofit Sector Is Misusing Its Greatest Asset | 2 | Jul. 1, 2011


Two ways that nonprofits can take more control of the narrative surrounding the poor in the US.

The Key to Capacity Building Is Funding Long-Term Health Not Short-Term Workouts | 10 | Jun. 2, 2011


Philanthropists: Rather than making periodic grants that focus on capacity building, embed capacity-building funding into each and every grant you make.

Making the “Social [Fill in the Blank]” Movements Available to All | 7 | May. 4, 2011


There is a great need to connect small- and mid-sized nonprofits to the innovative work and ideas associated with new movements like "social entrepreneurship."

Republican Focus on Planned Parenthood: A 25-Year Trend of Partisan Action | 2 | Apr. 14, 2011


In the excitement of the budget negotiations, a nonprofit organization was again thrust into the national spotlight.

ACORN, NPR, Planned Parenthood, and the Sector’s Challenges in Protecting Itself | 1 | Mar. 24, 2011


There should be greater concern over who is protecting nonprofits that find themselves in situations like that of NPR, which recently lost its federal funding.

2012 Budget May Reflect President Obama’s Attempt to Reconcile His Nonprofit Sector History | 3 | Feb. 18, 2011


The debate on the 2012 budget and the President’s own history with the nonprofit sector gave me a better understanding as to why the President might have made some of his decisions.

How the State of the Union Showcases Trouble for the Government-Mandated Governance Structure | 7 | Feb. 4, 2011


The hundreds, if not thousands, of nonprofits and collaborations that are similar to CAPs should definitely take notice.

Minnesota Nice: A Profile in Third Sector Grit | 2 | Jan. 13, 2011


Minnesota is a beacon of nonprofit excellence.

‘Tis the Season—How the Nonprofit Sector “Shares” Itself Out of Impact | 6 | Dec. 9, 2010


Nonprofits, government, and philanthropy need to take up better sharing practices to advance nonprofits and the communities they aim to serve.

An Uneven Partnership | 1 | Nov. 4, 2010


Will Tuesday’s election change government’s relationship to the nonprofit sector?

Waiting for Superman–What Superhero Nonprofit Leaders Actually Resemble and Why We Need More | 6 | Oct. 8, 2010


With a much talked about leadership gap on the horizon, we need to support the developing group of new leaders.

What Folding Table Organizations Can Teach Corporate America | 1 | Sep. 10, 2010


What corporate groups can learn from nonprofits.

H.R. 5533: How the Nonprofit Sector Can Rally for a Seat at the Table | Aug. 25, 2010


Let’s put down our gloves, refocus our attention, and realize that we all have a chance to positively change the current relationship between government and the nonprofit sector.

The Nonprofit Summer Slide | 1 | Aug. 9, 2010


Innovative ideas for preventing summer learning loss in children might benefit nonprofits too.

Donna Hill: A Profile in Third Sector Grit | Jul. 23, 2010


Blazing the trail for blind Americans to gain acceptance and opportunity.

Future Corporate HR Line: “Non-Profit Executives Strongly Urged to Apply” | 4 | Jul. 9, 2010


Nonprofit CEO’s can bring a bright and potentially effective array of skills to a corporation.

A “Cocoon” Movement for the Nonprofit Sector | 4 | Jun. 25, 2010


Can We “Brimley” Longer-Serving Nonprofits?

There’s a Hole in the Budget, Dear Board Chair, Dear Board Chair… | 5 | May. 28, 2010


An anthem to the problems many struggling nonprofits face.

Danny Lopez: A Profile in Third Sector Grit | 1 | May. 14, 2010


Engaging with and empowering students to live above the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Playing Baseball with Tennis Rackets: What’s Not Being Included in Our Collaborative Meetings | 1 | Apr. 23, 2010


Nonprofits need to share information and resources.

The Heartache of the Failed Hail Mary | 1 | Apr. 9, 2010


A look at how nonprofits can improve organizational capacity in order to more effectively implement long-lasting social change.

The Nonprofit World Becomes Flat: How Technology and Economic Needs May Shrink Our Globe | Apr. 1, 2010


The nonprofit sector can take advantage of the outsourcing movement.

Carrot and Stick Philanthropy | 9 | Mar. 19, 2010


Funders engaging in "carrot and stick" philanthropy only escalate the problems faced by struggling nonprofits.

Third Sector Grit | 1 | Mar. 4, 2010


From stories of "firmness of mind" to "unyielding courage," Third Sector Grit is the driving—but often unrecognized—force behind many nonprofits.

“Flag on the Play” for a Multi-Million Dollar Nonprofit | 8 | Feb. 19, 2010


Despite its classification as a nonprofit organization, the NFL fails to conform to typical standards, calling into question whether it really deserves its tax exempt status.

Correlations Between Being a Great Teacher and Being a Great Nonprofit | 3 | Feb. 8, 2010


Teach for America compiled a list of the central characteristics of a good teacher, many of which are similar to those found in great nonprofits.