Hot Topics & Recent Columns
Current year's contributions to The Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) by Michael Wyland.  Articles are sorted by publication date.

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 18, 2012
Nonprofit hospitals, and those who advise them, are gearing up to prepare Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) for filing with the IRS. Here are four mistaken beliefs about CHNAs that weaken the process and potentially harm nonprofit hospitals.

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 18, 2012
Sumption & Wyland, in association with Sage Project Consultants, has designed a comprehensive community health needs assessment process for nonprofit hospitals to comply with the new health care reform law requirements.  Take a look at our information and resources page, and our brochure.
Michael Wyland has served as an editorial contributor to The Nonprofit Quarterly since March, 2012.  This page includes titles and links to his articles and features from 2012 and 2013.
If you attended the 2013 Minnesota Hospital Association Trustees Conference, Margaret Sumption presented on hospital governance and one hospital's approach to it.  As promised, here's the workbook Grand Itasca developed.
I am a supporter of Head Start, and I’m saddened that, in too many communities and in the public perception, Head Start has been equated with preschool. The President’s latest proposal to create a universal preschool (pre-K) program for all children, and citing Head Start success studies to promote the proposal, is inaccurate andmisguided. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page does an excellent job of explaining the problems with the misuse of Head Start and decades-old Head Start study data to expand what has become a seriously flawed program.
The reports surrounding Jerry Sandusky and the charity he founded are leading to multiple investigations and new revelations.  We have focused on Mr. Sandusky's charity and how its publicly available documents indicate in has been operating.  There are lessons in governance, accountability, and transparency for all nonprofit leaders.
Penn State's Board of Trustees commissioned attorney and former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate issues surrounding Penn State and Jerry Sandusky's activities, as well as to recommend changes.  The 267-page report includes 120 recommendations, but relatively few involve governance.  The Freeh Report does not provide a governance template for other nonprofits to follow.  Here's why.
Answers to, and rationale for, a commonly asked question.  The answers are pretty well known, but the rationale is changing.

Many businesses generate and/or respond to requests for proposals (RFPs) as a standard technique for building and conducting business.  We don't, and here's why.   Also published by the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC USA) here:

http://www.imcusa.org/news/83597/Why-We-Dont-Respond-to-RFPs-Requests-for-Proposals.htm

A nonprofit founder posted a question about "her" nonprofit, and it started me thinking about what new nonprofits - and their supporters - should be thinking about.
What is at issue in the pending US Supreme Court case over health care reform, and how will a decision affect community health needs assessments?
March 1, 2007 presentation to the Sioux Falls Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
It's become acceptable, in the name of accountability, for philanthropy to be about receiving rather than about giving. Hypervigilant and misapplied accountability risks killing the soul of philanthropy upon which charities rely for support.

Many charities tell you your gift is tax deductible.  Why SHOULDN'T they do this?

Presentation on the GOLB profiles originally delivered in Sioux Falls, SD on February 7, 2007. 
We are asked sometimes about the difference between the terms “charity,” “nonprofit,” non-profit”, and “not-for-profit.” This is a very good question, as many people use the terms interchangeably and incorrectly. So, here’s a brief explanation of terms. The answer has to do with state and federal law, and who is speaking.
An online inquiry for a sample policy on donor confidentiality caused us to do some research and examine the implications of a physician raising funds from their own patients to finance their (the physician's) research.
Much has been written and said about Warren Buffett's surprise decision to donate much of his Berkshire Hathaway fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation rather than expand his existing foundations. Is this a transformational event in the nonprofit world?
The President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform issued a report in November, 2005 that addresses the complexities and inequities of the present Federal income tax system. See how the recommendations would affect charities and donors.
PowerPoint Slide show developed for NAMI-South Dakota on the basics of volunteer fundraising.
Stay focused on your mission and accentuate the positive with this list of recommended steps for adapting to crisis-induced change.
Michael Wyland's e-mail, later edited into a letter to the editor and published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy's July 21, 2005 issue.
There's more than one way to plan, so don't let anyone sell you on “THE” strategic planning approach. Take a look at our thumbnail sketches of the pluses -- and minuses -- of Drucker, Amherst Wilder, and Bryson's Strategic Change Cycle strategic planning models.
As an executive director or CEO of your organization, one of the most important relationships is with your board of directors. Here are six tips to help preserve and strengthen that relationship -- and your organization.
What characteristics does a strong board, and its members, have in common? What should YOUR board look for in membership and function? Check out this list!
A quick list, with regulations cited, for nonprofits and watchdogs to follow when dealing with information requests.
We've assembled a list of FREE online resources for researching grant funding sources and other grants-related information. Check it out and add your favorites to the list!
Most grants are made to expand, enhance, or start new program services. Here are some questions that will help you plan for seeking program grants.
Handout presented by trainers Sumption & Wyland at U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) workshop.
(Based on 6/28/2004 Wall Street Journal article) The University of Pittsburgh has made it a priority to be a major recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Learn how they did it and how you can be as successful in your grant seeking.
Our analysis and comment on recent press reports and scholarly studies on the effect of permanent estate tax repeal on charities. All is definitely NOT as it seems from reading the press headlines!
Some nonprofit experts panicked when charitable giving stalled in 2002. We didn't, and here's why.
You're a generous and well-known guy with a great nonprofit that serves kids with cancer. But The Wall Street Journal has questions that sound just awful. What happened? How can other charities avoid a similar fate?
Some basic information on the characteristics of the US nonprofit sector that accounts for over 7% of GDP and 8% of US employment.
Is it a collaboration, a partnership, a coalition, or something else? Here's a quick chart that outlines the characteristics of different types of community linkages.
Our Response to NonProfit Times columnist's assertion:
Term Limits: Only Dysfunctional Boards Need Them
(Featured in The NonProfit Times April 1, 2003 edition)
Michael Wyland was interviewed for the article, “Self-Employed Consultants: What Works and What Doesn't.” This article appeared in the December 11, 2002 Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The CARE Act of 2003 is stalled as it awaits House-Senate conference committee action. See our October update, as well as links to other resources. For background, see our introduction to and discussion of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, including web and print resources for further information. Also see our page on the introduction of the CARE Act of 2003.
Our tips have been published in the August, 2004 issue of Stevenson, Inc.'s “Special Events Galore!” newsletter. Learn how to make technology work for you -- not against you -- in your special events.
Supplemental Materials
Margaret Sumption delivered a week-long full immersion grants training program for the State of Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. This page lists supplemental materials -- including a recommended reading list -- that attendees requested.
It's rare, but nonprofits sometimes "go out of business."  Here are a few tips on what to do when your nonprofit is considering dissolution.
Simple advice for donors as we enter the year-end giving season.  Having a plan helps a lot!  [A version of this article ran as a guest editorial in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader on September 2, 2011]
Forbes columnist believes that the Affordable Care Act makes it harder for nonprofit hospitals to maintain tax-exempt recognition.  Maybe, but "nonprofit status" and "charity care" are terms that need clarification.
In the wake of the 2012 US election season, campaigns are estimated to have cost billions of dollars.  But is that too much money?  Not reall, when one looks at the numbers.
Discussion of faith-based organizations in the nonprofit sector and their relationships with government.  In the early 2000s, this topic achieved great significance when John DiIulio helped George W. Bush establish the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.