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Sumption & Wyland - Articles and Resources

Some of these articles are "evergreen" - good information but dated by references to dates and, occasionally, outdated statistics.  This happens when your body of work extends back to the 1990s!

Don't forget to check out Margaret Sumption's "Leading in the Moment" and Michael Wyland's "The Wyland Report" e-newsletters for more resources.

Nonprofit Boards

Seven Member Characteristics of a Strong Board
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!

Term Limits: Only 'Perfect' Boards Can Do Without Them
Our Response to NonProfit Times columnist's assertion:
Term Limits: Only Dysfunctional Boards Need Them
(Featured in The NonProfit Times April 1, 2003 edition)

The Tragedy of the Nonprofit Executive Committee
Executive committees are unnecessary at best and harmful at worst.  Too many nonprofits still have them and don't know why executive committees are a bad idea.

Role of the Nonprofit Board Chair
The nonprofit board chair's role is one of the most important, least well-defined, and least understood leadership positions.   Finding a board chair with the qualities of partnership, agency, and shared leadership should be the goal of every nonprofit organization.

What is the Right Size for Your Nonprofit's Board?
Answers to, and rationale for, a commonly asked question.  The answers are pretty well known, but the rationale is changing.

Nonprofit Governance Assessment Checklist
One-page PDF checklist to assess your nonprofit's written governance story.

For CEOs -- Six Characteristics of Good CEO/Board Relationships
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.

Nonprofit Policy

Nonprofit, Not-for-profit, or Charity: What Do We Call Ourselves?
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.

Your Gift is Tax Deductible - NOT!
Many charities tell you your gift is tax deductible.  Why SHOULDN'T they do this?

Is Your IRS Form 990 Telling the Right Story? And What Can You Do About It? 
This 60-minute webinar discusses the IRS Form 990 and the story it tells to the public about a nonprofit organization.  Foundations, individual donors, journalists, and watchdogs use it more and more as source of basic information. Do you know what your 990 says about you?

How Many Nonprofits Are There?: What the IRS’s Nonprofit Automatic Revocation and 1023-EZ Processes Left Behind
30-minute Facebook LIve event from July 17, 2018.  Michael Wyland talks about his article in the Summer 2018 issue of The Nonprofit Quarterly.

Accountability - What Information is a Nonprofit Required to Disclose to the Public?
A quick list, with regulations cited, for nonprofits and watchdogs to follow when dealing with information requests.

Nonprofit Dissolutions - What to Do When a Nonprofit Ceases Operations?
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.

Buffett's Gift to Gates Foundation - What Does $60 Billion Really Mean?
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?

What Your Nonprofit Should be Doing After Any  Major Disaster
Stay focused on your mission and accentuate the positive with this list of recommended steps for adapting to crisis-induced change.

Accountability Changes Philanthropic Landscape
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.

For Donors - Now is the Time to Plan Your Year-End Giving
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]

The Best Way to Curb Charity Fraud
Michael Wyland's e-mail, later edited into a letter to the editor and published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Head Start for All? - Thoughts on a Wall Street Journal Editorial
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.

Strategic Planning

Planning Strategic Planning?
Here are the questions we ask prospective clients, and why we ask them. Ask yourself these questions to improve the chances of a successful planning experience!

Strategic Planning Basics
Why should organizations do strategic planning? What are the key elements? here are some basic answers to these questions.

Three Strategic Planning Models
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.

Consulting with Nonprofit Organizations as Clients

For Consultants to Nonprofits - Pricing Your Services
Two-page handout provided by Michael Wyland at a consultants' forum panel presentation at the national ARNOVA 2015 Conference in Chicago, IL.

Thoughts on Nonprofit Consulting and Compensation
Michael Wyland developed this two-page handout (PDF) for a panel on nonprofot sector consulting presented at the ARNOVA conference in Chicago in 2015.

Why We Don't Respond to RFPs (Requests for Proposals)
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. 

Michael Wyland interviewed for December 11, 2002 Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Michael Wyland was interviewed for the article, “Self-Employed Consultants: What Works and What Doesn't.” This article appeared in the December 11, 2002 issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy.  (Chronicle subscription required.)

Nonprofit Governance and Strategy

The Second Mile - Lessons in Nonprofit Governance
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.

Freeh Report on Penn State Provides Little Guidance on Nonprofit Governance
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.

Start-up Nonprofits and Cautions
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 Pitt is Doing Right -- and Wrong In Getting $350 Million a Year in NIH Grants
(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.

The Imus Ranch and Media Scrutiny
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?

Community Linkages
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.

Charity Care and Nonprofit Hospitals -- Response to Forbes Magazine
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.

Future of South Dakota's public higher education isn't in the past
My response to a three-part Sioux Falls Argus Leader series published in June, 2016 on South Dakota's public universities.  My response was published online on August 5, 2016 and in print on August 8, 2016.

Nonprofit Political Speech in a Post-Citizens United and IRS Scandal Environment
This paper was presented at the 2014 ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action) Conference in Denver, CO.

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.

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.

Sumption & Wyland

Sumption & Wyland 605.336.0244 818 South Hawthorne Avenue Sioux Falls SD 57104 US 43.53825780 -96.74870030


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