Blog

Latest news, alerts, and events.

Category Archives: President’s letter

Sep 9, 2022
Posted Under: President's letter

Workforce shortages. Government contracting shortfalls and unacceptably late payments. Rapid program expansion to meet increasing demands. Financial uncertainty based on the end of pandemic relief and no restart yet of what’s next. These are the most common issues we hear from so many of you every day. For sure, the last two years have created a “new normal” and all our workplaces are scrambling to adapt and continue delivering our missions. Part of that process means dealing with challenges that often feel bigger than us and harder to understand, which is the right next step. Indeed, tackling these issues is a step-by-step adventure rather than just one big leap. We see you – we hear you. While no perfect tools exist for every challenge you face, we do want to… Read more »

Aug 8, 2022
Posted Under: DEI President's letter

In June, we debuted our From Bias to Belonging℠ services and stated again our commitment to talking about and doing something about the very real challenges of diversity, equity, and belonging in the nonprofit sector. Indeed, every day in some way we are dedicated to looking deeper, to asking more questions, to listening more, and to learning more. That is our path, and this is the work – to take the lessons learned, turn them into new goals that stretch us, then achieve them, then tackle the next set, and the next. At Foraker, we acknowledge that as a capacity builder we must constantly be learning what the data and our experiences tell us while we meet people and missions where they are. We talk internally about our work as… Read more »

Jul 11, 2022
Posted Under: President's letter

When our existence feels so deeply divided, finding words that don’t further deepen the chasm is exhausting. My desire on any given day to scream, cry, laugh, sing, celebrate, or mourn in the public square feels equal parts impossible and required. This is not just my life but the life of my peers who are leading organizations that serve the whole community – those they personally align with and those they don’t. This is the choice to lead a nonpartisan nonprofit – to honor the Johnson Amendment that separates religion and money and to respect the boundaries of the charitable (c)(3) designation as defined by the IRS – all while taking a stand for mission. This is the challenge: to lead and be bold but not to alienate. And yet,… Read more »

Jun 16, 2022
Posted Under: President's letter

We are so pleased to have a newsletter article from our CEO, Laurie Wolf, featured this month in Alaska Business! “Reimagining the Workplace,” which appeared in Foraker’s December newsletter, explores new ways of working after the disruptions from COVID. The article offers a view of fresh opportunities — all with an eye toward fostering creativity and advancing missions. If you missed the article when it was first published, check out this updated version in the magazine, complete with photos of Foraker staff…. Read more »

Jun 6, 2022
Posted Under: DEI President's letter

The right people at the right time to move your mission forward – this is how we approach our work at Foraker. It is a central tenant in the Foraker Nonprofit Sustainability Model and it applies to both board and staff. Beyond a slogan, this idea encapsulates the work of planned succession for both board and leadership staff, addresses the essential relationship between the board and the CEO, and aligns the goals and values of the organization with the people in charge of stewarding those ideas. Importantly, it also speaks to the necessity for representation in all our leadership spaces. There is a historic and current gap between the demographics of most boards and leadership staff – based on race, age, gender, and experience – and the populations they serve…. Read more »

May 6, 2022
Posted Under: President's letter

I looked out my window today and the leaves were just at the moment before they unfurl – the moments of anticipation of summer captured on every branch and in every green blade of grass poking up from the brown ground. The backdrop of snow-covered peaks and valleys crusted to a hard sheen by the sun. Soon enough we will be in full summer mode – grabbing every hour of daylight to restock our freezers, replenish our minds, and renew our spirit so that we may be ready for another season. I am ready. Are you? As I literally watched the leaves uncoil a little more, I wondered how this translates into our nonprofit spaces? Summer can pose interesting dilemmas in Alaska workplaces. Personally, I gave up long ago believing… Read more »

Apr 12, 2022
Posted Under: President's letter

Have you ever had the experience of thinking something and then suddenly it’s in every conversation and everywhere you look? I’ve been having that experience lately. So, what is it? Actually, it’s the effort to name a state of change and the very real experience of living “in-between.” Certainly, there are many people who live their whole life “in the hyphen” of their experience – meaning they are actively living in two or more cultures, two or more personas, or two or more roles. And I believe right now, and throughout the pandemic, we have all been living in this space. This in-between time has many names and many ways to navigate. Some years ago I was introduced to the word “liminality” by a friend and mentor Richard Evans. Liminality… Read more »

Mar 9, 2022
Posted Under: President's letter

Our nonprofit economic impact report is ready for you to use when you speak with policy makers, or do your own planning, or understand the world around you, and our goal is to create ways for you to use it as if it were your own. We’ve found that sometimes when we share our report we run straight into myths about our sector and our work. It can be hard to know how to respond in a way that feels strengths-based, relationship focused, and at the same time informative so the conversation can shift to a more productive place. To that end, below are five of so many myths about nonprofits followed by possible responses to get you unstuck in these sticky conversations. Myth: Nonprofits are all the same. Myth:… Read more »

Feb 7, 2022
Posted Under: Advocacy Nonprofit News President's letter

Our work in nonprofits is full of paradox. One of those is about how we grapple with data. On the one hand, we lack access to or capacity to get enough data to be as effective as we always strive to be, and on the other, we are awash in lots of data but again lack enough context or capacity to do anything meaningful with it. Something we often see in the latter case is that boards, especially, are bombarded with data but in essence have little information. Over the years, we have committed not only to gathering data but also to providing education and support to turn that data into knowledge that can lead your organization to strategic action. The “data to action trajectory” is our gold standard. With… Read more »

Jan 10, 2022
Posted Under: President's letter

I heard a piece on the radio the other day stating that one of the reasons we feel such a strange relationship with time since the pandemic began is because we are not creating as many memories. Of course, there was more to it than that, but it got me thinking back to a favorite question I’ve posed to nonprofit board and staff members during the last two years: “Looking back on this time, what do you want your leadership footprint to be?” A leadership footprint combines how we each show up to our work from a place of deep beliefs and core values mixed with the positive actions we take that are bigger than ourselves. It is about the future. It is about impact. It is about the conscious… Read more »