Category: metrics/evaluation

Elite colleges and income inequality

Everyone who cares about education, diversity or income inequality should read David Leonhardt’s excellent piece about the elite colleges which have improved the representation of poor and working-class kids–and the ones which haven’t.  The list of colleges from highest- to lowest-scoring on this metric provides food for thought. Idea: look up your alma mater on... Read more »

Cash Transfers to Poor People: Is the simplest solution the best?

Cash Transfers to Poor People: Is the simplest solution the best?
Check out this fascinating piece about how well cash transfers –the simple process of providing money directly to poor people–seem to work. In addition to the program results, the article offers a quick summary of attitudes about poverty from the left and the right, each of which (the article suggests) makes the problem more complicated... Read more »

Strategic Philanthropy Exposed As Nonsense: Just Write the Damn Check!

Bill Schambra’s takedown of so-called strategic philanthropy is delicious, and completely accurate.  While it’s a great idea to search for root causes of social problems, many of them don’t have a single cause.  Or if they do, it’s a cause not curable by philanthropy, e.g. poverty. The essence of his argument: Having a lot of... Read more »

Nonprofit Metrics: Chic But Counterproductive (or, Yer Cheatin' Heart)

Today’s insight about nonprofit metrics: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” H/T The Nonprofit Quarterly This has become painfully clear in the... Read more »
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    The Nonprofiteer is Kelly Kleiman, principal of NFP Consulting, which provides Board development, strategic planning and fund-raising services to charities and philanthropies. Through her consulting practice and in her guise as The Nonprofiteer, Kelly has spent the past 25-plus years helping small and mid-sized nonprofits organize themselves better and raise more money. These days she focuses especially on helping them use high-skill volunteers. Kelly is also a lawyer and freelance journalist whose reportage and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other dailies; in magazines including In These Times and Chicago Philanthropy; in the alternative press; on websites including the Huffington Post; and on the radio, including the BBC and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She and her fellow "Dueling Critic" Jonathan Abarbanel present a weekly podcast of their reviews of Chicago theater at Earlier in her career she was dean of admissions of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and Executive Director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, and practiced real estate and zoning law with the firm of Rudnick & Wolfe. Kelly holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago. She was a founding Board member of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits and also served for 5 years on the Board of the Association for Women Journalists–Chicago. She can be reached ("Dear Nonprofiteer . . .") at

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