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Opinion/Todd Cohen on change – Charity faces change

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By Todd Cohen

National Philanthropy Day finds philanthropy at a crossroads.

Today’s sluggish economy and tax-cutting climate give nonprofits and funders powerful incentives to change.

To survive and thrive, nonprofits can look hard at themselves, strengthen what works, and fix what does not.

Nonprofits can retool around change, track their impact, learn from mistakes, build planning and technology into operations, invest in training, and find partners to share the costs and risks of change.

Nonprofits also can treat donors and funders as partners, involving them in their work and planning.

Funders and donors can change, too.

Instead of using donations to push their own ideas, they can get more involved, study the needs of nonprofits they care about, and use their own dollars and know-how to help nonprofits become what they want to be.

By working together and gearing for change, nonprofits and funders can strengthen philanthropy and help spur social progress.

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