"Community of Practice" to Focus on Solving the Nonprofit Overhead Challenge

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

COP Overhead 1 25 12 002Donors Forum’s second "Community of Practice" focused on Solving the Nonprofit Overhead Challenge launched on January 25, 2012 with leaders from 26 grantmaking and nonprofit organizations participating. The group discovered that in total they had worked in the sector for over 576 years! Combined they bring a significant amount of on-the-ground experience working in nonprofit and funder organizations, and dealing with the challenges around the issue of nonprofit overhead – which will serve to inform this important conversation this year.

Helping to frame the launch of the Community of Practice were two national experts on the topic:

Nick Ammerman, Librarian 001 Ann Goggins Gregory (left) from Bridgespan and Kathleen Enright (right) from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Ann and Kathleen shared the research on overhead in the sector and talked about “the nonprofit starvation cycle” that nonprofits often find themselves in as they respond to funders’ demands and pressures to conform. The group also discussed the “burning platform” that exists and motivates them to make change here in Illinois on this important issue.

We're excited to welcome the Overhead Community of Practice group and to see the dialogue and change that develops from their community this year. 

Find more on the other Community of Practice Donors Forum is sponsoring – its title is Streamlining Grantmaking – here.


~Robin Berkson, Senior Vice President, Member Relations 

and Laura Zumdahl, Vice President, Nonprofit Services


The Brinson Foundation  and the Eleanor Petersen Fund for Donor-Donee Relationships provided partial funding for the Communities of Practice.

Brinson hig res      Eleanor Petersen Fund

Image 1: Solving the Nonprofit Overhead Challenge inaugural meeting, January 25, 2012

Image 2:   Ann Goggins Gregory (left) and Kathleen Enright (right) presented at the meeting.