IS Blog

Is Something Holding Us Back?

Diana , Threads No Comments »

Throughout 2015 Independent Sector is convening community conversations across the country to identify opportunities and challenges for our sector, as well as ways IS can better support solutions. An early observation from our first community conversation in New York is that something is holding us back.


Privacy vs. Transparency

Diana , Government , Impact , Leadership , Nonprofit , politics , Principles , Privacy , Risk , Transparency , Trends , Voice No Comments »

There are important questions to consider in the tension between when transparency should be the abiding principle and when privacy ought to be protected. I guess one might as well ask: in this age, is anything ever private anymore? And does it matter?


Listen, Learn, and Lead

Annual Conference , Board Members , Breakthrough , Civic Engagement , Collaboration , Collective Impact , Community , Democracy , Diana , effective organizations , Impact , Leadership , Nonprofit , Philanthropy , Threads , Trends No Comments »

There is an African parable that explains why human beings have two ears but only one tongue. The answer: we should listen twice as much as we speak. That is what we intend to do in the coming months.


A Time For Renewal

Board Members , board of directors , Collaboration , Collective Impact , Community , effective organizations , Impact , Innovation , Leadership , Neil Nicoll , Nonprofit , Philanthropy , YMCA of the USA 2 Comments »

When I became President and CEO of YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) in 2006, I had been a YMCA professional for more than 38 years—26 of them as a chief executive officer. Having worked for YMCAs from coast to coast and served on the national Y-USA Board of Directors, I had experienced just about everything a person could while working for the Y.

Or so I thought.

-- Neil Nicoll IS Board Chair and President Emeritus of YMCA of the USA


Hope and opportunity: What we learn from Ferguson

Accountability , Civility , Community , Diana , Diversity , equality , Ferguson , Incivility , inclusion , income inequality , poverty , social change 2 Comments »

History says don’t hope
On this side of the grave
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.

Seamus Heaney, “The Cure at Troy”


A new year whirls past and in my mind’s eye I see hopes for the days ahead. But I would be remiss if I did not touch upon the subject that has riveted so many of us in the final weeks of 2014: the deaths of unarmed African-American men and boys at the hands of the police and the senseless targeted killing of police officers.




Independent Sector is a nonpartisan leadership network of 600 charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good in America and around the world.

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