Fifth Ocean Consulting Reading List

Helpful Websites
Blue Avocado
Board Source
Business Net
Community Foundation of Utah
Consulting Hive Blog
David LaPiana’s Blog
Emily Caputo’s Blog
Fieldstone Alliance
Fieldstone Alliance Blog
Fieldstone Foundation Leadership Network
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Leadership Learning Community
Non-Profit Technology Network
Stanford Social Innovation Review
The Center for Non-Profit Advancement
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
The Non-Profit Academy for Excellence at the University of Utah
The Stanford Center for Social Innovation
Utah Non-Profits Association
Utah Society of Fundraisers


7 Key Nonprofit Themes in the State of the Union 2015 by Rick Cohen. This article examines what was covered and what was missing in President Obama’s State of the Union address, and outlines how the speech offers a template for nonprofit action. To read the complete article, click here.

The Best and Worst of Board Chairs by Yvonne Harrison and Vic Murray. This article highlights the characteristics of highly effective and highly ineffective board chairs as perceived by those who work with them. To read the complete article, click here.

Five Myths About Charitable Giving by Ken Stern. In this article, the author of “With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give” tackles several prevalent myths about charitable giving, such as donors should reward charities that have low overheads and that it is easy to find a good charity to support. To read the complete article, click here.

Fundraising Flu by the National Council of Nonprofits.  This article summarizes a new report chronicling the symptoms and consequences of the nonprofit “fundraising flu.” Importantly, the report outlines ways in which afflicted nonprofits can move from organizations that lack the basic elements necessary to successfully raise money to sustainable organizations that have managed their expectations and fundamentally changed their organizational cultures. To read the complete article, click here.

Ditch Your Board Composition Matrix by Jan Masaoka. This article deftly explores the issue of nonprofit board composition. The author challenges organizations to focus less on people who bring certain skills and competencies that are “supposed” to be on the board, such as legal, marketing, HR, fundraising and finance. Instead, she suggests that the focus should be on what the organization needs board members to do. To read the complete article, click here.

Charities Missing Out on Digital Giving by Todd Cohen. This article explores the trend that giving is increasingly digital, but many non-profits are still not “plugged in.” To read the complete article, click here.

Should Board Members Be Required to Give? by Jan Masaoka. This article examines whether or not specific board giving requirements are a best practice or a bad idea. The article looks at trends in board giving and provides some realistic suggestions. To read the complete article, click here.

Surviving and Thriving in Tough Times: a Framework for Nonprofits Facing Economic Stress by Scott Schaffer, Jo DeBolt and Heather Gowdy. This article details a framework for responding to financial challenges in a systematic way. The methodology helps nonprofit leaders identify and adopt high-impact changes to an organization’s business model. To read the complete article, click here.

The Talent Hunt: Getting the People You Need, When You Need Them published by Knowledge@Wharton. This article explores the universal issues of identifying, hiring and retaining good staff and examines why many executives fail to manage their organization’s needs in a way that recognizes the unpredictability of the global marketplace. To read the complete article, click here.

The Nonprofit Paradox by David La Piana.  This article explores why organizations are often plagued by the very ills they aim to cure. To read the complete article, click here.