CWR is on the cutting edge of best practices in the social sector.  Our thought leadership is regularly featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in articles written by Curtis Chang.  Curtis has also served as the designated expert on nonprofit capacity building in the Skoll World Forum network.  Below is a sample of the expertise he has shared with the field.

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Planning

Three Nonprofit Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

Friends who are playing golf will sometimes allow each other to “take a mulligan.” For the non-golfers out there, this means that when a player makes an especially horrible shot, they can try again and not suffer the consequences on the scorecard.

Shake Up Your Board Meeting

Boring nonprofit board meetings are deadly.

Strategic planning and your ecosystem

Nonprofits and funders in our sector need to operate with a clear picture of the key players, relationships, and track records involved in our issue areas.

Strategic planning for partnerships

In this fiscal climate, everyone has to do more with less. This means doing more with others. How do you do strategic planning for greater partnerships?

A strategic plan to measure impact

How can nonprofits document the effect of their programs? Here's one idea for our sector to tackle this critical issue.

Should your strategy always plan for growth?

Nonprofit leaders can face pressure from funders, board members, clients, and yes, even themselves, to grow. How healthy is this?

How does a nonprofit find the right consultant? (part one)

You've never hired a consultant before but it's clear you need some outside help. How do you figure out which consultant is going to make for a good fit?

How does a nonprofit find the right consultant? (part two)

You've never hired a consultant before but it's clear you need some outside help. How do you figure out which consultant is going to make for a good fit?

How do you find talent?

Finding and recruiting the right staff members is one of the key arts of leadership.

What do you look for in a potential board member? (part one)

Executive directors, especially new ones, need to pay close attention to this question from the beginning.

What do you look for in a potential board member? (part two)

Beyond the general traits listed in part one of this topic, what specific value should you seek when constructing your board?

What is your strategy for investing in your "middles?"

You absolutely must develop bench strength. Think about conferences as professional development opportunities for your middle management.

Why executive coaches are necessary

There is an obvious way to make fewer mistakes as a leader: get a coach who has already made those mistakes.

The art of conference going

Executive directors can spend a not trivial amount of money and time going to conferences. How do you get the best return on investment?

How do you find the right mentor and coach?

Most nonprofit leaders would benefit from receiving regular mentoring. How do you go about getting what you need?

Pursuing a career as a social innovator

What does it mean to be in the field of social innovation for the long haul? Learn from someone who achieved one of the greatest social innovations in history... about how not to do it.

China and the global future of NGOs

Any globally minded nonprofit leader should recognize that the picture of the future will prominently feature China. What is the future of NGO's in the world's populous country?

The state of the social enterprise field

Social enterprise, the effort to use business related activities to make a social impact, is at a cross roads.

Summer reading list for nonprofit executives

The best way to read about a subject is... to not read about that subject.

Social entrepreneurs in camouflage

Where are the greatest number of social entrepreneurs to be found? Not where you might think they are.

What the iPhone can teach you about strategic planning

Nonprofits should take a lesson from where software is headed: do better by doing less.

Sales vs training in nonprofit strategic planning

Your strategy for social change often depends on recognizing this key distinction.

The Ivory Tower and Social Entrepreneurs

We need to figure out new partnerships to address impact measurement.

Top 5 Gifts for Nonprofit Leaders

Amidst the stress of year-end fundraising campaigns, a nonprofit leader like yourself may be focused on getting gifts given to your organization. But don’t forget that your own well-being is critical to the mission, and you should look out for what can help you thrive personally in your role. Below are some ideas for gifts that you may want to give yourself this season.

Happy Holidays and thanks for the work you do for us all!

How teachers can become social entrepreneurs

An interview with Ellen Moir, founder and executive director of the acclaimed New Teacher Center (NTC).

Los Angeles Shines in Collaboration for Capacity Building

What's behind the innovations brewing in Southern California?

War Games and Other Exercises in Strategic Planning

Practical ways you can keep your organization on its toes and ready to reinvent your model.

Why the elderly hold the future to social innovation

Until successful new models for senior care are developed, all other forms of social innovation will be constricted.

The Five-Minute Nonprofit MBA

Among all the differences between nonprofits and the corporate world, one contrast that is often overlooked but influential is the path to executive leadership.

Fundraising

End of Year Appeals: 5 Bad Habits to Kick

Five ways nonprofit leaders can make their organizations’ year-end fundraising appeals more effective.

Why having to constantly fundraise is good

The desire for that one big donor to take care of it all is understandable. It's also misguided.

It's the ED, stupid!

You've all gotten the year end appeal letter, the one that blames the organization's budget shortfall on the recession. But that's not the real story.

How do you keep fundraising - without losing your soul?

What happens when you have to make the same pitch to funders over and over again?

Fundraising from the Hispanic population

Latinos represent the fastest growing population in the US. What will be their role in philanthropy?

Fundraising is unfair - so deal with it

Fundraising involves competition with others also trying to raise money. Here is a strategy to win.

Using online social media in fundraising

Using Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media tool in fundraising means following the proper party etiquette - here's how to get going.

What do you look for in a potential board member? (part one)

Executive directors, especially new ones, need to pay close attention to this question from the beginning.

What do you look for in a potential board member? (part two)

Beyond the general traits listed in part one of this topic, what specific value should you seek when constructing your board?

Marketing

Using online social media in fundraising

Using Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media tool in fundraising means following the proper party etiquette - here's how to get going.

The art of conference going

Executive directors can spend a not trivial amount of money and time going to conferences. How do you get the best return on investment?

Nonprofit marketing must preach beyond the choir

Agencies serving the disadvantaged need to consider motivations besides just guilt or compassion.

Sales vs training in nonprofit strategic planning

Your strategy for social change often depends on recognizing this key distinction.

What has Facebook done for you lately?

Deriving value from your social media presence requires some conscious strategies.

Moving from verbal to visual in your marketing

Why nonprofit leaders need to improve their visual fluency—plus a crash course on how to do it.

Databases

Why Excel can only take you so far in fundraising

How do you know when you need an actual donor database? What kind of advantages does it bring?

Getting pro bono help

Free services can provide needed support... just don't think that they are actually free.

When is it time to upgrade?

I sense we're outgrowing our skin in so many areas. But I don't have a lot of money and can't afford to spend unless it's really necessary. How do I figure that out?

Getting the most from your database

Donor information is only one kind of data critical to nonprofits. You also need to track and analyze volunteers, clients, events, and more.

Apps and Other Innovations Steve Jobs Gave to Nonprofits

Steve Jobs was not much of a philanthropist during his life. And yet he did give to our sector—very much so. What he contributed was the radical leveling of the technological playing field.

Upgrade your web and data arsenal

How to get more from your technology... and on the cheap.

Going from Excel to Salesforce to manage client data

Practical steps to making the move from a spreadsheet (like Excel) to a CRM (like Salesforce)

Is Excel Making Your Nonprofit Mediocre?

Nonprofits need to use more sophisticated client and program tracking platforms to meet the expectations of today’s funders.

Web Development

Getting pro bono help

Free services can provide needed support... just don't think that they are actually free.

When is it time to upgrade?

I sense we're outgrowing our skin in so many areas. But I don't have a lot of money and can't afford to spend unless it's really necessary. How do I figure that out?

Another website? Already?

Our website is a few years old and some aspects are outdated. But it's hard for me to justify to the board (and me) the expense of redoing it in a major way. Should we just bite the bullet?

More benefits of a web redesign

Revisiting a recent question about "When do I need a new website," here are some thoughts about the internal (versus just external perception) benefits of a redesign process.

Which web technology investments are worth it?

If you’re wondering which IT investments you should make that will generate the highest return, you should think of yourself as a store manager. And then ask the following two questions: 1) How do we get customers into the door? and 2) How do we react when they’ve entered?

Apps and Other Innovations Steve Jobs Gave to Nonprofits

Steve Jobs was not much of a philanthropist during his life. And yet he did give to our sector—very much so. What he contributed was the radical leveling of the technological playing field.

What has Facebook done for you lately?

Deriving value from your social media presence requires some conscious strategies.

Designing a “Cooler” Nonprofit Website

Three design principles for nonprofits looking to revamp their websites

Upgrade your web and data arsenal

How to get more from your technology... and on the cheap.