Top 10 Stories of 2017

Between the tax reform fight, recognizing some of our sector’s most promising leaders, gathering in America’s comeback city, and tapping some of the best thought leaders on issues affecting nonprofits, 2017 was a big year. To show for it, here were our ten most popular stories.

1. Sarah Eagle Heart to Receive 2017 American Express NGen Leadership Award


Last July, we had the honor of naming Sarah Eagle Heart as the winner of our 2017 American Express NGen Leadership Award, then formally recognizing her with the award in Detroit in October. Take a look at some of her accomplishments as a leader in faith and charitable communities, and as an advocate on behalf of indigenous peoples.



2. Connecting the Dots to Solve an Intractable Problem

Rosanne-1-2-18In June, we had the pleasure of recognizing Rosanne Haggerty with the 2017 John W. Gardner Leadership Award for her visionary leadership in reducing homelessness as the leader of Community Solutions. Like Sarah, Rosanne was formally awarded in Detroit in October.



3. Confronting Truths About Racial Equity in Nonprofit Leadership


In July, we talked with Sean Thomas-Breitfeld about some of the persistent systematic barriers to diversity in nonprofit leadership documented in Building Movement Project’s new “Race to Lead” report, as well as steps to begin making greater strides toward achieving greater diversity in nonprofit leadership.



4. So What’s in the House Tax Reform Bill?

House-Tax-Reform-1-2-18In November, Independent Sector provided a summary of key provisions affecting charitable organizations that appeared in the House’s first version of tax reform legislation released November 2.




5. Help Us Build a New Kind of Conference


In March, we unveiled Our Common Future along with our partners at Council of Michigan Foundations, and Michigan Nonprofit Association. We billed it as “a conference for you, and by you,” and called upon changemakers from across the country to submit their best ideas for a session that would inspire Our Common Future participants.



6. Nonprofit Organizations Brace for a Tax Increase


Early in October, Ways and Means Committee member, Rep. Roskam (R-IL) made comments indicating that lawmakers were considering taxing the nonprofit sector to offset the cost of other tax reform proposals, including an expansion of taxation on unrelated business income.



7. The Federal Government and Impact Investing: What’s next on the Policy Agenda?


In January, in the face of uncertainty around government support of impact investing, Urban Institute’s Keely Hansen expressed optimism that the favorable federal policy environment for impact investing would hold, or even accelerate under the new Administration.



8. Let’s Change the Way We Talk About Fundraising Expenses


In February, BoardSource President and CEO Anne Wallestad offered up this new framework for helping nonprofit professionals understand and rethink the expenses associated with fundraising.




9. A Time to Reassess, Recalibrate, Recommit


In October, many Our Common Future attendees were touched by thoughts offered during the second main stage event by The Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson. After a number of attendees asked if his prepared remarks were available in writing, we were able to share them in this blog post in early November.



10. Who Are the American Express NGen Leadership Award Finalists?

NGen-Finalists-1-2-18In June, we had the pleasure of announcing the five finalists for the 2017 American Express NGen Leadership Award:

Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy
Blair Glencorse, Executive Director of Accountability Lab
Cesar Gonzalez, CEO of StartingBloc
Laura Weidman Powers, Co-founder and CEO of Code2040
Ginger Zielinskie, President & CEO of Benefits Data Trust







Jackie Brennan is the associate of social media and web at Independent Sector.

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Administration, Conference, Congress, IS Member, Leadership Development, Nonprofit Capital, Public Policy, Race, Equity, and Inclusion