Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mustache to the Max Day

As you might know, this Wednesday is Give to the Max Day…but here at the Council we’re calling it Mustache to the Max Day. . . Why? Our very own executive director, Rich Cowles, has humbly agreed to sacrifice his stache-less upper lip for our Give to the Max Day campaign.

If the Charities Review Council receives 75 donations, Rich will grow a mustache.

"If you've ever seen my seedy looking mustache, you'll know what a sacrifice this is." —Rich Cowles

In this interview, Rich Cowles shares not only what his wife thinks about this campaign, but we also asked if he'd prefer the fu manchu or handlebar:

So join us tomorrow and be one of the 75 donors coming together to make Rich grow a mustache!

And on an even more exciting note, every dollar you donate will be matched up to $10,000 during our year-end Matching Gift Challenge! Thanks to a group of our strongest supporters, this Matching Gift Challenge will continue through the end of the year.

In the meantime, tune in via Facebook and Twitter as we post pictures and interviews with Rich Cowles as he prepares for the possibility of having to grow a beautiful stache, but most importantly, show your support for the Council's work around informed giving and nonprofit accountability by making a contribution to us on Wednesday November 16th.

Friday, November 4, 2011

When One Door Closes, Another Opens

I know it’s trite, but today is bittersweet as it is my last day working here at the Charities Review Council. Without a doubt, this has been the best place I’ve worked, and I’ve been honored to be connected to such a storied organization.

When I started at the Council, we were just launching the process of revising the Accountability Standards, which included getting feedback from people across the state about what they saw as the “reasonable expectations” of an accountable nonprofit. Whether it was in Duluth or Mankato or right here in the Twin Cities, I always walked away from these town hall forums amazed at the number of people who showed up and genuinely cared about making the connection between the nonprofit sector and donors stronger. For a self-professed “nonprofit geek,” I knew that anyplace that could energize that type of response was the place for me.

There have been a lot of exciting changes at the Council since then - the launching of the new Accountability Wizard (along with the revised Accountability Standards), developing a new program working with immigrant & refugee-led nonprofits, and changing the way we report review results to focus on the most trustworthy nonprofits. Through all of these changes, though, the Council’s values of transparency and integrity have shown through and it has been a great place for me to learn. I’ve appreciated building relationships with board and committee members, staff members at reviewed nonprofits, donors who thoughtfully support the great nonprofits in the area, and (of course) my amazing co-workers here at the Charities Review Council.

Despite all this, I am excited to start a new chapter at Ameriprise Financial in their Community Relations department. I know that the lessons I’ve learned here about informed philanthropy will serve me well, and I look forward to continuing to work with the nonprofit sector, albeit in a different capacity.

Thank you to everyone who has made this a great place to be. Here’s hoping our paths cross in the future again. Take care.

Martin Wera joined the Charities Review Council in March of 2009. As the Program Director, he oversaw, managed and delivered the Council’s services to nonprofit organizations, donors and grantmakers.