Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Transitions and Updates

 Greetings blog readers! While I don't blog nearly as much as I used to, I'm still here, and still quite busy.

I'm in the midst of wrapping up an Interim Executive Director position, and already beginning another long-term contract and scheduling trainings for 2022!

First the Interim job... Since May of 2020 (second month of "shelter-in-place") I've been the IED for Friends of Oakland Animal Services (FOAS). I will always think of FOAS as my "pandemic position," as so much of the experience was colored by the ongoing response to COVID-19, and 95% of the work had to be done virtually, online.

The assignment started with a merger exploration. After several months of (Zoom) meetings with the other nonprofit we all reached the conclusion that, while we were all committed to some form of future collaboration, a full merger was not appropriate at this time.

We then turned our attention to getting ready to hire FOAS' first permanent Executive Director. This included putting fiscal controls into place, creating administrative policies and procedures, and getting our staff benefits for the first time. An old colleague from CompassPoint days came out of retirement to help us with interviewing stakeholders and doing an organizational assessment. 

FOAS has now brought on an excellent young ED who is well positioned to grow the organization over the next several years. I'm still on contract to provide some support as needed, but he's doing great.

My new long-term contract is with the Recovery Cafe Network. I had previously been the Executive Director for Recovery Cafe San Jose (2015-2019), and for the past two years I've been a founding Board member helping to launch Recovery Cafe Santa Cruz. 

Obviously, I'm a fan of the RC model, and feel it is a needed and successful approach to providing long-term support for addiction, homelessness, mental health challenges, and recovery from a thousand other life traumas.

My contract (part time) is to be a "California Catalyst," providing technical support and guidance to new emerging Cafes in the region, identifying others who may be interested in implementing the model, and developing some regional funding for all the local Cafes.

My online courses in Grant Proposal Writing and Board Basics are continuing, and doing well, and have led to my first East Coast in-person training contract! I will be doing a version of the Board training, and a session on dealing with organizational change in South Carolina in March 2022 (more on that later).

As the world seems to emerging from the worst of the pandemic into a new reality, I am pleased with where I am, and the work that I'm doing. I hope things are well for you, too. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

New Online Course: Basic Training for Your Nonprofit Board of Directors

Today I'm very pleased to announce that my latest online course is now available on Udemy: Basic Training for Your Nonprofit Board of Directors.

Some of the things covered in the course are:

  • Legal requirements for Nonprofit Boards in the U.S.
  • Roles and responsibilities of Board Members
  • Roles and responsibilities of Board Officers
  • Tips for successful meetings, including Agendas and Minutes
  • About Board Committees
  • The Board's role in Fundraising
  • Board recruitment, training, and evaluation

This course is for anybody who is on a Nonprofit Board, nonprofit staff who work closely with their Boards, or anybody who's simply interested in nonprofit leadership.

You can learn more about the course and register by clicking here.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Lately on Quora...

No, blog, I haven't forgotten about you, but I do apologize for not keeping you up-to-date.

I've been spending much of my social media time over at Quora, answering questions about nonprofit management and fundraising (and a few questions of a more political nature).

Here are links to a few of my recent answers:

Why is a charity considered a business? (or, isn't it?)

How does a walk/run/jog-a-thon work to raise money? 

If you were in charge, what would you do to make community service for everyone an unforgettable experience?

What is the best step after setting vision and mission in strategic planning for a nonprofit organization?

If one person can form a company why can't one person form a non profit?

Is it legal to pay your board members a percentage of money raised instead of a fixed salary if you own a non-profit organization?

How important are accountability, transparency and stewardship in business and to non-profit organizations?

Should you pay a company to create file your 501(c) 3 application?

You can find more of my Quora answers on my profile page there. I've been (mostly) enjoying the experience, although I'm a bit dismayed by some of the misunderstandings and misconceptions about what nonprofits are and how they operate. Still, I'm glad when I can help out.

Mostly, I've been spending my non-blogging time in my Interim Executive Director duties with Friends of Oakland Animal Services. We survived the pandemic with a healthy, strong organization, and are getting it ready to recruit permanent leadership in the near future.

I'm also preparing more online training courses for Udemy and possibly YouTube. You can find my Basic Grant Proposal Writing course by clicking here.