Stephen Nill is the creator of CharityChannel! Our merry band of nonprofit sector practitioners, numbering in the tens of thousands, has been quietly shaping the nonprofit sector for a quarter century.
Our Place in the World
In 1992, Stephen Nill founded CharityChannel as a place for innovation in support of the nonprofit practitioner community. It would occupy the middle ground between professional associations, on the one hand, and profit-driven service and product providers, on the other. He observed that professional associations, so vital to the professionalism and competence of the nonprofit practitioner community, were by nature and necessity collegiate bodies that required considerable deliberation before implementing new programs and policies. On the other hand, for-profit service and product providers were quick to innovate, as is the nature of entrepreneurial enterprises, but too often lacked the deep roots in and connectedness to nonprofit practitioners and their values. Nill was determined that CharityChannel would combine the best of both worlds — deep ties with the nonprofit practitioner community and its values yet a strong spirit of innovation so vital to ushering in genuine advancement for the profession.
Nill was determined, too, to welcome to the CharityChannel professional community, not just those who worked directly for a nonprofit organization, but those who serve the sector through providing innovative and vital services and products. This “big tent” of practitioners, which began with the launch of the CharityTalk listserve, is unique the nonprofit sector.
Because of its deep history of ushering in innovative thinking yet deep respect for the philanthropic traditions and precepts of our sector, CharityChannel uniquely attracts many of the sector’s master practitioners and forward thinkers. Indeed, our first online summit in late 2017, CharityChannel’s Masters of Fundraising Summit ™, featured interviews of some of the outstanding fundraising leaders of our profession. Nill’s article in the Winter 2018 issue of AFP’s Advancing Philanthropy showcases the summit and seeks to point to the future of fundraising by picking up on key themes that emerged during the two-week event.