Melissa L. Bradley, Tides CEOWe’re pleased to share that Tides CEO Melissa L. Bradley was recently interviewed by Rahim Kanani for the Forbes blog.  In the interview, Melissa reflects on Tides’ leadership in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector over the last 35 years, and also offers her analysis of the changes the sector has faced and her vision for how Tides will grow to meet new challenges and opportunities.  Here’s a preview of the interview:

Rahim Kanani: Separate from more capital and manpower, or other tangible assets, what are some intangible assets you need in order for Tides to be successful?

Melissa Bradley: Some of our most needed intangible assets are creativity and innovation, and we need those assets for two applications.

For one, the world needs philanthropists, nonprofits and changemakers who have creative and innovative approaches to improving communities.  When communities face multi-generational, entrenched problems, we need fresh thinking to push against the status quo and identify the pivotal services or applications that can lead to lasting change.

Secondly, as a platform that supports these changemakers, Tides must re-examine its own business model and the broader organizational structures we support within the social change sector.  For all the recent innovation in the way activists mobilize or create a movement, there’s been far less innovation in how we finance or structure nonprofits.  This is one of the biggest challenges at Tides today.  How do we ensure that the financial and operational services, as well as the strategic collaboration we offer, meets the needs of philanthropists and nonprofit leaders before the sector hits snags and slowdowns?

Lastly, those of us who care about social justice have to face some serious realities that the world around us has changed.

The debt ceiling debate and budget deal will undoubtedly have implications for the nonprofit sector and Tides is ready to respond to these challenges in any number of ways.  Public resources are shifting away and they are not coming back anytime soon.  Meanwhile, the most marginalized and vulnerable among us need new opportunities more than ever.   If we have any hope of making a positive impact in communities, philanthropists and nonprofit leaders need to squeeze new money from old sources, grow new sources, and innovate and develop efficiencies to scale up their work for greater results.

To read the complete interview, visit the Forbes blog.

Photo of Melissa L. Bradley at Tides Momentum Leadership Conference 2009, via TidesCommunity Flickr.