March 8, 2023

In this episode, we speak with Jan Masaoka, CEO of California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), and one of the most respected and outspoken organizers, advocates, authors, and capacity-builders in the nonprofit sector.

Jan recently announced her departure from CalNonprofits, and she shares sage wisdom (and rage!) on a range of issues including advocating for a better relationship between government and nonprofits, addressing the “overhead” myth, funding full costs, dealing with nonprofit student debt, the impact of government contracting on nonprofit compensation, and more.

The conversation touches on multiple practices of talent-investing, including:

Practice 1: Lead with Respect
Practice 3: Build People-Systems
Practice 8: Share the Value

We  invite you to enjoy our catalog of conversations from Seasons 1-3, plus our blog, toolkit, and other resources, here at

Resources from this Episode:

Jan Masaoka Bio:

Jan Masaoka is CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a statewide policy alliance of more than 10,000 nonprofits speaking to government, philanthropy, and the public at large.

Through active policy, educational, and research work, CalNonprofits works with legislators and regulators to strengthen the economic and regulatory climate for nonprofits. CalNonprofits has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, and through our social enterprise, we are also a full-service insurance broker and provide health insurance to more than 25,000 nonprofit staff.

Jan is a leading writer and thinker on nonprofit organizations with particular emphasis on boards of directors, business planning, and the role of nonprofits in society. Her books include Best of the Board Café (Fieldstone), Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, co-author (Jossey Bass) and The Nonprofit's Guide to Human Resources (Nolo Press). Jan founded and wrote Blue Avocado magazine, growing it to 64,000 subscribers, before leaving in late 2015.

Prior to CalNonprofits, she served 14 years as executive director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services in which position she was named Nonprofit Executive of the Year by Nonprofit Times. She is an eight-time designee as one of the "Fifty Most Influential" people in the nonprofit sector nationwide and was named California Community Leader of the Year by Leadership California. Her volunteer work includes having served as chair of Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center and founding chair of Community Initiatives; she currently serves on the National Public Policy Committee of Independent Sector.