March 15, 2023

Rodney Christopher BD

This episode features Rodney Christopher from BDO, and is the first installment of our special series, Smashing the Overhead Myth – Once and For All! With 30 years of consulting and grantmaking experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic community, Rodney was instrumental in facilitating the Funders for Real Costs, Real Change, a learning collaborative among a dozen funders who sought to better understand how they could do their part to end the nonprofit starvation cycle. In this episode, we hear that story. These funders examined the realities of overhead and indirect costs in their grants and grantee organizations – and some are making major changes as a result.

This series will profile major funders who are changing their priorities to enable grantees to cover their actual costs – including the real costs of supporting and developing a staff team. We’ll explore the Practices of Talent-Investing related to Respect and Root Causes – respecting nonprofit workers, and addressing the root causes of the deficit of investment in the nonprofit workforce. For more about these, listen to Season 4 Episode 1, which introduces the 8 Practices of Talent-Investing. 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:

Rodney Christopher Bio:

With 30 years of consulting and grantmaking experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, Rodney’s primary work with BDO is to lead the growing Philanthropic Services. Delivered by a dedicated team with experience in grantmaking, these services aim to provide exceptional support to philanthropic organizations seeking to advance their own infrastructure, staff expertise, grant strategy, and grantee financial due diligence. Additionally, Rodney designs and delivers consulting and training engagements for both philanthropic and service-providing organizations. He works eagerly to stimulate and facilitate productive conversations between nonprofits and their funders, enabling nonprofits to achieve long-term impact from a position of strength while giving grantmakers confidence their dollars are going to capable, well-managed organizations. 

Previously, Rodney spent five years as a Director on the Integrated Capitals team at Heron Foundation, where he led a grant practice that provided nonprofits with business planning support and sizable multi-year capital grants to support healthy growth and change. Prior to that, he spent 15 years developing the consulting practice at Nonprofit Finance Fund, serving as a trainer and consultant to more than 400 nonprofits and 80 grantmaking foundations in 30 states and across subsectors including human services, arts & culture, education and community development.

In the five years between his two stints at NFF, he worked in television production — as story coordinator at the daytime drama All My Children and as a script production assistant on Saturday Night Live. Rodney holds a M.S. degree in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The New School and a B.A. in Social Sciences from Bard College at Simons Rock. His past board service includes Bard College at Simon’s Rock, which exclusively educates younger scholars, and CoMetrics, a cooperative performance data platform for small businesses. Rodney also had the privilege of serving as a member of the GuideStar Advisory Council, which informed the merger of GuideStar and the Foundation Center into Candid.

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