Dennis Mcmillian is CEO of The Foraker Group.
Dennis has devoted his professional career to helping nonprofit organizations better meet the needs of their communities. For 21 years he served as a development officer, and then as a CEO with United Way in numerous communities around the country. He came to Alaska in 1992 to lead the United Way of Anchorage. Since moving to Alaska, he has helped build the state’s philanthropic infrastructure through his work with United Ways across the state and through his support in developing the Alaska Community Foundation. He is a strong advocate for Alaska’s nonprofit sector. In 2001, Dennis led the effort to start The Foraker Group with the mission of building sustainability and organizational capacity in Alaska nonprofits. During his career, he’s trained thousands of professionals and volunteers, spoken at numerous conferences and consulted across America, Canada, Asia and Russia.
For the last three years, while the rest of the country was in recession, Alaska maintained some sense of normalcy. When I moved here in the early 1990s, the state had just begun to recover from the recession of the late 80′s. What I heard then and since is that in Alaska, we do OK when the Lower 48 is in recession, but when they recover, it’s our turn. I am not sure if that is a fact or a myth, but many of our leading citizens believe it is so. Who am I to question?
When the market crashed in 2008, we published a series of articles on how to survive a bad economy. To date we have not been as challenged as nonprofits down south, but the last few years have not been easy, even for us. Alaska’s nonprofits had to adjust to decreased support from foundations and corporations – those donations most affected by a recession.