Are you looking for ways to improve innovation at your organization? Sometimes innovative ideas aren’t shared because people don’t know who to take them to. Or, they think that others would judge the idea’s value based on the person contributing it. If you are looking to spur innovation at your organization, consider creating an online tool to collect ideas.
For Denver Foundation President David Miller, the only way to truly revitalize a struggling neighborhood is by connecting – truly connecting -- with its residents. That’s exactly what the Denver Foundation has strived to do over the last several years through its Strengthening Neighborhoods program.
In the Quad Cities, a bi-state community situated on the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois, three students drop out of high school every school day… meaning that between 600-700 students drop out of school every year. While our community’s drop out problem is less severe than in other communities, the lost potential represented in this statistic is not acceptable. In 2008, the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend (CFGRB) made high school graduation our number one community impact priority.
It’s tough running schools in rural Missouri. Tight budgets, strained resources, and dwindling state and federal funding all conspire against students in the Ozarks region, which is designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as an area of “persistent poverty.”
The Community Foundations of Canada’s Vital Signs is an annual community check-up, conducted by community foundations across Canada – and now around the world – that uses data to measure the vitality of our communities. The effort started in the late 1990s at the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF). The Council’s Christopher Goett, caught up with Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation, to discuss TCF’s Vital Signs initiative as part of The Council’s #CF100 series.
Last fall I joined community foundation leaders from across Canada as part of the Monitor Institute’s What’s Next for Community Philanthropy. At one point during this event, we brainstormed activities that are core to their community foundations. As we clustered our sticky notes, I noted how many times the words Vital Signs appeared and thought about the changes that have emerged in our work over the past decade.
In philanthropy we know that storytelling is a critical way to illustrate impact. A new video, “Post 9/11: The Impact of a Funder Collaborative,” tells the tale of what we learned through the Civic Engagement Fund (CEF). The CEF is a collaborative fund that supports little-understood communities that were propelled to the spotlight after 9/11, and remain invisible yet hyper-visible in mainstream America even today.
Inspirational and aspirational is how I would describe Building a More Inclusive Workforce: A National Summit to Boost Education and Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities, held last Friday in Wilmington, Del.
This is post is part of an ongoing impact investing series onRE: Philanthropy. In recent years, I have championed the potential of impact investing to unlock new forms and sources of capital for the social sector. But financial capital is just one piece of the puzzle. Through my work at the Rockefeller Foundation and more recently at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), I have come to see that no single organization, idea, or type of capital is a cure-all for social issues.
As a part of the staff of CF Insights, I have had the pleasure to work with the community foundation field for almost 4 years now and still I’m amazed at the ways the field as a whole contributes to the success of individual community foundations by sharing insights, data and support. Reflecting on 2012, I have never been prouder to be part of a field that challenges itself to evolve, serve the needs in their communities, and still takes the time to contribute to the growth and development of peers. Here are just a few highlights from 2012: