RE: Philanthropy Blog

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:39pm

Our world has become increasingly dependent upon content to attract people’s attention. This content ranges from blogs on the Internet to television shows. Due to global shifts in our economy, economic developers have to work harder to attract companies and individual entrepreneurs. What used to be local efforts to attract job creators from neighboring cities and regions has shifted to competition with states located across the United States and foreign countries.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:36pm

As a grantmaker, you may be familiar with the usual measures of impact for a program that you have helped fund. But have you ever thought about measuring the impact of the publications that may be produced as a result of your program work? If you are interested in learning more about measuring the spread of published ideas, here are three suggestions:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:33pm

What if the once-a-year “reveals” of a charity’s impact had the hype of the iPhone 5? What if millions of people blogged about program and performance upgrades developed during the past year by the most dynamic charity in the world? What if people were making viral videos and sketching out projections for a charity’s outcomes and functions before real pictures and numbers were revealed? I only wish that the charities supported by Excellence in Giving clients stirred such anticipation. I would love to receive a mysterious invite (like the one Apple sent to tech media writers) to attend a dramatic presentation of new charitable program designs and their increased productivity. Maybe one day the presentation of a charity’s annual report will warrant that hype.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:31pm

Having spent three days at the Fall Conference for Community Foundations last week in New Orleans, a port city where the line between land and sea is ever-shifting, I’m thinking a lot about balance. That may help me understand my colleagues who lead community foundations better, because balance between the tensions of being responsive or proactive is essential for leadership.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:29pm

With fiscal crisis and a fragile economy the focus of concern in California, it is easy to overlook the state’s other challenges. But three troubling trends deserve attention because they threaten the well-being of Californians and the state’s prosperity for years to come. These threats also present opportunities—for state leaders and residents to step up and forge a new vision for California.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:27pm

We often think of grantees as people who provide a service or act as advocates. But are they the only ways grantees can make change? And are there other kinds of grantees worth considering? I had the pleasure of attending the Brainstorming Bus Tour, hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, with a number of community foundation communications professionals. I do strategy and evaluation, so it was fun to spend time with my communications colleagues and see how they approach communicating impact.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:25pm

Day two of the Fall Conference yielded several important insights, but the ones that moved me most began at lunch. To be honest, I get tired of talk about violence. It wears me out emotionally. It frustrates me about our society. It drains me. But we absolutely can’t stop hearing real truths if we are to move the issue to the front of the work we all do.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:23pm

Not a day has gone by since I joined the Council two months ago when I haven’t thought about the awesome responsibility and privilege I have to help make the Council an organization that fully reflects the promise of philanthropy and impact you generate.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:21pm

E.B White said, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." It’s not so hard here in New Orleans at the Fall Conference. Last night, I took a leisurely stroll down flamboyant Bourbon Street where the only hurricanes in sight were $8 a pop. Hundreds (thousands?) enjoyed the welcoming embrace of street crowds, music, sights, and smells.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:19pm

The first day of the conference presented several interesting opportunities to expand our understanding of the issues community foundations face. After a nice dinner with fantastic oysters at Bourbon House the previous night, we were well prepared for the first day’s options. Because I am attending the conference as a member of the community rather than staff of the foundation, my lens is that of someone who wants to see how best to help my neighbors and peers work within the constraints that foundations face. But as a former program evaluator, my role is colored by an interest in data. So it was great to see a session on “real” community engagement AND a session on data in the same day.