Technology

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find: Pre- and Post-conference Registrations Open for Philanthropy Exchange; #CF100: Engaging the Community; WATCH: Big Data and Philanthropy; Better than Colbert!; Emerging Philanthropy at the Council; Tweet of the Week; Upcoming Events

The Council is issuing a Call for Sessions to leading civil and social innovators. We are looking to you for well-developed sessions that offer diverse perspectives, concrete solutions, and fresh insights into our Spotlight Issue: The Role of Philanthropy in an Increasingly Polarized Society.

One of the most pressing topics for community foundations is the reinvention of their position as catalysts for change. Foundations are increasingly taking on new, proactive roles within their communities, capitalizing on their ability to lead and advocate. They are independent and unencumbered by political affiliation or private interests. They are uniquely positioned to take the long view on communities’ growth and progress. As community foundations delve into these new roles, it is important that we take stock of where we are and use data and community input as the base on which to drive forward innovation within our organizations.

As I sat in the lobby before a recent meeting at a nonprofit, I saw a woman carrying a stack of folders in one arm and tugging at her luggage with her free hand. She tripped, but caught herself before she spilled the stack. As she made her way out the door, I wondered if she had ever considered using her smartphone to reduce the amount of paper she carries on trips.

I recently presented an infographic learning session using Google+ Hangouts on Air. While I’ve scheduled virtual learning sessions through my affinity group and another organization in the past, registration numbers for these events have usually topped out around 70. But this event grew to almost 160 registrants. In order to understand why, I conducted a review that allowed me to identify four major factors. These four points may provide value to other organizations looking to innovate their current practices:

Over the last several decades, accountability reporting, especially at the local level, has contracted dramatically, with potentially grave consequences for communities, government responsiveness, and democracy. Nonprofit media has the potential to partly fill this vacuum but faces obstacles as a result of outdated IRS rules.

I recently gave a presentation and created an infographic that shared what I learned about conducting a financial analysis of a nonprofit. I passed out copies of the infographic for those that couldn’t make the initial presentation, but realized they could have benefited from more than what was shared on the page. Was there a way to augment the printed image without disrupting the design?