Last Friday’s Nonprofit 2.0 Unconference opened with an empty whiteboard and two blockbuster keynotes.
The nature of an “unconference” is that the attendees construct the schedule and content as they go. To set the tone and bring some context to the day’s proceedings, the keynotes came first. Two of social media’s most respected thinkers, Beth Kanter and Allison Fine kicked things off discussing their new book The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change, then the Red Cross’s Wendy Harman showed how her networked nonprofit works in action, particularly in regard to disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti.
Kanter and Fine’s book defines “free agents” as “individuals working outside of organizations to organize, mobilize, raise funds, and communicate with constituents for a cause.” Kanter pointed to Roger Carr of the Everyday Giving blog and Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) as prime examples of free agents working their magic.
Nonprofits (foundations and regional associations included) need to identify individuals who are passionate about their cause. If these individuals are adept at using social media, organizations can mentor free agents and bring them into the fold. Continue reading
MCF has been privileged to receive two grants from the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers initiative, New Ventures in Philanthropy.
With our first grant, we led a collaboration of key philanthropic partners in developing the Minnesota Toolkit for Giving and a corresponding website, minnesotagiving.org. These resources provide donors with information on a wide range of charitable giving options, ranging from simply writing a check to support a favored charity to making more complex decisions on creating a private foundation or setting up a fund at a community foundation. Created in 2001, the website continues to garner attention and had 31,000 unique visits in 2009.
Our second New Ventures-supported project focused on Minnesota’s long-held tradition of corporate giving and its nationally known 5% Club. Concerned with waves of mergers and acquisitions resulting in the loss of many home-grown businesses and their contributions to communities, we designed this project to take the concept of percent giving and apply it to smaller businesses in rural communities. From our experience with the 5% Club, we knew this would only be successful if conducted through established business associations – the Chambers of Commerce. Now called Minnesota Business Gives and housed at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, this project has led to 36 community chambers across the state recognizing their business members for giving at least 2%. In addition, each chamber has conducted a seminar on giving strategies for businesses; 17 seminars were delivered in 2009 alone. We also developed two publications, The Minnesota Business Giving and Community Involvement Workbook (modeled on workbooks created by the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers and the Oregon Community Foundation) and Giving Stories.
With these New Ventures projects completed, MCF empanelled a task force to explore how to further our mission to strengthen and expand philanthropy. The task force has completed its planning work and is recommending to our board in June 2010 three inter-related initiatives that build on MCF’s former work and support our goal of “building the base of organizational philanthropic capital for today and tomorrow.”
- Update and create a more vibrant Minnesota Toolkit for Giving on our website, making it a living resource with new stories, tools and directions for donors;
- Undertake the first steps to pursue a tax credit for contributions to endowed philanthropy in community foundations;
- Initiate a pilot project in a small number of Minnesota communities to provide information and resources to assist each community in developing its own culturally appropriate approaches to building philanthropic capital.
These works-in-progress focus on Minnesota’s rural communities. With our sector’s recent attention to building rural philanthropy and Nebraska Community Foundation’s various transfer of wealth studies, we believe our best bet at strengthening Minnesota communities is by building philanthropic capital throughout the state.
As we role out our new initiatives in 2010 and 2011, we look forward to sharing our successes and challenges with regional association colleagues.
For those interested in this project you can contact Bill King at bking (at) mcf.org. And, if you are interested in promotion of philanthropy work, the Forum is creating a network of colleagues who have or are continuing to undertake efforts to promote philanthropy. You can contact Michael Litz at the Forum (mlitz (at) givingforum.org) to sign up as part of this network. Plans are to connect via a list serve and hold two conference calls annually to share our progress, successes and challenges as we continue to build the philanthropic capital within our regions.
Claudia Herrold of Ohio Grantmakers Forum recently dug up two cool new social media resources. I have a feeling she’s been on the hunt in anticipation of our exciting social media session at the Forum’s Annual Conference, “Choosing and Using Social Media to Achieve Regional Association Mission,” which she and I will co-present, along with Allen Gunn of Aspiration.
Though come to think of it, she could just as easily be preparing for tomorrow’s “How RAs Are Implementing Social Media/Web 2.0 Strategies, Part II” conference call, during which the Forum will continue our discussion sharing tips and lessons learned by those already waist-deep in social media waters.
So anyway, I was saying that Claudia discovered some great resources.
First is the Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, which includes all kinds of juicy nuggets, like the fact that 86% of Nonprofits have a presence on Facebook and 60% are on Twitter.
Social networking continues to be a growing part of nonprofits’ online strategy, according to a second annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report recently released by NTEN, Common Knowledge, and ThePort. In an online survey conducted from February 3 to March 15, 2010, 1173 respondents representing nonprofits of all sizes and from multiple vertical segments indicate that a growing nonprofit presence on commercial social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but a decreased usage of house (private) social networks.
Claudia also pointed out this awesome chart from CMO, a “guide to the social media landscape.” Remember when we showed you the Allen Gunn-inspired publishing matrix? Well, CMO’s chart is a essentially a handy-dandy tool for optimizing how you use many of those channels. Definitely click through for this one.
Both of these items have been added to the Forum’s Knowledgebase (login required). Do you have more resources? Send them my way.