Monthly Archives: November 2010

Free National Webinar: How Will the New Political Landscape Impact Poor Families? A Post-Election Policy Briefing for Grantmakers

The results of the mid-term elections are expected to have far-reaching effects on public policies aimed at low-income working families such as EITC, the Child Tax Credit, unemployment insurance, and SNAP (Food Stamps). Potential shifts in policy – and political will – can have a profound impact on agencies and nonprofit organizations working on the ground to improve economic security for low-income families.

In response, a regional association collaborative will be offering a free national webinar on the topic on Thursday, December 16, 2010 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM Eastern. Please share this opportunity with your members.

In this interactive webinar, a panel of policy experts will provide a post-election briefing on the results of key races and likely scenarios that will play out on the federal and state levels, with special emphasis on the implications for grantmakers active in the field. Continue reading


Technology Assessment Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who participated in our 2010-2011 Technology Assessment Survey. The information collected through this survey will help us plan for a revamp of our knowledge services in 2011. Below we have distilled some key findings from the survey.  You can find the full report (DOC) on our website.


  • The vast majority of RAs use a CMS of some kind (83%). In addition to Syscom (the Forum’s KM System CMS), there were multiple regionals using Neulogic/Stellar Financial (3), and YourMembership (3). Note that these number reflect the answers of the 29 regionals who responded to the survey. There are additional regionals using some of these services.
  • About a quarter of RAs have been using their current system for under a year, while another quarter have been engaged for 5 years or more. Twenty per cent of respondents did not know exactly how long they had been using their current CMS.
  • More than half of responding RAs were able to license and install their system for under $25,000, with 36% doing so for under $10,000. Again, 20% of respondents were not sure of the actual price. Similarly, 52% are able to maintain their systems for under $5,000/year.  Continue reading

2010 Characteristics Report

The latest data on the regional association network is now available at (Members only, login required. Sorry, general public!).  This report is a great benchmarking and comparison tool for the network and covers a large range of information including:

  • Membership Retention
  • Membership Categories
  • Membership Dues
  • Budgets & Staffing
  • Services
  • Programming

Thank you to all the regional associations have taken the time to update their information this year.  If your regional association has yet to complete survey, we would like to have as much up to date data as possible.  Please contact Courtney Moore for more information on how to complete the survey.

Register for FOTH!

The Forum and the Council on Foundations are excited to announce that that the Foundations on the Hill 2011 website and registration are now live!

Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) is an annual two-day legislative and public policy event in Washington, DC, for foundation staff and philanthropic leaders.  We partner with regional associations to lead delegations of grantmakers to promote the important role foundations and philanthropy play in serving the public good to members of Congress.

During Foundations on the Hill, foundation trustees, executives and staff, working with their regional association, hold congressional meetings, attend training sessions, and join a breakfast event featuring remarks by a member of Congress.  Next year’s event will take place on March 8-9, 2011.  You can find out more about this event at Continue reading

Survey on Supporting Grantmaking

Several weeks ago we mentioned in Forum Bits that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, LiquidNet, GuideStar and others were studying what grantmakers need to make the most effective grants possible. At that time we also mentioned that they would be administering a survey, and that we would appreciate it if you would forward it along to your member organizations.

Well, the survey has just been released and we’d like to ask for your help spreading the word to your members.

To go directly to the survey, please click here.

Continue reading

Working Better with Online Tools

Yesterday morning, I drove up to Baltimore for a morning presentation at ABAG with Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz on online tools that can make your work life easier.  We didn’t get to cover all of these with the group, but I wanted to share them with you because they all have value when it comes to lightening your workload.

Organizing Your Day – easy meeting scheduler
Dashboards – manage what you want to know about
Mobile Apps – mobile management via smartphones
Google Desktop – search and organize your computer desktop Continue reading

Host the Philanthropic Events Calendar on Your Site

In the latest rollout of enhancements to the Philanthropic Events Calendar (aka Philanthropy Currents), the Forum and the Council on Foundations have successfully streamed the calendar on the Forum’s site. Now it’s your turn. If you’d like to participate in the pilot group of regional associations and affinity groups interested in streaming the calendar on their own sites, please contact Dan Brady by November 12th. We are looking for a diverse group—both technical and non-technical participants and a variety of web platforms.

Since the launch of the calendar back in February, we have added more than 150 events collectively to the calendar. During this time, we also listened carefully to your constructive feedback on how to improve the user experience and made the following enhancements. Continue reading