Monthly Archives: June 2011

10 Questions or Less for Suki O’Kane

10 Questions or Less is a feature here on the Forum’s Forum in which we get to know regional association staff members a little better—their work, what drives them, and more. This week,  Suki O’Kane, Director of Operations at Northern California Grantmakers. If you would like to suggest someone for a profile through 10 Questions or Less, contact Dan Brady.

Photo by Pak Han.

In your role as Director of Operations at Northern California Grantmakers, what are some of your day-to-day responsibilities?

I often refer to my work at NCG as “Making It Go,” which applies to toasters as well as laptops (they are occasionally indistinguishable), dropping payroll as well as financial forecasting, dynamic IP addresses as well as printing, folding, stuffing, and chasing after the postal carrier, a refreshingly analog experience. There will always be some part of the day imagining the system and infrastructure required to make a bold idea successful, or a process truly elegant. If I square away the toaster/laptop issue early enough, I’m able to make actual progress in the imagination area.

Is there anything you’re working on now that is particularly exciting?

It’s all EXTREMELY EXCITING, but if I had to select a few projects I would have to include an association modeling inquiry that we’re conducting here at NCG (drawing from theories of association, group decision science, movement building and change management).

I’m also working with Forum’s Content Management System project, which continues to strike me with its dramatic potential for impact not just technically, as an enterprise-level Open Source initiative, but as a reflection of the innovative relationships and relevance regionals can have with their members.

I must also give a shout out to Kim (ABAG), Martha (AGM) and Rebekah (Washington Grantmakers) for allowing me to shadow their projects on common grant applications, an outgrowth of our informal learning circle on grants management software. Although we don’t have CGAs in NorCal, we have a highly collaborative network, and I’m leveraging learning with these Forum folks to envision shared technology products that are relevant to the emerging interests of our grantmakers.
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Philanthropy NC

North Carolina Network of Grantmakers has launched a blog, Philanthropy NC. The Philanthropy NC Blog is dedicated to providing NCNG members as well as non-members will timely and relevant information about grantmaking.  Topics on the blog will range from tools and tips to reviews of recent network activity and spotlights of NCNG members. Check it out!

LearnPhilanthropy Demo for Regional Associations

LearnPhilanthropy…the field-wide hub for grantmaker learning. First there was an idea, sparked and incubated by the Forum and Council, and informed by scores of funder, regional association, and other infrastructure stakeholders. Now we’ve developed a pilot version that shows its potential to be a critical resource for learners and learning providers (like you!) in philanthropy. We invite you to kick the tires on this prototype and help us shape what comes next.

Join members of the LearnPhilanthropy team on Thursday, June 16th at 2:00 EST for a webinar to walk through the initial version of LearnPhilanthropy’s online system. They will discuss what they’ve been hearing and learning from the field and seek your feedback, tough love, and ideas about how LearnPhilanthropy can grow to be most useful to you and your members.  Register online for access instructions.

LearnPhilanthropy is a collaborative effort involving many different individuals and groups.  If you’d like to be part of this work, please browse the active projects, and see if one of the ongoing workstreams fits your interests.

National Teleconference on Japan Earthquake Recovery

Southern California Grantmakers will be hosting a teleconference on how grantmakers can respond to the disaster in Japan, Relief and Recovery: What Grantmakers Need to Know About Japan, on Tuesday, June 14 at 1 pm EST. SCG has partnered with Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Northern California Grantmakers, Philanthropy Northwest, and San Diego Grantmakers, to present this program.  It is open to all members of regional associations.  Your members can register online at no charge.
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Register for the Forum’s Annual Conference!

Registration for the upcoming 2011 National Conference for Regional Associations is now open!  Register now to attend the conference August 1-3 in Denver, CO.  Online registration will be available until July 25.

We have also posted a working version of the conference agenda (PDF).  Check it out to see what we have planned. Some highlights include:

  • An opening keynote by Larry Smith, Founder/CEO, Leading Edge Advisory Firm (LEAF) and former Director of the Third Millennium Philanthropy & Leadership Initiative at Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.
  • A skills building session with Cole Nussbaumer of Google on how to communicate more effectively with data
  • A follow-up to last year’s value proposition session with Mark Sedway, Philanthropy Awareness Initiative and Sedway Associates
  • A closing keynote from Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO of ABFE, and former Senior Associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Several additional opportunities for networking  Continue reading