Monthly Archives: August 2012

How Can Grantmakers Focus on Nonprofit Talent to Grow Impact?

GEO LogoGrantmakers for Effective Organizations has released a new briefing paper that  explores the importance of supporting nonprofit talent development, the unique talent development needs of nonprofits seeking to grow their impact, and how grantmakers can help.

This latest paper is the final in the Reframing the Conversation: A GEO Briefing Paper Series on Growing Social Impact developed by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations as part of the Scaling What Works initiative, and builds upon seven others papers released throughout 2011. The full series pulls together the best thinking, research and actionable approaches to scaling impact. Each individual paper provides additional resources for grantmakers that want to dive deeper into topics such as understanding approaches to scale, using networks to support scale, supporting financial sustainability and building nonprofit evaluative capacity.

Recent Regional Releases

Weaving the Fabric of Philanthropy
Arizona Grantmakers Forum and its members strove to unite grantmakers, nonprofits, and the community through its work in 2011. Check out AGF’s annual report for details.

Giving in St. Louis
The Gateway Center for Giving has released the 2012 Giving in St. Louis report. This report is a follow up to their landmark 2004 report Private Dollars for Public Good and benchmarks individual, corporate, and foundation philanthropic giving in St. Louis, Missouri.

Giving Forum: Summer 2012
Latest issue of Minnesota Council on Foundation’s quarterly newspaper focusing on collaboration and collective impact. There is a growing consensus about the benefits of collaboration in creating fundamental systems change. When and how should this method of working together to jointly attack our toughest social problems be used? Get the best tips and stories from Minnesota grantmakers and nonprofits doing just that in the new issue.

Lessons for Philanthropy: A Journey into Indian Country & Giving in Indian Country
Philanthropy Northwest’s report on their process and lessons learned as building relationships in Indian Country became a defining principle for Philanthropy Northwest. The Giving in Indian Country report breaks down PNW’s regional giving study to focus on giving to the region’s giving to American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

Trends in Northwest Giving Infographics
Philanthropy Northwest has produced two infographics that highlight some of the most interesting findings of its 2012 edition of Trends in Northwest Giving, a biennial report on organized philanthropy in its six state region (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming). The first infographic represents the main findings of the entire report and the second highlights giving to community improvement and capacity building.


Our Region, Our Giving- 2012 Edition
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers has released its latest giving study showing that both giving and assets solidly increased in the region in 2010. Estimates for 2011 show slight decreases in both categories, but nothing nearly as drastic as seen during the crisis. It was produced in partnership with the Foundation Center and made possible through generous support from Capital One.

Knowledge Management Initiative Drives Drupal Innovations

When it comes to collaboration, you need to pick your partners wisely.

The Forum’s Knowledge Management (KM) Initiative is an innovative collaboration by 21 regional associations and the Forum to provide a technology infrastructure to meet the requirements of RAs and strengthen the collaboration and knowledge sharing between RAs and colleague organizations. Working jointly as a network, we can capitalize on the knowledge and support gained from working with peers, reduce duplication, quickly spread innovative solutions, and seamlessly share content.

Over the course of the last few months, we’ve been working with ThinkShout, a bleeding edge Drupal developer, to revamp the KM Initiative, replacing our aging systems with the most advanced CMS and CRM solutions available. When we selected ThinkShout as our partner on this project, we knew we were getting innovative thinkers who understand the advantages of working collaboratively; after all, they’re regular contributors to the Drupal development community. But even with our high expectations, ThinkShout has surprised us with some of their out-of-the-box ingenuity, building new solutions when none existed before.

Perhaps the best example of this is the Relevant Content BEAN module. Okay, things are about to get nerdy. You can read all the details over on ThinkShout’s blog, but I’ll do my best to summarize. Continue reading

RA CEO Transitions, Part III

Editor’s Note: I wish I didn’t have to keep writing these posts!

The North Carolina Network of Grantmakers‘ board and CEO Bobbi Hapgood have announced that Hapgood will  move on as executive director effective June 30, 2013.

In 2005, Hapgood was hired to help the Network evolve from a start-up to a stable organization. Together with engaged, enthusiastic members, a fabulous board, and terrific staff, they have accomplished that goal.

The board will lead an executive search, while Bobbi and Cindy Frantz will continue to provide member services and programming.  Following her tenure as CEO, Hapgood will continue on as a member of NCNG through her family foundation.

Iowa Council of Foundations Appoints Laura A. Sauser as President

The Board of Directors of the Iowa Council of Foundations had announced the appointment of Laura A. Sauser, of Des Moines, Iowa, as the ICoF’s new President.

The selection of Ms. Sauser to lead the Council follows a thorough search, and it reflects the ICoF Board’s desire to choose an accomplished leader with a passion and enthusiasm for philanthropy to continue the organization’s growth. She succeeds Angela Dethlefs-Trettin who served in the role of President since 2006. Dethlefs-Trettin is moving on to a Director position with the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

Ms. Sauser comes to the ICoF from Drake University where she served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations since 2008. Prior to her position at Drake University, she managed corporate giving programs at the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care and The Principal Financial Group. Continue reading

The Future of LearnPhilanthropy

LearnPhilanthropy Planning Committee co-chairs Dave Campbell and Joyce White have announced the Committee’s recommendation to establish LearnPhilanthropy at the Council on Foundations, with a governance and operating model that maintains the essential nature of LP as owned by the field, and built by and for the field, and adds strategic value to the Council as well.

Talks between LearnPhilanthropy and the Council are underway, and the LP Planning Committee and work team will be consultinging with new COF CEO Vikki Spruill and her team over the summer and fall to create a formal Memorandum of Understanding that defines the roles and responsibilities of both COF and a LearnPhilanthropy Governing Council in the operating and governance process. The move will bring greater stability and continuity to LP efforts, and greatly expand outreach capability. Continue reading

The Forum Conference: A Newbie’s Perspective

Guest Post by Mandi Moshey, Communications Manager, Philanthropy Northwest

It’s been a nearly two weeks since returning home from the Forum Conference in Pittsburgh, and I continue to talk to my colleagues about lessons learned from the conference. Being one of the greenest members of the Regional Association staffers in attendance (I’ve only been with for Philanthropy Northwest for a little over three months now) meant that I was eager to meet the folks from other RAs and get a better understanding of where our organization fits within the national landscape.

The conference was an excellent crash course in all things RA – from operations and organizational structures to common struggles and successes worth celebrating. The highlights for me included:

  • The “Job-Alikes”: The work we do certainly qualifies as niche so it was great to sit around a table with fellow communications personnel to discuss our unique challenges. Topics ranged from a high-level, philosophical discussion regarding the value of social media, all the way down to granular items like which email communication tool will cause the fewest headaches.
  • Not having to explain what I do for a living: As I intimated above, our work is what I have been known to call “dangerously specific.” Even my mom can’t really explain what I do. Being in a room full of people who “get it” was extremely refreshing. (And now I am reminded again that I need to work on cutting my elevator speech by a few sentences).
  • Sharing our “bests”: There’s such a wide range of issues that we can focus on in the philanthropic sector, and it was interesting to learn more about the innovative and exciting work being done by our colleagues across the country. Philanthropy Northwest does not currently focus much programming on engaging youth in philanthropy, so I was particularly interested in hearing more about the work being done with young people. Hat tip to Indiana Grantmakers Alliance for their incredible work on the Phil Anthropy game.
  • Pittsburgh! I had no idea what to expect coming into Pittsburgh, but I was definitely pleased. The city was lovely and extremely walkable. I only regret that I didn’t have more free time to explore. I’ll have to plan a return visit someday.

Overall the conference was great experience. I look forward to the opportunity to continue working with each and every Forum member and appreciate having access to a network full of such smart and creative people.