Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Forum Website Goes Live in 2014!

HomepageCompleteSoon you’ll be able to connect, learn, and collaborate through a streamlined, improved!

While the KM Initiative continues to be praised by the technology field for its innovation and more and more regional association sites launch on the platform each week, Forum staff have been hard at work preparing our own site for launch in early 2014.

The new site will offer enhanced features such as:

  • Clear, intuitive navigation to the resources you want
  • Advanced search engine with results filtering
  • Related news, resources, and events in the sidebar of content to point you to similar items of interest
  • An enhanced user profile with customized access to resources and events that match your interest
  • Access to secure, private materials for groups and committees
  • A revamped, robust Knowledgebase of grantmaker resources
  • A searchable member directory of organizations and contacts

All this on a responsive design that optimizes for your device, at your desk or on the go!

Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to launch!


Top 5 Philanthropy Reads of 2013

Race for RelevanceEach year we ask regional associations staff to recommend their “bests”—best programs, best speakers, best mistakes, and so on. Below are the top 5 reads in philanthropy of 2013 according to our members.

Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations and Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations by Harrison Coerver & Mary Byers, CAE

Race for Relevance proposes five radical changes for associations to undergo, in order to remain relevant in today’s marketplace. Complementing Race, Road to Relevance outlines five strategies to make an association rise above its competition, using case studies and provocative questions to demonstrate implementation.

With Charity for All: Why Charities are Failing and a Better Way to Give by Ken Stern

Stern reveals the fallbacks of nonprofit organizations, in a sector with little accountability and an extremely low barrier to entry. Still, he sees hope for widespread reform in a growing movement toward increased effectiveness among American charities.

The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle by Ann Goggins Gregory & Don Howard, Stand Social Innovation Review

Gregory and Howard identify a cycle in which funders have unrealistic expectations of a nonprofit’s need. This causes the nonprofit to withhold critical overhead spending and misrepresent their costs, thus feeding the funder’s distorted beliefs. The authors call on funders and nonprofit leaders alike to get a better understanding of real infrastructure needs and put an end to the cycle of nonprofit starvation.

Red Hook Autumn: Losing and Gaining Power During the Disaster by Lisa Cowan, Philanthropy New York’s Smart Assets Blog

Based in New York, the Red Hook Initiative serves the youth living in the NYC Housing Authority Red Hook houses and unintentionally became a hub for disaster relief in the aftermath of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. RHI Board President Lisa Cowan recounts how the organization’s skills were put to the test, as staff and volunteers went above and beyond their usual roles in order to meet the needs of the community.

The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox by Robert Penna, Ph.D.

Penna identifies outcome-based tools- often borrowing from approaches in the corporate sector- to help nonprofit, philanthropic, and governmental organizations achieve desired results and, ultimately, increase effectiveness.

Photo from ASAE.

Forum’s Drupal Project Included in 8 Amazing Drupal Launches E-book

Click here to read the eBookThe KM Initiative, guided by regionals in the KM Partners Group, continues to attract attention from the Drupal and Salesforce communities for it’s scope and innovation. The Forum’s revamped Knowledge Management platform is included in  8 Amazing Drupal Launches, a new e-book from Pantheon, the premier enterprise hosting provider for Drupal. Pantheon clients include Cisco, the New Republic, Arizona State University, YMCA, AAA, and 30,000 other sites.

Pantheon highlights our project and the KM Partners as the “first non-developers to deploy sites on Pantheon One,” Pantheon’s enterprise solution for hosting many sites on one platform.

In the e-book, ThinkShout‘s Sean Larkin describes how his team saved more than 100 hours of development time and launched 17 websites on a single Drupal distribution without using the conventional method of Multisite, a development environment that allows sites to share a single Drupal installation (core code, contributed modules, and themes).

As our live sites begin to launch through December and early 2014, the KM Partners are looking forward improved web experiences for their member grantmakers through cleaner user interfaces, simpler navigation, advanced search engines, enhanced user profiles, and more!

For more information about the Forum’s KM Initiative, please visit

KM Initiative Showcases Collaboration at Dreamforce

The Forum’s Val Rozansky, along with Kim Snipes from Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers and Bill Corkill from Council of Michigan Foundations, recently presented on the KM Initiative’s new Drupal-Salesforce platform at Dreamforce, the Salesforce users conference. The conference had a physical turnout of 140,000 attendees with over 100,000 participating remotely. Over 5,000 nonprofit organizations were in attendance, including many foundations.

The KM session was incredibly well received and our work is garnering much attention from the philanthropic and technology sectors alike.  Collaboration like ours is practically unprecedented in both fields and the longevity of our initiative lends credence to our proven track record. Work from our project is appreciated for its innovation and has already begun to impact both sectors. The Salesforce module in Drupal which ThinkShout built for our platform is now in use by over 1,000 websites and is even powering United Way’s integration.

A recording, PowerPoint slides, and notes from the session will be available soon.

Regional Associations Spread the Word on #GivingTuesday


Now that Thanksgiving is over, don’t forget about Giving Tuesday- a day devoted to giving back!  Started as a way to promote charitable giving at the start of the holiday season, #GivingTuesday is a day to celebrate providing support to nonprofit organizations and regional associations are organizing their local funders to increase impact.

 After three days devoted to shopping- Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday- Minnesota Council on Foundations shares why #GivingTuesday is a refreshing change of pace.

Philanthropy Ohio reports that over 4,000 nonprofits, corporations, and individuals will participate in Giving Tuesday, a dramatic increase from the2,500 at last year’s inaugural event.

This year, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers has joined the partnership #BMoreGivesMore in a local campaign to make Baltimore the “Most Generous City in the Nation”.  ABAG CEO Celeste Amato offers tips for local businesses to get involved:  “Encourage giving on Dec. 3 by matching employee donations, planning a day of service and motivating your team to announce their commitment over social media.”

As Florida Philanthropic Network anticipates #GivingTuesday, it created a Facebook event to spread the word on social media.

Donors Forum (IL) is using #GivingTuesday as a platform to advocate for real talk about real costs, as demonstrated by this short video.

Be sure to spread the word today, December 3, and share where you donate using #GivingTuesday .


Photo from #GivingTuesday.