Category Archives: Features

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.

Confronting the Coming World

Last week, Forum Communications Manager Dan Brady attended the Communications Network conference in New Orleans and participated in their blog team. In his post on the Communications Network blog, Dan draws lessons from the plenary speakers’ experience in journalism to find an uplifting truth about philanthropy:

During his plenary, David Simon of “The Wire” and “Treme” told a story about working in the Baltimore Sun newsroom at the advent of the internet. He described an editor telling writers how kids would “surf the web” and upon finding the Baltimore Sun’s website, they’d discover that they loved newspapers and start buying them.

The assumptions behind that business model for newspapers in the digital age were, of course, hopelessly flawed. Ken Auletta of The New Yorker echoed Simon’s take on the collapse of the newspaper industry saying, “Traditional media didn’t confront the coming world.” It failed to invest in engineers, web developers, and others who could provide the underpinning platform for the news outlets of the Twenty-first century.

These comments got me thinking about how philanthropy takes change head-on. From the rise of digital culture to shifting demographics, our world is always changing. Foundations and the non-profits they support are at the forefront, trying to make sense of it all, finding new ways to navigate issues.

Read all the posts from the Communications Network conference.

Connecticut Council for Philanthropy Starts Blog

Connecticut Council for Philanthropy has started a blog, CTPhilanthropyNotes, where CEO Maggie Osborn and other staff will tackle the tough questions facing philanthropy today.

In a recent post, Maggie ponders the power of both the Forum Network and Connecticut Council of Philanthropy’s own network of grantmakers:

As valuable as sharing information is, we also need to  help each other  act on that knowledge and hold ourselves accountable to demonstrate our impact in a transparent and data driven way. How do we come together to learn up and build out, holding ourselves responsible for the power of our statewide philanthropic network that is also part of the largest network serving philanthropy in the world? How do we utilize the knowledge of best practices and issues to go about the business of building a better Connecticut?

This big thinking blog is one you’ll to subscribe to. Be sure to keep up with all the action through Connecticut’s Facebook and Twitter.

Joyce White Honored with Award

JBWGrantmakers of Oregon and Southwestern Washington’s Executive Director Joyce White has been honored with the Barbara Stallcup Miller Professional Achievement Award for her commitment to “build a community network that helps multiple organizations grow and succeed together.”

This award, part of the 2013 Crystal Awards, honors those personally responsible for millions of dollars raised and countless Oregonians served.

Joyce and the other honorees will be recognized at the Portland Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Awards.

The State of the Forum Address


On July 30th, the membership of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers met for our annual member meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Forum CEO Michael Litz provided a “State of the Forum” address, a transcript of which is below.

Welcome everyone to the Forum’s Annual Meeting. Today we will review and discuss some major developments in our network since we met in Pittsburgh a year ago. It’s a testament to the amount of activity that we can’t possibly cover all our activities. We will also recognize the many leaders that have made this work possible.

It has been a significant year for our network. Most gratifying to me is not only what we have accomplished together but how we have done this work. Our network is now bound by common values, supported by structures and processes that make joint action possible, and increasingly aware of the greater role we can and should play to help advance our field. Continue reading

2013 Conference Recap

DSCN5163Last week in Milwaukee, the Forum Network came together for its Annual Conference, an opportunity for regional association staff to meet connect, exchange knowledge, and build relationships as part of the largest network serving philanthropy today.

This year, our conversations focused on putting members first. Bruce Boyd of Arabella Advisors, along with Celeste Amato of Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers and Colin Lacon of Northern California Grantmakers, challenged us to see regional associations differently, empowering RAs to take on a new role as change agents. Aaron Dorfman of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy walked us through the toughest questions facing foundations today, from addressing the “overhead myth” to getting involved in advocacy and better serving marginalized communities. Continue reading