LearnPhilanthropy is creating a virtual bookshelf, and filling it up with some of the best books, articles and monographs out there to support grantmaker learning and development.
The LearnPhilanthropy Bookshelf is intended to be a dynamic list of books, articles and reports suggested by practicing grantmakers and those committed to effective philanthropy. The LP Team started off thinking just about books for those wanting to ground themselves in philanthropy, but many of the suggestions we received caused us to expand this idea to include seminal articles, frequently mentioned monographs and reports and a few recommended subscriptions. Find out more!
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
Earlier this fall, LearnPhilanthropy (LP) conducted 22 hands-on user tests of the LearnPhilanthropy prototype with staff, donors, and trustees from a variety of different types of grantmaking and philanthropy support organizations. These tests have helped LearnPhilanthropy to identify eight priorities for site improvement:
- Redesign the front page so that it’s inviting, active, compelling, and clear.
- Further develop LP’s search function – make it easier to find and more highly functional
- Improve initial search screen
- Populate and format the resource landing pages
- Improve the log-in/register page
- Build out the individual profile functionality
- Add and build more interactive elements
- Test initial value-added content, like collections of resources, Q&A, etc. Continue reading
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.
There has been a lot of discussion on the Communications Network blog and on Twitter about the legitimacy of employing crowdsourcing methods within philanthropy, sparked by a presentation by Jim Surowiecki at the Communications Network conference. The Forum network has been working in collaborative knowledge management for a number of years now so I thought I might offer some concrete examples of how our methods fit the crowdsourcing model.
Before I get started, let me say that there are two important factors that make our system work, not covered in Surowiecki’s outline of the conditions for good crowdsourcing: 1) community trust and 2) shared goals. These elements might seem in conflict with Surowiecki’s conditions that a wise crowd contains a diversity of opinion and a willingness to embrace arguments, but in reality they are only modifications. Like in any family, conflicting opinions can still work together to accomplish positive outcomes.
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, Joyce White, Executive Director at Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington.
You’ve put in a lot of work on the LearnPhilanthropy initiative. Can you tell me a little about your involvement?
LearnPhilanthropy started out as a project tied to the strategic alliance between the Council on Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. The idea was to build on prior joint initiatives – primarily Essential Skills and Strategies and the Grantmaker Education Framework (PDF) – to strengthen the relationship between the two organizations. An Education Design Team was formed and from the very beginning, the shared vision was for something bigger – a system of grantmaker education where learners of all kinds – program officers, CEOs, trustees, donors – would have access to the high-quality knowledge, skills, and connections they need.
The journey that started with that early vision for a field-wide collaboration came to an inflection point in July. Over 70 philanthropic leaders with an interest in grantmaker education gathered following the Forum conference. For two days, they worked with an exceptional team of consultants to answer a threshold question: Could we begin to co-create a field-wide system for grantmaker education? Continue reading