A New Source of Funds for Nonprofits: Product Recommendations!

The Great Recession has hit nonprofits hard. The most recent Chronicle of Philanthropy survey found that donations to the nation’s biggest charities dropped 11 % last year — resulting in billions of dollars in lost revenue. It’s the worst decline since the survey started 20 years ago. The good news: There is a large, promising, and rapidly growing new source of funds to support great causes — and you probably never thought about it before (I sure hadn’t): Product recommendations, through a cool new service called Rec.fm. Rec.fm, a 2010 SXSW Web Award finalist, is an online service where you can recommend products you love for the causes you care about. It works like this: You love a product (a … Continue reading A New Source of Funds for Nonprofits: Product Recommendations!

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Why Being Next Gen is a Good Thing

This is a guest post by Jillian Vukusich, Director of Community Investments, Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.  Follow Jillian on Twitter:  @JCVukusich by:  Jillian Vukusich I’ve recently returned from a two-day session with the Council on Foundation’s Next Generation Task Force. Largely a time to brainstorm about strategies for inclusion of the next generation within the Council and the philanthropic field in general, the conversation often turned to a deeper, thoughtful conversation about why. Why should it matter? Why should boards and staff be multigenerational? Why is it important to the field? Why is it important to be thoughtful about our role in giving? And how can we help? These questions I hold deeply. We all giggle … Continue reading Why Being Next Gen is a Good Thing

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Applied Crowdsourcing

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with the help of a blog team, which is part of the conference’s 2nd annual Gorilla Engagement Squad.  This is a guest post by Dan Brady, Communications Manager at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.  Follow on Twitter:  @givingforum. By:  Dan Brady There has been a lot of discussion here and on Twitter about the legitimacy of crowdsourcing. The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers has been working in collaborative knowledge management for a number of years now so I thought I might offer some concrete examples of how we’re employing crowdsourcing methods to strengthen our network of regionals associations. Before I get started, … Continue reading Applied Crowdsourcing

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Stories and Change

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with the help of a blog team, which is part of the conference’s 2nd annual Gorilla Engagement Squad.  This is a guest post by Joan Mazzolini, Communications Officer at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. by:  Joan Mazzolini As a newbie to both foundation communications and the Communications Network, I traveled to L.A. not sure what to expect. Like fellow blogger Dan Brady, I too was “flying solo,” arriving thinking I would know (by e-mail) just one other person attending the conference.  (The one person was a colleague from a sister foundation to my own organization, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.) It … Continue reading Stories and Change

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Wisdom of Crowds – Succeeding in Practice?

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with the help of a blog team, which is part of the conference’s 2nd annual Gorilla Engagement Squad.  This is a guest post by Chris Wolz, President and CEO of ForumOne.  Follow Chris on Twitter:  @cwolz. By:  Chris Wolz Adin Miller, a friend and all-around smart guy, wrote a blog post reflecting on James Surowieki’s talk about the “Wisdom of Crowds” at the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference.  Adin’s right that there are challenges to putting the wisdom of crowds to good use for foundations, but I’m optimistic – seeing good models of this today which can be applied by foundations for their … Continue reading Wisdom of Crowds – Succeeding in Practice?

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First Impressions

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with the help of a blog team, which is part of the conference’s 2nd annual Gorilla Engagement Squad.  This is a guest post by Dan Brady, Communications Manager at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.  Follow on Twitter:  @givingforum. By:  Dan Brady When I landed in LA, I met an old friend for lunch who told me that I should take particular care to watch the sunsets during my time on the West Coast. He described the way the sun lowered itself from the sky and lit up pockets of clouds here, then another group over there, then another, until the entire sky flooded … Continue reading First Impressions

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A Year for “Firsts”

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with the help of a blog team, which is part of the conference’s 2nd annual Gorilla Engagement Squad.  This is a guest post by Rebecca Arno, VP, Communications at The Denver Foundation.  Follow her Foundation on Twitter:  @tdfcommunity. By:  Rebecca Arno 2010 was a year for firsts…the first time Communications Network and CommA, the association of community foundation communications professionals, held a joint conference.  The conference planners tried, for the first time, a structure that relied on plenary speakers and follow-up conversations.  And another first – for the Communications Network at any rate – we had a speaker talk about the role of living donors … Continue reading A Year for “Firsts”

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Disruptive Philanthropy – How Can Foundation Communicators Help Spur “Adjacent Possibilities”?

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with the help of a blog team, which is part of the conference’s 2nd annual Gorilla Engagement Squad.  This is a guest post by Allyson Burns, Director of Communications at The Case Foundation.  Follow Allie on Twitter:  @allieb37. by: Allyson Burns Reflecting on my experience at this past week’s Communications Network conference, which featured incredible speakers and really insightful conversations, one of the things that continues to strike me is Lucy Bernholz’s discussion of “adjacent possibilities,” during which she encouraged the philanthropy sector to adjust to new and changing models of addressing social challenges.  With the rise of B Corporations and other new organizational models … Continue reading Disruptive Philanthropy – How Can Foundation Communicators Help Spur “Adjacent Possibilities”?

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Meetings Making you Dumber? Try This…

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with the help of a blog team, which is part of the conference’s 2nd annual Gorilla Engagement Squad.  This is a guest post by Stefan Lanfer, Associate for Strategy & Knowledge at The Barr Foundation.   Follow Stefan on Twitter:  @stefanlanfer. by:  Stefan Lanfer One of the most piercing insights, and the most practical advice I heard at last week’s Communications Network  Conference arrived in the opening plenary.  We heard from Jim Surowiecki, author of Wisdom of Crowds, which has sat for a long time on my to-read list –  even though it’s one of those books, like Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, or Chris Anderson’s Long Tail, … Continue reading Meetings Making you Dumber? Try This…

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From the Social Media Toolbag: ComNet010 on Twitter

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network and CommA Fall 2010 Conference in Los Angeles with the help of a blog team, which is part of the conference’s 2nd annual Gorilla Engagement Squad.  This is a guest post by Adin Miller, owner of Adin Miller Consulting.  Follow him on Twitter:   @adincmiller by:  Adin Miller When the Twitter hashtag for the Fall 2010 Communications Network  / CommA Conference was announced a few weeks ago, I set up the ComNet010 hashtag on What the Hashtag?! While I use any number of tools during a conference to track discussion on Twitter, What the Hashtag?! provides several functions that I really appreciate. Foremost, it allows users to generate a transcript for tweets using the … Continue reading From the Social Media Toolbag: ComNet010 on Twitter

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