20 Useful Knowledge Tools for Foundations and Nonprofits

I continue to be impressed  by the terrific resources, tools and information developed and provided by the Foundation Center. They recently created a hit list of their “Foundation Center Top 20 List of Knowledge Tools” and I wanted to share it here in its entirety with you. Free Online Databases 1.     Philanthropy News Digest (PND) is a daily online news service dedicated to philanthropy. You can perform keyword searches or browse by subject areas or population groups. By completing a free registration via “My PND,” you can set up targeted news alerts to be delivered to your email address. foundationcenter.org/pnd Requests for Proposals (RFPs): PND publishes RFPs and notices of awards as a free service for grantmaking organizations and nonprofits. foundationcenter.org/pnd/rfp/ … Continue reading 20 Useful Knowledge Tools for Foundations and Nonprofits

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ComNetwork Gumbo

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Chris Wolz, President/CEO at Forum One Communications.  Follow Chris on Twitter – @cwolz. “So, what’s gumbo?” Nam-ho Park asked when the steaming bowl was put in front of him the night before the conference. I was a little stunned that my colleague, a certified world traveler, was a gumbo newbie!  So I gave him my best explanation of the good things that can go into a gumbo, the importance of okra, how to make a roux, etc. He ate it and really enjoyed it. (We then moved on to the crawfish etouffee, which required another explanation.) … Continue reading ComNetwork Gumbo

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What’s your movement?

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Akilah Williams, Communications Officer at Crown Family Philanthropies. “Until we resolve or build some other kind of America, this is just triage,” said David Simon of “Treme” and “The Wire.” As the first plenary speaker he gave us a wakeup call and emphasized that we simply need to do more – and we must do it with utter credibility. He encouraged us to look beyond the typical motivation of social change, and realize there is no way to deal with everything. However, we must unveil and validate issues with authenticity. As a four-time Communication Network conference … Continue reading What’s your movement?

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Making the Invisible, Visible

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Maryland M. Grier, Senior Communications Officer at the Connecticut Health Foundation.  Follow Maryland on Twitter – @marylandgrier. When plenary speaker Maria Hinojosa said, “make the invisible visible,” in talking about underserved communities, I heard the word, “aha!” in my head. For me, a lifelong priority has been to support folks who are often referred to as ‘the underdog.’ Often, we in foundations identify the exemplary or popular grantees for media interviews, videos, or features, when in fact, we have hidden jewels whose stories will resonate as more human, real stories for reporters as well as their … Continue reading Making the Invisible, Visible

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You May Call Us Evangelists

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Jorge Cino, Creative Writer & Nonprofit Communications Specialist for the Levi Strauss Foundation.  Follow Jorge on Twitter – @jorgecino. From the struggle many nonprofits face in engaging elusive millenials to the complexities of navigating the fragmented media landscape, much (good stuff) has been written by my peers about last week’s 2013 Communications Network Conference. But the more I reflect on it, the more I return not to the “latest lessons and best practices,” not to the “new tools and resources,” but to a desire to reflect on us, communications folks. David Simon, creator of the HBO … Continue reading You May Call Us Evangelists

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Courts of Law and Public Opinion

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Paul VanDeCarr, Managing Director and co-founder of Working Narratives.  Follow along on Twitter – @wnstory. I learned a few things at the Communications Network conference session on “Impact Litigation as a Tool for Social Change: Perry v. Hollingsworth and the National Conversation about Marriage Equality.” One, the folks who waged the fight against Proposition 8—in the courts of law and of public opinion—are really smart. Seriously, they’ve got brains to spare. Presenters included Felix Schein, principal of Griffin|Schein, a public interest communications firm; and Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER). … Continue reading Courts of Law and Public Opinion

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Thinking about communication at the beginning? What a novel idea!

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Lori McClung, President of Advocacy & Communication Solutions.  Follow Lori on Twitter – @mclorius. In most of the sessions I attended at the Communication Network conference in New Orleans, funders and communication professionals alike shared one similar sentiment – building communication into the fabric of their work at the outset was key to their success. Each presenter said it in a slightly different way but the result was always the same: if you plan for it (communication) the people you want to help/the goal you want to achieve will be accomplished. As a communication professional I agree … Continue reading Thinking about communication at the beginning? What a novel idea!

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Ich Bin Ein Communicator?

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Bill Wright, Vice President, Outreach and Advocacy at America’s Promise Alliance.  Follow along on twitter – @americaspromise or @APA_wright. How many people at your organization and your grantees would feel justified in saying, “I’m a communicator”?[1] The last two years of the Fall conference has made me think about that question a number of times.  While I have no idea what the answer is, what’s encouraging is that more and more people are aiming to make that statement. One session that approached expanding communication capacity last year was a great breakout called “Can Foundations Train Their Grantees … Continue reading Ich Bin Ein Communicator?

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Confronting the Coming World

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Dan Brady, Communications Manager at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.  Follow along on Twitter – @givingforum. 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 … Continue reading Confronting the Coming World

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Permission to be Authentic

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference.  This is a guest post by Betsey Russell, Owner Last Word, LLC.   Follow Betsey on Twitter – @BetseyPR. Two of the overarching themes at the Communications Network conference just concluded in New Orleans were the elements of creating good stories and the importance of amplifying them.  It makes perfect sense. A beautiful, compelling story unshared is a wasted opportunity. And a poorly told or meaningless story that’s pushed out there to millions is a complete waste of time. Grantmaker conferences and articles over the past couple of years have been rich with advice and wisdom about how to craft a compelling narrative to further worthwhile causes. But some … Continue reading Permission to be Authentic

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