Category Archives: Philanthropy 411 Blog

The New Meditation

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Richard Woo, CEO of the Russell Family Foundation. By:  Richard Woo The New Meditation The next time you walk into a breakout room shortly before or after the presentation of a conference session, take note of the reflective meditation underway.  More often than not, the sparse gathering of people are sitting quietly with their heads bowed, eyes cast downward and hands folded in their laps.  It appears to be a remarkable moment of collective meditation. I call this phenomenon the “BlackBerry Prayer” because upon closer inspection everyone has … Continue reading The New Meditation

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A Lesson on Managing Risk

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Raymond Colmenar, Senior Program Officer at The California Endowment. by:  Raymond Colmenar I just heard a most inspiring speech by Crystal Hayling, former president of Blue Shield of California Foundation and James A. Joseph lecturer at The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE). It was an inspiring speech about lessons that many of us funders often learn but always seem to forget. She reflected on five lessons–but I’ll focus on just one, a lesson on managing risk. Crystal challenged us to invert the notion of risk. Instead of … Continue reading A Lesson on Managing Risk

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Thoughts from the Pre-Conference Institute for Trustees & CEOs: “Insights for Philanthropic Leadership”

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Richard Woo, CEO of the Russell Family Foundation. By:  Richard Woo Today I attended the Council on Foundation’s pre-conference institute for Trustees & CEOs called “Insights for Philanthropic Leadership.”  The one and a half day institute is focused on themes that trustees and CEOs are often charged with overseeing including governance, board/staff relations, strategy, gauging impact, succession planning, and stakeholder relations. I must say, the quality of today’s conversations exceeded my expectations, largely because there was an unusually high level of trust and candor in the room. Here … Continue reading Thoughts from the Pre-Conference Institute for Trustees & CEOs: “Insights for Philanthropic Leadership”

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Kick off of Council on Foundations Blog Team

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Sterling Speirn, President and CEO of the WK Kellogg Foundation.  Sterling kicks off this year’s blog team with some poetry. by:  Sterling Speirn Taking my blog responsibilities seriously, here’s my first post from ye olde iPhone: Blogger’s Haiku Flying to Denver Dinosaur’s first blog set loose Raptor hunting truth Share

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What Do You Want To Learn From Council on Foundations Conference?

As you know, the Philanthropy411 Blog Team will be blogging from the Council on Foundations conference, starting with the pre-conference sessions this Saturday, April 24th. What do you want to learn? Write a comment below and tell us what you are most interested in learning. I can’t promise that our Blog Team will address all of your questions, but it will help to know what our readers want to learn. I asked this question on some of my LinkedIn Groups, and here are a few of the requests: Larry Blumenthal of Open Road Advisors asks: I would love to learn of any signs that social media tools and principles are being embraced – especially by program staff. Are organizations continuing … Continue reading What Do You Want To Learn From Council on Foundations Conference?

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67 Recommended Philanthropy Speakers

A few weeks ago, Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy posted a blog asking: Who are the most amazing, dynamic and engaging speakers you’ve ever seen talk about philanthropy, the social sector and social capital markets? Many people offered up their favorite speakers on the topic of nonprofits and philanthropy.  Kyle Reis of the Ford Foundation (and @zazoomzimminy) and Sean suggested that I organize the list with links to all the speakers’ bios.  Here is the list below, including the speaker’s name, title, organization, link to their bio (or the organization they represent if I couldn’t find their bio online), the name of the person who recommended them, and any comments about the speaker that were offered.  Of course, if you … Continue reading 67 Recommended Philanthropy Speakers

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Your Team at the Council on Foundations Conference

I’m thrilled to announce the 2010 Philanthropy411 Blog Team for the Council on Foundations annual conference in Denver! This year’s  Team is organized in collaboration with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers. We’ll be blogging from Denver starting with the pre-conference sessions on Saturday, April 24th. As many of you know, Sean Stannard-Stockton’s Tactical Philanthropy Blog Team covered the conference in 2009 and 2008.  This year Sean has generously passed the blog baton to Philanthropy411. The Council on Foundations will also be blogging from the conference, so definitely check out their conference posts as well. You can also follow the conference by using the hashtag #cof10. Here is your Philanthropy411 Blog Team: Rebecca Arno Vice President of Communications, Denver … Continue reading Your Team at the Council on Foundations Conference

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10 Great Resources for Creating a Theory of Change

What is a Theory of Change? According to ActKnowledge, a Theory of Change defines all the building blocks required to bring about a long-term goal. ‘Like any good planning and evaluation method for social change, it requires participants to be clear on long-term goals, identify measurable indicators of success, and formulate actions to achieve goals.’ Many people use it interchangeably with the term “logic model” but it differs from logic models  because it requires stakeholders to articulate underlying assumptions which can be tested and measured, and because shows a causal pathway from here to there by specifying what is needed for goals to be achieved. According to Jim Connell and Adema Klem you should ask yourself whether your Theory of … Continue reading 10 Great Resources for Creating a Theory of Change

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Looking For A Philanthropy Job? 20 Resources To Help You

When I was searching for my first foundation job, the CEO of a prominent family foundation told me: “Philanthropy is a closed world, but once you’re in, you’re in. Take any program officer job you are offered, even if it’s a different content area than what you are interested in. Once you are working at a foundation, you’re seen as an “insider” and can network with other funders.” That was accurate advice ten years ago, and I think it continues to be true. Although I think foundations are generally more open and accessible today than they were then, it can be difficult for someone to “break into” the field.  I was lucky enough to land a position at the David … Continue reading Looking For A Philanthropy Job? 20 Resources To Help You

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12 Terrific Charitable Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Apologies for the radio silence over the past few months, but I gave birth to twins at the end of December and – as you can imagine – they’ve taken top priority! With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I wanted to share some terrific ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts that give back.  CauseCast (self described as ” a platform where media, philanthropy, social networking, entertainment and education converge to serve a greater purpose”) developed a Top 10 list of chartiable Valentine’s Day gifts, including e-cards that benefit Charity: Water, fair trade chocolates from Ghana, and (for a very special Valentine’s) conflict-free diamonds. Target is sharing $1 million in proceeds from Valentine’s Day cards to benefit 5 charities: Kids in Need … Continue reading 12 Terrific Charitable Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

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