Category: Viewpoints

Social Sector Knowledge Sharing: A Manifesto for 2015 and Beyond

  Within the last six months, three of the world’s largest foundations—the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Ford Foundation—have all announced that they will require open licensing of all grant-funded products and content. In doing so they build on the leadership of early adopters, such as Wellcome Trust, […]

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Buddha’s Advice On Program Measurement

  Maybe someday I’ll climb a Himalayan mountain to ask the monk there all of my questions about the universe, but I already know what he’ll say when I ask about program measurement. Let me save you the hike. There are two steps to effectively measure your programs and improve them based on performance:   […]

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Here Comes GenZ

  Many nonprofit fundraisers know about and have specific strategies to reach, cultivate, and solicit baby boom donors, Gen X donors, and Gen Y donors. But get ready to reach out to Gen Z donors, sometimes called “PhilanthroTeens” or “PhilanthroKids.”   These potential donors are teens (and pre-teens) with a passion for social change and who […]

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The Metrics Myth

Since at least the early ‘90s, those involved in the generation of more than money have been on a quest to capture the right balance between documentation of impact and claims to same. For me personally, I have been a reluctant crusader in this quest for coming on thirty years. As a social worker in […]

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What is Digital Transformation?

  I’ve pondered this question over the last few weeks and months, moving between meetings with brilliant pioneers in digital technology, and events and articles on its role in the social sector. The consensus seems to be that digital transformation is about digital, and about transformation. That’s about as clear as it gets—though I’m not […]

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Smarter Nonprofit Networking

  Your professional network is your greatest asset no matter the stage of your nonprofit career, whether you are an emerging leader or an acknowledged thought leader in your industry or somewhere in between. When you intentionally build your professional network in the right way, you create a circle of individuals who are all rooting […]

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Two Views on the Research-Practice Gap

  In human services, the idea of bridging research and practice is, if I may quote a classic piece of art house cinema, “so hot right now.” With advocates ranging from venerable, traditionally academic corners like the Center for the Study of Social Policy to the more pop-culturally-named Moneyball for Government, efforts to bring data […]

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Uber Holds the Key to Disrupting Our Impact Measurement Elitism

  I started my social impact career at the age of 21, and for 7 years I worked on the frontlines as a mental health clinician, substance abuse counselor, and case manager for the homeless. While serving as a case manager, I had a transformational moment. I was invited to a community meeting where the […]

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We Need More Data Talent

  We need more data talent in the nonprofit sector. Data has the power to revolutionize our organizations yet we lack the workforce to launch the revolution. So where should this workforce come from?   There are two strategies we can employ to increase the data talent in the sector; attract or develop.   Many […]

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Jim Kim’s Bold Vision of Beneficiary Feedback in Development

  At the October 2013 World Bank annual meetings bank president Jim Kim committed to an extraordinary vision of collecting beneficiary feedback for 100 percent of projects with clearly identified beneficiaries. The World Bank locates beneficiary feedback as a subset within the larger theme of citizen engagement. Other elements of citizen engagement have been part of […]

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