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Weekly News Alert: 8/31/09 - 9/03/09


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On Leadership and Change

  • James McGregor Burns made a distinction between two models of leadership: transformational leadership and transactional leadership.  The former model revolves around visionary ideas and transformative change while the latter involves management techniques.  Lindsey McDougle, in her blog, states that research should be done to see how these two models apply themselves within the nonprofit world.
  • The Change Handbook by Peggy Holman makes the argument that we need to stop using the term “change management” because change is not manageable.  We can work with change, she believes, but managing it is impossible because it is rooted in upheaval and disturbance.  This does not make change bad, but it does mean that in order to work with it we need to shift our mindset.  The key to a shift in our mindset about change is a shift in our mindset about leadership.  We need to move from “leading from a position of certainty” to “leading by inquiry, asking… questions of possibility,” in order to adapt rather than to manage.

On Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Field...

  • Tactical Philanthropy, a philanthropic advisory firm, along with Schwab Charitable, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Calvert Giving Fund and Foundation Source, is working to build a model which combines “administrators,” “independent advisors” and a “high volume platform” in an effort to build the Tactical Philanthropy firm and enhance the philanthropy field.  The firm would operate by creating a platform which independent advisors can plug into and the field would expand as other advisors adopt the same model.  They are starting by building a support system that encourages advisors to plug into this model.  (An example of the support system is the Tactical Philanthropy Knowledge Network.)  
  • It is common to hear people say that “charities should act more like businesses” but our current belief system makes this advice impossible to follow.  Businesses are allowed (and expected) to spend a significant amount of their revenue on marketing and overhead costs – Coca Cola, for example, would not be successful if did not have an advertising budget.  Charities and nonprofit organizations, though, are expected to spend as little money as possible on marketing and overhead and as much as possible on programs.  A study by Bridgespan shows the danger of not spending enough on overhead, referring to the resulting problems as part of a "starvation cycle."

On Civic Engagement...

  • This year at the SOCAP 09 conference, the role of government – meaning the capabilities and the limitations of the government– and the newly established Office of Social Innovation was discussed.  There was a general acknowledgement that neither government nor the private sector alone can address all social problems, but that what is needed is a bridge between the public and private sectors.  Philanthropy Front and Center – San Francisco also shares the impact measurement resources used at the conference.
  • We hear a lot about how social media and technology provide us with the tools to create social change.  However, a new study shows that “the internet is not changing the socioeconomic character of civic engagement in America.”

Top Articles:

Ted Kennedy’s Leadership Lessons
Author: Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Date: August 28, 2009
Source: Harvard Business Publishing
The Leadership of Nonprofits
Author: Lindsey McDougle
Date: August 28, 2009
Source: Leadership as a Field of Study
How to Lead While Bearing the Weight of Change
Author: Scott Briscoe
Date: September 2009
Source: Associations Now


Re-bundling Philanthropy Services
Author: Sean Stannard Stockton
Date: September 1, 2009
Source: Tactical Philanthropy
The Tactical Philanthropy Knowledge Network
Author: Sean Stannard Stockton
Date: September 2, 2009
Source: Tactical Philanthropy
Will Sean’s Model Work at the Expense of Community Foundations?
Date: September 1, 2009
Source: Gift Hub


Rethink Charity
Author: Dan Pallotta
Date: September 2009
Source: Associations Now


The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle
Author: Ann Goggins Gregory and Don Howard
Date: Fall 2009
Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review


Social Capital Markets 2009: Opening Session Examines the Role of Government
Author: Francisco Noguera
Date: September 1, 2009
Source: Next Billion
Date: September 2, 2009
Source: Philanthropy Front and Center – San Francisco
Does the Internet Increase Civic Engagement?
Author: R. Craig Lefebvre
Date: September 2, 209
Source: On Social Marketing and Social Change