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Weekly News Alert: Nonprofit Collaboration, Communication and "Ecosystem Thinking"


Top Trends:

On Nonprofit Collaboration...

  • The objection to nonprofit collaboration has always been that “we’re all competing for a limited pool of resources.”  This is true, Debra Askanase of the Community Organizer 2.0 blog states, but it is also true that cooperation makes that pool larger; collaboration brings in more traffic, clients and funding sources which benefits nonprofits and their causes.  We are in a new world in which coopetition (cooperative competition) is becoming the norm.

On Evaluation...

On Leadership...
  • Rosetta Thurman writes an inspiring blog post about the need for leaders in the nonprofit sector to question the status quo.  It is tough to balance the “money, politics, power thing” in Washington and big corporations with innovative strategies in the nonprofit sector; Thurman acknowledges this and says that we often find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.  She also says, though, that she would like to see us “lead from that hard place” because otherwise we are simply conforming to the broken status quo.
  • The idea of Open Space was pioneered many years ago by Harrison Owen.  Johnnie Moore has posted a video of Owen talking about the paradox of leading in a self-organizing world and what this means for Open Space on his blog.
  • The difference between assigned and emergent leadership is that assigned leadership involves being hired into a particular position in an organization (Executive Director, CEO, etc.) while emergent leaders are individuals “perceived to have influence in a group or organization, regardless of their title.” Some qualities that emergent leaders tend to exhibit are being verbally involved, seeking others’ opinions and initiating new ideas.
On Communication...
  • Effective communication continues to play a vital role in the philanthropic world.  This topic is being raised consistently not only in conversations around communications and networks but also in more general settings.  This would indicate that communication is becoming a more integral part of philanthropy and that it is something every organization needs to consider and take advantage of.

On Social Media and Ecosystem Thinking...
  • Chris Brogan shares insight about how organizations can build an “ecosystem ” with the content they share on the internet.  He focuses on blogging but notes that the strategy can be applied to any sort of knowledge-sharing.  The key, he says, is to think of your content as part of a larger system – of products, events and partnerships – and to develop a platform as part of that system, rather than as separate parts.
  • Social learning thrives in a collaborative, fun environment where learning is encouraged and valued.  In many cultures and classrooms, people are encouraged to pursue individual paths – which prevents us from helping each other.  However, social media has marked a huge milestone in collectively requesting help, feedback and insight without hesitation.  Fast Company comments on the value that social media adds to social learning in a blog post.
  • The 2010 Technology Entertainment Design (TED) conference is being held this week in Long Beach, CA.  Videos from the conference will be available on their website.  Mashable: The Social Media Guide has also posted some highlights from recent talks TED has given.

Top Articles:
Nonprofit Collaboration: Doesn’t It Make the Pie Bigger?
Author: Debra Askanase
Date: February 16, 2010
Source: Community Organizer 2.0

Analytical Gifts
Date: January 21, 2010
Sour e: Business Week

Who Teaches Us to Question
Author: Rosetta Thurman
Date: February 12, 2010
Source: Rosetta Thurman blog

Leadership in a Self-Organizing World
Author: Johnnie Moore
Date: September 24, 2009
Source: Johnnie Moore Weblog

5 Ways to Emerge as a Nonprofit Leader
Author: Rosetta Thurman
Date: February 9, 2010
Source: Rosetta Thurman blog

Everybody’s Talking About Us
Author: Bruce Trachtenberg
Date: February 16, 2010
Source: The Communications Network blog

Build Ecosystems for Your Content
Author: Chris Brogan
Date: February 11, 2010
Source: Chris Brogan blog

Where Social Learning Thrives
Author: Marcia Conner
Date: February 11, 2010
Source: Fast Company

5 Insightful TED Talks on Social Media
Author: Matt Silverman
Date: February 9, 2010
Source: Mashable: The Social Media Guide