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News News Alert: 09/03/09 - 09/10/09

Submitted by: Natalia Castaneda on Sep 10th, 2009 at 11AM PDT

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Top Trends:

On Networking, Community and Storytelling

  • "Network weavers", or “people who intentionally and informally weave new and richer connections between and among people, groups and entities in networks” play a large role in organizing and bringing together communities.  They are leaders who unite people who have similar interests and goals and are strong networkers.  Their impact can be measured by “social network mapping” which is a visual representation of a network.  The representation itself also helps to build community.
  • Wiser Earth Blog publishes a series of slides which explains and helps to determine what state of networking an organization is in. It focuses on the evolution from a fragmented cluster of people to a core community/network.
  • There is a debate about the role of storytelling (and how valuable it is) in the nonprofit world.  Todd Cohen, in his Inside Philanthropy blog, argues that storytelling absolutely is necessary in philanthropy because it is the means by which we connect and communicate with people, creating communities.  He makes the argument in a follow-up post that storytelling has a role in inciting change because “stories capture charities’ and givers’ vision of change.”  Conversely, Steve Cebalt, a communications consultant, believes that the term “storytelling” is meaningless and he offers a solution for better communication tactics.
On Strategic Philanthropy and Volunteering...
  • publishes an article about “strategic giving” or directed philanthropic efforts. The article says that financial advisors have the ability to enhance philanthropy by encouraging certain approaches to philanthropy for their clients. Some tips they give to clients include: “define your vision and mission” so that they believe in what they are supporting, “use philanthropy as an opportunity to educate and communicate” especially with younger generations and “leave room for change” meaning allow strategic plans to evolve.
  • The best way to motivate people to volunteer or give back is by appealing to their self-interest.  In his blog post, Chris Jarvis explains that we volunteer either because of extrinsic motivation or intrinsic motivation; the former can be defined as a “desire to give back” and the latter can be defined as being motivated by self-interest.  A follow up post explains that if we think of volunteering simply as “us helping them” then we run the risk of thinking of “them” as objects. Alternatively, if we think of both “us” and “them” being served then the line between us is blurred – leading us to discover our “mutually innate value.”
On Leadership...
  • In her commentary in the book Leading from Within, Carla M. Dahl speaks of the tension she feels as a leader between “being part of a strategic, plan-full, mission-driven organization and being someone who longs to lead with more intuition, responding to the opportunities of the moment.” She concludes that leaders must balance both leadership styles, meaning they should have a plan but be flexible.
  • Leaders tend to be scared of failure but there is value not just in learning from your mistakes but also in not being afraid to take chances that could lead to failure. #4Change publishes a post about how we can change the perception of failure.
  • Blogging Innovation shares tips about how to lead a successful brainstorming session. The article specifically focuses on things not to do; having no clear objectives and having too homogeneous of a group, among others, are examples of things to avoid in a brainstorming session.
On “Thrivability”...
  • Jean Russell, a technology consultant and entrepreneur, believes the philanthropic world needs to switch its focus from “sustainability” to “thrivability”. There is a lot of overlap between the two concepts but the main difference is that while sustainability is about creating solutions and institutions that last, thrivability is about creating solutions and institutions that succeed. WorldChanging Blog publishes an interview with Jean Russell.


Top Articles:

How to weave a tighter community
Date: September 8, 2009
Source: Wiser Earth Blog


What network stage is your community?
Date: September 9, 2009
Source: Wiser Earth Blog


Connecting, part 1: Giving sector needs media smarts
Author: Todd Cohen
Date: August 24, 2009
Source: Inside Philanthropy
Connecting, part 2: Stories can build giving, community
Author: Todd Cohen
Date: August 31, 2009
Source: Inside Philanthropy
Why I think storytelling for nonprofits is a load of bull
Author: Steve Cebalt
Date: August 28, 2009
Source: Main Street Nonprofit Training


Getting Clients to Focus on Philanthropic Goals
Author: Dune Thorne
Date: September 10, 2009


Want Good Volunteers? Forget the Altruistic, Find the Self-Interested
Author: Chris Jarvis
Date: September 2, 2009
Source: Realizing Your Worth


Want Good Volunteers? Dump the Altruistic, Find the Self-Interested (Part 2 of 2)
Author: Chris Jarvis
Date: September 9, 2009
Source: Fast Company


Strategy or Fluency
Date: September 10, 2009
Source: IISC Blog
September #4Change Chat Topic: Change Failure
Date: September 9, 2009
Source: #4 Change


How to Ruin a Brainstorming Session
Author: Paul Sloane
Date: September 10, 2009
Source: Blogging Innovation


Worldchanging Interview: Jean Russell on Thrivability
Author: Jon Lebkowsky
Date: September 8, 2009
Source: WorldChanging Blog