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Weekly News Alert: New Year's Resolutions and Predictions, Evaluation tecniques and Social Impact Finance!

Submitted by: Natalia Castaneda on Jan 7th, 2010 at 3PM PST

Top Trends:

On Evaluation...

  • There has been a debate recently about whether it is more effective to evaluate non-profit organizations on an individual basis or whether it is better to evaluate overall community impact (meaning the measurement would reflect the work of multiple nonprofits, community organizations, etc.).  There is a general consensus that while measuring overall community impact is more important, it is also more difficult to measure.  In her blog, Heather Carpenter  adds that when researches and consultants study evaluation and impact within nonprofits, it is important that they use evaluation tools that the nonprofits can use themselves.  This, she says, is the first step to conducting larger, community-wide impact studies.

On Resolutions and Change...

  • Every year people fail to keep their New Year’s Resolutions and we always blame ourselves.  However, Curtis Ogden of the Interaction Institute for Social Change blog cites a new study presented in the book Immunity to Change to suggest that it is not our behavior that is necessarily at fault, but instead that it is our underlying assumptions.  It is by changing those assumptions and acquiring a different perspective (rather than criticizing ourselves) that we will make resolutions we can keep and, in turn, keep them.
  • Many professionals in both the business and nonprofit worlds are completely committed to success.  The problem is this results in a “blind-spot” when it comes to anticipating set-backs.  By not expecting that things will not go as planned we set ourselves up for two hindering outcomes: either we will watch things “grind to a halt” or we will have “fewer options to assess based upon the new-found time constraint.”  Both options can be avoided, though, if leaders really value and ensure contingency planning.
  • A blogger at Fast Company asked business executives, nonprofit directors and other leaders what their resolutions or predictions for corporate responsibility are for 2010.  Most leaders see an increasing awareness in CSR despite the struggling economy.  Direct quotations and responses are published on the Fast Company blog.


On Social Impact Finance and the Social Innovation Fund...

  • Nell Edgington of Social Velocity blog posts predictions about how social change will be financed in the next decade.  Among the predictions are more social impact programs (like the federal Social Innovation Fund), foundations taking more risks and nonprofits better understanding the power of finance.
  • The Corporation for National and Community Service has released a Draft Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) for the Social Innovation Fund. The Corporation is accepting public comments on the NOFA until January 15 and until that time the Tactical Philanthropy blog has become an open forum for comments/thoughts/suggestions about the document and the initiative.


On Innovation, Invention and Entrepreneurs…

  • We often use the words “innovation,” “invention,” and “entrepreneur” interchangeably but, in fact, the words and implications from their use are quite different.  Jeffrey Phillips of Blogging Innovation defines each term and explains the importance of distinguishing each from the others.  The function of each is important and they are closely related, but “[the terms] are not the same things and should not be treated in the same fashion."


On Capitalism and Economic Models…

  • The Consumption Economic Model that currently drives capitalism has resulted in 80% of the world’s population not benefiting, global economic collapses, environmental degradation, division and many other disturbing results.  Gerard Rego of Digital Vision Fellowship argues that we need to make the switch to a Prosumption Economic Model.  This model is resources based (based on resources you have rather than on future resources you may or may not have), calls for accountability and is a hybrid of micro and macro economics.  This model, he says, will create a “constant state of equilibrium” in which the majority of people benefit and societies will be able to adapt.


Top Articles:

Hildy Gottlieb on Outcomes - Open Forum Participant
Author: Ken Berger
Date: January 4, 2009
Source: Ken’s Commentary blog

How will we measure impact in 2010?
Author: Heather Carpenter
Date: January 5, 2010
Source: Nonprofit Leadership 601

Re-Solution to Change
Author: Curtis Ogden
Date: January 7, 2010
Source: IISC blog

Do you have an innovation blind-spot?
Author: Mike Myatt
Date: January 7, 2009
Source: Blogging Innovation

CSR 2010 Resolutions and Predictions from the Business and Social Sectors: Part 1
Author: Alice Korngold
 Date: January 6, 2009
Source: Fast Company blog

Social Impact Finance

Author: Nell Edgington
Date: January 6, 2009
Source: Social Velocity blog

Eileen Ellsworth on the Social Innovation Fund Process
Author: Sean Stannard-Stockton
Date: January 7, 2009
Source: Tactical Philanthropy blog

Innovation, Invention and Entrepreneurs

Author: Jeffrey Phillips
Date: January 7, 2009
Source: Blogging Innovation

The shift to a Prosumption Economic Model from a Consumption Model is the Future of Capitalism

Author: Gerard Rego
Date: January 7, 2010
Source: Digital Vision Fellowship