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Weekly News Alert: Evaluation, Innovation and Women in the Workplace

Submitted by: Natalia Castaneda on Feb 9th, 2010 at 4PM PST

On Evaluation...

  • Donors looking to make donations to non-profit organizations have recently been encouraged to look at program evaluation in order to measure the organization’s impact rather than looking at financial ratios.  However, PhilanTopic publishes a post explaining that while it is true that program evaluation is important, financial evaluation is important as well.  An organization’s financial stability, its ability to service any debt it has and how much money it has raised in excess of expenses can be learned from financial evaluation; all of these should be important factors for donors when deciding which organization they would like to donate to.

On Innovation and Change...

  • Blogging Innovation publishes a post about ways to increase innovation productivity.  Stefan Lindegaard writes that there are four areas of opportunity that offer high potential for productivity and innovation.  The four areas are: platforms and architectures, resource management, information automation and cross-functional teams.
  • Nonprofits are constantly under pressure to change and adapt to different economic climates, donor wishes and organizational shifts.  Philanthropy Journal publishes an article discussing the impact and key elements of change.  The key elements in inciting change, the article says, are people, process and technology.  Also discussed are the challenges, communication efforts and training.

On Non-profits and Community...

  • For a nonprofit organization to succeed it needs to engage its community in its mission and work.  Making real connections is essential and following up on those relationships is also important.  Michele Savoldi of Philanthropy Journal writes that organizations should start from the mission’s core and move out to define ripples with their community.  She gives a list of specific suggestions about ways to do this.
  • is crucial to the nonprofit world but it is struggling financially.  To save themselves they have launched a public fundraising effort.  In her blog Rosetta Thurman reflects on and other struggling nonprofit infrastructure organizations.  She concludes that there is a kind of contradiction; in an effort to save themselves and to meet financial bottom lines many infrastructure organizations have made layoffs, program cuts and management changes but this inherently goes against their missions which focus on the value of collaboration and not conforming to traditional models.
  • Nancy Schwartz of Nancy Schwartz & Company recently conducted a marketing survey of more than 900 nonprofit leaders.  The survey concluded that most nonprofits do not connect strongly with key audiences, important messages are difficult to remember, and inconsistency reigns, leaving confusion.  She analyzes the data further and explains reasons for this apparent disconnect and suggests areas of improvement.


On Women and the Workplace...

  • Despite companies’ efforts to treat men and women equally, recent surveys show that while most women and men believe in the benefits of gender parity, only about 20% of men and women believe that their companies invest in and provide meaningful resources to ensure gender parity.  Harvard Business Review suggests ways that companies can help more women climb the corporate ladder.

Top Articles:

Financial Ratios, Babies, and Bathwater
Author: Dahna Goldstein
Date: February 5, 2010
Source: PhilanTopic

Increasing Innovation Productivity
Author: Stefan Lindegaard
Date: January 27, 2010
Source: Blogging Innovation

Ideas that work: Commitment to Change
Authors: Gilman Sullivan and Amy Adams
Date: February 5, 2010
Source: Philanthropy Journal

Community engagement a key to success
Author: Michele Savoldi
Date: February 5, 2010
Source: Philanthropy Journal

The Nonprofit Institutional Dilemma and More on the Future of Infrastructure Organizations
Author: Rosetta Thurman
Date: January 27, 2010
Source: Rosetta Thurman blog

Nonprofit Marketing Report: Organizations Failing to Connect
Author: Amy Sample Ward
Date: January 26, 2010
Source: Wiser Earth Blog

Why Workplace Equality Initiatives Aren’t Helping Women
Authors: Orit Gadiesh and Julie Coffman
Date: February 5, 2010
Source: Harvard Business Review