Generating ideas, connections, and action

Nonprofit Leadership News Brief: October 25, 2011

On Civic Engagement...

  • Volunteering and high levels of civic engagement have helped certain communities weather unemployment with greater ease. The National Conference on Citizenship has created a report based off of U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Labor Statistics. Working with neighbors in one’s community resulted in a decrease of .256% unemployment. The report calls on community and business leaders to foster a local discussion in their community on civic engagement.
  • This follows a new study where social change was found to be a priority for Americans. Walden University and Harris Interactive conducted a survey of 2,100 people and found that 85% believe that their individual actions can effect social change and more than 50% plan to engage in creating social change in the future.



On Networks...

  • A convening for grantmakers about networks was held in San Francisco on October 17th and 18th called, "Growing Social Impact in a Networked World." Among notable mentions are that by 2020 40% of people will have been born in a networked world, applying organization-centered approaches to network-centered approaches can do damage, and that a new word for "audience" might be needed. 
  • Barbara Kibbe mentions that the new unit of analysis is networks, not organizations. If you can remove yourself from the center of the network and instead become a node, then the network is successful. Since both organizations and individuals can become members of a network, the question is what commonality do they need to build this network together.
  • In an impassioned speech, Marty shares the rapid network assessment of #occupywallstreet. It details the network actors as being weavers, drivers, operators, and participants; mentions how there are various "camps" and that it is up to them to engage; and says that clarity in vision still needs to be agreed upon by the participants.


On Collaboration and Community...

  • The Institute for Philanthropy has released a 60-page report on Philanthropy and Social Media, including many conversations with large foundations on how they use social media in their campaigns. The report suggests finding pre-existing communities and supporting their work, investing in people – and not just technology – to foster community engagement, and understanding that metrics need to measure off-line as well as online impact. 
  • Effective partnerships between local governments and nonprofits need shared leadership to work. Saphira Baker suggests that nonprofits pre-emptively cultivate people across different sectors before they need partnerships, that they become a reliable source of innovative community improvements as a way to show their effectiveness, and that they have shared financial obligations and tracking as a way to share responsibility and, therefore, leadership.


Top Articles: 


Can Volunteering Help Us Weather Tough Economic Times?

Date: September 16, 2011

Source: National Conference on Citizenship


Social change a priority for Americans

Date: October 17, 2011

Source: The Philanthropy Journal


Growing Social Impact In A Networked World - #1

Author: Beth Kanter

Date: October 18, 2011

Source: Storify


The New Unit of Analysis: Networks

Author: Barbara Kibbe

Date: October 17, 2011

Source: Beth's Blog


OccupyWallstreet is not a brand. Why does Occupywallstreet feel different? The network is occupied. A riff

Author: Marty

Date: October 8, 2011

Source: Netcentric Campaigns


Philanthropy and Social Media

Author: Daisy Wakefield, Aphra Sklair, Andy Gibson

Date: September 2011

Source: Institute of Philanthropy


Effective Partnerships

Author: Saphira M. Baker

Date: Winter 2011

Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review