Category Archives: nonprofit

20 Social Media Resources for Nonprofits

I recently gave a keynote speech on “Using Social Media to Enhance Nonprofit Learning” at a conference sponsored by The California Wellness Foundation.  I included a list of resources for nonprofits, thought I would share them with you here.  I know there are many others out there, so please add a comment and tell me about the resources most useful to you!

“How To” Guides for Using Social Media

Blogs to Follow to Learn More About Social Media and Nonprofits

Finding Nonprofits and Foundations That Use Social Media

Social Media Policy

Research on Nonprofit Use of Social Media

What resources have you found most useful for your nonprofit or foundation? Please share them in the comments below!

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe. On Twitter? Follow me @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.


Blog Team Coverage of the Council on Foundations Conference

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, recently covered the 2010 Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a list of all posts published for this event.

  1. Kick off of Council on Foundations Blog Team, posted by Sterling Speirn, President and CEO, WK Kellogg Foundation
  2. Thoughts from the Pre-Conference Institute for Trustees & CEOs: “Insights for Philanthropic Leadership,” posted by Richard Woo, CEO, Russell Family Foundation
  3. A Lesson on Managing Risk, posted by Raymond Colmenar, Senior Program Officer, The California Endowment
  4. The New Meditation, posted by Richard Woo, CEO, Russell Family Foundation
  5. Nits Make Lice, posted by Mike Roberts, President, First Nations Development Institute
  6. Walking Around Philanthropy, posted by Mary Galeti, Vice Chair of the Tecovas Foundation
  7. 5 Things We Know, But Keep Forgetting, posted by Crystal Hayling, Winner of the 2010 James A Joseph Award from the Association of Black Foundation Executives
  8. Listen, posted by Aleesha Towns-Bain, Program Associate, Rasmuson Foundation
  9. Health, Equity, and Growth, posted by Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
  10. On Fire, posted by Rebecca Arno, Vice President of Communications, Denver Foundation
  11. Choices, Choices, posted by Kim St. John-Stevenson, Communications Officer, Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland
  12. So Many Great Sessions, So Little Time to Blog, posted by Sterling Speirn, President and CEO, WK Kellogg Foundation
  13. Thoughts on a Session – Social Justice: From Here to 2030, posted by Teri Behrens, Editor, The Foundation Review
  14. Charity AND Change; Social Innovation AND Social Justice, posted by Paul Connolly, Senior Vice President and Director, TCC Group, and member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  15. Grantmaking, Tools, and the Long View, posted by Mary Galeti, Vice Chai, Tecovas Foundation
  16. Happy Birthday AAPIP!, posted by Richard Woo, CEO, Russell Family Foundation
  17. Standing Ovation Generation, posted by Jacob Harold, Program Officer in Philanthropy, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  18. Social Justice Philanthropy, posted by Mike Shaw, Program Assistant, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  19. The “Yes-And-And” Strategy: Equity as the 21st Century Growth Model, posted by Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
  20. Celebrating AAPIP’s 20th Anniversary Year-round, posted by Sokunthea Sa Chhabra, Director of Interactive Communications, Case Foundation
  21. Information and Power – Thoughts on Al Gore’s Speech, posted by Kathleen Reich, Program Officer, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  22. Is Institutional Philanthropy Structured to Support Successful Social Change?, posted by Lee Draper, Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and CEO of the Draper Consulting Group
  23. Ah-ha Moments and Social Media (aka Why YOU Can and Should Use Social Media!), posted by Kim St. John-Stevenson, Communications Officer, Saint Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland
  24. Wish You Were Here…Al Gore’s Keynote Speech on Climate Change, the Imperative of Civic Engagement, and Philanthropy’s Opportunity to Play a Role in Shaping the Future, posted by Lee Draper, Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and CEO of the Draper Consulting Group
  25. Blowing Up The Conference Model, posted by Sean Stannard-Stockton, CEO of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors
  26. Where Are the Arts?, posted by Lee Draper, Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and CEO, Draper Consulting Group
  27. Living History: Amanche & Sand Creek, posted by Richard Woo, CEO, Russell Family Foundation
  28. Learn Essential Skills and Strategies in Philanthropy, posted by Cole Wilbur, Trustee of the The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Steering Committee Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  29. Memorable Mentions, posted by Richard Woo, CEO of the Russell Family Foundation
  30. Afraid of Losing Control with Social Media? Guess What, You’ve Already Lost it!, posted by Sokunthea Sa Chhabra, Director of Interactive Communications at the Case Foundation
  31. A Foundation’s Freedom – And its Responsibility, posted by Kristin Ivie, Program Manager of Social Innovation at the Case Foundation
  32. What’s Next for Diversity in Philanthropy?, posted by Henry A. J. Ramos, Principal at Mauer Kunst Consulting and member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  33. Sitting at the Intersection: Affinity, posted by Colin Lacon, President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
  34. Myth Busting, posted by Rebecca Arno, Vice President of Communications at the Denver Foundation
  35. Becoming Masters of the Brand of Ourselves, posted by Mary Galeti, Vice Chair of the Tecovas Foundation
  36. Social Justice: Bringing it Home, posted by Henry A. J. Ramos, Principal at Mauer Kunst Consulting and member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  37. 5 + 3 Ain’t Small Change, posted by Colin Lacon, President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
  38. Respect & Resolve, posted by Richard Woo, CEO of the Russell Family Foundation
  39. Racial Justice is Everybody’s Issue, posted by Rosetta Thurman, President of Thurman Consulting
  40. In Search of the Mind-Blowing Conference Model, posted by Philanthropy411′s very own Kris Putnam-Walkerly, President of Putnam Community Investment Consulting, and Vice Chair of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
  41. Learn Essential Skills and Strategies in Philanthropy, posted by Cole Wilbur, Trustee of the The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Steering Committee Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Special thanks to the Council on Foundations for their support of our Blog Team!  Check out their blog, re: Philanthropy, to read about their blog coverage of the conference and to stay abreast of the field!

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe. On Twitter? Follow me @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

10 Key Attributes of Grantmaking Initiatives

One of our favorite clients, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, recently asked us to define the term “grantmaking initiative”. Simple, I thought. After all, nonprofits and foundations have used this term for ages. Here at Putnam Community Investment Consulting, we’ve spent the last 10 years designing, managing and evaluating foundation initiatives. We all know what an initiative is, but can we actually define the term? Turns out, I couldn’t. So I embarked on a quest. Several hundred Google searches, listserv queries, tweets, and LinkedIn posts later, I was surprised to learn that there is no universally accepted definition of “grantmaking initiative”. I did, however, discover 10 attributes shared by many grantmaking initiatives.

1.    Initiatives are sponsored by at least one foundation. The sponsors of an initiative are ready and able to address a particular issue; commit to a course of action; make a public declaration of their commitment; join together to conceive, develop, and launch the initiative; and leverage foundation assets to ensure its success. Lead sponsors often engage other funding partners such as foundations, corporations, individual donors, or public agencies to co-sponsor the initiative.

2.    Initiatives engage many people and organizations. First, the sponsoring foundation’s board approves the foundation’s role in developing the initiative and the budget. Once foundation leadership agrees on scope, they engage program and administrative staff in research, planning, launching, and managing the initiative. Often, a planning team of key funders, partners, consultants, and other stakeholders help to design the initiative. They may retain an intermediary organization to serve as initiative manager. Once the initiative is launched, grantees receive funding and other types of support such as training, technical assistance, communications resources. Evaluations may be conducted to measure the effectiveness of the initiative. Grantees can also take part in planning, while partner organizations play key roles without receiving funding. Other stakeholders might assume less formal roles. Champions are key stakeholders who actively promote the initiative by reaching out to peers, funders, politicians, and other influencers. Consultants are often retained to carry out various aspects of the initiative such as research, planning, communications, and evaluations.

3.   Initiatives are time-limited by design. Foundation initiatives conform to a general timeframe that is defined by sponsors at the onset. Often, the goal of the initiative helps to define its culmination. While most are described loosely as “multi-year initiatives” or “long-term initiatives” the average lifespan of a foundation initiative is somewhere between four and 10 years.

4.   Initiatives demand significant resources. Initiatives are typically complex, multi-faceted efforts to create long-term impact on important issues. Such impact frequently requires sustained funding and efficient coordination of existing resources and leveraged funds. To ensure effectiveness, initiatives allocate funds to evaluate impact and communicate results at key milestones.

5.   Initiatives advance a foundation’s mission. Just as grantmaking reflects the focus area of each funder, initiatives are crafted to conform to and advance a foundation’s existing mission. As an initiative becomes more successful, it can elevate the standing of a foundation among its peers and stakeholders while creating long-term, positive impact on issues of vital importance to communities.

6.   Initiatives require thoughtful research. Before embarking on the time-intensive process of developing and managing an initiative, foundations may conduct exploratory research to assess its potential for success. Research vehicles include environmental scans, focus groups, stakeholder interviews, literature review, site visits, reviews of existing models and best practices and other processes that can help to guide planning.

7.   Initiatives must be carefully planned. The roadmap established at the onset of an initiative is a touchstone for its success. Planning efforts should engage key stakeholders and others affected by the issue the initiative seeks to address. It is helpful to develop a comprehensive strategic plan or Theory of Change. There must be clear, measurable goals and objectives along with economies of scale. Examples include a single application and reporting form, group monitoring and evaluation, and board approval for the entire cohort of grantees.

8.   Initiatives are built on multiple strategies. Initiatives operate on multiple levels and use various strategies and tools to achieve their goals. Among these are communications, community education and mobilization, convening, direct service, evaluation and monitoring, grantmaking, influence of political and public will, leadership development, organizational capacity building, policy advocacy, and research.
9.   Initiatives seek a desired outcome. The most successful initiatives start by focusing on one specific issue, population, community, or field. As new issues come to light, this focus may evolve and change. The goal of an initiative usually falls into one of the following categories: To impact a problem or condition; to improve a community; to cultivate a field or subfield; to address an urgent need or neglected issue; to improve the performance of a set of organizations; to advance a process, productivity or efficiency; or to reduce costs. Success is often achieved when a new approach or solution developed by the initiative outperforms the current practice, resulting in a new “best practice” for the field.

10.  Initiatives are a unique form of grantmaking. We use the term “unique” lightly, because many initiatives do not lay claim to the following characteristics. However, initiatives are often distinct from programs, projects, and responsive grantmaking because they are: new endeavors; strategic; a discrete, focused undertaking; engage multiple partners, strategies, and levels; designed to set an agenda; time-limited; deliberate and proactive.  Additionally, initiatives leverage all of a foundation’s capacities and assets; convey the foundation’s point of view; seek to meet specific outcomes by maximizing resources and strategies while benefiting from economies of scale.

How do you define “grantmaking initiative”? What other attributes should be included in this list? Please leave a comment.

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe. On Twitter? Follow me @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

67 Recommended Philanthropy Speakers

A few weeks ago, Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy posted a blog asking:

Who are the most amazing, dynamic and engaging speakers you’ve ever seen talk about philanthropy, the social sector and social capital markets?

Many people offered up their favorite speakers on the topic of nonprofits and philanthropy.  Kyle Reis of the Ford Foundation (and @zazoomzimminy) and Sean suggested that I organize the list with links to all the speakers’ bios.  Here is the list below, including the speaker’s name, title, organization, link to their bio (or the organization they represent if I couldn’t find their bio online), the name of the person who recommended them, and any comments about the speaker that were offered.  Of course, if you have more suggestions feel free to add them to the comments!

  1. Bsis Adeleye-Fayemi, Executive Director of Africa Women’s Development Fund.  Recommended by Jennifer Astone.
  2. Akwasi Aidoo, Executive Director of Trust Africa.  Recommended by Jennifer Astone.
  3. Lynda Barry, Cartoonist.  Recommended by Marcia Stepanek.
  4. Bono, Musician.  Recommended by Jesse W.
  5. Brian Bordainick, The Founder of 9th Ward Field of Dreams. Recommended by Teju Ravilochan:  “(Brian) gave a speech that brought every person at The Feast Conference in New York City to their feet, recounting the incredible story of how he raised over $1 million in post-Katrina New Orleans.”
  6. June Bradham, President of Corporate DevelopMint.  Recommended by Rachel Hutchisson:  “THE best and the author of What Nonprofit Boards Really Want, published by Wiley in 2009.”
  7. Antony Bugg-Levine, Managing Director, the Rockefeller Foundation.  Recommended by Jesse W.
  8. Geoffrey Canada, President and Chief Executive Officer for Harlem Children’s Zone.  Recommended by Kyle Reis:  “Geoffrey Canada of Harlem Children’s Zone was pretty great talking about how philanthropy sometimes undermines the work it is trying to support.” Also recommended by Leslie:  “and double underscore to Geoff Canada nods – Just last nite I told someone about his “accidents of history” speech at IS conference in Detroit- goosebumps”; and by Paul S“I like many of the suggestions, especially Allison Fine and Geoff Canada – both outstanding.”
  9. Jim Collins, Author of “Built To Last,” “Good To Great,” and “How The Mighty Fall.”  Recommended by Jesse W.
  10. Patrick  Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  Recommended by Paul S:  “Sonal Shah, Michele Jolin, and Patrick Corvington are the administration’s point people and all 3 have deep understanding of philanthropy and change.”
  11. Martin Cowling, CEO of People First -Total Solutions.  Recommended by Lori Tsuruda:  (Martin speaks) “on the important contributions of volunteers and what we can do to maximize these”.
  12. Leslie Crutchfield, Author of “Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits.” Recommended by Jesse W.
  13. Peter  Dalglish, Founder, Street Kids International.  Recommended by Katherine:  “I have heard him speak 2 times (one specifically on philanthropy) at different conferences and everyone felt extremely motivated afterwards.”
  14. Cheryl  Dorsey, President, Echoing Green.  Recommended by Paul S:  “Cheryl Dorsey from Echoing Green is a genius and is the ultimate expert on seed capital funding for nonprofits.”
  15. Robert Egger, Founder, DC Central Kitchen.  Recommended by Adin Miller and Jesse W.
  16. Jed Emerson, Founder,  Recommended by Leslie:  “absolutely, positively never boring” and by Kris Putnam-Walkerly:  “Also agree with the recommendation for Jed Emerson”.
  17. Allison Fine, Author and Speaker. Recommended by Elizabeth Miller:  “I highly recommend Allison Fine ( She is a really great speaker on issues related to social and political change and technology. She gets it, gives great presentations and can explain tough issues to a wide range audience.” Also recommended by Geoff Livingston:  Allison Fine, no question” and by Paul S.
  18. Matt Flannery, Co-founder of Kiva.  Recommended by Jesse W.
  19. Joel Fleishman, Professor of Law and Public Policy Sciences, Duke University.  Recommended by Adin Miller.
  20. Peter Frumkin, Professor of Public Affairs and Director, RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service.  Recommended by Leslie:  “ultra dry wit gives edge to his academic mastery of strategic philanthropy.”
  21. Fernando Frydmann, Director, Centro de Management Social.  Recommended by David Velasco.
  22. Katherine Fulton, Partner of Monitor Group, and president of the Monitor Institute.  Recommended by Kyle Reis:  “And, of course, Katherine Fulton’s TedTalk is inspiring.”
  23. Tracy Gary, Philanthropic and Legacy Advisor, Inspired Legacies. Recommended by Beth Carls.
  24. Claire Gaudiani, Author, “The Greater Good.”  Recommended by Jay Browning:  “She gives an amazing historical perspective of philanthropy and where it came from and how to influence it today. I strongly suggest reading ‘The Greater Good’.
  25. Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink.  Recommended by Kris Putnam-Walkerly: “Exceptionally inspiring, and always thought provoking and right on point.”
  26. Kay Sprinkel Grace, Organizational Consultant.  Recommended by Erick Swenson:  “Kay Sprinkel Grace without doubt is perhaps one of the most motivating speaker on the issues of philanthropy and not-for-profit leadership. Kay combines knowledge with experience and more than a dash of class in all I’ve seen her do in many, many years. She is not a flash-in-the-pan nonprofit professional promoting the latest fad or fancy. What she has to say is tried and true and, yet, is always fresh and welcome as a bright Spring morning. If looking for an ideal conference speaker, allow me to paraphrase McGarrett’s line to Williams, “Book ‘er Danno!”
  27. Andy Goodman,  Author, Speaker and Consultant.  Recommended by Rich Polt:  “Someone who has not appeared on this list yet (I’m shocked actually) is Andy Goodman, He is one of the most entertaining and enjoying speakers I’ve seen on the topic of effective communications in the nonprofit sector. He makes you feel like you’re at a stand-up comedy performance, and then you remember this is actually work-related!” Also recommended by Sean Stannard-Stockton:  “Andy Goodman is the best speaker I’ve seen on any topic. Amazing guy!”
  28. Gonzalo Ibarra.  Recommended by David Velasco.
  29. Jessica Jackley, Co-founder of  Recommended by David Simms:  “(Jessica) brings great passion and energy to her talks. She will keep the audience on their toes and wide awake.”
  30. Michele Jolin, Senior Advisor for Social Innovation for the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.  Recommended by Paul S.
  31. Kevin Jones, Founding Principal of Good Capital.  Recommended by Jesse W.
  32. Dean Kamen,  Founder, DEKA Research and Development Corporation.  Recommended by Laurie, eFlirt Expert: Dean Kamen was great – inspirational towards educating the youth of our country to get engaged.”
  33. Beth Kanter, Trainer, Coach and Consultant to Non-profits.  Recommended by Kyle Reis:  “Beth Kanter is awesome on the topic of social media and nonprofits.”
  34. Mark Kramer, Founder and Managing Director, FSG Social Impact Advisors. Recommended by Adin Miller.
  35. Gara LaMarche, President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies.  Recommended by Paul S:  “In the thoughtful and provacative column, I’d add Mario Morino from VPP and Gara LaMarche from Atlantic Philanthropies.”
  36. Leslie Lenkowsky, Clinical Professor and Director, Graduate Programs, Center on Philanthropy.  Recommended by Ann Fitzgerald:  “I’d vote for Leslie Lenkowsky, Professor of Public Affairs and Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University. He’s a great speaker and challenges the conventional wisdom in the philanthropic world. He is able to give insights from his practical experience in both government and the nonprofit sector combined with his knowledge of latest academic research.”
  37. Geoff Livingston, Author and Co-Founder, Zoetica. Recommended by Kyle Reis:  “(Geoff) is awesome on the topic of social media and nonprofits.”
  38. Heather McLeod, Author of “Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits.”  Recommended by Jesse W.
  39. Adam Meyerson, President, The Philanthropy Roundtable.  Recommended by Ann Fitzgerald:  “He’s very knowledgeable regarding donor intent and the preservation of philanthropic freedom.”
  40. Mario Morino, Co-founder and Chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners and Chairman of the Morino Institute.  Recommended by Paul S:  “In the thoughtful and provacative column, I’d add Mario Morino from VPP and Gara LaMarche from Atlantic Philanthropies.”
  41. Greg Mortenson, Author and Executive Director,  Central Asia Institute.  Recommended by Marcia Stepanke.
  42. Liz Murray, Speaker.  Recommended by:  “Liz Murray – if you’re ready to get emotional.”
  43. Nicholas Negroponte, Founder and Chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit organization.  Recommended by Erin Prefontaine:  “AMAZING!”
  44. Dan Nigito, Author and Chairman & CEO of Market Street Financial Advisors, LLC.  Recommended by sbrown@statetheatre:  “Dan Nigito gets my vote. I’ve heard him speak twice..his topic was:  It’s My Money and I’ll Give When I Want To!”. He was riveting..and funny.”
  45. Jacqueline Novogratz,  Author & Founder and CEO of the Acumen Fund.  Recommended by Jesse W and by Marcia Stepanke.
  46. George Overholser, Founder and Managing Director, NFF Capital Partners.  Recommended by Paul S:  “George Overholser from NFF Capital Partners is the evangelist of social investing and growth capital and he is both brilliant and engaging – great metaphors and stories to illustrate his points.”
  47. Dan Pallotta, Author, “Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential.”  Recommended by Kathleen:  “Dan Pallotta because he challenges conventional wisdom, questions existing paradigms and really makes you think about how best to do good.”
  48. John Pentland.  Recommended by Amy:  “John Pentland is a remarkable speaker. He often speaks on social justice issues and has a way of making real issues seem that much closer to home.”
  49. Paul Polak, Founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE).  Recommended by Teju Ravilochan:  “(IDE) has enabled 19 million farmers to lift themselves Out of Poverty. He’s a self-identified “trouble-maker”, unbelievably knowledgeable, and also hilarious.”
  50. Tony Proscio, Consultant.  Recommended by Kyle Reis:  “Tony Proscio was great in his talk on using clear language in philanthropy.”
  51. Kris Putnam-Walkerly, President, Putnam Community Investment Consulting.  Recommended by Lauren Kay:  “Kris served as co-presenter for a webinar we did on social networking tools for philanthropy consultants. She was passionate and knowledgeable about the topic and she has an engaging and comfortable style. Kris also had great real-world experience to share. The webinar was very well received and a majority of participants said they were interested in attending a more advanced follow-up session.”
  52. Mando Rayo, Director, Hands On Central Texas.  Recommended by Robert Egger:  “quick shouts for some new folks on the scene–Mando Rayo (TX) on New Americans and Philanthropy.”
  53. Alec Ross, Senior Adviser on Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Recommended by Marcia Stepanke:  “Alec Ross (State Dept) also is pretty good, about social media for social change…”
  54. Dr. Robert Ross, President & CEO, The California Endowment.  Recommended by Lauren Kay:  “I also heard Dr. Robert Ross of the California Endowment speak in Los Angeles recently about grantmaking and advocacy. He was most eloquent and inspiring.”
  55. Holly Ross, Executive Director,  Recommended by Larry Blumenthal:  “And I’ll add Holly Ross, executive director of NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network. Holly knows how to present technology (including social media) and its related issues in understandable and useful terms.”
  56. Jason Sabo, Senior Vice President of Public Policy United Ways Texas.  Recommended by Robert Egger:  “quick shouts for some new folks on the scene–Jason Sabo (TX) on Nonprofit Political Engagement.”
  57. Paul Schervish, Director, Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, Boston College.  Recommended by Leslie:  “(Paul) lyrically portrays the donor as a character who develops over time, somehow links Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) to the dry transfer-of-wealth stuff.”
  58. William Schrambra, Director, Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C.  Recommended by Ann Fitzgerald:  “He hosts regular discussions in Washington, DC on many topics regarding philanthropy and encourages lively debate from all sides.”
  59. Sonal Shah, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation.  Recommended by Paul S:  “(Sonal has a) deep understanding of philanthropy and change.”
  60. Clay Shirky, Author, “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations.”  Recommended by Marcia Stepanke.
  61. Billy Shore, Founder and Executive Director of Share Our Strength.  Recommended by Leslie:  “stirs the spirit.”
  62. Sterling K. Speirn, President and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  Recommended by Adin Miller.
  63. Bill Strickland, President and CEO of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Bidwell Training Center, Inc.  Recommended by Lori Tsuruda:  “Bill Strickland, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (Pittsburgh), a MacArthur genius fellow, on social entrepreneurship with high expectations for participants.” Also recommended by Rachel Hutchisson, and by Larry Blumenthal who says:  “I’ll add another vote for Bill Strickland. Great storyteller.” And lastly by Kate Cochran who says, “I’d also vote for Bill Strickland and Geoffrey Canada, whose passion and clarity remind us all why we are working in these areas.”
  64. Chet Tchozewski, President,Global Greengrants Fund.  Recommended by Jennifer Astone.
  65. Rosetta Thurman, Writer, Speaker, Professor and Consultant.  Recommended by Robert Egger:  “quick shouts for some new folks on the scene–Rosetta Thurman (DC) on the changing faces of philanthropy.”
  66. Tom Tierney, Chairman and Co-founder, The Bridgespan Group.  Recommended by Kate Cochran:  “Tom Tierney of Bridgespan has a marvelous way of sounding both brilliant and self-deprecating at the same time–and a good macro view of the sector today.”
  67. John Wood, Founder and Board Chair of Room to Read.  Recommended by  CVNL Marin: “John Wood, author of “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” and founder of Room to Read. Not only is he inspiring, but the progress he has made is incredible… not to mention, he’s quite humorous as well.” Also recommended by Rachel Hutchisson.

In addition, Jay Frost of Frost on Fundraising reminded us “You can find over 700 speakers in the one and only Professional Speakers on Philanthropy list.”

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe. On Twitter? Follow me @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

Your Team at the Council on Foundations Conference

I’m thrilled to announce the 2010 Philanthropy411 Blog Team for the Council on Foundations annual conference in Denver! This year’s  Team is organized in collaboration with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers.

We’ll be blogging from Denver starting with the pre-conference sessions on Saturday, April 24th.

As many of you know, Sean Stannard-Stockton’s Tactical Philanthropy Blog Team covered the conference in 2009 and 2008.  This year Sean has generously passed the blog baton to Philanthropy411. The Council on Foundations will also be blogging from the conference, so definitely check out their conference posts as well. You can also follow the conference by using the hashtag #cof10.

Here is your Philanthropy411 Blog Team:

Rebecca Arno
Vice President of Communications, Denver Foundation
Board Member, Colorado Nonprofit Association
Board Member, The Communications Network;      Twitter: @tdfcommunity

Teri Behrens
Editor of The Foundation Review
Adjunct Faculty, School for Public and Nonprofit Administration, Grand Valley State University

Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
Co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future
Commissioner, RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America

Ray Colmenar
Senior Program Officer, The California Endowment
Vice Chair, Zero Divide

Paul M. Connolly
Senior Vice President and Director, TCC Group;  Twitter: @tccgroup
Author, Navigating the Organizational Lifecycle: A Capacity-Building Guide for Nonprofit Leaders; Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Lee Draper
CEO, Draper Consulting Group
Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Mary Galeti
Vice Chair, Tecovas Foundation
Member, CoF Next Generation Task Force
Twitter: @tecovasfound

Jacob Harold
Program Officer, Philanthropy, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Board Member: Guidestar
Twitter: @jacobcharold

Crystal Hayling
Winner, 2010 James A Joseph Award ; Association of Black Foundation Executives
Former CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation;
Twitter, @CHayling

Kristin Ivie
Program Manager of Social Innovation, Case Foundation
Blogger, Social Citizen
Twitter: @Kivie

Colin Lacon
President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
Board Member, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers

Kris Putnam-Walkerly
President, Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Inc.
Vice-Chair, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
Board Member, Community Fdn. of Lorain County;       Twitter @Philanthropy411

Henry AJ Ramos
Principal, Mauer Kunst Consulting
Lead Consultant, Diversity in Philanthropy Project
Founding Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers

Kathleen Reich
Program Officer, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Twitter:  @kdreich

Mike Roberts
President, First Nations Development Institute
National Advisory Committee Member, National Center for Family Philanthropy
Member of the Tlingit Tribe of Alaska

Sokunthea Sa Chhabra
Director of Interactive Communications, Case Foundation
Chair, Metro DC Chapter of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
Twitter: @Sokunthea

Mike Shaw
Program Assistant, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Board Member, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
Twitter: @mikebaileyshaw

Sterling Speirn
President and CEO, WK Kellogg Foundation
Advisory Council Member, Global Philanthropy Forum

Sean Stannard-Stockton
CEO, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors
Member, Alliance for Effective Social Investing
Columnist, Chronicle of Philanthropy; Twitter: @tactphil

Kimberly St. John-Stevenson
Communications Officer, Saint Luke’s Foundation
2010 Communicator of the Year, International Assoc. of  Business Communicators  Greater Cleveland Chapter;  Twitter: @saintlukesfdn

Aleesha Towns -Bain
Program Associate, Rasmuson Foundation

Rosetta Thurman
President, Thurman Consulting
Adjunct Professor, Trinity University
Twitter: @rosettathurman

Cole Wilbur
Trustee, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Steering Committee Member, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers
Board Member, Institute for Global Ethics

Richard Woo
CEO, The Russell Family Foundation
Board Member, Council on Foundations
Board Member, Philanthropy Northwest

10 Great Resources for Creating a Theory of Change

What is a Theory of Change? According to ActKnowledge, a Theory of Change defines all the building blocks required to bring about a long-term goal. ‘Like any good planning and evaluation method for social change, it requires participants to be clear on long-term goals, identify measurable indicators of success, and formulate actions to achieve goals.’

Many people use it interchangeably with the term “logic model” but it differs from logic models  because it requires stakeholders to articulate underlying assumptions which can be tested and measured, and because shows a causal pathway from here to there by specifying what is needed for goals to be achieved.

According to Jim Connell and Adema Klem you should ask yourself whether your Theory of Change is:

  1. Plausible (stakeholders believe the logic of the model is correct: if we do these things, we will get the results we want and expect);
  2. Doable (human, political and economic resources are seen as sufficient to implement the action strategies in the theory);
  3. Testable (stakeholders believe there are credible ways to discover whether the results are as predicted);
  4. Meaningful (stakeholders see the outcomes as important and the magnitude of change in these outcomes being pursued as worth the effort).

My consulting firm has been helping foundations to develop theories of change for entire organizations, program areas, and initiatives. We’ve reviewed the literature about Theories of Change and wanted to share our top 10 resources with you, to help you with your social change planning:

For general information about what a Theory of Change is and some examples:

  1. Theory of Change As A Tool For Strategic Planning introduces the use of the Theory of Change approach for planning community-based initiatives using examples from the The Wallace Foundation Parents and Communities for Kids (PACK) initiative.
  2. Theory of is a collaborative project of the Aspen Institute and ActKnowledge, offering a wide array of resources, tools, tips, and examples of Theory of Change.
  3. ActKnowledge is currently piloting Theory of Change Online (TOCO), a free, web-based application to create Theories of Change and to learn more about the methodology.
  4. They’ve also provided a guided example of how one Theory of Change was developed.
  5. You Can Get There From Here: Using a Theory of Change Approach to Plan Urban Education Reform” by James Connell and Adema Klem gives an overview and an example in the field of education.

For useful manuals, facilitators’ guides, and tools to create a Theory of Change:

  1. The International Network on Strategic Philanthropy has a Theory of Change Tool Manual.
  2. Theory of Change: A Practical Tool for Action, Results and Learning” was created under the guidance of Tom Kelly (@tomkaecf) at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
  3. The Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change created “The Community Builder’s Approach to Theory of Change,” which is a practical guide for facilitators, including what to do before and during meetings with stakeholders, suggested participants, and recommended materials.

And to better understand the difference between a Theory of Change and a Logic Model check out:

  1. GrantCraft created “Mapping Change: Using a Theory of Change Approach to Guide Planning.” (BTW, GrantCraft has produced terrific guides on all aspects of grantmaking, so you should definitely check them out)
  2. Theories of Change and Logic Models: Telling Them Apart” is a helpful PowerPoint presentation.

If you recommend other resources, or have examples of nonprofit or foundation Theories of Change that you would like to share, please leave a comment!

If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe. On Twitter? Follow me at @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

Looking For A Philanthropy Job? 20 Resources To Help You

When I was searching for my first foundation job, the CEO of a prominent family foundation told me:

“Philanthropy is a closed world, but once you’re in, you’re in. Take any program officer job you are offered, even if it’s a different content area than what you are interested in. Once you are working at a foundation, you’re seen as an “insider” and can network with other funders.”

That was accurate advice ten years ago, and I think it continues to be true. Although I think foundations are generally more open and accessible today than they were then, it can be difficult for someone to “break into” the field.  I was lucky enough to land a position at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which was tremendously helpful in training me to be a strategic grantmaker, and introduced me to many amazing program officers and foundation leaders.  I learned about this position the old-fashioned way – by networking – but in this economy no stone should be left unturned in a job search.

With that in mind I wanted to share some resources to help you land your next foundation job:

7 Websites With Foundation Job Listings

  1. The Council on Foundation’s Career Center provides national job listings at foundations. Anyone can search for positions, and for $25 you can post your resume (free to members).
  2. The Foundation Center’s Job Corner provides listings of current full-time job openings at U.S.-based foundations and nonprofit organizations. You can also search by organization type, job function, and state.
  3. Grantmakers Without Borders offers job listing with a focus on global issues and social change.
  4. Regional Associations of Grantmakers are great resources for local job listings.  For example, Ohio Grantmakers Forum and Philanthropy Northwest both have job listings on their websites. The Giving Forum lists jobs available at other regional associations, and you can also search for grantmaker associations near you.
  5. OnPhilanthropy’s Dot.Org.Jobs site includes some foundation jobs, although primarily lists nonprofit positions
  6. OpportunityKnocks lists foundation and nonprofit jobs nationally. You can post a resume and also get advice through their Nonprofit Jobs Resource Center.
  7. If you are looking for a nonprofit position, the Donor’s Forum provides a list of over 30 websites posting nonprofit jobs.

Most foundations also list their job openings on their websites. Some, like the Ford and Gates foundations, allow you to apply online.

Search Firms

Larger funders often turn to executive search firms to help them identify qualified candidates. Some popular firms include The 360 Group, Martha Montag Brown & Associates, DHR International, Bridgespan, and Phillips Oppenheim.

Anthony Tansimore, Executive Vice President of the search firm DHR International, offers this advice to job seekers:

It’s not easy to get a job in a foundation and there are many paths. The first thing I do is issue a caution. I talk to quite a lot of people who want to make the jump into a foundation from a nonprofit or from the corporate sector. They think the work is easier and they will make more money.

Second, think about what you’re passionate about. Think about what kind of difference you want to make in the world, and investigate the foundations that are doing that work. Get to know the program officers and ask for an informational interview.

Third, ask about fellowships that encourage people to pursue careers in philanthropy or the nonprofit sector. The San Francisco Foundation, for instance, has a fellowship program to encourage more people of color to enter philanthropy, and the typical fellow is younger in age and career.

Fourth, become informed and share your knowledge. If you know a lot about an issue, write and speak about it so that you are seen as an expert and someone to whom foundations will turn to gain more knowledge on the subject.

Lastly, when you reach out to a search consultant, know that that person’s client is the organization that wishes to hire staff. Do not expect the consultant to serve as an agent to place you in a terrific position, so limit your expectations to meeting someone new and sharing your resume.

If you are under forty years of age and new to philanthropy work, you should check out Emerging Practioners in Philanthropy, which provides terrific networking and educational opportunities. And if you prefer to hang out your own shingle you should check out two of my earlier posts, “So, You Want To Be A Philanthropy Consultant,” and “Starting A Consulting Business? 15 Things To Do Right Now.

How did you land your first foundation job? Do you recommend other resources for finding a position in philanthropy?  Leave a comment and let us know. If you found this blog post useful, please subscribe! On Twitter? Follow Philanthropy411 at @Philanthropy411.

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.