Archive for May, 2008

Grassroots Philanthropy

Posted on May 30, 2008. Filed under: Book | Tags: , , , |

I just got finished reading Grassroots Philanthropy. I have been meaning to read it for awhile; thought it would a good look at entrepreneurs in the foundation world. I will have to say it was a good first look!

It was refreshing to hear someone from a foundation talk about real community change, while taking risks on the areas of the community that need it the most. From what I have heard about most foundations, they are stuck a lot like many nonprofits are. There have to be changes made in both nonprofits that do the service and those that fund it, and Bill Somerville provides his readers with some great ideas for how to make those changes in the foundation field.

Somerville doesn’t hold back when describing his experiences in the foundation field. He has had some unique ones as a foundation director and shares them, along with his very strong ideals about how foundations should be run.

Somerville gives five flaws of lackluster philanthropy. Most of which are not very surprising. And provides his readers, he states as all foundation employees, with fixes to each of them.

His five fixes include:

  1. Locate outstanding people doing great work. Somerville says get out of the office, don’t wait for the good grants to come to you. He believes many foundations are missing out on great opportunities.
  2. Move quickly (and shred paper) – he suggests getting rid of most of the application process and setting up systems to respond more quickly to all applicants.
  3. Embrace risk – simply, don’t be afraid to fail.
  4. Focus on ideas instead of problems – look for solutions.
  5. Take initiative – don’t wait for organizations to create the solutions or the programs the community needs, create these opportunities yourself.

These flaws and fixes are just a small glimpse of what foundation professionals can get from Somerville’s book. It’s also a very insightful read for nonprofit professionals looking to get a little insight on innovative practices in foundations. His book is a good reminder of the struggle foundations have for staying new and fresh, for providing real solutions for our countries problems.

I recommend this book as a quick summer read, with great information on how to keep your organization or foundation entrepreneurial and relevant to your community’s needs.

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Meme: Anna Karenina

Posted on May 29, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Social Butterfly sent me a Meme a while back and today I finally sat down with a book to answer her calling.

So, what is a Meme you ask? A meme is like an internet chain letter, with depth. One blogger posts a topic or call to action, then tags 5-10 other people to follow suite and add to the ‘meme.’ I decided it may be fun to participate, especially since the book sitting next to me now is one I have been reading in phases for two years.

Here is what I am supposed to do:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The book I have is Anna Karenina and I seriously have been reading it for about two years. It’s a fantastic book but long. Every time I start reading it I really get into it, knock out another 200 pages and then something else takes my attention. I am determined to finish it by the end of the summer.

Here’s my meme (and I’m not cheating like Social Butterfly 😉 ):

‘Well, what of it? I don’t understand…’

‘Maybe Kitty refused him?…She didn’t tell you?’

‘No, she told me nothing either about the one or about the other. She’s too proud. But I know it’s all because of that…’

The conversation is part of a story relating to Kitty a young socialite in Russia that refused a proposal for love, something not done during this time in history.

I suggest the reading if you have the time to devote to it.

I tag:

Have Fun • Do Good

Amy Sample Ward’s Version of NPTech

The Raiser’s Razor

Never the Same River Twice


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Thanks for listening!

Posted on May 27, 2008. Filed under: Generation Y, Millennials | Tags: , , , , |

Last week I wrote about the need to be heard in the workplace and how many Gen Yers feel the same way.

To follow up, I just ran across this article from Harvard Business Journal, written by a Baby Boomer, about how he needs to listen to Millennials more. Thank you Mr. Bronwyn Fryer!

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