Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Networks, metrics, levers, buzzwords

I'm nearing the end of my second to last multi-week road trip of 2008. Way too much travel... Need to go home... Can not think, let alone write, anymore... What follows are notes.
  • Way back in May I wrote about a paper on Working Wikily from the Packard Foundation. To their credit, they've built out a website (a wiki, duh) to continue the conversation. Check it out here. They've got some more to add to the ongoing discussion of Presidential campaigns and social networking; which, of course, some thinkers have already moved beyond.
  • If you need still more to get your social media/social change fix then take the Social Citizens Quiz - in the manner of good ole' prize philanthropy you can win some prizes by doing so.
  • The Alliance for Social Investing met on Tuesday. Here are some of my thoughts. 1) industry benchmarking data actually works to change institutional behavior - the Center For Effective Philanthropy and ICMA are proof of that. 2) There are a lot of efforts to measure performance and conduct due diligence in the philanthropic space. Some of them are really good, all of them could be better. Some ways that better might happen - industry leadership, open source experimentation, financial incentives, sharing ideas. Here are some of the measures, measurers, or intermediaries in this area, if anyone is building a list (and, please, someone, build and share the list or geologic table or evolutionary tree): New Philanthropy Capital, GiveWell,* Urban Institute, SocialMarkets, MissionMarkets, Venture Philanthropy Partners, Midot, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, SocialSolutions, Acumen Fund, Nonprofit Finance Fund, REDF, Center for What Works, and others. Look for an important paper on the philanthropic information markets coming on November 24 from the Hewlett Foundation.
  • A group of folks from the SoCap08 meeting have created a new Google group on social capital data - it is is called Think Social Impact and you can join it here. I would like to merge the group at Social Capital Data over to Think Social Impact - so please join the new group or move yourself from Soc-cap-data to Think Social Impact!
  • The Nonprofit Assistance Fund blog has a good collection of links and writing on nonprofits in down economic times. Find it here. Two invitation-only discussions of these issues will be happening soon, one in NY on Wednesday November 19 and the second in DC in December. I hope something will be made available to the public from these discussions.
  • Videos of the October SocialActions meeting are available here.
And now, some more pleas for help and a few "heads up" items:
  • I'm working on a paper on Giving Portfolios - if you have thoughts or resources to share with me, please do: Email me lucy [at] blueprintrd [dot] com or comment below.
  • It is past mid-November and I've only listed five buzzwords so far. They are 1) Mobile Giving, 2) Labs, 3) Outsourced Program Advising, 4) Design, and 5) Micro -. I'm holding onto numbers 9 and 10 until December - but help me out - what are buzzwords 2008.6, 2008.7 and 2008.8 going to be? Email me lucy [at] blueprintrd [dot] com or comment below. Please, don't make me offer a prize to get suggestions. And, no, Peter, "open philanthropic web" is not a buzzword for 2008. If Change the Web works, it might be in 2009...
*Full Disclosure: I participated in the Alliance meeting as an invited member. I stepped down from the GiveWell Board, effective October 2008. I know the authors and funders of the Working Wikily paper. I know executives at most of the organizations listed in the bullet about the Alliance.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for including our new blog, Nonprofit Harvest, in your post. We hope it helps nonprofits during this economic downturn so they are able to provide the support our communities at this critical moment and in the future.

If you have resources that you think would be helpful, please contact me or comment on the blog.
Email: aschweitzer@nonprofitsassistancefund.org
Twitter: @NAFund