Sunday, August 17, 2014

The last 20 years and the next 20 years

I had a great conversation this morning with Sara Davis at the Hewlett Foundation. It led to these two napkin sketches of the past and the future of organizational structures - what do you think?*

The last 20 years in nonprofits and foundations:
The next 20 years in nonprofits and foundations
*The drawings are mine and should not implicate the Hewlett Foundation in any way.


Sara Davis said...

Thanks Lucy. I enjoyed our conversation. One of the many things that stuck with me was your provocative question of "if we were to design large foundations from scratch today, knowing what we know and with how we work now, what would they look like?" There's a lot to ponder from there regarding how we organize our work and optimize resources, communication patterns, learning and knowledge. Lots to chew on and consider. Thanks!

Jeff Pickering said...

I think the "future" illustration is aspirational at best, probably to be practiced most by large philanthropies who tie data collection and analysis to their own money being distributed. I've been a part of efforts in two communities where a community foundation has worked really hard to lead efforts to collect data and share information about local nonprofits. I've been disappointmed by how few other philanthropies, much less individuals, make use of the data, informatino, and analysis to improve their own giving. Paul Brest's comment about Hewlett being "ahead of the curve" in the recent evaluation of their effective philanthropy efforts is one that I agree with. I look forward to watching this conversation continue.

Kiki Robinson (Coalition of Community Boards) said...

Thanks for sharing. Hey Jeff, is it possible to touch base about what worked/didn't work with community foundations?

I'm one cog in a network of boards from small orgs in QLD

Being small, we don't have access to many resources, but are working collaboratively to create stronger orgs. Any sharing of experiences would be appreciated.

Chad Gorski said...

Maybe this falls under infrastructure, but I think the "future" concepts could specify digital literacy and self-directed learning. Since more data and more technology do not naturally yield more sense, individuals need competence and empowerment to turn data into insights with the help of people across traditional boundaries.