A Community Information Toolkit

This toolkit offers a process and easy-to-use set of tools that will help you take stock of your community’s news and information flow and take action to improve it.

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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All change at TrustAfrica: interview with Akwasi Aidoo and Tendai Murisa

The unburied dead, small change and the questionability of old men’s wisdom: on the eve of stepping down as executive director of TrustAfrica, an organization he founded some eight years ago, these are among the preoccupations of Akwasi Aidoo. Caroline Hartnell talked to him and to his successor, Tendai Murisa, about how each sees the change and what lies ahead for African foundations. What has been accomplished over the last decade and what comes next?

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Building teams for innovation: a response to ‘Talent for Philanthropy’

By: Simon Willis I enjoyed reading the special feature on ‘Talent for philanthropy’. How we staff philanthropic organizations is an important topic for discussion, and it’s incredibly valuable to have carefully grounded contributions calling for increased effectiveness and professionalism for the sector. Click Go To Resource to read more…

Categories: Grantmaking, Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Community Leadership Network Evaluation — Key Findings from a Survey of Participants

This report summarizes findings from an evaluation of the Community Leadership Network, a signature CFleads learning opportunity. It makes the case for why peer learning matters: practitioners learn best when they are able to hone and practice their leadership skill in environments that encourage peer learning and exchange.

Categories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Community Leadership Networks Summary

As part of a multi-tiered effort to advance knowledge and understanding of community leadership, the Council on Foundations’ Community Foundations Leadership Team, in partnership with CFLeads, launched action-oriented Community Leadership Networks. Learn more about these networks here.

Categories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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DEI Self-Assessment

This self-assessment is a tool for identifying areas of work that your foundation is already engaged in and opportunities for growth. We invite you to complete the assessment to: Capture your foundation’s current situation Spark conversations about DEI and what is possible Identify tangible action steps that will improve your foundation’s effectiveness and strengthen its relevance in our increasingly diverse society

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Expert Q & A: How can philanthropic organizations create a learning culture even while “leading under pressure?”

By: Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten, Associate Dean and Clinical Full Professor, University of Michigan Ross School of Business; co-author with Dr. Erika Hayes James, Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis For the last decade my co-author, Erika James, and I have researched how organizations lead under pressure and especially in crisis situations. Although most organizations do not frequently confront crises, leading under pressure has become a new norm. Pressurized situations can be the result of budget constraints, time limitations, stakeholders’ demands, shortage of resources or employee strife.   From our research, we discovered that Read more

Categories: Mission, Vision and Values, Human Resources Management, Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Ask an Expert

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Expert Q & A: How can we make learning fun for new grantmakers?

By: Jessica Bearman, principal, Bearman Consulting I went to Google and did a quick search on “Fun and Learning” and quickly noticed that with or without the quotation marks, all the hits were resources for kids. Searching on Adults Learning and Fun yielded a bunch of websites devoted to icebreakers… as though fun can be part of learning, as long as it’s contained at the beginning of the meeting or workshop. And so then I asked myself: “What makes learning fun and how can fun make learning better?”  Based on what we know about how adults learn, here are some quick Read more

Categories: Human Resources Management, Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Ask an Expert

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Framework for Community Leadership by a Community Foundation

Recognizing that few guideposts existed for community foundations that want to be intentional about building their skills and aligning their organizations for community leadership, a group of philanthropy leaders – the National Task Force on Community Leadership – created this Framework. Built from actual community leadership experiences, it is the first effort to bring clarity to the practice of community leadership by community foundations. It allows community foundations to take stock, analyze options, develop strategies, and measure progress. It is a necessary first—and giant—step in creating a practical knowledge base.

Categories: Organization Learning and Evaluation , Beyond the Grant , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Helping Organizations Achieve Successful Leadership Transitions

The success and stability of nonprofit leaders make a tremendous difference to the organizations they shepherd and the communities they serve. This discussion paper for small foundations addresses common issues in leadership transitions for nonprofit organizations. The guide includes ways in which small foundations can invest in this area, as well as discussion questions and additional resources.

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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High Impact Philanthropy Blog: Five Myths And A Question About Impact

Everyone seems to be talking about it. Most say they want it. But who really gets to define impact and for whom? This blog series grew out of a collaborative effort between our team at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy and Women Moving Millions.  

Categories: Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Individual Professional Development , Resources, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Investing in Leadership

Leadership is one of a number of factors that determine the effectiveness of a nonprofit organization’s work. Visionary leaders possess the ability to assess the way things are and then inspire us to help create new solutions. In this sense, leadership does more than set policies and define goals; it creates a paradigm for a better world.

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Investing In Leadership Volume 1: A Grantmaker’s Framework for Understanding Nonprofit Leadership Development

Ask any grantmaker about the distinguishing characteristics of strong and effective nonprofit organizations, and the conversation inevitably will turn to leadership. But what kind of leadership do nonprofits need, and what role can grantmakers play in strengthening leadership development in the sector? Given the vast literature on leadership development and the challenges of translating research and theory into practice, this publication explores a sampling of the leadership development literature.

Categories: Grantmaking, Beyond the Grant , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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NNCG Directory of Philanthropy Consultants

NNCG’s Directory of Philanthropy Consultants is the only, online, searchable, freely accessibly source of experienced and vetted consultants serving all types and sizes of grantmakers.

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Online and in the Office: The State of Technology-Based Learning in the Nonprofit Sector

A survey conducted by NTEN and the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation revealed technology-based learning is a critical way in which nonprofits engage their stakeholders, but many are struggling to realize the cost savings of online learning and many lack the expertise to deliver training more advanced than webinars and videos.  

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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People: philanthropy’s great strength

Pick up any edition of Alliance from the past few years, and one message is clear. In truly unprecedented ways, the global philanthropy sector is on the move, popping up in new places, growing in scale, diversifying in form, and, more than ever before, stretching to tackle the momentous challenges that define our times such as climate change, food and water security, and immigration. While there is much talk of the financial resources needed for success, much less attention is paid to the equally if not more important human resources.

Categories: Human Resources Management, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Pretty Good Tool: Collaboration Readiness

Do you have a collaborative mindset? This tool will help you take collaboration seriously – and playfully – and figure out your strengths and opportunities to improve your skills.

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Small Investments, Big Changes: A 10 Year Review of the Casey Fellows Mini-Grants Program

In 1998, The Annie E. Casey Foundation launched a small grants program for alumni of the Children and Family Fellowship program. These mini-grants were designed to support fellowship alumni in their ongoing leadership efforts. This review highlights some of the mini-grant funded efforts and details some of the returns on the Foundation’s investments.

Categories: Issue Specific Grantmaking, Program Level Learning and Evaluation, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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The Grantmaking School: Customized Grantmaker Education

Designed and led by leaders in the field, this program helps professionals bridge research, knowledge, and good practice. Courses are available for your entire staff or individuals, and the Johnson Center offers public trainings as well as customized learning experiences.

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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The Grantmaking School: Strategy Development in Grantmaking

Strategy Development in Grantmaking is an intensive two-day learning experience designed to help individual grantmakers and their foundations develop or refine a strategic lens to grantmaking and leverage improved program results for deeper impact. By defining strategic philanthropy and reviewing models and tools for strategy development and implementation, resources will be provided to guide and inform your foundation strategy. You and your colleagues will move through a series of individual and group activities and discussions, allowing for both interactive and personal reflection throughout the session.

Categories: Individual Professional Development , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Value Exchange Tool: For Building Business-Nonprofit Partnerships that Last

This simple method considers what a partner could potentially contribute, stacks up what a potential partner brings, and represents the value exchange at the heart of the partnership — in a single visual.

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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Who’s in the Room? Who Should Be?

Bringing people together is one of the key roles of philanthropy. It’s important to make sure you have the right people in the room so that the time spent is productive and the outcome is useful for everyone. To ensure you’ve tapped the right players for your next gathering, ask yourself these three questions before you issue invitations: What is our overall goal? What roles are essential to accomplish our goal? How can we make the best use of others?

Categories: Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team

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