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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CFLeads Executive Leadership Institute

The Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) is a one-year intensive learning opportunity tailored specifically for community foundation CEOs to strengthen their ability to step into complex leadership roles in their communities. Through three, small group, face-to-face meetings supplemented by one-on-one coaching, it is designed to strengthen CEO leadership skills and relationships. With a focus on challenging CEOs in positive ways in a supportive peer environment, the Institute is designed to stimulate creativity and inspire “out of the box” thinking. The initial ELI cohort will consist of 15 community foundation leaders drawn from a pool of CEOs from community foundations in older Read more

Categories: Foundation Management, Individual Professional Development , Resources

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Charitable Lead Trust Handbook

An in-depth guide to the workings and variations of Charitable Lead Trusts.

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 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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Did you know? Test your knowledge of philanthropy

Philanthropy is everywhere and impacts our daily lives. Yet as an industry, it is a bit of a mystery. The size, reach and depth of philanthropy in the U.S. may surprise you. This quiz will tell you how much you know about the field.  

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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Enhancing Foundation Capacity: The Role of the Senior Leadership Team

This article examines the issue of foundation organization design and assesses how foundation leaders might think about their organizations as institutions. Noting that any organization structure inhabited by human beings creates silos and territorial issues, foundation leaders are increasingly using two primary mechanisms to minimize these artificial barriers and maximize collaboration: enhanced headquarters functions to help integrate across the organization, and senior leadership teams. This article reviews the structure, roles, responsibilities, and value-add of senior leadership teams at 19 foundations. The senior leadership team plays a crucial role in foundations, functioning as an advisory group to the president and chief Read more

Categories: Human Resources Management, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Strategy and Evaluation, Individual Professional Development 

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Expert Q & A: How Can a Young Professional Prepare for Advancement?

By: Karen McNeil-Miller, former president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Identify a potential role/level you would like to attain and seek out several people who already have those roles.  Find out the competencies/behaviors/skills needed to be effective in the role currently and in the future Be intentional in your career to seek roles along the way that can offer you an opportunity to develop those skills and competencies. Join EPIP (Emerging Professionals in Philanthropy) Volunteer inside and outside your organization to develop your skills Look for internal developmental assignments such as task forces, workgroups, committees, etc. Network with the people Read more

Categories: Human Resources Management, Individual Professional Development , Ask an Expert

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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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Expert Q & A: What can someone new to grantmaking, but joining a foundation in mid-career, do to accelerate his or her learning curve in this new field?

By: Judy Mohraz, trustee, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust 1.   Start by getting a handle on the soul of philanthropy, as well as the work of philanthropy.  Read the key works, for example: Mark Constantine’s Wit and Wisdom: Unleashing the Philanthropic Imagination; Joel Fleishman’s book, The Foundation:  A Great American Secret; Harvard Business Review articles on strategy written by Mark Kramer, Michael Porter, and others. 2.  Get some exposure, if you don’t already have it (and if you do, don’t let it lapse…) to non-profits and the pressure they live under every day.  Know the basic mechanics of good governance, in a non-profit context, and the Read more

Categories: Individual Professional Development , Ask an Expert

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Expert Q & A: What can someone working at a corporation in an area unrelated to corporate philanthropy do to orient himself or herself when joining the corporate citizenship team?

By: Ann Cramer, director, Americas, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs 1.   Get a basic orientation of your own corporate culture, values, and direction – corporate philanthropy and citizenship today is a lot different than employee engagement (volunteerism) with “tee shirts and balloons,” or even community relations and contributions.  Use local corporate donor groups as well as the Council on Foundationsand Forum of Regional Associations of Foundations affiliates to learn with and from colleagues. 2.  Read some of the really key/basic works.  For example: Rosabeth Moss Kanter”s “From Spare Change to Real Change;” The work of Michael Porter, Mark Kramer, John Kania on  foundation strategy, collective impact, Read more

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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 Volume 2: Inspiration and Ideas from Philanthropy’s Latest Frontier

Grantmakers today are doing more than just talking about the connection between leadership and nonprofit performance. They are looking for information and perspective about what works and what others are doing. And, at the same time, pioneers are experimenting with various approaches, sometimes clumsily, but often with success.

Categories: Beyond the Grant , Individual Professional Development 

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Leadership Development in the Social Sector: A Framework for Supporting Strategic Investments

While much of the research on leadership and leadership development has historically studied private sector settings, recent work has begun to build knowledge about leaders in public and community settings. New models of leadership, including collective leadership, are being developed and implemented by foundations. A framework for identifying the level of intervention (individual, team, organization, network, or system) and the level of impact (individual, team, organization, community, or field of policy and practice) is proposed as a tool for more strategic investing in leadership development.

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

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Learning to Lead: The Journey to Community Leader for Emerging Community Foundations

During this webinar, you will hear how emerging community foundations define their leadership opportunities.

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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Listen, Learn, Lead: Grantmaker Practices That Support Nonprofit Results

GEO’s Change Agent Project seeks to inspire change in grantmakers so they can help their grantees achieve meaningful results. This report on Phase 1 of GEO’s Change Agent Project delves deeper into what is neccessary to instill change in grantmaking practices. This publication was reprinted in 2010.

Categories: Grantmaking, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Beyond the Grant , Individual Professional Development 

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Master Juggler Executive Institute

This leadership program offers: A unique opportunity for executive directors/CEOs and the foundations they serve, combining world-class training and executive coaching. Wisdom from seasoned experts in leadership, organizational development, and philanthropy, plus the collective experience of fellow foundation executives. A small cohort that supports deep connections, real accountability, and a personalized learning experience for each participant.    

Categories: Foundation Management, Individual Professional Development , Resources

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NNCG’s Knowledge Center

Inform Your Practice. Increase Your Impact. Welcome to NNCG’s Knowledge Center — a searchable, online database of resources for and about grantmaking, produced by highly qualified and experienced philanthropy consultants. NNCG’s Knowledge Center contains a wealth of reports, case studies, infographics, issue briefs, videos and more that offer ideas, research and helpful information about almost every aspect of philanthropy. Each item was authored or published by an NNCG member. NNCG constructed the Knowledge Center in partnership with the Foundation Center’s IssueLab — one of the most respected and trusted sources of information in the philanthropic field.

Categories: Foundation Management, Individual Professional Development , Resources

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Philanthropic Paths: An Exploratory Study of the Career Pathways of Professionals of Color in Philanthropy

This study conducted by Forward Change provides a holistic, in-depth picture of the career experiences of 43 philanthropic professionals of color ranging from Program Officers to CEOs working in a diverse array of foundations. The study surfaced a set of potentially common points of entry, career pathways and obstacles of professionals of color in philanthropy, as well as the factors that helped shape those pathways.

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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Philanthropology

This curriculum provides EPIP members with an in-depth, critical study of philanthropy and social change. This professional development opportunity is designed to compliment trainings offered by our colleague organizations in the field.

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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Roles@Work: Are you playing with a full deck?

This tool includes a card deck with 29 job roles that are typically expected of grantmakers, and includes a brief explanation of what they are. Use the cards to jumpstart a conversation among colleagues about topics like how you weigh different roles, what you do too much of or not enough of, how you orient newcomers, or how you talk about the grantmaker’s role with board members and leaders.

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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TEDx and TED Talks About Learning

By: Megan Murphy, former LearnPhilanthropy project manager  Here at LearnPhilanthropy, we are interested in how you learn as much as providing resources to help you learn. We believe it is important to think about our own learning styles. Having information on different styles and techniques can help us overcome frustration and be more intentional about focusing effort toward learning. Below are some of our favorite TEDx and TED Talks about learning how to learn. Learning How to Learn: Barbara Oakley talks about learning how to use focused energy to learn something new with the Pomodoro Technique. The First 20 Hours: Read more

Categories: Individual Professional Development , Resources, Top 5 Lists

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The Grantmaking School: Advanced Proposal Analysis

Advanced Proposal Analysis intentionally focuses on the essential skills of proposal review, recommendations, project management, and other core competency areas. We strongly believe that mastering this work is the key to excellence in grantmaking.

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The Grantmaking School: Evaluation for Grantmakers

Effective evaluation at your foundation can help you overcome those challenges with new solutions for your work and that of your grantees. The Grantmaking School’s Evaluation for Grantmakers gives you the opportunity to examine the history, strategy, design, and theory behind the process of evaluation and get equipped with the tools you need to respond to the diverse nature of evaluation in foundations.

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The Grantmaking School: Financial Analysis in Grantmaking

This course will provide grantmakers with the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct a comprehensive and effective analysis of organizational and programmatic financial information to improve funding decisions.

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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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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The Resiliency Guide

The Organizational Effectiveness team at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has developed a Resiliency Guide – a framework for assessing organizational resiliency, and a resource for understanding its characteristics. The tool and accompanying resources are designed to be useful to grantees and grantmakers – hopefully facilitating their dialogue about the challenges of operating in a dynamic context. The Guide and related materials draw on the experience of the Foundation’s program staff and external experts, and incorporate feedback and perspectives from a range of grantees and colleagues.

Categories: Foundation Management, Individual Professional Development , Resources

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The Setting Matters: How to Create the Container for Achieving Results

The Casey video, Leading for Results: Creating the Container, shows how the foundation’s results-based leadership faculty create an environment so meeting participants can effectively focus on achieving measurable results.  

Categories: Foundation Management, Individual Professional Development , Resources

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Top 10 Lessons Learned in Grantmaking

Presented by: Caroline Altman Smith and Helen Davis Johnson of the Kresge Foundation Philanthropy can be a complex field. Whether you’re starting your career, transitioning into a new role, or simply want a refresher, let us be your guide. This free, 30-minute webinar will introduce you to essential topics every philanthropic professional should know and give you three strategies for getting more informed about and connected to the field. Click “Go To Resource” to listen to the webinar*, or download the file to view the slides.   *Please note that the webinar recording starts a few minutes into the presentation.

Categories: Foundation Management, Individual Professional Development , Resources









Top Readings and Resources on Learning From Failure

Over the past several years, there has been discussion in the world of philanthropy about failure. Here is a collection of ideas about failure – whether you learn more from it than success, how you learn from it, how organizations look at it, and the importance of failure in achieving eventual success. These different viewpoints on failure and learning come from both the field of philanthropy and from other sectors. Following Up on Failure – from The Chronicle of Philanthropy regarding learning from failure Failing Forward – posted on both Lucy Bernholz’s Philanthropy 2173 and Alliance Magazine’s blog Exploring Failure – Stanford Social Innovation Review Embracing Failure at Read more

Categories: Foundation Management, Individual Professional Development , Resources

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Top Resources for Philanthropists with Few or No Staff

By: Exponent Philanthropy  Across the country, tens of thousands of foundations, giving circle members, donor advised fund holders, and individual donors are intentionally keeping their operations lean and their ears to the ground. These “lean” funders seek to nimbly maneuver their dollars, skills, and influence to achieve the most good.   At Exponent Philanthropy, we’re dedicated to serving funders who choose to give big with few or no staff. We’re pleased to share the following top resources from our shop and trusted colleague organizations.   Get up to speed If new to philanthropy or in need of a refresher, turn Read more

Categories: Individual Professional Development , Resources, Top 5 Lists

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Webinar Recap – Climbing the career mountain with well designed side projects

This webinar will provide you with tools for choosing, designing and making the most of side projects. You will learn frameworks to consider possibilities from new angles, hear examples of how side projects can help lead to a fulfilling and exciting career, and be guided through a brief workshop for you to process your own work and projects – no matter where you are in your career.

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Webinar Recap- Developing Your Career Narrative

This webinar focused on developing your career narrative for expanding your network, finding jobs, and applying to graduate school. A career narrative or story is critical in building trust as you pursue career transitions. This webinar helped participants understand why they need a career narrative and the five key elements of a career narrative.

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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WIDESPREAD EMPATHY: 5 STEPS TO ACHIEVING GREATER IMPACT IN PHILANTHROPY

Through examples from the field, the publication provides concrete steps grantmakers can take to build a gut-level connection with their stakeholders. Having widespread empathy allows funders to base their decisions and actions on an authentic, firsthand understanding of the perspectives of grantees, community members and other partners. In turn, we become more effective as our work is grounded in more thorough, ground-level knowledge of organizational and community priorities and needs.

Categories: Grantmaking, Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Individual Professional Development 

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WiserGiving Style Quiz

The WiserGiving® Style Quiz presents different ways to impact seven social issues.

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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WiserGiving Wizard

This quiz will condense expertise from leading philanthropic, legal, and wealth advisors into valuable insights for you. In just seven questions, the Wizard matches your charitable, financial, and personal goals with the right charitable giving vehicles.  

Categories: Individual Professional Development 

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