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The Personal and the Professional Merge on Twitter

How It’s Inevitable and Why You Should Embrace It After you make the decision to tweet with a personal Twitter handle, you have to decide what you’ll actually tweet about. As a philanthropy professional, it’s important to put your likeable, intelligent side forward so as to represent your employer, and yourself, well. Your tweets become … Continued

insight

New Ethics for a New World

Since the first of our ancestors chipped stone into weapon, technology has divided us. Seldom more than today, however: a connected, always-on society promises health, wisdom, and efficiency even as it threatens an end to privacy and the rise of prejudice masked as science. On its surface, a data-driven society is more transparent, and makes … Continued

insight

Dashboards: Driving Strategy With Data

The word dashboard evokes images of cruising down the open road at 70-miles-per-hour or being stuck in traffic, praying that the gas light does not flip on. In both cases, the car’s dashboard is compiling and signaling information to the driver in a way that is easy to access, interpret, and then act upon, like … Continued

insight

Data for Good

What Can Data Do for Philanthropy? So, on top of everything else, foundations are supposed to compile and maintain data on their activities? And share it with other foundations? And perhaps even make it public? And do all of this willingly, because it will make philanthropy more effective? It is up to foundations to decide … Continued

insight

Big Data Barges In

More than Mere Numbers From Malte Spitz’s musings that cell phone records could have prevented the fall of the Berlin Wallto the White House’s $200 million commitment to “greatly improve the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data,” big data is everywhere, and the philanthropic sector … Continued

insight

Big Data in Small Pieces

Big Data is confusing (both the concept and the data itself). As more grantmakers begin to explore how their data can work in a larger context, and how that context relates to the mission and vision that are at the center of all their activities, we need more and better explanations, examples, and ideas about … Continued

insight

Disruptive Technology, Data, and the Future of Philanthropy

For most grants managers, new technologies have been a constant across their working lives—so much so that managing disruptive technologies has become part of the routine background noise of their work. We have seen grantmaking processes transformed by innovative software and technology platforms: communication with grantees and foundation staff are fundamentally altered and analytical approaches … Continued

insight

Looking at Clouds from Many Sides

I run a nonprofit called Aspiration that helps foundations and nonprofits use technology more effectively. Nonprofits ask questions about the cloud all the time: What is the cloud? Should we move to the cloud? Is the cloud right for us? Which is the best cloud platform? While the answers to such questions depend on many … Continued

insight

Grantmaking in the Cloud

Cloud computing, or cloud technology, is a hot new technology concept, used to describe a number of processes and software products that many of us already use, whether we know it or not. Experts at Idealware, a nonprofit technology advisor, collaborated with NTEN, the nonprofit technology network, to publish a study, the State of the … Continued

insight

The Case for Using a Social Justice Lens in Grantmaking

In the fall of 2011, the conference planning committee of the Grants Managers Network graciously invited me to present at its upcoming annual meeting on a topic of my choosing. I took the opportunity to reflect on emerging trends and practices in organized philanthropy. The growing use of the term social justice—especially among large foundations—caught … Continued