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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

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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

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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

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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

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New Roles for Grants Managers

Grants management takes many different shapes within different organizations, and can change over time within the same organization in response to evolving practices and procedures, administration, technology, and developments in the field of philanthropy. This variety of process and purpose means that it is challenging to assign an all-encompassing definition of grants management. Michelle Greanias, … Continued