What we’re reading and recommending this week. We add to this post throughout the week and look for your suggestions in the comments.
Monday, October 3
The Feel-Good School of Philanthropy (Jamil Zaki, The New York Times) Why do we give? Many motives drive kind actions. We might donate to impress our friends or curry favor. To at least some extent, we also give to help make the world a better place.
Tuesday, October 4
Innovations in Open Grantmaking (Andrew Miller, Andrew Young, Beth Noveck, GrantCraft)
Of its $4.1 trillion fiscal year 2016 budget, the U.S. federal government and its grantmaking agencies will give out billions of dollars in the form of grants to states, localities, and individuals, supporting a dizzying array of activities, from scientific research and economic development to arts, culture, and education.
Wednesday, October 5
The Power of Small (Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Putnam Consulting Group)
Small foundations are not limited by a preponderance of self-imposed rules and regulations. Their work isn’t slowed to a snail’s pace by complex bureaucracy. They don’t drown themselves or grantees in reams of forms and reports. They don’t have to wait for permission from higher-ups to move forward.
Thursday, October 6
5 Tips for Nonprofit Collaborations (Jennifer Chandler, National Council of Nonprofits)
I doubt there is a single definition of success for nonprofit collaborations, but here’s my take: a collaboration is successful if the parties are eager to work together again. In contrast, if the parties are running away from each other, vowing never to collaborate again, something’s gone wrong. Here are 5 tips for success, plus a kicker at the end of this post for nonprofits committed to success with collaborations.
Friday, October 7
How can we help evaluation and learning deliver on its promise? (Tanya Beer, The Center for Effective Philanthropy) When foundation evaluation trailblazer Patti Patrizi conducted the first benchmarking survey of the philanthropic sector’s evaluation practices in 2009, the field was already several years into its embrace of strategic grantmaking and its call for rigorous attention to results. Yet many foundation evaluation directors, whom Patti had organized into an informal network called the Evaluation Roundtable, remained frustrated by low levels of institutional support for evaluation. To understand whether the sector was putting its money (and attention) where its mouth was, Patti started the evaluation benchmarking survey.
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