Over the last decade, many foundations have begun to lose their appetite for risk and experimentation in favor of safer, more proven, and incremental investments. But a small group of funders has begun to deliberately seek out and support high-risk, high-reward innovations with the potential to create real breakthroughs on our most intractable social problems. Join four innovation funders for a discussion on the processes and practices that help foundations and grantmakers incorporate a greater degree of risk-taking, experimentation, and flexibility into their work. This webinar is for philanthropists and grantmakers who are ready to take risks and think outside the box when it comes to tackling social problems, and for nonprofit leaders who want to want to encourage innovation in funding.
Our on-demand SSIR Live! webinars are offered every 4-6 weeks, and feature the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s most provocative and important topics. The registration fee is $49 per 2011-2014 webinar, or $19 for 2009/2010 webinars, and includes on-demand access for 12 months—so if you missed one, you can still register and view it at your convenience.
How can you build a capacity for innovation within your social purpose organization? Join Warren Nilsson and Tana Paddock as they discuss the theory and practice of “inscaping”—their term for the work of drawing on personal experience to generate the raw material of social change. Nilsson will present examples and insights from specific organizations that use inscaping to foster innovation “from the inside out.” Also joining the webinar is Marlon Parker, founder of RLabs, a social enterprise based in Cape Town that promotes community-driven innovation in 21 countries. This webinar is for people at nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other social purpose groups who want to create internal processes that will help to build a deep, long-lasting capacity for innovative thought and action.
The topic of how to fund programs that have social impact elicits a wide range of reactions. Some funders only support programs that have been proven to be effective, while others are willing to take a risk and fund unproven approaches. Some funders believe that the only reliable evaluation is a randomized control trial, while others argue that these are rarely useful, particularly for programs that tackle wicked social problems, like poverty. Some funders lead with their heart, while others lead with their brain. Join us for a lively discussion on funding for impact with presenters Jeff Raikes, Tom Tierney, and Lisbeth Schorr, all whom have long and distinguished careers in philanthropy and evaluation.
2013 has presented a complicated economic environment for funders. Join this complimentary webinar to hear from McCormick, Shilling Stein, Walker, and Wolf Ditkoff, who all take distinct yet complementary approaches to philanthropy. In this webinar the panelists will explain the new trends that are most influencing their giving, how they define and measure success, the questions they confront when deciding whether to stay the course or tack in shifting winds, how to flexibly engage communities enhances effectiveness, and the implications of their decisions on their partners and grantees.
#GivingTuesday is a celebratory kick-off day to the giving season. In its inaugural year last year, on #GivingTuesday online giving increased around 50% percent from the previous year. Donors gave millions to nonprofit organizations online and the day stoked a national conversation on giving. The second annual #GivingTuesday will take place on December 3. Do you have a plan for your organization to get the most benefit from this new national day of giving, just two months away? This complimentary webinar, by the generous support of the Knight Foundation, will provide nonprofits with ideas and implementation tools for helping their organizations get the most from #GivingTuesday.
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How is it that Silicon Valley, a region burgeoning with new wealth and so noteworthy for its overall philanthropic giving, is uniquely spare in providing for its own neediest causes and populations? To better understand these trends, this webinar will explore new data from a review conducted by Philanthropy Futures, with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s local grantmaking program, which took a deeper look at giving in Silicon Valley.
Collaboration is a hot topic in philanthropy and a common practice, but one form remains uncommon. Few foundations and philanthropists pool their time, expertise, and financial resources around multiyear goals beyond the reach of any one participant. When they do, their unified action can yield impressive results. So why don’t such collaborations happen more often? Join Willa Seldon, a partner at Bridgespan, when she reviews the barriers to high stakes collaboration and how to work around them, and discusses the three types of collaborations that work best. She will be joined by Oak Foundation’s Kristian Parker, a founding board member of the European Climate Foundation and the Oceans 5 donor collaborative. Parker will add first-hand insights and explain how new donors can benefit from joining forces with those, like the Oak Foundation, that have expertise in a particular area.
To become more effective, nonprofits and foundations are turning to various sources for advice. Some look to experts, others turn to crowdsourcing. Experts and crowds can produce valuable insights, but too often nonprofits and funders ignore the constituents who matter most, the intended beneficiaries. Join Fay Twersky, Phil Buchanan, and Valerie Threlfall as they discuss the reasons why surveying beneficiaries is so important, how the feedback can be used, and some of the challenges to doing this and how to overcome them. They will also provide real-world examples of organizations that are effectively surveying beneficiaries, including their own experience trying to elicit the voices of high school students through YouthTruth, a nonprofit that the three of them co-founded. YouthTruth has gathered feedback from close to 150,000 students across the United States.
Social media and the Internet have permanently disrupted the traditional donor-engagement process through online competitions, viral video campaigns, and mobile giving, to name a few. With each new way for organizations and donors to interact come increasingly complex entry points into the traditional models of donor engagement, greater variation in movement along the pathway to deeper engagement, and more opportunities for a person to be influenced by forces outside an organization’s control. Join Georgetown University’s Julie Dixon and Denise Keyes as they discuss this impact. They’ll also provide insights on these trends gleaned from a nationwide research project that their Center for Social Impact Communications conducted with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, and will explain a new model of donor engagement they have created that takes advantage of social media and the Internet—one that is more fluid and continuous, and that better reflects the growing importance that a person’s influence plays in the process.
Thanks to rapid advances in computer and communication technologies, it is possible for stakeholders in the nonprofit sector to disclose more, to know more, and to demand more through increased transparency and collaboration. In October, a group of the largest US foundations committed to release their grant information in a consistent, open, and frequent manner. Dubbed the “Reporting Commitment,” 15 large foundations have agreed to report at least quarterly to the Foundation Center’s transparency-centered website, Glasspockets.org. In addition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the financial firm LiquidNet announced in October a “New Markets for Good” effort, focused on helping donors—individuals and foundations—use data about different organizations to inform their giving choices. This webinar will explore the repercussions of these moves toward big and open data. Presenters will analyze how more timely grant reporting from foundations can allow other foundations and nonprofits to look for relevant patterns, identify potential partners, scan a field of activity, and potentially develop strategies that take into account other philanthropic resources.