The work you do in the social sector is likely unique in its mission and programs. As unique as it is, social sector organizations like yours share the common goal to “move the needle.” They may work towards improving conditions for local youth or inspiring local creativity by supporting the community arts scene. No matter your mission, it is important to ensure your activities are clearly aligned with your ultimate social impact goals. To that end, we have produced three videos that Continue reading
Nearly 60 foundations – of all shapes and sizes – recently took the Foundation Core Capacity Assessment Tool (FCCAT), a self-assessment measure for foundations, to better understand their strengths and challenges. Based on the recent summary report, here are five noteworthy things they had to say: Continue reading
As we enter a new era in US politics, there is increased pressure on companies to build trust with customers, and both deliver and communicate their broader value to society and their employees.
As stated in the Edelman TRUST BAROMETER 2016, “A yawning trust gap is emerging between elite and mass populations. The most profound diﬀerence between the elite and the broader populations is found in their attitudes toward business. This skepticism is clearly manifested in the perception of speciﬁc industries, in particular the ﬁnancial services sector where there is a gap of more than 20 points between the elite’s trust in the sector and the general population’s.”
As with all foundations, family foundations work to have a meaningful and measurable impact on social problems. But they also have a second, unique purpose: to serve as a unifying vehicle for multiple generations, providing opportunities for family members to share philanthropic interests. Establishing this cohesion can be accomplished by Continue reading
What can media accomplish? What can it affect? These are questions funders often ask. Restating those questions from an evaluation perspective translates to: how can one measure the impact of media? To understand how to measure media, we must first understand the strategy behind media.
- Draws attention to issues.
- Improves understanding of issues and possible solutions.
- Inspires people to care.
- Motivates people to do something.
- Connects people with solutions.
I previously spoke to these, diagramming the flow of media effect, where people move through various different states from awareness to action. Looking at the model, it is easy to think that one piece of content can affect change.
However, it is rare that just one exposure to one piece of content affects change; rather it is the sum of multiple experiences – a subset of which is content. Savvy media professionals take into account the environmental factors in the development and distribution of their content, building on what is available, constructing multiple pieces of content for distribution, and developing a campaign for that distribution to affect their target audiences.
During the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Continue reading
You’ve been hearing about the “external environment” “ecosystem” “collaboration” “collective impact” and “hubs, spoke, nodes, etc.” a lot lately. Have you been wondering how all these concepts should influence your organization’s strategic priorities? So have we. Continue reading
Companies are developing their corporate citizenship approaches and strategies based on three primary drivers: aligning with their purpose; addressing an operational issue; and/or supporting the communities where they have operations and employees.
Public media and high-profile stories surrounding companies and their corporate citizenship efforts tend to focus on the major programs and initiatives that the company has developed and promoted, such as Unilever’s Sustainable Living commitment (Purpose) or Starbucks’ focus on sourcing products responsibly (Operations).
The approach to community, however, tends to be less developed. Numerous companies state that they support the communities where their employees live and work, but with employees scattered around the globe in possibly hundreds of locations, companies struggle to develop an approach that effectively meets the needs of their various stakeholders in all of their localities.
Companies experience an increasing pressure to address critical issues, as well as communicate the activities and impact of the company in the communities where it operates, even in the most rural locations. As a result, there is a greater need for companies to develop an approach that addresses the issues and concerns of those stakeholders. Continue reading
The strategic planning process conjures up a number of sentiments among nonprofit professionals: stress about the time intensiveness of the process and balancing other priorities; fear about the potential implications of a change in direction for the organization; and excitement about the opportunity to deepen the organization’s impact and further its mission. No matter how strategic planning makes you feel, objectively, strategic planning is critical to nonprofit functioning. If done well, it is a data-driven and inclusive process through which an organization will improve its understanding of:
- The need for its services;
- Its unique abilities and positioning compared to others with similar offerings;
- Ways in which it can potentially leverage its strengths by partnering with others; and
- The potential obstacles and opportunities that stand to impact the organization (whether positively or negatively) in the future.
A strategic plan with clear metrics of success serves as a tool for assessment, discussion, and correction. Continue reading
Funders supporting movements face a unique set of challenges when trying to support
organizations working for the same cause. In their efforts to increase organizational effectiveness, foundations invariably face questions of credibility and control, and sometimes encounter diverging understandings of success. This case study profiles how TCC Group – with its partner, the Wikimedia Foundation – developed an innovative, participatory approach to these challenges, resulting in increased organizational effectiveness in the Wikimedia movement.