The Age of the Strategic Follower

A few years ago I was introduced to my now favorite TED Talk: Derek Sivers on “How to start a movement.” In two minutes he explains how a movement starts using some amusing footage of a spontaneous dance group. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth the break. What captivated me was his conclusion—and it wasn’t about the leader.

Rightly, much has been made of the importance of leadership—be it in business, government, nonprofits, or online. In the nonprofit sector, starting with the dooms-day scenario of mass baby-boom retirements that was the rage in the early 2000’s, through today’s steady drumbeat of leadership training and development, leadership is on the minds of philanthropic sector professionals.  Continue reading

Three Common Questions about Funding Advocacy

Since the 2016 election, my colleagues and I have noticed one of two things: more funders considering a first-time investment in advocacy, or funders strengthening their existing commitment to fund advocacy work. In response to this surge of activity, we’ve had the opportunity to share our findings regarding effective strategies to support advocacy campaigns  – with different groups of funders. These engaging and deliberate conversations generated additional questions – from which we’ll highlight three: Continue reading

A Statement of Values to Guide Philanthropic Collaboration

At TCC Group, we work to make sustainable change and make the world a better place. We do this work because we are committed to the value of the social sector and its role in solving complex social problems. We are not in the business of short-term solutions, but seek to help organizations deliver more impact, in a more lasting manner. Our opportunity to have an impact rests in our ability to support, build, and work in partnership with our clients, our colleagues in the field, and with each other.

 

As a member of the Collaboration Champions – a group of leading organizations invested in both value-driven and outcomes-driven collaboration – we’re pleased to share seven core principles that embody our values at TCC, and reflect those of our peers.

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Illustrate Your Impact Goals with Logic Model Heat Mapping

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

5 Things Foundations Say About Their Capacity

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

Build Trust With A Purpose Statement

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.”
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How to Strengthen Your Family Foundation’s Impact

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

4 Key Stages for Measuring Your Media Outcomes

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.

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 easyMedia Affecting Change Flow Chart 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

Using an Ecosystem Approach to Define Nonprofit Strategy

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

Building a More Effective Community Approach

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