How Foundations Can Use Storytelling to Effect Change

Connection Cafe

If you spend any time working with foundations, you’ll notice a central thread in the stories told by their leaders, in the content posted to their websites, and in the information they share with the news media. Most foundation stories start and end with money. This is true whether the story comes from a private foundation, family foundation, community foundation, or healthcare conversion. Money is, of course, an important part of what foundations do.

Can Data Bring Foundations and Nonprofits Closer?

Connection Cafe

Data champions —whether inside a nonprofit organization or a foundation—know that data on its own doesn’t accelerate impact on its own. This helps provide a platform for foundations and nonprofits to partner more closely on achieving intended outcomes together.

Foundation Revenue Grows 4.7 Percent

Connection Cafe

Overall giving to 96 foundations representing over $414.6 percent in the three months ending in June 2015, compared to the same period in 2014, according to a Foundation Index introduced this month by Blackbaud. Giving to those foundations grew 7.6

All Facets of the Impact Investing Field at SOCAP16

Connection Cafe

At the forefront of strategies is impact investing. From the plenary speech alone, it was clear how much the impact investing field has evolved. But, impact investing means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The Path to Effective Impact Investing.

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5 Foundation Trends for 2019: Conquering the Unknown with the Help of Data

Connection Cafe

As we start a new year, it’s a good time to pause and celebrate the great work that your foundation and your peers across the social sector accomplished last year. Outcomes and Impact. A logic model may help, or learn how SEFCU created their social impact strategy.

5 Foundation Trends That Will Continue in 2018

Connection Cafe

Foundations are now utilizing their data to help guide their strategy, increase their impact and continually measure their success and the success of their programs. In order to combat the resource battle, foundations have continued to strategize ways to stretch their funding dollars.

3 Ways Community Foundations Can Become the Donor’s Choice

Connection Cafe

While this is wonderful news for nonprofits and foundations, these organizations still face a significant challenge: how to be the donor’s choice amid a wealth of giving options. People like to support nonprofits, but they want to know they’re making the best decision.

Acquiring Patients and Donors: Trust is the Foundation

Connection Cafe

While the overall decline in trust has impacted the healthcare and nonprofit industries, these two segments fared better than most, as they reported a 4.6% It behooves healthcare foundations to see the ‘friend-raising’ opportunities in collaborating on community events.

Telling Your Impact Story with Donor Statements

Connection Cafe

Private foundations, public charities and other social good organizations have an IRS Form 990 online, open to the public eye at any time. Something to be included to help personalize the impact of your donors, but not the focus of the story itself.

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Contemplating Boulder and Social Impact

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Chuck is the president of Naropa University , but we first met when he was leading the Greyston Foundation, a pioneering social enterprise known for originally making brownies for Ben ‘n Jerry’s ice cream while employing formerly incarcerated individuals as the primary workforce.

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The Foundation Operations and Management Report—New Advice for Funders and Grantmakers

Connection Cafe

We look at nonprofits and the people who lead them to find inspiration, motivation, and opportunities for directing our support. In her actions are two important messages for all of us who make grants and support nonprofits: the first is the desire to look at ourselves, and the second concerns an open mind. At Exponent Philanthropy, one of the ways we help our members look inward is via our annual Foundation Operations and Management Report.

3 Ways Community Foundations Can Become the Donor’s Choice

Connection Cafe

While this is wonderful news for nonprofits and foundations, these organizations still face a significant challenge: how to be the donor’s choice amid a wealth of giving options. People like to support nonprofits, but they want to know they’re making the best decision.

Join Benetech in the Skoll Foundation’s 2014 Social Entrepreneurs Challenge!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Our software tools change the ways in which individuals with disabilities can effectively read; enable frontline human rights defenders to safely document abuse; and support environmental practitioners in their efforts to protect species and ecosystems. Thank you for your support!

Capacity Commons: A New Tool for Pro Bono Support

Connection Cafe

Common Impact research indicates that 90% of nonprofits report needing more volunteer support and more than 72% believe that they could increase their impact through skills-based volunteers. Those of us who work in the nonprofit sector know that the capacity gap is real.

Mobilizing Impact at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

“Mobilizing for Impact.” Through this three-year project—made possible with support from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind as well as India’s adoption of a new copyright exception for people with print disabilities —we will pilot Bookshare International at scale in India.

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Unlock Fans While Engaging Supporters Beyond Like, Share and Comment

Amy Sample Ward

The mystery of creating real impact using Facebook has eluded many organizations for years now. There are other examples of organizations finding some tricks and functionality that really help them make connections with supporters, and then Facebook changes the functionality.

Our EveryAction Hero: United Nations Foundation


Created in 1998, the United Nations Foundation links the United Nations' work with others around the world, helping the UN address a range of global issues, including climate change, global health, women’s empowerment, peace and security, poverty eradication, and more. Their impact also carries over to #GivingTuesday, the biggest giving day of the year. What does the United Nations Foundation do? The United Nations Foundation recently made the switch to EveryAction.

The Impact of Tech Capacity Support


“Too many foundations dismiss technology as peripheral to the important work they fund. But even a small investment in your grantees’ technology can have a large impact on their missions.”. The above quote comes directly from our report, A Funders Guide to Supporting Nonprofit Technology: 10 Ways to Build Your Grantees'' Technical Savvy. In fact, we believe this notion is a critical shift in thinking all foundations should consider making.

Healthcare Foundations: At the Crossroads of Communication

Connection Cafe

For healthcare foundations, gaining and maintaining a donor’s trust is equally important. To counter the fragile nature of trust, hospital marketing and the foundation must come together for a shared purpose: to promote, maintain, and communicate trust to their communities. The need for authentic, consumer-voiced content is a natural and synergistic opportunity for marketing departments and foundation staff to begin building a more collaborative relationship.

Knight Foundation | Reporter Analysis

AFP Blog

Knight Foundation | Reporter Analysis : "We asked our partner, Monitor Institute, to take a critical look at the role of networks in community life. This essay highlights groups that are creatively connecting citizens who are making a difference today, and explores how technology might impact public participation and leadership in the future.

The Value of Company-Supported Nonprofit Board Service for Nonprofits and Communities

Connection Cafe

The findings show that this form of high level, high impact volunteering is an effective pathway for companies to achieve their goals in advancing diversity and inclusion, and developing human capital for innovation, in addition to fostering economic development and achieving the U.N.

Econ 201: Macro Influences Impacting Micro Fundraising

Connection Cafe

The donorCentrics team within Target Analytics recently studied findings from the Giving USA Foundation, publisher of Giving USA reports, and key economic indicators to review which external factors have the highest correlation to, and may help predict, charitable giving. Tax policy, and its impact on charitable deductions. Interest rates, and their impact on saving vs. spending. Unemployment rates, and their impact on donor numbers.

Leading the Resistance: 28 Organizations You Can (and Should) Support Today


There's a long fight ahead, but for issues that stir you, one simple, positive thing you can do today is give - your time, money, voice, or attention - because so many organizations need your urgent support. No matter how much you give or to whom, the important thing is to support those organizations whose tireless work is striving for a world you want to live in. Tyler Clementi Foundation. The last few days have been equal parts terrifying, challenging, and complicated.

7 Tips For Building Nonprofit Supporter Profiles


Donors, volunteers, partners, and sponsors are considered the “life blood” of nonprofit organizations and foundations. Therefore each individual relationship, interaction, and correspondence with these supporters is vital to a nonprofit’s overall sustainability.

How to Broadcast Your Impact with Facebook Live

Connection Cafe

In short, nonprofits can now more deeply connect donors to moments of impact—immediately as they happen! Use Facebook Live to support and enhance your current strategy. Fold Facebook Live into your strategy by asking these questions: Where and when does impact happen?

4 Steps to Implementing Your Social Change Strategy: A Case Study with SEFCU

Connection Cafe

Since 2008, SEFCU’s Community Support Program has helped more than seven million people within its branch footprint – which includes upstate New York’s Capital Region, Binghamton, Syracuse and Buffalo areas – through funding vital nonprofit organizations.

Platform Power: Scaling Impact

Museum 2.0

This argument became one of the foundations of The Participatory Museum. I value platforms for their power to scale impact. And then we support and empower them to lead workshops and festivals and projects on our site.

Grassroots Campaigning: How to Use Online Channels to Build Offline Support

Connection Cafe

According to research by the Congressional Management Foundation, nearly half of congressional staff believe that “most advocacy campaigns of identical form messages are sent without the constituent’s knowledge or approval.”. How to Use Online Channels to Build Offline Support.

Lean Impact Series: 10 Changemakers Using Lean Startup Methods For Greater Social Impact

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Note from Beth: Last week during the Google Hangout hosted by the Packard Foundation , someone asked me “What’s Next?” The ideas and techniques in Lean Start Up movement also work for nonprofits and what some are calling “ Lean Impact.”

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Tech Impact Receives $200,000 Grant


Tech Impact’s Anthony Pisapia on left, and Patrick Calihan on right. And now, with the help of Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation’s. Tech Impact is a world-wide provider of hands on tech services and support to nonprofit organizations since 2003.

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How to Define, Measure and Communicate Your Impact

NonProfit Hub

It’s hard to ramp up the good work you do if you don’t know how to concretely define, measure and communicate your impact to supporters. It’s important to learn how to share your efforts with the world, and even more important that you know just how big of an impact you’re making on the issue you’re trying to solve. Defining impact. Impact,” by definition, is the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another. Measuring impact.

Oregon Foundation looking for a Million Dollar Idea

Amy Sample Ward

Meyer Memorial Trust is a private foundation in Oregon, USA, that has a pioneering spirit and is always up to something new, different, and meaningful – plus it is quite near to my heart. And now they are up to something again: MMT is looking for a million dollar idea to support! Meyer Memorial Trust is the largest private foundation in Oregon, established from Fred G. We’ve set a goal to make MMT a national model of a regional foundation,” Stamm said.

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Community-Driven Social Impact: Presentation, Case Studies, and Workshop

Amy Sample Ward

I had a really wonderful time, and the Community-Driven Social Impact session was terrific! Let’s start at the beginning: what is “community-driven social impact” anyway? It also requires capacity/staff to make connections and support the community. What’s the foundation of CDSI?

10 Ways Hospital Foundations Can Use Giving Tuesday to Enhance End-of-Year Giving

Connection Cafe

Is your hospital foundation one of them? . I thought about this and realized I haven’t seen many people talking about using #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to not only generate donations, but also to acquire, retain, and engage supporters for future giving.

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Your Small Staff Can Make a Big Impact Using Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Connection Cafe

At Major Health Foundation, we were intrigued and wanted to try. Donors may be impressed by the organization’s mission, impact or track record, and they make a contribution. You feel good about it, your friend appreciates your support, and the organization receives your contribution. So, you’ve seen the fundraisers that your friends and organizations are doing on your social media feed. Some are reaching out to friends and family for contributions for a cause they care about.

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4 Grant Writing Tips to Bolster Relationships with Foundations

NonProfit Hub

Jeff Kutash, the executive director of the Peter Kiewit Foundation in Omaha, Neb, deals with grants on a daily basis. He later expanded on that thought, talking about the perceived “power imbalance” between the foundation and potential grantee. Grant writing is a time-consuming process.

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Interview: Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink on the Google AI Impact Challenge

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Impact Challenge ” is based on Google’s belief that artificial intelligence can provide new solutions to old problems and improve people’s lives. I recently interviewed Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, Head of Product Impact, who designed the challenged to learn more.

Kicking off SOCAP16 at the Intersection of Money and Meaning

Connection Cafe

Impact investors, social entrepreneurs, foundations, and global NPOs come together with the goal of furthering social, environmental, and economically sustainable solutions. Impact investors fund organizations that sell products that lead to positive social outcomes.

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White House Summit Promotes Pro Bono Service: Connecting Companies with Nonprofits for the Sake of Social Good

Connection Cafe

In fact, many firms use pro bono projects, on their own or in conjunction with groups like The Taproot Foundation , Common Impact or CatchaFire , as a part of their high potential employee programs. The stories are all about how small businesses make a big impact.

SocialCoding4Good: Mobilizing Technology and Volunteerism for Transformative Impact

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

With a seed grant from the Knight Foundation, we set out to find the answers to these questions. While working alongside corporate social responsibility and innovation teams was part of our initial long-term vision, the immediate interest and active participation from the likes of Cisco, Google, HP, ThoughtWorks, and VMware has been tremendous, with very real impact.

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Research Friday: Social Impact Bonds: A New Tool for Scaling Impact

ASU Lodestar Center

and the Rockefeller Foundation, titled: " A New Tool for Scaling Impact: How Social Impact Bonds Can Mobilize Private Capital to Advance Social Good." Social service and nonprofit programs have traditionally been supported through philanthropy and government contracts.

What Funders Want: Outcomes 101 for the Frontline Fundraiser

Connection Cafe

Furthermore, communicating your intended outcomes and sharing your results can help you tell your impact story. Partner with other like-minded organizations to drive your intended impact forward even more rather than staying in a silo.

American Express Leadership Academy alumna Elena Zee shares profound impact of 2019 Aspen Institute Fellowship

ASU Lodestar Center

The American Express Foundation and the Aspen Institute established the Fellowship program to develop the next generation of nonprofit leaders. Elena Zee (back row, fourth from left) joined 14 other selected participants for the American Express Leadership Academy 2.0