Archive June 2013

  • Meghan Duffy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    Posted: June 24, 2013

    Contrary to popular belief (or at least mine), at least half of youth involved in mentoring programs are being served by grassroots programs, and not the big names that come to mind when you hear the word “mentoring.” Because they are decentralized and dispersed, tracking the quality and caliber of these programs can be a challenge. And yet, when mentoring is done effectively it can have enormous impact on a child’s life. So, how do we honor the wisdom of communities to provide services that are contextually appropriate, while also ensuring that they are undergirded by the evidence about what constitutes effective mentoring?  

  • Andrea E McGrath, Connecting Capital
    Posted: June 24, 2013

    Ahhhh – networks! With collaboration a resounding theme in many discussions at the Social Impact Exchange Conference last week – multiple organizations, multiple sectors – having a deeper conversation on the risks, rewards, strategies, and lessons learned from engaging in those sorts of partnerships was timely. From the opening introductions offered by each attendee around the room at the final breakout session on “Engaging Networks of Local and Family Foundations to Drive Scaled Impact,” it was clear that everyone present was eager to dive into the details.

  • Suzanne Smith, Social Impact Architects
    Posted: June 24, 2013

    This post originally appeared on the Social Impact Architects blog, Social TrendSpotter.

    The Social Impact Exchange held its Annual Conference on Scaling Impact in New York City last week, with all due fanfare. The Conference opened with the business plan competition on Monday and ended Thursday. It is a unique cross-disciplinary event where over 400 foundations, philanthropists and philanthropy advisors (as well as other stakeholders) convene to discuss the latest ideas and trends. The Conference focuses entirely on innovative methods to support scaling and replication of high-impact nonprofit initiatives. Since Social TrendSpotter is releasing this blog a day late (Friday versus Thursday) and are LIVE in NYC, we thought we’d cover the highlights of this conference Broadway-style:

  • Christina Lindstrom, Participant Media
    Posted: June 20, 2013

    In the midst of the Social Impact Exchange Conference, which focused on finance strategies, research and frameworks of collaboration, the “Technology, Talent and Funding What Works” session on Thursday morning was a welcome hug after a series of handshakes. In this panel and subsequent conversation there was honest discussion about the people behind the frameworks. Even the conversation around technology, a presumably un-touchy-feely subject, revolved around relationship. Given how foundational talent is to the creation of social impact, I’m almost surprised that there hasn’t been a study seeking to prove how being a ‘people-person’ is good for impact. The fact of the matter is, however, managing people well is tough. This panel was even better than a study at proving this point and advising the lost through this reality of achieving better staff and technology management.

  • Amy Dominguez-Arms, The James Irvine Foundation
    Posted: June 20, 2013

    I was re-inspired by my fellow panelists and other speakers at the Social Impact Exchange Conference this week about the many ways philanthropy can contribute to social good. At the same time, I was struck by the complexities involved in how we select and exercise different roles.

    During our panel discussion on “When is Philanthropy (Ir) Relevant?” Sam Karp of the California HealthCare Foundation described his foundation’s leadership of an eleven-state, cross-sector collaborative to develop a standardized user-friendly interface for health care enrollment connected to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Sharon Alpert of the Surdna Foundation talked about Surdna’s work to support and network city officials across the country and others dedicated to implementing sustainability strategies. And, at the opening luncheon on Wednesday, Rip Rapson shared the Kresge Foundation’s impressive multi-faceted effort to reinvigorate Detroit’s economy. In each case, funders had identified an opportunity to tackle a critical issue by pulling together creative cross-sector partnerships.