Archive for July, 2012

Try it, You’ll Like It: The Promise of Digital Media

By David Morse, Senior Fellow, Encore.org

One of the best things that can happen when you participate in an interesting panel is that you learn new things from your colleagues, or have nascent ideas tweaked, tested and maybe even reinforced. In other words, you just don’t impart, but learn. That’s what happened to me recently when I joined with a group of colleagues, convened by Philanthropy New York and led by Edith Asibey of The Atlantic Philanthropies, to talk about how foundations can do better—“discover the promises and avoid the perils”—in using digital media in their advocacy efforts.

I think it’s fair to say that, for the most part, foundations have been generally “behind the curve” in their engagement and comfort level with social media and have been slow adopters of social media tools and strategies. Why that’s the case—and there are lots of reasons why that are endemic to the culture of foundations—is less important than knowing how and why social media are essential elements of a foundation’s advocacy strategy.
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Which Nonprofits Are Most Ready for Capacity Building?

By Alice Hill, Senior Consultant, TCC Group

(This post originally appeared on PhilanTopic, the Philanthropy News Digest blog, on June 20, 2012 and is reprinted with permission.)

With funds limited, foundations must constantly assess how their money is best spent—and support for organizational capacity-building support is no exception. How can a funder determine which nonprofit is most likely to benefit from this sort of investment? After all, change is something many talk about, but few actually accomplish. It turns out that, at least in the nonprofit world, desire to change trumps many other factors that are used to gauge “readiness.”

A recent study of an initiative to strengthen nonprofit journalism organizations found that mindset matters most. It is not just a willingness to change, but an embrace of the often-messy work of transformation that is the most important indicator of capacity-building success.
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Impact Investing in New York and Beyond

By Cynthia Muller and Samantha Beinhacker, Arabella Advisors

New York’s thriving network of philanthropists, investors and social enterprises are rapidly expanding the region’s impact investing sector. Using return-seeking investments across a range of asset classes and return expectations, impact investors are finding new ways to affect issues from human health to community development to environmental protection. A new briefing by Arabella Advisors surveys some of their efforts and provides guidance for those interested in joining the impact investing movement.

What is impact investing?
Impact investors use return-seeking investments to accomplish social and environmental goals. These investments can be made in organizations, funds or companies along a continuum of asset classes. Impact investing, if carried out thoughtfully, can increase the scale of social and environmental impact, promote the preservation of capital and support the stability and growth of innovative enterprises.
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