Posts Tagged 'New York University'

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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Changing the Debate on Education Policy

By Lori Bezahler, President, Edward W. Hazen Foundation

Over the past 15 years, education policy has gone from a bureaucratic backwater to a topic debated on the front pages of every city’s major newspaper. Where once we had presidential candidates proposing the abolition of the U.S. Department of Education, today anyone vying for public office in New York—or indeed across the country—must have a position on the hot education issues and proclaim themselves the next education mayor, governor or president. The transformation of education philanthropy has followed a similar trajectory with the recognition that effective programs and direct services are important, even critical, but long-term, sustained change requires public policies conducive to the schools we want for our children, our communities and our country. As a result, those of us doing work in the field must build our understanding of how policy change is driven, what the key levers of change might be and the current direction of those leading the change in order to be effective grantmakers.

Philanthropy New York’s Annual Meeting gave the membership and our colleagues in the nonprofit field the opportunity to hear directly from the top education policymakers at the city, state and federal levels. Sharing the stage were U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, New York State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr., and New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott in a discussion moderated by WNYC Education Correspondent Beth Fertig and preceded by a smaller session with Pedro Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at NYU. While the speakers held different views on some specific policy interventions, there was a shared emphasis on creating great schools for all children. One point of agreement across all four speakers was the need for equity in school finance and the importance of a public—parents in particular—creating demand and pushing for excellent schools.
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