Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Selecting a dissertation topic is like choosing a PhD program. You want to select a topic that is the right fit for you. Your topic should be:
- Interesting to you
- Manageable (something that you can actually complete)
- Relevant to your field
The topic that I ended up selecting for my dissertation was the best fit for me because it related to the research studies that I had completed while working in the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research.
In the first semester of my PhD program I completed a literature review, titled: "How to measure the community impact of nonprofit graduate students' service-learning projects." The literature review set the stage for an extensive qualitative research study that I completed during the 2nd year of my PhD program. I interviewed 19 nonprofit organizations to determine the impact and use of master's students' applied projects. After I completed the local study, I wanted to study impact and use of experiential education within nonprofit organizations at a national level.
I originally planned to complete a much more extensive study of experiential education and its impact on the nonprofit community (isn't this always the case with dissertations?!?) but my dissertation committee helped me get back into reality. I honed my dissertation topic into a study that was much more manageable and something that I could complete!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
ARNOVA's adhoc social media committee (John Ronquillo (chair), Lindsey McDougle, Debra Beck, Taylor Peyton Roberts, and I) have been working hard this year trying promote social media within ARNOVA. We are opening the door....very slowly, since there is a strong culture of hesitation and concern about using social media.
Our social media (e.g., facebook, twitter, and linkedin) objectives are to:
- Build awareness of ARNOVA.
- Promote ARNOVA membership and the work of individual sections within ARNOVA. (For example, have you seen the Community and Grassroots section's website?)
- Highlight new research articles, briefs, and books by ARNOVA members
- Market new ARNOVA initiatives (for example, the newest initiative is ARNOVA press).
The adhoc social media committee will be hosting a colloquy on Thursday morning at 8:15am (Magnolia C) to discuss the latest research on nonprofits' use of social media. We'll also be discussing what we have accomplished thus far by using social media within ARNOVA, and what we hope to accomplish in the future.
We believe that social media will help create a sustainable future for the association and we'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. How did you learn about ARNOVA? Was it through social media? Would you liked to get more involved in ARNOVA?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Since this bibliography was released, nonprofit organizations have continued to struggle to understand and appreciate human resource management and succession planning practices. Organizations like, Commongood Careers and Nonprofit HR Solutions are now providing human resource and talent management support to many nonprofits across the United States. In addition, new studies have been published about the nonprofit workforce. Here's a brief overview of these studies:
Books about the Nonprofit Workforce and Nonprofit Careers
- The Nonprofit Career Guide: How to land a job that makes a difference
- Idealist’s Guide to Nonprofit Careers: For First-time Job Seekers
- How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar
- Change Your Career: Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector
- Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
- Wages in the Nonprofit Sector, Management & Professional, Healthcare and Social Services, Education.
- Nonprofit Almanac, 2008
- Employment in America's Charities - A Profile, 2006
- Work in the Nonprofit Sector, The Nonprofit Sector Research Handbook, 2006.
- Adapting Leading Talent Management Practices to the Nonprofit Sector, Accenture, 2010
- Opportunity Knocks Retention and Vacancy Report, 2008, 2009, 2010
- The nonprofit leadership deficit: A case for more optimism, 2009
- The voice of nonprofit talent: improving recruitment and retention by responding to the needs of nonprofit employees and jobseekers, Commongood Careers, 2008
- Staying Late: Comparing Work Hours in Public and Nonprofit Sectors, 2008
- The nonprofit workforce crisis: Real or imagined? Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 2007
- Building leaderful organizations: succession planning for nonprofits, Annie Casey Foundation, 2008
- Next Shift: Beyond the Leadership Crisis, Building Movement Project, 2007
- What works: Developing Successful Multigenerational Leadership, Building Movement Project, 2010
- Working Across the Divide: Job Involvement in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors, 2009
- Ready to lead? Next generation leaders speak out, CompassPoint, 2008
- NP2020: Issues and answers from the next generation, Johnson Center at Grand Valley University, 2008
- Promotions and Incentives in Nonprofit and For-Profit Organizations, 2007
- Worker Motivations, Job Satisfaction, and Loyalty in Public and Nonprofit Social Services, 2006
- A Comparison of the Values and Commitment of Private Sector, Public Sector and Parapublic Sector Employees, 2006
- AFP Compensation and Benefits Study, 2010
- Guidestar Compensation Study, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
- Opportunity Knocks Wage and Benefits Report, 2010
- CEO Compensation Study, Charity Navigator, 2010
- There are also regional compensation studies (e.g., Northern California, Arizona).
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
There are many different ways of viewing leadership and how people create social change. My favorite way of viewing leadership is as a collective process. Leadership is not about one person in an organization making singular decisions; it is about multiple staff members coming together to collectively move the agenda of the organization forward. Yeah, the CEO might be the face of our organizations, but as next geners, we are making things happen behind the scenes, we are making our CEO’s look good.
Additionally, collective means that leadership is happening among many different groups of organizations. Funders are starting to fund these groups of organizations (case in point the Social Innovation Fund from the Corporation for National and Community Service). Even so, this view of societal change needs to be taken a step forward and recognize that leadership flows throughout people, organizations, and communities.
So let’s rethink how we view leadership and how social change is occurring in our sector. I’m really excited that the Next Gen Leadership award went to Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM! because he understands collective leadership and his organization is truly creating societal change.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I organized the social media team for the NGen portion of the conference. Blog posts from these sessions can be found on the Independent Sector blog.
On the last day of the conference during the NGen debriefing session, Rusty Stahl executive director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and Trish Tchume, Director of Civic Engagement for the Building Movement project had us write down three items that we wanted to take away from the conference.
Here are the three takeaways that I wrote down:
1. Inspiration: I was truly inspired by the speakers throughout the conference and hearing their visions for the nonprofit/philanthropic sector. My inspiration is reflected in the three blog posts that I wrote for the Independent Sector during the conference.
2. Focus: Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service said something during his keynote speech that really stuck with me. He said, "We need to balance our passion with pragmatism." Many younger people in the nonprofit sector are very passionate about their work but are not realistic or focused in how they enact their passions. Patrick's statement made me realize the importance of focusing and narrowing one's passion so that it can be realistically achieved. Let me give you a personal example.
As many of you know I am super passionate about the ENTIRE nonprofit sector. This passion has opened many doors for me but it has also caused me to take on way too many projects beyond my time capacity. Patrick's inspirational speech helped me to think of ways that I can focus and refine my passion into specific areas within the nonprofit sector (that can be accomplished).
3. Action: From now on all the NEW work that I volunteer for, or take on will be related to refined passion/vision for the nonprofit sector and will focus on three distinct areas.
- Nonprofit Workforce: Everyone would view working in a nonprofit organization as a viable career option.
- Nonprofit Operations & Capacity Building: Executive directors, staff, board members, and volunteers within nonprofit organizations would freely access the amazing capacity-building/operational tools and resources available to them across the sector.
- Nonprofit Education: Nonprofit master's degrees would focus on student AND organizational learning outcomes.