Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can we strive for mutuality in philanthropy?

After taking an action research course this summer from renowned scholar Bill Torbert where we learned to strive for mutuality in our relationships, I was struck by Philantopic's most recent blog post titled "Women are bright spot Amid Economic Gloom" which spoke of the mutuality embodied by women's philanthropy. The post stated:
  • The report holds up this new, more democratic model of philanthropy as a beacon for all, re-imagining philanthropy as a horizontal collaboration of trusted equals.
  • Too often over the years, philanthropy was dispensed top-down and vertically, and was not informed by the wisdom of solutions cultivated at the grassroots.
  • Women's funds, like no other area of philanthropy, have for three decades pioneered and developed a democratic model of giving, with donors and grantees sharing grantmaking decisions.
Why is it that only women's philanthropy strives for mutuality? If we are truly trying to change the world, wouldn't it be best if all of philanthropy strives for collaboration and mutuality? I look forward to a day when we can put our egos aside, see the best in each other, and strive for mutuality in philanthropy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New to Nonprofit Technology -- Here's a Brief Overview

My colleague Tom Cesarini and I did a brief seminar about nonprofit technology during USD's nonprofit innovation event last Friday. It was fun, but most likely overwhelming to people who are new to the nonprofit technology arena. (Here's a link to our brief presentation).

So I decided to write another brief overview, this one about Nonprofit Technology. This is great timing because I just wrote the chapter about nonprofit technology for Sage's new Handbook: Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations due out next spring.

Overall great nonprofit technology websites
  • Tech Soup offers nonprofits a one-stop resource for technology needs by providing free information, resources, and support.
  • Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network is the membership organization of nonprofit technology professionals whose members share the common goal of helping nonprofits use all aspects of technology more effectively.
  • NTEN has Affinity Groups where anyone can post nonprofit technology questions, find technology consultants and learn great technology tips.
  • My favorite groups are: (there are groups for practically every metropolitan area) & There are also groups about blogging, social media and other np tech topics.
  • NPower a network of locally based nonprofit organizations that provide comprehensive, high-quality and affordable technology assistance to other nonprofit groups nationally.
Selecting hardware for your nonprofit
Selecting software for your nonprofit
Web Presence & Using Technology to Fundraise
Nonprofit Technology Events and Conferences
  • Nonprofit Technology Conference The event to learn about nonprofit technology hardware, software, professional development and to connect with nonprofit techies.
  • Penguin Day is a day long conferences where non-profit organizations explore the range of issues and options involved using Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS). The host of Penguin Day, Aspiration also organizes a variety of other nonprofit technology events including the Nonprofit Software Development Summit, Managing Technology Projects, eAdvocacy trainings and more.
  • Netsquared is a two-day meeting that brings together the minds of unlikely allies from different professional fields including: leaders in philanthropy, corporate philanthropy, engineering, media and world-class innovators driving the development, distribution and use of social technologies for progressive change.
  • Other Nonprofit Technology Events listed on Tech Soup's Website
Helpful Nonprofit Technology Books and Reports
Social Media for your nonprofit
For the true techies
As a Caveat: I know many nonprofit techies read my blog, so if there are sites and resources I am missing please let me know and I will add those resources to this page. I am not going to delve into the nonprofit marketing arena on this post because I know my favorite nonprofit marketing consultants Kivi Miller, Katya Andresen & Nedra Weinreich would do a much better job at providing a brief overview of nonprofit marketing. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Advice for PhD students: preparing for a career in academia

Although I still have another year before I even start to apply for professor positions,
Jessica Word, Assistant Professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas provided me with three pieces of advice on how to best prepare for the academic job market.

1. Get published--now!!
She expressed the most important thing a PhD student can do is get published! Students should either write their own papers or find a professor to publish with. For example, I took an independent study course where one of my professors worked all semester to help me get my paper ready for publication. I also worked with a group of professors on a research project where we produced a paper for publication. For a list of nonprofit academic journals click here.

Jessica recommended a great summer program to build up your research skills -- Interuniversity consortium on social and political research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan. Claremont Graduate University also offers research and evaluation professional development workshops.

2. Review papers for a conference (like the Academy of Management or ARNOVA)
Jessica says, reviewing papers for a conference helps PhD students to learn how the review process works and about exciting new research before it gets published. Some of my fellow doctoral students have already volunteered to review papers for the Academy of Management annual conference and really enjoyed being a part of that process.

3. Do some service work
The reason why I put "some" is because Jessica says, often time women end up doing too much service work and don't have enough time to focus on the other important things like getting published. She says it is good for someone to serve on one or two committees while they are pursuing their PhD. Some of my fellow doctoral students have served on new professor search committees and I currently serve on the Institute for Nonprofit Research and Education's Advisory board as the doctoral student representative.

I would also add to Jessica's helpful advice -- build up your vita (resume)!! Present at as many academic conferences as you can. Jessica and I present at (at least) two academic conferences per year--Academy of Management and Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). However there are also specialized academic conferences like the International Leadership Association, American Society for Public Administration, and Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

I met Jessica when she organized the Public and Nonprofit Doctoral Student Consortium at the Academy of Management conference. I highly recommend that nonprofit focused doctoral students attend this consortium. The organizers bring in seasoned professors to advise students about students' research in progress. Students also learn from Journal editors about how to submit to prestigious academic journals. R. Karl Rethemeyer from University of Albany at State University New York also spoke at the doctoral student consortium. He wrote the very helpful academic job hunting manual for PhD students.