Thursday, November 12, 2009

News You Can Use

The James Irvine Foundation in cooperation with the Chronicle of Philanthropy just released a new report entitled, Convergence: How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector. This report describes the coming years as being very challenging for organizations that try to maintain status quo in their approach to their market and their worlds. The trends as described in the study and summarized by the Chronicle are:

Shifting demographics. With new generations making up a growing share of the work force, charities must learn to share leadership with younger workers, the report says.

Technological advances. Social-media technologies provide charities the opportunity to gain greater exposure, but they also require groups to be comfortable giving more people within their organization a chance to speak out.

New ways to collaborate. With the advent of new technologies, organizations can just as easily work with an individual located across the world as they can through traditional coalitions and alliances, according to the report.

Greater interest in service. Last year’s presidential election spurred interest in volunteerism, but nonprofit groups need to keep in mind that people have many different reasons for volunteering and ought to tailor their opportunities to individuals’ interests.

Blurred lines between nonprofit and for-profit. Greater emphasis on corporate social responsibility and the emergence of businesses whose primary aim is to do good are challenging the nonprofit field’s traditional identity but are also creating opportunities for new partnerships and collaboration, says the report.

This monograph is a must read for our boards and staff. When you read this, take an honest eye to your board and the way you do business. Are you integrating youth into your leadership? Is social-media technology (or even email) facilitating communication with in the board and to your universe of stakeholders? Are you operating from silos of one-person, one task or collaborating to maximize your strengths for the events or activities you do for your LC? Are you assertively seeking new volunteers on their terms? Are you willing to explore ways to build revenue in addition to charitable donations?

Please discuss among your boards.


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