August 29, 2014
Full, in-depth interviews with big thinkers in philanthropy are now available on the Fast Forward podcast! Subscribe through iTunes or plug the RSS feed into the podcast subscription software of your choosing.
- Interested in hearing from Trish Tchume of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network on the work she’s done with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy to address power dynamics in the field? Have a listen.
- Want to hear from Phil Buchanan of the Center for Effective Philanthropy on the tools grantmakers can use to build and maintain effective practices? Now you can!
- Ready to know more about the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and its approach to disaster relief? Listen to Mark Lindberg on the foundation’s focus on lower-attention events and its belief in the power of local communities to self-organize.
Once you’re done listening, don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll get every episode as they publish! Next month you’ll hear from Mary Jane Melendez of General Mills Foundation.
August 20, 2014
Odds are you’ve heard a lot about the need for grantmakers and nonprofit professionals to set aside the power dynamics that hold back their relationships and to come together as peers to address needs in their communities. If you’ve worried that’s just lip service to a never-changing problem, good news! Young people in the sector have taken up that call to forge deep relationships and work closely together.
Earlier this year, the Minnesota chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and the Twin Cities chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network unveiled a joint Leadership Institute. The inaugural cohort contains 24 individuals, with an even mix of those who work at nonprofits and foundations, including many MCF members (and staff!).
With a focus on accessibility (no cost to participate) and co-creation (members of the cohort lead sessions), the Institute is a unique opportunity that models best practices we want to see from the sector.
Learn more about it in the article I wrote for the summer issue of Giving Forum!
- Chris Oien, MCF digital communications specialist
August 6, 2014
Don’t miss episode four of Fast Forward, MCF’s series of conversations with big thinkers in philanthropy!
This month features Trish Tchume, executive director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), who was in town for the YNPN National Conference. She talked to our president Trista Harris about the work YNPN has done with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) around the power dynamics in philanthropy, and Trish’s experience in how to develop young leaders effectively.
In this three minute clip, Trish elaborates on the five pillars of leadership development she’s seen young people ask for time and time again (hint: it does not involve credentialing). See how YNPN is working to offer the help emerging professionals fulfill these needs, and think about how you can too:
Then head over to our website to read the interview for more on the work with EPIP!
July 30, 2014
Earlier this week, the Bush Foundation announced it is accepting applications for the Bush Fellowship program now through September 11. This fellowship is both a recognition of extraordinary achievement and a bet on extraordinary potential, with Fellows awarded up to $100,000 to be spent over 12 to 24 months.
The Bush Foundation seeks leaders who are active learners of outstanding character and a record of success, and who could benefit from intensive development through self-designed or academic programs.
There are two ways to use a Bush Fellowship:
- To start, make progress toward or complete an academic degree.
- In a self-designed learning program where the learning experiences including conferences, classes, seminars, etc. are chosen by the Bush Fellow.
The Fellowship is an opportunity for Bush Fellows to increase their capacity for leadership by pursuing learning experiences that will increase their knowledge and develop important leadership skills and attributes, especially in the areas of communications, self-awareness, creativity, cultural competency and cross-sector leadership.
See the details and apply through the Bush Foundation website, and have a look at the 2014 Bush Fellows to see some successful applicants and what they’ve been up to. Semifinalists will be selected in October, with in-person finalist interviews in February and 2015 Fellows announced in March.
July 29, 2014
Philanthropy – we need each other to do it well, and it’s imperative that we make time to share stories, compare notes and answer questions. My favorite way to engage is over coffee or lunch, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes online advice – I call it a virtual coffee break – will do.
I know GrantCraft for their excellent guides, and I’ve used many of them in my work. The site has now been completely reorganized, making lots of great content much easier to locate and use. They’ve also made it easier to find out what other grantmakers have got brewing and to contribute your own lessons learned.
Maybe you’re working on an initiative that’s new to your community but has taken off elsewhere, or you have a burning question that you’d like a lot of people to weigh in on right now. Those are a couple of the reasons I’m hoping that GrantCraft’s new features really take off.
I encourage you to take a fresh look at the site, share your wisdom and comment on the questions asked by others. All of the discussions on the site are searchable and will be archived. Today when I checked, there were funders wondering how others help grantees beyond grants, how grantmakers help grantees find new money, challenges that arise when collaborating with other funders and how your organization structures challenge grants. These are all questions that I know many of our MCF members can help answer for other grantmakers.
Every success I have had in this field has been because of connections I’ve made and people I’ve met. GrantCraft now provides us a virtual opportunity to widen our networks and learn from grantmakers we haven’t yet met. If we take advantage of it, we’ll each improve our own practice, and we’ll better the field of philanthropy together. Let’s use it to stimulate real results!
- Trista Harris, MCF president
July 28, 2014
MCF’s Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship, which we opened applications for earlier this month, will prepare individuals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy. But the fellowship is about more than changing the face of leadership in philanthropy; it’s about infusing new ideas and viewpoints into the field.
Are you interested in applying to be a Ron McKinley Philanthropy fellow? Do you have questions about the application process?
Join Alfonso Wenker, MCF director of diversity, equity and inclusion, for a short informational webinar about the process and the program on Thursday, August 7, at 3 p.m. Alfonso will provide a high-level overview of the program and take questions from participants.
And for a look at what the 2014 Philanthropy Fellows are up to, don’t miss MCF’s new issue of Giving Forum, online and in your mailbox now. We caught up with Venessa Fuentes and Dameun Strange and asked them about their responsibilities and how they’re helping effect positive community change. Read about their experiences, then join our webinar to see what the fellowship would mean for you!
July 15, 2014
Jennifer Ford Reedy addressing the YNPN National Conference
A couple of weeks ago, the national conference of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network came to Minneapolis. As a board member of the local chapter, I was thrilled to see so many young leaders from around the country in town and for them to hear Jennifer Ford Reedy of the Bush Foundation during day two’s opening keynote.
One insight from Reedy’s keynote in particular has been sticking with me and others who attended. It came during her description of her career path and how she figured out what her dream job was. A lot of her career, she said, involved doing a good job and seeing what new opportunities emerged, but there was a pivotal moment — involving deep thinking and visualizing her dream job — that got her to where she is today.
That moment came with a question from a CEO she’d been working with. The question wasn’t, “What’s your dream job?” Instead the CEO asked, “Can we fund you to be you and keep doing what you’re doing in the community?” Reedy knew that wasn’t feasible and that she’d need to have a platform and a place to belong. But it did get her thinking, “What do I want to do? Not what job do I want, but what is the verb in my life?”
She thought about what she was good at, what she enjoyed doing and the impact she wanted to have. From there she considered organizations she could be a part of that would allow her to do that. That frame of mind allowed her to make conscious choices that led her to Bush Foundation.
Reedy’s story demonstrated that the familiar question about someone’s dream job might have it backwards. The most important thing to know is what you’ll be happy doing. The best place to do it flows from there, not vice versa. So what about it, what’s your verb?
Watch Reedy’s full keynote and Q&A session from the conference below:
- Chris Oien, MCF digital communications specialist