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Blog Archives

When to Speak Out: Three Questions Foundations Might Consider

In the days following the Trump administration’s Jan. 27 executive order to ban immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, many social sector leaders confronted the question of whether to speak publicly about their organizations’ perspectives on the ban. One group of more than 190 philanthropic and philanthropy-supporting organizations decided to sign a joint statement that criticized the executive order and called for policies that “reflect our nation’s founding principles, promote …Read More

How Can Foundations Establish a Change-Making Culture?

Culture: the way we do things around here. This common phrase diminishes the importance of culture. Cultivating an intentional change-making culture is imperative for foundations that want to move from grant making to change making. Culture is a critical strategy for large-scale change and involves the consistent, long-term promotion of the values, norms, and daily behaviors that allow people, organizations, and communities to align their actions in a disciplined way. …Read More

The Emerging Reality: What Does It Mean for Foundations & Nonprofits?

In 2011, our board and staff asked, “What are the greatest problems facing humanity?” This simple question set us on a path of exploring complex social and environmental issues, our beliefs about the root causes, and ultimately, an articulation of the role we want to play in solving some of the world’s most complex social problems. We committed to unleashing the power of change agents to create transformational social change. …Read More

Leap of Reason: The Performance Imperative

As a partner to change agents seeking to solve social problems at the magnitude they exist, Community Wealth Partners is deeply invested in the realization of our client’s goals and the sustainability of their programs. As a sector, we’ve all begun to realize that it’s no longer good enough to make the case that we’re addressing real needs. We need to prove that we’re making a real difference. That realization is at the core …Read More

Transformational Change Requires More Than Program Replication

By Amy Celep This post was written for inclusion in a series of response essays to Social Impact Exchange’s 2013 Conference on Scaling Impact. You can find the original essay here and additional essays on the Social Impact Exchange blog. You may have heard the story of the babies in the river. There was a small village on the edge of a river. One day a villager notices a baby …Read More

Conversations can make or break a collaborative

By Amy Celep Meet Sue. Her colleague, Joe, just did something with which she fundamentally disagrees. Sue marches over to another colleague, Tim, and complains about what Joe did, but never says anything directly to Joe. Or imagine that Sue silently fumes about the situation, never saying anything to anyone about it, or maybe she musters up the courage to say something to Joe but what comes out is a …Read More

How to Create and Live Partnership Principles

By Amy Celep Have you ever been part of a collaborative that agreed to uphold a set of values or principles but then the group never talked about them again and didn’t live up to them? In both our research around and work with efforts that have realized social transformation, we have seen that many of these efforts are able to make progress because they’ve invested time in intentionally building …Read More

Partnership Principles: A Practical Tool for Effective Collaboration (and Family Gatherings!)

By Amy Celep As families across the country prepare to gather for Thanksgiving, it is an opportune time to share a practical tip for collaboration. Even in families, it requires intentional effort to ensure everyone is working together effectively to pull off a fantastic Thanksgiving feast. A shared understanding about the way things will be done is important. For example, does everyone share the same attitude about what the traditional …Read More

Don’t Let Culture Eat Collaboration for Breakfast

By Amy Celep Collaboration makes sense. We see daunting social problems in our communities and we realize that we cannot tackle these problems alone. We can, however, pool our strengths and collectively achieve bigger results. But so often we struggle to realize the potential of collaboration. We create a national coalition, or a state collaborating table, or a local collective impact initiative. We set a bold goal. We determine the …Read More

When “The Basics” Become Revolutionary for Social Change

By Amy Celep Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of attending and speaking at three conferences: the Texas Nonprofit Summit, the KaBOOM! Playful City USA Summit, and Independent Sector. Across these convenings, two particular observations stuck in my mind: 1. “The Basics” Can Be Revolutionary “THAT ROCKED MY WORLD!” is the feedback I received from one leader who approached me after participating in a conversation around our …Read More