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Tag Archives: Culture

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

Behavior Change: Five Lessons Learned From The Tobacco Wars

by Sharon Carothers “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.” Compelling? Urgent? Makes you think, “Sign me up to help,” right? Well, not necessarily. As with any transformational change, it depends on where you sit in the world – your job, priorities, and cultural norms. For more than a decade, my work in the field of tobacco control was focused on helping to build a …Read More

The Complexity of Collaboration

by Amy Farley Goals such as “ending childhood hunger” or “building a healthcare system that works for all” are aimed at complex problems and generally require complex solutions. We all know that these types of problems can’t be solved by just one person, but the need to engage cross-sector stakeholders – most often times individuals who have vastly different perspectives on the problem and potential solutions – adds yet another …Read More

Are You Collaborating On Solid Ground?

By Amy Farley You cannot realize social transformation in a vacuum. It requires looking outside yourself and beyond your organization’s walls, seeking opportunities to collaborate intentionally both with others you know well and with “unlikely suspects.” As we all know, this is easier said than done. Collaborative efforts can take a variety of forms, but in this post I want to discuss the type of collaboration that involves the strategic and …Read More

Leading Social Change Today

What does it mean to be a social change leader today? Last week, The Initiative for Nonprofit Talent and Leadership, a cross sector collaborative – comprised of American Express, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, Center for Creative Leadership, Commongood Careers, Corporation for National and Community Service, Public Allies, Rudin Family Foundations, and Community Wealth Partners, among others – convened a forum with leaders …Read More

Why Are There So Many Mediocre Nonprofits?

There are some excellent nonprofits out there.  People who are using innovative, groundbreaking strategies to create long-lasting social change.  Organizations that are market-directed and make data-driven strategic decisions.  Community Wealth Partners has worked with some of these organizations that are creating transformational change, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Miriam’s Kitchen, Share Our Strength, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.  They, and others in the sector, are demonstrating that …Read More

The Role of Data: Using Information to Enlighten Decisions and Create Culture

New York City in the late 1980’s was a city plagued by crime and engulfed in a culture of rampant corruption.  The subway was considered incredibly dangerous, and petty crime had a strangle-hold on the streets.  To put it bluntly, it was a not safe place.  But over the course of several years and under new direction from the police chief and mayor, the city began to see a positive change.  …Read More

Dear Social Sector: Did you hear the President call us to action?

In the words spoken and unspoken during President Obama’s State of the Union address, I heard three strong calls to action for the social sector. 1. Put our differences aside in pursuit of the mission. In his speech, President Obama pointed to the military’s ability to put aside differences and focus on the mission.  On many military missions, it’s life or death for those involved. For much of our work …Read More

Seeing and Seeking Common Ground in the New Year

As I reflect upon my recent trip to Turkey, where I celebrated the New Year with family, I’m reminded that, at the most basic level, we are all the same.  In so many ways, Turkey is a country marked by stark contrasts. The most visible manifestation of this is the dress of the women: everywhere you go you can find Muslim women fully covered from head to toe sitting side-by-side …Read More

Sustaining Evaluation Starts With Culture and Leadership

In our last post, we reflected on the importance of evaluation to ensuring an organization’s overall sustainability. Our question was: what can organizations do to build and sustain their evaluation capacity? This question has been the focus of our recent work with the Connecticut Association for Housing Services (CAHS) and CASA de Maryland (CASA), two organizations that had come to recognize that evaluation capacity was about more than collecting some …Read More