I worked at Save The Bay from late 1990 to late 1995. I started as Director of Development and Marketing right after Curt was appointed the permanent Executive Director (I think I was his first hire). Curt had risen through the ranks from program director to the? interim ex to its permanent one.
Back then, Save The Bay was housed in a dingy former bank building near the RI Read more
I spent an hour yesterday in a lively phone conversation with the drafters of “Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted from Purpose” a report on the challenges and opportunities in improving grant application and reporting. The call was hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals which is one of the partner organizations participating in Project Streamline, a collaborative initiative of the Grants Managers Network.
Though I’ve already referenced this effort in an earlier posting, I wanted to remind you to go the the website of Project Streamline, download a copy of the report and its recommendations, and add your feedback to the discussion.
Some of the things we talked about on our conference call:
The need to rightsize the application process to the amount of the grant.
The need to focus proposal writing on the right stuff, (program and results), and not take up time with excessive paperwork.
The need for better online application processes (ones where you can save your document, copy and paste, print out versions to check, etc).
The need for open source final reports so that our colleagues can learn from our experiences (rather than reports locked in a file cabinet that no one pays attention to).
The report is a good read. It may confirm all of your frustrations. If a fair amount of your revenues come through private foundation grants, it’s well worth your involvement, especially if you have recommended solutions to the problems addressed.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of grants and contracts which nonprofits receive come through the government … which isn’t a beneficiary of this study. But the project sponsors were urged to share the report with government grantmakers anyway as they may benefit from its recommendations.
Speaking of Women’s Voices for the Earth, Good Morning America ran the segment on Green Cleaning Parties Sunday morning. People started signing up right away.
Here’s the link to the story:
And the link to get your own Green Cleaning Party kit.
If I could, I would nominate Barnaby Evans, the creator of WaterFire, for a MacArthur Fellowship (aka, the “genius fellows).
A case study of collaboration, network weaving, social capital and the power of a partnership culture
Before network weaving and social capital became the buzz words, the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor was quietly inventing collaboration and community building on a bi-state scale in their small corner of New England.
joined a group of colleagues last night to talk more about Passion & Purpose, Passion and Purpose Report the recent report from The Boston Foundation.
A number of questions emerged that are worth a conversation among our colleagues and with our funders. I’d like to share those with you:
Two of my clients have had big media exposure lately. The Diaper Bank in Connecticut started in New Haven. As a result of their good work, they received a state allocation to expand to Hartford and Bridgeport. We were enlisted to help them think about various models for carrying out this work. Through our work together (and with advice from people like Hildy and other critical informants in CT), we were able to pull together an expansion plan that identified strategic questions and included a framework for operations, funding, governance, executive leadership and other aspects of the organization.
I had a great trip out to Montana (except for the Chicago weather on the way home that delayed flights everywhere).
I’m excited to be working with Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), especially after my face-to-face meetings last week with its smart, passionate and hospitable staff.
This small, Montana-headquartered organization is developing a powerful voice at the intersection of the environmental and women’s health movements. WVE (say weave) is proving once again the power of citizen activism and that nonprofits don’t have to have enormous budgets to make an important difference. (Of course, they could do a lot more with a lot more $$$)
I’m off to Montana in a few hours. I can’t wait to get there!
I just started working with Women’s Voices for the Earth, a national, women-centered environmental health and justice organization that works to eliminate or substantially reduce environmental toxics impacting human health and to increase women’s participation in environmental decision-making. You might want to host a Green Cleaning Party to encourage your family and friends to get the toxics out of their household cleaning products.
WVE’s headquarters is in Missoula, Montana. They started as a Montana based organization, but are working on issues that affect the health of women across the US. For example, maybe you’ve wondered just how safe those nail salons are that seem to be on every block in the US. WVE’s report “Glossed Over” exposes the health impacts of products used in nail salons — both on the women who use them and the primarily Asian women who work in the salons and are exposed to the chemicals for hours on end.
I’ll share more with you once I’ve gotten out there. As a New England girl, I’m looking forward to those wide open spaces. The first time I traveled to the West, (well, it was the really the southwest, New Mexico, but I’ve since been to Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota) I just was overwhelmed by this big open landscape where you could see for miles and miles. It took me a few visits to get over the culture shock so I’m looking forward to learning more about WVE and its work and enjoying the big sky country.