Thursday, October 22, 2015

What We've Been Reading: Radical Collaboration Edition

At Charities Review Council, we're still reeling from the innovative, collaborative and disruptive stories we heard at Annual Forum 2015-Philanthropy 2.0: Radical Collaboration. See what we've been reading since to keep our collaborative spirits fueled. 

This article explores the philanthropic consulting group Geneva Global, an organization that facilitates ‘dumbbell collaboration.’ Traditional collaborative relationships between nonprofits and foundations can be tricky, but Ava Lala, a director at Geneva Global, explains their solution. The group acts as “the handle in the middle that connects the two [weights],” nonprofits and donors, by pairing funders with compatible nonprofits as well as helping to manage donor funds. This directly relates to how Charities Review Council does its work, focusing on the relationship between the donor and nonprofit in order to achieve our mission! What are some non-traditional, maybe even “radical,” ways that you could collaborate with others to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues? Open Source Brainstorm Labs at the Council (Beginning January 2016) anyone? 

While collaboration between nonprofits is extremely important, we must not forget about the cooperative relationship needed between nonprofits and other sectors. As Le puts it, “Our communities can't afford for business, government, and nonprofits to be so siloed from one another.” This article emphasizes that all hands on deck are essential as we combat societal issues, expressing that “the challenges [are increasing] exponentially [as] resources... remain the same or [are] decreasing.” The article gives some serious tips for accomplishing collaboration, like networking and joining an organization outside of your sector, and some not so serious, but fun tips, like hosting a cross-sector cuddle party or karaoke night to help promote collaboration (we’re in!). 

Implementing collective impact and promoting structured collaboration to solve societal issues is a concept that is positively accepted by most, but an approach that can be difficult to achieve. This article addresses the issue, stating “to make such a structured collaboration not just possible, but also highly probable, we need an environment in which stakeholders can perform their individual roles optimally while also collaborating with each other effectively.” In order to accomplish this collaboration, the author argues that we must build awareness for the issue, build the capacity of stakeholders to help them perform at scale, and nurture a culture where collective impact can flourish. Why is a collective impact important to you and the causes that you believe in?

What have you been reading lately? Let us know if you come across an article or resource that is informative or inspirational. We'd love to hear from you.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Meet Katy Putzker: Our New Nonprofit Services Intern!

Charities Review Council is excited to welcome, Katy Putzker, as our new Nonprofit Services Intern! Katy is currently a junior at the University of Minnesota where she studies Nonprofit Management and Marketing (talk about a perfect fit!). Originally from Montana, Katy moved to the Twin Cities for school, but is no stranger to the state of Minnesota. Katy has family in the area and to her Minnesota is a "home away from home." Katy is passionate about mental health and ending the stigma that surrounds it, especially on college campuses. Having experienced her own journey with mental health concerns after losing her dad unexpectedly a year and a half ago, Katy acts as an advocate for others. Katy is excited to be introduced to the nonprofit sector through Charities Review Council and cannot wait to learn more!

To better get to know our new Council team member, we sat down with Katy to ask her the tough questions: If you could be any superhero who would you be and why? And perhaps more seriously, what's your favorite Accountability Standard®? See what Katy had to say here:

1. What is your favorite Accountability Standard®?
My favorite Accountability Standard® is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Standard. I think it's really important for nonprofits to be representative and inclusive of the population they serve so as to keep in mind the interests and concerns of that population. This standard allows nonprofits to be directly connected to the communities they serve, to maintain public trust, support organizational sustainability, and foster effectiveness. 

2. How have you seen nonprofits have an effect on our community?
Nonprofits have the ability to benefit communities in a way that for-profit organizations cannot. Nonprofits create community and provide support for important causes. Nonprofits lead the way, creating awareness and education on issues that would not likely be discussed otherwise. I have personally seen the benefit that nonprofits provide while volunteering for various organizations. 

3. When you're not strengthening the capacity of nonprofit organizations by interning at Charities Review Council, what do you like to do for fun? 
I am currently taking an ice-skating course at the UofM, so that is always something I enjoy doing in my free time. I love being around friends whenever possible, even if we're doing absolutely nothing. I also have a slight Netflix addiction. I can watch Gilmore Girls over and over without getting sick of it – such a classic and real show!

4. If you could be a superhero, who would you be? And why?
Not necessarily a superhero, but a superhero in my book, Frozone's wife for the response she gives in the Disney Movie The Incredibles. 

When Frozone asks “Where is my super suit? This is the greater good we are talking about!” 
She replies “I am your wife, I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!” 

So really, who’s the true hero here? 

5. What are you most excited about as you begin your journey with Charities Review Council?

To learn more about the nonprofit sector and to help nonprofits go through the Accountability Wizard® review process. I am eager to learn and experience all that I can while working with Charities Review Council!

Katy will be working with us on nonprofit reviews, as well as nonprofit communications and outreach. Join us in welcoming Katy to the Council by reaching out to her on Twitter or LinkedIn.