Performance P m e Nonprofit Professional WHAT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED! Vol. 2 No. 2 Magazine 360
Givers, Takers, and Matchers Adam Grant
Make Your Case for Funding The Science Behind Giving
The Parable of the Star Thrower
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Design Desk Do-Good Science Meets Do-No-Evil 37 Arnon Shafir
Nonprofiits that Work The Well Coffeehouse Doing Well and Doing Good!
Jeffrey Magee Co-Publisher Jeff@ProfessionalPerformanceMagazine.com Hugh Ballou Co-Publisher Hugh@SynerVisionLeadership.org Todd Greer Managing Editor Todd@SynerVisionLeadership.org Sandy Birkenmaier Acquisitions Editor Sandy@SynerVisionLeadership.org Kim Cousins Creative Design Editor Kim@KCousins.com Brett Archer Director of Business Development Brett@JeffreyMagee.com
Strategy Creating Vision in an Ever-Changing World Rob Sheehan
Featured Personality Givers, Takers, Matchers and Reciprocity Rings Adam Grant
Contributing Writers Successful Leaders Have a Passion for Giving Back Hugh Ballou
Funds Attraction Overhead Is Not a Dirty Word
Executive Office The Future of Organizational 24 Collaboration and Donor Engagement Jill O’Donnell-Tormey
Using Data to Make Your Case for Funding Amanda Babine and Hannah Jacobson
International Day of Giving
Academic Desk One Degree Trajectory Change
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The Parable of The Star Thrower 16 Giving for Impact Devin Thorpe
for Monumental ROIs Jeffrey Magee
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Board Relations Generous Listening
Stay Ahead of the Curve! Wayne Elsey
Creating Great Teams at the Boardroom Table Nancy Falls Point & Counterpoint Hugh Ballou and Jeff Magee
Millennial Engagement in Charitable Contributions Vicki Brannock
Giving to Gain Tim McCarthy Collaboration Wendy Friswell Giving Back Steven Sawalich
Member Engagement Giving is Good Business
Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine and Professional Performance Magazine are quarterly magazines. Each is published as a digital subscription publication and as a hard copy edition. The views expressed in the ar- ticles and advertisements are those of the con- tributing writers and advertisers, and may not be the views of the management and staff of the publication. The magazine assumes no li- ability for the contributions in this magazine and all content is intended as developmental in nature. SynerVisionisa501(c)(3)nonprofitorganization, and this publication serves its mission.
Philanthropy and Youth in America 40 Sabith Khan
The Abundance Mentality
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The Official Guide to All Things Nonprofit Nonprofit Performance Magazine brings impact which spreads hope and direction to those who are changing their communities and the world. This magazine is a great resource for nonprofit executives and religious leaders. • Learn from key thought leaders who can assist you in propelling your organization to reach its potential • Read in-depth stories written by those who have found success at the front line of the social benefit journey • Learn about the impact of community, communication, and collaboration in your organization
Performance e rm Nonprofit Professional WHAT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED! Vol.2No. 1 Magazine 360
The Next Greatest Generation Frances Hesselbein
MakeAQuantum Leap to Success
Mentoring Future Nonprofit Leaders
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SynerVision’s Nonprofit Performance Magazine is an affiliated publication of ProfessionalPerformanceMagazine.com.
Next Edition Highlights Vol. 2 No. 3
Communities continue to change and grow. Is your organization adapting to the new challenges and opportunities along with it? In the next issue, we focus on embracing our whole community in the nonprofit sector. We examine the legacy of Jackie Robinson and the lasting impact of his foundation,The Jackie Robinson Foundation, in providing hope for a brighter future. Organizations that recognize the value in diversity, various experiences and perspectives, and embrace a collective approach are better able to understand their mission as they move forward.The next issue will feature stories from key practitioners and thought leaders about how embracing a holistic approach to community can set your organization up for greater impact!
SynerVision Leadership .org I 5
From the Editor...
Showing charity, in its truest sense, has been part of the history of mankind from its earliest days.The advent of the social internet, technological improvements, grantor requirements, and general giving patterns have necessitated that organizations providing social benefit adapt to new opportunities or risk being left behind. In this issue of the magazine, we explore the concept of giving for impact through a variety of unique perspectives. In our cover feature, Adam Grant shares the framework from his bestselling book Give or Take , on how the archetypes of giver, taker, and matcher can be worked out in your organization. In Nonprofits that Work, we are confronted with the impact of social enterprise in our global nonprofit space, as we learn about The Well Coffeehouse. New technology has also reshaped the way that we give, and articles by Arnon Shafir and Asha Curran spotlight how research and technology have not only taught us new things about giving, but also provide us with unique access to a giving community that wasn’t present previously. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey and DevinThorpe, two seasoned nonprofit executives, present unique insight into the donor-organization relationship and how we can be seeking to bring greater impact in how those dollars work in our organizations. Rob Sheehan, in turn, challenges nonprofits to be more aspirational in building their giving campaigns, as an encouragement to avoid the scarcity thinking that often is present in the nonprofit space. From the front cover to the back cover, we are really excited about the content on the pages of this issue and encourage you to engage it, share it, discuss it with your colleagues in the field, and respond back to us about what else you see for the future of giving in the social benefit world. Be sure to connect with us and your colleagues through our website at www.SynerVisionLeadership.org. Enjoy.
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8 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine
Successful Leaders Have a Passion for Giving Back
G iving is part of success. Transfor- mational Leaders focus on vision, build leaders on teams, transform vi- sion into reality, create a culture of ex- cellence, and leave a legacy. Giving back shows up in many forms. At CEOSpace International’s Business Growth Conferences, new members are told not to ask for anything, instead asking, “What are you doing, what do you need, and how can I help?” That reverse paradigm to the typical networking process of “ask, ask, ask” changes the results. People come to you asking what you need and are willing to help. It’s a culture of giving first. Receiving comes as a result of being a giver. Successful leaders have the DNA to give. The United Methodist Church challenges new members to give with prayers, presence, gifts, and service, a great model for anyone leading an enterprise. It’s not about money, but money is a symbol of commitment. My early-stage entrepreneur clients often ask to defer payment until after their financial success. That process doesn’t work. Without financial commitment, there is no success. Success depends on discipline and commitment, whether in your personal faith journey, musical excellence, or growing a multi-national enterprise. In 40 years as a musical conductor, I learned that part of leadership is teaching. The mes- sage in teaching music is the same as in teaching business success (leadership): suc- cess requires commitment and discipline – commitment to your enterprise, to your personal development, and to growing your effectiveness. All of these commitments re- sult in personal wealth. In Napoleon Hill’s natural laws of success and traits of wealth in Think and Grow Rich ,
3. Be a giver and learn to receive: Givers receive value through grate- ful receiving. Be a giver and a good receiver. 4. Give more than money: Many unsuccessful people focus on money as their answer. Your financial wealth is due to giving value to others which attracts money into your life. Seeking happiness does not bring happiness. Seeking money does not attract money. Give your time, your knowledge, and give of yourself. Model what success means. 5. Always be present: Show up, fully pres- ent, when you promise to. Act like you are paid to be there. Avoid being distracted by your money and personal success. Leave your phone, computer, and worries behind while you donate yourself. 6. Be passionate and show it: You are suc- cessful because you have a passion driving your success. Give your money, time, tal- ent, and service with passion. Takers might start out strong, but giving leaders finish in front, leaving value for everyone, especially themselves. Hugh Ballou, The Transformational Leadership Strate- gist™, works with visionary CEOs, pastors, and non- profit leaders and teams to develop purpose-driven collaboration, significantly increasing productivity, profits, and job satisfaction by dramatically decreas- ing confusion, conflicts, and under-functioning. Hugh employs leadership skills of the conductor in teaching relevant methods and showing leaders to create a high- performance culture that responds to the nuances of the leader, as skilled orchestras responded to his musical direction for 40 years.
he listed money as the last trait of true wealth because he felt it was the least important. His Laws of Attraction, Reciprocity, and Cause andEffect can be better understood by looking through the lens of giving. He emphasized that successful leaders always brought value to others in their work. Andrew Carnegie considered himself to be a failure if he died with his wealth, so he gave away money to bring continuing value to humankind. Think about all the organizations with the name “Carnegie.” Giving our wealth back is a potent dynamic that empowers our own success. Hill’s Laws of Attraction and Reciprocity provide a reverse benefit that comes through giving – giving allows us to help others and adds to our own success! That’s an added benefit, not the reason we give. Build your own success through personal giving. 1. Give what you can: Define a percent- age of your wealth to give away without self-promotion. As your financial success increases, your donation amount increases as a percentage of your financial wealth. 2. Don’t toot your own horn: Give as a part of your engagement process. Take your tax deductions and don’t make a big deal about it. Give for the right reasons.
SynerVision Leadership .org I 9
Amanda Babine and Hannah Jacobson
Using Data to Make Your Case for Funding
N ot all nonprofits are good, and many are just mediocre. What is more frightening is that many organizations are unsure which they are. This uncertainty often comes from a lack of tracking and evaluating outcomes for their programs. There are many reasons nonprofits don’t use data and evaluation, such as a lack of staff, time, and resources. Organizations often believe the first step in implementing an evaluation is obtaining the expertise and knowledge to do so. However, for these skills to be successfully implemented, we must address the underlying fear associated with data, for example, being told their program is a failure. Through operational issues or emotional fears, many organizations have stalled on the process of measuring their impact. While some nonprofits welcome the idea of evaluation, others have been pressured to implement it. Many funders have started requesting or demanding that current or potential future fundees report on the outcomes of their programs. Following this lead, the fundraising field has been pushing people to participate in “informed giving.” One component of this includes making sure the agencies you are donating to have stellar results. In a generation where starting a nonprofit is easier and faster than ever, with no regulatory body to hold nonprofits accountable for their outcomes, funders and donors have moved to being more strategic when giving. How can you use evaluation to become more attractive to funders and donors? The major shift to define your organization as a leader in evaluation requires two values : Commitment and Capacity . Without a clear commitment from an organization at all levels, evaluations
sidering that same educational nonprofit: instead of only measur- ing annual progress, implement measurements throughout the academic year. Empower all staff to think purposefully about work- ing towards the same vision. Make data-driven conversations routine at all meetings, check-ins and discussions of effective program-
ming. Shifting your culture to becoming evaluation based will strip the fear out of the employees and elevate your work to focusing on successful outcomes. Capacity Together with commitment from your orga- nization,you will need to be realistic about the capacity of your organization. Consider the amount of knowledge, work, time, resources and energy your nonprofit has to offer. Are you able to create a genuine evaluation in- house or do you need to hire a consultant? As you already know, most nonprofits are stretched thin with most employees acting as a jack of all trades in their work. Thoughtful- ly decide who can do what with your current resources and creatively think about ways to become data-driven. Determining capacity is an individualized decision process for which you as professionals have the ultimate discre- tion and decision-making power. For example, consider a nonprofit with a staff member who has a heavy workload, but the knowledge to implement a basic evaluation. The nonprofit’s best course of action is to shift a project or two to another employee, giving the knowledgeable team member the time he/she needs to become a resource for the organization as a whole. Often agencies already have someone with baseline skills that can be developed – think about sending that person to workshops or conferences so that
often fail. An evaluation is not a simple task, but rather an ongoing project. Also, consider the capacity of your organization. Do you have the skills, time and resources needed to become data-driven and results-oriented? To shift your organization’s mindset, you need buy-in from each level of your agency in building the capacity needed to truly follow through with your commitment to authentic evaluation. Commitment Let’s further explore what these two values mean for your organization. How can you as a professional leverage your nonprofit? First, focus on obtaining agency buy-in. You want to convince all levels of your organization from ground level staff to Executive Boards/ Directors. To do this, think about how to propose this new evaluation initiative. For example, let’s consider an education nonprofit that partners with a local school to conduct afterschool tutoring. They will need to convince the tutors, teachers, education administration and the executive director that measuring their success will be beneficial. Thinking of people individually will enhance your pitch and help get more individuals on board. A second strategy is to make data-driven practices a part of your organizational cul- ture. Implement outcome-driven measures into daily conversations and practices. Con-
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you don’t have to rely heavily on consultants. This not only saves money in the long run, but helps empower your staff and gives them leadership opportunities, which will build ownership and investment, pushing your organization to the next level. Building the capacity of your nonprofit from within also helps strengthen your organizational culture. Using Data to Attract Funding Before getting to the nuts and bolts, let’s go back to our purpose: How can you use evaluation to become more attractive to funders and donors? This evaluation cycle will make your case for funding compelling all through the use of data. Assessment The Assessment Phase sets the stage for a successful evaluation. Take a closer look at how your mission and vision relate to your desired outcomes.This is often done through conducting logic models which help you figure out what your inputs, outputs and Many organizations skip this step.They think they already know what their organizations do and how they do it. Taking the time to write out your organization’s needs, goals and wants will ensure you have a vision that matches up with what you are measuring. Design: In the Design Phase , organizations set a clear evaluation agenda describing how things will be measured, including methodology, measurement tools, and databases. It also includes how you will implement the evaluation, team members’ roles and responsibilities, and what type of results you will be focusing on and how you will share them. LessonTwo With data being so trendy now, people often think they need to use the fanciest technology and advanced methods. We suggest organizations new to evaluation should start off with something more basic. If you’re making a real impact, it doesn’t always matter that you have the most complex 3D graphs. Implementation: The Implementation Phase is often the longest and most draining phase of an evaluation. Collecting data, conducting interviews, entering surveys, and transcribing focus groups takes a lot of time and energy. outcomes are. Lesson One
It also includes checking in and making sure timelines are being met and data is collected correctly. LessonThree Organizations often forget to check in regularly to see how the data collection is coming along. Sometimes you must pivot or change the direction of an evaluation to ensure you get the best and most ethical data possible. You can only do this by making sure you have benchmarks set up for continuous improvement. Analysis: In the Analysis Phase , you take the data you collected and turn it into something useful. Analysis includes crunching the numbers and presenting that information to the world. Clear and strategic storytelling is key to making sure that your data is received the way you want it to be. Lesson Four Audience: Data presentation should be based on who is reading it. While a Board of Directors may find a 20-page report important, individual donors don’t have time for a document like that, so create one-page snapshots or easy on the eyes infographics. In determining what a nonprofit needs to know to make itself more attractive to donors/ foundations, the key is to authentically shift the mindset of your organization to become data-driven. To do that, you first need commitment and capacity within your organization, then implementation of a thoughtful and strategic evaluation. This will make your case for funding and showcase your true impact in making a difference in the communities and people you serve. Amanda Babine is the Director of Evaluate for Change, a program evaluation company training nonprofits in implementing evaluation. She has worked in the nonprofit field in direct practice and research, including evaluating citywide programs with Columbia University and the City University of New York, and at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, developing a youth well-being framework while conducting Participatory Action Research (PAR) with marginalized communities throughout New York City. Hannah Jacobson is an Evaluation Trainer at Evaluate for Change, focused on creating and delivering curriculum around evaluation for educational professionals; a special education Math teacher; and a fellow at the Urban Teacher Center. Her passion is measuring student success through a variety of evaluation measures.
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Nonprofits that Work
T hey love coffee. They love people even more. e Well is a coffeehouse community with a bold vision to make a difference around the world and in the local community. As a nonprofit missional coffeehouse they exist to make money…and then give it away! And there’s more. They also exist to greet you with the best cup of
Social injustices are being challenged. The Well is a staging area to change the world. The Well is a nonprofit that does “business” not only ethically, but with a mission. This mission is to change the world through coffee. This happens through those they buy from, those they sell to,
coffee you’ve ever had and with a smile that lets you know how much they care.We know, it sounds unusual. So let us tell you what that vision is all about.The Well began with a group of friends who simply wanted to make a difference in the world. They wanted to put their love and their faith into action. They didn’t feel wealthy, and they really weren’t business experts. But they realized that, even though they struggled like most people to keep up with their mortgages and monthly bills, they had been given so much! Not only did they realize how much they had, they began to open their eyes to shocking realities that they had, for too long, ignored. People around the world were dying because they didn’t have access to the most basic necessities of life. And people in Nashville needed hope, love, and community. The Well is their way to love the world. That begins with you. Not only do they want to let you know that they care, they want to invite you into a story. When you buy coffee or other products fromThe Well, you are contributing not only a few dollars but a chapter of hope. You are joining a mission. Ultimately, you are filling The Well so that, together, you and they can pour hope into the lives of people. So let them serve you a cup of your favorite coffee. And know that you are helping to serve the world. The Well is also focused globally as a training ground to develop models of addressing poverty. Ways of bringing sustainability to poor communities are being explored.
those they partner with, and those they seek to rescue from poverty and strife. The Well intentionally seeks out poverty-stricken places and situations in the world and seeks to bring “living water” there. This takes place in many, many ways. The Well sponsors the building of wells for those needing clean drinking water. They seek to address communities in the world where people are dying of starvation. They have created a hub for nonprofits to do this together. Their wonderful nonprofit partners include Blood:Water Mission, Living Water Project, Exile International, JOYN, Fashionable, Mission Lazarus,Thistle Farms, and ONEless, working together to support poverty-stricken adults and children around the world. The Well seeks to break the poverty cycle in poor communities. They encourage opportunities to sponsor children, to adopt children, and to “go into all of the world” to rescue them. They are a missional community. All who buy from The Well are participating in that mission. When you buy a cup of coffee atThe Well, you are investing in the mission. You do so, knowing that the price you paid for something, that you could have bought elsewhere, is actually going to make a difference in the world. This is one of the distinguishing principles that sets The Well apart from others. In short, The Well exists to make money for the purpose of giving it away.It is consumption with a purpose. As the consumer consumes, he or she is consumed in the mission. Now, meet Rob Touchstone of The Well Coffeehouse.
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Nonprofiits that Work
Doing Well and Doing Good! TheWell Coffeehouse
T ypically, when we think about giving to a cause, we see it as one- sided, that we’re making sacrifices for the sake of others. That’s what giving is: you’re giving to someone else. At The Well Coffeehouse, and at many organizations across our country, we are reframing that sense. We’re show- ing you a clear, tangible return, in hopes of developing a lasting giving relationship. It’s not just “Please give us a donation.” We’re saying, “If you give us your buying power, we’ll do something with that.” This comes from our work in what we call missional en- trepreneurship.We run our business, a 501(c) (3) coffeehouse, to bring missional impact to those struggling with the realities of water uncertainty in various parts of the world. We have high expectations of ourselves and of what we hope to happen when customers enter our store. Great care is taken to ensure our coffee is done with excellence and our customers are served relationally. This is crucial because our product is not only enabling our mission, but the exchange that takes place serves as an invitation for the consumer to become consumed in a bigger narrative as their purchase becomes a catalyst to think about the world around them, to think about something more than coffee, but what coffee can do to help others. In that way, we are inviting our customer community to change the world with us, one cup of coffee at a time. This is why we believe the only thing better than our coffee is our mission. Our product enables the mission, and the mission drives the product.
We’re simply inviting customers, who are going to buy their coffee somewhere, to consider buying from us, so that we can not only provide a high-quality experience, but give an opportunity to do something that makes a lasting impact. This creates a relationship that sometimes goes beyond the transaction as customers also decide to donate toward one of our clean water projects. This becomes more a partnership than just a mere donor relationship. It’s a sense of togetherness. Together we are bringing hope to others. Nonprofits have to think beyond donor relations and donor support. The future of nonprofits may need to be more than just receiving gifts. That’s why we feel strongly about developing products that are sold or services that are given. Nonprofits should strongly consider engaging the business world. The term “nonprofit” is a bit of a misnomer because it seems to infer that we are not FOR profit. We are very much for profit because the profits are what provide hope. The key is that we are being prophetic over those profits by directing them beyond ourselves and into the lives of those in need. Nonprofits need to be thinking in the future about, not only sending money, but developing solutions within the region to which they’re sending those funds.The more deeply we can get ourselves entrenched in the solution, rather than just throwing money in that direction, the more long-lasting and sustainable a solution we’ll create.This means creating microeconomies and breaking poverty cycles in a way that empowers communities in need.
A Reshaped Donor Relationship We’re not just asking for donations. We’re giving you something in return that we believe will motivate you to continue to give to us. We’re giving you the rare opportunity to be both a customer of a product and a giver to a mission. You’re both acquiring something you desired, which is a cup of coffee or a product in our store, and you’re also choosing to purchase in a way that is helping others. This is a subtle form of empowerment as customers choose where and how to use their buying power. Our mission sets the direction, laying the foundation for what we’re doing. It’s not aimless; it’s very purposeful. We’re asking people to purchase with us, which serves as their form of giving back to the world. This also creates a point of leverage. We sometimes jokingly tell our customers that we are leveraging their caffeine addictions to help make the world a better place. The Sustainable Giving Platform We believe we have created a sustainable way of addressing the water crisis in our world through a product that is proven to sell. Specialty coffee is an $18 billion industry in the United States.
SynerVision Leadership .org I 13
The Future of the Sector The future of the nonprofit, or social, sector may arise through a bit of blurring the lines. We have traditionally seen nonprofits as donor-based, and for-profits as business. I’d like to see those worlds come together. This is why I think “business as mission” is a vital concept. This moves beyond nonprofit or for profit and instead focuses on how a business can be “for people” from beginning to end. That includes the way that business conducts itself in every aspect of the business from the lowest to highest level. Even more, it involves that business creating solutions. For example, at The Well, we can help make a difference from the ground to the grounds, from the seed to the cup. This process begins with where and how we buy our coffee beans and continues all the way through how we direct the profits made on the cup of coffee those beans produced. Leading with Passion for Mission Lead your organization.You need buy-in from everyone who’s part of your organization, so everyone must understand that this is social or missional.They can’t be seeking something for self. You must create a culture of service, a culture of giving. This must be modeled by the leadership of the business.
Rob Touchstone is co-founder of The Well Coffeehouse and planter of the WELL HOUSE community, serving in the lead teaching and pastoral role. He is also an adjunct professor and Director of Missional Entrepreneurship at Lipscomb University.
Servant leaders do not set themselves up as dictators, but as servants empowering others. This requires sacrifice and vision. It is the sacrifice of living for something beyond self and the vision to see that it’s worth it, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
A Community for Community Builders to Grow Your Organization
The SynerVision Leadership Foundation is a membership community for social benefit leaders — religious leaders, nonprofit executives, foundation directors. Collaboration is the core of social benefit. The reality is that together we can accomplish more. Together we build bigger, encourage deeper, reach wider and care farther. You want this in your religious, nonprofit, charity and educational institutions.
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International Day of Giving
T hanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday kick off the holi- day shopping season with sales and bargains. #GivingTuesday begins the holiday giving season, refocusing on the importance of giving back. It’s be- come, through the generosity, creativity and entrepreneurialism of people and organizations, the first global day of giving. #GivingTuesday was created by 92nd Street Y, a Jewish cultural center in New York City that has brought diverse communities together for the greater good for over 140 years. Launched in 2012 with 2,500 U.S. partners, by 2014 27,000 interna- tional partners in 68 countries participated, with traditional and social media messages reaching over a billion people. The initiative grew out of this question: How do we make our traditional values,particularly, the responsibility we have to make the world a better place, relevant and meaningful for our community and future generations? With half of the global population 30 or younger, this is a critical challenge. The hashtag in #GivingTuesday is no accident. Social media is today’s shared language, un- precedented for collective impact and perfect for creating a global conversation to remind us that we are responsible for one another. #GivingTuesday empowers people to think of themselves as philanthropists, whether they are giving time, coats, food, money, or exper- tise. Everyone can have an impact. December 1, 2015, will be the fourth annual #GivingTuesday. Charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will celebrate generosity. Anyone can get involved in #GivingTuesday and give in a personally meaningful way. From fundraising to volunteering to pro bono service, #GivingTuesday is a great way to engage your community and to become part
proceeds going to your organization. • Have local government officials proclaim December 1, 2015, #GivingTuesday. Make this a big press moment and bring the community together to celebrate generosity. Get Social • Activate your social media constituency to discuss giving. • Celebrate community heroes and service leaders on social media. • e-Mail your community to educate them about #GivingTuesday and invite them to give. • Share photos from past events to teach your followers about how you serve the community. • Create a #GivingTuesday video to share on YouTube and social media. • Brand your personal and organizational social media accounts with #GivingTuesday graphics and be an ambassador for the movement. • Partner with sponsors where an amount is donated per re-tweet, like, or post in social media. #GivingTuesday is a call to action that brings diverse organizations and communi- ties around the world together to give back. When the news coming at us is often not good, this is a reminder for us that despite all that divides us, we are, always have been, and always will be, united by our capacity to give to one another. Asha Curran, Director, Center for Innovation & Social Impact for New York City’s 92nd Street Y, spearheads projects with national and global reach, including Social Good Summit, #GivingTuesday, NYC Venture Fellows, and 7 Days of Genius festival. She is a nonprofit advisor at NYU Stern School of Business, and serves on the Independent Sector C-Suite Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of Scout Film Festival, spotlighting teen filmmakers. She is the recipient of the 2015 Social Capital Hero Award from Social Capital Partners, LLC.
of a larger movement promoting generosity. There are many ways to get involved. Here are some ideas for your #GivingTuesday. Raise Funds • Organize a fundraiser and leverage #GivingTuesday to expand your donor base. • Launch a campaign on #GivingTuesday to increase donations. • Partner with a donor or sponsor for a matching grant challenge for #GivingTuesday: a 24-hour challenge, leading up to #GivingTuesday, or launching on #GivingTuesday and running through December 31. • Have donors let others know about their donation. Volunteerism • Accept volunteers or organize a larger team volunteer event. • Ask professionals to donate hours. • Organize a donation drive for goods, clothing, and other items. Collaborate • Partner with local businesses for donations (money, goods, or services). • Work with other local organizations for #GivingTuesday. In 2014, over 40 cities and states led #GivingTuesday movements to benefit local nonprofits. • Create a #GivingTuesday product for sale on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with
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The Parable of The Star Thrower Giving for Impact
M ost people are familiar with Loren Eisley’s story of The Star Thrower . At least they think they are. Most of us have heard a saccharine version of the story.The original version differs from the familiar version in some key ways, teaching us important principles about giving for impact. In the version of the story that has become so familiar, a girl is walking along a beach after a storm. The beach is covered with starfish drying and dying in the morning sun. One at a time, she picks up the starfish and hurls them as far as she can back into the sea. A curmudgeon comes along and says to the girl, “Why bother? It doesn’t really matter because you can’t possibly save them all.” The girl ponders the question for a moment and, picking up another starfish, responds, “It matters to this one.” She then hurls it into the sea. This story teaches us a powerful lesson: that every single one matters. I worry, however, that the story also implies that we should be satisfied with helping one where many may be suffering.This familiar version of the story also leaves unchallenged the curmudgeon’s assertion that we can’t save them all, allowing us to conclude incorrectly that we can’t. In Eisley’s original story, the star thrower is an adult who is throwing starfish back into the sea, not from a sandy beach, but from a craggy, dangerous shoreline. There, he is ap- proached by the narrator of the story who is perplexed by the star thrower. After ponder- ing overnight what he saw, the narrator re- turns the next day to join the star thrower.
Everyone—every single one—matters. Measuring Impact If everyone matters, how do we help them all? One of the key principles is to give with an eye on impact. That is, we need to give our time and money to organizations that actually make a difference. As we focus on having impact, we need to measure impact. Let’s consider our felons for a moment. If we focus on impact, our questions shouldn’t focus on the number of people a program serves, but on the outcomes of the program. Consider a program that provides training to recently released prisoners. It shouldn’t matter how many people are trained (an input measure), nor should we be concerned about their test scores (a preliminary output). We should, instead, be focused on outcomes like the number of people who get good jobs after completing the program or the number who don’t return to prison—especially as compared to groups not participating in the program. Traditionally, philanthropists have put their money where their hearts are. Increasingly, however, sophisticated donors are measuring outcomes for impact. This shift is driving The trick is to scale up the programs that actually work. If you have a program that reduces recidivism (the rate at which ex- convicts return to prison) in a meaningful way with a group of 100 or 1000 participants, we need to find ways to scale that up to address the entire relevant population. We need to recognize, of course, that not all program candidates will be a good fit. A program that improved results. Scaling Impact
In this version of the story, the message is almost the opposite of the familiar version. Rather than suggest the futility of trying to save all the starfish, the story implies we can save all the starfish if only we have enough star throwers. This in no way contradicts the notion that every individual is important. In fact, it reinforces it. If every person matters then we should—we must—find a way to save them all. Everyone Matters Let’s consider what that means, that everyone matters.That means that everyone, including people who are different from us or far away from us, is equally important. While we may see people in our family, our neighborhood and community as being more deserving of our love and attention, ultimately we should recognize that every human being on the planet has an equal claim on the world’s resources. For most of us, this rings true when we think of starving children in Africa. The principle, which I hold is universally true, must also apply to felons. For most of us, this represents a bigger leap. Consider, however, that a program or effort to help reintegrate a felon into productive society not only helps the once and former criminal, but also helps society. If that individual returns to prison, it not only creates a public expense for care and feeding, but it also means that some new crime has been committed, and some additional cost has been suffered by the public.
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teaches basic job skills, for instance, may be of little use to an ex-con with a college degree. As donors, we should be looking for ways that our money can help a program scale up. If we can use our donor dollars to help organizations find permanent funding or program revenues that will support increasing Increasingly, we are seeing for-profit social enterprises having impact at scale. Tom’s Shoes, a familiar for-profit shoe brand that gives away a pair of shoes for every pair it sells, may have put more new shoes on the feet of poor children who didn’t have shoes than any nonprofit in history. There are many old-school examples of for- profit businesses operating in what is often thought of as a nonprofit space, including hospitals, universities and private K-12 schools. Nonprofits are increasingly seeking to generate program revenues to help fund their operations. One of the great things about for-profit businesses driving social impact is that they can attract investment capital. There are orders of magnitude more investment assets in the world than there are philanthropic dollars available. By tapping into the former scale, so much the better. Social Entrepreneurship
to drive impact, we have the potential to see more people lifted out of poverty in this generation than in any generation in history. Crowdfunding and Impact Investing Crowdfunding is just now beginning to create a path for ordinary individuals to use their money as investments to drive impact. Kiva is the best-known example for ordinary investors. Anyone can go to Kiva and lend as little as $25 and watch that money be returned over time to their account so that they can lend it again—and again. Given the nearly 100% return of invested capital on Kiva, if you lend a new $25 each month, in five years you’ll have accumulated a portfolio of $1,500 that you can constantly recycle there for good. Some impact investments, as they are known, are yielding much higher results than just a return of capital.Most have traditionally been limited to the most affluent individuals and institutions, but as investment crowdfunding grows, ordinary investors will get more and more opportunities to invest money for impact with financial returns. Venture Philanthropy Many programs we hope to see scaled will be funded in their early stages by a growing
group of donors who style themselves as venture philanthropists.Many of them have a venture capital background and actively apply entrepreneurial thinking to the nonprofit arena. By focusing on outcomes rather than inputs, and funding programs that have great potential to scale, they are creating new nonprofits that have more potential for impact than many we’ve seen in the past. Become a StarThrower When you deliberately seek to maximize the impact of your money for good in the world, you become a star thrower. You join the ranks of countless other star throwers who, with a little time, some innovation and hard work, can eradicate some of the world’s biggest problems by remembering that the ultimate implication of “every one matters” is not that we should be happy having helped just one, but that we together have the responsibility and the opportunity to help every last one. Devin Thorpe focuses on helping those doing good in the world. As an author, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, emcee and trainer, Devin’s mission is to solve some of the world’s biggest problems before 2045. His latest book, Crowdfunding for Social Good: Financing Your Mark on the World, is now on shelves. Follow him at @devindthorpe and DevinThorpe.com.
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Featured Personality Adam Grant
Givers, Takers, Matchers and Reciprocity Rings
T he nonprofit world has largely been built on the importance of giving to accomplish real needs in communities across the globe. Yet, oftentimes giving (or more correctly in my research, Givers) get
tion to what other people need from them… If you are a giver at work, you simply strive to be gener- ous in sharing your time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and connections with other people who can benefit from them.”
a bad rap. The fact that we, in our communities, are surrounded by Takers (see below) makes us a little paranoid. We worry about whether they will take credit for our work, abuse the privileges in our communities, and ultimately suck up the limited resources of our organization. In Give and Take , I shared the results of a decade of research into the three fundamental styles of social interaction: giving, taking, and matching. “Takers …like to get more than they give. They tilt reciprocity in their own favor, putting their own interests ahead of others’ needs. Takers believe that the world is a competitive, dog-eat-dog place.They feel that to succeed, they need to be better than others. To prove their competence, they self-promote and make sure they get plenty of credit for their efforts. Garden-variety takers aren’t cruel or cutthroat; they’re just cautious and self-protective.” Takers sometimes become antagonistic, using creative rationalization to maintain a positive self- image, badmouthing peers (“My colleague didn’t deserve that”) or overcharging customers (“He should have done his homework”) to improve their own status. They come to view antagonism as an appropriate response, or as opportunities to improve their standing at the expense of others. “In the workplace, givers are a relatively rare breed. They tilt reciprocity in the other direction, preferring to give more than they get. Whereas takers tend to be self-focused, evaluating what other people can offer them, givers are other-focused, paying more atten-
Givers often lose ground to coworkers initially, because time spent in helping others leads to decreased productivity in their own work. In the long-run, however, givers are more successful than others because their passion for helping others builds relationships and motivation. If you find a caring salesperson, you are more likely to buy now, to purchase more in the future, and to refer new customers. Helping others enriches the meaning and purpose of our own lives, showing us that our contributions matter and motivating us to work harder, longer, and smarter. “Professionally, few of us act purely like givers or takers, adopting a third style instead. We become matchers, striving to preserve an equal balance of giving and getting. Matchers operate on a principle of fairness when they help others, they protect themselves by seeking reciprocity. If you’re a matcher, you believe in tit for tat, and your relationships are governed by even exchange of favors.” These styles are important to understand within your organization. It’s likely that you will have individuals within your organization with each of these types of social interaction styles. So how do you work to create a collaborative environment that brings value for all of your team? One method is to create something like a reciprocity ring, as developed by Wayne Baker (University of Michigan) and his wife Cheryl Baker (Humax Networks). Here, 8-30 people are brought together and each is asked to make a meaningful personal or professional request. Other members of the group
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