Change IS Service

August 29, 2012

We nonprofits often think of ourselves as serving our communities — such as the Latino community, the museum-going community, a low income community, and so forth. And we often forget that we not only serve communities, we represent communities. For example, if you serve families of children with disabilities, you also represent such families and […]

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Strategic Philanthropy Demands Data-Driven Decision Making

August 22, 2012

If you are a philanthropist or responsible for funding decisions, you have no doubt faced difficult choices in these tough economic times. Rates of poverty and unemployment are soaring while health outcomes and educational attainment are slipping. Faced with shrinking funding portfolios and skyrocketing community needs, the use of data can help drive decision-making. Over […]

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The Need for Philanthropic Champions of Transparency

August 15, 2012

Even if it might be uncomfortable for institutions used to operating at a relative distance from public scrutiny, several public benefits might be realized by increased foundation transparency. As Vikki Spruill, the new leader of the Council on Foundations, noted in one of her first official communications to the Council’s membership, institutional philanthropy faces “its most […]

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Developing Leading Professionals into Effective Boardmembers

August 8, 2012

Giving in L.A. takes on many forms. Prior to becoming Mayor, Richard Riordan observed a lack of succession planning in nonprofit board governance and wanted to solve this problem. With advisory direction from Coro Southern California, The United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce Charity Foundation, the idea of […]

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A Summer of Learning and Fun Despite Funding Cuts

August 1, 2012

Philanthropy often reaches communities on the heels of strategic initiatives, years in the making. Sometimes, though, real-world problems demand urgency and innovation, new partnerships, and immediate action. In early June 2009, Los Angeles Unified School District announced budget cuts that began dismantling summer school programs throughout the city—immediately. Without warning, families found themselves without access […]

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How Millennials Are Giving in L.A. and Beyond

July 25, 2012

Generation Y wants to give back to worthwhile causes. Each individual has its own preferences, from donating to volunteering, but the spirit of philanthropy is evident. Millennials also want to take action now and like knowing – and seeing – that every little bit of what they give is making an impact. Philanthropy is personal, […]

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Connecting Communities Through Technology

July 18, 2012

For many, data can be a static representation of a demographic, geography, numbers or figures. But what would it look like if information was interactive? Many organizations and companies are working to create better and better interactive data gathering and mapping platforms. For nonprofits, foundations and other organizations in the business of changing the world, […]

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Fast Pitch: Unleashing Potential through Storytelling

July 11, 2012

Have you ever heard a story that gives you goose bumps? It happens to me every time I watch the “Fast Pitch” video with this opening line: “I’m an Eagle Scout, an ex-convict, a recovering heroin addict, and the Founder and Creative Director of BTS Communications.” When John Sullivan spoke those words at LASVP’s 2010 […]

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Let's See Some Identification

June 27, 2012

As I read Monday’s Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s anti-immigrant law and the various analyses that followed it in preparation for a press conference, I was suddenly struck by how much I missed my former career as a civil rights lawyer. Here in print was proof of the role lawyers, Congress and the courts play […]

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A New Narrative for Corporate Philanthropy

June 20, 2012

A well-respected colleague and I recently had a troubling conversation.   While we agreed that we are entering into a new era of corporate philanthropy, we found ourselves in a circular conversation with no shared platform to speak from about our differing strategies to achieve the triple bottom line impact. Following a year-long strategic initiative, The […]

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