Last week, GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and three other nonprofit assessment and reporting organizations made a huge announcement: the metrics that they track are about to change. Instead of scoring organizations on an “overhead bad!” scale, they will scrap the traditional metrics and replace them with ones that measure an organization’s effectiveness.
Starred posts are posts that I’m particularly proud of
Last week, I shared a lengthy piece that could be summed up as:
“in a world where everyone can broadcast anything, there is no privacy, so transparency is your best defense.”
(Mind you, we’d be dropping a number of nuanced points to do that!)
Transparency, it turns out, has been a bit of a meme in nonprofit blogging circles lately. I was particularly excited by this post by Marnie Webb, one of the many CEO’s at the uber-resource provider and support organization Techsoup Global.
You might have read about Keith Bardwell, a man out of his time, who, throughout his 35 year career as a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana, has steadfastly denied marriage licenses for interracial couples. For their own good, of course. And the good of any children they might bear. Some might consider Bardwell an old coot who means well, when he defends his cruel and discriminatory behavior as being based on his expert opinion that interracial marriages generally don’t last, and it’s cruel to subject children to a world where they will be pariahs to blacks and whites alike. But I can’t listen to his defense of bigotry with anything but an understanding that he has a choice: he can “protect” children from the hate he perpetuates, or he can stop being hateful.
The decision to homeschool our kid wasn’t a slam dunk, but it was the right one. We made it after thoroughly investigating everything — our son’s learning style, both through the school system and via our local Children’s Hospital; every public, private, and non-public school within about a six town radius; and conversations with educators, administrators, parents and other experts. Given what we now know about how our son learns and what options are out there, we aren’t guessing that this is the best route. We’ve verified it.
In 2000, after spending 15 years at corporate law firms, I made a personal choice to start working for organizations that promote social good by reducing poverty and protecting our planet. I understood that this career move would put some serious brakes on what was a fairly spiraling rise in compensation – my salary tripled from 1993 to 2000. And that was fine, because, as I see it, the privilege of being compensated for doing meaningful work is compensation in it’s own right.
At the recent Nonprofit Technology Conference, I attended a somewhat misleadingly titled session called “Cloud Computing: More than just IT plumbing in the sky”. The cloud computing issues discussed were nothing like the things we blog about here (see Michelle’s and my recent “SaaS Smackdown” posts). Instead, this session was really a dive into the challenges and benefits of publishing aggregated nonprofit metrics. Steve Wright of the Salesforce Foundation led the panel, along with Lucy Bernholz and Lalitha Vaidyanathan. The session was video-recorded; you can watch it here.
This article was originally published on the Idealware Blog in May of 2009. Photo by ferricide It’s been a big month for Online Community Management in my circles. I attended a session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference on the subject; then, a few weeks later, ReadWriteWeb released a detailed report on the topic. I haven’t read the report, but people I respect who have are speaking highly of it.Do you run an online community? The definition is pretty sketchy, ranging from a blog with active commenters to, say, America Online. If we define an online community as a place where people share knowledge, support, and/or… Read More »Oldstyle Community Management
The technology trend that defines this decade is the movement towards open, pervasive computing. The Internet is at our jobs, in our homes, on our phones, TVs, gaming devices. We email and message everyone from our partners to our clients to our vendors to our kids. For technology managers, the real challenges are less in deploying the systems and software than they are in managing the overlap, be it the security issues all of this openness engenders, or the limitations of our legacy systems that don’t interact well enough. But the toughest integration is not one between software or hardware systems, but, instead, the intersection of strategic computing and organizational culture.