Archive for April, 2011

Radical Transparency in the World of Philanthropy?

Paging through the agenda in the lobby outside the Council on Foundations annual meeting earlier this month, one session jumped out at me. Media expert and blogger Jeff Jarvis leading a discussion about what constitutes the “radically transparent foundation” looked to be 90 minutes well spent.

In the session, Jarvis, who heads the interactive journalism program at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, argued that we face a choice as a society between private vs. “publicness.” Closed vs. open. Then, he produced a long list of ways organizations can benefit from choosing the public route:

  • create relationships
  • enable collaboration
  • build trust
  • disarm the myth of perfection
  • enable the wisdom of the crowd
  • grant immortality

The list went on, but those alone seem to weigh heavily toward the choice of publicness. Jarvis, who pens the popular Buzzmachine blog, offered two more reasons philanthropy should be moving in the direction of transparency and a more open grantmaking process: Read the rest of this entry »

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Harnessing Technology for Good

The most recent annual conference of the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) drew over 2,000 attendees to Washington. That’s up from about 50 participants 10 years ago when the conference began, an amazing leap in interest. In the latest installment of our monthly podcast series for the Philanthropy News Digest, my colleague Bill Silberg and I talked to NTEN chief Holly Ross about how philanthropic organizations are harnessing technology to more effectively pursue their goals. You can listen to the podcast over at the Philanthropy News Digest’s site.

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